A regularly updated guide to random legal news that I find interesting -- and hope you will too. And links! Always links!


Thursday, February 13, 2003

Judge Arrested at Local Outback Steakhouse

Sounds like Judge Dawson, 48, may have had one too many at the bar before he had to be physically hauled out by the cops after refusing to leave, as reported here.
Is The Current Heightened Terror Threat A False Alarm?

ABC News says it may be. Sounds like good (if annoying) news to me.
Litigation Can Be Fun!

In 1997, some Florida lawyers (including lead attorney Jack Scarola of West Palm Beach) convinced about fifteen plaintiffs to opt out of a class action against Prudential concerning life insurance sales, and to pursue their claims on their own instead. At first, the plaintiffs presented a unified front. But then things started getting ugly, and never stopped. Now there's an astonishing tangle of litigation and cross-accusations, reports here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

According to Frode, Pillsbury is Bad, Bad, Bad

Remember Frode Jensen, the Pillsbury Winthrop partner who was leaving for Latham & Watkins when Pillsbury management torpedoed him with a press release including allegations that he was unproductive and a sexual harasser? Well, he has sued, and the allegations of his complaint make entertaining reading. If half of what he says is true, Pillsbury is dumb, dumb, dumb.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Old Allegations Against Michael Jackson

I can't attest to its veracity or authenticity, but The Smoking Gun has posted what appears to be the 1993 sworn declaration of the victim in the Michael Jackson child molestation case. Talk about some twisted allegations! Note: the document includes the alleged victim's identity, which I'm not sure I approve of. You can read it for yourself here (or not).
Asbestos Litigation: "Better Than the Lottery"

Some workers interviewed at a mass asbestos screening conducted by a plaintiffs' firm at their union hall had this to say:

"I saw the notice in the union newsletter and said, 'Why not?'" said an automotive worker from Ford. Sitting on the tailgate of his shiny, new Chevy pickup and lighting a fresh cigarette off the one he had just finished, he added: "It's better than the lottery. If they find something, I get a few thousand dollars I didn't have. If they don't find anything, I've just lost an afternoon."

Standing nearby, a Boeing worker 10 days from retirement volunteered, "The lawyers said I could get $10,000 or $12,000 if the shadow is big enough, and I know just the fishing boat I'd buy with that."

Asked if he'd ever worked with asbestos, he said, "No, but lawyers say it's all over the place, so I was probably exposed to it."

What they don't realize is that by taking a small payment now, they sign away their rights to sue if they ever really get sick. And they're sucking up a limited pool of funds that should go to those who really need it. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a long article about it here .
Brobeck Bankruptcy?

The ABA Journal has an article pondering Brobeck's collapse and what might come next, which you can read here.
Trial Set in "Racist Rhyme" Lawsuit Against Southwest Airlines

I don't mean to be insensitive to other people's (perhaps justified?) perceptions of offensiveness, but this sounds like one of the stupidest lawsuits I've ever heard of. UPDATE (2/18/2003): The Washington Times has a rather angry editorial about the case here.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Drafting Constitutions and Federalism

I've been reading David McCullough's fascinating recent biography of John Adams. There is much in it about states' rights v. federalism, and about the debates on point during the drafting of the Constitution. Those debates ultimately defined the United States and have guided our federal v. state jurisprudence ever since.

The Europeans are currently drafting their own constitution for the EU, and they seem to be struggling over many of the exact same issues the Americans struggled with more than two centuries ago. Fascinating, if you ask me. Read about it here.


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