Category Archive 'Litigation'
08 Feb 2016

Things Are Different Today

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YaleDailyNews

I logged into the Oldest College Daily web-site the other day, in the course of looking for blog fodder editorials or news items. I didn’t find anything of interest in either category, but I could not avoid noticing how different today’s Yale Daily News is from the paper in my day. Obviously, there’s been a lot of technological change. I can remember night-editing and pasting up the entire paper piece by piece out of bits of paper to be printed before dawn on an enormous press down in the News building’s basement. I expect that it’s a bit easier to do all that on a PC today.

The paper’s online edition has one of those floating advertising blocks, sitting just below the paper’s logo. The advertising changes with every new mouse click or page selection. But I happened to hit the ambulance-chasing legal advertisement you see above.

Now that’s change for you! In my day, we would have had an ad for the now-extinct Quality Wine or for J. Press. Today, the politics of resentment have created such a witch-hunting atmosphere at places like Yale that enterprising law firms recognize the existence of large potential client base in the male undergraduate community.

If Peter Salovey had any common sense, when he looked at the Yalie Daily and saw that ad, he would say to himself: “By heaven, when they are running ads like this, things have obviously gone outrageously too far, and something has to be done! Tomorrow morning I’m closing down the Womens’ (Cultural Identity) Center permanently, and I’m going to assemble a blue-ribbon committee of responsible faculty, students, and alumni to write another Woodward Report, this time affirming Yale student and faculty due process rights and rejecting federal interference and identifying inflammatory paranoia-inducing leftist agitation and propagandizing as dangerous to the comity of the university and the rights of the members of its community.

“Hereafter, we are going to start treating Yale students as individuals and adults, not as members of groups of victims entitled to special privileges and compensations and not as members of a historically-oppressive majority burdened with special intrinsic demerits and inherited guilt. If someone believes she has been a victim of sexual assault, if she is right, a crime has been committed and it is a matter for the police. The university administration has no business attempting to set up extra-judicial procedures to dispense justice. That is what the police and court system is for.”

02 Aug 2012

Go, Ringling Brothers!

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The Humane Society of the United States raises $150 million a year from animal-loving Americans. It then pays 29 executives six figure salaries, while spending under 1% of its budget on local pet shelters. HSUS really devotes its massive financial resources to continual fund-raising and lobbying politicians for legislation supporting an extreme radical Animal Rights agenda. Washington Examiner and Wikipedia

Jim Matthews
, the outdoors columnist for the San Bernadino Sun, reports that some long-overdue justice may be headed HSUS’s way as the result of that organization’s continual legal harassment of the Ringling Brothers Circus.

The Humane Society of the United States, an organization that does next to nothing for animal shelters but sues, badgers and lobbies politicians and businesses into adopting its radical animals rights agenda, is getting a taste of its own medicine.

In a little-reported ruling by a judge in the District of Columbia earlier this month, the HSUS is going to court to face charges under RICO statues on racketeering, obstruction of justice, malicious prosecution and other charges for a lawsuit it brought and lost against Ringling Brothers Circus’ parent company Feld Entertainment, Inc.

After winning the case alleging mistreatment of elephants in its circuses brought by Friends of Animals (later merged into HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), lawyers at Feld filed a countersuit with a litany of charges ranging from bribery to money laundering to racketeering. The attorneys for the animal rights groups asked the judge to dismiss all charges, but most remained because the evidence was overwhelming. So in early August, HSUS will be facing the music in a case that should attract the attention of hunters, ranchers, farmers and anyone impacted by HSUS’ radical animal rights agenda.

District judge Emmet G. Sullivan did dismiss allegations of mail and wire fraud, but he did so only because Feld didn’t have standing to file this charge. His ruling all but set the stage for a class-action
Advertisement
RICO lawsuit against HSUS for misrepresenting itself in its fundraising campaigns across the nation. This lawsuit easily could bankrupt HSUS, put it out of business and send some of its top executives to prison.

26 May 2012

More Than All the Tea in China

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Ultimate Guitar reports what has to count has to represent some kind of record for litigious overreach.

It’s no secret that LimeWire was once a hotbed of peer-to-peer music piracy, but the RIAA has now attempted to sue it for $72 trillion – more money than exists in the world today.

LimeWire was shut down in October 2010, but litigation continues from music bodies around the world, including Merlin which represents independent labels.

The RIAA told a court that it identified over 11,000 American songs that were being illegally shared, and that it should be compensated for every individual download of the tracks.

However, its claim for $72 trillion is 20 percent higher than the combined wealth of the entire world, which is $60 trillion according to the NME.

Don’t run to your bank yet. The judge in the case dismissed the figure, and said the music industry is only entitled to sue LimeWire per song, rather than for every individual download.

This could still be substantial sum of money. At the proposed figure of $150,000 per song, LimeWire could be forced to pay a $1.65 billion fine.

Via LifeHacker.

26 Apr 2011

No Representation Against Left-Wing Causes

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Demonstrators outside King & Spalding offices.

John Hinderaker was appalled at the way the leading Atlanta law firm King & Spalding‘s caved in to pressure.

One of the saddest stories in the news today is King & Spalding’s withdrawal, after only a week, from its representation of the U.S. House of Representatives in connection with the Defense of Marriage Act.

In February, Barack Obama’s Department of Justice announced that it would not carry out its constitutional and statutory duty of defending the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. This itself was disgraceful: DOMA was passed by the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Clinton. No administration should abandon the defense of a properly enacted statute that is, at a bare minimum, arguably constitutional, simply because the political winds have shifted. (DOJ did defend the act in 2009.)

After DOJ stopped defending the act, the House of Representatives retained former Solicitor General Paul Clement, a partner in King & Spalding, to represent it in upholding the constitutionality of DOMA. Predictably, this enraged certain homosexual activists:

    Before the firm announced its withdrawal, Human Rights Campaign and Equality Georgia were planning a protest Tuesday morning at King & Spalding’s offices in Atlanta. In addition, a full-page ad denouncing the firm was set to run Tuesday morning in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one person familiar with the plan said.

King & Spalding promptly folded. ..

The law firm’s action was unusual, to say the least. No doubt there is precedent for a law firm abandoning a client because it comes under political pressure, but I can’t think of one offhand. Most lawyers think they are made of sterner stuff than that.

Clement, outraged, resigned from King & Spalding and fired off a letter to the firm’s management:

    “I resign out of the firmly held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters. Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do,” Clement wrote to Hays. “I recognized from the outset that this statute implicates very sensitive issues that prompt strong views on both sides. But having undertaken the representation, I believe there is no honorable course for me but to complete it.

    “Efforts to delegitimize any representation for one side of a legal controversy are a profound threat to the rule of law. If there were problems with the firm’s vetting process, we should fix the vetting process, not drop the representation.”

As Clement noted, defense of DOMA is “extremely unpopular in certain quarters.” But lawyers represent unpopular clients and unpopular causes all the time. Many of America’s most prominent law firms lined up to represent terrorists, including those associated with the September 11 attacks, in various legal proceedings. On the left, it is apparently fine to advocate for mass murderers, but not for the House of Representatives or the traditional definition of marriage.

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Greg Sargent, in the Washington Post, talked to the spokesman of the group responsible, who was gloating over a successful intimidation job.

I just got off the phone with the Human Rights Campaign, the gay advocacy group that’s in the right’s crosshairs. The group’s response, in a nutshell: Deal with it. …

Far from being abashed about this campaign, Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, shared new details about it. He confirmed to me that his group did indeed contact King and Spalding clients to let them know that the group viewed the firm’s defense of DOMA as unacceptable.

Sainz said his group did not ask any of the firm’s clients to drop the firm in retaliation for taking the case, as is being assumed by conservatives who are alleging an untoward pressure campaign. Rather, he said, his group informed the firm’s clients that taking the case was out of sync with King and Spalding’s commitment to diversity, which it proudly advertises on its Web site.

“King and Spalding’s clients are listed on its web site, so we did what you would expect us to do,” Sainz told me. “We are an advocacy firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of gays and lesbians. It is incumbent on us to launch a full-throated educational campaign so firms know that these kinds of engagements will reflect on the way your clients and law school recruits think of your firm.”

“We did all of this, and we’re proud to have done it,” added Sainz.

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Jennifer Rubin identifies the key hypocrisy.

It is worth recalling the passionate words of an all-star lineup from the Brookings Institution when some conservatives objected to the Justice Department employing lawyers who represented detainees:

    Such attacks also undermine the Justice system more broadly. In terrorism detentions and trials alike, defense lawyers are playing, and will continue to play, a key role. Whether one believes in trial by military commission or in federal court, detainees will have access to counsel. Guantanamo detainees likewise have access to lawyers for purposes of habeas review, and the reach of that habeas corpus could eventually extend beyond this population. Good defense counsel is thus key to ensuring that military commissions, federal juries, and federal judges have access to the best arguments and most rigorous factual presentations before making crucial decisions that affect both national security and paramount liberty interests.

    To delegitimize the role detainee counsel play is to demand adjudications and policymaking stripped of a full record. Whatever systems America develops to handle difficult detention questions will rely, at least some of the time, on an aggressive defense bar; those who take up that function do a service to the system.

But, you see, the rules are entirely different when the principle at issue is a pet position of the left.

28 Mar 2011

Stoner Gets Workman’s Comp, But Business Closes

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HuffPo quotes a humorous local events item from the Missoulian.

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a Workers’ Compensation Court ruling that about $65,000 in medical bills incurred by a man who was mauled while feeding the bears at a tourist attraction should be covered by workers’ compensation, despite the fact the man had smoked marijuana on the day of the attack.

The court filed its opinion Tuesday, the Daily Inter Lake reported.

Brock Hopkins filed a claim with the Uninsured Employers’ Fund in December 2007, saying he suffered injuries to his legs and buttocks when he was mauled by a bear at Great Bear Adventures near Glacier National Park on Nov. 2, 2007. Hopkins was treated for his injuries at a Kalispell hospital.

The UEF denied Hopkins’ claim because Hopkins had smoked marijuana before entering a bear enclosure. The fund also argued that Hopkins was acting outside the scope of his duties.

Park owner Russell Kilpatrick, who did not have workers’ compensation coverage, argued that Hopkins was a volunteer who Kilpatrick occasionally gave cash to “out of his heart.” Hopkins fed the bears that day after Kilpatrick told him not to because he was tapering their food as they prepared for hibernation, Kilpatrick said.

The Workers’ Compensation Court ruled last June that Hopkins was an employee and noted that while his “use of marijuana to kick off a day of working around grizzly bears was ill-advised to say the least and mind-bogglingly stupid to say the most,” there was no evidence presented regarding Hopkins’ level of impairment.

The WCC found that grizzlies are “equal opportunity maulers” without regard to marijuana consumption. …

[T]he agency [paid] an estimated $35,000 in discounted medical bills on behalf of Hopkins. Kilpatrick paid a small penalty for failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance, Nevin said.

A phone listing for Kilpatrick in Coram has been disconnected and there is no phone listing for Great Bear Adventures.

Both outlets overlook the more serious moral here. The Montana’s Supreme Court’s witty and charitable decision and the consequent “small penalty” seem to have closed the Great Bear Adventures Park operation and put its owner out of business. Ho, ho, ho.

Hat tip to John Whiston.

24 Feb 2011

What Will the Episcopal Church Do to Washington’s Church?

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The church where Washington was a vestryman.

Bryan Preston reports on the lengths that the Episcopal Church has been willing to go to punish parishes attempting to break away as the result of the ordination of an avowedly practicing homosexual as bishop.

I’m not at all religious and this story makes my blood boil. It must be seriously annoying to actual believing Christians.

The town of Falls Church, VA, gets its name from the beautiful historic church at its heart. The Falls Church was built in the time of George Washington, who was himself a vestryman at the church, and the original chapel still stands amid a far larger and more modern campus, and today boasts about 2,500 members. According to a historical marker nearby, the Falls Church was a recruiting station for the fledgling army that Washington led. But today the Falls Church is the target of a scorched earth campaign that the Episcopal Church USA, now called The Episcopal Church (TEC) is waging against several of its own congregations.

The Falls Church’s differences with TEC began over doctrinal issues in the 1970s, but came to a head in 2003 with the Episcopal Church’s ordination of the first non-celibate gay bishop. Many Episcopal churches, including the Falls Church and seven others in northern Virginia, elected to separate from TEC and created a parallel church network aligned with the Anglican Communion. But TEC claimed ownership of the Falls Church’s sprawling campus, and a lawsuit soon followed to wrest the property away from the congregation. Claiming alienation of property, the Episcopal Church went to courtroom war against its breakaway flocks.

The TEC’s lawsuit against the eight churches hinges on property ownership: Who owns the buildings and lands where the congregations meet? What would seem to be a straightforward issue, isn’t, thanks in part to how Episcopal churches are governed. Episcopal churches exist somewhere between Catholic parishes, the properties of which rest solely in the hands of bishops, and most Protestant churches, which own their own properties independent of their denomination or larger structural organization. Unlike Catholic churches, Episcopal churches exercise some independence from the larger church and have the power to vote on whether to sever ties with TEC. These churches did just that. But unlike other Protestant churches, Episcopal churches exercise somewhat less independence from their larger church. But the deeds to the properties in question are in the names of the local trustees, not the TEC itself.

These churches also predate the founding of the Episcopal diocese in Virginia itself. In fact, they are among its founding churches. Falls Church itself dates back to 1734. The diocese that is suing it is three decades its junior.

Nevertheless, the Episcopal Church has continued to wage a very expensive war in court. Jim Oakes, chairman of the Anglican Division of Virginia, estimates that the case has cost the local churches and TEC between $5 million and $8 million on both sides, or between $10 million to $16 million total. For churches that exist to provide ministry to families and towns, those millions could have surely been put to much better use than hiring lawyers and engaging in legal proceedings that have now lasted five years.

As the years have worn on, the churches have offered to settle out of court at each stage, only to be rejected by the Episcopal Church, and then have prevailed over TEC in court. That changed when the case made it all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court, which handed the case back down to the circuit level after finding that the law at the heart of the case – called the division statute – did not apply in this case.

That trial is now set for the end of April, and is expected to take about six weeks. One Falls Church congregant I spoke with worries not just about the eventual ownership of the properties, but about the eventual intentions of the Episcopal Church itself. When I asked what was the worst case scenario, he pointed me to the outcome of a similar case in Binghamton, New York. The Episcopal Church’s victory over a breakaway church there led to this:

    The Church of the Good Shepherd, which has stood at #79 Conklin Avenue since 1879, has been willingly turned over to a Muslim entity by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, rather than have it remain in the hands of traditional Anglicans who practice the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

    The death knell for the structure as a Christian house of worship was delivered on February 9, 2010, when it was sold to Imam Muhammad Affify, doing business as the Islamic Awareness Center, for a mere $50,000, a fraction of the church’s assessed $386,400 value.

    Now, two months later, the classic red Anglican doors have been repainted green, the simple cross on top of the steeply peaked bell tower has been lopped off, and a windowpane cross in the side door has been disfigured leaving only narrow vertical glass with the cross beam being painted over to hide it. The Muslims consider the cross a pagan symbol.

    Meanwhile the Rev. Matt Kennedy, his wife and partner in ministry Anne, their young family and congregation were sent packing in the bitter cold and deep snow in January 2008 when the New York Supreme Court ordered them to relinquish the 130-year-old church building which stands overlooking the meandering Susquehanna River.

Good Shepherd had offered to purchase the property before any legal proceedings began, but TEC refused, just as it has refused to settle with the majority of the Virginia churches. After winning the Binghamton suit, TEC sold the historic church to the Islamic group for about a third of what the congregation had offered. …

[An Episcopalian source describing a similar case in Leesburg, VA, notes:]

    Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is on record saying she would sooner see fleeing parishes sold for saloons than see them affiliate with African and Southern Cone dioceses that uphold “the faith once delivered for all to the saints.”

Saloons rather than traditional churches? That is why the word “jihad” is in the title of this article. The Episcopal Church’s actions in Binghamton and elsewhere defy reason, unless they were intended to send a very strong and unmistakable message to traditional congregants who might be thinking of breaking away: Defy us, and we will not only hound and possibly crush your congregation through expensive lawsuits, we will see that your cherished houses of worship are desecrated. And we will go to any lengths to send this message, even if we must turn your houses of worship into saloons, or mosques. Even if George Washington himself once worshiped there.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

12 Feb 2011

America, Land of Lawsuits

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Walter Olson, who blogs at Overlawyered, linked this video demonstrating that even anime characters have learned to fear the American penchant for resorting to litigation.

09 Feb 2011

“I Am the Only One in This Room Professional Enough to Carry the Glock 40”

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Never Yet Melted remarked about Glocks:

My experience is that the Glock pistol is surprisingly easy to shoot, but it also has—in my opinion—some very objectionable features and can be dangerous to an unskilled user. A lot of police are accidentally shooting themselves in the leg with Glocks these days.

Crack DEA agent Lee Paige tried suing the government over that video. The Smoking Gun:

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent who stars in a popular online video that shows him shooting himself in the foot during a weapons demonstration for Florida children is suing over the tape’s release, claiming that his career has been crippled and he’s become a laughingstock due to the embarrassing clip’s distribution. …

According to the lawsuit, Paige was making a “drug education presentation” in April 2004 to a Florida youth group when his firearm (a Glock .40) accidentally discharged. The shooting occurred moments after Paige told the children that he was the only person in the room professional enough to carry the weapon.

The accident was filmed by an audience member, and the tape, Paige claims, was turned over to the DEA. The drug agency, he charges, subsequently “improperly, illegally, willfully and/or intentionally” allowed the tape to be disseminated.

As a result, Paige–pictured at left in a still from the video–has been the “target of jokes, derision, ridicule, and disparaging comments” directed at him in restaurants, grocery stores, and airports. Paige, who writes that he was “once regarded as one of the best undercover agents, if not the best, in the DEA,” points to the clip’s recent airing on popular television shows and via the Internet as the reason he can no longer work undercover. He also notes that he is no longer “permitted or able to give educational motivational speeches and presentations.”

Alas! Mr. Paige shot himself in the foot again, Lowering the Bar reports the case was dismissed. Getting back into the news means, of course, that more people will see the video.

[T]he judge granted summary judgment on the grounds that (even after many depositions) Paige could not prove how the video clip had gotten out, and even if he could have, the leaked information was not “private” because the incident took place in front of 50 parents and children (who at least did learn an excellent lesson in gun safety). Case dismissed.

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There is no “Glock 40,” by the way. Mr. Paige shot himself with a Glock Model 22 or 23 chambered in the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge.

Hat tip to Walter Olson.

25 Jan 2011

The Floodgates Are Opening

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Richard Ingham identifies climate-change litigation as the next gold-rush opportunity for inventive lawyers, ultimately likely to produce settlement deals dwarfing the major prizes of the past.

[C]limate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new frontier of law where some believe hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake.

Compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money.

Imagine: a country or an individual could get redress for a drought that destroyed farmland, for floods and storms that created an army of refugees, for rising seas that wiped a small island state off the map.

In the past three years, the number of climate-related lawsuits has ballooned, filling the void of political efforts in tackling greenhouse-gas emissions.

Eyeing the money-spinning potential, some major commercial law firms now place climate-change litigation in their Internet shop window.

Seminars on climate law are often thickly attended by corporations that could be in the firing line — and by the companies that insure them. …

“There’s a large number of entrepreneurial lawyers and NGOs who are hunting around for a way to gain leverage on the climate problem,” said David Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California at San Diego.

“The number of suits filed has increased radically. But the number of suits claiming damages from climate change that have been successful remains zero.”

Lawsuits in the United States related directly or indirectly almost tripled in 2010 over 2009, reaching 132 filings after 48 a year earlier, according to a Deutsche Bank report.

Elsewhere in the world, the total of lawsuits is far lower than in the US, but nearly doubled between 2008 and 2010, when 32 cases were filed, according to a tally compiled by AFP from specialist sites.

The majority of these cases touch on regulatory issues and access to information, which can have many repercussions for coal, gas and oil producers and big carbon-emitting industries such as steel and cement.

“In this area, the floodgates have opened,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the recently-opened Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School in New York. …

“There are billions of potential plaintiffs and millions of potential defendants,” said Gerrard.

This is why congressional investigation of climate-change scientific fraud is vitally important.

If Warmism is not exposed and discredited in popular culture, it is inevitable that some “entreprenurial” attorney will find the appropriate venue featuring an enlightened environmentally-conscious judge and jury and begin the process of creating new case law and new forms of liability which will then proceed to run every power generating company, every automaker, and every energy producing company through bankruptcy court.

20 Jan 2011

Mall Fountains Need Piranhas

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It started out, a few days ago, when an inattentive woman walking and texting in a mall near Reading, Pennsylvania obliviously proceeded to walk into the side of a decorative fountain and fell in. Her minor, but embarrassing, mishap, recorded on security cameras, was posted on YouTube and became the viral humor item of the week. At that point, it was simply mildly funny.

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But add the mainstream media, represented by George Stephanopolous and ABC News, and a local lawyer talking about investigating who is responsible, and we have a sad commentary on today’s America.

The inattentive woman eagerly embraces victim status, her lawyer pompously promises to investigate who exactly was responsible (as if that was not perfectly evident from the video itself), and finally George Stephanopolous, having listened to all this, proceeds to congratulate her for being a good sport. If she is a good sport, you certainly wouldn’t want to run into a whining idiot.

11 Jan 2011

Tempest in a Cat Box

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Law.com has today a really splendid example of preposterous litigation for the Water Olson collection.

Pretty cut and dry. I mean, I think we can all agree that the yellow cat clearly preferred the odor of Clorox’s Fresh Step over Arm & Hammer’s Super Scoop, right?

But in a lawsuit that I predict will lead one or more of the lawyers involved in the case to consider a career change, Arm & Hammer has filed a federal lawsuit against Clorox alleging false claims that cats prefer Fresh Step over Super Scoop. Arm & Hammer says “independently conducted research” proves otherwise.

Specifically, the Arm & Hammer complaint charges that

    “The Clorox advertisements are unambiguous that the judges of whether Fresh Step is superior at eliminating odors are cats, not people,” the suit says.

    “But cats do not talk, and it is widely understood in the scientific community that cat perception of malodor is materially different than human perception,” the company argues. “It is not possible scientifically to determine whether cats view one substance to be more or less malodorous than another substance.”

Arm & Hammer adds that “cats will not reject Super Scoop to any meaningful degree and will do so no more frequently than they will reject Fresh Step.”

20 Dec 2010

Holiday Viral Email

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Please accept with no obligation implied or explicit,

my best wishes for an environmentally conscious,

socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive,

gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday,

practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the

religious persuasion of your choice, with respect for the

religious / secular persuasion and/or traditions of others,

or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and

medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset

of the generally accepted calendar year 2010,

but not without due respect for the calendars of choice

of other cultures whose contributions to society and science

have helped to make America great. Not to imply that America

is or is not greater than any other country,

nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere.

These wishes are made without regard to the race, creed,

color, age, physical ability, education, religious faith,

political affiliation or sexual preference of the wishee.

These wishes are intended for the sole pleasure of the intended addressee,

and is not for re-distribution or resale.

Please destroy after expiration date.

…and may all your batteries be included.

Please Read Carefully:

I MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,

REGARDING THESE WISHES (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ABILITY TO PERFORM,

VULNERABILITY, CONTENT, AND/OR INCOME), AND ANY OTHER SERVICE PROVIDED BY ME HEREUNDER,

INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE

AND IMPLIED WARRANTIES ARISING FROM A COURSE OF DEALING OR COURSE OF PERFORMANCE.

I EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY REGARDING THE PERFORMANCE,

AVAILABILITY, FUNCTIONALITY, OR ANY OTHER ASPECT OF MYSELF.

I WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY INTERRUPTIONS OR ERRORS, MEDICAL CONDITION, FAMILY HISTORY, OR RELATIVES;

NOR WILL I BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CHILDREN PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THESE WISHES.

———————-

Hat tip to Matthew Klein.

16 Dec 2010

State Employee Sues McDonald’s

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Walter Olson reports that those who know better than the rest of us what’s good for us have struck at an important target menacing life as we know it in America: McDonald’s Happy Meals.

With perfect Grinch timing, a consumer group has sued McDonald’s demanding that it take the toys out of its Happy Meals.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, claims it violates California law for the hamburger chain to make its meals too appealing to kids, thus launching them on a lifelong course to overeating and other health horrors. It’s representing an allegedly typical mother of two from Sacramento named Monet Parham. What’s Parham’s (so to speak) beef? “Because of McDonald’s marketing, [her daughter] Maya has frequently pestered Parham into purchasing Happy Meals, thereby spending money on a product she would not otherwise have purchased.”

You’re probably wondering: How is this grounds for a lawsuit? No one forced Parham to take her daughters to McDonald’s, buy them that particular menu item, and sit by as they ate every last French fry in the bag (if they did).

No, she’s suing because when she said no, her kids became disagreeable and “pouted” – for which she wants class action status. If she gets it, McDonald’s isn’t the only company that should worry. Other kids pout because parents won’t get them 800-piece Lego sets, Madame Alexander dolls and Disney World vacations.

——————————

The really interesting thing about all this was discovered by Ira Stoll. Monet Parham is actually a California state employee, posing as an aggrieved ordinary citizen aided by liberal advocacy organizations in an attempt to use the courts to further coercively the “healthy lifestyle” agenda she is paid to advocate by the state.

Ms. Parham is the same person as “Monet Parham-Lee”. Monet Parham-Lee is an employee of the California Department of Public Health. Interestingly, her name has been scrubbed from the website of Champions for Change, the Network for a Healthy California. She has given numerous presentations and attended conferences on the importance of eating vegetables and whatnot.

She presents herself as an ordinary mother. She is not. She is an advocate, and an employee of a California agency tasked with advocating the eating of vegetables.

31 Jul 2010

39,697 African-American Farmers, 86,000 Discrimination Claims

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!n 1997, attorneys signed up 400 black farmers to sue the Department of Agriculture for discrimination, claiming that they were denied loans or made to wait longer for loans because of bias. So the Clinton Administration simply chose to settle the case.

Wikipedia explains:

Under the consent decree, all African American farmers would be paid a “virtually automatic” US$50,000 plus granted certain loan forgiveness and tax offsets. This process was called “Track A”.

Alternatively, affected farmers could follow the “Track B” process, seeking a larger payment by presenting a greater amount of evidence — the legal standard in this case was to have a preponderance of evidence along with evidence of greater damages.

Originally, claimants were to have filed within 180 days of the consent decree. Late claims were accepted for an additional year afterwards, if they could show extraordinary circumstances that prevented them from filing on time.

Far beyond the anticipated 2,000 affected farmers, 22,505 “Track A” applications were heard and decided upon, of which 13,348 (59%) were approved. US$995 million had been disbursed or credited to the “Track A” applicants as of January 2009[update], including US$760 million disbursed as US$50,000 cash awards.[3] Fewer than 200 farmers opted for the “Track B” process.

Beyond those applications that were heard and decided upon, about 70,000 petitions were filed late and were not allowed to proceed. Some have argued that the notice program was defective, and others blamed the farmers’ attorneys for “the inadequate notice and overall mismanagement of the settlement agreement

So now the Obama Administration is piling a further dubious capitulation on top of the first (which awarded $1 billion), and is agreeing to pass out an additional $1.25 billion to people who applied too late, and an additional 70,000 “victims” are going to cash in, on top of the first 16,000.

It’s a game. Trial attorneys cook up an alleged class of victims, and sue the government. A democrat administration obligingly settles, and everyone gets rich, especially the trial lawyers. It’s easy to win when the other team is on your side, and is eager to throw the game.

Zombie at PJM discusses the implausibility of all of this.

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