Wes

Money buys alot of things.

For example, if you’re a medical device manufacturer and your device hurts somebody, you can lawfully buy the testimony of the doctor that treated them for the injury.

Defense Experts in Device Case Can Be the Plaintiffs’ Doctors.

Rock on.

First Circuit strikes DOMA on equal protection grounds.

The Roberts’ Supreme Court: where the accused’s constitutional protections go to die.

The U.S. Supreme Court took a narrow view of the Constitution’s double jeopardy clause on Thursday, allowing the retrial of an Arkansas man on murder charges even though the jury in his first trial voted unanimously that he was not guilty.

Narrow indeed.

Court gives prosecutors a win in double-jeopardy case.

Assembly bill would eviscerate consumer protection

Consumer fraud doesn’t typically involve large sums of money.  It’s usually a couple bucks, at most.  After all, why would you steal a million dollars from one person that is sure to fight back when you can steal one dollar for a million people, most of whom are likely to think a dollar is worth fighting over.  After all, even if a handful win their dollar back, you’d still manage to come out very far ahead.  The class action is the mechanism consumer protection attorneys like The Lawfirm of Sander Friedman use to disgorge a fraudulent merchant of the illicit proceeds and put that money back into the pocket of the consumer.  It allows one person to stand in the shoes for all the all the defrauded.  At some point during a lawsuit, the class is subject to a determination of class certification.  Right now, a determination of class certification is re-viewable the same way as every other type of trial court decision:  at the end of the litigation along with every other aspect of the case – not right away, all by itself.    The legislature is proposing to change that.  They want to make it so that a merchant accused of fraud can challenge the trial judge’s class certification decision by appealing immediately.

The problem with this is that every Defendant will avail themselves of this right, regardless of merit, if for no reason but to put the breaks on the lawsuit in the meantime, try to wait/starve out the lead plaintiff, and hold onto the money longer.  I know this from experience:  rare is the class action that isn’t greeted with a motion to dismiss, regardless of the motion’s merit.  Appeals typically take close to a year to be briefed, argued, and decided. This is nothing but a give away to dirty merchants.

We need strong consumer protections because . . .

Life insurance agents have no qualms about going to army bases and selling policies with war exclusions to defence contractors about to ship off.

War-Zone Contractors’ Workers Sue Insurer Over Coverage Gaps.

Never trust a drug dealer

Securities Fraud Action Alleging Pfizer Fudged Celebrex Data Gets Green Light.

the federal courts are coddling drug dealers

Plaintiffs Have No Standing to Sue Over Off-Label Drug Uses.

TRU-ID: the Byzantine Empire flexes its mighty administrative muscle

After the fall of Rome, the Eastern Empire continued – but it was largely a paper tiger.  Its government was worse than bloated and inefficient – it was ineffective.   Yet that government controlled access to licenses, seals, permits, and the like.  The legitimacy of government’s monopoly on those sort of things is obvious, but also obvious is the temptation of a weak government to increase the number of bottlenecks – or make them tighter – to justify or expand its authority.   Perhaps out of self consciousness, the authorities within the Eastern Empire – also known as the Byzantine Empire – demanded that its subjects perform complicated administrative rituals whenever they wanted to engage in all sorts of ordinary activities.  These rituals all had some arguable legitimate purpose, but taken as a whole, they were mostly meant to keep bureaucrats employed and to as a theatrical reminder to the subjects of their low rank and dependence.

In many ways, America – unable to do the things Americans truly need from their government – has begun to travel the path of bullying its citizens with hassles and indignities.  We are becoming the Byzantine States of America.

 

ACLU Suit Delays Implementation of TRU-ID Program for Driver’s Licenses.

License plate decals for kids serve no purpose but to facilitate police profiling.

I understand that its painful to lose a loved one in an accident with an inexperienced driver.  However, decals on license plates don’t prevent accidents.  Opponents of the decal requirement argue that predators might use the decals to profile victims.  Maybe.  But I think the primary use of the decals will be to facilitate police profiling.  I was a kid once – I know for a fact that the police would pull me over because I looked young.  I also know that they treated me differently.  In fact, as an adult, I have never once been subject to pressure from police to submit to an unwarranted search.  It happened all the time when I was young.   Plate decals just make the selection process for that type of low grade harassment easier.

Now, if the state started requiring plate decals to show you purchased liability insurance, I don’t see how anyone could argue with that.

 

Justices Are Asked To Overturn Law Requiring Decals for Young Drivers.

Appellate Division acting childish: ‘if you want federal protections, take it up in federal court’

It’s a sad day when the only way you can expect to get your state to honor rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution is to get a federal judge to force the issue – and it’s not typically something you expect to see in New Jersey.  Yet that seems to be exactly what’s happening here.  A non-citizen – including long term permanent residents on the path to citizenship – faces deportation if they are convicted or plead guilty to certain types of crimes.  This has the potential to work an extreme hardship.  For example, if a 19 year old boy has been in the country since being a small child and finds himself the subject of his 16 year old girlfriend’s father’s wrath, he simply cannot dispose of the case the way most prosecutors would agree to let most of us:  plead guilty to a lesser charge and receive a suspended or insignificant sentence.   Doing so could result him being deported to a country where he has knows nobody, might not know the language, and has never been to in any meaningful sense.

In Padilla v. Kentucky, the United States Spreme Court held that such a person has to be warned of the potential consequences of a plea bargain.  New Jersey then held that Padilla only applied to plea bargains entered after the effective date of that decision.  The Third Circuit has now made it clear that New Jersey is wrong. 

Seems pretty simple, right?  If a New Jersey Court accepted a plea bargain that failed to satisfy safeguards set forth by the United States Constitution, the defenant that made the plea should be able to withdraw.  Not so, says the Appellate Division in State v. Barro.  Instead, they held that a clash in interpretations over a U.S. Supreme Court ruling means a noncitizen who wants to retract a guilty plea should turn to the federal courts.

That’s wrong:  when there is clash in in interpretations over a Supreme Court ruling concerning the federal constitution, the Third Circuit wins that clash.  Period.  The Appellate Division knows this, and making an person whose rights were violated go through the immense hassle of federal litigation for relief is childish – and the consequences to the individual involved are grave.

Federal Court Is Forum for Retraction Of Pleas by Noncitizens, Panel Says.

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