Archive for the ‘Torts’ Category

170px-Referees135px-Seattle_Seahawks_helmet_2012If the Seattle Seahawks are known for their aggressive offensive line, their players are nothing when compared to the aggression of their lawyers. Outdoing even the brutish NFL lawyers who claim copyright to terms like “Super Bowl,” the team has filed two dozen trademark applications in a little over a year to claim ownership to such terms as “boom” and “Go Hawks.” The team is also claiming ownership to the number 12 in a font like the one used by the team. It had to settle a prior lawsuit over its use of “The 12th Man” phrase (referring to the fans) — a phrase claimed by Texas A & M where it was forced to pay a licensing fee for the limited use of this common term. Now it is trying to the do the same in claiming parts of the English language as owned by the team (I am waiting for the Patriots to trademark “Deflate-gate”). It is all perfectly bizarre but Congress has done little to stop the frenzy to claim common terms and phrases. Too bad there is not anyone willing to throw a flag for encroachment to protect citizens.
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frat23n-7-webfrat23n-6-webThe University of Michigan Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity has been suspended by its national office and its members may face criminal investigation after its members were accused of causing $50,000 in damage at a ski resort last weekend. The pictures of the damage at the Treetops Resort are astonishing and the incident raises the question of whether students involved in potential criminal mischief should be expelled from the school for such extracurricular conduct.

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This scary video captures how little time a driver can have in avoiding a wreck when a tire flies over a median at the approaching car. We often deal with accidents in torts but it is hard for a jury to sometimes understand the very limited time for reaction. Indeed, one of the tricks of litigators is to give a sense of greater time by breaking up the period in a series of decisions or actions.

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image.hmlAlanDershowitz2We previously discussed the threat of retired Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to sue Utah Law Professor and former federal judge Paul Cassell (and his co-counsel Bradley Edwards) for defamation for papers mentioning him in revelation to the sex trafficking scandal of Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein. The lawyers sought unsuccessfully to depose Dershowitz who has been accused of being one of the men who were given underaged girls to sleep with by Epstein. At the time, I wrote that Dershowitz’s statements themselves could be viewed as defamatory and actionable. It appears that Cassell and Edwards were thinking the same thing. They have now sued Dershowitz for defamation.

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image.hmlAlanDershowitz2Former federal judge and University of Utah law professor Paul Cassell is facing a rare threat of a bar complaint over his representation of a client in the notorious case of billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Even more rare is the source of the threatened complaint: retired law professor Alan Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School. Epstein is good friends with Bill Clinton and Duke of York Prince Andrew, 54, who have been mentioned in litigation over allegations of the use of underaged “sex slaves” and Epstein’s alleged penchant for watching (and filming) people having sex with these girls. Dershowitz’s name has appears on the ignoble list contained in motions before a federal court in Florida. Dershowitz is now threatening to initiate disbarment proceedings against Cassell and Bradley Edwards, a Florida attorney who also represents Jane Doe #3 in the controversy.

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244F92AB00000578-2889726-Tragic_Maryland_s_first_female_bishop_58_year_old_Heather_Cook_c-m-5_1419843198355244FA2C300000578-0-image-m-7_1419834114326The second highest Episcopal minister in Maryland, Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook, is under fire for an alleged fatal hit-and-run. Cook hit bicyclist Tom Palermo, 41, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and left the father of two young children dying of a head wound on the side of the road. She returned 20 minutes later.

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Sony_Entertainment_Network220px-David_Boies_2011_ShankboneThere are continuing rumblings in the media about the threat of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) lawyer David Boies over media sites using material hacked from the studio, including embarrassing emails where executives dish on leading stars like Angelina Jolie and the disclosure of contract information. Boies has warned that such material must be ignored or destroyed and suggested legal repercussions in the use of “stolen information.” But how serious is this threat? In my view, not very.

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