We previously discussed the controversy over President Biden’s prior German shepherd, Major, biting people at the White House. Now it appears that Major’s replacement, Commander, has continued to nosh on Secret Service agents. The question is not the responsibility of Commander but his master in this pattern of dog attacks. Continue reading “Master and Commander: What is the Liability for President Biden in the Latest Dog Attacks”
A University of Notre Dame sociology professor, Tamara Kay, is suing a college newspaper for defamation after the students wrote articles on her advocacy for abortion rights. The Irish Rover is an independent, conservative publication and the students are standing by their coverage. Continue reading “Notre Dame Professor Sues Student Newspaper Over Her Pro-Abortion Advocacy”
Seattle-based ice cream company, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, is in a dilemma. It wants to continue to support Black Lives Matter but it wants to recoup loses from the “CHOP” zone created by BLM activists and others in 2020. It is suing the city over the abandoning of part of the city to the groups to form the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) but was later renamed the Capitol Hill Occupied protest (CHOP). While first supporting the autonomous zone as part of a “summer of love,” Democratic politicians like then Mayor Jenny Durkan later distanced themselves from the massive damage and crime in the zone. Continue reading “Chopped: Seattle’s Molly Moon Sues Over Autonomous Zone that the Ice Cream Shop Once Heralded”
Teaching torts, it is easy to develop a sense of the macabre. Torts involves every possible thing that can happen to people from finding a toe in chewing tobacco (Pillars) to being killed by a flying coffin at an amusement park (Chueng). Since I was a law student, I have also noted bizarre “flying body” cases of torts. This week a former student named Ben sent a personal account of a truly bizarre run-in with an airborne cow. Fortunately, the family was unharmed in the incident. The same cannot be said for the cow.
Fox News has reached a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems for a reported $787 million. That was roughly half of the $1.6 billion originally sought in the defamation case, but represents a massive payout to the company which claimed to have been defamed by the network. Continue reading “Fox Reportedly Agrees to $787 Million Settlement in Dominion Defamation Lawsuit”
Joseph E. Foreman, a rapper also known as “Afroman,” is the subject of a filing in Ohio (below) by seven police officers alleging that he has misused their images to sell merchandise and place them in a false light. The images, however, were taken during a raid on Foreman’s home, which failed to turn up any evidence of criminal conduct. I am skeptical of the claims, but there are novel elements that could lead to some important clarifications under Ohio tort law.
Nina Jankowicz is back. After a public outcry forced the Biden Administration to kill its infamous Disinformation Government Board, Jankowicz became famous or infamous as the head of the board. She became an instant Internet sensation due to a musical number in which she sang “You can just call me the Mary Poppins of disinformation” in a TikTok parody of the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” After her brief stint in the Biden Administration, Jankowicz reportedly registered as a foreign agent with an British group to continue her disinformation work. She is now reinventing herself as the Mary Poppins of defamation and ostensibly seeking $100,000 to sue Fox News for defamation.
Just when you thought that the Kyle Rittenhouse case was over . . . it is back. Gaige Grosskreutz who was shot in the arm by Kyle Rittenhouse during the Kenosha riots in 2020 is now suing him as well as Wisconsin police and officials. Grosskreutz effectively repeats his earlier rejected claims that he was merely trying to protect others and had his hands up when Rittenhouse shot him. The difference is that this civil lawsuit will be resolved under the lower standard of proof by a preponderance of the evidence (rather than beyond a reasonable doubt). Nevertheless, the case could prove messy for Grosskreutz whose criminal background and actions that night could undermine his claims. Indeed, the most damaging witness against Grosskreutz may prove to be himself. Continue reading “Grosskreutz v. Grosskreutz? Survivor from 2020 Kenosha Shooting Sues Kyle Rittenhouse”
In my torts class, I teach “Dram Shop” cases where bars and restaurants are subject to civil liability for “overserving” customers. These lawsuits are generally brought by third parties who are injured in car accidents by drunk drivers. In that sense, a Texas case has all of the classic elements of a Dram Shop case: Dylan Molina drank eight high-alcohol drinks in roughly three hours before leaving and getting into a wreck that killed a police detective and seriously injured his family. The difference is that the bartender, Cala Richardson, 26, is being criminally prosecuted for overserving Molina.
Various intelligence and defense figures including former Defense Secretary Mark Esper have suggested trying to capture the Chinese surveillance balloon to analyze its equipment and any content. China admits that this may be its balloon but denies that it is used for surveillance. It says that it was lost accidentally due to weather. So the balloon may be ours but it was lost. However, the government is likely to oppose anyone collecting or using information from the balloon. That sounded vaguely familiar. Indeed, Abbe Lowell may have a new client (Indeed, a client with past dealings with his current client, Hunter Biden).
Update: After the United States shot down the balloon, China appeared to send out a Lowell-like message that “China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response.”
Recently, Matt Schlapp, the head of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), was accused by a former Hershel Walker campaign worker of “aggressively fondling” him during the campaign. The man is described as “a Republican strategist, a male in his late 30s. Schlapp and his wife Mercedes Schlapp have vehemently denied the allegations and raised issues from the man’s past to question his veracity and motivations. Now, the worker has filed a lawsuit alleging four counts battery, defamation (2), and conspiracy. However, it was the anonymous element that stood out in the filing. Continue reading “Former Walker Campaign Worker Sues Matt Schlapp for Defamation . . . Anonymously”
“It didn’t happen.” According to published excerpts, President Joe Biden is denying an account of the Secret Service about an agent being attacked by his German Shepherd, Major, at the White House. The statement from the President raises some interesting legal questions after he effectively called an agent a liar about an official report on one of many bite incidents with the Biden dogs. Continue reading “President Bites Agent: Book Claims Biden Insisted Secret Service Lied About Dog Attack”
There is an interesting defamation case out of Idaho in which Rebecca Scofield, an associate professor and the chair of the history department at the University of Idaho, is suing TikTok personality Ashley Guillard for defamation. Guillard continues to maintain that Scofield ordered the murders after a falling out with one of the victims from a romantic relationship. Scofield denies ever meeting any of the victims, let alone having an affair with one of them. Continue reading “TikTok Torts: Idaho Professor Sues “Internet Sleuth” for Defamation Over Idaho Murders”
Curtis J. Jackson III, aka “50 Cent,” has prevailed in a major ruling in his lawsuit against a medical spa that used his image to advertise a penile enhancement business. Angela Kogan, the owner of Perfection Plastic Surgery & MedSpa, will now have to go to trial to defend the use of the images on social media in an interesting case on the “right to publicity” in torts. Continue reading “Judicial Enhancement: Rapper “50 Cent” Wins Major Ruling in Right to Publicity Case”
There is an interesting case this week involving an adjunct professor at George Washington Law School, where I teach. Hdeel Abdelhady, who teaches part-time in the areas of international trade and Islamic law, sued the university for a variety of torts, including allegations that counsel for the university made overtures to an administrative judge about securing a federal judgeship. Her claims were dismissed by Judge Trevoer McFadden who found that they were foreclosed by worker’s compensation as well as failing to state a claim on various torts. At the time of the ruling, Abdelhady was proceeding pro se, which also proved an issue for the court to address.