Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Can't any of these guys keep it in their pants: "Indy 500" priest accused of abuse in U.S. lawsuit. On the other hand, we shouldn't pre-judge.
Washington Post: How our cars got safer. Quick answer: "History shows that litigation and the civil justice system have served as the most consistent and powerful forces in heightening safety standards, revealing previously concealed defects and regulatory weaknesses and deterring manufacturers from cutting corners on safety for the goal of greater profits."

What I tell clients is this: I cannot make it part of a lawsuit to compel wrongdoers to change their behavior or how they do business. All I can do is sue them for money damages to compensate the client. However, if pursuing a lawsuit gets the wrongdoer to change its behavior to everyone's benefit, well that's all right by me.
Quote of the Day: "Never say a humorous thing to a man who does not possess humor. He will always use it in evidence against you."

--Herbert Beerbohm Tree, British actor
The Tennessean: Tort reform bill defies principles of justice. That's why I call it rights restriction legislation.
Big verdict winners: It's not about the money. The takeaway:
State court records show that very few lawsuits in Tennessee ever go to a jury, and fewer yet end up with awards higher than the caps Gov. Bill Haslam is close to winning in the General Assembly. Last year there were 14 such trials in the state. Some people who did win awards say they didn't want the money as much as they wanted a weapon to stop actions like the ones that killed their loved ones.

When it comes to cases like defective products lawsuits or actions against businesses, the sad truth is that simply speaking sternly to the wrongdoer will not induce him to change his behavior. The only way to get their attention is to hit them in the pocket book.

Of course, the quote above shows that the whole thing is incredibly cynical from the defense side. As a colleague in the defense bar said to me recently, "No one tries big cases any more, they get settled." So, Big Insurance and the chambers of commerce may moan about the high verdicts, but the fact is that they usually will settle out any case where they think they've got serious monetary exposure. They voluntarily pay up. Because, to them, it's all about the money. It's a bean counter thing; if it's cheaper by their calculation to settle the case, they will.

Virginia's Governor vetoes bill to increase medical malpractice cap. This bill had bipartisan support, and was even favored by the Medical Society of Virginia, whose president said, "It really allows fairness but accountability for the physicians." Why can't we get that kind of legislation for Knoxville particularly and Tennessee generally?

Wouldn't want that, would we?
Here a kind of nifty graphic map showing unemployment rises from 2008 to the present. Interestingly, try as I might, I couldn't find Knox County. I found Roane, Sevier, Jefferson and Cocke Counties, but no Knox.

I guess that means we haven't had any unemployment increases here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Memphis Commercial Appeal: New law weakens consumer protection.
WARNING: Banks want to reduce the number of foreclosure notices to make it easier for them to foreclose on property. So, where they now have to publish three notices, they want to reduce it to ONE notice. If you happen to miss the notice, you could have your property foreclosed out from under you.

Among the legislators supporting the bill: The House Democratic Leader, a bank executive who is also the president of the Tennessee Banking Association. No conflict of interest there, no sir! Jeez.