class actions, disabled rights, copyright, attorneys general, online speech, law schools, obesity, New York, mortgages, legal blogs, safety, CPSC, pharmaceuticals, patent trolls, ADA filing mills, international human rights, humor, hate speech, illegal drugs, immigration law, cellphones, international law, real estate, bar associations, Environmental Protection Agency, First Amendment, insurance fraud, slip and fall, smoking bans, emergency medicine, regulation and its reform, dramshop statutes, hotels, web accessibility, United Nations, Alien Tort Claims Act, lobbyists, pools, school discipline, Voting Rights Act, legal services programs
   
   
 
   

Categories


MONTHLY ARCHIVE
FORUM ARCHIVE

March 29, 2004


Rail union head got FELA kickbacks

"The president of the United Transportation Union pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy on Thursday, admitting that he solicited bribes from lawyers trying to get access to lucrative legal work for rail workers." In a scheme that dated back to 1995, Byron Boyd and three other officials of the Cleveland-based union "solicited cash from lawyers who wished to represent injured rail workers in personal injury lawsuits against rail employers. Those are potentially very lucrative suits since there is no limit to legal damages under federal law. ... The men got at least $477,000 in cash". ("Transportation Union Chief Admits to Racketeering", Reuters, Mar. 12). "U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby said a scheme like the one Boyd was involved in is not uncommon in labor unions and the federal government will continue to investigate such schemes. ... The case was handled out of Texas because five of the lawyers that paid money as part of the scheme were from the Houston area and they cooperated with prosecutors, Shelby said." (Juan Lozano, "Union president pleads guilty to labor racketeering", AP/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mar. 11). Railway workers are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which affords more lucrative recoveries than does workers' compensation law; they have also been major filers of asbestos claims.

Continue reading

Posted by tkustas at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2004


Remedy for sending coupons: send more coupons

In the latest from the world of junk fax litigation (see Jul. 19, 2003, and links from there; Dec. 8), the bowling company AMF Bowling Centers has agreed to give out up to $1 million cash and $1.5 million in coupons to settle a class action alleging that it sent out as many as 352,000 unsolicited faxes. In addition, attorneys Lance McMillian and Stephen Camp of McMillian & Camp in Newnan, Ga. "will get a total of $250,000, while the lead plaintiff, James Michael Moore of Satellite Specialists in Jonesboro, will get $15,000." AMF agreed to pay $500 to class members who actually kept a copy of an offending fax, while those who merely swear in an affidavit that they received one will get a less exhilarating prize, $250 in bowling coupons. Critics of the settlement say AMF is getting off too easily: under the terms of federal law, the company might have been liable for fines of between $176 million and $528 million if the charges were proven (see Oct. 22, 1999 for more on this calculus). Another Georgia attorney who had settled lawsuits with AMF over 141 junk faxes sent to his clients was also critical of the coupon aspect: "Sending similar coupons through junk-faxing is the conduct that got AMF in trouble. This is a settlement that enriches AMF and doesn't provide a meaningful benefit to the consumer." (Steven H. Pollak, "Junk Faxes Could Cost Bowling Co. $1 Million", Fulton County Daily Report, May 2).

Continue reading

Posted by tkustas at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)


Prosecuting the innocent, without consequences

Yesterday's (Sunday's) New York Post ran my review of Dorothy Rabinowitz's just-out-in-softcover No Greater Tyrannies, about abuse-hysteria prosecutions. An excerpt: "In 1696, four years after the Salem executions, the Massachusetts colony held a day of contrition and collective soul-searching. Today, the persecutors seldom apologize; instead they tend to rise upward. Scott Harshbarger, D.A. in the Amirault case, went on to become attorney general of his state and now heads Common Cause, in which capacity he lectures the rest of us on ethics and good government." (Walter Olson, "Salem Is Still With Us", New York Post, Mar. 21). The New York Times reports that wrongful convictions, even when serious prosecutorial error or misconduct is involved and even when the accused was evidently innocent, seldom result in any career consequences for local prosecutors (Andrea Elliott and Benjamin Weiser, "When Prosecutors Err, Others Pay the Price", New York Times, Mar. 21). And the Wall Street Journal has reprinted Ms. Rabinowitz's column about the amazing ordeal gastroenterologist Patrick Griffin went through on charges of sexually abusing a patient, which culminated in his eventual acquittal on retrial -- though by that point his medical license had been yanked and his practice was in ruins ("The Doctor's Story", Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2000). (via GruntDoc) (see also Jan. 8, Sept. 1)


Continue reading

Posted by tkustas at 05:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Does tort reform affect insurance rates?

More data piles in refuting the bald claims of ATLA and "consumer" advocates that medical malpractice reform is somehow an insurance company conspiracy that doesn't reduce rates. (See Mar. 22 and Jul. 29, 2003). In an actuarial study using the National Practitioner Data Bank, we find, among other interesting things, that (1) dollars paid in malpractice claims went up 80% between 1992 and 2001, even though the number of claims only went up less than 20% in the same period; and (2) malpractice premiums are higher in states without noneconomic damages caps compared to those in states with noneconomic damages caps. (Richard S. Blondi and Arthur Gurevitch, "Noneconomic Damage Caps Help Reduce Malpractice Insurance Premiums", Contingencies, Nov.-Dec. 2003). Contingencies is the journal of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Continue reading

Posted by lwebb at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)



PointOfLaw Featured Discussion: Archives
class actions, disabled rights, copyright, attorneys general, online speech, law schools, obesity, New York, mortgages, legal blogs, safety, CPSC, pharmaceuticals, patent trolls, ADA filing mills, international human rights, humor, hate speech, illegal drugs, immigration law, cellphones, international law, real estate, bar associations, Environmental Protection Agency, First Amendment, insurance fraud, slip and fall, smoking bans, emergency medicine, regulation and its reform, dramshop statutes, hotels, web accessibility, United Nations, Alien Tort Claims Act, lobbyists, pools, school discipline, Voting Rights Act, legal services programs
   
   
 
   

 

 

 

FEATURED DISCUSSION ARCHIVE:


Obamacare Decision: Reactions, July 2012
Law School Faculty Diversity, May-June 2012
Class Actions, May 2012
Constitutionality of Individual Mandate, March 2012
Human Rights and International Law, February-March 2012
The constitutionality of President Obama's recess appointments, January 2012
Do caps on medical malpractice damages hurt consumers?, December 2011
Trial Lawyers Inc.: State Attorneys General, October 2011
Wal-Mart v. Dukes, April 2011
Kagan Supreme Court nomination, May-June 2010
Election roundtable, November-December 2006
Who's the boss, September 2006
Medical judgement, July 2006
Lawyer Licensing, May 2006
Contingent claims, April 2006
Smoking guns, July 2004

Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.


MONTHLY ARCHIVES:
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.