Results matching “hillyer”

Writing at the Center for Individual Freedom, Quin Hillyer previews the upcoming Congressional debate over the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, seeing in the legislation an extension of the procedural restraint marked by the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the Iqbal and Twombly rulings.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) of the House Judiciary Committee introduced H.R. 966 (called LARA for short) in March and the committee is expected to take up the bill early next month. The legislation seeks to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits in federal court by amending the sanctions provisions in Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to require the court to impose sanctions who misrepresent their claims to the court. The sanction will compensate the injured parties. The bill also ends to so-called "safe harbor" provision, which now allows an attorney to escape sanctions if withdraws his complaint with 21 days after serving it.

Hillyer writes in "Beating Rattlesnakes and Bottom Feeders: Congress Fights Frivolous Lawsuits":

In two recent cases, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal (2009), the Supreme Court recognized that frivolous lawsuits are problematic. Before Twombly, a case could be dismissed for "failure to state a claim" only if it were "beyond doubt" that "no set of facts" could support it. In Twombly, seven justices overturned that standard. Former Justice David Souter wrote that a valid complaint must assume facts that are not merely "conceivable" or "speculative, but actually "plausible." Otherwise, he wrote, "The threat of discovery expense will push cost-conscious defendants to settle even anemic cases before reaching those proceedings."

The Twombly and Iqbal cases set the predicate for Chairman Smith's LARA proposal, which well complements those decisions. Just as the high court ruled that what constitutes "anemic" cases must be more broadly defined so as to make it easier to dismiss such cases, so should the penalty for filing those suits in the first place actually act as a deterrent (and as relief to unfairly targeted defendants).

Earlier Point of Law on LARA with background.

And we're glad to see Quin continuing his reporting on civil justice issues in his new gig as Senior Fellow with CFIF, which he joined in April. The strength of The Washington Times' editorials on tort reform, election law, and the politicized Justice Department were largely due to Quin's insights and reporting, and it looks like he's still on the beat -- just from a base of operations in Mobile, Ala.


DOJ ignores voter fraud - PointOfLaw Forum

The Obama administration has announced that it will refuse to enforce provisions of federal election law designed to prevent voter fraud because it "doesn't have anything to do with increasing minority turnout." Meanwhile, though it is an urban legend across the left that there is no such thing as voter fraud, dozens of counties across the United States have more registered voters than eligible voters. [Adams @ Pajamas Media; Wash. Times; Hillyer @ Wash. Times]

Not unrelatedly, the Inspector General has opened an investigation into the Civil Rights Division, and whether it is enforcing the law in a non-discriminatory fashion. [WaPo; OIG letter]

Around the web, December 23 - PointOfLaw Forum


Guestblogger thanks; posting lull - PointOfLaw Forum

Thanks to Quin Hillyer of the Washington Times for his contributions in this space last week. I expect to be out of blogging distance myself for the next few days, but should return before week's end.

New guestblogger: Quin Hillyer, Washington Times - PointOfLaw Forum

A bit belatedly, I'm pleased to introduce Quin Hillyer, who's a senior editorial writer at the Washington Times and senior editor at The American Spectator. He's held positions as editorial writer and columnist with the Mobile Register, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Washington Examiner, and served as managing editor of Gambit Weekly in New Orleans. He's also a longstanding observer of the workings of the legal system whose work we've often linked in the past. Welcome.

Quin Hillyer at The Washington Times' blog, The Water Cooler, notes that Judge Sotomayor is defending her decision in a major eminent domain case, Didden v. Port Chester, because it was required by a clear statute of limitations: Didden was too late when he filed his legal challenge to the "taking" of his property. The law is clear, I ruled accordingly.

The reason such a bizarrely stringent obeisance to a supposed statute of limitations is problematic for her liberal backers is because they keep citing the Ledbetter decision as an example of why judges should take note of "real world" effects of their decisions and show "empathy" for the victim. But the Supreme Court in Ledbetter did exactly what Sotomayor did in the Didden case, namely applied a statute of limitations -- and one that was much more clear, much more unambiguous, than the strained reading Sotomayor put on the statute of limitations in the Didden case. So if she is going to go so overboard in [mis]applying a statute of limitations in Didden, how can the lefties say it is important to have an empathetic woman on the court in order to override unimportant things such as statutes of limitations in cases like Ledbetter's? Again, I have already heard the Demo senators at least twice make reference to Ledbetter in arguing in favor of Sotomayor. How can they make that argument but still defend her Didden ruling?

Well, in politics at least, you can't spell "empathy" without "empty."

Around the web, May 12 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • After strikeout of Nigerians-v.-Chevron case, and worse-than-strikeout of Nicaraguans-v.-Dole case, next high-profile Alien Tort Statute trial may be Nigerians-v.-Shell [Hartley/Global Tort]
  • Some in Congress wouldn't know a "tax cheat" if they found one staring back at them in the mirror [Geraghty via Balko]
  • Tracking and labeling requirements, due to hit in August, are the next phase in small-business annihilation to emerge from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) [Overlawyered]
  • EFCA's imposed-arbitration provisions draw fire from George McGovern [WSJ] and Manhattan Institute's own Diana Furchtgott-Roth [Real Clear Politics]
  • As legal coils tighten, some payday lenders go offshore or hold themselves out as controlled by Indian tribes [Hartley/Global Tort]
  • Quin Hillyer has been a clarion voice on litigation reform at The Examiner, now Washington Times has grabbed him [MediaBistro "Fishbowl DC"]

Philip K. Howard profiled by Quin Hillyer in the Examiner, with a companion piece focusing on the politics of litigation.

From the House Judiciary Committee's hearing schedule for the week, notice of a full committee hearing on Wednesday:

Hearing on: Proposals to Fight Fraud and Protect Taxpayers, including:
  • H.R. ____, the "Fight Fraud Act 2009";
  • H.R. 1292, to amend Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968;
  • H.R. 1667, the "War Profiteering Prevention Act of 2009";
  • H.R. ____, the "False Claims Corrections Act";
  • H.R. ____, the "Financial Crimes Resources Act of 2009";
  • H.R. ____, the "Money Laundering Correction Act of 2009"; and
  • H.R. 78, the "Stop Mortgage Fraud Act."

Wednesday 04/01/2009 - 10:00 A.M.
2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Full Committee
By Direction of the Chairman

Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) issued a related news release, "Judiciary Committee Announces Plan to Fight Fraud and Protect Taxpayers." Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) joined in.

We've added links to the bills where available, but there's no text yet for the False Claims Correction Act. Legal author Philip K. Howard of Common Good cited the measure as a potential threat during recent testimony at a Senate Republican Conference hearing on legal reform, saying, "A bill expanding False Claims Act claims would have many pernicious effects, expanding what was originally a system to safeguard against government fraud to a vast range of organizations that receive government funds."

Ted Frank warned against a previous version in this POL post from October 2007, "False Claims Correction Act: another earmark for trial lawyers." Quin Hillyer at the Examiner also laid out the problems with the legislation in a piece last July, "Whistleblowers as mercenaries": "Put forth as an incentive for well-intentioned 'whistleblowers' to report fraud against the federal Treasury, it uses an unusual definition of four little words to open what opponents describe as a host of troubles."

That bill was H.R. 4854, also introduced by Rep. Conyers.

Advice on Obama judicial picks - PointOfLaw Forum

Prominent Democratic lawyer Walter Dellinger, centrist Stuart Taylor, Jr. and right-of-center Jonathan Adler, at a Heritage Foundation panel, agreed on several points about the pool of good nominees: they would be collegial, would be humble about the judicial role, and would include Peter Keisler.

Whistleblower provisions in stimulus bill - PointOfLaw Forum

We've already sounded the alarm about them a few times, and now Daniel Schwartz does a more thorough explaining.

Around the web, February 23 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • "How a Few Radical Employment Law Changes Will Create Lots of Work for Attorneys" [NLJ]
  • Discussion of what to do with teetery banks often totally misses issue of their holding companies [Tyler Cowen, MargRev] "Regulators to Banks: We Want You To Lend, But..." [Bank Lawyer's Blog] TARP "a lousy program", says CEO of one of the Midwest's largest banks [same]
  • Stimulus bill massively expands health-privacy law, with state-AG enforcement and damage awards for patients whose privacy is impaired: lots more HIPAA liability and litigation coming up [Health Law News][HIPAA Blog]
  • More stimulus woe: "Sweeping New Whistleblower Law May Cover All Employers Who Receive Stimulus Funds" [Morrison & Foerster, PDF, JD Supra]
  • "Our view: Latest efforts to roll back Maryland's malpractice reforms are misguided" [Baltimore Sun editorial]
  • ABA views on medical device pre-emption good for prosperity of litigators, not so hot as national policy [Hillyer, D.C. Examiner]

Quin Hillyer on trial lawyer earmarks - PointOfLaw Forum

The big expansion of whistleblower provisions is part of a pattern, according to the D.C. Examiner commentator.

Around the web, February 4 - PointOfLaw Forum

Around the web, January 30 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Just when you think Mayor Bloomberg might be over his nanny phase, here comes Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden wanting to regulate salt in food [NY Times, Overlawyered]
  • "Glitches" in trial preparation led to Seroquel suit dismissal? Hey, reporters, it's okay to ask lawyers follow-up questions [Ron Miller; Beck & Herrmann]
  • Oregon legislature debates tort limitations [Robinette, TortsProf]
  • Hi, I'm from the International Labour Organization, and I'm here to push for more intensely regulatory regimes of labor and employment law [Workplace Prof]
  • "Lawsuit reform progresses in states" [Hillyer, Examiner; Carter at ShopFloor]
  • J. Russell Jackson, Skadden product liability specialist known for his well-researched National Law Journal columns, is now blogging [ConsumerClassActionsMassTorts.com -- he should check out Scott Greenfield's shrewd advice and dump that ungainly domain name in favor of something less SEO-driven and more memorable]

Around the web, January 13 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • For second time in past three years, no billion-dollar verdicts in 2008: each of preceding 14 years had at least one [Fisk, Bloomberg]
  • Hard to see any clear winner/loser patterns in the criminalization-of-business lottery [Kirkendall]
  • Quin Hillyer on U.S. Chamber's "Faces of Lawsuit Abuse" [Examiner; more, Newark Star-Ledger on bicyclist case]
  • A new non-correlated asset class: litigation [Kim, FierceFinance]
  • "Trial lawyers ask Obama to expand product liability" [Rizo, MC Record]
  • Urban Justice Center sues New York saying there's a right in the state constitution to higher welfare payments [NYT]

Sports Bars and Tort Law - PointOfLaw Forum

Some humorous support of the Manhattan Institute's (and Marie Gryphon's) superb new study on legal fees comes from the Washington Examiner's editorial page editor, who says we lawyers have a lot to learn from the denizens of sports bars. Good to see the word being spread far and wide!

Around the web, November 6 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • From their lips to God's ears dept.: will Obama put EFCA on back burner? [WSJ, McKinnon/Daily Beast]
  • American Constitution Society proposes liberal law agenda for Obama administration [video, papers]
  • Speculation on Obama legal and regulatory appointments [Legal Times]. Incredibly, some float name of vaccine crank and all-round hothead Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. for top environmental posts [Overlawyered and more, Orac and more]. Mark Lanier, of Vioxx-suit fame, is pushing Dr. Steven Nissen of Cleveland Clinic to head FDA [American Lawyer]
  • Quin Hillyer on the new Commerce Department report on liability and foreign investment [Examiner]
  • "Proposed Ban On Consumer Arbitration Would Further Clog Overburdened And Underfunded Courts" [Mark Fellows, Metro. Corp. Counsel]
  • Victor Schwartz, Cary Silverman and Christopher Appel paper on Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 [BNA courtesy NAM]

Around the web, September 18 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Some NYC plaintiffs' lawyers aghast after Judge Jack Weinstein slashes ferry-crash contingency fee from $6 million to $3.6 million, noting undoubted liability in case and client's inability to dicker [NYLJ] For a sampling of Lester Brickman's work urging judges to review reasonableness of contingency fees charged to unsophisticated clients, start here, here, here, and, for some empirical background, here and here;
  • Tulane Law School dean apologizes over law review article correlating Louisiana Supreme Court decisions to campaign donations (but was it wrong?) [Times-Picayune]
  • Latest in Adam Liptak's "American Exceptionalism" series looks at increasing disinclination of foreign courts to cite/follow our Supreme Court, and debate over citation of foreign law in ours [NYTimes, Paulsen @ Balkinization] A different view: Joshua Friedman, CJR.
  • Strange bedfellows? Class-action lawyers suing AIG, Lehman were pulling for the firms' survival so the money would be there [AmLaw Daily]
  • As Rhode Islanders wave goodbye, Motley Rice lead-paint caravan packs up and moves on to other localities [Lisa Rickard, Chamber/Providence Business Journal]
  • More offshore drilling? Well, first you'll have to get past the minefield of lawsuits [WSJ editorial]
  • Questions for U.S. lawyers making Capitol Hill rounds with Ecuadorian "indigenous peoples" clients suing Chevron Texaco [Quin Hillyer, Examiner]

Capitol Hill: litigation lobby on the march - PointOfLaw Forum

It's been a long, long time since so many items of legislation were afoot on Capitol Hill aimed at expanding rights to sue, eviscerating defenses, boosting obtainable damages, and giving plaintiffs new tactical advantages in litigation. The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has just launched a very handy web compendium of these measures entitled Trial Lawyer Earmarks: no matter how many you were already aware of, you will probably learn of new ones. Ted has more at OL, as does Quin Hillyer at the Examiner*, along with a useful sidebar* on the troublesome "False Claims Correction Act".

*Both links auto-play annoying audio ads -- someone should really tell the Examiner to cut this out.

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