“Should the SEC be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner?”

Prof. Bainbridge flags this disturbing Wall Street Journal piece:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is increasingly steering cases to hearings in front of the agency’s appointed administrative judges, who found in its favor in every verdict for the 12 months through September, rather than taking them to federal court.

Previously, the agency had tended to use the ALJs (administrative law judges) for relatively cut-and-dried enforcement actions, while taking more complex or cutting-edge disputes to federal court. Now, following the Dodd-Frank expansion of its powers, it prefers ALJs even for many complex and demanding cases arising from charges such as insider trading. Defendants enjoy a range of protections in federal court that are not provided in administrative litigation, including juries as well as the presence of federal judges who are independent of agency control, held to a more demanding ethical code, and drawn generally from higher and more sophisticated circles within the legal profession. Read the entire Bainbridge commentary, with followups linking Henry Manne (adjudicatory actions are ways to avoid the more demanding process of rulemaking) and Keith Bishop (current system open to constitutional challenge?).

Tags: administrative law, Dodd-Frank, juries, Securities and Exchange Commission, securities litigation

“Should the SEC be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner?” is a post from Overlawyered – Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Read more here: http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/sec-prosecutor-judge-jury-executioner/


Well, It Is Called “Sonic Drive-In”

sonic drive in

Before you go getting up in this poor woman’s grill, take note that it is called a “drive-in”. And that’s just what she did. This is actually more common than you would think. The Juice had a case recently involving a woman who did the exact same thing, but she did a helluva lot more damage. Anyway, as reported by The Daily News (Galveston County, Texas):

No one was hurt when a SUV smashed through the wall of the Sonic Drive-In, 1169 West Main Street, Tuesday afternoon.

Initial reports from League City police indicate that an 83-year-old woman was next door at the Popeye’s restaurant. As she was pulling out of that parking lot, she put her foot on the gas pedal instead of the break of her Honda Pilot, police said.

“She went through the shrubs (separating the two restaurants) and struck the east side of the Sonic,” League City Police Department spokeswoman officer Reagan Pena said.

Yikes! An SUV seems like a pretty big vehicle for someone who is having pedal problems. Fortunately nobody was hurt. You’ll find the source, including a photo of the scene, here.

Read more here: http://rss.justia.com/~r/LegalJuiceCom/~3/kgRUZZn0Hl8/sdf-17.html


October 23 roundup

  • I’m quoted by Nicky Woolf of Great Britain’s Guardian on the police militarization angle in Keene, N.H. civil disturbances (also: Van Smith, Baltimore City Paper). Also quoted regarding the ominous move to heavy armaments of Wisconsin prosecutors investigating their political opponents in the dawn-raids “John Doe” proceeding [Watchdog, and second post, earlier] And here’s a previously unlinked Cato panel last month on cop militarization with David Kopel, Mark Lomax, and Cheye Calvo, moderated by Tim Lynch;
  • Australia prime minister declares “repeal day” with “bonfire” of regulations [Jeff Bennett and Susan Dudley, Cato Regulation mag; earlier on Minnesota legislative "unsession" to dump outmoded or pointless laws]
  • “After dawdling for a year, panel tosses bogus complaint against Judge [Edith] Jones” [@andrewmgrossman on Houston Chronicle via Howard Bashman, Tamara Tabo, earlier here, here, and here]
  • Making waves: Michelle Boardman review of Margaret Radin book on boilerplate, adhesion contracts, fine print [Harvard Law Review, SSRN]
  • Why litigation lobby could cost Democrats Senate majority this year [Tim Carney]
  • Online-services companies, better not do business in Maryland since the state has a very special law that one law professor believes sharply restricts your customer research [Masnick/TechDirt]
  • Picking Thomas Perez as Attorney General would (or should!) ignite firestorm of opposition. Is that why President’s waiting till after Nov. 4? [Washington Examiner]

Tags: Australia, contracts of adhesion, Department of Justice, Maryland, New Hampshire, police, Senate, Wisconsin

October 23 roundup is a post from Overlawyered – Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

Read more here: http://overlawyered.com/2014/10/october-23-roundup-3/


“‘It makes me sick.’ Judges, lawyers weigh Pa. court’s latest scandal”:

“‘It makes me sick.’ Judges, lawyers weigh Pa. court’s latest scandal”: In Thursday’s edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Joseph A. Slobodzian will have an article that begins, “For a profession that burnishes an image of dispassion and decorum, what’s happening with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is like a food fight at a very public banquet.”

Read more here: http://howappealing.abovethelaw.com/102214.html#058589


“State appeals to 9th U.S. Circuit Court to restore Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban”

“State appeals to 9th U.S. Circuit Court to restore Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban”: Alaska Dispatch News has this report on a petition for initial en banc review that the State of Alaska filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Read more here: http://howappealing.abovethelaw.com/102214.html#058585


Uber: In Addition To External Lawsuits Worldwide, Now Faces Strike From Within In NYC

According to some of its New York contract drivers, sharing-economy ride-sharing service Uber isn’t sharing enough with them.

That’s why one-fifth of them went on strike today in New York during a rain storm. That meant Uber missed out on its surge fares, the premium prices it charges travelers during bad weather, holidays or emergencies. Here is the coverage by Kaja Whitehouse in the New York Post.

Among the drivers’ beefs is a pay cut. To keep up with competition such as Lyft, Uber has reduced fares and made drivers absorb that. As independent contractors, Uber drivers already are responsible for their own gas, tolls, insurance, and repairs.

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has referred to Uber as “ethically challenged.” Here in the U.S. and around the world, Uber is fighting lawsuits from establishment taxi services and legal action from government.

The issue is: Can it survive both the external and now internal attacks. Lawsuits and strikes are a distraction. That provides other ride-sharing competitors like Lyft as well as establishment cabbies with a fresh edge.

Read more here: http://lawandmore.typepad.com/law_and_more/2014/10/uber-in-addition-to-external-lawsuits-worldwide-now-faces-strike-from-within-in-nyc.html


Bingham McCutchen’s Three Options: Merger, Go-It-Alone, Bankruptcy

“Struggling Boston law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP is appealing to its partners to stick around and says its profitability is improving after a tough 18 months marked by lawyer exits and sliding revenue.” – Jennifer Smith, “Bingham McCutchen Law Firm Weighs Options,” in The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2014. Here is the article.

Like all professional services firms, the key assets at Bingham McCuthen walk in the building every morning and leave at night. They are the seasoned knowledge workers or partners. Their expertise and brandnames bring in the business. But for Bingham McCutchen, there is an immediate life-and-death urgency about retaining those partners. Two of the law firm’s options for survival depend on just that.

One option is a possible merger with Morgan, Lewis & Bock LLP. In merger negotiations ensuring certain partners will stay is the deal-maker. Those merger talks have been going on a while. Since there hasn’t been a close on the deal, questions are emerging if it’s going to fall apart.

The other option is going it alone. Of course, partners with a brandname and/or a book of business need to stay. Otherwise there will be no new business. And current business can go out the door as the partner leaves. Courts have been ruling on the side of departing partners in lawsuits filed by their former firms regarding unfinished business.

Right now, Bingham’s managing partner Steven Browne is focused on attempting to persuade partners to remain with the firm.

The third option – bankruptcy – could happen if enough key partners hit the exits. The fallout on manpower still there when the firm is in bankruptcy could be profound. Currently there are about 750 lawyers, plus staff. All would be going into a glut market.

Read more here: http://lawandmore.typepad.com/law_and_more/2014/10/bingham-mccutchens-three-options-merger-go-it-alone-bankruptcy.html


Online Date Gets Dumped, Then Gets Stuck in Man’s Chimney

A California woman was arrested Sunday after getting stuck in the chimney of a man she had met online and dated briefly. Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 30, had to be rescued by firefighters after becoming lodged in the chimney of a…

this article, and get more legal news with an attitude, at FindLaw.com.

Read more here: http://feeds.findlaw.com/~r/LegalGrounds/~3/ByNMcHziBuE/online-date-gets-dumped-then-gets-stuck-in-mans-chimney.html


“Judge Mark Fuller’s 2012 divorce files unsealed”

“Judge Mark Fuller’s 2012 divorce files unsealed”: Brian Lyman of The Montgomery Advertiser has this report.

And AL.com reports that “Judge Fuller divorce records reveal little, show parties struggled over keeping proceedings secret.”

Read more here: http://howappealing.abovethelaw.com/102214.html#058583