November 26, 2009
NY Times Editorial on the importance of funding state courts
The New York Times has run an editorial about the importance of state courts, writing that "[t]his vital institution — constitutionally, an independent, co-equal branch of government — has been spiraling into crisis as cash-starved states struggle with huge deficits."
Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.
November 11, 2009
Fitzpatrick on The Politics of Merit Selection
Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick (Vanderbilt Law School) has posted "The Politics of Merit Selection" on SSRN. It will be published in the Missouri Law Review.
November 02, 2009
Kansas Supreme Court Considers Constitutionality of Damages Caps
Last week the Kansas Supreme Court heard oral argument in Miller v. Johnson, a medical malpractice case challenging the constitutionality of a Kansas statute that caps damages for noneconomic loss at $250,000.
(Hat Tip: How Appealing)
October 29, 2009
Pepsi Facing $1.26 Billion Default Judgment in Wisconsin
Reuters is reporting: "A Wisconsin judge has ordered PepsiCo Inc to pay $1.26 billion to two men who said it stole their idea to sell purified water after a secretary mislaid a document alerting the world's No. 2 soft drink maker the lawsuit existed."
The case is pending in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Pepsi has moved to vacate the default judgment.
For additional coverage see here.
October 26, 2009
E-Marriage -- using jurisdictional creativity to achieve marriage equality across state lines
Adam Candeub and Mae Kuykendall have launched a novel project at Michigan State University, College of Law. E-marriage would allow couples to combine the law of one jurisdiction with the physical location of another. In other words, a same sex couple in California could marry in the location of their choice by using a remote "e" officiant from a state that allows same sex marriage, such as Massachusetts.
Procedure and fed courts professors will recognize many familiar issues including choice of law, internet jurisdiction issues, full faith and credit issues, and the increasingly blurry boundaries of physical territoriality.
California provides free representation in certain civil cases
California has a new program to fund public interest lawyers to provide free representation to all indigent civil litigants involved in certain types of cases, such as home foreclosures, domestic violence cases, cases alleging predatory lending practices and others. The pilot program, which lasts through 2017, will be paid for by a $10 increase in court fees.
October 21, 2009
Prof. Connors on Allocating the Costs of Discovery
Professor Patrick Connors (Albany) has posted Which Party Pays the Costs of Document Disclosure?, 29 Pace L. Rev. 441 (2009) on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
The disclosure of electronically stored information has become an integral part of litigation in the twenty-first century; accordingly, the concomitant costs of document production have significantly increased. CPLR Article 31 does not expressly state which party is responsible for the costs of production incurred in response to a demand for "documents or any things." This article explores the development of a questionable rule cited by several New York State tribunals in allocating the costs of document disclosure, while suggesting that the courts adhere to CPLR Article 31's more flexible approach.
In Lipco Elec. Corp. v. ASG Consulting Corp, the New York Supreme Court concluded that "the party seeking discovery should incur the costs incurred in the production of discovery material." However, this rule limits the inherent flexibility of Article 31, and is neither supported by the text of the CPLR, nor by the case law cited in the opinion. This article respectfully submits that the disclosure process will function more efficiently and fairly without a general rule requiring the party seeking "documents or any things" to bear the costs of production. Parties should be encouraged to discuss disclosure costs as early as possible, and request a protective order from the court if necessary.