February 06, 2013
What do Ronald Reagan and Bob Marley have in common?
Answer #1: Today is their birthday.
Answer #2: They were never on Twitter.
If any of our readers would like to get links to this blog’s posts via Twitter, follow @Adam_Steinman. That’s likely to be the bulk of my Twitter feed (I don’t know how to make cat GIFs.)
Here are some other folks in the civil-procedure-federal-courts-o-sphere that I’ve come across so far…
- Cynthia Fountaine (Southern Illinois University), @clfountaine
- Jasminka Kalajdzic (University of Windsor), @JKal
- Benjamin Spencer (Washington & Lee University), @PROFSPENCER
- Beth Thornburg (Southern Methodist University), @btSMU
- Steve Vladeck (American University), @steve_vladeck
- Kevin Walsh (University of Richmond), @kevincwalsh
- Mr. T, @MrT
I’m new at this, so if you know of others please feel free to share.
November 27, 2012
WSJ on the Launch of Modria, an Online Small Claims Court
“Modria Launches to Become the Online ‘Small Claims Court for the 21st Century,’” from the WSJ’s Venture Capital Dispatch Blog.
(Hat Tip: Suja Thomas)
July 24, 2012
Civ Pro Professor Beth Thornburg on Twitter
SMU Dedman School of Law Professor Beth Thornburg is tweeting about civil procedure, legal education, higher education, and other topics of interest. Follow her on Twitter at @btSMU.
June 08, 2012
Law Student Research & Writing Competition on E-Discovery
Details are available here. From the announcement:
The DISH® “Best in Class” eDiscovery Legal Research and Writing Competition encourages law students to develop a thorough understanding of the evolution and practice of Information Governance and Discovery in civil litigation. The competition is the only one of its kind designed to challenge law students to explore the evolving issues of document management, electronically stored information, and ever-expanding technology—along with their application to the law.
The 2012 competition asks students to address the following topic: Under what standard should a court subject an employee's non-business personal computing activities (e.g., social media, documents stored on a personal computer, and/or personal email accounts) to civil discovery involving her or his employer?
The first-place selection will receive a $2,500 cash award along with an invitation to present his/her paper on a webinar hosted by Redgrave LLP. Two runners-up will also be selected and will each receive a $1,000 cash award.
The deadline for submissions is October 13, 2012.
September 02, 2010
Facebook and Subject Matter Jurisdiction: With Friends Like These...
Earlier this summer, Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit in a Buffalo, New York state court claiming he’s entitled to an 84% stake in Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, the defendant and Facebook CEO, removed the case to U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on diversity grounds. Zuckerberg contends that he’s a citizen of California and the plaintiff is a citizen of New York.
Last month the plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case, arguing that Zuckerberg is still domiciled in New York, thus destroying diversity of citizenship. Zuckerberg filed his opposition to remand this week.
Zuckerberg’s citizenship for diversity purposes has already been the subject of a published federal court decision. In ConnectU LLC v. Zuckerberg, 482 F. Supp. 2d 3 (D. Mass. 2007) (Hat Tip: Kevin Clermont), the court held that as of September 2, 2004, Zuckerberg was still domiciled with his parents in New York. That decision was reversed on other grounds.
July 12, 2010
Music Industry's $675K Judgment Against File-Sharing College Student Reduced as Unconstitutionally Excessive
In a closely-watched federal lawsuit brought by several major recording companies, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner has reduced a damage award against a defendant who illegally downloaded 30 songs when he was in college. The case is Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, 07cv11446-NG (D. Mass. July 9, 2010).
Judge Gertner’s opinion begins: “This copyright case raises the question of whether the Constitution’s Due Process Clause is violated by a jury’s award of $675,000 in statutory damages against an individual who reaped no pecuniary reward from his infringement and whose individual infringing acts caused the plaintiffs minimal harm. I hold that it is.” Here’s more from the opinion’s introduction:
Joel Tenenbaum (“Tenenbaum”), the defendant in this action, was accused of using filesharing software to download and distribute thirty copyrighted songs belonging to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are a group of the country’s biggest recording companies. Their lawsuit against Tenenbaum is one of thousands that they have brought against file sharers throughout the country. Tenenbaum, like many of the defendants in these suits, was an undergraduate when his file-sharing was detected.
Although the plaintiffs presented evidence that Tenenbaum illegally downloaded and shared thousands of recordings, the trial focused on his infringement of the plaintiffs’ copyrights in thirty songs. As to these songs, Tenenbaum’s liability for infringement was not seriously in question. . . . The only questions for the jury were whether Tenenbaum’s infringements were willful and what amount of damages was appropriate. . . . The jury did find that Tenenbaum willfully infringed the plaintiffs’ copyrights and imposed damages of $22,500 per song, yielding a total award of $675,000.
. . .
I conclude that the jury’s award of $675,000 in statutory damages for Tenenbaum’s infringement of thirty copyrighted works is unconstitutionally excessive. This award is far greater than necessary to serve the government’s legitimate interests in compensating copyright owners and deterring infringement. In fact, it bears no meaningful relationship to these objectives. . . . It cannot withstand scrutiny under the Due Process Clause.
For the reasons I discuss below, I reduce the jury’s award to $2,250 per infringed work, three times the statutory minimum, for a total award of $67,500. Significantly, this amount is more than I might have awarded in my independent judgment. But the task of determining the appropriate damages award in this case fell to the jury, not the Court. I have merely reduced the award to the greatest amount that the Constitution will permit given the facts of this case.
(Hat Tip: Howard Bashman)
December 17, 2009
Need CLE? . . . there's an app for that
West unveiled its new iPhone app this week to enable lawyers to get continuing legal education (CLE) credits by taking courses on an iPhone or iPod Touch. The app itself is free through Apple iTunes App Store. The user must then set up an account with West LegalEdCenter; this account will enable the user to buy and download courses from a library of over 2000 online courses. Once a course is completed, the user can submit the course completion information to obtain state CLE credit.