Friday, August 26, 2011
Tony Sebok and Myriam Gilles at Cardozo have set up a conference on the 9/11 victim compensation fund and its relevance for mass torts. The conference is September 12, 2011 at Cardozo and begins at 2:30 p.m. Kenneth Feinberg is the keynote speaker; other speakers include Sheila Birnbaum, John Goldberg, Marc Moller, Linda Mullenix, Roger Parloff, Bob Rabin, and Judge Jack Weinstein. The program is here.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
A resident of Greenbelt Homes in Maryland filed suit against the housing cooperative for failing to prevent his exposure to his neighbors' second-hand smoke. The trial started on Monday and, while the negligence claim is continuing, the judge did dismiss the claim for punitive damages.
Though all criminal charges against him were dropped earlier this week, Dominique Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil suit from his accuser. His attorneys say they are not concerned about it, noting that his accuser's credibility issues would still cause trouble in a civil suit, though of course the lower burden of proof mitigates that somewhat.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
TortsProf John Goldberg and Barry Friedman have written a primer on succeeding in the first year of law school. Entitled Open Book: Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School, it is available here.
Here are the reviews and description:
I would definitely recommend this book. It gives great advice to students who have no idea what to expect when they take their first law school exams. --Cynthia L. Fountaine, Dean and Professor of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law
No book is a guarantor of better results, but this one would certainly help the majority of students to add points to their exam results, and some students could literally turn their performances around by following the advice of this book. --Michael D. Murray, Associate Professor, Valparaiso University School of Law
- High-profile, experienced authors from elite schools with hands-on experience teaching the majority of the courses in the traditional 1L curriculum
- Distinctive central pedagogy: the pinball method of exam-taking
- Accompanied by Web site with content that is both free (e.g., sample outlines, class notes, case briefs) and for-sale (e.g., sample exams and memos written by professors giving feedback on the answers).
- Explains to students not just the how but the why of law school exams what makes law school exams different from exams students have encountered in other settings
- Detailed examples provide concrete demonstrations of exam-taking techniques
- Highly readable: prose is straightforward and humorous; key points accented with memorably amusing illustrations Not just an exam prep book; students are offered guidance on getting the most out of classes, and law school more generally.
I've glanced through the book, and it looks great.
Monday, August 22, 2011
RAND Institute for Civil Justice has issued a new study on asbestos trusts and the current U.S. tort system: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts and Tort Compensation. The summary provides:
Payments by asbestos bankruptcy trusts have played an increasingly important role in compensating asbestos injuries and have become a matter of contention between plaintiff and defense attorneys. At issue is how tort cases take into consideration compensation paid by trusts and the evidence submitted in trust claim forms. This monograph examines how such evidence and compensation are addressed by state laws and considered during court proceedings. It also examines how the establishment of the trusts potentially affects plaintiff compensation from trusts and the tort system combined, payments by defendants that remain solvent, and the compensation available to future, as compared to current, plaintiffs. The authors find that the potential effects of trusts' replacement of once-solvent defendants are very different in states with joint-and-several liability than in states with several liability. In states with joint-and-several liability, total plaintiff compensation should not change. In several-liability states, the replacement of once-solvent defendants by trusts can cause total plaintiff compensation to increase, decrease, or remain unchanged. The findings underscore the importance of information on plaintiff exposure to the products and practices of the bankrupt firms in determining the trusts' effects on plaintiff compensation and on payments by defendants that remain solvent.
A e-copy of the report can be downloaded or the report can be read on-line. Catherine Dunn has a report on law.com as well.