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Law Schools Need a New Governance Model

By Mark Pulliam | Jun 25, 2018

A prior post (entitled “Who Runs the Legal Academy?”) attracted some much-needed attention from other sites, including Overlawyered.com, Instapundit, and the Tom Woods Show. The governance of law schools, although not a secret, is poorly-understood and seldom discussed. This lack of transparency empowers—or at least emboldens—some of the behind-the-scenes influencers to take unreasonable positions and to pursue self-interested goals that are contrary to the ostensible objective of training students to be effective and ethical lawyers. The result is a dysfunctional legal academy.

Climate Change: A Plea For Leadership and Legislation, Not Litigation

By By Melissa Landry, Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch | Jun 22, 2018

Americans are being sold a dangerous bill of goods by those who promise that lawsuits provide a viable solution to addressing coastal erosion, rising sea levels and other challenges associated with global climate change.

From Pennsylvania Record

A dissident emerges in Pennsylvania's opioid litigation: Lehigh Co. claims its case has been highjacked

By John O'Brien | Jun 22, 2018

The fight for control of Pennsylvania’s opioid litigation is not over, as Lehigh County is not happy that its case has been grouped in with more than 30 others and that lawyers it previously rejected have been tasked with overseeing the proceedings.

From Legal Newsline

States against climate change lawsuits ask for dismissal of NYC's

By John O'Brien | Jun 5, 2018

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – The top lawyers of 15 states are again asking a federal judge to reject the legal strategy used by public officials and the private attorneys with whom they’ve teamed to sue the energy industry over alleged effects of climate change.

The Delusion of Good Faith Judging

By Mark Pulliam | Jun 2, 2018

The concept of written legal rules—of the law itself—assumes that their content is fixed and ascertainable. The rule of law likewise depends on citizens having advance notice of what they can and cannot do, pursuant to clear, knowable directives. Legal scholars expend enormous energy pontificating about the appropriate techniques judges should apply in the course of constitutional interpretation: textualism, originalism, and so forth. Libertarian theorists argue strenuously that judges must be given greater authority—through “judicial engagement”—over the political branches. Each day, lawyers across the country trot off to court, briefs in hand, hoping to convince a black-robed judge–enthroned behind a raised, magisterial bench—that the relevant legal rules, properly construed, compel a ruling in favor of their client.

From Legal Newsline

Mom of victim: Ultimatum from lawyer, paternity test led to regrettable settlement with Tony Stewart

By Ann Maher | May 5, 2018

PORT LEYDEN, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) – The mother of a race car driver killed nearly four years ago by famed NASCAR driver Tony Stewart says she felt cornered into settling her wrongful death lawsuit by her high-profile lawyer who threatened to abandon the case if it went to trial – an allegation disputed by the attorney.

From Pennsylvania Record

NFL alleges widespread fraud by unnamed plaintiffs lawyers, doctors in concussion settlement; Special investigator appropriate, class counsel says

By Nicholas Malfitano | Apr 30, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – If the National Football League has their way, sanctions will be issued and a special investigator will be appointed to the NFL’s $1 billion Concussion Settlement program, as the league alleges an independent claims administrator determined that 23 percent of the claims submitted to it were fraudulent.

Has Gorsuch ‘Gone Wobbly’ Already?

By Mark Pulliam | Apr 25, 2018

A Supreme Court decision on immigration that was not expected to be controversial instead attracted wide attention upon its release last week. The reason: Justice Neil Gorsuch, the much-heralded successor to the legendary Antonin Scalia, joined with the High Court’s four liberals to overturn an immigration statute on the grounds that it was “void for vagueness,” over the strenuous dissent of the court’s conservative bloc: Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts.

Former Peebles employee alleges owner Stage Stores failed to pay overtime

By Philip Gonzales | Mar 28, 2018

BROWNSVILLE – An Indiana woman alleges her former Houston-headquartered department store owner employer owes unpaid wages for overtime work.

Lino Graglia: The Happy Warrior Soldiers On

By Mark Pulliam | Mar 22, 2018

My law school years (1977-80) at the University of Texas were, in hindsight, close to idyllic. I loved my first-year professors, tuition at UT was dirt cheap, Austin was a wonderful place to live, and I reveled in the “college town” ambience, which was new to me. (Prior to arriving at UT, I had never attended a college football game. During my first year—when the Longhorns went undefeated in the regular season and Earl Campbell won the Heisman Trophy–I had season tickets on the 50-yard line at UT’s gigantic Memorial Stadium, for a pittance that even a broke law student could afford.) The post-game victory spectacle—honking horns on the Drag and the Tower lit up in orange—formed indelible memories.

From Legal Newsline

Plaintiff lawyers see nationwide settlement as only end for opioid lawsuits

By Daniel Fisher | Mar 7, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - Plaintiff lawyers meeting in San Francisco last week for a conference on opioid litigation acknowledged that the hundreds of lawsuits they have filed in state and federal court will be difficult to resolve without an unprecedented national settlement whose mechanics are still difficult to predict.

Will the Janus Case Strike the Deathblow to Public Sector Unions?

By Mark Pulliam | Feb 26, 2018

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument today [February 26] in one of the term’s most important—and highly publicized—cases, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. As many readers are aware, the case involves the constitutionality of “agency shop” arrangements in public sector collective bargaining agreements, which compel non-member employees to make payments in lieu of union dues as a condition of their employment. Agency shop clauses are commonly used in public-sector labor contracts, enabling powerful unions representing teachers and other government employees to collect large sums of money from workers who never consented to such exactions (and who, for that matter, never voted in favor of union representation).

The Steep Costs of Judges as Institutional Reform Advocates

By Mark Pulliam | Feb 8, 2018

This is the first installment of a two-part post on the long-running lawsuit involving Texas’ foster care system, styled M.D. v. Abbott. I begin with an overview of the numerous problems for democratic governance that are created by “institutional reform litigation.”

From Legal Newsline

Usual Suspects: Lawyers used to getting their way in MDL process to lead opioid litigation

By Daniel Fisher | Jan 24, 2018

CLEVELAND (Legal Newsline) - There will be a lot of familiar faces in U.S. District Judge Dan Polster’s courtroom in Cleveland on Jan. 31, when lawyers gather for a hearing on multidistrict litigation against the nation’s opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Prosecutorial Collusion in the Fourth Estate: Anatomy of a Witch Hunt, Part 4

By Mark Pulliam | Jan 23, 2018

Mark Pulliam analyzes the baseless and politically-motivated prosecution of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, exploring the disturbing collusion between the news media and the special prosecutors.

Court allows negligence suit against law firm Schiff Hardin to proceed

By Angela Underwood | Jan 16, 2018

MARSHALL – The Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas partially granted and partially denied a law firm's motion to dismiss a claim against it filed by an insurance company.

None Dare Call It Politics: Anatomy of a Witch Hunt, Part 3

By Mark Pulliam | Jan 16, 2018

On November 4, 2014, when the 51-year-old Ken Paxton was triumphantly elected Attorney General of Texas, defeating his Democrat opponent, the euphoniously named Sam Houston, by over 20 percentage points, the conservative movement in the Lone Star State had a new rising star. Paxton’s enemies were worried; the Tea Party favorite, an impressive University of Virginia law school graduate, seemed bound for the Governor’s mansion, a prospect that made the state’s centrist GOP Establishment aghast. Paxton’s political career had been nothing short of meteoric. First elected to public office in 2002 with the support of grass-roots activists and evangelicals, Paxton represented his suburban Dallas district in the Texas House of Representatives for a decade before winning a coveted promotion to the exclusive 31-member Texas Senate in 2012.

League City property buyers allege seller failed to disclose home's defects

By Philip Gonzales | Jan 3, 2018

GALVESTON – The buyers of a League City property allege they have incurred significant out-of-pocket costs to repair defects in the property that the seller failed to disclose.

Anatomy of a Witch Hunt

By Mark Pulliam | Jan 3, 2018

Part 1: The indictment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was procured through deception.

Bedspread in aisle posed ‘unreasonable risk of harm,’ suit against Kohl’s alleges

By David Yates | Nov 29, 2017

BEAUMONT – A bedspread placed in an aisle of a Kohl’s Department Store nearly two years ago “posed an unreasonable risk of harm” to shoppers, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

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