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Morning Docket: 07.30.14

11 hours agoIndustries / Law : Above the Law

When it comes to bans on same-sex marriage, for Justice Anthony Kennedy, animus is a “doctrinal silver bullet” — the fact that there was no animus involved in the enactment of many of them may be problematic at the high court. [New York...Show More Summary

Vehicles Traveling in Same Direction Are Not Static Objects Under Sudden Emergency Doctrine

12 hours agoIndustries / Law : Tort Talk

In its recent decision in the case of Drew v. Work, 2014 Pa.Super. 137 (Pa. Super. June 30, 2014 Shogan, J., Olson, J., and Wecht,J.)(Op. by Olson, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court provided one of its latest decisions on the application of the sudden emergency doctrine in a motor vehicle accident case. Show More Summary

The Battle Over Tariff 8, Part 2: The Recording Industry’s Surprising Opposition to Songwriter, Composer and Music Publisher Streaming Royalties

12 hours agoIndustries / Law : Michael Geist

Yesterday I posted on the battle over Tariff 8, the Copyright Board of Canada's new tariff for digital music streaming services that the media has suggested could open the door to popular foreign services migrating to Canada. Despite...Show More Summary

Amazon To Hachette And Authors: Here, Let Us Explain Basic Price Elasticity To You

12 hours agoIndustries / Law : Techdirt

Apparently Amazon's efforts earlier this month to make it abundantly clear that it's fight with Hachette is about helping, not harming authors still didn't quite make it through to authors who seem to reflexively hate Amazon (often for reasons that don't make much sense). Show More Summary

DC Circuit Court Tells District Officials They Can No Longer Hide From FOIA Requests By Using Personal Email Accounts

14 hours agoIndustries / Law : Techdirt

With the FOIA process increasingly being routed through courtrooms, it's refreshing to see a court stand up and tell public officials to stop trying to find ways to be less transparent. The DC circuit court recently issued a ruling that shuts down a potential opacity loophole for public officials: the use of personal email accounts. Show More Summary

Special consideration at Texas Law?

15 hours agoIndustries / Law : Overlawyered

“Some of the least-qualified graduates of the University of Texas School of Law in recent years have high-level connections in the Legislature, which may explain how they got into the prestigious law school in the first place.” [JonShow More Summary

Company Offering Open-Source Biological Reagents Hopes To Recapitulate Free Software's Success

17 hours agoIndustries / Law : Techdirt

It's well-known that monopolies can lead to price-gouging, which produces effects like this: I still have no idea how people can get away with charging several thousand dollars for a milligram of recombinant protein. That's an amount that you can see with the naked eye, if your eyesight is really good, but even then, you can see it only just barely. Show More Summary

DoJ sues Pennsylvania over trooper fitness tests

20 hours agoIndustries / Law : Overlawyered

The tests “disproportionately screened out female applicants, resulting in a disparate impact against those applicants.” Officers who are highly fit have more options in a situation where force is required — subduing a suspect without resort to a gun, for example. Show More Summary

Banking and finance roundup

20 hours agoIndustries / Law : Overlawyered

Federally run consumer complaint database at CPSC has been unfair and unreliable mess, so naturally CFPB wants one of its own [Kevin Funnell] Los Angeles, Miami, Providence, and Cook County among municipalities piling on lenders with...Show More Summary

Duke Professors Looking To Make Legal Texts Affordable; Kicking Off With Intellectual Property Law

21 hours agoIndustries / Law : Techdirt

James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins of the Center of the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School have recognized what many people have: the academic publishing world is insane. Textbook pricing is generally insane, in part because...Show More Summary

McDonald's Liable for Franchise ULPs?

Richard Griffin, the NLRB's General Counsel, has decided to pursue unfair labor practice charges against both McDonald's and several of its franchise owners. The ULPs allege retaliation--such as firings and other punishments--because of employees' labor activities. But the headline issue...

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Suing Auction House Over Bruce Lee Poster

The former Lakers star is demanding Julien's Auction House return 152 pieces of memorabilia. read more

DailyDirt: Unicorns, Santa, Comfortable Airline Seating...

yesterdayIndustries / Law : Techdirt

It's so easy to get frustrated waiting in an airplane, even though everything is amazing. At the same time, it's vindicating to see reports that airlines actually do have some of the least comfortable seating, literally by design. Here are just a few links on the future of airline seating that may or may not surprise you. Show More Summary

Brain Scientist Waves Gun Around at Airport

Look, I think airport-security concerns are way overblown, I generally support the right to bear arms, and I'm also a big fan of brain scientists. But that does not mean I think it's okay for a brain scientist to wave...          Related...Show More Summary

Hey, I'm Appearing on FOX

I will appear for a few minutes tonight (Thursday) on the John Stossel show to talk about some ridiculous laws. The show was taped last week and is on tonight at 9 pm Eastern (and various other times depending on...          Related Stories A Week of Weird-Law Posts at The Volokh Conspiracy Guest-Blogging at The Volokh Conspiracy The Guano Islands Act and So Forth  

Gay Marriage at the 6th Cir.: Countdown to Aug. 6 Oral Arguments

On August 6, 2014, the Sixth Circuit will hear oral arguments in five consolidated cases addressing same-sex marriage bans in every state in the circuit -- Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio.Though the Tenth Circuit (in cases involving Utah and Oklahoma) and Fourth Circuit (in a case involving Virginia) have already......

Class Action for Cable-TV Outage During Storm Can Proceed

Residents of Massachusetts might remember that in October 2011, a surprise "nor'easter" swept across New England, downing power lines, closing roads, and -- most importantly -- depriving cable customers of "Sopranos" reruns. A scant month later, four plaintiffs filed a suit in state court against Charter Communications, their cable......

Aereo Pivots, Arguing It's an Online Cable and DVR Company

Aereo was an online service that rebroadcast over-the-air network programming over the Internet. That didn't work out so well for them, especially once they reached the U.S. Supreme Court. But buried in that SCOTUS opinion was a nugget of hope: a DVR service. The Court explicitly noted that it was......

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