9895518350

In Featured- Literature & the Arts, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

I read Book One of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle in 2014 or 2015 when Neil and Kim Abramson graciously invited us to spend Spring Break with them in Rosemary Beach. My recollection is that some of the reviews, etc., had talked about Knausgaard’s focus on quotidian and commonplace “non-events” like buying groceries, going to the gas station, or making …

The Fourth Turning

In (859) 281-6224, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

Until a few years ago, I was only really interested in reading fiction. (I liked to read the Chuck Klosterman books, but I really thought of those more as extended New York Times Magazine or Book Review pieces than “non-fiction”.) Recently, however, I have found that non-fiction books have tended to have a bigger impact on me than novels. I …

Who Owns the Rights to That?

In venerance, (712) 443-8595 by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

I never understood the news reports that someone has been paid a bunch of money for the rights to his or her story. Your “story” is not something you own. It’s just something that happens. When I published A Day in the Life of Timothy Stone, I wrote to all of these authors and publishers for permission to use all …

618-588-7006

In (662) 988-8445, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

I hate William Gaddis. As a would-be writer, Gaddis has had no direct influence on me. And yet, pretty much everything I have done, or planned to do, or started to do, as a writer, which I genuinely thought to be fresh or innovative, I have come to discover has pretty much already been done by him. The invasion or …

quotlibet

In Featured- Literature & the Arts, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouse(866) 709-0855

If someone had told me what Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale was about, I don’t think I would have read it. Written in 1983, the plot is three parts Gangs of New York, two parts Age of Innocence, with a dash of Dickens and a pinch of Lord of the Rings. A turn-of-century “period piece” set in and around the city …

6469014230

In 603-281-9045, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouseamidocaffeine

I love the last sentence. “What on earth is less reprehensible than the life of the Levovs?” I love the Swede Levov character. I don’t know if I have ever identified with a fictional character (or even another real person) in the same way I identified with Levov. (Who, whether coincidentally or by design, is a literary alter ego of …

2059091229

In Featured- Literature & the Arts, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouse8606389148

From: Steve Herman To: Bill Chisholm Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 12:36 AM Subject: Book of Last Ten Years What was “the” book of the last 10 years I am supposed to read? ————————————– From: Bill Chisholm Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 11:12 AM infinite jest by david foster wallace ————————————– From: Steve Herman To: Bill Chisholm Sent: Sunday, March …

The Castle (with a touch of Michael Chabon and a lot of James Frey)

In Featured- Literature & the Arts, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouse207-499-0620

The Castle is one of those books that is sitting on a shelf which I have been meaning to read for years. It really wasn’t as Kafkaesque as I would have expected. Why didn’t the guy just leave? But the book did have those great passages. The Castle, whose contours were already beginning to dissolve, lay silent as ever; never …

arsenoxide

In Featured- Literature & the Arts, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

When I was a senior in high school, there wasn’t just about anything I wanted to say that I didn’t think could be said better in a Bob Dylan song. Even the stuff I knew was sappy like Lay Down Your Weary Tune or on-the-nose like My Back Pages seemed to strike a ringing truthful sappy chord. Me and all …

Absolute Friends, by John le Carre

In (269) 805-0049, Literature & the Arts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

John le Carre has always had great titles. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. The Little Drummer Girl. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The title of his new book sounds like a liquor ad. Maybe in a hundred years Aboslute Friends won’t sound awkward, but in today’s day, it’s hard not to think of clever product placement by the …

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9163837802

In 830-745-1453, Legal Ethics & Professionalism, 6156305803, 6206322213, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) intervened into a wrongful death suit against Goodyear arising from defects in its G159 tire.  The Court granted CAS’s motion to unseal a large portion of the records that had been previously subject to a protective order, in that case and in several other similar cases. “In the course of the ruling adopting the Protective Order, …

787-419-4586

In For Trial Lawyers, What's New in Product Liability Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

Two parents sued Graco after their child died due to an alleged defect in a Graco stroller. The parties negotiated a settlement that contained a confidentiality agreement, and the plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion to seal with the court. While acknowledging the propriety of confidentiality of court proceedings under limited circumstances, the court noted that the inquiry into whether to …

The Martian (and a Lesson from Behavioral Economics)

In For Trial Lawyers, 510-794-5299 by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

I thought The Martian was a pretty good movie. Well-made. Well-filmed. Well-acted. (I didn’t really like the Matt Damon character all that much, and found the voice-over narration via video diary a little formulaic and annoying, although I frankly can’t, off the top of my head, think of a better alternative.) But it was reasonably suspenseful and interesting. Thought-provoking. And/But …

909-738-0387

In 416-468-2596, Legal Ethics & Professionalism, What's New in E-Discovery and Spoliation?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse865-386-7353

“In the Stipulated Confidentiality Order, the parties agree that certain categories of documents will be designated as confidential. If documents are so designated, the Stipulated Confidentiality Order requires that ‘if filed, the documents shall be filed under seal and shall remain sealed while in the Office of the Clerk as long as they retain their status as stamped “Confidential” documents.’  …

929-466-5687

In 5075914266 by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

View Full Document Like many of you, I suspect, I began law school with something called Pennoyer v. Neff, followed shortly thereafter by something called a “progeny.” Not being a lawyer at the time, the whole thing made very little sense to me. While it seemed logical to ask whether the parties or events had a sufficient connection to a …

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“Legalnomics”: Lessons from the Field of Behavioral Economics about Perception and Decision-Making for Trial Lawyers

In For Trial Lawyers by gravierhouse2293899696

View Full Document When I first started practicing law in 1994, the art of trial advocacy embraced the concept of storytelling as a central way of communicating the plaintiff’s cause to the jury. The convention, at that time, was to paint the plaintiff as the protagonist in his or her own life’s story. The jury would be sympathetic to his …

6106486035

In For Trial Lawyers by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

From the LAJ President’s Luncheon, March 20, 2015: View Full Document Last night I read a blog post by my partner Jed about how hard it is to be a plaintiffs’ lawyer.[1] And I was reminded of this scene in the movie Philadelphia. Everyone probably remembers the scene where Denzel Washington goes to see Tom Hanks in his home, as …

To the Rules Committee: Some Thoughts About Class Actions

In For Trial Lawyers by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

Last year, it became clear that the Civil Rules Committee was going to take yet another look at potential changes to the Federal Class Action Procedure, embodied in Rule 23.  For whatever it may or may not have been worth, I provided the Committee with a few thoughts about the current state of class actions, from kind of a Big Picture …

The King of Shorts

In 8187049993 by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

During the Deepwater Horizon litigation, some of the lawyers circulated a few anonymous parodies of interviews that were given by a lawyer who is not involved in the litigation to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, apparently seeking some attention for himself.  With a Hundred Years of Solitude type feel, they attempt of make light of a fairly incredulous situation.  Are some people really so desperate to feel relevant or …

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6086973758

In Legal Ethics & Professionalism, (281) 413-6663 by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

The New York City Bar Association opined that: “A lawyer may not enter into a financing agreement with a litigation funder, a non-lawyer, under which the lawyer’s future payments to the funder are contingent on the lawyer’s receipt of legal fees or on the amount of legal fees received in one or more specific matters.” Distinguishing from arrangements in which …

While Enforcing Arbitration Provision, U.S. District Court in California Sanctions Defendant

In Legal Ethics & Professionalism, What's New in Class Action Law?, 607-426-3222 by gravierhousewatchmanship

Plaintiff Kate McLellan sued Fitbit for alleged misrepresentations about the accuracy of heart rate monitoring in its devices. Fitbit told the Court that the Terms of Service McLellan had agreed to required arbitration of her claims at the American Arbitration Association (AAA). Fitbit also said that McLellan’s objections to the scope and enforceability of the agreement were delegated to the …

U.S. District Court in Illinois Allows Suit Against Professional Objectors to Proceed

In Legal Ethics & Professionalism, 281-866-1467, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse7016386403

In a suit brought by class action attorney Jay Edelson against professional objectors Darrell Palmer and Chris Bandas, the court dismissed the RICO and abuse of process claims, but allowed the claims based on unauthorized practice of law to proceed. “Bandas does not contest Plaintiff’s categorization of his and Palmer’s activities in the Gannett litigation as constituting the ‘practice of …

5186519006

In Legal Ethics & Professionalism, circiter by gravierhouse4125130180

Following a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs in an employment discrimination case, one of the defense counsel received the following message through the firm’s website: “Hello, This message is for Mr. Carmagnola and not for legal advice. As a member of the jury for the Montone vs. Jersey City case, I was wondering if you’d like to know a …

(720) 652-4466

In (602) 794-8318, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse6095326785

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct recently opined that: “A settlement agreement that prohibits a lawyer’s disclosure of information contained in a court record is an impermissible restriction on the lawyer’s right to practice. A lawyer may not participate in either the offer or acceptance of a settlement agreement that includes a prohibition on a lawyer’s disclosure of information contained …

Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility Places Restrictions on Settlements which Include Secrecy Agreements

In 402-603-3857, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse(571) 643-3549

The Tennessee Board issued an Ethics Opinion which advises that: “It is improper for an attorney to propose or accept a provision in a settlement agreement that requires the attorney to be bound by a confidentiality clause that prohibits a lawyer from future use of information learned during the representation or disclosure of information that is publicly available or that …

(281) 302-7757

In (256) 805-2116, What's New in Product Liability Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse7604404586

Plaintiffs who received metal-on-metal hip implants, suffered complications, and required revision surgery, received jury verdict of $502 million against the manufacturer and its parent company. The District Court applied Texas’ statutory exemplary-damages cap, which reduced the $360 million punitive award to $9.6 million. On appeal, the U.S. Fifth Circuit held that: (i) metal-on-plastic hip implants were viable alternative design, (ii) …

2484602595

In (440) 893-4546, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse(907) 442-9600

Recognizing that errors occur along a continuum, an error is material if a disinterested lawyer would conclude that it is (a) reasonably likely to harm or prejudice a client; or (b) of such a nature that it would reasonably cause a client to consider terminating the representation even in the absence of harm or prejudice. More fully: “A lawyer’s responsibility …

Superior Court Judge in Arizona Grants Center for Auto Safety’s Motion to Unseal Records from Goodyear G159 Tire Cases

In For Trial Lawyers, Legal Ethics & Professionalism, What's New in E-Discovery and Spoliation?, What's New in Product Liability Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) intervened into a wrongful death suit against Goodyear arising from defects in its G159 tire.  The Court granted CAS’s motion to unseal a large portion of the records that had been previously subject to a protective order, in that case and in several other similar cases. “In the course of the ruling adopting the Protective Order, …

Attorneys Sanctioned by Texas State Court for Collusive Settlement involving Minors Competing for Limited Insurance Coverage

In Legal Ethics & Professionalism, delineative by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

The victim of a trucking accident was survived by two different sets of children with two different mothers.  Each instituted a separate wrongful death action, which were consolidated, on motion of the defendant, in Webb County.  The defendant’s insurer was willing to settle for policy limits, and initally proposed mediation or arbitration to apportion the insurance proceeds between and among …

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U.S. Fifth Circuit Affirms Jury Verdict Against Crane Manufacturer for Failure to Warn

In (352) 222-4749, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse(507) 874-2821

The plaintiff was seriously injured while operating a crane that started to tip when one of the crane’s counter-weights fell onto the cab, and knocked him to the ground. On appeal, the manufacturer argued that the warning about the general hazards of tipping over (severe injury or death, for example) – combined with the instructions about how to avoid a …

616-477-0823

In 408-534-3064, What's New in the Courts by gravierhousenicotian

The New York City Bar Association opined that: “A lawyer may not enter into a financing agreement with a litigation funder, a non-lawyer, under which the lawyer’s future payments to the funder are contingent on the lawyer’s receipt of legal fees or on the amount of legal fees received in one or more specific matters.” Distinguishing from arrangements in which …

(330) 883-2061

In (204) 712-5123, What's New in Class Action Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse(772) 519-5908

Plaintiff Kate McLellan sued Fitbit for alleged misrepresentations about the accuracy of heart rate monitoring in its devices. Fitbit told the Court that the Terms of Service McLellan had agreed to required arbitration of her claims at the American Arbitration Association (AAA). Fitbit also said that McLellan’s objections to the scope and enforceability of the agreement were delegated to the …

U.S. District Court in Illinois Allows Suit Against Professional Objectors to Proceed

In Legal Ethics & Professionalism, What's New in Class Action Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

In a suit brought by class action attorney Jay Edelson against professional objectors Darrell Palmer and Chris Bandas, the court dismissed the RICO and abuse of process claims, but allowed the claims based on unauthorized practice of law to proceed. “Bandas does not contest Plaintiff’s categorization of his and Palmer’s activities in the Gannett litigation as constituting the ‘practice of …

U.S. District Court in New Jersey Precludes Trial Counsel from Responding to Juror who Reached Out to Explain what Happened During Deliberations

In gowf, (707) 288-5931 by gravierhousereattire

Following a jury verdict in favor of plaintiffs in an employment discrimination case, one of the defense counsel received the following message through the firm’s website: “Hello, This message is for Mr. Carmagnola and not for legal advice. As a member of the jury for the Montone vs. Jersey City case, I was wondering if you’d like to know a …

(514) 794-3476

In What's New in ERISA Litigation?, 806-793-0646 by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

A putative class of participants in and beneficiaries of the Idearc Retirement Plan brought claims for breach of loylaty and imprudence in the management and administration of the plan – a “defined contribution” or “individual account” plan, allowing participants to contribute to the plan and invest their contributions in a variety of pre-selected investment options, including Idearc stock. The plaintiffs …

U.S. Fifth Circuit Reverses Denial of Life Insurance Benefits where Plan Administrator Fails to Address Beneficiary’s Expert Report

In 417-932-5434, 2084248592 by gravierhousescrotal

Esther White was the beneficiary of her husband’s life insurance policies governed by ERISA, which contained exclusions where death is caused, at least in part, by “intoxication” as defined by Arkansas law, or by the “voluntary ingestion” of any “narcotic” or “drug” that is not prescribed by a physician. Coverage was denied by the Plan Administrator, and summary judgment was …

U.S. Fifth Circuit Allows Hospital to Pursue Assigned Claims for Benefits Against Blue Cross

In survival value, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

Innova Hospital of San Antonio sued multiple insurance companies and third-party plan administrators in Texas State Court as an assignee of the insurance benefits owed to the patients treated at its facility alleging that the defendants either failed to pay or reduced payment substantially. The action was removed under ERISA. The District Court dismissed the hospital’s claims, but the Fifth …

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Application of American Pipe in Successive Class Actions

In (630) 432-4228, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouse4039318992

The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 has both a two-year statute of limitations and a five-year statute of repose. With respect to complaints that China Agritech engaged in fraud and misleading business practices causing the company’s stock price to plummet when the misconduct came to light, the accrual date for purposes of the two-year limitation period was February 3, 2011, …

(908) 681-7757

In 5156870121, 951-339-5683 by gravierhouse8559953303

A Colorado resident purchased a replacement main rotor holder for his radio-controlled helicopter from a retailer in Colorado. The main rotor holder was manufactured by Align Corporation, a Taiwanese company, and distributed by Horizon, a Delaware-based corporation. Align has no physical presence in the United States, but it contracts with U.S.-based distributors to sell its products to retailers who, in …

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