A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of April 18-24.


Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher Poke Fun at Chicken-Stealing Lawsuit

Kirthana Ramisetti | NY Daily News

Mila Kunis wants fans to know she’s not a chicken thief. The actress and her husband Ashton Kutcher filmed a Meerkat video on Wednesday to respond to bizarre allegations that she stole singer Kristina Karo’s pet chicken when they were both children growing up in Ukraine.

Full story.


Child’s Play: Man Sues Kickball League for ‘Serious’ Injuries

Julia Marsh and Priscilla DeGregory | New York Post

A Manhattan man is suing a kickball league that caters to young professionals saying he was seriously injured during a game when he slammed into a brick wall and fractured his nose and elbow, also injuring his spine.

Full story.


Suit Claims L’Oreal Forced Lawyers to File Junk Patents

Charles Toutant | New Jersey Law Journal

A former patent lawyer for L’Oreal USA claims in a federal whistleblower lawsuit in Newark that he was fired after complaining about company quotas for patent applications.

Full story.


Disney Loses Second Attempt to Beat ‘Frozen’ Lawsuit

Eriq Gardner | Hollywood Reporter

A lawsuit over the trailer to the smash animated film, Frozen, is causing The Walt Disney Company quite a headache as a federal judge is ice-cold to the studio’s arguments why it should be dismissed.

Full story.


Disney ‘Frozen’ IP Accuser Lets It Go — To 3rd Circ.

Beth Winegarner | Law360

The author who claims the Walt Disney Co. ripped off the idea for “Frozen” from her memoir is urging the Third Circuit to revive her $250 million copyright infringement suit, which a New Jersey federal judge threw out in February after finding that the two works are “entirely different.”

Full story.


Lawyer Driving to Work Wasn’t Working, Court Rules

Jacob Gershman | Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog

A lawyer thinking about work on the way to the office wasn’t working under the eyes of the law, according to Virginia’s highest court.

Full story.


Alleged Sun Glare from Dashboard Driving Suit Against Porsche

Jennifer Genova | New Jersey Law Journal

An alleged defect in the windshields of some recent models of Porsche cars is exposing drivers to “unreasonable danger,” a potential class-action suit filed in New Jersey federal court on March 24 claims.

Full story.


Great Moments in Blame: Prisoner Cellphone Access

Walter Olson | Overlawyered

Prison inmate orders attack on guard at guard’s home in Bishopville, South Carolina. Surviving guard Robert Johnson and wife “did not, however, sue the typical defendants – i.e., the shooter or any prison inmate or employee. Rather, the Johnsons sued several cellular phone service providers and owners of cell phone towers. According to the Johnsons, these defendants are liable for Mr. Johnson’s injuries because they were aware that their services facilitated the illegal use of cellphones by prison inmates and yet failed to take steps to curb that use.” [Fourth Circuit opinion in Johnson v. American Towers LLC, et al., affirming district court’s dismissal of claim on the merits]

Full story.


After 22 Years, Appellate Judge in Epic Pollution Case Suggests a Do-Over

Paul Barrett | Bloomberg Business

Judge Richard Wesley of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York has a big, bold idea for the next step in a 22-year-long courtroom war over oil pollution in Ecuador: Start again, from scratch.

Full story.


An Asbestos Silver Lining

Wall Street Journal

The corruption charges against former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have exposed the rotten links between politicians and trial lawyers, and that attention is bearing fruit. Witness the clarifying drama in New York’s asbestos court.

Full story.


Business Groups Say NJ Too Soft on Expert Witnesses

Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal

Business interests and lawyers who represent them are urging that New Jersey discard its 22-year-old rule governing the admission of expert testimony and replace it with the more stringent federal standard.

Full story.


From Mass Copyright Complaints to Web Accessibility: One Lawyer’s Journey

Walter Olson | Overlawyered

If it’s easy for entrepreneurial litigators to stroll down the main street of a town and find stores vulnerable to an ADA suit because their water fountain or pay phone is at the wrong height, it’s even easier for them to surf the Web and find sites that flunk the most widely accepted disability guidelines. Assuming a court can be found with proper jurisdiction over them, the next logical step is the filing of accessibility complaints by the cartload.

Full story.


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