A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of Jan. 17-23.


Jury Finds for Rick Springfield in Buttocks-Assault Case

Kevin Underhill | Lowering the Bar

A jury in Syracuse needed just 61 minutes to deliberate on this one, making it all the more puzzling to me why Rick Springfield’s attorneys thought they needed a mistrial the first time around. As you may recall, Vicki Calcagno accused Springfield of knocking her down with his butt while working the crowd during a 2004 concert at the New York State Fair. Although she conceded she did not leave the concert or seek medical attention at the time, and had no witnesses to back up her story, she claimed to have suffered a variety of mostly head-related injuries as a result of a fall.

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‘Trolls?’ Patent Director Says the Term Isn’t Helpful

Jenna Greene | The National Law Journal

Outlining her vision for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Deputy Director Michelle Lee—whose nomination to head the agency is pending before the Senate—on Thursday stressed quality and innovation in an hourlong talk before a Washington think tank.

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Court OKs Slash of $94K Fee Application by More Than Half

David Gialanella | New Jersey Law Journal

Even in a fee-shifting case, it’s permissible for a judge evaluating a fee application to consider what a client would be willing to pay for the engagement, a New Jersey appeals court said in upholding the reduction of a $94,000 fee application in a case that settled for $10,000.

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Harry Reid Won’t Rule Out Suing Exercise Equipment Maker Over His Injury

Michael McAuliff | Huffington Post

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday made his first public media appearance since an exercise mishap left him with a severely injured eye and four broken ribs.

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Sheldon Silver Arrest Shows The Seamy Side Of Asbestos Litigation

Daniel Fisher | Forbes

Federal prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint against New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, detailing long-rumored allegations about how a prominent asbestos law firm steered millions of dollars to the powerful politician in exchange for client referrals from a doctor, who in turn is accused of accepting favors from Silver.

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Attys Spar Over Protections For Watchdog Employees In NJ

Martin Bricketto | Law360

Attorneys appearing before the New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday tried to sell competing views on the reach of the state’s whistleblower law for watchdog employees whose responsibilities include voicing concerns about product safety or other important issues.

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