A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of January 2-8.


Veterans and the FACT Act: What’s the Truth?

John Brieden III | The Hill

All decent and principled members of Congress wish to honor the service of our nation’s veterans. That is why veterans’ voices really are heard, and really do matter, on Capitol Hill. For this, I am grateful. But what can members of Congress do when veterans’ voices are in conflict? They must look more deeply into the issue at hand, and they must sharpen their curiosity about the motivations behind counter-intuitive lobbying campaigns.

Full story. 


What Happens If Two Driverless Cars Crash? Lawyers Drool

Keith Naughton | Bloomberg Business

Imagine a robot car with no one behind the wheel hitting another driverless car. Who’s at fault? The answer: No one knows. But plaintiff’s lawyers are salivating at the prospects for big paydays from such accidents. If computers routinely crash, they say, then so will cars operated by them. And with no one behind the wheel, lawyers say they can go after almost anyone even remotely involved.

Full story. 


Picture This: Monkey See, Monkey Can’t Sue

Eriq Gardner | The Hollywood Reporter

If 10,000 monkeys spend 10,000 years at a typewriter, and one of them happens to compose a Shakespearean quality sonnet, will it be protected by copyright law? On Wednesday, in a lawsuit that has observers going ape-crazy, pardon the pun, a federal judge stopped short of giving an answer.

Full story. 


The Judge Who Shoots Down Merger Lawsuits

Liz Hoffman | Wall Street Journal

The week before Thanksgiving, a lawsuit was filed in a Delaware court accusing drugmaker Dyax Corp. of shortchanging investors by selling itself too cheaply.​​ The next day, the lawyers who brought the case abruptly dropped it.

Full story. 


Why the Trial Bar and Its Friends Detest Arbitration

James R. Copland of the Manhattan Institute | Wall Street Journal Opinion

On Dec. 14 the U.S. Supreme Court issued the third decision in the last four years upholding private-party contracts to arbitrate rather than litigate disputes. Nevertheless, arbitration, one of the few ways to control the enormous costs of lawsuits, is increasingly under attack from the media and government officials. The latest enemy is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Full story.


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