A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of July 5-11.


John Wayne’s Family, University ‘Duke’ it Out Over Whiskey

Alan Duke | CNN

John Wayne’s family is fighting Duke University in federal court over the use of “Duke” to sell whiskey.


The North Carolina school filed several objections when the actor’s descendants filed for federal trademarks to use “Duke” to sell products, but the latest came last year when John Wayne Enterprises launched “Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey,” according to court documents.

Full Story.


Dumb and Dumber: Lawsuits by Sleeping Yankees Fan and Jesse Ventura

Paul M. Barrett | Bloomberg Businessweek

Lampooning the lawsuit industry has become an industry unto itself—and not exclusively for grins and giggles. Frivolous litigation wastes public resources and distracts from true injustice. Fresh evidence from the cases of the napping baseball fan and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

Full Story.


Insurers Sue Asbestos Trust for Records, Say They Suspect Fraud

Tom Hals | Reuters

Six insurance companies are suing an asbestos personal injury trust set up by a U.S. unit of Philips that the insurers suspect has been making millions of dollars in fraudulent payments to parties that cannot prove they were harmed by the company’s asbestos products.

Full Story.


Two Companies Say Yes to New ‘Loser Pays’ Option

Liz Hoffman | Wall Street Journal

Two companies have decided to seize a newly created opportunity to shift corporate legal fees to shareholders.


Such “loser pays” bylaws, which require any investors who sue a company and lose to pay their costs, have been much discussed in recent weeks, after a recent Delaware Supreme Court decision appeared to open the door to them.

Full Story.


Miss Delaware Winner Considering Lawsuit After Being Stripped of Her Title

Scott Stump | Today

After being stripped of her title as Miss Delaware for being too old, Amanda Longacre, 24, is determined to fight to compete in the Miss America pageant even if it means filing a lawsuit.

Full Story.


Senator Proposes Expanding Eligibility Age of Recall Judges

Michael Booth | New Jersey Law Journal

A New Jersey lawmaker is proposing that the maximum age for retired Superior Court judges recalled to active service be raised from 80 years old to 85.

Full Story.