Jonathan B. Wilson

Legal Resources
Business Law Updates
Out of Balance
Legislation for Renewable Energy

Jonathan Wilson is an Atlanta attorney with more than 19 years of experience guiding growing private and public companies.  He currently serves as the outside general counsel of several companies and is the former general counsel of (NASDAQ: WWWW) and EasyLink Services (NASDAQ: ESIC).  He is also the founding chair of the Renewable Energy Committee of the American Bar Association's Public Utility Section.

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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Spank Me, Please
A jury awarded a woman $1.7 million when she sued her employer after being "spanked" during a team-building exercise gone awry.
7:51 am edt 

Confessions of a Reformed Regulator
Former National Resources Defense Council litigator David Schoenbrod tells a harrowing tale of the FDA's attempt to regulate the pasteurization of apple cider, adopting one-size-fits-all rules that benefit large, established producers at the expensive of smaller businesses. 
7:41 am edt 

Monday, April 24, 2006

MySpace Banned at Texas College
College administrators found that traffic to the popular social network site was consuming 40% of network bandwidth and decided to block the site to improve their network performance.
11:31 am edt 

Blawg Review Through the Looking Glass
Karl Brandy's edition is perhaps the most unusual and creative to date. 
7:45 am edt 

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Making Up is Hard to Do
Lou Michels, writing at SuitsInTheWorkplace, describes a recent Ninth Circuit opinion that (surprisingly) refused to find discrimination in a casino employer's rule that required female employees to wear make-up but prohibited male employees from doing so. 
2:03 pm edt 

Fired CIA Leader was Clinton Appointee
According to this press release, Mary McCarthy, who has been identified as the CIA officer recently fired for allegedly leaking classified information, was appointed by President Clinton. 
(Tip: Drudge
1:49 pm edt 

Jackboot Feminism
To save our right to free speech, we're going to have to trample yours.  
1:45 pm edt 

Duke's Stripper Crisis
Kathleen Parker writes:
At the risk of offending the International Union of Pimps and Ho's, here's one of the jungle's unpleasant truths: No decent man wants his wife, mother, sister or daughter to be a stripper - even if he'll pay to watch someone else's. And therein lies one of this episode's lessons.
1:39 pm edt 

Happy Earth Day
Is the earth getting better, or worse?
1:34 pm edt 

Friday, April 21, 2006

Criminalizing Corporate Governance
Larry Ribstein raises some insightful points in responding to the WSJ-blog's Peter Lattman, that much of the Enron trial of Jeffrey Skilling amounts to a criminalization of corporate decision-making:
So what’s the effect of Skilling’s telling the government that it doesn’t understand how Enron’s business worked? Let’s assume that no matter how hard Sean Berkowitz and the other young prosecutors study Enron they’ll never “get it,” to use a Skilling expression. If that’s the case, then how can the jury have a firm grasp of many of the sophisticated accounting and financial decisions at the heart of the government’s indictment? Will the jury give Skilling and Lay a free pass because Enron was essentially a collection of sophisticated accounting decisions and financial transactions that were fully vetted by Enron’s outside lawyers and auditors?
Ribstein notes that the government's case against Skilling essentially boils down to a series of vignettes, dumbed-down so they can be understood by jurors, that give jurors a sense that something wrong happened.
But is this really the way our government should regulate how public corporations make decisions: by putting executives at risk of criminal sanction if their business fails and they can be accused, with the benefit of hindsight, of having engaged in some conduct that gives jurors a sense that "something wrong happened?"
Businesses take risks.  Businesses ought to take risks.  If businesses don't take risks, they are unlikely to generate returns for shareholders.  If businesses take risks, it is inevitable that some will fail.  Ergo, business failure, by itself, cannot be a sufficient to prove wrongdoing.  Proof of criminal wrongdoing must require evidence of a defendant's action that the defendant should have known at the time was prohibited (and not merely "risky"). 
The Skilling trial is not yet over, and we don't know what "lessons" the lay media will draw from that event, but it doesn't bode well for the future of American business for prosecutors to approach the Skilling trial with a strategy that is intended to result in a "win", rather than a clear guidepost for future executive decision-making.   
7:33 am edt 

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Democracy by Decree
Today's WSJ opines on the baneful effect of judicial consent decrees on school innovation and self-government. 
7:50 am edt 

Using ISPs to Snoop on Customers writer Declan McCullagh writes there is growing support in state legislatures and Congress for new legislation that would require Internet Service Providers to maintain records on their customers' online activities for the future use of law enforcement. 
He cites comments made by some members of Congress that such laws would be helpful to law enforcement, as well as to a pending bill in the Colorado legislature (HB06-1090). 
While there is nothing new about legislation that regulates businesses so that their records are accessible to law enforcement, any law that requires ISPs to maintain data runs into a number of problems.
Libertarians like McCullagh object to data retention laws because they tend to increase the state's ability to surveil individuals.  Libertarians object to such surveillance on personal privacy and civil liberty grounds.
For businesses, however, there are more practical concerns.  Data storage comes at a cost.  In most scenarios, state-imposed data retention requirements are borne entirely by the business who must retain the data without any assistance by the state that imposes the requirement.
If Congress decides that ISPs are obligated to store customer data in some specified format for some specified period of time, will Congress pay ISPs for that service?  (I wouldn't bet on it). 
Not all data is alike.  Would a federal data retention law specify the format of the data?  If it did, that legislature choice of format could well drive ISPs into making decisions about technologies on the basis of their compliance with the legislatively-selected storage format.  That kind of top-down technology selection is utterly inconsistent with the rationale of the Web and the market-driven hypothesis that has fueled its success so far.
The Web has been a driver of economic productivity in the U.S. for the past decade and shows every reason to continue that trend.  Legislators who would regulate the Web (whether through data retention laws or otherwise) must carry a heavy burden to prove that new legislation is worth the risk of impinging productivity growth. 
7:46 am edt 

"A Lot of American B.S."
. . . . the reaction of 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui to the testimony of witnesses called by his defense attorneys to the effect that he suffered from schizophrenia. 
7:27 am edt 

Monday, April 17, 2006

Minnesota Governor Flips on Cheeseburgers Bill
Minnesota Governor Jim Doyle signed into law S.B. 161, exempting restaurants and other food industry participants from lawsuits based on obesity claims. 
Doyle, a Democrat, vetoed an identical Republican measure in 2004. At the time, he said he didn't think obesity lawsuits were a significant burden on industry and that the legislation would strip judges of their discretion.  Reform proponents claimed that Doyle was caving in to trial lawyer lobbyists.

Slightly more than one year later, the Governor changed his mind. 

According to the National Restaurant Association, twenty-two states have passed legislation banning obesity suits against restaurants and similar legislation is pending is approximately ten states. 

8:07 am edt 

Stealth Jurors
The ABA Journal reports on the problem of "stealth jurors" who lie on their questionnaires in order to increase their chances of being selected as jurors.  According to the article, activists are concealing their true prejudices on some issues in order to get themselves empanelled in cases affecting those issues. 
Gee, you could sure make an interesting movie out of this premise. 
7:55 am edt 

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Gospel of Judas
E.J. Dionne offers some thoughts on the unveiling of this recently-discovered document over this Easter weekend. 
Times of Malta on the Gospel and its theological implications.
Pope refuses to recognize the document. 
Amherst Times describes the discovery of the document. 
Catholic Online describes the history of the Gnostic interpretations and the historical origins of the Gospels. 
Wikipedia has an extensive backgrounder
English transation of the Gospel of Judas from the Tertullian Project
7:59 am edt 

Hank Greenberg and the Arbitrage of Risk
Former AIG Chairman and current defendant in a number of Eliot Spitzer prosecutions Hank Greenberg speaks out today in an interview with the WSJ. 
He claims that it would be impossible to build a company like AIG today because excessive regulation (through legislation, overzelous prosecutors and an out-of-control litigation system) have made it impossible for private companies to contract sensibly over known risks. 
Without the ability to arbitrage risk, he claims, private business is reduced to a smaller sphere of action, limiting entrpreneurship and shrinking the potential for gains. 
7:43 am edt 

Friday, April 14, 2006

Applying Caps on Punitive Damages: Gallatin Fuels v. Westchester Fire Insurance describes the recent federal case of Gallatin Fuels Inc. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co. in which the trial court slashed a jury award of punitive damages from $20 million down to $4.5 based on the factors in BMW v. Gore
BMW v. Gore is mostly known for its impact on the role of proportionality (which was later expanded in State Farm), requiring a ratio between punitive damages and actual damages that should not exceed 10:1.  But BMW v. Gore also established other limits on punitive damages.  Westchester Fire examines the limits on punitive damages described by the "degree of reprehensibility" of the defendant's actions. 
8:28 am edt 

Warning: Coca-Cola is Fizzy
Another gem from PointOfLaw in an unpublished opinion from a Michigan court that allows a products liability case to proceed against Coca-Cola under the theory that the manufacturer had a duty to warn that its product might exit the can at a "high speed" when opened suddenly.
If Coke must warn consumers that soda might shoot out of a can when you open it, are there really any harms left on the planet that a consumer may be presumed to know?  Is there anyone who has not, by, say, the age of 21, found himself showered with soda pop when opening a can that has been shaken?
8:19 am edt 

Recovering Attorneys' Fees from the EEOC
Attorney Jack Schaedel recently performed the legal equivalent of a "hat trick" by recovering attorneys' fees from the EEOC on behalf of his client in response to non-meritorious claims brought by the EEOC.
Although it is theoretically possible for a defendant's recover its fees in a non-meritorious EEOC prosecution, it is extremely rare.  Attorney Schaedel describes how he accomplished this feat in the article.
(Tip: Walter Olson)
8:15 am edt 

Thursday, April 13, 2006

GM Today, U.S. Tomorrow
George Will today compares GM's financial straights, and the cost of multi-year benefits packages offered to laid-off union workers, with the coming financial catastrophe facing the U.S. through its social security and other entitlement commitments.  He calls both situations:
a wrenching rendezvous with promises that seemed compassionate, or at least convenient, when originally made but that cannot be kept without ruinous consequences.
Harsh words for a harsh potential reality.  GM assumed that the market for its products would continue to grow indefinitely.  Based on that assumption it committed to providing worker benefits that were divorced from the market.  That is, the benefits offered by GM were not tied to the value received by GM from the severed workers.
Our social security system is not very different.  Like GM, Congress assumed that there would always be more workers paying into the system than their would be paying out. 
That assumption is proving to be horribly wrong on two levels.  First, improvements in health care and longevity mean that we are living longer.  As a result, (and as a consequence of the decrease in fertility), there are now more retirees pulling money out of social security than there are workers putting money into the system.
Second, the original social security system was calculated so that the average retiree's benefits would be tied roughly to the value of the retiree's contributions over a lifetime of employment.  Increased longevity wreaks havoc with the system, though, as retirees live longer and can pull more out of the system than they put in.
Private employers like GM can, with some limitations, use bankruptcy as a tool to extricate themselves from commitments they can no longer honor.  The U.S. government, however, cannot and must soon come clean with the public that changes will have to be made. 
No doubt some will argue that reforming social security is not "compassionate".  But with the benefit of hindsight, who would argue that GM's commitments (which can no longer be honored) were "compassionate." 
Was it compassionate to make untenable commitments, leading working down a primrose path that was based on an illusion?  Workers who find their retirement benefits slashed in the event of a GM bankruptcy won't think so.  To the contrary, they will wish they could go back in time to plan their retirements better, with a more accurate appraisal of the facts.  
Political leaders who lead Congress towards a realistic reform of social security may pay a political price in the short run, but in the long run will be honored for taking the truly compassionate approach.   
1:12 pm edt 

Lynn Swann for Tort Reform
As someone who grew up in Pennsylvania in the 1970s, I remember Lynn Swann well, primarily for his role on the Pittsburgh Steelers:
But Swann is now the Republican candidate for Governor in that State against incumbent Governor Ed Rendell and I'm now forced to consider Lynn Swann as an agent of change in the field of tort reform.
Swann endorsed tort reform in a campaign visit to a retirement home in the state.  He took aim at Rendell's recent veto of a tort reform bill and promised that reform would be an emphasis of his administration:
"The Ed Rendell administration vetoed the Fair Share Act, which obviously would have taken us from a joint liability philosophy to a proportional doctrine in terms of lawsuits," Swann said. "I can guarantee in a Lynn Swann office if the Fair Share Act comes across my desk it gets signed into law."
11:49 am edt 

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Do Contingent Fees Fuel Excessive Litigation?
Jim Copland and Alex Tabarrok debate the question in this week's forum at PointOfLaw
1:12 pm edt 

Political Generosity
Who are more generous: (a) Republicans or (b) Democrats?
Conventional wisdom suggests that Democrats are the party of the bleeding heart and should be more generous.  But, if you answered (b) you would be wrong.
Or so says Arthur Brooks, an economics professor with a new book on charity and political beliefs.  According to his study, self-identified conservatives are more likely than their counterparts to participate in civic groups, donate to charitable causes and to be willing to bear burdens on behalf of their family and friends. 
Do liberals let their government do their charity for them?
12:46 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Liberty, Egality and Mediocrity
Precariousness is an essential element in the life of the entrepreneur, a French word now more associated with the much despised Anglo-Saxon "liberalism" and its merciless dog-eat-dog capitalism. But these days the best examples of the entrepreneurial spirit are hardly Anglo-Saxon: China, India, Korea, Chile, all rising and growing, even as France and much of Europe decline.
Against precariousness? That is perhaps to be expected in a country where 76% of 15-to-30-year-olds say they aspire to civil service jobs from which it's almost impossible to be fired. This flight from risk is not just a sign of civilizational senescence. It is a parody of the welfare state. Yes, the old should be protected from precariousness because they are exhausted; the sick, because they are too weak. But privileged students under the age of 26? They cannot endure 24 months of precariousness at the prime of life, the height of their energy?
There have, I suppose, been other peoples in other places who yearned for a life of mediocrity. But leave it to the French to make a revolution in its name.
1:06 pm edt 

ADA Shakedown Claims in California
Jennifer Roback Morse describes ADA shakedown suits in California where artful plaintiffs' lawyers use the letter of the Americans with Disabilities Act to circumvent its spirit in a serious of suit primarily directed at generating claims for attorneys' fees.
As she describes it:
The Divide and Conquer strategy is part of the evil genius of the frivolous lawsuit industry. No single business is inconvenienced enough to resist the law, or the unjust application of the law. The average business owner is already maxed out, just trying to keep his business going. Most of them will try to resolve the situation as quickly and as cheaply as possible. No one resists: Everyone pays. A perfect money-making formula.
The solution, as I describe in Out of Balance, has two parts: (1) rollback or reduce the pro-plaintiff fee-shifting mechanisms in statutes like the ADA that merely encourage clientless litigation and (2) adopt loser-pays or offer of judgment rules that would give defendants the ability to re-balance the risk and reward trade-off for plaintiffs. 
7:27 am edt 

Monday, April 10, 2006

Slouching Towards France
Michael Barone, writes today
You can quibble about the numbers, but the overall trend is clear: We're on a collision course. On the one hand, we have a private-sector economy that is vibrant, creative, continually transforming itself and producing millions and millions of new jobs -- overcoming the stagflation of the late 1970s, the sharp recession of the early 1980s, the savings and loan bailout of the early 1990s and the trauma of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. On the other hand, we have a public sector that is threatening to gobble up more and more of that economy as time goes on.
I haven't yet read Charles Murray's In Our Hands (to which Barone's column replies) but the book has received a fair amount of press from conservative pundits. 
The views ascribed to it are familiar to most conservatives: our welfare state is not sustainable but the safety net benefits it provides could be duplicated at less cost with a more market-oriented system. 
And yet, apart from the President's aborted attend to reform social security last year, hardly any politicians speak to the issue and the public's understanding is slim-to-non-existent. 
7:26 am edt 

Sunday, April 9, 2006

The Political Christ
Historian Gary Wills offers some intriguing thoughts on this Palm Sunday on contemporary politics' use of Christian themes and arguments:
The Gospels are scary, dark and demanding. It is not surprising that people want to tame them, dilute them, make them into generic encouragements to be loving and peaceful and fair. If that is all they are, then we may as well make Socrates our redeemer.
It is true that the tamed Gospels can be put to humanitarian purposes, and religious institutions have long done this, in defiance of what Jesus said in the Gospels.
Jesus was the victim of every institutional authority in his life and death. He said: "Do not be called Rabbi, since you have only one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, the one in heaven. And do not be called leaders, since you have only one leader, the Messiah" (Matthew 23:8-10).
If Democrats want to fight Republicans for the support of an institutional Jesus, they will have to give up the person who said those words. They will have to turn away from what Flannery O'Connor described as "the bleeding stinking mad shadow of Jesus" and "a wild ragged figure" who flits "from tree to tree in the back" of the mind.
He was never that thing that all politicians wish to be esteemed — respectable. At various times in the Gospels, Jesus is called a devil, the devil's agent, irreligious, unclean, a mocker of Jewish law, a drunkard, a glutton, a promoter of immorality.
The institutional Jesus of the Republicans has no similarity to the Gospel figure. Neither will any institutional Jesus of the Democrats.
2:35 pm edt 

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Surveys Fail to Describe Reality
The headline in the Norman Times was "Surveys Debunk Jackpot Justice".  
The article cited two surveys: one of various judges and the other taken by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of lawyers and business persons as follows:

"[W]hen we hear claims like state Rep. Fred Morgan's that lawsuits are "out of control" we tend to call foul.

Two surveys -- one from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and one of Oklahoma judges themselves -- tend to agree with us. The U.S. chamber ranked Oklahoma as one of 18 states having a "moderate" civil justice system.

It ranks the Sooner state's justice system as No. 33 among all states. That's hardly the kind of out of control system some lawmakers keep referring to.

The chamber survey of public corporation attorneys and those from insurance companies placed no Oklahoma city or county in the top 30 for least fair and reasonable litigation environments.

The second survey polled Oklahoma's 147 district and associate trial judges. More than 68 percent of them said frivolous lawsuits account for less than 5 percent of the cases assigned to them.

This reasoning, of course, suffers from several flaws in logic.  The writer's ultimate conclusion is that Oklahoma's litigation system is A-Okay and therefore not in need of reform.

To reach that conclusion, the writer cites the Chamber survey, which concludes that the state is one of 18 having a "moderate" civil justice system. The writer asks the reader to make the leap from this fact to the conclusion that no reform is needed.  When parsed this way, however, it's clear that the conclusion does not follow from the evidence.  Oklahoma may be moderate (especially in comparison to those states that have truly dreadful systems) but that does not mean that it cannot be improved.

Similarly, the writer cites a survey of Oklahoma judges that finds that those surveyed believe that "frivolous" cases account for only five percent of the cases they hear.  That's interesting, but not very meaningful as a tool for assessing the need for reform.

Would you feel comfortable if the brakes on your car failed "only" five percent of the time?  What if your favorite brand of over-the-counter pain relief contained "only" five percent of harmful contaminants? 

I have no particular beef with the fine State of Oklahoma.  In fact, as I write in Out of Balance, Oklahoma is one of only five states with an attorney fee-shifting offer of judgment rule.  Unfortunately, when I completed Out of Balance, data was not yet available from the state to determine precisely how effective that rule was at reducing non-meritorious cases from the system.

I take aim at articles like this because they carry the potential to mis-lead lay readers.  The case for reform has little to do with the popular perceptions of lawyers or judges.  The case for reform can be measured, empirically, and litigation reforms can stand or falll on their merits when measured on how well they work.
The U.S. litigation system produces nearly $300 billion per year in excess spending and dead-weight loss.  There are decades of research that describe why our system is so inefficient and how it can be reformed.  Why, then, must the popular press confuse the debate by resorting to meaningless surveys that add nothing to the popular understanding of the issue?
10:46 am edt 

Union Made
Today's Wall Street Journal compares the impact of unionized labor on GM, France and the City of New York. 
10:18 am edt 

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Cynthia's Sorry
Sort of.
Or at least she apologizes.  Kind of. 
In fact she stood on the floor of the House and said:
"There should not have been any physical contact in this incident.  . . I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all and I regret its escalation and I apologize."
So she's really only sorry that "this misunderstanding happened."
She did not say that she's sorry she violated protocols by evading the metal detectors without wearing her member's pin.  She is not sorry for refusing to stop when asked by the Capitol police officer and she is not sorry that she smacked that same officer.  She is not sorry for accusing that officer (and the entire Capitol police force, for that matter) of being a racist. 
This kind of non-apology has become far too common in the political world.  Bill Clinton was probably the master of the non-apology but the practice has become banal: Participate in some shameful incident and then apologize that "it happened" as if the use of the passive voice absolves the actor for his or her active role in whatever took place. 
Although she didn't say it, she probably is sorry that none of the other members of the Congressional Black Caucus would say a word in her defense.  McKinney's arrogance and blatant race-baiting set a new low. 
1:21 pm edt 

80 Million Websites
Web industry data firm Netcraft has released their April 2006 survey results, indicating there are now 80 million websites worldwide, with this number having doubled in the last three years. 
11:58 am edt 

Can Blogging Get You Fired?
A recent article by the Northwestern University School of Journalism discusses employer reactions to the phenomenon of workplace blogging. 
Although relatively few employers have blogging policies (the article claims fewer than 10% do) some employers have taken notice of their employees' blogs.
Employment lawyer and fellow blogger Charles Krugel warns employees that blogging is not the "Wild West" but is simply another form of communication that carries with it the same kinds of risks as more traditional forms. 
11:41 am edt 

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Katie We Hardly Knew Ye
Katie Couric will be leaving her A.M. gig on NBC to sit in the big anchor's chair at CBS.  The move will increase CBS' perky factor tenfold.
7:58 am edt 

Sarbanes-Oxley is Driving Foreign Firms Out of U.S. Equity Markets
Professor Larry Ribstein collects the mounting evidence that the high compliance costs imposed on firms by the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act are driving foreign firms out of U.S. equity markets. 
Congress gave little thought to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when it was adopted in 2002.  Politicians at the time were in full-reaction mode in response to mainstream media reports of "acounting scandals" in corporate America.  Without much thought to the unintended consequences of regulation, they adopted expensive, harsh and punitive measures that they claimed would give "assurances" to investors in U.S. markets that public issuers would have controls over financial reporting.
The ironic unintended consequence may be that investors in U.S. markets are so well protected that they will turn to investments in non-U.S. markets. 
7:47 am edt 

DaimlerChrysler Strikes Back at Lawyer in Evidence Tampering Case
A newsletter circulated by American Justice Partnership describes actions taken by DaimlerChrysler to intervene in Texas State Bar disciplinary proceedings against Texas attorney Andrew Toscano:
In 1998, San Antonio attorneys Andrew Toscano, Robert Kugle and Robert “Trey” Wilson, III of The Kugle Law Firm, prosecuted a product liability lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler and others seeking $2 billion in damages. The case involved a Dodge Neon that was involved in a rollover accident after the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. Four of his passengers died in the accident. Shortly before trial in 2000, DaimlerChrysler's attorneys learned that:
Toscano or someone acting with his approval had tampered with the steering system in the Dodge Neon to create the false appearance that it was defective.
Toscano and his colleagues repeatedly refused to abide by court orders to turn over photographs of the vehicle’s steering system taken before it had been intentionally damaged – photographs that they knew would expose the case as a fraud.
An investigator working for The Kugle Law Firm attempted to bribe and intimidate witnesses into “forgetting” that the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel and caused the accident.
When the fraud was revealed, Judge David Peeples dismissed the case and sanctioned Toscano, Kugle and Wilson for nearly $1 million. The sanction remains unpaid, although Toscano and Wilson continue to practice law.
Background on the underlying suit is available from Overlawyered.
According to AJP, Kugle fled the country and was disbarred, Wilson accepted discipline that did not involve suspension or disbarrment but Toscano has refused all discipline.  The impending proceedings involving Toscano prompted DaimlerChrysler's decision to intervene. 
7:33 am edt 

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Tom DeLay Expected to Resign
Enveloped by a prosecution over alleged money laundering of campaign contributions and facing the prospect of a difficult re-election campaign, Texas Republican Tom DeLay is expected to announce today that he will not run for re-election. 
7:26 am edt 

Monday, April 3, 2006

Blawg Review #51
Blawg Review #51 is now live on George Wallace's Declarations and Exclusions
7:36 am edt 

Cass on Regulation Through Litigation
Ronald Cass, writing over the weekend at RealClearPolitics
Important social policy on complex issues now is being made through class action suits. Interest groups want government to regulate what we eat and drink, how we advertise products, and decide these matters for our children. Those groups haven't been able to get their agenda adopted through the democratic process, so lawsuits are the final frontier - an opportunity to impose their vision on society through the back door.
Their vision is not of liberty and personal responsibility but of social regulation in service of what they see as a better, healthier life.
Even if that vision was sound, it isn't one that should be imposed on America through the courts. No party to this process - not the judges, the lawyers, or the interest groups - can decide what is right for us and for our children, nor can they know the consequences of substituting liability for those who produce our food and drink in place of personal and parental responsibility. We should all be clear that it takes a parent - not a lawsuit - to raise a child
7:32 am edt 

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Profiles in Victimhood
2:32 pm est 

April Fools' Day Blawg Prequel
A delightful romp by George Wallace. 
But who is the bigger fool?
2:30 pm est 

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Jonathan B. Wilson is an Atlanta attorney at the law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP.  Jonathan B. Wilson provides legal advice to investors, companies and business executives involving corporate law, securities law, SEC matters, intellectual property, website and Internet legal issues, start-ups, limited liability companies, partnerships, 1934 Act matters, outsourcing, strategic alliance agreements, contracts, and other matters of importance to growing private and publicly-traded companies.