January 2007

Donaldkagan_1 Elenakagan_1

In his Introduction to Ancient Greek History course, former Yale College Dean Donald Kagan dramatizes the role of citizen-soldier hoplites by having students form a phalanx.  He relates that such phalanxes often drifted to the right as they marched towards the enemy, sometimes passing the opposing phalanx as it, too, trended to starboard.

Why?  The


The Second Circuit just held that a district court abused its discretion by awarding inadequate fees to class counsel.  The entire "Settlement Fund" totaled $21.9 million, but class members made only $9.4 million in claims.  The district court ordered distribution of the $12.5 million balance under the cy pres doctrine to several charitable institutions and


Robert Barnes reports in The Washington Post today that not everyone agrees with Chief Justice Roberts’s analysis of judicial pay:

"What should we say about a Chief Justice who suggests that it is a ‘constitutional crisis’ if Congress takes advantage of its constitutional prerogatives to refuse to raise the salaries of federal judges?" University of


In the January 2007 issue of TRIAL magazine, Associate Editor Allison Torres Burtka reports on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Kinkel v. Cingular Wireless, 2006 WL 2828664 (Ill. Oct. 5, 2006).  Allow me to quote her quoting me:

"The Kinkel court’s analysis is pretty close to the First Circuit’s in Kristian v. Comcast


Blawgletter loves sports analogies.  Politics, like law, seems to produce plenty of them. 

Take the one that Iowa Governor (and presidential hopeful) Tom Vilsack used in early December 2006.  "Currently the president has a strategy to run out the clock and shift responsibility to make the tough decisions to the next administration, which is an


The Scarlet Pimpernel posed as Frenchy fop Sir Percy Blakeney to avoid detection by the Committee of Public Safety.  Did Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling fool Malcom Gladwell as well as investors?

In 1992, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld co-founded the Innocence Project, a non-profit legal clinic that aims to "exonerate the wrongfully convicted through postconviction DNA


As all the world knows, the Supreme Court of these United States has so far this term reached out its business-friendly arm to grasp the nettle of four antitrust cases — an extraordinary number.  The cases themselves present portentous issues for the future of antitrust litigation.  As all the world knows.

For the hardy souls

Mass Torts Shmorts — Eat My Shorts.


Bart Simpson receiving the spark of life.  The image parodies Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Florence, Italy.

I don’t know from Yiddish.  I do realize that I just used a Yiddish idiom.  And Yiddish supplied the "shm" prefix to


Imagine, if you will, that you belong to a crackpot religion.  Your faith centers on a Chicago housewife’s prophecy of a Genesis-style flood.  The inundation will destroy the Earth at the stroke of midnight on a date certain.

Your excitement rises as the date approaches.  The faithful prepare for the end — mainly by making