Feds to Sue Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for Targeting Latinos

Reuters:  “The Obama administration on Tuesday said it was preparing to sue Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department for violating civil rights laws by improperly targeting Latinos in a bid to crack down on illegal immigrants.”

Could there be a link to the Obama administration’s investigation of Sheriff Joe and Sheriff Joe’s investigation into the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate and the expansion of his investigation?  Read “Sheriff Joe Expands Obama Probe to Hillary Supporters.”

Frivolous Class Action Suits May Be Coming To An End

Estate of Denial: Here’s a tip for you: Listening to really, really loud sounds over long periods of time can damage your hearing.

Perhaps you already knew that. But a few years back, a group of clever trial lawyers decided they could make some serious money by arguing in court that you are too stupid to know it yourself.

They filed 26 consumer fraud lawsuits in multiple states against Motorola and other manufacturers of Bluetooth headsets. They alleged that consumers were not warned sufficiently about the dangers, and that they “would not have purchased their Bluetooth headsets but for defendants’ false advertising.”

That led to a single class-action case in federal court, in which the plaintiffs sought refunds, restitution and punitive damages. And attorneys’ fees, of course.

The case was pretty light on the merits — in fact, Apple recently got a similar nuisance case thrown out of court over its iPod product line. But millions of people had purchased Bluetooth headsets, and so the potential for liability was high.

And these kinds of nuisance cases often cost a lot of money to defend. Most deep-pocketed defendants would rather spend a million dollars making a case like this one go away than spend millions more in litigation.

For the lawyers, this case was simple: File a lawsuit, then get a settlement agreement — which they did. Under its terms, a hearing loss charity was to get $100,000. The lawyers were to get $800,000. And those who cranked up the volume full blast until they lost their hearing? They would basically get nothing.

Mattel Hit With $225 Million in Punitive Damages For Copyright Case

ABA Journal:  A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., today nearly trebled the $88 million that Mattel Inc. was earlier ordered to pay a competitor in a hard-fought case over the rights to the popular Bratz doll line.

Mattel must pay MGA Entertainment Inc. $85 million in punitive damages and $2.5 million in attorney’s fees and costs in addition to the earlier $88 million verdict in the trade-secrets case the Bratz maker filed against the renowned toymaker, ruled U.S. District Judge David Carter. Plus, Mattel owes MGA another $137 million in attorney’s fees and costs for forcing it to defend an unreasonable copyright case, Bloomberg reports.

Twittersquatter Suit Dropped

ABA Journal:   A company that sued a so-called Twittersquatter for using its name to post sarcastic tweets has dropped its legal effort.

Coventry First dropped the suit late Tuesday, according to Public Citizen’s Consumer Law & Policy Blog. Public Citizen had defended the anonymous person who used the @coventryfirst handle. (The author later changed the handle to @coventryfirstin and added disclaimers.)

Coventry First buys life insurance policies and resells them to investors who cover the premiums until the insured dies. The Twitter author had applauded early deaths (which lead to greater investor profits) in veiled criticism of the industry. Coventry First’s suit against the writer had alleged trademark infringement and violations of cybersquatting laws.

Highest Court of Maryland Holds That Second Amendment Does Not Protect Carrying (Concealed or Not) of Guns Outside the Home

The Volokh Conspiracy:  “Here’s the opinion, handed down today, in Williams v. State. The court interprets Heller and McDonald as focused on home possession of guns, arguing that ‘it is clear that prohibition of firearms in the home was the gravamen of the certiorari questions in both Heller and McDonald and their answers. If the Supreme Court, in this dicta, meant its holding to extend beyond home possession, it will need to say so more plainly.’  I don’t think this analysis is right.”

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