Thursday, April 22, 2010

The implications are chilling!

Darn, I wanted to access a story about two decisions by the U. S. Supreme Court affecting lawyers; but the story at the National Law Journal is only available to subscribers, and an online subscription costs $80... I've got the free limited access version. Here's something I was able to access under that free subscription: "6th Circuit says no to sanctioning law firms over meritless suit," by Tresa Baldas on 4-21-10.  

Can't see the story? Here's a link where you can subscribe. This is really interesting; apparently a few law firms had been ordered to pay attorney fees to Lexmark - the winning party in the patent case filed by one of the firms. I don't think the lawsuit was frivolous, so the firm should not have been sanctioned in the first place; but this is no way to correct that! What I believe this means is that law firms (as opposed to individual lawyers) will be allowed to get away with filing frivolous lawsuits! From the story:
The 6th Circuit concluded it was "too much of a stretch" to say that a law firm could be characterized as a person in this circumstance. "Even if firms can admittedly be personified in a literary sense through briefs, there is no reason to consider a law firm a 'person' under the statute," the court held.  
In the past I've sent stories to Rod and Carl about class action lawsuits which I read about at the Law Journal, and they've noted this on conference calls. I'll be sending this one their way. The definition of "person" is what got my certiorari petition denied - no, sent back - by the clerk of the U.S. Supreme Court in January of 2006.   

Nothing the U.S. Supreme Court does surprises me anymore: it recently denied a death row inmate's case in which the prosecutor had been having an affair with the judge! 

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