NEWS & BLOG

Excellent piece in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times describing how arbitration is supplanting jury trials. Here’s an excerpt: “Tort reform is a game of bait-and-switch in which ordinary citizens have been snookered by carefully orchestrated and relentless propaganda into seeing a phantom boogeyman in the much-reviled “trial lawyer” who brings “frivolous lawsuits” to “runaway juries” that render “out of control…
Some smart professors at Baylor Law School were skeptical of all the anecdotal “evidence” used by the business and insurance lobbies to push for more restrictions on the rights of injured plaintiffs, so they decided to poll Texas trial judges about “frivolous lawsuits” and “runaway juries.” Here is their conclusion, based on over 300 responses from judges across the…
Jury service in the United States is unique among justice systems worldwide, so much so that American juries have been called the “bulwark of democracy.” In fact, our Founding Fathers believed trial by a jury of one’s peers to be of equal importance with representative government, and both concepts were integral in drafting the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson…
…they’d let civil lawsuits and juries take care of problems like KBR and Halliburton. A congressional committee is investigating what role defense contractor KBR played in the accidental electrocution of at least a dozen soldiers in Iraq during the past five years. The inquiry stems from whether KBR, which is contracted to maintain housing for troops, properly repaired electrical…
A California judge has ruled that Starbucks Corp. must pay baristas in that state more than $100 million for forcing them to share tips with shift supervisors. San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also found that state law prohibits managers and supervisors from profiting from employee gratuities and issued an injunction to stop the practice. Starbucks said it…
Good editorial in today’s Houston Chronicle from Alex Winslow of Texas Watch: Recent reports paint an ugly picture of irresponsible behavior by oil and chemical companies in Texas and across the country. In response to the BP Texas City tragedy, the federal agency responsible for policing workplace safety has started a review of the safety habits of U.S. refineries….
Jamie Jones, the young woman who alleges that she was drugged and raped by her Halliburton/KBR co-workers while she was in Iraq, has filed suit in federal court in Houston. Halliburton wants to force Jones’s claims into arbitration per her employment contract, which is outrageous given the inquities of arbitration against the plaintiff. Halliburton’s attorneys argued that the contract…
A group of 11 plaintiffs, including the family of ex Dallas Cowboys player Ron Springs, filed suit recently in U.S. District Court in Marshall to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s medical malpractice caps. The Houston Chronicle has a story here. The article suggests that the non-economic cap of $250,000 is per defendant, which is not the case. The…