Hello baseball fans and contract law fans! (That would be an interesting Venn diagram.) Anyway, this morning Major League Baseball sued Biogenesis (among others) for allegedly tortiously interfering with the “Joint Drug Agreement” between MLB and the MLB Players Association. The basic theory is (1) that MLB and the MLBPA have a contract pursuant to which the players agree not to use drugs and (2) that Biogenesis interfered with that contract by giving drugs to certain players.
Craig Calcaterra is one of my favorite baseball writers–and he also happens to be a former lawyer. He’s got a post up at NBC’s Hardball Talk in which he helpfully provides a copy of MLB’s Complaint; he concludes that the “lawsuit is crazy on its face” and “should be thrown out of court.” Indeed, Calcaterra is “shocked Major League Baseball found someone who would file it.”
Well, I’m not so sure… Continue reading
I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing cases and commenting on legal issues here on this blog. However, my most popular post ever may well be this post about a lawyer fashion shoot over at the WSJ.
In keeping with that theme, I was happy to find a chapter on lawyer fashion while reading through The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law by Mark Herrmann.
And because I know you love lawyer fashion, and because my goal is to give readers what they want, I’ve taken the liberty of posting, in its entirety, Chapter 8 of Herrmann’s book entitled “Dress for Success.” Full chapter after the jump: Continue reading
There are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content. That, I think, about covers the ground.
– Fred Rodell, Goodbye to Law Reviews, 23 Va. L. Rev. 38 (1936).
Law reviews have been taking a beating recently. Or, more specifically, the enterprise of law professors writing long and heavily footnoted scholarship that is then selected and edited by students has been taking a beating. I’ve been meaning to write a post in defense of the law reviews (and the enterprise) for some time. But this is not that post.
No, this post is a shout-out to the essay that provides this post’s title: Fred Rodell, Goodbye to Law Reviews, 23 Va. L. Rev. 38 (1936). I found Rodell’s essay as I was poking through my copy of American Legal Realism (William W. Fisher III et al. eds., 1993), while pulling together my Spring Quarter syllabus. Since the essay is hilarious, and since nearly 80 years later people are still saying “goodbye” to the law reviews, I figured you might enjoy reading some highlights. Continue reading
As you’ve probably already heard, the Supreme Court has granted cert. in a Defense of Marriage Act case and the California Prop 8 case. What you might not know is that the DOMA case headed to the Court is United States v. Windsor, the case I’ve written about previously here and here, and which hails from my old stomping grounds—the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the Southern District of New York. So if you’d like some background on United States v. Windsor and its path to the Supreme Court, check out my old posts.
On Monday the Supreme Court issued Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Howard, a bit of a smack down to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The short version: Two parties had a contract dispute, the contract had a mandatory arbitration clause, one party said the entire contract was unenforceable, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court held–despite Supreme Court precedent to the contrary–that the Oklahoma courts had the power to determine the enforceability of the contract regardless of the arbitration clause.
As Brian Rogers explained: “The Supreme Court was not impressed.”
McKayla Maroney after hearing the Oklahoma Supreme Court disregarded the FAA
Why? Well, because according to the Court ”[t]he Oklahoma Supreme Court’s decision disregards this Court’s precedents on the FAA.” Continue reading
Two weeks ago, my legal analysis, research, and writing class learned about different kinds of judicial opinions: majority opinions, dissenting opinions, concurring opinions, plurality opinions, per curiam opinions, &c. When reading the decision(s) of a multi-judge court, the importance of these various sorts of opinions is not always readily understandable. Why would a judge concur? What’s the point of a dissent?
Well, Judge Kozinski just gave me something new to add to next year’s class. But before we get to that, here’s the opinion lineup from last week’s Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder from the en banc Ninth Circuit:
Yikes. Six separate opinions. A “partial concurrence and partial dissent.” The Court describes Judge Kozinski’s opinion as a concurrence, but that’s not what he calls it:
Ah yes, the traditional “disagreeing with everyone” and yet still “concurring” opinion. It’s colorful language, but also a good example of how a concurrence doesn’t necessarily mean that the judge agrees with everything (or anything) the majority had to say in reaching the agreed-upon result.
It’s now already old news** on the interwebs, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (in a 2-1 decision) struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. (Actually, in fairness, I should say that the Second Circuit upheld the District Court’s (Judge Jones) decision striking down DOMA, as previously covered here.)
This is an important decision for a number of reasons. First, this case involved an actual plaintiff, in an actual marriage, who had suffered actual financial harm because of DOMA following the death of her wife. Under state law, the plaintiff was married. But DOMA rejected federal recognition of that marriage, and so the plaintiff was required to pay more than $300,000 in federal estate taxes she would not have paid had she been married to a man. So this is obviously a win for her. Congratulations to her and her lawyers.
Second, the Court of Appeals applied a heightened level of scrutiny in striking down DOMA. Continue reading