Abraham Lincoln on Law

May 30, 2016

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War (five years ago), Memorial Day (which tracks back to Decoration Day, dedicated to honoring those who died in the Civil War) and the notion that Donald Trump might be our 45th President of the United States of America, brought to mind Abraham Lincoln. Before he went to work for the federal government in 1861, Mr. Lincoln was a very accomplished attorney. Notes for a Law Lecture, dated July 1, 1850, may or may not have been used in a lecture, but they have survived for more than 165 years.

Age aside, the Notes are worthy of attention for attorneys and non-attorneys, for Mr. Lincoln focuses on four major, timeless themes: 

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Stupid Lawsuits

April 20, 2015

Stupid lawsuits are sometimes just causes with which some people disagree. So, for example, there was Stella Liebeck v. McDonalds, the hot coffee/third degree burn case from 1992. The mainstream media thought a $2.9 million damage/punitive damage award for spilled coffee was absurd, while others—notably, plaintiffs’ personal injury associations—provided another perspective.

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell seemed like marginal cases when they were filed. Both ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court; the first almost destroyed the Affordable Care Act, and the second may do so still. So, with a healthy respect for how cases can turn out, I’m aware of three stupid lawsuits in the federal courts right now, wasting taxpayer

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