November 23rd, 2013


Для совсем умных юриздов

The 6 Biggest Civil Damage Claims Ever Made

In civil cases, a guy can certainly dream. And dream big. We’re not talking one hundred million dollar big, which is run of the mill, paltry even. Or $600 billion big, as in the amount thrown around in the Lehman bankruptcy. We’re talking trillions, decillions even. In our search for the biggest civil damage claims ever made in the U.S., we came up with an impressive short list. Not to say that any of the plaintiffs collected more than a dismissal, but some folks think big. If they think at all.

1$1.74 Trillion. Not a bad claim for a simple guy from Omaha. Seems that the plaintiff inAndrews v. Schatz was a bit ticked off about having a protective order vacated by a judge. So he sued the judge. To the tune of $1.74 trillion. The court did a nice job explaining judicial immunity and dismissing the suit. Unfortunately, there’s no discussion about how the plaintiff calculated his damages. Why the claim of $1.74 trillion and not something a bit more reasonable, say $1.2 trillion?

2$375 Trillion. In Heart Disease Research Foundation vs. GMC, plaintiffs claimed compensatory damages of 125 trillion dollars and, in one count, trebled that amount to 375 trillion. In 1972. Adjusted for today’s dollars, that’s a whopping $1.9 quadrillion. The claim? A class action on behalf of all 125 million Americans who were subject to pollution produced by cars.

3$400 Trillion. The plaintiff in Windsor v. Pan Am Airways claimed 400 trillion dollars in damages in a lawsuit that claimed Pan Am had committed “grand theft … with the intent to commit nuclear sabotage.” As the court explained:

Appellant alleges that Pan American Airways conspired with the family of President Kennedy and with President Carter to cause the crash of Flight 759. Appellant further alleged that President Carter had ‘illegally accumulated over 40 trillion dollars in assets — based on ideas [President Carter] had stolen from the plaintiff’s patents and copyrights on file in Washington, D.C.’ According to plaintiff, President Carter was joined in this grand theft scheme by Presidents Kennedy, Ford and Reagan. Inexplicably, Presidents Johnson and Nixon were implicitly exonerated from this presidential miscreancy.

Dismissed, but not without the court stating it was “a patently frivolous appeal.” Duh.

4$999 Quadrillion. Ahh, Mr. Ernest Dixon, who listed his address in court filings as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. On one day in 2009, Mr. Dixon filed 99 pro se complaints. Four of the complaints sought $999 quadrillion in compensatory damages and an equal amount of punitive damages. All told, the four big claims added up to total amount of $3,996,000,000,000,000, or just about $4 quintillion. That’s enough to give every person on Earth a lump sum payment of more than $570,000. And that’s not including punitives.

5$999 Sextillion. In Johnson v. State of Hawaii, one aggrieved Johnson sued Hawaii, “Sheriff Leo,” and a few others in a Section 1983 claim, though one claim was for “Failure to Respond in Fraud-Waste-Abuse in Writ of Mandamus in re Matter of Police Brutality Violation of Checks and Balance of Legislative-Judicial Matters.” Johnson’s complaint actually sought 999 sextillion trillion dollars, which may be the most ever demanded in a complaint. But we’re giving Johnson the benefit of the doubt, thinking he was just a bit excited after writing sextillion that he, well, got carried away and added on another trillion for good measure.

6$239 Decillion.Though at heart it was a simple lost profits claim for $2.32 billion, plaintiff’s additional claim for lost “secondary profits” made the claim balloon. A buttload. If accurately compounded at the alleged weekly interest rate of 29 percent for 80 weeks, we’re talking 239 decillion bucks. As the court pointed out:

If one decillion (much less 239) dollars was divided among the Earth’s population, each person could receive a lump sum of 166 septillion dollars, or, without taking into account any annuity earnings, could receive 16 quintillion, 600 quadrillion dollars a year for one million years. In other words, these amounts of money are beyond meaningless. Plaintiff was correct that his alleged lost secondary profits were astronomical.

In fairness, plaintiff voluntarily limited his claim of secondary lost profits to $6.84 billion, generously agreeing not to compound the weekly interest and cutting it off four weeks early. Downright charitable.


Решение для идиотов

Очень правиильно не тему ситуации с экологами написал Белковский:

А три дня назад мне позвонила одна очень красивая (по голосу) иностранная журналистка и с милым необязывающим акцентом спросила: как вы считаете, гринписовцев и приравненных к ним физических лиц Россия освобождает под международным давлением?

О Господи.

Под каким еще давлением?

Разве не очевидно, что Путин принял необходимое и достаточное решение по нижайшей просьбе нового короля Нидерландов Виллема-Александра и его королевы Максимы? Монаршая чета с плохо скрываемым восторгом явилась к В.В. прямо в его титульный Кремль и со всей королевской учтивостью попросила о снисхождении — особенно потому, что корабль Arсtic Sunrise приписан к Нидерландам. И Владимир Владимирович оценил вежливость королей.

И еще: перед зимней Олимпиадой в Сочи, которая открывается 7 февраля 2014 года в условиях почти полувоенного положения, нет смысла как-то особо напрягать деликатные международные ситуации. Пусть агрессивные экологи для начала выйдут под залог, а там — как карта ляжет… Можно отпустить их и полностью, если всякие недоумки не станут утверждать, что Запад свил из ВВП судовые веревки.

Ну так вот: когда из Путина начинают вить веревки, то ясно, что будет плохо.

Чисто британское милосердие

Theresa May has failed to reply to a letter from over 40 MPs and peers calling on her to show mercy to an asylum seeker who is expected to die soon unless he is released from detention.

Isa Muazu has not eaten anything in nearly 90 days, but the Home Office has declared him 'fit to fly' and is pushing for him to be deported on a scheduled flight.

Вот интересно, если этот человек все-таки, не дай Бог, умрет, то будут ли требовать принятие закона его имени и внесения Терезы Мэй в "черный список" для выезда "за бугор"? Или Британии все с рук сойдет?


Типология ужасных юристов


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The Bar has traditionally performed a vital social function by siphoning off the most obnoxious Oxbridge grads and corralling them safely in a few square miles in the Temple. There, they are able to bask in the sound of their own voices and revel in cloistered self-importance. Unless you took a wrong turning off Fleet Street on a dark night, they were, before the advent of social media, pretty easy to avoid.

Barristers have, of course, taken to Twitter with remarkable enthusiasm, realising intuitively that it offers the opportunity to share every fleeting thought with a world desperate to listen. No longer confined to droning on in conference long after the biscuits have run out or boring the judge, the Twitter-Mad Barrister can now bombard his mailing list with case updates, Instagram his breakfast, live-tweet his train journey and update his blog all before he even gets to court.

Encouraged, perhaps, by media stars like professional controversialist Barbara Hewson and the inescapable Daniel Barnett, our learned friends now account for almost as much social media traffic as cat memes. Perhaps it's not surprising in today's tough legal market: the combination of a dwindling workload and high-speed chambers internet connection makes it very tempting to while away the hours online. Alas, with legal aid cuts and lorry drivers muscling-in on the work, Twitter-Mad Barristers — and their close relations, Twitter-Mad Barristers (non-practising) — seem set to continue to multiply as long as social media stays free.


In these difficult times for those beginning careers in the law, an awareness has dawned among trainee solicitors that any show of weakness could see them consigned to the paralegal scrapheap. Hence the current popularity of inch-thick cotton shirts, obsessively-shined shoes and suits that cost more than a small family car.

The Toxic Trainee strides through the office in a haze of palpable ambition and slightly too much aftershave.  His sartorial extravagance is matched only by his relentless self-confidence. Not for him the mundanity of gradually learning on the job; from the first day of his training contract, his will be the loudest voice on any conference call and the chummiest banter with clients. He'll happily proclaim himself an expert on virtually anything, having last felt a quiver of self-doubt in 1997, and within days will have established himself as the firm's most followed tweeter.

Irritatingly, this pushiness seems to endear him to many partners, who are lulled into a false sense of security by his amiability. If they realised quite how fervently he wants their job, they'd hire someone to taste all their food. On the other hand, there's a small wax model of the Toxic Trainee in every fee-earner's desk drawer, festooned with drawing pins in a vain attempt at vengeance for swiping all the best work.



Every department has one: an equity partner who's been with the firm since the 1890s, and, on the back of a reputation for epic client schmoozing, manages to command annual drawings of a level that continually threaten to plunge his firm into Halliwells-style oblivion.

Like any exotic creature, the Absent Friend is rarely sighted. Once in a blue moon they descend on the office, throwing their PA into a state of panic by asking her to process a stack of expense claims that looks like the galley proof for A La Recherche du Temps Perdu.

A stranger to such arcane practices as sending emails, filing papers and time-recording, the Absent Friend is nevertheless an asset to any quiz team and an incomparable source of gossip — if you can catch them for long enough. Their smooth self-assurance cracks only occasionally — when someone asks a question about the law. If you can establish yourself as their go-to person for any tricky technical questions (like 'What's the Companies Act?'), you'll have made yourself indispensable.



The Radical Human Rights Lawyer is in denial. Having built his career when government funding for the law was plentiful (and reaped the associated financial benefits), he has managed to preserve a vision of himself as a left-wing student rather than a paid-up member of the 1%.

He'll moan about the "scruffy" area he lives in to the couch-surfing paralegals who work for him gratis, before returning to his £1 million of prime Victoriana on his £2,000 carbon fibre bike. Although his children have 19th century servant's names (Jack, Rosie and Esme are classic examples), he'd be horrified if they didn't get into their first choice school and had to mix with some actual working class people.

At work, the Radical Human Rights Lawyer is a mercurial blend of matey and demanding, as he tries vainly to reconcile his sense of identity with the fact he's earning 20 times your salary. The best approach is to flatter his delusions of Bohemia (try recommending a mezcal bar or low-budget arthouse film) while ignoring the fact that he speaks to you in the same voice he uses to his cleaner and his kids.



The 21st century legal profession is forward-looking and commercially orientated, welcoming diversity and...oh, who am I kidding? It's full of chauvinists old and new, whose progression from public school to partnership via a spell at one of the fustier Oxbridge colleges has left them incapable of relating to women as human beings, while still being leeringly obsessed with their underwear.

The result: a succession of sartorial dictats which highlight the thin line that female lawyers have to tread to pander to these inadequates without threatening them. Look feminine (flat shoes definitely not allowed), but not too sexy. Look groomed, but not like you care too much about your appearance and, ladies, don't forget to smile! All the while the (Self-Appointed) Style Expert continues dreaming of the day Matron caught him in the shower.

Of course, with women now making up around 60% of newly-admitted solicitors, he can't ignore them altogether and he'll even (grudgingly) dole out some work to them when it suits him. But don't expect to have any client contact unless he wants to dangle an ornament in front of them over dinner, nor that he'll ever hold a serious conversation with you — in fact, best to abandon the idea of conversation altogether, unless you're prepared for him to fail entirely to keep his eyes on your face.


И снова не посадят

Создается устойчивое впечатление, что желание посадить Васильеву у народа во много раз сильнее, чем желание выпустить всех политзаключенных...