Patterico's Pontifications

4/27/2011

How is This NOT a Violation of Rule 11? (Video Added)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:56 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update (II): Do be sure to check out Ted Frank’s other blog relating to the Center For Class Action Fairness, which does good work trying to fight abusive class actions. And if you are a member of the affected class, you can volunteer to help Ted fight these things.

Update: Exclusive to Patterico (in the sense that I ripped it off from Ign), we have video of the crime occurring:

Well, it was inevitable, wasn’t it?  I present to you the Playstation Network Security breach class action suit.  Joystiq, a blog I read from regularly, reports:

As expected, the first federal class action lawsuit addressing the recent PSN security breach has been drawn up and submitted to the Northern District Court of California. The complaint, which was filed by the Rothken Law Firm representing 36-year-old Alabama resident Kristopher Johns (as well as every other affected PSN user), accuses Sony of “failure to maintain adequate computer data security of consumer personal data and financial data,” and of failing to take “reasonable care to protect, encrypt, and secure the private and sensitive data of its users.”

Now I have already registered my disdain for class actions generally here, so I won’t bother to repeat myself.  The class representative will get some money.  The lawyers will get rich.  Our prices will go up and we get very little to show for it.

But that first paragraph raised my lawyer antenna.  Consider some of the allegations in the complaint (which I will embed below the fold):

  • “By reason of said special and fiduciary relationship, defendant had a duty of care to use reasonable means to keep the credit card account and other nonpublic information of the Plaintiff and the Class that is in their possession private and secure, and to inform Plaintiff and the Class members forthwith when any compromise of the security of such information occurred. Defendant has unlawfully breached these duties.
  • “defendants had a duty to use reasonable care to prevent the unauthorized access, use or dissemination of the credit card account and other nonpublic information of the Plaintiff and the Class herein. On information and belief, defendants unlawfully breached said duty.”
  • “Pursuant to California Civil Code § 1798.81.5, defendant had a duty to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices to with respect to the credit card account and other nonpublic information of consumers, including, without limitation, the Plaintiff and the Class herein, in order to protect such information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. On information and belief, defendants unlawfully breached said duty.”

Now, if you read through the complaint, they don’t allege one iota of special knowledge.  This is not an employee of Sony or anything like that.  It’s just one random guy in America, as is typical in these class actions.

So how does he know Sony has done any of those things?  Over and over again, in the complaint claims that Sony failed to take reasonable security measures, but how do they know they didn’t?  Maybe they did, and the hacker beat them anyway. I have been following the story close enough to know that Sony has told us very little about it. So, they don’t know what Sony did to protect the data, and we don’t know what the hacker did to defeat that protection.  Indeed, we don’t even know if anyone’s credit card data has been stolen.

And that is a serious problem because of a little thing called Rule 11.  It’s a rule of Federal procedure that says, in relevant part:
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The Damage Done by Obama’s Obstinance (Update: Isikoff and Corsi Respond and the Layering Argument)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:49 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Yeah, I’m going to start a new thread on the subject of the Obama birth certificate.  Here’s another copy of the picture:

First, I think this is the quote of the day.  We have been wondering why Obama has waited so long to release it, wondered what on Earth he was hiding…  And Instapundit might have the answer:

[R]eader Dave Converse emails: “Now that Obama has released his birth certificate, it’s clear why he waited: there was no immaculate conception!” That’s sure to disappoint some of his fans.

Second, to sum up the messy, show-your-work thread earlier today, it looks like he has released his long form birth certificate.  Now let me repeat the familiar disclaimer.  Neither I nor Patrick are birthers. But for me, it was very easy to believe that the current White House was incompetent enough to call something that was not the long form birth certificate a “long form birth certificate.”  But it sure as heck looks like another document that was identified by World Net Daily as a long form birth certificate.  Now, there were some descriptions of the document by a Ms. Fukino that didn’t quite match up what she said, but increasingly I have come to feel that maybe Patrick and I were just being two anal retentive lawyers expecting her to be more precise than many people are accustomed to being.  That being said, I do urge Michael Isikoff (or someone else) to follow up with Ms. Fukino and verify that this is what she saw, just in following the Reagan mantra of “trust but verify.”  But on the other hand, I am not holding my breath waiting for verification to happen and for now I am satisfied that it is what it purports to be.

[Update: Although I am not given permission to quote him, Carl emailed Isikoff and he seemed to indicate that he would not be following up on this story.]

On the other hand, The Smoking Gun helpfully lists some different theories that Birthers might cling bitterly to.  OMG Obama might be a twin?! (Joking of course.)

And Patrick is right to note that it is somewhat of an embarrassment how easy it was to get the certificate.  That makes everyone who claims it was impossible to release it look like idiots.  And there has been other fallout as well.  For instance, Ed Morrissey writes:

You know who the biggest loser in this might be?  CNN.  They’re in the middle of their in-depth investigation of the birther movement, and now their unaired episodes are moot.

My initial sarcastic response was that more likely Jerome Corsi would be the big loser, or perhaps all the people pre-ordered bought his book (which, funny, is ten dollars off today).

(Please use the Amazon search box on the side to pick up this book, if you are inclined to do so.  Patrick gets a nice payback if you do, without increasing the price of the book.)

It will be particularly interesting to see how Corsi responds, given that the WND post above is also by Corsi, meaning I have used his images to demonstrate that this form is most likely the long form.  [Update: Corsi responds, here.]

I am reminded years ago of reading a book on the life of Thomas Jefferson (I forgot which one) where at the end there was an essay studying where Jefferson and Sally Hemmings were at the time when each of her children were likely conceived in order to prove beyond a doubt that it was physically impossible for Jefferson to be the father of any of her children…  followed by an addendum admitting that subsequent genetic testing proved him completely wrong.  Of course no blogger who has had more than six updates on one post can mock a person too much for getting caught flat-footed by changing events, but you tend to think that when a person writes a book, as opposed to spilling a bunch of digital ink, that things are supposed to be more final, more settled and thus less susceptible to sudden obsolescence.

So I was going to write a lighthearted post about how screwed Corsi is.  And then a commenter mentioned this post,* about a person who really lost the most, and it stopped being at all funny.  Shit got real, if you pardon my French.  So, let me introduce you to a man.  This guy:

This is Lt. Col. Terry Lakin.  This is what Jack Minor writes about him:

Terrence Lakin, a graduate of University High School, is a decorated Army flight surgeon who has served in Afghanistan and Bosnia. For over a year Lakin, using the chain of command and following procedures asked superiors for assistance resolving concerns he had regarding whether Obama was constitutionally eligible to be Commander-In-Chief.

After being rebuffed and having his superiors refuse to address his concerns Lakin announced he felt he had no other choice but to disobey orders until the issue was resolved. During his subsequent court martial the jurors stated during initial questioning it was important for a soldier to be able to ask questions and have their concerns addressed.

Lakin was subsequently convicted of missing a movement and disobeying orders. During sentencing Lakin stated he was wrong for disobeying orders and going forward he would obey all orders. Despite the claims of some, Lakin has never stated he was wrong for having concerns regarding the eligibility issue or for having sought resolution through the chain of command.

Now you can say this guy was wrong to disobey orders (hard to argue with that, given that now he agrees).  And you can say that he expected more proof than a reasonable person should.  And you might even think that no evidence would be good enough for a Birther.  And given what we have seen with other conspiracy theorists, that might true…

But that doesn’t change the fact that if the President had released that certificate years ago, Lakin might not have gone to prison.  For all you know, Mr. President, he might have been convinced.  And yet you chose to withhold that information.

And it gets worse for Lakin:

While Lakin will be released next month his request for clemency has been denied. The denial means the findings of the court martial were confirmed. This includes discharge from the Army and loss of pay and pension. He now has two stages of appeals before the discharge becomes formal. The process could take a year or more.

So, seriously, why did you withhold this information, Mr. President?

Patrick speculated that it was arrogance.  Althouse supposed it was politics:

I’d say, the reason Obama did not release the long-form birth certificate before is that he thought it was to his advantage to allow other people to look bad or crazy in one way or another by going on in the birtherist mode. But there was a tipping point, as Trump got traction and polls showed huge numbers of American’s entertaining doubts. So, it was all political strategy. You could criticize Obama for wasting our time by not just releasing the damned thing earlier. But he could have thought it was demeaning to have to do this, so I’m inclined to give him a pass.

And if the fallout was purely political, and few reporters and writers getting egg on their faces, I might give him a pass, too.  But instead it might very well have cost Lt, Col. Lakin his freedom.

And no, I am not giving him a pass on that.

So, bluntly, Mr. President, you should grant him a pardon, cleaning out his record as honorably discharged and giving him his pension, perhaps on the condition that he publicly admits you are eligible to be President.  It’s the least you can do.

Update: A lot of people are asking about the layers supposedly present in the pdf.  I didn’t mention it because honestly I didn’t even understand it.  And I still don’t.  I don’t play around with photoshop and the like.  But here is the National Review’s take on the issue.

However, I will take them to task on the claim that it is unlikely that anyone would make such a rookie mistake when forging a document.  Let’s not forget that the person who forged the Rathergate documents apparently didn’t even bother to use a typewriter, thinking we wouldn’t know the difference if it was a computer.  Also I remember a few years ago when the military released a classified document in word format, using the highlight feature to redact information.  The only problem is that any person could just highlight the blacked out areas, press Control-C and paste the forbidden words in another document.  So, yes, people are exactly that stupid.  That is indeed why I don’t believe in most conspiracy theories–because they require a level of omnicompetence unlikely to occur in reality, especially if the government is involved.

But their point about adobe doing it on its own seems reasonable enough.

——————-

* Yes, I know that post goes a little over the top with werewolf silliness, but its central point–that it was irresponsible of Obama not to release it sooner and Lakin potentially paid the price for that decision–is valid.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Birthmageddon: the Long Form Birth Certificate Released? (Update: Picture Added!); UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Is This Really the “Long Form”?? (Further Update: Yeah, Probably)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:27 am

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: So the “long form” — which supposedly cannot possibly be obtained by the President, because Hawaii supposedly never ever ever ever releases it (at least according to those who have confidently told me this) — has been released. [UPDATE: But see my UPDATE x2. I don't think it actually has been. At least, I'm not sure.]

And it is certified, which Hawaii supposedly cannot possibly ever ever ever do (according to the same people).

Looks like those of us who said the President had the ability to do this were right.

Now the question becomes: why didn’t the President do this long ago? In our most recent thread, we debated this. After all, he was being sued and spending campaign money to defend those lawsuits. Why not get the original evidence? Hawaii law allowed it. Was he hiding something? Or just arrogant?

I see nothing startling on the certificate, so I am going with the “arrogance” explanation.

Meanwhile, all those skeptics who said this absolutely could not possibly ever ever happen are invited to eat crow, openly, in the comments below.

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: And you know what? Maybe they were right. Because I’m not sure this is the long form. This looks to be simply the original Certificate of Live Birth.

We were told the “long form” was called a “Record of Live Birth.” A document that was half handwritten:

The first is that the original so-called “long form” birth certificate — described by Hawaiian officials as a “record of live birth” — absolutely exists, located in a bound volume in a file cabinet on the first floor of the state Department of Health. Fukimo said she has personally inspected it — twice. . . . .

Before she would do so, Fukino said, she wanted to inspect the files — and did so, taking with her the state official in charge of vital records. She found the original birth record, properly numbered, half typed and half handwritten, and signed by the doctor who delivered Obama, located in the files.

This document has signatures, but it is not “half handwritten.” And it is not called a “record of live birth.”

So until Ms. Fukino tells us that the document just released is what she saw, which she has been calling the “record of live birth” that is half handwritten, I don’t think this is it.

UPDATE x3 BY PATTERICO: Just to be extra clear: I am not a Birther nor a conspiracy theorist. I have long said that the evidence is overwhelming that Obama was born in Hawaii. If Ms. Fukino tells us that this is the document she saw, and says that the “half handwritten” description refers to the signatures, I will be satisfied. I would like someone to ask her where the “record of live birth” terminology came from — but I will be satisfied.

Someone should ask her.

UPDATE x4 BY PATTERICO: Below, Aaron has an image of a long form obtained by another Hawaiian citizen. It is called a “Certificate of Live Birth,” just like this. That tends to show this is the long form. Let’s get CNN to ask Fukino and put this to bed.

[You know, because the media is so good at asking basic follow up questions.  --Aaron]

Aaron’s original post follows below the fold. He is updating as the story develops.

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Morality, Race & Pigford

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 4:28 am

[Guest post by Lee Stranahan]

I spend a good deal of time discussing the specifics of the Pigford case but I’d like to step back for a moment and discuss the moral and spiritual aspects of the case.

When I first met Andrew Breitbart, one of the things that struck me in our initial conversations was that he was deeply, viscerally antiracist. This is, of course, exactly the opposite of the story that liberals are constantly pushing where Breitbart is called a race baiter, apologist for racists and a racist himself. One reason that he gets painted this way is that he’s taken the risk that few have in today’s overheated knee-jerk political climate — he actually talks about the subject of race, and specifically the strange situation that African-Americans find themselves in the modern American political landscape,

I spent three months recently on the road in the South and doing interviews about the Pigford case. Almost all of the interviews were with black Americans who have an involvement with the case. I spoke to attorneys, farmers, activists and politicians with a variety of viewpoints. During this trip, I was struck time and again with just how poisonous our political climate has turned our views of race.

And if there’s one aspect of Pigford I consider the most important, it’s how this one case has played a significant role in hurting the state of race relations. When things stagnate, dangers soon follow. Just as stagnant water brings insects and disease, our stagnant politics of race has brought genuine hardships to our entire nation.

I hope that by exposing the mechanics of how the politics of race is played on Pigford, it will help people move closer to the moral ideal of judging men not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I realized before jumping into the Pigford investigation that it was a Gordian knot and I prayed that I would be able to rise to the challenge of explaining it in a way that healed racial division, not exacerbated it.

What I did not know when I started on the road was the extent to which "liberal" groups like Media Matters for America would fight to defend Pigford even when it was clear that the injustices in Pigford were often most unfair to the black community. I naïvely assumed that people on the left would see the unfairness being heaped upon black folks in this case and at least give the facts a fair hearing. Instead, I’ve seen people on left time and again bend over backwards to ignore the truth in Pigford, knowing full well that black farmers are being harmed.

Whenever I debate Pigford with people on the left, I always say “take my word for it”. I’ve offered time and again — talk to the farmers. I’ve offered to give the farmer’s phone numbers to people who attacked the Pigford investigation, because the farmer’s stories are passionate and detailed.

Not once – not one single time I’m aware of — has any critic of the Pigford investigation taken me up on this and spoken to the farmers.

Here’s what eats at me; I can walk away from the Pigford story. At the end of the day, it’s a project for me. But for these farmers, it’s their life. When Pigford defenders like Eric Boehlert and Media Matters, James Rucker and Color of Change, Anderson Cooper, and Ta-Nehisi Coates attack (or worse, ignore) the video interviews with these farmers, it’s really not me or Andrew Breitbart who they are hurting or demeaning – it’s those men who have been trying to bring the truth about Pigford to light for over a decade.

The Pigford story has had a much wider effect because it bolsters the feelings of both black people and white people that our political system is rigged against them. White folks can look askance a system where thousands of black people committed perjury and collected $50,000 checks. Black folks can shake their heads that nothing was done to correct the injustice of the USDA and that white folks like attorney Al Pires made millions. Everybody, black and white, comes away feeling that the dice have been loaded by the other side.

And this is the real moral disaster of Pigford. Those racial tensions that have been stirred up by petty hucksters like "Dr." John Boyd and Thomas Burrell are just a puppet show — a distraction so that politicians from Sanford Bishop to Chuck Grassley to Tom Vilasck to Barack Obama can grease the wheels of the political machine.

At root, Pigford is a story about fraud but it’s a fraud that goes far beyond financial concerns. It’s about the fraud that keeps us separate. It’s about the fraud that is intentionally perpetuated by profiteers and politicians to keep us from recognizing that we must remain vigilant, honest and brave to move beyond the stagnant waters of the entitlement mentality that has only served to keep our brothers and sisters down.

- Lee Stranahan

4/26/2011

Bleg: Syncing an iPad (or iPod or iPhone) to a new Mac

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:58 pm

So I finally took the leap and bought a Mac laptop. Everyone I have talked to who has one likes it. They don’t get viruses and continue to work well 2, 3, 4 years later.

Just one problem. I moved over my iTunes library from the PC and iTunes seems to work fine on the Mac. But if I try to sync up the iPad to the Macbook, it tells me that it can only sync with one library, and that it will wipe my iPad. I de-authorized the PC, so what gives?

This is not a request for people to criticize my decision to get a Mac. I’m just wondering if anyone else has encountered this issue before. You would think it would be the simplest thing in the world, but every solution I see online is ridiculously complicated — download this third-party software, or get a MobileMe subscription, or use a migration utility that doesn’t work with a PC or an external hard drive, etc.

Absolutely nothing simple in the way of a solution — for what ought to be the easiest thing in the world.

Ideas?

Scary Larry O’Donnell: Jesus Favored a Progressive Income Tax

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:36 pm

Liberal atheists are so cute when they pretend to be pious.

“While Jesus may not have specified specific tax brackets, he was the first recorded advocate of a progressive income tax.”

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

I love the way Scary Larry phrases that. Jesus may not have specified specific tax brackets — but then, you know, maybe he did. You just don’t know for sure.

I could get all serious and spend time seriously refuting O’Donnell and his pious nonsense — Jesus told his followers to give all their money to the government, Larry? Really?! — but that would totally miss the point. He’s putting on a show. People mock Limbaugh for being a mere “entertainer” — but he believes what he is saying 100 times more than Scary Larry.

I have but one thing to say to the right Rev. O’Donnell.

Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

The Rape of Libya

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:09 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

The title is not as metaphorical as you would wish it was.  From the UK’s Daily Mail:

Fuelled ‘by Viagra’, Gaddafi’s troops use rape as a weapon of war with children as young as EIGHT among the victims

Children as young as eight are being raped in front of their families by Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, according to a leading charity.

Aid workers described horrific stories of widespread sexual abuse, including one incident in which a group of girls was abducted and held hostage for four days.

When they were finally released, they were too traumatised to speak.

Other children have described being forced to watch as their fathers were murdered and their mothers raped.

Read the whole thing if you have the stomach for it.  To anyone wondering if a person could do something so horrific, you should read up on what the Japanese did in World War II. The Rape of Nanjing, from which I took this post’s title, was indeed worse although in horrific ways, similar.

H/t: Hot Air.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

PSA: Playstation Network Intrusion May Have Compromised Personal Information

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:12 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: And politicians are getting involved.  Sigh.

Update (II): IGN has some tips on protecting yourself.

You might have heard a few jokes about it here and there in the comments, but the Playstation Network, that is the computer network that allows gamers to play online, download games, etc., has been down.  Now, via IGN we get word that it was not only the result of hackers, more or less, but that personal information might have been compromised, specifically:

- Name

- Address (city, state, zip)

- Country

- Email Address

- Birthdate

- PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID

And they aren’t ruling out any credit card information being compromised, too.  You should bluntly take steps to protect yourself.

You can read all about it, here.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Proposition 8 Proponents Strike at the King and Go In For the Kill

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 9:24 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

That’s a riff off the old saying, attributed to Emerson, that “if you strike at the King, you have to kill him” which is in turn riffing off of something Patrick said the first time he blogged about Judge Walker’s potential bias in the Proposition 8 case.  Applied here (and note for the slow and dishonest, the violence is purely metaphorical), that means that you don’t assert that a judge is biased unless you are almost certain that the judge will step down.  And that goes double in this case, under these circumstances.

Anyway, late yesterday, Proponents of Proposition 8 have tried to strike a killing blow against Judge Walker’s ruling, seeking for it to be vacated following the recent revelation that he has been in a ten year relationship with another man.  I have been hammering at this issue since February, 2010, (language warning at the link), and it is nice to finally see that we are finally going to have real action on the issue.  There is no guarantee what the new judge (Walker is retired), will say on the issue, but it always annoyed me how so many people pretended it wasn’t a question at all.  For all we knew, Judge Walker could have said to his paramour that the moment that gay marriage was legal in California, they would tie the knot.  At the very least the parties deserved to know about the relationship.

(And if that seems intrusive, bluntly… tough on him. That’s the life of a judge. Sometimes you have to disclose things that you would prefer not to. And if he really didn’t want to answer these kinds of questions [I certainly wouldn't have wanted to answer the question of whether I intended to marry my wife, prior to finally asking her to marry me], he had an easy way to avoid them–recuse himself from the case.)

So you can read the entire motion below the fold using one of those annoying Scribd documents, but here’s the introduction of the argument, which reads like a Cliff’s Notes version of the whole brief (cutting and pasting from Ed Whelan’s triumphant post):

Fundamental to the integrity of the judicial function, and therefore to public confidence in the courts, is the judiciary’s strict fidelity to the ancient maxim that “no man can be a judge in his own case and no man is permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome.”  This principle is expressed in the Code of Judicial Ethics and is codified in federal law by statutes requiring that a judge recuse himself whenever he has an “interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding,” … or more generally, in any other circumstance in which “his impartiality might reasonably be questioned[.]”…

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Inevitable: The Apple Class Action Suit Has Begun

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:53 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

“This’ll be interesting,” Glenn Reynolds wrote this morning, linking to this story.  Here’s the rundown.  Last week I told you about how Apple was secretly tracking users movements, an appalling invasion of privacy.  So this morning, Reynolds linked to this story about the lawsuit that had been filed:

Two Apple customers have filed a lawsuit accusing the Cupertino, California, company of committing violations of computer-fraud laws by recording location data of iPhone and iPad customers.

Vikram Ajjampur, an iPhone customer in Florida, and William Devito, a New York iPad customer, filed the suit in federal court April 22 in Tampa, Florida.

“The accessibility of the unencrypted information collected by Apple places users at serious risk of privacy invasions, including stalking” (.pdf), the lawsuit states….

Ajjampur and Devito are seeking class action status to represent U.S. iPhone and iPad customers. The complaint seeks an injunction requiring Apple to disable the data collection in a software update, and it also seeks damages for violations committed.

(Emphasis added.)  Well, I will have to disagree with Mr. Reynolds.  The most likely outcome here is that these class representatives will secure benefits primary to themselves, their lawyers will make millions, and we the people will be lucky if we get that update they are talking about.  It will not be interesting, but the latest tediously predictable example of abuse in the class action system.

Consider, for example these recent class actions.  For instance, there was a controversy a few years back when someone discovered some discarded game code opening up a (terrible looking) sex game in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which you could only find if you actually hacked the game.  This apparently horrified parents who were apparently okay with the usual action in the Grand Theft Auto series, which includes giving players the option of having sex with a prostitute in a car (complete with rocking car and moans), and then running over said prostitute and collecting the money you just gave her for the sex.  That resulted in a settlement giving up $35 in damages per customer if they seek it (at last reporting, none had).  Meanwhile, the class representatives were paid almost $25,000 for their trouble and the lawyers were paid $1 million.

Or take this one.  Did you know that loud noises hurt your ears?  Well, according to this suit, the ordinary reasonably prudent person doesn’t know that and thus turns up their Bluetooth to 11, because they are not properly warned.  The class got nothing, a few charities got some money, and representatives sought $12K and their lawyers sought $850K.

Seriously, follow Overlawyered for a month, and you will see many cases like this.

The point is that class actions are the dirtiest area in law.  If you want to talk about lawsuit abuse, there is the poster child.  I am not sure if they should be abolished altogether, but at the very least this is an area in serious need of reform because 1) it encourages lawsuits on the most ridiculous theories and 2) even if there is merit, the vast majority of the aggrieved get little in compensation.  Indeed, we are unlikely even to get some fun discovery on the subject, here–they will most likely settle before it comes to that.

So not interesting, but a tedious example of how broken the class action system is.  At least that is my prediction.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

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