The U.S. travel technology firm Sabre may not ring an immediate bell, and perhaps you’ve not yet heard…
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On Sabre/Farelogix Merger, DOJ Mustn’t Undertake a Misguided Antitrust Boondoggle

The U.S. travel technology firm Sabre may not ring an immediate bell, and perhaps you’ve not yet heard of its proposed acquisition of Farelogix, but it looms as one of the most important antitrust cases to approach trial since AT&T/Time-Warner. The transaction’s most significant aspect is the way in which it offers a perfect illustration of overzealous bureaucratic antitrust enforcement, and the way that can delay and also punish American consumers. Specifically, the transaction enhances rather than inhibits market competition, and will benefit both travelers and the travel industry by accelerating innovation.  That’s in part because Sabre and Farelogix aren’t head-to-head market competitors, but rather complementary businesses.  While Sabre serves customers throughout the…[more]

January 13, 2020 • 03:53 pm

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Jester’s Courtroom
They Won't Drink to That
Wednesday, October 16 2019

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Bacardi, the maker of Bombay Sapphire gin, alleging the manufacturer produces its popular gin using a common spice that was banned under a 150-year-old Florida law. 

The lawsuit also names as a defendant Florida-based grocery chain Winn-Dixie that sells Bombay Sapphire.

The Florida law, § 562.455, declares that "[w]hoever adulterates, for the purpose of sale, any liquor, used or intended for drink, with… grains of paradise… or any other substance which is poisonous or injurious to health, and whoever knowingly sells any liquor so adulterated, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree." The law was adopted after the Civil War during a time when people believed the spice was a poisonous drug.

But, according to news reports, "grains of paradise," a West African ginger spice that is close to cardamom, an ingredient in the gin, is allegedly not harmful. It is worth noting as well that the federal government permits the addition of grains of paradise to food (including alcoholic beverages).

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Roniel Rodriguez, who represents plaintiff Uri Marrache, fails to allege that Bacardi or Winn-Dixie caused Marrache (or any other potential class member) any specific physical harms or side effects. Indeed, it is reported that Rodriguez "acknowledges there are no studies that he's found that show a negative health effect of grains of paradise." The alleged damage described in the lawsuit resides instead entirely in the "individual purchase price" paid by consumers — "generally less than $40."

Source: Reason.com

Lawyer and Client Sanctioned for Filing “Completely Selfish” Lawsuits
Tuesday, October 08 2019

U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck has sanctioned Miami attorney Scott Dinin for filing frivolous lawsuits on behalf of his client, claiming the attorney and his client filed the suits for “completely selfish” motives.

According to news reports, Dinin, on behalf of his client, Alexander Johnson, who suffers from hearing loss, sued more than 100 companies under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The sanctions order revealed that Dinin was improperly sharing attorney’s fees with Johnson, “egregiously inflated” his billable time and exaggerated his legal experience. Dinin allegedly billed $400 an hour for more than six hours of drafting, reviewing and filing documents that were identical to those filed in similar lawsuits.

Judge Huck wrote that the lawsuits filed by Dinin for Johnson served “to dishonestly line their pockets with attorney’s fees from hapless defendants under the sanctimonious guise of serving the interests of the disabled community.”

The order goes on to block Dinin and Johnson from filing cases in any state or federal court in the country without written permission from the Southern District of Florida.

Dinin said he respects the ruling and the opportunity it provides for him to “address professionalism and then return to serving the justice needs of people with disabilities.”

Huck’s findings stemmed from lawsuits Dinin brought against gas stations over their failure to include closed captioning on the TV screens next to gas pumps. In all, there were 28 identical cases filed.

The court ordered Dinin and Johnson to give back fees and costs from the two gas pump cases that were the subject of this suit and pay a $59,000 penalty, either to the clerk of the court or the Disability Independence Group, a Miami nonprofit aimed at protecting the rights of disabled people.

Source: law.com

A Race to the Bathroom or Courtroom?
Wednesday, October 02 2019

A former New Jersey school superintendent’s lawsuit against a local police department has recently been dismissed by a federal judge.

Former Kenilworth Schools Superintendent Thomas Tramaglini, who pled guilty to defacating on another high school’s track, claimed Holmdel police violated his constitutional rights by releasing his mug shot after he was issued summonses last year. After ruling that the mug shot did not reveal any information that was not already in the public domain, the judge dismissed the suit.

According to news reports, Tramaglini paid a $500 fine for relieving himself in public, which he blamed on a medical condition. His attorney told NJ Advance Media a “new complaint is forthcoming in state court.”

Source: TheWashingtonTimes.com

“Parlez-vous” Lawsuit?
Thursday, September 26 2019

 A court has ordered Canada Air to pay a French-speaking couple 21,000 CAD (roughly $16,000) and write them an apology letter because the airline did not equally display signs in English and French.

Canadian law requires English and French to be given equal prominence in many business settings. The Ontario couple, Michel and Lynda Thibodeau, filed 22 complaints against the airline in 2016 for violating their linguistic rights. Among the allegations:

• The word “lift” that is engraved on the seatbelts was in English but not French
• French translations of “exit” were in smaller characters
• The English language boarding announcement was more thorough than the French version

According to news reports, this was not the first time the couple went up against Canada Air. In 2009, the couple filed complaints stating that:

• They had asked for 7Up in French, but the flight attendant served them Sprite instead
• Allegedly there was no translation of an announcement made by the pilot about the arrival time and weather for one of his flights

Similar complaints were reported in 2000 as well. In the past, the court has also ruled in favor of the couple, but removed the monetary damages.

Source: onemileatatime.com

Instant Replay: A Second Look at the Rams-Saints Lawsuit
Wednesday, September 18 2019

The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the NFL in the lawsuit filed over the outcome of the NFC Championship game played earlier this year.

In what angered many Saints' fans and ultimately led to the lawsuit being filed was what some deemed to be bad officiating, namely an alleged missed pass interference call by the officials. After the Saints lost the game and the chance to advance in the playoffs, angered Saints' fans filed a lawsuit, claiming gross fraud or outright corruption. A Louisiana trial court judge ordered Commissioner Roger Goodell and three game officials to testify in the lawsuit. Last week, the Louisiana Supreme Court threw the case out, ending the litigation.

“[W]e find plaintiffs’ purchase of a ticket merely granted them the right of entry and a seat at the game,” the Lousiana Supreme Court explains in its four-page ruling. “[W]e find public policy considerations weigh in favor of restricting the rights of spectators to bring actions based on the conduct of officials of professional sporting leagues. . . . While we are certainly cognizant of the passion of sports fans, and particularly those who are fans of the New Orleans Saints, the courts are not the proper forum to litigate such disputes.”

According to news reports, the NFL has adopted, at least for 2019, a system for preventing such mistakes.

Source: profootballtalk.nbcsports.com



Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first African-American soloist to appear at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Perhaps if Democrats had not spent the last three years calling Trump a Russian stooge and traitor then they would have some credibility today. However, the special counsel investigation and the unceasing march to impeach Trump for whatever they find now makes them impossible to take seriously. Despite their best efforts there was no public outcry for impeachment and no break in the ranks by Republicans…[more]
 
 
—Joseph Moreno, Former DOJ Federal Prosecutor
— Joseph Moreno, Former DOJ Federal Prosecutor
 
Liberty Poll   

Should witnesses be called for the Senate impeachment trial, which could take weeks or even months, or be restricted to the record and evidence already produced by the House?