We at CFIF have steadfastly highlighted the consumer benefits of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger…
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WSJ Urges Regulators to Approve T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

We at CFIF have steadfastly highlighted the consumer benefits of the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint merger, and cautioned the federal government against any pointless and destructive objection to the deal.  In today's Wall Street Journal, its editorial board encourages the Department of Justice (DOJ) to move forward on the deal:

The Justice Department lost its lawsuit to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner.  Yet now the antitrust cops are holding up T-Mobile's merger with Sprint even though it could give AT&T more competition in wireless.  What gives?

A year ago, T-Mobile announced plans to acquire Sprint for $26 billion in stock, yet the merger is still stuck in government antitrust purgatory.  The Federal Communications Commission keeps pausing its 180-day shot clock on the merger…[more]

April 22, 2019 • 04:07 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
The Sweet Taste of Dismissal
Wednesday, May 09 2018

A class action lawsuit filed against the maker of Whoppers and Reese's Pieces has been dismissed by a federal court judge.

Robert Bratton sued the Hershey Company, claiming the candy manufacturer deceived customers under Missouri’s consumer protection law by underselling the candy contained in boxes of Whoppers and Reese's Pieces. According to news reports, Bratton purchased roughly 600 boxes of the popular candies over the course of a decade, giving rise to his million dollar lawsuit, which was filed on his behalf and that of all other individuals who bought either candy over the past five years.

Recently, the federal court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that Bratton was not deceived and had experienced no injury. In fact, the justification for the ruling came from Bratton's own action of purchasing the candy over and over again.

Bratton has a similar lawsuit pending against Tootsie Roll Industries, the maker of Junior Mints.

In an effort to ensure that consumer protection lawsuits are legitimate, the Missouri legislature is considering a bill that would evaluate lawsuits from the perspective of a reasonable consumer. When consumers are not actually harmed, there would be no award. Also, attorneys’ fees in such class actions could no longer dwarf the benefits provided to consumers.

Source: kansascity.com 

Interns Get Schooled on Class Action Lawsuits
Thursday, May 03 2018

A class action lawsuit filed by hundreds of Ralph Lauren interns has been settled for more than a quarter of a million dollars, but the interns themselves won’t see much of that money.

The lawsuit, filed in the Manhattan Supreme Court, claimed interns were paid nothing to prep samples for fit meetings, create product code and conduct other valuable services for the fashion house, was recently settled for $323,000. Yet, most of the interns will only see a thread of the settlement money, namely $305, because their lawyers' take is $108,000. Only Nadine Craparotta, who was awarded $7,500 as the lead plaintiff, might be able to afford one of Lauren’s signature $598 double-breasted wool blazers with her settlement money.

The interns’ attorneys claim the deal is “fair and reasonable”.

According to news reports, Tom Stebbins of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance said the case showed “how broken the class-action system is because you have people who actually were not paid money getting pennies on the dollar while lawyers are walking away with over $100,000.”

Source: nypost.com

Strike Two for PETA
Thursday, April 26 2018

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' request to bring a copyright claim on behalf of a macaque monkey.

In a follow-up to a lower court case (highlighted previously by the Jester's Courtroom) that ruled against the animal-rights organization in its lawsuit against a wildlife photographer over copyright ownership of a series of selfies snapped by an Indonesian money named Naruto, the appellate court ruled that animals have no legal ability to hold copyright claims. According to news reports, Naruto took the photos of himself after finding the camera in a reserve. The photographer, David Slater, had placed the camera with the hope of encouraging the animals to find it and take photos.

In a further admonition of the organization, the court questioned PETA's motives for bringing the case. "PETA seems to employ Naruto as an unwitting pawn in it ideological goals," the court wrote in a footnote to its decision.

PETA's general counsel, Jeff Kerr, commented after the ruling that the opinion misses the point that Naruto took the photos and should be the owner of such under the U.S. Copyright Act but he "is discriminated against simply because he's a nonhuman animal."

Source: Wall Street Journal

Children Sue Florida for Damaging Effects of Climate Change
Thursday, April 19 2018

Eight children throughout the state have banded together to sue the state of Florida and several governmental officials on the grounds that their "deliberate indifference" to damaging effects of climate change have adverse environmental impacts.

Fourteen-year-old Oliver Chamblin of Pensacola, Florida, spoke at a recent news conference to announce the launch of the lawsuit, noting that he grew up fishing, swimming and kayaking in the waters around his home, but that the government was not doing enough to protect public trust resources like state water, forests, wetlands, groundwater and wildlife for future generations.

"Our state relies very much on tourism," Oliver said. "If we destroy our climate and our beaches, it can affect that (industry) very much. We are called the Sunshine State, but we don't take advantage of that because we could be using solar power and we don't. I'm suing the government to help take action against those things."

The lawsuit names Governor Rick Scott, along with several other state officers and agencies, including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Public Service Commission, as defendants. According to news reports, the plaintiffs' complaint argues the state's "systemic, historic and ongoing" practices of permitting and promoting fossil usage has caused substantial impairment to public assets, leading to a violation of the young plaintiffs' constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The youth are supported by the nonprofit organization Our Children’s Trust, which has a similar lawsuit underway in Oregon.

Source: pnj.com

"But" He Didn't Mean to Call Him
Wednesday, April 11 2018

A Georgia man is suing his boss for invasion of privacy when his boss overheard negative comments the man made to his wife after the man "butt" dialed his boss.

James Stephens claims he inadvertently dialed back his boss, Michael Coan, after finishing a late evening call with him. During the second ("butt" dial) call, which lasted roughly 12 minutes, Coan overheard James complaining about him to his wife. The next day, Coan confronted James about the call and gave him the choice to resign or be fired.

Now, James and his wife are suing Coan for eavesdropping, claiming Coan invaded their right to privacy with "voyeuristic eavesdropping." Coan, who works for the State of Georgia, filed a motion to dismiss the suit arguing he was acting in his official capacity as a state supervisor when he was listening to the pocket-dialed call of a subordinate employee and, thus, deserves immunity.

According to news reports, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in 2015 on a similar case, opining that someone who pocket dials another person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy because they placed the call.

Source: cbsnews.com



Question of the Week   
How many times in our nation’s history has a presidential election been decided by the U.S. House of Representatives?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"President Donald Trump opened a new flank in his battle against illegal immigration on Monday when he ordered his administration to crack down on 'visa overstays' -- foreigners who legally enter the country but remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.The president signed a memorandum ordering the secretary of state and the secretary of homeland security to submit plans within four months to crack…[more]
 
 
—Alan Gomez, USA TODAY
— Alan Gomez, USA TODAY
 
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