Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00…
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This Week's "Your Turn" Radio Show Lineup

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm ET: Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation: On Sessions' Watch;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm ET: Lee Casey, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: Detractors Denouncing Constitution;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm ET: Trey Kovacs, Policy Analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: Veterans Department Ends Labor Union Work on Taxpayer Dime;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm ET: Tzvi Khan, Senior Iran Analyst…[more]

November 12, 2018 • 04:24 pm

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Jester’s Courtroom
Butter Not Be
Wednesday, November 14 2018

A New York woman is suing the maker of vegan “butter,” claiming it is not enough like real butter to be called "cultured vegan butter."
 
Jasmine Brown filed a class-action lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court against Miyoko’s Kitchen, Inc. on grounds the vegan "butter" packaging is "misleading because … the products lack any milk or dairy ingredients" and don’t have any nutritional "attributes associated with real butter." 

Brown is seeking at least $5 million in damages for alleged negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, fraud and unjust enrichment. Brown further alleges in the lawsuit that consumers pay a "premium price" of at least $6.99 for a product that does not even resemble butter. According to the lawsuit, the vegan butter "basks in dairy's 'halo' by using familiar terms to invoke positive traits."
 
Celebrity chef Miyoko Schinner, who owns Miyoko’s Kitchen, responded that, "Several surveys indicate that consumers are not confused when they buy plant dairy, and buy these products specifically because they do not contain animal ingredients."
 
"While our award-winning butter may not have tasted like butter to Jasmine Brown, many people who taste it either comment, ‘Wow! It's butter!’ or ‘Wow! It’s better than butter!'" Schinner added.
 
Source: nypost.com

Judge Fires Blistering Opinion in Shotgun Complaint Case
Wednesday, November 07 2018

A federal appellate court judge has scolded an attorney for filing a shotgun complaint, a term used to define a complaint that contains multiple counts, each incorporating by reference the preceding allegation with no clear cause of action asserted.

During oral argument on a foreclosure matter before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, attorney Kenneth Lay of Birmingham, Alabama, acknowledged his "shotgun" complaints may be "an issue in federal court," but they "are not disfavored in Alabama courts." 

"I understand [the court’s] problem with shotgun pleadings, and I’m not gonna argue about that," Lay reportedly said. In the opinion that followed, the court chided Lay for filing a clearly deficient complaint as part of a scheme "engineered to delay or prevent execution of a foreclosure judgment on a residence and the consequent eviction of its occupants."
 
Lay "effectuated this scheme by filing a multi-count, incomprehensible complaint that flouted the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this circuit’s well-established precedent," Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote.

In addition to upholding the trial judge’s dismissal of the case, Tjoflat said the frivolous filings constituted an abuse of judicial process and ordered Lay to show cause within twenty-one days why he should not be ordered to pay the defendants’ double their costs for defending the appeal.  

"All told, Mr. Lay sought and obtained 10 extension requests from this court," the opinion said.

In upholding the lower court’s dismissal, Tjoflat wrote that the amended complaint "patently violates Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, which requires a plaintiff to plead ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.' At 28 pages and having incorporated all 123 paragraphs of allegations into all 16 counts, it is neither ‘short’ nor ‘plain.'"

"Put colloquially: garbage in, garbage out," Tjoflat wrote.

"Tolerating such behavior constitutes toleration of obstruction of justice," he said.

Source: law.com

What’s That Smell?
Thursday, November 01 2018

A Colorado couple is suing its neighbor claiming his cannabis business is injuring their property values.

Ranchers Hope and Michael Reilly, with the help from Safe Streets Alliance, filed the federal lawsuit against their neighbor Parker Walton and his Cannacraft grow house. The Reillys claim they built their house on their rural southern Colorado land for views of Pikes Peak and to hike and ride horses. Now, they allege “pungent, foul odors” from the neighboring indoor marijuana grow have hurt their property’s values and their ability to use and enjoy it.

The lawsuit further seeks to shut down the business under federal anti-racketeering law; although marijuana is legal in Colorado and the grower is licensed by the state, the marijuana business still violates federal law. A federal trial is underway in Denver.

According to news reports, an attorney for the business targeted by the suit plans to argue the couple’s property has not been damaged, relying in part on the county’s tax valuations of the Reillys’ land ticking up over time.

Source: denverpost.com

McDonald’s in Hot Water with Lawsuit
Friday, October 26 2018

A McDonald’s franchise in Oregon is being sued by the family of a teenage girl who claims to have suffered burns from a cup of water that was too hot.

According to news reports, 14-year-old Shirlelle Thomas’ family is suing McDonald’s for $1.56 million after the teenager was served water at an "unreasonably dangerous temperature," which allegedly resulted in second degree burns to her lower body. The lawsuit seeks $10,000 in medical bills and related expenses, $50,000 in future expenses and $1.5 million for pain and suffering. There is no reference to the temperature of the water or whether the teen spilled it on herself or if it spilled as the result of an employee’s act.

In a media statement, McDonald’s owner Paul Rodby said that while there would be no comment "on pending litigation," "the health and safety of our crew and customers are a top priority."

Source: huffingtonpost.com

A Little Nutty
Thursday, October 18 2018

New Jersey parents are suing their local school district claiming their son was not allowed to bring a service dog trained to detect peanuts to school.

Alleging discrimination against their son because of a “severe, life-threatening” allergy to peanuts, the parents (who are identified only by their initials) also allege a “hostile educational environment” against the boy and his twin brother. In response to the federal lawsuit, the school district has denied the charges, stating it has acted “based on legitimate, non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons and motives.” The school district denies refusing the boy the benefit of his service dog.

According to news reports, after the family moved to the area and made the request, the school district asked for more medical documentation. The parents complained, stating the request would require them to expend “significant sums of money and time.”

The lawsuit further claims the district deprived the boy of an education because he did not attend school until mid-October 2016 and the district did not provide him with home instruction. The suit claims a service dog policy, requiring a $1 million liability insurance policy because of a dog, was prepared by the school district in retaliation. Although the requirement was later dropped, the parents claim the district failed to inform them.

The suit also alleges the boy could not use his service dog because the school district said "some students may be allergic to the animal."

The school district responded that the parents have made “impractical demands.”

Source: mycentraljersey.com



Question of the Week   
Which one of the following individuals has NOT been Speaker of the House of Representatives?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Reporting the news is difficult and expensive. Grandstanding is more fun and everyone has an opinion. That's why reporters were once taught, often by a stern taskmaster, to leave opining to the columnists and the editorial page, and save their opinions for after work in the bar across the street. This particular affliction -- grandstanding rather than reporting, advocacy rather than observing and…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, The Washington Times
— The Editors, The Washington Times
 
Liberty Poll   

How confident are you that your state's election supervisors make all reasonable efforts to count every legitimate vote and reject every illegitimate vote?