California’s water crisis – and Governor Jerry Brown’s draconian response to it – could go a…
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A Market-Based Solution to California’s Water Shortage

California’s water crisis – and Governor Jerry Brown’s draconian response to it – could go a long way toward uniting middle class and elite urbanites in a revolt against political favoritism run amuck.

As Shikha Dalmia explains, “The best — and most sustainable — solution to California's water woes would be full-bore markets in which prices can rise and fall with supply and demand. Under such a system, depleting water reserves would have led to price increases long ago, producing an automatic incentive to conserve. More importantly, this would have clearly signaled growing scarcity, spurring new technologies for affordable water generation. All of this would have allowed consumers and businesses to make small adjustments over time without letting the shortage reach a crisis…[more]

April 17, 2015 • 01:32 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
Lawsuit May End Up In Smoke
Thursday, April 16 2015

A Colorado man is suing a local district attorney claiming to have experienced "emotional and psychological trauma" after hearing stories that the DA used drugs.

Trevor Peterson of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is suing 6th Judicial District Attorney Todd Riesberg in small claims court for $5,000. Peterson claims he has been distressed by stories that his (unnamed) friend told him "they smoked together at Risberg’s sweet house a couple months ago." In a single-paragraph complaint, Peterson wrote that Risberg is an elected official, and stories of drug use make "Mr. Risberg unsuitable and unfit to perform required tasks/duties as District Attorney."

“I’m not even going to comment – it’s a ridiculous thing, legally and factually baseless. It’s ridiculous,” Riesberg said, after learning of the lawsuit through The Durango Herald's website.

Peterson said the DA’s office previously has charged him with domestic violence, but his lawsuit against Risberg is not vengeful, he said.

According to news reports, when asked about the merits of the claim, defense attorney and former public defender Tom Williamson brushed off the lawsuit, saying, "This guy lives in Colorado, and he’s emotionally and psychologically traumatized because he heard Risberg smoked pot? Maybe he needs to move. To Nebraska."

Source: The Durango Herald (CO)

Time for a Ridiculous Lawsuit
Wednesday, April 08 2015

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvania inmate seeking a salary for his time behind bars.

Kentlin Hopkins landed in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility after allegedly exposing himself to a woman at the Luzerne County Adult Probation and Parole Department. Hopkins sued the district attorney's office, charging that it put his life in danger by identifying him as a possible witness against several shooting suspects. According to news reports, Hopkins alleged he was in “immediate danger” and that as a result he should be paid $150 per day, retroactive to his date of incarceration -- November 10, 2014.

U.S. District Judge Richard P. Conaboy recently dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous, saying the complaint is “based on an indisputably meritless legal theory.”


No Hunting for These Eggs
Tuesday, March 31 2015

Celebrity Justin Bieber is headed back to court, this time summoned by his former Calabasas, California, neighbors whose house was egged by Bieber. That January 2014 "eggscapade" landed Bieber two years probation, anger management classes, community service and a payment of $80,900 in restitution to his former neighbors.

Now, Jeff and Suzanne Schwartz are seeking an additional $25,000 from Bieber for assault and battery, trespassing and infliction of emotional distress. According to the lawsuit, “During his continued residence at the property … Mr. Bieber and his employees, agents, and acquaintances continued to harass, threaten, and intimidate plaintiffs and their family at every opportunity without justification, basis, reason, or excuse.” The family further claims, among other things, that Bieber spit at them, threw loud parties, constantly smoked marijuana and drove recklessly through the neighborhood.


Crafting a Lawsuit
Tuesday, March 24 2015

The makers of Jim Beam bourbon are facing a lawsuit over the word "handcrafted" on its bottles.

Plaintiff Scott Welk has filed a class action lawsuit seeking $5 million in damages, claiming the use of the word "handcrafted" on the Jim Beam White Label bourbon is inaccurate.  According to the lawsuit, the bourbon is not "handmade by a skilled craftsman as the company claims." Welk contends that the labeling is "immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous and/or substantially injurious to consumers" because "consumers are led to believe that Jim Beam bourbon is of superior quality and workmanship by virtue of it being ‘handcrafted,' when in fact it is not."

Beam Suntory, Jim Beam's parent company, called the lawsuit "frivolous," noting that a similar suit was filed against Maker's Mark, another brand owned by Beam Suntory. News reports further indicate that a similar suit was filed against beer maker Anheuser-Busch for the labels on its Kirin Ichiban beer, which according to that lawsuit are "deceptively advertised as being imported from Japan."


Out of the Dark and Into the Courtroom
Tuesday, March 17 2015

"America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon is suing his estranged wife, Mariah Carey, for leaving him in the dark about the $9 million sale of the Bel-Air home the couple once shared.

According to the lawsuit, Cannon claims that Carey and her business manager, Michael Kane, took control of the sale and that he didn't find out about it until after the fact.

Although Cannon claims to be fine with the sale and price, he says the problem is that he was not kept in the loop from start to finish. And he's most concerned about how the funds from the sale will be divvied up. Cannon wants the $9 million frozen until they can determine who will be getting what.


Question of the Week   
How many states comprised the Confederate States of America (CSA)?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
"'Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,' by Peter Schweizer -- a 186-page investigation of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities -- is proving the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy.The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that…[more]
—Amy Chosick, The New York Times
— Amy Chosick, The New York Times
Liberty Poll   

After filing your tax returns for 2014, are you getting a refund or did you have to pay more?