There's a destructive campaign underway to encourage government confiscation of patents from pharmaceutical…
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Image of the Day: Private Pharma Investment Dwarfs Federal NIH Funding

There's a destructive campaign underway to encourage government confiscation of patents from pharmaceutical innovators and dictate the price for Remdesivir and other drugs.  That's a terrible and counterproductive policy under any circumstance, but particularly now that private drug innovators are already hacking away at the coronavirus.  In that vein, this helpful image illustrates the vast disparity between private investment and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding that some seem to think justifies patent confiscation, price controls or other big-government schemes:

 

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="964"] Private Investment Dwarfs NIH Funding[/caption]…[more]

June 01, 2020 • 10:24 AM

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Anna Nicole's Legal Legacy Lives Long After her Death Print
By CFIF Staff
Friday, February 08 2008
With a playbill that includes venue shopping, exorbitant litigation costs, greed and massive courtroom burdens, Marshall v. Marshall continues long after the Anna Nicole's death.

This week marks the one year anniversary of the death of former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith.  A mere 12 months after her passing, the lasting legacy of her endless pursuit of her late husband's fortune continues to play out.  In fact, perhaps no other case in the history of our nation better highlights the need for tort reform than Anna Nicole's case against the Marshall estate.

With a playbill that includes venue shopping, exorbitant litigation costs, greed and massive courtroom burdens, Marshall v. Marshall continues long after the Anna Nicole's death. 

Longtime readers of CFIF's website are familiar with the script, as we have written about it before here.

The Marshall v. Marshall litigation stems from Anna Nicole's 1994 marriage to a wealthy 89-year-old Texan, J. Howard Marshall, II, who died one year after they wed.  Anna Nicole filed a lawsuit claiming that Marshall promised to leave her a large portion of his estate. 

Marshall's son and heir, Pierce Marshall, passed away in 2006.  With Anna Nicole's death less than one year later, one would think the case would have ended.  Instead, her lawyers have given it a life of its own, with Anna Nicole's ex-boyfriend/companion, Howard K. Stern, serving as the executor of the legal proceedings. 

Initially, the Texas Probate Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that although J. Howard Marshall II provided for his then 26-year-old wife during his life, he had not made her a beneficiary of his will. Nor, the court ruled, did the younger Marshall interfere with the will.  Anna Nicole's claims were found to be untrue.  Still, in 2006, the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately sent the case back to the Ninth Circuit for reconsideration on narrow jurisdictional grounds.

Only time will tell how the Ninth Circuit will rule, for the second time.  What is certain is that never-ending cases like this one send chills throughout the legal system, both because of their costs and tactics.

Recent studies estimate that litigation currently costs Americans between $140 billion and $250 billion every single year. 

The Center for Individual Freedom has always supported an individual's right to bring a lawsuit forward, but in a case like this, where the litigants have died and outrageous legal maneuvers have prevailed, attorneys shame the justice system when they continue to move forward.  Anna Nicole is dead now, and all efforts to continue her ill-founded lawsuit should end. By continuing, a ripple effect is being sent throughout the legal system regarding the future of estate planning in America.

Anna Nicole Smith relished in her fame and notoriety.  Unfortunately, with this case, her true legacy becomes a negative shift in legal cases throughout the nation.

Question of the Week   
The largest-ever helicopter evacuation took place during which of the following conflicts?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Restoring order to America's cities isn't a complicated proposition.All it requires is resources and determination and a firm rejection of the longstanding progressive fallacy that an overwhelming police presence is 'provocative' and 'escalatory' and must be avoided.As has been established across decades of civil disturbances, it is police passivity that emboldens mobs. When the cops stand by, or…[more]
 
 
—Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
— Rich Lowry, National Review Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

Until this week, the U.S. House has required Members to be physically present to vote. Due to coronavirus, "proxy voting," allowing Members to cast votes for absent colleagues, is now being used. Should "proxy voting" be allowed to continue?