This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Home Jester's Courtroom A Stupid...Lawsuit
A Stupid...Lawsuit Print
Thursday, June 11 2015

A lawyer is suing the Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") for calling his patent stupid.

After a patent held by attorney Scott Horstemeyer was featured in the EFF's monthly "Stupid Patent of the Month" post, Horstemeyer had his lawyer send a threatening letter to the EFF, claiming the post included "false, defamatory and malicious statements." When the letter didn't get the result Horstemeyer sought -- removal of the post -- he went one step further and sued the EFF in a Georgia county court.

According to news reports, the lawsuit repeats the claims made in the letter and argues further that because Mark Cuban and Markus "notch" Persson donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the EFF, with Cuban's money going to form the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents" (a position currently held by Daniel Nazer, who wrote the original EFF post), it shows that the "defamation" was done "with malice" and "for their own selfish financial benefit and profit."

The EFF responded by stating that nothing in the article is even remotely defamatory.

The Article is opinion that is absolutely protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and state law, including that of Georgia and California. As your Letter does not identify any specific statement of fact that is provably false, it instead appears that your client takes issue with EFF expressing its belief that: Mr. Horstemeyer sought and was granted a "stupid" patent, - U.S. Patent No. 9,013,334 (the "'334 Patent"); that he appeared to "gam[e] the patent system" in doing so; and he may have acted unethically. While you may disagree with this opinion, it is not actionable.

The EFF further notes that it may seek an action against Horstemeyer if he does not decide to drop the suit, and aptly notes that continuing the lawsuit only draws further media attention.

Source:  techdirt.com

Question of the Week   
Currently, U.S. Daylight Saving Time ends annually on which of the following?
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—Michael Goodwin, New York Post
— Michael Goodwin, New York Post
 
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