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.
Jester’s Courtroom
Gearing Up for the Protest Lawsuit
Wednesday, September 02 2020

Several individuals involved in the Seattle protests have come together to file a lawsuit seeking taxpayer money to pay for expensive anti-police protective gear.

According to news reports, the lawsuit claims that having to purchase gas masks, boots, gloves, helmets and other gear deprives poorer demonstrators of their First Amendment rights.  In response, criminal defense attorney Brian Claypool calls the suit "out of bounds."

"You’ve got to be kidding me that you’re asking a court that taxpayers should pay for protective gear," Claypool said. "You’re asking a court that is supposed to be interpreting the law, not making the law, to then prescribe what levels of force that police officers can use in very fluid and volatile situations."

"You can’t charge people and make people have to buy expensive stuff in order to protest," countered Andrew Stoltmann, an attorney and adjunct law professor at Northwestern University. 

Claypool warned that if the plaintiffs win the lawsuit, it might encourage protestors to become more violent "because now the taxpayers are arming them with all this gear."

The Seattle City Attorney’s office intends to defend the city. The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order that would prohibit the use of force by city police.

Source: foxnews.com

Penny for Your Thoughts
Thursday, August 27 2020

A class action lawsuit has been filed against popular restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill after customers did not receive their exact change at checkout.

With a coin shortage happening throughout the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some stores are short-changing their customers. One plaintiff claims to have visited a Pennsylvania store and paid her $15.51 total with a $20 bill, only receiving $4 in return rather than $4.49. A second plaintiff claims she received $11 in change instead of $11.28.

“This ‘company policy’ not only discriminates against people who do not have, or do not wish to use, credit cards, but also results in a tax-free cash windfall to Chipotle,” the suit reads.

In a written statement, Chipotle Chief Corporate Affairs and Food Safety Officer Laurie Schalow said, “If a restaurant is low on change as a result of the nationwide coin shortage, our policy is to only accept exact change or other non-cash forms of payment.

“Restaurants that are impacted have signage posted on the door as well as inside, and employees have been instructed to alert guests prior to ordering. We encourage customers to contact us immediately with any concerns so we can investigate and respond quickly to make things right.”

Frank G. Salpietro, attorney for the plaintiffs, claims the corporate explanation and signage are not sufficient. “If someone tells you, ‘I’m gonna steal from you,’ and they steal from you, that didn’t get them off the hook.”

Source: post-gazette.com

Judge Judy Wants Day in Court
Thursday, August 20 2020

Judge Judy Sheindlin, the star of the syndicated long-running daytime television show “Judge Judy” is suing a talent agency in Los Angeles County Superior Court for $22 million in fees she alleges the agency wrongly received.

According to news reports, Sheindlin was "discovered" by two producers following a "60 Minutes" profile in 1993 that showcased her quick-witted style in the courtroom. At that time, the producers were represented by Richard Lawrence and his talent agency, Rebel Entertainment Partners, but, according to Sheindlin, that only lasted a very short time. Nonetheless, Richard Lawrence has allegedly collected $22 million over the last 24 years in syndication fees. Sheindlin calls him "an unethical and self-dealing talent agent, and one of the luckiest men in the world." Sheindlin says Lawrence and his agency were not entitled to collect "one penny of fees" because the agency did not represent a package deal and that the agency was "effectively stealing from the series’ bona fide profit participants, including Sheindlin."

Earlier this month, Rebel Entertainment sued CBS Studios, Sheindlin and others claiming it would be owed money if any "Judge Judy" episodes were sold.

Should the gavel come down in her favor, Sheindlin says she will donate any net proceeds she receives to the charity Stand Up To Cancer.

Source: Courthousenews.com

The Big Easy?
Thursday, August 13 2020

Comedian Andy Dick has filed a civil lawsuit in New Orleans against a man he claims punched him last year outside a French Quarter nightclub.

According to news reports, Dick alleges David Hale caused “serious, permanent and disabling injuries.” Dick seeks compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, among other damages. Hale maintains that Dick provoked him by grabbing Hale’s genitals and winking at him outside the club where Dick had performed. Dick denies the allegation.

"The entire suit is ridiculous," Hale's attorney, Michael Kennedy said, adding it was "appalling" that Dick would seek lost wages during a pandemic.

Last month the New Orleans district attorney’s office announced it was dropping the prosecution of Hale because Dick failed to cooperate and keep in touch with prosecutors. Dick has since said he would be willing to come to New Orleans to testify against Hale.

Source: Westport-news.com

Do Masks Interfere with the Ability to Pray?
Thursday, August 06 2020

A Florida pastor is suing local authorities over a mask mandate, claiming the resolution is wrong biblically.

Rev. Joel Tillis, a pastor at Suncoast Baptist Church in Palmetto, has joined forces with State Representative Anthony Sabatini (R) to nullify a local ordinance that requires people to wear masks inside businesses and churches when social distancing isn’t possible. Sabatini has filed over a dozen similar lawsuits across the state.

"The resolution is wrong legally. The resolution is wrong biblically. The resolution is wrong medically. The resolution is wrong, and we do not accept it under any circumstances," Tillis told a crowd at a gathering in support of the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the mandate is "a radical infringement of the reasonable and legitimate expectation of privacy and facial autonomy in addition to the medical privacy by forcing them to wear masks for the majority of the day." Tillis adds that the mandate makes it "more difficult for him to preach and for members of the choir at his church to sing."

Source: The Bradenton Herald



Question of the Week   
Which one of the following individuals laid the ‘Golden Spike’ joining the Eastern and Western U.S. railroad lines to create the Transcontinental Railway?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"President Trump's recent executive order laying out his 'America-First Healthcare Plan' makes clear his continued commitment to the long-standing, bipartisan consensus that we should protect people with preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, the previous administration's attempt to make good on that consensus -- Obamacare -- has failed to deliver on its promises.Contrary to the prevailing media narrative…[more]
 
 
—Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
— Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you believe you will be better off over the next four years with Joe Biden as president or with Donald Trump as president?