Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
While on our interminable Milberg Weiss Watch, we’ve tracked how judges have dealt with the issue of the plaintiffs’ firm’s indictment (here, here, and here.). Yesterday, Judge Joseph Tauro of federal court in Boston denied class certification in the Organogenesis securities-fraud litigation and ruled that Milberg was not adequate as sole lead counsel, due in part to the law firm’s indictment. Here’s the 29-page opinion, and here is an excerpt from the Court’s decision:
As noted above, Milberg Weiss’s performance in this case has not been ideal. Although it has defeated a Motion to Dismiss, it has also given the court reason to question its ability to adequately present truthful factual information to the court . . . A court concerned with insuring competent representation for an absent class must worry about the possibility of distraction as the firm and its partners struggle to defeat the criminal charges. Envision a future where the class is certified, then Milberg Weiss loses this case and is then convicted under the indictment. Looking back, this court would not be able to say that it met its obligations to the class if it ignored the effect of the indictment and the mounting questions in this case about Milberg Weiss’s credibility and diligence.
Through a spokesman, Milberg Weiss declined to comment.These were supposed to be the good guys saving the small investor from sneaky-crooked-businessmen. Looks like it was the Lawyers ginning up some contingency fee millions. (Tongue firmly in-cheek)
Dickie Scruggs, Mississippi’s noted trial lawyer, made a fortune suing asbestos makers and Big Tobacco. Now he’s trying to force insurers to pay more for damage from Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed his house in Pascagoula. “Scruggs, 60, slim, often folksy and smooth as molasses in court, is using techniques that he honed in his earlier legal fights,” writes the Times in a profile today. “He is arguing now, as he did before to such good effect, that he is fighting for the little guy who cannot stand up alone to big anonymous companies.” Said a Mississippian of the state’s most famous lawyer: “He’s good people. He’s down to earth. If he tells you something, it’s gospel.”
A WSJ editorial yesterday excoriated Scruggs and Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood for what it says was a tag-team assault on State Farm insurance. Hood filed a civil suit against State Farm and other insurers post-Katrina, right around the same time Scruggs filed his lawsuit. Hood then began a criminal probe, in which the Journal says Scruggs improperly assisted. Next week a judge will hold a hearing why Scruggs shouldn’t be held in contempt of court. Scruggs stands to make millions in contingency fees from a State Farm settlement, says the WSJ. “Look for some of that cash to make it back to Mr. Hood in the form of campaign contributions.”No wonder the Republicans lost. (Trent Lott figures in here, smellingly.) They don't deserve to hold office. Mississippi keeps falling into the backwater-Third world-mentality. Alabama looks great in comparison. Well, It is. The whole insurance mess is gonna cost -EVERYONE- lots of money. Voiding contracts due to political whims is never a good idea. Read yesterday's editorial. It will turn your stomach.
Illegal bike trails threaten riders, rankle officials
Friday, March 16, 2007
Three mountain bikers say they narrowly escaped injury in the foothills of Marin County last week when they unknowingly turned on a closed, renegade-built bike trail and then nearly plowed into barbed wire and fence stakes intended to block outlaw riders.
Having spent a few years on the trails of Marin, I applaud the efforts of the County and feds to regulate the Mountain Kamikazees. HOWEVER, I cannot approve anything that might physically harm anyone. Cut the trail with a ditch, but do NOT EVER place spikes or barbed wire. The bikers move TOO FAST to see such things. THAT WHY WE DON'T WANT EM ON THE TRAILS. If they were moving slow enough to see or respond, they would not be banned.
Bikers: Stay on fire roads.
Hikers: Stay on trails or side of fire road
Horses: Keep doing what you do best
Michelle Malkin is having fun. She is covering this weekends protest in DC, news (and lots of good links) from Iran and Afghanistan.
If you don't read her daily, you should... Scroll down. Lots of good stuff She really cares about her topics, her troops, her opinions. She is So Much fun to read.
Jay Tea over at Wizbang is having fun reporting on the silliness from MA and NH. He's a blogging industry with several writers, topics, and products.... Scroll down
Slashdot always has interesting news for nerds. They're sort of an intellectual-nerdy Fark
The Internet brings immediacy, intimacy and transparency that we simply do not get with Established Media. Happily, some are changing and opening their editorial pages, staff, journalists, reporters and columnists to the presence of the Blog-O-Sphere. (Its my peccadillo; I like that spelling)
We all get to know each other in a limited but intimate and immediate way thru this medium. Some lose perspective and over share. This results in the famous TMI Overload. Others can exchange emails, blog postings and messages for years and never reveal anything personal about themselves.
I prefer to introduce my friends, offer some comments and invite yours in return. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. This usually means slowly, deliberately and cautiously. If you feel at home, add a note. If you've got something I should see, please add a comment.
FuturePundit, Randall Parker runs one of the most interesting blogs in the Blog-O-Sphere.
Here is but one small sample of but one topic:
Biomass Plus Hydrogen For All Transportation?
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University chemical engineers have proposed a new environmentally friendly process for producing liquid fuels from plant matter - or biomass - potentially available from agricultural and forest waste, providing all of the fuel needed for "the entire U.S. transportation sector."
The new approach modifies conventional methods for producing liquid fuels from biomass by adding hydrogen from a "carbon-free" energy source, such as solar or nuclear power, during a step called gasification. Adding hydrogen during this step suppresses the formation of carbon dioxide and increases the efficiency of the process, making it possible to produce three times the volume of biofuels from the same quantity of biomass, said Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue's Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.
The researchers are calling their approach a "hybrid hydrogen-carbon process," or H2CAR.
The resulting liquids would be more like gasoline than like ethanol since they'd be more chemically reduced and therefore more energy dense. That would remove one of the big downsides of biomass: ethanol only takes you two thirds as far as gasoline and therefore you have to go to gas stations more often if you burn ethanol.
Agrawal is essentially arguing to use electricity from wind, solar, or nuclear to make liquid fuelsYes, another interesting fellow you should spend some time scrolling down and getting to know. He covers medicine , science, technology and sociology... A little bit of something for everyone.
Please read him. I always learn something.
One candidate has begun her quest by holding conversations around the country. She has a history of talking more than listening, but perhaps that is a conversation in her eyes.
The folks at Air Congress have some thoughts and votes on this subject. A mystery video is working its way thru the YouTube-O-Sphere. Its author is unknown. Suspicions arise by jaded political handicappers and wingnutz of all stripes.
Its good to see the new toys being used so early. I expect to seem many many more... Some will be of dubious taste and not for public consumption... No, no inside knowledge. Just a healthy respect for my fellow Americans and our love of the pompous.
Its gonna be a long ride. Enjoy the scenery!
Lightning Gun Loses Steam, Keeps Fans
For all you out there who have cashed in your shares of Metal Storm because you've lost faith in the company's "million-rounds-a-minute" weapon, maybe there's a bargain to be had over at Ionatron -- the group that's trying to use laser pulses, less than a ten-trillionth of a second long, to carve conductive channels of ionized oxygen in the air. I mean, those Aussies were so 20th century with their kinetic firepower; Ionatron's got a freakin' lightning gun!
Or at least, they're working on one
Scroll down... Keep reading... Cool Toys for Men and Boys...