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View Diary: John Edwards, Trial Lawyers, and McDonald's Coffee (223 comments)

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  •  I'm quite rabid (none)
    on both stands.

    I want to stomp on greedy companies whose shoddiness injures people.

    I also want to scream at people "how could you be so stupid/careless/spaced-out as to do that to yourself and then expect some one else to take resposibility?

    Isn't there a saying about true intelligence being the ability to carry two conflicting views and not be crazy?

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 05:05:29 PM PDT

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    •  But they are not conflicting Claude (none)
      The idea is not that McDonald's should be strictly liable - it is that McDonald's should take reasonable steps to avoid causing foreseeable injury.

      In DHinMi's diary, he explains that the jury apportioned some blame to the Plaintiff, thus reducing the award.  The jury found that the bulk of the blame fell on McDonald's.  This is common garden variety stuff.

      "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Wes Clark (hopefully in the future J. Kerry)

      by Armando on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 05:12:06 PM PDT

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      •  I think the jury took one look (2.50)
        at the little 81 year old lady and opened the cash register drawer of the big bad McDs company is what happened.  

        And I think you may be being a little too cute by half.  As a fellow member of the bar, you know as well as I do that just because a jury concluded X or awarded $Y, doesn't neccessarily mean much. Besides just getting it wrong sometimes, juries are notoriously subject to varied biases, one of which is the poor little old lady or the little Billy plaintiffs.

        We don't use juries because they are all seeing; we use them because we prefer them to the alternative. (An alternative which civil law countries in Europe for example, are quite happy with.)

        •  Here's my position (none)
          Repeal the 7th Amendment.  Whose with me?

          But until such time, it is  a Constitutional right.

          "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Wes Clark (hopefully in the future J. Kerry)

          by Armando on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 06:02:51 PM PDT

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          •  that's not my point and you know it (none)
            My point is that merely because one jury awarded a fat award to the coffee lady, doesn't mean their cost-benefit calculus was correct, or even if they made one.  Juries get it wrong all the time, esp. will little white haired old lady plaintiffs are involved.
            •  also, the right to a jury (none)
              in civil cases does not apply to state courts, as you know.
            •  Now who's being disingenuous? (none)
              If the size of the award is what bothers you, don't bother.  Any jury award that is ridiculously high (and most that are not) is guaranteed to be reversed on appeal by a panel of comfortable judges that never saw the trial.  Their consciences are shocked by anything over the annual salary of a judge.
            •  Juries get it wrong... (none)
              Of course.

              So do lawyers.

              So do judges.

              Do you know anyone who doesn't?  No?  

              Good, then STFU.  Juries are--at least when not abusively distorted when empaneled--the worst judicial system ever devised.  Except for all the others.

              I'll take a jury over a hanging judge.  

              (After my own extended family watched a judge rape the intent of a deceased family member's will and trust... I got a button that read "Why rent a  alawyer when you can buy a judge?"  It's more cynical than I actually am... but it was clear to me then that one reason for a jury is that it's often... usually... harder to fix a jury.  Not that some in the legal profession haven't sought to figure out how)

              A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

              by ogre on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 07:40:13 PM PDT

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            •  LOL! (none)
              Little white-haired old lady plaintiffs who had to have skin grafts done -- you forgot a very germane part of the characterization, there.

              You didn't read the whole story at the start of this thread, I take it.

              "Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." (Mark Twain)

              by cinnamondog on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 09:49:29 PM PDT

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        •  Finally (none)
          someone with the guts to spill the beans on this story.... Follow the money I always say.

          Well to the middle, but progressive on ALL solutions.

          by Great Hunter on Mon Aug 02, 2004 at 06:08:57 PM PDT

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    •  Gotta agree with you here ... (4.00)
      ...when I was on the editorial page at the late Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in the late 1980s, about three or four times a year we would write one of what we called our "Hey, stupid!" editorials.

      For instance, every year some toddler drowns in a swimming pool because daddy or mommy takes a phone call or loads the dishwasher or glances at "Days of Our Lives" too long. A fence, or better yet, a pool cover, would rescue these dumbbells from never-ending grief. If a child's life wasn't lost, one could say the idiot parents have gotten their just desserts.

      On the other hand, when a pool vacuum pump sucks out a kid's intestines, the parents aren't to blame.

      Hooray for girlie men.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 05:18:05 PM PDT

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      •  In construction, we joke about... (none)
        ...drunk-proof as building an outdoor deck (for instance) strong enough that even if a hundred people were on it, drunk and jumping up and down in unison, it would hold them.  This is "drunk-proof".  We think about this a lot, because the builder is the first person the lawyers look at if something breaks.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 05:59:21 PM PDT

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      •  amen (none)
        and it's good to see you more and more back with us, Blades. Your difficulties don't seem to have affected your thinking ability any...

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 06:15:51 PM PDT

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        •  They've thinned his blood... (none)
          not his mental processes.

          A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment. -- Garrison Keillor

          by ogre on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 07:42:48 PM PDT

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