The wheels of justice grind slowly, but medical bills and missed paychecks add up fast. In personal injury cases, plaintiffs waiting for a recovery can sometimes get an advance against their potential payout to help keep up with living expenses, but the practice remains controversial. Proponents say such funding ensures desperate plaintiffs don’t have to accept a low ball settlement offer to stave off financial ruin. Opponents say plaintiffs are charged usurious rates that can make them reluctant to settle cases.
There are multiple ways of looking at any piece of complex business litigation. Where a law firm may see a strong legal claim that could bring in a massive recovery and a big fee, a client company may see a risky, expensive proposition whose costs could run into the millions of dollars. But investment firms may see the case as yet something else—an attractive money-making opportunity.
Students with deep religious convictions are fast turning public schools into the newest battleground over abortion — much to the dismay of beleaguered school officials. The most recent controversy involves Annie Zinos, a sixth-grade student in Minnesota, who was prohibited by her school from sharing pro-life literature with her classmates. Last week, Annie and her family filed suit against school officials for violating her First Amendment rights.
Dressing up his personal vendetta in the guise of a concerned citizen performing a public service will not spare one disgruntled father-in-law from a defamation suit brought by his daughter-in-law.
It’s bad enough having a girlfriend who begs to help prosecutors send you to prison for 46 years. But it’s even worse when a judge prevents the jury from learning that she avoided the same sentence by turning state’s witness. That scenario led a divided South Carolina Court of Appeals to determine that Jo Pradubsri was entitled to a retrial on drug and gun charges. The majority found that the trial court had deprived Pradubsri of his constitutional right to question his girlfriend, Melisa Martin, about the sentence she dodged by securing a plea deal.
South Carolina law is generally rather unfavorable to employees who have been fired: the state’s “at will” doctrine allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason, or no reason at all. But the state recognizes one exception to the rule, the “public policy exception,” when a firing would violate a clear mandate of public policy. Since it is the only concession recognized by law, it’s a popular target for ex-employees suing for wrongful termination.
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt another blow to class actions in its recent decision allowing an employer to get rid of a wage class action by “picking off” the named plaintiff before it begins.
The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently refused to sever an arbitration clause from a contract between homebuilder D.R. Horton and a homebuyer because the contract itself was deemed unconscionable.
The family of a 91-year-old man who was killed in a car wreck with a police cruiser has settled a lawsuit with the S.C. Department of Public Safety for $250,000.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs desperately needs a new company computer guy, according to the lawyers behind a scathing class-action lawsuit that claims bungling officials at a Columbia VA hospital lost an unsecured laptop computer containing the personal information of thousands of vets.
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