Questions to ask before choosing the right cooler

Thinking about the cooler is not enough. There are many questions which you should ask from yourself when you will go to buy the cooler. There are many people who are confused in deciding that which cooler will be the perfect option for them. If you are also one of them, then you should go for the information given in the further paragraphs. Buying the best cooler for the money is not as easy as you think because of the multiple options. You need to put little efforts before choosing any one piece so that you will meet with reliable result further.


Several questions are there which you should ask before you choose the cooler for you. Some of those questions are:-

How much area you have to install?

When you go to buy the cooler for you, then you much look at the place where you have though to install the cooler. You should measure that area so that you can find that how much size do you need which can be installed at that particular place.

What kind of quality do you want?

There are different coolers which are available in the market, and it is obvious that you want the one which will lead to worth your money. Yes, there is no doubt in it that if you spend much money on the coolers, then it will help you to get extra features in it such as energy saving, water saving and other also. But it is only one time investment, but if you buy the other ones of low quality, then you have to spend much more money on it. That is why you should buy the best cooler for the money.

What is your budget?

It is the most important thing on which you should focus. There are numbers of options you can find in the market for the coolers with different prices. You should fix your budget that you can spend on the cooler and then you should go to search the options which will come within your budget. By this means you will get the best cooler for you at an affordable price.

Hope that you are satisfied with the above mentioned information and will ask these questions from yourself when you will go to buy the best cooler for the money. Remember to look at your requirements always from the cooler.

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How to chose main Weight Loss diet

Do YOU look for an efficient Weight Loss Product ?

If you just type Weight Loss on Google, you will find a lot of things. Few good, a lot of scam.

So how can YOU find a good option ?

We could give you HUNDREDS of small worthy pieces of advice, write a complete methodology integrating the most effective insights we could get during those years in the diet and weight loss coaching. Yet that would take literally months, and become a really complex method.


I have a secret to confess that I AM ASHAMED OF : despite all the high price we put on our coaching services, every one can reach results without, because following the Golden Keys to Weight Loss with a good diet will bring effective weight loss with Phen24.

“Slim ! Help me find the right diet !” I shouted.

He smiled, raised his eyebrow. “For ?” he asked.

“For people reading Enjoy Weight Loss Secrets who just want some easy to get and to use, enjoyable, safe and efficient diet basis”.

“Are you crazy ?”

I am. Slim is crazy too, turned out.

So we did IT.


We ordered 2 dozens of products. How did we chose ? The best way we could :

We chose those that were getting real efficiency feedback (not only on their sales page), that past clients used to order and found working or that got some positive medical, and only if they were matching our ethical and technical key points. We also asked our beloved boss to use his contacts in the affiliate world to confirm which products were giving few refunding requests from clients.


And it went worse as we read those books, listened to those CDs…

Some were just.. let’s be the kind and positive guys… not fit.

We Gave Those Producs to have them real-world tested

Others were really good, and some were outstanding. From those, we gave those products each to five volunteer patients during the past year and a half that we were not coaching for weight loss, but were given access to the advice of this site.

Then we took feedback, and saw results.

Strange indeed, the best products were not the ones we thought. Some have strange sales pages, or use a basis that in itself might not be sufficient (yet in fact other insights in the producs compensate for these shortcuts).

Yet all were compliant to our 7 Golden Keys, and turned out to be sufficient to make our patients successfully lose weight 5 times out of 5 (from 10 pounds to an unexpected 85 pounds, most within the 20-40 pounds range).

Well, ok I guess you just want to get the product will work best for you now ?

Just wait for a few more seconds before rushing to the order page please,  I’m going to detail each of those 3 that proved the most efficient, and that we feel like recommending to YOU.

(Note that 5 other products gave good results but seem less 7 Golden Keys compliant or more random by themselves in the long run and should need a few more indications to ensure they will bring you results ; we disqualified one product for having not responded to a refund request from one of our past clients).

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The Real Truth Behind Losing That Belly Fat, In Next To No Time At All!

Lose Belly Fat Naturally

What is the fastest & healthy way to lose belly fat naturally? Here is a question that has been asked so many times before. I have come across a lot of people going to extreme measures just to lose belly fat. Many of the things they have done have eventually harmed their bodies more than it has done good.Here are a couple of tips for the healthiest and fastest ways to lose belly fat with

* Never Ever Skip Breakfast

Many times we usually skip breakfast because we’re late or we think that it will help us with our weight loss goals. Breakfast is said to be the most important meal in the day. When we skip breakfast after many hours of sleep, our bodies go into a starvation mode. When this happens, our metabolism rate slows down because it tries to conserve energy and burn less fat. It is advised that you have a heavy breakfast.

Eat More Meals More Often

Yes, you heard me right! A good tip for losing belly fat in fastest way is to eat more often. When you eat more often though, your portion sizes will have to decrease. It is recommended that you have around 5 to 6 small meals a day to prevent you from binging on snacks and junk food and also to stop you from overeating at meal times.

Look Out For What You Are Eating

All weight loss goals begin and end in the kitchen. What you eat accounts for between 85 to 90 percent of losing weight. The most proven way to lose belly fat is by maintaining a very strict diet regimen. Your meals need to have a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. Switch from regular bread to whole wheat bread, try brown rice instead of white, eat more fruits and vegetables and also try out skimmed milk instead of the regular milk. With a few changes in your meal plan, you can go a long way towards losing belly fat.

Exercise Regularly

Cardio workouts are one of the best forms of exercises for people looking to lose belly fat. Cardio workouts include cycling, boxing, jogging/running and even rowing. These are workouts that really make you sweat and get your heart pumping. With cardio workouts, you might want to do some lifting of weights and abs exercises too. Lifting weights helps with increasing muscle density. With all these, you will not only lose belly fat but also tone your abs at the same time. Who does not want a set of perfectly tight abs?

Stay Hydrated

Stay hydrated b y drinking a lot of water. Water helps to keep your liver functioning right which helps in the fat burning process. If you are a beer drinker, try cutting down your alcohol consumption or even switching to Light Beers instead of regular ones. Also, try hot green tea for a change. It is said that green tea helps in the neutralization of fatty foods.

Quickest Ways to Lose Belly Fat for Men & Women

There are not many articles that will teach you to lose belly fat in 1 week because losing belly fat in 1 week is too extreme and can cause unhealthy side effects. Even though I can’t tell you how much fat you can lose in one week but here I will share with several simple steps that you can do to burn belly fat in shortest time possible.

  1. Cut junk foods and high calorie foods
  2. Drink more water each day
  3. Exercise for 45 minutes each day
  4. Do yoga or Pilates to strengthen your entire body

1 Cut Junk Foods & High Calorie Foods

Toss away any food that high is high in sugar, fat, cholesterol and calories, the examples are chip, cookies and candy. These foods provide no nutrition to your meals only full of calories. This means no matter how hard you do your exercise you won’t lose any weight at all.

2 Drink More Water Each Day

You should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. This is useful to help your body flush out toxins and excess water. This way you will reduce belly bloat and as a result appear slimmer.

3 Do Exercise for 45 Minutes a Day

This exercise will keep your heart rate up. When you do proper workout consistently you will burn calories and lose belly fat fast. Some examples of exercises that you should do are jogging, biking, and swimming.

4Do Yoga or Pilates to Strengthen Your Entire Body

Yoga or Pilates is useful to strengthen your entire body. You should perform any type of exercise that build muscle mass and keep your metabolism high. The more muscles that you build the more calories and fat that you burn.

Remember the key to lose fat and maintain your weight is to incorporate all steps above into your lifestyle. When you do the steps above regularly you will lose weight and maintain your body shape.These are just a few tips for the fastest way to lose belly fat. You need to be consistent with your exercise and workouts and also faithful to your diet regimens to reap the benefits of belly fat loss.

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An ultimate guide to online marketing services

Nowadays, online marketing services are on hype. These services are providing enormous benefits to the users. It is known as digital marketing that is quite cheaper and cost effective as well.  If you want to promote your business, then one needs to make the use of online services. It is really beneficial because one can enhance the awareness of the brand.

It would be quite difficult to find a person who isn’t making the use of the official online website.  They are sharing their products on the official websites. The best thing is that they are attracting millions of users at ones. Therefore, if you want to become a successful businessman, then one needs to invest money in the SEO services.  Following are the most popular online marketing services.

  • SEO services

It is First and foremost service that is providing enormous benefits to website owners. If you want to improve the ranking of your website in search engine, then you should lookout an SEO professional company. Make sure that the company is providing you enough experienced and skilled person that will improve the ranking of your website within a few days. Apart from that, it is almost similar to promotions. After choosing the SEO services, you don’t have to spend money on promotion and other things. A professional will automatically promote your website on the social networking site.

  • Website Design

It is another most popular service. If you want to create a new website, then you have to hire an expert website designer. Make sure that you are choosing an expert that will create the fantastic design of the website. Before choosing a designer, you should check the portfolio of him. If he can create a website for the Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop, then it would be a reliable option for you. However is one of the most popular websites that is providing online marketing services at reasonable worth.

  • Graphic design

Last but not least, flyers and brochures are quite important for the business. It is an integral part of the promotion. With the help of a graphic designer, one will able to grab high-end designs of Flyers and brochures.  It will save time and cost.

Conclusive details

In a nutshell, with the help of online marketing services, you will able to create a strong presence of the business. You should always hire a professional company for online marketing services.

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The Real Causes of Deadly Medical Errors Doctor Shortages NOT MedMal Lawsuits

Two Wall Street Journal articles today highlight the real reason for medical errors, which kill up to 100,000 hospital patients annually, and for the shortages in doctors across the country. And in neither case do lawsuits for medical malpractice, or premium levels for medical malpractice insurance, play any role.

The U.S. government reports that medical errors are among the leading cause of death in America today, and are the real source of so many medical malpractice lawsuits. The Wall Street Journal article points out that the occurrence is entirely the fault of the practitioners:

According to a two-pronged survey of operating-room and critical-care nurses conducted by their professional associations and VitalSmarts, a global training and consulting firm, 85% of 2,383 nurses surveyed said they’d been in a situation where measures put in place to reduce errors – including checklists or hand-off protocols — warned them of a problem that would have otherwise harmed a patient. That’s the good news. The bad is that 58% of the nurses said they’d been in situations where it was either unsafe to speak up or they were unable to get others to listen.

The report focuses on what causes this type of communication breakdown, including three concerns that are rarely discussed by health-care teams: dangerous shortcuts, incompetence and disrespect. Among respondents to a separate survey of 4,235 nurses, 84% reported working with people who take potentially dangerous shortcuts, such as not washing hands for long enough, with 34% saying shortcuts had led to near misses and 26% saying they caused harm to patients. Some 19% say incompetence or lack of required skills have harmed patients and 20% say that disrespect is making them seriously consider leaving their profession.

Hmmm, nothing about medical malpractice premiums or lawsuits in there. Want to end medmal lawsuits? Try ending deadly medical errors first, instead of letting “dangerous shortcuts, incompetence, and disrespect” go unpunished.

Then there’s the nationwide shortage of doctors, which pro-tort reformers like to link to medmal suits and medmal insurance premiums. But many states already have limits on medmal lawsuits. As I posted last week, there’s been a doctor shortage in Texas even after the state enacted a very tough limit on medmal suits.

So what does the WSJ article today say is the cause of a worsening doctor shortage? OBAMACARE!! What a big surprise!! Promise everyone free health insurance and, POOF, we don’t have enough doctors to treat all these new patients. From that article:

The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors. Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient. The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.

So if you want to cure the doctor shortage, let’s repeal ObamaCare! Longtime readers of this site know that I consider ObamaCare to be every bit as violative of the Commerce Clause as current medmal “reform proposals.” But now the article gives us another reason to oppose it, as if we needed another reason.

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Trial Lawyers Group President Urges New Congress to Support 7th Amendment

In November I wrote on the remarks by Gibson Vance, President of the American Association for Justice, the largest trial lawyers’ association in the world, at the National Convention of the Federalist Society on November 20. Mr. Vance discussed the history of the right to civil jury trials, as protected in the 7th Amendment of the Constitution, and the current dangers to our rights through mechanisms such as federal preemption of state jury decisions.

Today, Mr. Vance reiterated many of those points in an article posted on the Huffington Post, titled “Constitutional Conservatives and the 7th Amendment.” He urged newly elected Congressmen from the ranks of Constitutional conservatives and Tea Party members to protect our 7th Amendment rights in future votes. You can read the entire article there, and here are some excerpts:

The constitutional conservatives’ stated commitment to our country’s founding principles is at this point widely known. But what is not widely known is where this group will come down regardingtort reform” – or limiting people’s 7th Amendment right to trial by jury.

The right to a trial by jury for civil suits dates back almost 800 years, to the signing of the Magna Carta. Article 39 of the Magna Carta specifically guaranteed the right to a jury trial for civil suits and criminal cases.

Our Founding Fathers also agreed with the importance of a trial by jury. In the words of James Madison, “In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.”

Votes on tort reform will be one of the first true tests of newly-elected Constitutional Conservatives. In fact, the House will vote on Wednesday to repeal the health care reform law and take steps toward creating an alternative plan that would include limiting the legal rights of patients. These members should consider how this idea conflicts with the limited government they promote.

The concept of tort reform is an assault on states’ rights and individual freedom. Though politics may try to disguise our commonalities, constitutional conservatives claim adherence to very similar principles as do trial attorneys: preserving and promoting individual liberty, responsibility and the rule of law.

Our founding fathers had no intention of making the 2nd Amendment more or less important than the 7th, or any other part of the Bill of Rights. We cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution to follow or to ignore.

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Supreme Court Again Expands Use of Forced Arbitration Clauses

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has taken another opportunity to expand the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, denying us the right to negotiate such clauses out and take our claims to a jury. On the heels of the landmark ATT Mobility v. Concepcion decision, the Court held in CompuCredit v. Greenwood, that companies that promise to repair an individual’s credit can force customers into arbitration, instead of to a judge or jury trial, under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), even though the 1996 the Credit Repair Organizations Act gives consumers “the right to sue,” because the latter act doesn’t explicitly overrule the FAA. The impact of this decision extends the scope of the FAA and represents another in a string of decisions approving of forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts.

A 1965 Supreme Court decision included a powerful summary of the detriments of arbitration: “Arbitration differs from judicial proceedings in many ways: arbitration carries no right to a jury trial as guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment; arbitrators need not be instructed in the law; they are not bound by rules of evidence; they need not give reasons for their awards; witnesses need not be sworn; the record of proceedings need not be complete; and judicial review, it has been held, is extremely limited.”

Forced arbitration clauses are never negotiable by the consumer, and the proceedings are heavily biased towards the business. The FAA might now be the most powerful anti-jury trial federal law on the books, with consumers trapped.

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Rick Perry Panics And Trashes Founders States Rights Jury Trials

Governor Rick Perry took the gloves off in the CNN-Tea Party Express debate, declaring war on the 7th and 10th Amendments by calling for “federal tort reform,” as follows:

“…one of the things that’s really important, one of the things that the Fed Reserve chairman said was the most powerful, one of the most powerful thing that happened, was tort reform that we passed in that state. You want to talk about some powerful job creation, tell the trial lawyers to get out of your state and to quit costing businessmen and women. That’s what needs to happen in the states. and it’s also what needs to happen at the federal level, passing federal tort reform at those federal levels.”

So never mind that SEVEN conservative experts on constitutional law, including the leading anti-ObamaCare professor in America and two noted ANTI-civil litigation experts, have written that federal tort reform is an unconstitutional abridgement of states’ rights. Never mind that the long list of REPUBLICANS who agree with that assessment include former Texas judge and current Congressman Ted Poe; Rep. Ron Paul; Sen. Tom Coburn; Tea Party favorite Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia; and veteran Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee. Never mind that the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, Mark Meckler of Texas, also says that tort law is a province of the states. Forget about the long letter by the bi-partisan National Conference of State Legislators, co-signed by a Texas state representive, that warned Congress against enacting federal tort reform because it violates states’ rights.

Has Rick Perry or his vaunted team ever read what the Founding Fathers actually wrote about the right to a jury trial for civil suits? What about James Madison’s famous admonition that the 7th Amendment right is “as essential in securing the liberty of the people as any of the pre-eminent rights of nature,” and Thomas Jefferson’s clear principle that trial by jury in all cases is “the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” Doesn’t he realize that
the protection of any of our inalienable rights depends, in large measure, on the right to unfettered access to state and local courts?

Conservatives like Rick Perry who think that “tort reform” can be limited to just medical malpractice cases are dreaming. When any of our rights are compromised, ALL of our rights are limited, including the rights to freely exercise our religion, bear arms, express our opinions without fear of being muzzled, and enjoy the benefits of our private property and labor freely offered.

No, Perry didn’t care about constitutional principles at all. He felt the heat of all the criticism he was taking from the other candidates and grasped for the big applause line – “kill all the lawyers.” He shot his mouth off in the heat of battle. Sound like a real President to you? What will he say when he’s up against a real tough guy, like Ahmadinijad? If he’s ignorant on some of the basic writings of our Founding Fathers, distrustful of local juries, and willing to throw the Constitution overboard for an applause line, how are we supposed to trust him with our lives and fortunes?

Ideas have consequences. I’ll discuss the real-world consequences of Rick Perry’s federal tort reform for victims in my next post. For starters, the consequences are that Rick Perry breaks his promises; that he’s a phony “states’ righter;” he’s flip-flopped on the use of federal power and the Constitution as they apply to abortion, marriage, and the civil jury process; he’s not a real “Tea Party” leader or representative; and he’s a classic “crony capitalist.” What else is there?

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Quote of the Day Sen Tom Coburn Opposes HR 5 Federal Tort Reform Laws

What I worry about as a fiscal conservative and also as a constitutionalist, is that the first time we put our nose under the tent to start telling Oklahoma or Ohio or Michigan what their tort law will be, where will it stop? In other words, if we can expand the commerce clause enough to mandate that you have to buy health insurance, then I’m sure nobody would object to saying we can extend it enough to say what your tort law is going to be. Then we are going to have the federal government telling us what our tort laws are going to be in healthcare, and what about our tort laws in everything else? Where does it stop?

One of the things our founders believed was that our 13 separate states could actually have some unique identity under this constitution and maybe do things differently, and I think we ought to allow that process to continue as long as we are protecting human and civil rights.

So says Sen. Tom Coburn, Republican from Oklahoma and a veteran doctor, in a new interview with Medscape, a pro-tort reform website. Thank God there are more clear-eyed Constitutional conservatives now in Congress like Sen. Coburn, who recognizes what the Founding Fathers were actually doing when they enacted the Commerce Clause and the Bill of Rights. The Commerce Clause in no way justifies the imposition of federal tort reform laws such as H.R. 5, the medical malpractice tort reform bill to federally limit civil suits against health care providers, drug and device companies, and insurance companies. He reiterates the point that I made here on May 6, that if health insurance isn’t “commerce,” then neither is health litigation. Sen. Coburn also recognizes that the so-called “state flexibility” section in H.R. 5 is a joke and doesn’t protect states’ rights at all, in contradiction to the 10th Amendment.

Sen. Coburn joins the following SEVEN Constitutional scholars in opposing H.R. 5 and the wholesale destruction of states’ rights through sweeping federal tort reform laws:

Prof. John Baker, LSU Law School
Prof. Randy Barnett, Georgetown Law Center
Rob Natelson, Independence Institute
Walter Olson, Cato Institute
Ted Frank
Prof. Ilya Somin, George Mason Law School
Prof. Jonathan Adler, Case Western Reserve Law School

Sen. Coburn is joined by Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler and real conservatives in Congress such as Reps. Ron Paul, John Duncan, Morgan Griffith, Lee Terry, and many others.

Sen. Coburn’s vote for Constitutional limits on Congressional power is a breath of fresh air, and we should support him with calls and e-mails to our Congressmen and Senators.

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The Constitutions Police Power Including Tort Law Isnt Subject to Federal Authority

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Obamacare case (Acrobat document) highlighted the limits of federal authority over states’ and individual rights. Over and over again, Chief Justice Roberts wrote of the Constitution’s enumerated powers for the federal government and of the need to protect states from an overreaching federal government. He defined states’ rights in terms of the inherent “police power” which is reserved for the states. Here is a key quote:

The Constitution may restrict state governments–as it does, for example, by forbidding them to deny any person the equal protection of the laws. But where such prohibitions do not apply, state governments do not need constitutional authorization to act. The States thus can and do perform many of the vital functions of modern government–punishing street crime, running public schools, and zoning property for development, to name but a few–even though the Constitution’s text does not authorize any government to do so. Our cases refer to this general power of governing, possessed by the States but not by the Federal Government, as the ‘police power.’ See, e.g., United States v. Morrison, 529 U. S. 598, 618-619 (2000).

And Justice Roberts was unwilling to enable the federal government to mandate the purchase of health insurance under the Commerce Clause, in contradiction to the “police power” of the states.

“The Commerce Clause is not a general license to regulate an individual from cradle to grave, simply because he will predictably engage in particular transactions. Any police power to regulate individuals as such, as opposed to their activities, remains vested in the States… The Government argues that the individual mandate can be sustained as a sort of exception to this rule, because health insurance is a unique product… The proximity and degree of connection between the mandate and the subsequent commercial activity is too lacking to justify an exception of the sort urged by the Government. The individual mandate forces individuals into commerce precisely because they elected to refrain from commercial activity. Such a law cannot be sustained under a clause authorizing Congress to ‘regulate Commerce.'”

Justice Roberts cited the U.S. v Morrison case, in which then-Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote several times that the Constitution reserved the “police power” to the states, and quoted from the Supreme Court’s ruling in the U.S. v Lopez case: “[W]e always have rejected readings of the Commerce Clause and the scope of federal power that would permit Congress to exercise a police power.”

Paul Clement, who argued the case against Obamacare before the Court, also asserted that “the police power resides with the states” in a debate at the 2011 Federalist Society national convention. In the brief filed for the State of Florida before the Court, he asserted that the Constitution “reserves the plenary police power to the states” (page 17 of the brief).

So what is included under the umbrella of the constitutional “police power?” Well, one of the Republicans’ favorite legal experts and anti-Obamacare theorists says that tort law is a “police power” not subject to federal authority:

Prof. Randy Barnett, in May 2011: “But tort law — the body of rules by which persons seek damages for injuries to their person and property — has always been regulated by states, not the federal government. Tort law is at the heart of what is called the ‘police power’ of states… Indeed, if Congress now can regulate tort law, which has always been at the core of state powers, then Congress, and not the states, has a general police power.”

And other top Republican, anti-Obamacare constitutional experts clearly agree with Prof. Barnett’s conclusion that Congress has no business regulating tort law through, for instance, federal limits on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, in November 2011, writing about a Senate bill to cap awards in medical malpractice cases: “The legislation is breathtakingly broad in its assumptions about federal power, particularly the same power to regulate commerce that lies at the heart of all the lawsuits (including Virginia’s) against the individual mandate of the 2010 federal health-care law… This legislation expands federal power, tramples the states and violates the Constitution.”

Sen. Mike Lee on Fox Business Network in March: “It’s the states that license and regulate health care, health insurance companies. It’s the states that come up with the system of tort laws that govern medical malpractice lawsuits.”

Prof. John Baker, in June 2011: “To justify their efforts to nationalize medical malpractice law, House Republicans are stretching the Supreme Court’s New Deal Commerce Clause jurisprudence almost as far as Democrats did for Obamacare.”

Carrie Severino of the Judicial Action Network, in October 2011: “The law’s own justification for its constitutional authority should be chilling to anyone committed to limited federal power… Congress would be nationalizing purely local activity because state-by-state solutions would require a lot of resources and hard work.”

Rob Natelson, writing about the Founders’ intentions in the Constitution in his monograph titled, ‘The Roots of Judicial Federalism’: “Reserved to the states would be nearly all the authority they had exercised previously, including power over state court procedures and over existing areas of substantive jurisdiction. With a few exceptions, therefore, the states were left in exclusive possession of the law of torts, contracts, inheritance, property, and criminal law.”

So there’s no argument among top Republican experts – tort law just isn’t a federal issue, and the Obamacare decision only made that point perfectly clear.

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Trial Lawyer For Religious Freedom Speaks At Rally

Robert Muise, Esq., is the co-founder of the American Freedom Law Center, a nonprofit litigation firm fighting for religious freedom in courtrooms nationwide. AFLC is one of the conservative religious liberty litigation firms that I refer to as the “Trial Lawyers For Religious Freedom,” a group that includes the Alliance Defense Fund, the Becket Fund, and and the Thomas More Law Center, which Muise also founded.

Earlier this year, AFLC filed a lawsuit against the Obamacare contraception mandates on behalf on the Catholic group “Priests For Life.” On Friday, Mr. Muise spoke at one of the scores of “Stand Up For Religious Freedom” rallies held nationwide, to discuss the lawsuits.

Mr. Muise, a Catholic, co-founded AFLC with David Yerushami, an Orthodox Jew, and highlighted the nonsectarian nature of religious freedom in his remarks. “This is not just a Catholic issue, it’s an American issue.” You can watch Muise’s remarks here:

Republicans who condemn trial lawyers should remember that champions of religious freedom such as Muise are filing their suits under the same Constitution and Bill of Rights as trial lawyers filing medical malpractice and product liability claims.

Do anti-trial lawyer Republicans want to “tort reform” the religious freedom lawsuits filed by AFLC, ADF, and the Catholic groups and limit their rights in court?

Do anti-trial lawyer Republicans want to give orders to state courts on the procedures for hearing such suits, just as they do in H.R. 5, the bill to federally limit medmal awards?

Do anti-trial lawyer Republicans want to impose federal wage controls on trial lawyers for religious freedom, like they propose in H.R. 5 for attorneys filing medmal lawsuits?

When will the Republicans who slam trial lawyers realize that the Founding Fathers created ONE process for the disposition of civil suits for ALL claims – religious freedom, gun rights, property rights, AND medmal AND product liability claims? And protected the right to a jury trial for ALL civil suits in the 7th Amendment – a right now demanded by Catholic Bishops and charities around the country?

Because sooner or later, if the “tort reform” movement gets its way in Congress to protect health care professionals from negligence, some group might try to “tort reform” away our religious freedom.

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Quote of the Day Archives

But federalism is as much a question of deeds as words. It often takes the form of a concrete decision by this Court that respects the legitimacy of a State’s action in an individual case. Here, recognition of that federalist ideal, embodied in specific language in this particular statute, should lead us to uphold California’s law, not to strike it down. We do not honor federalist principles in their breach.

So wrote that noted champion of the 7th and 10th Amendments, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, on the last page of a dissent from a majority decision today that pre-empts and overrules California consumer protection law in favor of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). Yes, I’m joking – I don’t see Justice Breyer’s name on many lips of Constitutional conservatives or Tea Party websites. And in fact, Justice Breyer has sided with pro-pre-emption Justices in other cases, notably over medical device regulation, a subject I addressed last year. But in the decision announced today in AT&T Mobility LLC v Concepcion, Justice Breyer and the three other Democrat-nominated Justices supported states’ rights and dissented from the majority’s pre-emption hammer. In so doing, they supported states which want to allow their citizens to exercise their 7th Amendment right to a civil jury trial when trapped by forced arbitration clauses in a consumer contract (in this case, a cell phone contract).

In contrast, each of the Republican-nominated Justices, led by Justice Scalia (who apparently has never met a pro-pre-emption argument he didn’t like), struck down California state law and court decisions enabling class action lawsuits against forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. So even when a state acts to protect its citizens from such abusive contracts, the FAA trumps the state law. When faced with language in Section 2 of the FAA that should protect states’ ability to revoke any contract (“save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract”), the majority flattens it:

Although §2’s saving clause preserves generally applicable contract defenses, nothing in it suggests an intent to preserve state-law rules that stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the FAA’s objectives

So Constitutional principles like states’ rights and civil jury trials are “obstacles” to be removed or ignored.

Justice Thomas was the swing vote in this case, but still voted to abandon states’ rights. He hesitated before joining the assault by writing a concurring opinion in which he asserts that he adheres to views on pre-emption expressed in a previous opinion, Wyeth v. Levine on the regulation of drugs, but then he “reluctantly” joins the Court’s opinion.

The practical impacts of the decision could be enormous. As the dissent notes, it will force an end to many class actions, as few consumers and fewer attorneys will bring an individual case for small amounts of damages. Forced arbitration clauses are now buried in consumer contracts for everything from computers, credit cards and cell phones, to employee handbooks and nursing home admissions contracts. The decision also threatens the rights of employees as well. Employers are increasingly inserting arbitration clauses, with bans on class action suits, into employment contracts. It will be far more difficult for employees to fight discrimination, because they will be unable to file class action suits.

If the 7th and 10th Amendments are to be reinvigorated, Congress will have to take specific and strong action to enable Americans to opt out of forced arbitration clauses in consumer and employment contracts.

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Randy Barnett Vows to Lead Fight Against Federal Medmal Limits

Prof. Randy Barnett was one of the leading theorists among Tea Party activists and Republicans in the court battles against Obamacare. He was co-counsel for the complaint filed by the NFIB, which was eventually the basis for the Supreme Court ruling that Obamacare is an excessive use of federal power and an invalid exercise of the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.

Prof. Barnett has also been a staunch opponent of federal tort reform bills, and for the same reason as his opposition to Obamacare. Last year, he wrote in May, and again in November, that tort law belongs to the states, and thus is beyond the reach of federal authority. “Indeed, if Congress now can regulate tort law, which has always been at the core of state powers, then Congress, and not the states, has a general police power.” He’s been joined in that view by other libertarian and conservative legal scholars, such as John Baker, Carrie Severino, Ilya Somin, and Rob Natelson, and by elected Republicans such as Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Senators Tom Coburn and Mike Lee, and numerous House Republicans who honor federalism.

While GOP leadership has quoted and promoted Prof. Barnett’s views on Obamacare, they’ve completely ignored him on the subject of federal tort reform, and in the process overridden opposition by constitutional conservatives in both houses. House leaders attached H.R. 5, a bill mandating federal limits on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, to two bills to ensure House approval, and Senate GOP leaders attached their version of H.R. 5 to a Republican “jobs bill.”

Now Prof. Barnett has taken his opposition further, vowing to lead court challenges to any enacted federal medmal law. He is convinced that the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling makes a constitutional challenge to such a law much more likely to succeed. He participated in a teleforum on the post-Obamacare environment run by the Federalist Society for members on July 17, and the Society finally posted the podcast last week. As a member of the Federalist Society, I was entitled to participate, so I asked Prof. Barnett about the impact of the decision on federal tort reform bills, and specifically on the federal medmal limits pushed by GOP leaders.

Prof. Barnett responded by saying that the jurisdictional basis for federal tort reform can now be “easily challenged,” He added, “I will help lead that challenge if ever enacted, and I think we would actually have an easier time defeating that than defeating the (Obamacare) mandate… In fact, this court would strike that down (referring to federal medmal limits)… I’ll be involved in the lawsuit.

You can download and listen to the entire podcast from the Federalist Society’s website (MP3 file). My question and his response start just after the 51:10 mark.

Prof. Barnett isn’t the first Tea-Party-side constitutional scholar to write that the SCOTUS Obamacare decision makes a federal law limiting medmal damages more likely to be found unconstitutional. On July 27, Rob Natelson of the Independence Institute and the Tenth Amendment Center posted, “Obamacare Decision Suggests U.S. Malpractice Bill Unconstitutional,” in which he wrote, “Chief Justice Roberts’ health care opinion strongly suggests that the Necessary and Proper Clause is simply not broad enough to include the kind of control over state courts that H.R. 5 would impose… It seems clear that the Supreme Court will not tolerate efforts by Congress to dictate rules and procedures to state courts. In light of this new information, the sponsors of H.R. 5 should honor their oath to support the Constitution by promptly withdrawing the bill.”

So it’s likely the same group of legal libertarian and conservative scholars who opposed Obamacare will also oppose federal limits on medmal damages and other federal tort reform bills. Republican leaders who insist on capping victims’ rights in federal law now face the embarrassing spectacle of seeing their brightest legal stars publicly opposing them in public and in the courts.

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Today Remember Terrorism Victims Constitutional Rights

On this anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, I want to highlight the God-given and constitutionally protected rights of American terrorism victims to hold the terrorists and their sponsors accountable in court. Our Founding Fathers designed a civil justice system to enable all Americans to hold wrongdoers accountable for damages. The Founders built this system upon a centuries-old Judeo-Christian ethic, established by Moses among the Israelites and ensconced in Western jurisprudence in the Magna Carta in Britain in 1215.

“Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?” When visitors to Washington, D.C. walk into the beautiful Jefferson Memorial, they look up and read a number of quotes from Thomas Jefferson, including that one. Our Founders had no difficulty identifying Almighty G-O-D as the source of all human rights. In our Founding Documents, God the Creator is explicitly recognized time and again. Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Washington couldn’t comprehend an America that deletes that conviction from our political documents.

It’s been my honor to assist American terrorism victims for over seven years in the halls of Congress and the Executive Branch, lobbying for legislation and administrative action to enable their constitutional rights and achieve some measure of justice. Victims of the 9/11 attacks, Muammar Qaddafi’s reign of terror, deadly bombings by Hamas in Israel, and Iranian terrorism attacks have benefitted from a bipartisan consensus to help Americans take the terrorists’ and their sponsors’ money through civil suits. Section 502 of the new Iran sanctions law, signed by President Obama last month, enables the taking of the most money from a state sponsor of terrorism in 30 years, for the benefit of American victims of Iran’s terrorism.

I discussed the God-given rights of terrorism victims to hold terrorists accountable, and the need to protect the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial for civil suits in health care lawsuits, on today’s edition of the What’s Up radio program, hosted by Terry Lowry, broadcast on Sirius Channel 131 and on 12 radio stations. You can download and listen to that show in four segments:

Segment One – Where Do My Rights Come From?
Segment Two – Where Were You On September 11, 2001?
Segment Three and Segment Four – Obamacare, federal caps on medmal lawsuits, and Prof. Randy Barnett’s opposition to both.

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Update on Fromms Home Bible Study Case Sacketts Property Rights Case

I have an update on two cases about which I posted on September 27.

I was interviewed on the nationally syndicated “What’s Up” radio program by host Terry Lowry about the action brought by the City of San Juan Capistrano, California, against Chuck and Stephanie Fromm for hosting a small home Bible study group in their home. During the interview, Terry and I discussed the centuries-old right, recognized now in the 7th Amendment to the Constitution, to sue the sovereign or Executive Branch to protect all of the God-given rights now protected in the Bill of Rights. “Tort reform” proponents who think that it’s worth abridging our 7th Amendment right to benefit the business community ignore the fact that the Founding Fathers honored that right for cases involving religious liberty, property rights, and free speech, as well as for medical malpractice and products liability cases. You can download and listen to my interview.

Sen. Rand Paul announced that he’ll hold a roundtable on Wednesday, Oct. 12, with “victims of the U.S. government’s multi-pronged assault on private property rights.” The list of victims includes Mike and Chantell Sackett of Idaho, who bought a plot of residential land to build a new home, only to be told by the EPA that their land was federal “wetlands.” EPA refused to hear the Sacketts’ appeals on the order, then challenged their constitutional right to file a lawsuit against EPA for injunctive relief. The Sacketts and their attorneys, the Pacific Legal Foundation, are taking their case to the Supreme Court this winter. I look forward to the roundtable and hope to see Sen. Paul start some legislative action to rein in EPA from squashing Americans’ property rights. Here is the PLF’s page on their website about the case.

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Jeopardy Contestants Flunked Constitutional Rights Test

I wrote almost two years ago that the right to a civil jury trial, protected in the Seventh Amendment, is the most ignored, unknown and endangered constitutional right in any of the amendments in the Bill of Rights. Not that I needed proof, but I saw it again over the weekend. The “Jeopardy” game show episode broadcast in the Washington, DC, area on Saturday, May 12, included a column of five questions titled, “Know Your Rights.” If the results are a valid sample of the public’s knowledge of the Bill of Rights, we are either doomed or at least in big trouble. Only two of the five questions were correctly answered, with three questions incorrectly answered. The Seventh Amendment was one of the subjects of an incorrectly answered question; the contestant said that threshold for a civil jury trial was $10, when it’s $20. The 60% failure rate would have been a “F” in any classroom. In contrast, the contestants correctly answered four of the five questions about famous princesses and all five questions about an exercise workout.

You’d think that at a time when we hear concepts such as religious liberty, gun rights, free speech, and Tea Party, each with a basis in constitutional history, thrown all over the mass media that the public would have a better idea of their origin.

The episode was originally broadcast on November 25, 2010, and you can see all of the questions on this website. Take the quiz yourself and see if you can correctly answer the the four other questions on constitutional rights (scroll the mouse over the dollar amount in the box for the correct answer).

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Constitutional Conservatives Should Support the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act

Today, by a bipartisan vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 4678, the “Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2010.” a bill supported by Republicans and Democrats, to enable American consumers to hold a foreign manufacturer accountable in U.S. courts for serious defects. I first wrote about the Act on June 29 and described the benefits to consumers who find themselves the victims of bad imported drywall, toys, food products, etc., but cannot sue the foreign maker here because of lack of minimum contacts. In this post I want to summarize the reasons why Constitutional conservatives and Tea Partiers should support the Act, as follows:

(1) The Act would force foreign manufacturers to play by the same rules as American companies. Foreign manufacturers are evading the U.S. legal system and forcing us to go to their home country and try to sue the company there, a costly and time-consuming process. Why should a consumer have to travel to China to serve the drywall maker, when the company does millions of dollars of business in the U.S. and already has an agent here serving as the importer? And why should we continue to allow Chinese law apply to us when we’re injured in our own house by their drywall or toys? Under the Act, foreign manufacturers would be required to register an agent, located in the states in which the company does business, to accept service of process for civil suits. As a result, foreign manufacturers would no longer get a free pass, and would be more likely to send safer products into the U.S. Our businesses should not be forced to unfairly compete against foreign businesses that are easily skirting the law.

(2) Our companies are already often subject to jurisdiction overseas, where the injury occurs, so the Act simply closes that loophole by creating consistent jurisdictional rules. For example, a number of European countries and Japan already have an in-country jurisdictional mandate for persons injured by products manufactured in the U.S. Even China’s new tort law recognizes jurisdiction where the injury or harm occurred. Closing the international loophole would give our consumers and businesses the same rights that foreign consumers and business enjoy.

(3) In many cases, the Act will actually decrease and even relieve liability for the U.S. companies which distribute and market foreign-made goods. When a foreign manufacturer cannot be located and sued, the U.S. seller may be the only party available to defend the lawsuit filed by the injured consumer. The Act would help our businesses because liability would either be transferred to or shared with the foreign makers, and not borne solely by the U.S. partner.

(4) Our Constitution isn’t a ticket for foreign companies to come into our house, sell their defective products, and then thumb their nose at our legal system, especially if our companies are subject to their legal system. We’ve let them get away with this for too long. The best way to correct the trade loophole – the most “Constitutionally conservative” way to do it – is to let Americans injured by bad foreign products to take them into a local court and let 12 good and fair jurors decide the validity of the lawsuit, the way designed in our Constitution and in almost 800 years of American-British civil law.

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Jury Should Determine Virginia Tech Shooting Damages Not Judges

Two families of students killed in the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech are in court today, asking a three-judge panel of the Virginia Supreme Court to allow them to appeal a judge’s decision on the negligence case they successfully pursued against the university. The families of Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde sued the university for negligence, and the jury agreed and awarded $4 million to each to the families. But a state appellate judge reduced the awards to $100,000 under a state law capping non-economic damages. The families want to reinstate the university president as a defendant, but I object to the reduction in the damages award.

That reduction begs the following questions: Why don’t we trust the same jurors who hear all of the facts, listen to all of the testimony, and determine legal liability to determine the amount of damages? What makes a judge, or any small group of judges, so special that they should have the power to override a jury’s decision? Why do we allow state legislators to arbitrarily set a rigid cap on non-economic damages? Can’t state law at least enable a jury to “bust the cap” as it sees fit in unique circumstances? Where in the Founding Documents of the United States is there any support by the Founding Fathers for the idea of overriding a jury’s decision on damages through an inflexible state statute or an arbitrary decision by a judge?

The jury in the Virginia Tech shootings case found that the university’s senior officials were negligent in not warning students that a homicidal maniac had already killed students and was on the loose. The jury consciously decided that the university officials were so grossly negligent that the they had to award millions of dollars in damages to the families. That decision by twelve honorable Virginians should have been honored in state law and by state judges.

I hope the Virginia Governor and General Assembly will consider that their fellow Virginians Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Mason honored and protected the jury’s right to determine civil liability and never, ever, proposed limiting a jury’s discretion to award damages. It was Madison who described trial by jury in civil cases “as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature” and who protected it in the Seventh Amendment. Mason refused to sign the Constitution because of the absence of a Bill of Rights, and he specifically demanded trial by jury in civil cases. To arbitrarily cap a jury’s award, without even the ability of a single jury to override a statutory cap in special circumstances, ignores the unique place granted to civil jury trials by Founders such as Jefferson, Madison and Mason and dilutes the power of a jury to hold a defendant fully liable for gross negligence.

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Declaration Signer Elbridge Gerry on Right to Civil Trial by Jury

And a trial by jury shall be preserved as usual in civil cases.’

Elbridge Gerry, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, proposed that addition to the draft of the U.S. Constitution near the end of the Constitutional Convention in September 1787. Charles Pinckney, delegate to the convention from South Carolina, joined him in the motion. The motion reflected the fervent belief by the two men that the Constitution would be incomplete and would not sufficiently protect the rights of individuals and of the states, in particular the right to a jury trial for civil cases. Gerry voted against the Constitution for that reason and was joined by George Mason and Edmund Randolph of Virginia. Although the motion was defeated that day, co-authors Gerry and Pinckney saw their motion included in the Bill of Rights introduced into the First Congress by James Madison and ratified by the states as the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution.

This quote is included in an excellent article, Charles Pinckney and the Seventh Amendment, written by Joel W. Collins, Jr., of the firm of Collins & Lacy, PC, for the Fall 2009 issue of Voir Dire, published by the American Board of Trial Advocates. The article also includes additional details on the development of the right to a jury trial for civil suits, and I highly recommend it.

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Independent Wartime Commission Mandate Civil Jurisdiction For Foreign Contractors

On July 12 of last year, I wrote on the difficulties that the families of American servicemen and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan have in exercising their 7th Amendment rights for injuries and deaths suffered by their loved ones at the hands of foreign contractors. U.S. courts have dismissed several lawsuits, including one filed by my clients, over a lack of in personam jurisdiction over the contractor. The courts have ruled that the contractor’s receipt of U.S. government funds through a contract isn’t, by itself, enough to trigger the “minimum contacts” needed to hold it accountable in a U.S. court.

My clients are the surviving family of Lt. Col. “Rocky” Baragona, who was killed on May 19, 2003, when a truck owned and operated by Kuwait & Gulf Link Transport Company (KGL) sliced across the highway and struck the Humvee carrying Col. Baragona. With no detailed investigation of the accident possible by the Army at the time, his grieving parents and siblings started their own inquiries into KGL’s operation of the truck. After trying without success to obtain an apology from KGL, the family’s attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court, citing KGL’s millions of dollars in contracts with the Defense Department as a basis for jurisdiction. After first obtaining a default judgment against KGL for almost $5 million when it failed to respond to the complaint, the family saw its pursuit of justice blocked when KGL responded to the judgement by citing a lack of in personam jurisdiction, and then persuaded the judge to reverse the default judgment and dismiss the lawsuit. That dismissal was affirmed by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court denied cert in the case.

Fortunately, an independent commission became interested in this issue. The bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan was authorized by Congress to conduct oversight of all contractors operating in those two countries. The Commission studied the Baragona case and other instances of contractor-caused death and injuries, and yesterday issued an interim report today on its latest investigations, with the following findings:

The Commission has determined that claims against foreign prime contractors and subcontractors have gone unaddressed because the U.S. courts lack personal, as distinct from subject-matter, jurisdiction over the foreign defendants. Without establishing personal jurisdiction, attempts by the United States and other parties to recoup damages for civil contract claims and for private parties to recover on tort claims arising out of conduct related to government contracts are lengthy, protracted, and expensive for all parties involved. Foreign courts may be unavailable, unreliable, inconvenient, or otherwise unable to hear these claims.

The Commission recommended the following measures to Congress and the Executive Branch:

Make consent to U.S. civil jurisdiction a condition of contract award

Revise regulations and policies to:

▪▪ Require that foreign prime contractors and subcontractors consent to U.S. jurisdiction as a condition of award of a contract or subcontract.

▪▪ Require foreign contractors to register an agent in the United States to be responsible for receiving notice, summons, and other legal documents in connection with any legal actions against those contractors.

▪▪ Reduce the burden on smaller foreign contractors by limiting these requirements to contracts and subcontracts of $5 million or more. Exceptions should also be provided for foreign contractors participating in local-preference programs such as Afghan First and Iraqi First.

A bipartisan bill championed by Senators McCaskill and Collins to force foreign contractors to recognize the jurisdiction of U.S. courts eventually emerged from a Senate committee last year as S. 2782, the “Lieutenant Colonel Dominic “Rocky” Baragona Justice for American Heroes Harmed by Contractors Act.” Senator McCaskill has re-introduced the bill in the new Congress. The bill won’t help the Baragona family to hold KGL accountable, but it can prevent other such situations, so we hope Congress will enact the bill in this session.

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Federal Judges Warning About the Death of Civil Jury Trials

If you doubt that the 7th Amendment is under attack, take a look at this presentation by a current federal judge, cited often in other articles on the need to maintain the right to a jury trial. U.S. District Court Judge William Young has been writing and speaking on the subject for several years, as typified by an article he wrote for the Suffolk University Law Review in 2006 titled, “Vanishing Trials, Vanishing Juries, Vanishing Constitution.” Several paragraphs vividly describe the extent and impact of the degradation of the 7th Amendment (footnotes deleted for ease of reading) and summarizes a number of issues that I will address in individual posts on this website:

The jury system proves the wisdom of the Founders in their utilization of direct democracy to temper the potential excesses of the only unelected branch of government. According to one scholar, “the jury achieves symbolically what cannot be achieved practically–the presence of the entire populace at every trial.” Through the jury, we place the decisions of justice where they rightly belong in a democratic society: in the hands of the governed. The very structural bedrock of our constitutional form of government confirms the centrality of the jury’s role.

(I)t is fair to observe that for decades, business and insurance interests have disparaged our civil juries while the courts have failed to defend the single institution upon which their moral authority ultimately depends. As a result of their assault, the bipartisan majorities in the Congress have restricted access to the American jury severely. The most sophisticated recent analysis has led one commentator to conclude that “a civil justice system without a jury would evolve in a way that more reliably serve[s] the elite and business interests.”…

Our pre-emption jurisprudence, long a matter for narrow construction, today is applied so broadly as to oust state courts (and juries) of their traditional areas of adjudication and replace them with less-protective federal standards, or no remedy at all. The Supreme Court has even preempted older, more comprehensive federal civil rights statutes with newer, more restrictive statutes. The Court also allows federal agencies to trump state laws that interfere with their domain. The judicial system’s preference for arbitration also threatens the American jury. The Supreme Court, in building on a decisional edifice that most commentators consider shaky if not outright wrong, has interpreted the Federal Arbitration Act to supplant juries with arbitrators whenever possible. So, today, citizens cannot trade on the stock exchange, have long distance telephone service, or be employed in many necessary jobs and industries unless they surrender statutory and procedural rights (specifically, relinquishing the right to a jury decision and submitting instead to arbitration)…

Of paramount importance, however, is a matter neither of substance nor procedure, but culture. We federal trial judges appear no longer to revere the jury trial as the central and paramount goal of our American system of justice. We have so “deconstructed the role of the trial judge” that today far too many judges do not understand the concept.

Congress, by adjusting the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts, effectively strips disfavored classes from full access to justice. As a consequence, it restricts, if not extinguishes, cherished individual rights and liberties. This congressional maneuvering is known as “courts stripping.” Because the practice does not implicate the American jury directly (it would be unconstitutional had it done so), Congress accomplishes it largely below the public’s radar and without public debate.

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Congress to Address Bill Related to Liability for Gulf Oil Spill

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is tentaively scheduled to take the first action next week on a bill related to the liability of the companies which operated the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, by debating and voting on the “Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations on Liability Act,” or “SPILL Act,” to lift outdated limits on liability for deaths caused by disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The SPILL Act would enable the families of the 11 men killed on the rig to recover damages just as if the accident had occurred on land in the United States, a dichotomy that makes no sense but has never been redressed in federal law. Indeed, if the men who died on the rig had instead been seated in a helicopter five feet off the rig, and the chopper had exploded, the families would not now face the artificial limits on any recovery that they currently face under federal law.

Several federal laws govern that accident, and all are decades old, reflecting a world of days gone by not only without oil drilling in federal waters on enormous platforms built by multinational corporations headquartered anywhere in the world, but also without modern mechanisms of insurance or asset management. So, for instance, the 151-year-old “Limitation on Liability Act” (LOLA) limits the liability for accidents on “vessels” to the market value after an accident. Strangely, movable ocean rigs are considered “vessels” under LOLA. So Transocean, which owned the rig, has claimed in court that its liability is limited to the current market value of the destroyed rig on the ocean floor plus freight costs – about $27 million, a pittance for a disaster of this magnitude. Similarly, another law limits the amount due to the parents of one of the victims to $1,000, since he wasn’t married and they were not his “economic dependents.” Hopefully the Congress will repeal the antiquated and non-Constitutional liability limits in these laws. You can read a brief description of the SPILL Act on the Judiciary Committee’s website and download a copy of the act from here.

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Bill Gives Companies Blank Check to Violate Privacy

Here we go again. Today the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to recommend H.R. 624, the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013,” or CISPA, to the entire House for approval. The bill supposedly enables only a “sharing” of “anonymous cyber threat information between the government and the private sector so they can protect their networks and their customers’ private information.” But it’s basically the same bill as last year’s, when groups from all points of view, from Tea Party groups to the ACLU, objected to the lack of protection for personally identifiable information and other violations of our internet privacy.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently released a laundry list of problems with the bill. Here are the highlights:

(1) The bill supposedly limits exposure to only “cyber threat information.” But the definition of that term doesn’t exclude personally identifiable information. Social Security numbers are “cyber threat information” in the wrong hands. Private emails are too – is that what you want your cable company to turn over to the Feds? If you tell your relatives that Obama is a socialist, will Comcast or Verizon turn it over to the FBI? You up for that?

(2) The bill doesn’t define “cybersecurity systems” either. Companies can use a “cybersecurity system” to “identify or obtain” information about a potential threat, but the term isn’t limited to security software or intrusion systems; the term “system” is never defined. No privacy protection there.

(3) CISPA encourages companies to conduct their own surveillance on their networks and turn over whatever they deem “cyber threat information” to the government, with a promise of total immunity from civil or criminal lawsuits. So it strips the utilities, internet and telecom companies of any accountability and allows them to create a private spying program. CISPA strips us of our constitutional right to hold those companies accountable for turning over our personal information, whether by design or error.

House GOP leaders went through this exercise last year, only to find The People standing in the way. But they haven’t learned. They’re about to let the same wild-and-crazy gun-control liberals, like Obama, Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein, effective control over our private data and emails. DiFi has her own CISPA ready to go. WHAT ARE BOEHNER AND CANTOR THINKING?

Tell your Congressman and Senator NO, TODAY, and that YOU will personally hold THEM accountable for messing with our internet and our privacy. Tell them to give up on this year’s version of CISPA.

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New Federal Pleading Standards Infringe on Terrorism Victims Ability to Sue Terrorists Financiers

For over 50 years, people wishing to file a lawsuit in federal court could simply submit a short and plain statement of facts in a complaint, in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Conley v. Gibson Supreme Court ruling in 1957 ensured that cases that might be difficlut to win, but meritorious nonetheless, could proceed to discovery (“a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief”). But the 2009 Ashcroft v. Iqbal and 2007 Bell Atlantic v. Twombly decisions by the Supreme Court made federal complaint standards much more restrictive. Now parties have to plead specific and concrete facts, often without having access to any of the information they need, or see their cases thrown out due to “implausibility.” The Court’s decision to implement the new standards without pursuing the usual course of action in amending the Federal Rules by requesting a change through the Judicial Conference of the United States.

The battleground for the impact of the Iqbal and Twombly cases includes an area overlooked and ignored by the proponents of the new standards, namely lawsuits filed by American terrorism victims against the terrorists and their financiers. Veteran attorney Steven R. Perles of Washington, who has represented thousands of terrorism victims over the past thirty years and is one of my clients, wrote to the U.S. Congress this past February, criticizing the Iqbal-Twombly standards and warning of its impact on the access to justice by terrorism victims. See the following excerpts and download the entire letter:

The practical effect on anti-terrorism litigation will be that state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran, will now be able to enter and win litigation against those U.S. citizens seeking redress for their injuries, unless the U.S. citizens have been lucky enough to discover the critical facts that explain Iran’s support for a particular terrorism attack prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations for their claims…

I was counsel for plaintiffs in two cases called Buonocore v. Libya and Baker v. Libya. In Baker, we filed a complaint against Libya for its support of the Abu Nidal Organization’s hijacking of an airliner in November 1985, which left one American dead and two Americans severely injured. In Buonocore, we filed a complaint against Libya for its support of the Abu Nidal Organization’s machine gun and grenade attack on the Rome and Vienna airports in December 1985, which resulted in numerous American dead and injured. Libya filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in both cases, but the court found the complaints sufficient under the Conley standard. It was only later in each case that we were able to locate the surviving terrorists in Austria, Italy and the United States in their respective prisons, who provided critical details in sworn statements regarding Libya’s role in the attacks. This information contributed to the eventual settlement of both cases. Had the Twombly and Iqbal standards been applicable in those cases, Libya’s chances of winning at the motion to dismiss stage–prior to our uncovering of critical evidence in our post-filing of the complaint investigation–would have been dramatically greater.

I would also cite two other victorious terrorism civil actions which might have been dramatically altered or lost if the Iqbal-Twombly standards had been in effect. In the first, the family of David Boim, an American killed by Hamas terrorists in Israel, successfully won a $156 million judgment against the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation for its role as the biggest Hamas fundraiser in the U.S. The victory came only after extensive challenges to the introduction of evidence under the Conley standard, and those challenges might have been successful under the Iqbal-Twombly standard. You can read more about that suit on the Counterterrorism Blog. In the second, attorneys from the Motley Rice law firm (another client of mine) who are pursuing the Arab Bank in a civil suit for its alleged role as a conduit for terrorist funds were able to access information gathered by Israeli intelligence, as summarized in this post on the Counterterrorism Blog. I cannot imagine that the introduction of that evidence would have been so easily introduced under the Iqbal-Twombly standard.

Tomorrow I’ll address, in more detail, the critics of legislation designed to repeal the Iqbal-Twombly pleading standard. But at the outset, they ignore the beneficial impact of the Conley pleading standard on terrorism victims’ lawsuits, which often require the introduction of evidence obtained from overseas sources. Federal judges are far more likely to dismiss such suits prior to discovery for failure to meet the “plausibility” standard.

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Condemning Iran Good Defunding It Priceless

This week the House of Representatives approved a resolution condemning the Government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. That’s great, and that’s important. But if Congressmen REALLY want to hurt Iran, they should support and approve the bill numbered H.R. 4070 and sponsored by Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY). That’s the ONLY bill that actually takes Iran’s money to compensate the families of our brave servicemen killed and wounded in Iran’s terrorist attacks in the 1983 Beirut Marine and 1996 Khobar Towers bombings. The bill helps those families to satisfy federal court judgments against Iran with $1.8 billion of Iranian central bank funds in an account in a NYC bank, attached by the families’ attorneys. Absent this legislation, Iran might break the attachment and reclaim its funds, then use them to finance more terrorism and nuclear proliferation. The bill is starting to pick up co-sponsors at a steady clip, but needs more to show Iran that House members won’t hesitate to support Americans killed or maimed by Iranian terrorism. The language in this bill is NOT in the Iran sanctions bill passed by the House in December, but it is similar to the Senate version of the Iran sanctions bill, approved unanimously on February 2 by the Senate Banking Committee. Read more about the bill and the Beirut Marine long families’ quest for justice on their press release. I’m proud to work alongside the Beirut Marine families and look forward to the day when Iran’s money is in their hands and not in Ahmadinejad’s.

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