You wouldn't think so since one of the requirements is "originality." But this is America and our legal system is an "open system." Feel free to add any old thing to it if you want. Nobody's really watching anyway...
Florida Judge Compares Milberg Weiss Action to Squeegee Boy. If a class action settlement provides no money for the class, is it really a settlement? Not according to a Florida judge who rejected a tentative deal proposed by the lead plaintiff's counsel, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, in a shareholders' suit. The judge compared the action to "squeegee boys" who "run up to a stopped car, splash soapy water on its perfectly clean windshield and expect payment for the uninvited service of wiping it off." [Law.com]
Our Common Good - Reforming our Lawsuit Culture. Wednesday's Wall St. Journal had an article by George McGovern and Alan Simpson (that's one ardent democrat and one ardent republican). They are announcing a new bipartisan group to advocate an overhaul of our legal system. (I don't have a story link; I got the article in the form of a clipping from my step-mom)
Here's the problem as they describe it: Law is the foundation for all social dealings. When law is not trusted people begin to feel uncomforable in dealing with each other. People stop doing what is sensible. Ministers stop counseling parishoners because there may be a lawsuit if the couple later gets divorced. Ridiculous warning labels get tacked on to practically every three-dimensional object.
I am going to monitor this closely because I think this is an important effort. And if it were just politicians doing the "bipartisan mumbo jumbo" I would be skeptical, but Philip Howard is the standard-bearer for this movement, and I've blogged about his books before. He's my hero. Seriously....
The promise of e-signatures has fizzled in the face of security concerns, competing e-signature standards and the fact that, when it comes to big deals, people still like to handle paper. [C/net News.com] [via Denise].
Yeah, Denise I thought it was going to be a bigger deal too. I may actually be the first person in America to have signed a document digitally (in Louisiana for sure). A vendor sent us a contract that they wanted to have signed and turned around quickly. Since they sent it to me as a PDF, I just popped it into Acrobat, digitally signed it, and returned it to them with a note that I would give them the paper version if they wanted it. What they really wanted was to send me the stuff they were selling us and have the firm have to pay for it, so they accepted the contract and never asked for the paper. I'm waiting to see if they ever remember. I doubt it. They figure the deal is done because they sent the goods and now we have to pay for them.
My guess is that e-signatures will catch on sometime after the next ice-age....