Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison Votes to Dissolve

A huge law firm that just two years ago was one of California’s most profitable has imploded after merger talks with Morgan, Lewis collapsed, according to this. UPDATE Here’s an article from Friday’s New York Times. This is hard to believe, especially given the firm’s arrogance in recent years. My condolences and best wishes to those who have lost their jobs.

Union’s Discovery Abuses Earn Terminating Sanctions in Suit Against the Metropolitan Opera

Though represented by least three different law firms, plaintiff “Local 100, Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union” repeatedly failed to respond to discovery. Today, Federal District Court Judge Loretta A. Preska decided that the Court had seen enough, and terminated the Union’s lawsuit for abuse of the discovery process, according to this.

Mattel Loses Fight Over Barbie Song

“I’m a blonde bimbo in a fantasy world/Dress me up, make it tight, I’m your dolly.”

So sang the Danish pop group Aqua. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to reconsider the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that the group’s song was not likely to confuse consumers, handing Mattel an embarrassing defeat, as reported here. UPDATE (2/1/03): Barbie issues a statement on the ruling, via Dahlia Lithwick of Slate.

Kazaa Countersues 27 Entertainment Corporations

Kazaa, the Australian-based company that lets users share music and video files, has countersued the 27 media giants that filed suit to shut it down. Kazaa “accuses the record labels and film studios of abusing their copyrights to improperly extend their monopolies into the emerging realm of internet distribution,” as reported here. Good luck with that . . . .

In related news, the media companies may be about to go after individual Kazaa users. Find out here whether you should be worried.

Should We Limit Civil Lawsuits By Those Who Are Injured By Their Own Crimes?

Sounds pretty logical, at least within limits. Here’s an example of the problem:

“Disturbed, Angelo Delgrande shot and wounded his parents and himself in a June 1995 dispute. He then received surgery at a Westchester County, N.Y. hospital. That night, he yanked the tubes and monitoring devices from his body, then leapt off the second story of an adjacent parking garage in a suicide bid. He is now paraplegic. Delgrande sued the hospital for failing to treat his depression and keep him indoors. Last October, he won $9 million.”

Read more about it here.

Weekly Quotations

This page from New York Lawyer has lots of pithy quotations about the legal profession, most of which are not flattering, but probably true. And they update it every Thursday!