Hand-Held Scanner Designed to Detect Cancer

“Italian scientists have developed and are testing a hand-held scanner, similar to metal detectors used in airports, to diagnose cancerous tumours. In clinical trials of the device called Trimprobe, the scanner pinpointed 93 percent of prostate cancer tumours that were later confirmed by biopsies. ‘The development holds out the prospect of a mass-screening technology that is cheap, quick and non-invasive,’ New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday,” Reuters reports here. Sounds kinda fishy to me, but if it holds up, it’s pretty cool news.

High Court Agrees to Review Comsetic Executive Spat

“The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to review an appellate court’s decision allowing a former L’Oreal sales manager to sue the company for retaliation.”

“The case concerns Elysa Yanowitz, a regional sales manager who alleges she received negative job reviews after she refused to fire a perfume saleswoman whom her boss considered unattractive. A state appeals court had ruled Yanowitz could sue for retaliation based on alleged sexual discrimination against the sales clerk she refused to fire.”

Actually, I think the boss said the saleswoman was “not hot enough.” The San Jose Mercury News carries the tale (via the AP) here.

The Tort Tax

This commentary from The Wall Street Journal argues in favor of the The Class Action Fairness Act, a pending federal bill that would require all large nationwide class actions to be tried in federal court, thus preventing forum shopping for “magic jurisdictions” in various states that have a tendancy toward huge awards.

Ohio Jurors May Question Witnesses, Court Says

“Trial courts can let jurors question witnesses, the Ohio Supreme Court said Wednesday in a unanimous ruling. A trial judge may accept written questions from jurors and pass them on to witnesses, without infringing on defendants’ rights, the high court said,” Newsday reports here.

Federal Judge Reaffirms High Punitive Award

“In one of the first decisions to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s April ruling on punitive damages, a federal judge in Philadelphia reaffirmed a punitive award in an insurance bad-faith case that appears to be 75 times larger than the compensatory award. The judge concluded that the punitives — based on the estimated value of the plaintiff’s potential harm — comply with the high court’s so-called Gore/Campbell standards,” reported here from The Legal Intelligencer via Law.com.

Law’s Smallest Club

“As Ruth Bader Ginsburg nears her 10th anniversary on the U.S. Supreme Court, and Sandra Day O’Connor closes in on her 22nd, the relationship between the Court’s only two female justices has settled into one of mutual help and solidarity. Though they are certainly glad to have each other on the Court, their opinions often diverge, and both are doubtful about claims that women on the bench judge differently than men,” Law.com reports here.

AOL Wins In Chat Room Suit

Online Forums Not Places of Public Accommodation

“An online chat room may be open to the public, but it is not a place of public accommodation for purposes of federal civil rights claims, a federal judge has ruled. Saad Noah sued Internet giant AOL Time Warner Inc. for refusing to protect him from comments against his Islamic religion. A federal judge in Virginia dismissed the claim on May 15. Noah v. AOL Time Warner Inc., No. CIV.A. 02-1316-A (E.D. Va.),” the ABA Journal reports here.

Law Firm Famed in Stockholder Suits May Split in Two

“Lawyers at Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, known for its prolific filing of shareholder suits against corporations and executives, are considering splitting the firm in two, senior partners said yesterday. A division of the 220-lawyer firm, which has offices in several cities, including New York and San Diego, would be closely monitored by lawyers who represent shareholders and who defend companies,” The New York Times reports here.

UPDATE: The Recorder has a similar article, but theirs says “it’s come to a head because of a feud between Lerach and Weiss over the handling of the WorldCom litigation.”

Supreme Court Vacancy Looks Less Likely This Year

“Any prospects for a partisan fight this summer over confirming President Bush’s first Supreme Court nominee appeared to dim recently after justices agreed to hear a contentious case in September, signaling that the bench will remain unchanged at least until then,” The Washington Times reports.