Airplanes / Aviation

Happy Thanksgiving from the TSA.

I wish I could tell you that Americans fought the good fight, and the TSA let us be. I wish I could tell you that — but holiday travel is no fairy-tale world. We never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile — travel consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, Americans would show up with fresh bruises. The TSA kept at us — sometimes we were able to fight ‘em off, sometimes not. And that’s how it went for American travelers — that was our routine.

Today is the biggest travel day of the year, and for another Thanksgiving, Americans will be doing it under the watchful eye of the Orwellian Transportation Security And Molestation Administration. The $8 billion dollar organization is alive, well, and entrenched. And nobody can accuse the freshly reelected Democratic president of doing anything to protect our civil liberties against the TSA. Nor has the supposedly liberty-loving Tea Party made aggressive groping at airports a major issue.

But for the most part, the country seems resigned to the TSA’s continued existence. Ooh, now kids under 12 don’t have to take off their shoes. Progress! We don’t sue them, we don’t legislate against them, we just kind of take it and hope that they decide to take their hands off our junk out of the kindness of their hearts.

We’ve got a couple of stories that, in their own way, highlight how cowed we’ve become….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Has The TSA Won?”

‘Folks, if you happen to see a damaged boat down there, please hit the flight attendant call button.’

* New York police just arrested a man for allegedly planning to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank. Thank you, officers. [CNN]

* This judge made a telecom executive cry in court. After the teary-eyed businesswoman stormed out, she re-entered the courtroom a short time later and “verbally assaulted” opposing counsel. That’s what I call a serious case of the Mondays. [New York Post]

* Much has been made about the terrible connections prostitution has to human trafficking, but what about the self-professed “hos” who, by all accounts, enjoy having sex for money? [East Bay Express]

* If you want to ride a mechanical bull, you should probably be aware that getting thrown off isn’t even a risk, it’s a veritable certainty. [Abnormal Use]

* I unabashedly dislike the TSA, but it seems these dummies had it coming. [Denver Post]

* Back to hating on the airline industry: “Sorry, folks, we’re going to be delayed arriving in Vancouver because of some weather issues… and because we have to detour for a moment and search for a missing yacht.” [Consumerist]

* Law blogger Eric Turkewitz’s face is all over a bunch of New York bus ads. And no, he’s not advertising himself. This story is actually pretty neat. [New York Personal Injury Attorney]

American Airlines: something bankrupt in the air.

Complaining about air travel has become a cliché — but it’s still fun. The other night, while flying out to San Francisco for an event I’m doing on Monday (to which you’re invited), I was delayed by two and a half hours — due to a plane turned “biohazard.”

My experience — with United Airlines, which I generally like — pales in comparison to what the novelist Gary Shteyngart experienced recently with American Airlines. He wrote about in a New York Times piece that’s horrifying and hilarious.

But some folks have much warmer feelings for AA — namely, the lawyers and law firms that are making millions from the American Airlines bankruptcy case. Let’s find out how much they are seeking in fees….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Fee Voyeurism: American Airlines’s Big-Time Bankruptcy Bills”

Competitive wife-carrying. Seriously.

* SCOTUS decided not to hear the case about telecoms allegedly warrantlessly letting the NSA listen to your calls. So, does this mean we’re all on Candid Cellphone? [Threat Level / Wired]

* We mentioned the Harvard Law grad turned alleged scam artist, John Donald Cody (a.k.a. Mr. X), last week. Check out this cool story about how the feds tracked him down after years of searching. [Arizona Republic]

* A Finnish lawyer recently won the World Wife Carrying Championship, which is, I guess, exactly what it sounds like. Scandinavians are strange. [The Irreverent Lawyer]

* Everyone loves stories about old people accidentally growing drugs because they didn’t know what marijuana looks or smells like. Harkens back to simpler time! [Legal Juice]

* Now the TSA is apparently mistreating and humiliating terminal leukemia patients. Pardon the bluntness, but f**k you. Seriously. [San Francisco Chronicle]

* At least U.S.Customs Enforcement agents can still get their jobs done without disrespecting the sick and the old. Kudos for nabbing this dude flying in from Asia wearing body armor and carrying luggage full of weapons. The TSA folks should take notes. [ABC News]

In the crazy world of cyberspace, personal injury lawyers are a dime a dozen. By now, we’ve gotten used to their crazy antics and low-budget commercials.

But not all personal injury firms are created equal. For the Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Lewis, and Watson, P.I., “low-budget” is a concept that just doesn’t exist. To the contrary, the firm wants to make it clear just how baller the life of a private injury attorney can be.

Dubbing himself “The Giant Killer,” the firm’s larger-than-life head partner, Willie E. Gary, never misses an opportunity to make his wealth and success known. Touting hundred-million-dollar verdicts and rubbing elbows with celebrities, Gary is on a one-man mission to prove that chasing ambulances is much easier when you’re driving a Bentley….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Touring the High-Roller Suite of Personal Injury Law, Big Willie Style”

* Bank of America agreed to pay $2.43 billion, one of the biggest securities class-action settlements in history, to put the Merrill Lynch mess behind it. According to Professors Peter Henning and Steven Davidoff, B of A “is probably quite happy with the settlement given that it could have potentially faced billions of dollars more in liability in the case.” [DealBook / New York Times]

* “Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting.” Here is Robert Barnes’s take on the SCOTUS Term that starts today. [Washington Post]

* And here is Professor Garrett Epps’s review of Jeffrey Toobin’s new book on the Supreme Court, The Oath (affiliate link). [New York Times]

* How Dewey justify paying a big bonus to a member of the management team “when it has been widely pointed out that excessive compensation to the firm’s upper management significantly contributed to the firm’s collapse in the first place?” [Bankruptcy Beat via WSJ Law Blog]

* A high-profile Vatican trial raises these questions: “‘Did the butler do it?’ Or rather, ‘was it only the butler who did it?’” [Christian Science Monitor]

* Ben Ogden, an Allen & Overy associate who was killed in a Nepalese plane crash, R.I.P. [Am Law Daily]

At this point, stuff like this doesn’t even make me mad. I’m just impressed. In a few years, I swear Ashton Kutcher will come out and that he’s been secretly working with the Transportation Security Administration on a new airport-themed reboot of Punk’d.

They dump grandpa’s ashes all over the floor. They accuse some guy of carrying a weapon, when it’s just his massive package. And now they apparently believe the massively overpriced, burnt Starbucks coffee you bought after getting ambiguously naked x-ray photos taken of you is SOMEHOW worth screening too.

[Stops to breathe]

OK. Let’s take a look. And, yes, OF COURSE we have video….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The TSA Needs to Inspect Your Airport Coffee — Yes, The Cup You Bought AFTER Going Through Security”

Oh my god, he’s got a gun!

* Interim SLU Law Dean Tom Keefe said he’s nobody’s “butt boy.” Will that change if Father Lawrence Biondi succeeds in eliminating tenure? Your move, Keefe. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

* Defending one’s right to carry an AK-47 around a park is kind of like defending your right to drink milkshakes and eat waffle fries until your heart explodes. There’s no f**king point, other than really wanting to show you can. Except that milkshakes are delicious. Guns, not so much. [FindLaw]

* A penny saved is a penny earned grounds for a huge lawsuit. [Daily Business Review]

* Japan said Samsung didn’t infringe on Apple’s patents. Woooo. Three different Apple v. Samsung cases down, 10 million more countries to go. [Ars Technica]

* The TSA should seriously come out and say they just want to see us naked. Then at least we’d all be on the same page. [Threat Level / Wired]

* Ms. Spanjer, yeeeah, we’re sorry but you’re going to have to change your son’s name. As you’re probably aware, he’s deaf. I know, so sad. He’s a wonderful child, but when he signs his name, it looks like a gun. And, obviously, we have no tolerance for violence at this pre-school. [Jonathan Turley]

Better than jail…

* “He’s stupid. I wouldn’t even count him as a Republican.” Many Republican women at the RNC wish that the men like Rep. Todd Akin would just shut up about abortion, rape, and contraception. [Reuters]

* Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the discrimination against minorities. A panel of judges on a D.C. federal court shot down the state’s redistricting plans for lack of compliance with the VRA. [Washington Post]

* A disgruntled Stanford Law graduate’s defamation and retaliation suit against the school was dismissed. Sorry, but it’s highly doubtful that a law professor blacklisted you from getting a job. [National Law Journal]

* “[T]here’s a surplus of attorneys and not enough jobs for it.” Lincoln Memorial’s president admits amid accreditation issues that perhaps it wasn’t the best time to open Duncan Law. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

* “I don’t know if this was worth it, but I did have a good time in Cancun.” Skipping deliberations to go on vacation is a great way to earn yourself a trip to jail, but this girl got lucky. [Proof & Hearsay / Journal Sentinel]

* Continental faces a lawsuit after baggage handlers allegedly removed a sex toy from a passenger’s luggage and taped it outside the bag for the world to see. At least it wasn’t the TSA. [Courthouse News Service]

I watched your last few seconds of life, and I prayed for you! I saw you saved lives by your effort.

– a hand-written card left at the scene of the West Los Angeles plane crash that killed Greenberg Traurig attorney and volunteer medical pilot Sean McMillan. McMillan’s Cessna went down in a residential neighborhood, but he avoided hitting any homes or other people.

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