Civil Law Suits

2 Girls 1 Sandwich

* Dewey need to take a look at the Biglaw industry in general before more firms implode? Hell yes, says an author who’s written on the economics and management of law firms. [DealBook / New York Times]

* Wal-Mart was served with its first shareholder suit over its alleged bribery scandal, because the only thing on rollback this week is the price of the company’s stock shares. [Reuters]

* Does diplomatic immunity give you a free pass for getting handsy with the maid? Guess we’ll see next week, when a judge rules on DSK’s motion to dismiss his civil suit. [New York Daily News]

* As long as you’ve got money, the TSA will totally look the other way if you’ve got suitcases filled with drugs. Vibrators, on the other hand, are simply out of the question. [Bloomberg]

* As of yesterday, Connecticut became the seventeenth state to kill the death penalty. But not so fast, death row inmates. You still get to die. Isn’t that nice? [CNN]

* Franchise agreements be damned, because even judges can understand that sometimes, you just need to eat a delicious sandwich while you’re getting a lap dance. [KTVN]

Tyler Clementi

I’m pretty sure we all saw this coming. The parents of Tyler Clementi — the Rutgers freshman who killed himself after his roommate taped and broadcast Tyler’s gay hook-up — have declared their intent preserved their right to sue the university. The Clementis suggest that the university failed to protect their son, articulating various tort claims against the school and even a breach of contract claim (Rutgers broke its agreement with Clementi by not preventing what happened to him). Damages are unspecified, but Clementi’s family is claiming pain and suffering, as well as loss of companionship.

(UPDATE: As Kash noted over at Forbes, the Clementi family just issued a statement “clarifying that they have not yet decided whether they will sue, but filed notice with the university today to preserve their right to sue in the future.” Hence the edit in the preceding paragraph.)

A lawsuit by the Clementis should surprise no one. Rutgers has much deeper pockets than Dharun Ravi, the roommate who used a webcam to broadcast Clementi’s affair, or Molly Wei, the girl who was in the room while Ravi messed with his roommate. Ravi and Wei have already been charged with invasion of privacy, and prosecutors are still trying to figure out if they can bootstrap hate crime charges against Ravi and Wei. But when it came to the civil lawsuits, this was always going to come down to the parents versus Rutgers.

Because when your kid jumps off a bridge, there just has to be somebody to blame….

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