Quote of the Day - It ain't nothin' till I call it.
Corporate Successor Liability Depends on State LawOn Friday, the Second Circuit admitted that one of the Supreme Court's decisions overruled the reasoning in one of its cases, and tucked tail.
In New York v. National Service Industries, the Second Circuit admitted that it can no longer use the "substantial continuity" test to determine whether successor corporations are liable for CERCLA cleanups. The Second Circuit had earlier used this test when one corporation bought the assets of another corporation, and held that the successor corporation could be liable.
But no more. Once the Supremes decided U.S. v. Bestfoods, the Second Circuit learned that it couldn't apply federal common law to decide what is essentially a state common law issue, even though the decision would create liability under a solely federal law.
Yeah, it sounds confusing to me, too. CERCLA is the federal law that, among other things, determines liability for toxic contamination. But, the question of whether a corporation that bought out another corporation is liable for the first corporation's wrongdoings is a question of state law, not federal law. It's easy to get mixed up. You would think that federal law should apply to a federal statute. But, it's all in the call of the question (scroll down and read Rule No. 1).
So, did the Second Circuit decide the ultimate issue? Nope. They sent the case back to the minors for a decision.
Kind of like dodging the bullet on both ends.
Sure, Search My Car. I Want to Go to Jail.
Given this decision, I'm glad my kids aren't teenagers any more. If you have teenagers, read on. You'll want to know who your kids travel with now more than ever.
Nicked Pics and Judicial PicksThis year's judicial award for "Judicial Wisdom of the Year" won by Justice William W. Bedsworth. David Pannick, QC (Queens Counsel, which means a British barrister) picked our very own Justice in the Times Online.
In his article, the "Silk" nominated several judges in various categories, including a story about nicked (stolen) pictures. The whole article is a hoot.
He had this to say about Beds: "When considering a charge of smuggling animals into the country, he stated: “There is no non-culpable explanation for monkeys in your underpants.” The runner-up was Lord Hoffmann, who recognised, in dismissing a privacy claim in the House of Lords, that “having to take off your clothes in front of a couple of prison officers is not to everyone’s taste”. Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Master of the Rolls, wondered whether complex and defective regulations governing those who dig up the roads were “the product of a demented computer”. And a special mention for the ruling by the Ohio Court of Appeals that the Constitution confers on a person a right to bark at a police dog — so long as the animal started it."
X for Snowmobiles in Yellowstone
As a follow-up to an earlier post about snowmobiles in Yellowstone, the Judge issued a 49-page decision yesterday.
Insurers Must Defend Contract (And Tort) Claims
Insurance companies are generally required to defend lawsuits that allege negligence, and pay adverse judgments taken against their insureds. On the other hand, insurers also claim that they have no such duties when the allegations in the suit are based on contract and intentional conduct, such as fraud.
Thanks, Doc!One of my all-time favorite bloggers, Doc Searls, just gave a nod to MIPTC and ACWOS in today's post (second one down).
Now we'll watch those web stats jump.
Ruling on Snow(mobiles) from AfarThe snowmobiles may roar again through Yellowstone National Park tomorrow. Or, they may not.
It all depends on a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan. He's in Washington, D.C. writing an opinion today. "Snowmobile season" is set to start tomorrow in Yellowstone.
According to the Billings Gazette (in Montana) this Washington, D.C. Judge will rule on winter admission to a park in Wyoming, and I'm guessing the Judge has never seen Yellowstone on a snowmobile. Has anybody in this mess heard of venue?
But of course, it makes perfect sense. Why would you want someone who's at least seen Yellowstone to rule on it? Add to this long-distance lawsuit another challenge to the snowmobiles brought by the Fund for Animals out of New York. At at least the Fund has an office in Wyoming, and they may have even been to the park.
The Fund is concerned for the bison, who they claim can be injured on the roads groomed by the National Park Service for the snowmobiles. OK, I'll bite. How can bison be injured walking on a groomed road? To get to the other side?
During the Clinton era, snowmobiles were banned from the park. Bush has loosened the regulations, and brought on this challenge. His plan would allow 550 "cleaner and quieter" snowmobiles through Yellowstone each day, accompanied by guides.
Environmentalists want the snowmobiles banned altogether, allowing only things called snowcoaches, which to me look like a school bus. That way, they say, there will be the least environmental impact to the park.
And the least amount of fun. But no matter what the Judge rules (click here to check back), there are plenty of other trails to see. Don't forget to look at the trail conditions before you go. (I love the graphics on this last site).
The Ozone Battle Continues
As if you didn't know already. Now, though, it's official. Many counties in California violate the 8-hour ozone limit. This USEPA letter published earlier this month gives the details.