law

The Great Hartford Circus Fire: Creative Settlement of Mass Disasters

Yale University Press, 1991.  A history of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus fire on July 6, 1944, which killed 169 people, and its creative legal aftermath, a mass settlement of hundreds of liability suits.  The book describes how, with little guidance from existing case law and many quarrels and uncertainties, three enterprising lawyers secured a court-supervised receivership that kept the circus in business, enabling it to generate profits that could pay off the claims brought against it.

Sophisticated Sabotage: The Intellectual Games Used to Subvert Responsible Regulation

by Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro and David Bollier  Environmental Law Institute, 2004. Drawing upon dozens of law review articles, this book explains in rigorous detail how regulated industries exploit cost-benefit analysis, risk assessment and other contrived quantitative models to avoid health, safety and environmental regulation. An excellent explanation of how economics has overwhelmed law and thwarted government action by using contrived analytic models. Valuable for legislators, public policy analysts, journalists, law scholars and students.

Should Genes be Patentable?

In a ruling that shocked most patent lawyers, a federal court has ruled that human genes may not be patented. The case involved seven patents on genes are thought to be related to breast and ovarian cancer. The plaintiffs — women who have cancer along with genetic researchers and medical associations — argued that the patents are not legal for DNA, which is something that occurs naturally and is not invented, The plaintiffs also objected to how the patents inhibited their access to tests for breast cancer, because the patent precludes the development of competitive tests.

Online Collaboration Goes Legit

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