WHAT SHOULD BE CHANGED BEFORE THE RULE
FOR SEPTEMBER 11 VICTIM COMPENSATION BECOMES FINAL:
THE NEED FOR FAIRNESS FOR DOMESTIC PARTNERS
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn Law School professor Anthony Sebok argues that before the September 11th victim compensation scheme becomes final, Special Master Kenneth Feinberg should amend it to expressly address and resolve the situation of unmarried domestic partners -- gay, lesbian or straight -- and to ensure greater fairness as between victims' spouses and other victims' unmarried partners. Among other points, Sebok shows that, in one hypothetical example, a married victim's heirs could receive a million dollars less than an unmarried victim's, even if the victims were exactly the same age and had made exactly the same amount of money.
Monday, Jan. 14, 2002
HOW SPECIAL MASTER KEN FEINBERG SHOULD - AND SHOULD NOT -
SET UP THE COMPENSATION PLAN FOR SEPTEMBER 11TH VICTIMS
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses the virtues of, and criticisms of, Special Master Ken Feinberg's plan for compensating September 11th victims pursuant to Congress' directive. Sebok also notes parallels between the September 11th plan and the plan Feinberg set up when he acted as Special Master in an earlier, high-profile case, regarding the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.
Monday, Dec. 31, 2001
A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT REVERSES A HUGE PUNITIVE DAMAGES
AWARD IN THE EXXON VALDEZ CASE, AND DEALS A BLOW TO THE
IDEA OF LEGALIZED REVENGE
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok analyzes the reasoning that led the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, drawing upon two recent Supreme Court precedents, to reverse a huge punitive damages verdict against Exxon based on the Exxon Valdez spill. Sebok also explains why he believes this decision is an indication of a more general trend of controlling corporate punitive damages awards.
Monday, Dec. 17, 2001
WHY CONGRESS SHOULD REJECT THE REPUBLICANS' PROPOSAL TO
ALL FUTURE TERRORISM VICTIMS' ABILITY TO SEEK
COMPENSATION IN COURT
FindLaw columnist, Brooklyn law professor, and author Anthony Sebok discusses the three major post-September 11 tort reforms supported by the Bush Administration. Sebok also argues strongly that the last of these reforms -- which is not yet law -- should be rejected, for it would harm future terrorism victims by limiting their legal remedies for terrorist acts.
Monday, Dec. 03, 2001
THE STRANGE PARADOX OF RTMARK:
CAN CORPORATE STATUS PROTECT AN ANTI-CORPORATE SITE FROM LIABILITY FOR SABOTAGE?
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok comments on legal issues raised by the RTMark website. The site -- itself a corporation -- encourages anti-corporate behavior, and suggests acts of corporate sabotage such as the Barbie Liberation project, in which Barbie and GI Joe voiceboxes were switched. RTMark also appears to be attacking corporate limited liability by testing the limits of its own.
Monday, Nov. 19, 2001
USING LITIGATION AS A WEAPON:
A FISHER ISLAND TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE CASE PUSHES THE
LIMITS OF TORT LAW
FindLaw columnist and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses an unusual recent Florida tort ruling. The ruling effectively ended a tortious interference suit by a developer against Fisher Island residents who had opposed the developer's purchase of the island. It raises larger issues about the use of litigation as a weapon in a political fight.
Monday, Nov. 05, 2001
THE NEW AIRLINE STABILIZATION ACT:
WHY THE CHOICE OF A SPECIAL MASTER IS CRUCIAL,
AND WHY A COMMISSION SHOULD FILL THAT ROLE
FindLaw columnist, author, and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses the recently-enacted airline act. Under the act, potential September 11 plaintiffs may proceed under an alternative compensation system rather than suing the airlines. Sebok contends the choice of the Special Master who will administer that system is crucial, and advises that a multi-member commission should serve in the Special Master's role.
Monday, Oct. 22, 2001
UNDERSTANDING VICTIMS' RIGHTS UNDER THE NEW
AIR TRANSPORTATION SAFETY AND SYSTEM STABILIZATION ACT
FindLaw columnist, author, and Brooklyn law professor Anthony Sebok discusses some of the pros and cons of a terrorist attack victim's family's deciding to forgo a lawsuit and instead proceed under the system set out in the recent Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act. Using the Act means giving up punitive damages claims but, as Sebok explains, those claims may be worth less than one might think.
Monday, Oct. 08, 2001
ASSESSING THE NEW AIRLINE LAW:
NOT JUST A BAILOUT, BUT ALSO A HUGE TORT REFORM PLAN
FindLaw columnist, Brooklyn law professor, and author Anthony Sebok takes a careful look at the new airline law, the result of a September 22 agreement between Congress and the President. Sebok explains that the law not only provides financial support to rescue the airlines, but also effects radical tort reform governing claims against the airlines in the wake of the attack. He provides a thorough explanation of exactly what that reform entails.
Monday, Sep. 24, 2001
SLAVERY, REPARATIONS, AND POTENTIAL LEGAL LIABILITY:
THE HIDDEN LEGAL ISSUE BEHIND THE U.N. RACISM CONFERENCE
FindLaw columnist, Brooklyn law professor, and author Anthony Sebok offers an
interesting explanation for why the U.N. racism conference's apology for
slavery took so long to negotiate, and was so oddly phrased. Sebok contends
that European nations likely feared that a true apology, and acceptance of
responsibility, for past slavery might have triggered legal exposure under
America's Alien Tort Claims Act.
Monday, Sep. 10, 2001
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