Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Left's Warped Sense of Federalism

I haven't read the editorial, because I frankly don't think I could stomach it, but the New Yuck Times is apparently all up in arms about Congress possibly intervening to save Terri Schiavo from being starved to death by decree of the Flordia State courts. The Times seems to think that such a "rash assumption of judicial power" by Congress is "nothing short of breathtaking." However, as noted by Ramesh Ponnuru and Mark Levin over at The Corner, the Times' incredulous concern over the sanctity of states' rights in the killing of a handicapped woman is about as phony as a three dollar bill. (I especially like Levin's observation that Congress is actually coming to the aid of Florida elected officials -- e.g., Gov. Jeb Bush -- who tried to enact legislation to save Terri, but were thwarted by anti-life judges in the Florida courts). Dollars to donuts that the Times would be screaming for Federal troops if a Florida judge had made a ruling that was preventing a woman from getting an abortion.

Speaking of Terri Schiavo, go to Blogs for Terri on the latest happenings in this most disturbing affair.

Friday, March 18, 2005

He's Either Stupid or Conniving

My firm is representing a small company who is being sued by a former employee who claims that our client failed to pay him his due wages as required by the California Labor Code. At first, the attorney representing the former employee filed a complaint wherein he tried to claim punitive damages on top of the penalties that are imposed by the Labor Code. That, of course, is a no-no under established case law, and my firm (via me) accordingly filed a motion with the court to have the extra punitive damage claim stricken from the complaint.

Since here in California a plaintiff has the right to amend his or her filed complaint one time without having to get permission from the courts, the former employee's attorney did so, and I went ahead and cancelled the scheduled hearing on the motion I made. However, rather than just taking out the inappropriate punitive damage claim, the former employee's attorney went and added a common law cause of action for fraud. Based upon the original complaint he filed, it's obvious that the former employee's attorney is trying to make a backdoor claim for additional punitive damages in the amended complaint. The real kicker about this added cause of action for fraud is that the former employee is essentially alleging that my firm's client intentionally misrepresented to him that it would not violate civilly prosecutable State and Federal labor laws regarding the payment of due wages. This is about as logical as the government criminally prosecuting someone for not only murder, but also for intentionally misrepresenting that he wouldn't commit murder.

Needless to say, a demurrer (i.e., a legal "so what?") on the added cause of action is being prepared.