The Stella Awards, a site that recognizes the year’s wackiest lawsuits, has announced the winners for 2007. The Stella Awards are named in honor of Stella Liebeck, who achieved notoriety when she spilled a hot cup of McDonald’s coffee on her lap and sued, winning a $2.9 million jury verdict. (Via Slaw.)
The public reacted with indignation last week when it learned that a Hillsborough County, Florida, deputy sheriff dumped quadriplegic Brian Sterner from his wheelchair during booking following an arrest for an alleged traffic violation — an act which was caught on video. Sterner, however, intends to negotiate with, rather than sue, the sheriff’s office in what Sterner’s lawyer has characterized as a “roundtable” discussion. (Note that Sterner’s lawyer says that “he can avoid some legal hurdles by negotiating outside court. Government agencies are liable for a maximum $100,000 per person for negligence when employees are working within their professional capacity. If a jury were to award a plaintiff more than that, the government agency would pay the $100,000 and the plaintiff would have to petition the Legislature for the remainder. “)
At Brains on Purpose, Stephanie West Allen has pulled together resources to help facilitate learning and mind changing.
At Legal Blog Watch, Carolyn Elefant wonders whether blogging is the reason for mandatory arbitration agreements for law firm employees.
The World Directory of ADR Blogs keeps growing. I’ve just added three more blogs:
- The Colorado Family Solutions Center blog, which focuses on ways to help families in transition find solutions outside of court.
- Conflict Matters, which provides tools and ideas about conflict resolution and mediation, published by dispute resolution professional and attorney Roy Baroff of North Carolina. (Hat tip to the Mediation Mensch for these two latest additions.)
- Secretos del Mediador Exitoso, a Spanish language blog, answers the question, what do you need to know and do to be able to mediate successfully? This blog’s motto is “Transformacion de Conflictos, Cooperacion y Respeto.”
Finally, for a rousing example of what a bunch of people working together can achieve, here’s an election-related news story: On February 19, over a thousand Prairie View A&M University students and their supporters marched seven miles to the polls at the Waller County, Texas, Courthouse to protest the lack of an early voting place on campus. You can view the march at YouTube. Would you walk seven miles to cast your vote?