This page includes posts from
April 29-May 26, 2007 in the usual reverse
Each posting on the home page is perma-linked to these archive pages.
May 24, 2007
A while ago I wrote a story about a fight in Chancery Court between the Dewey Beach Lions Club and some folks who owned properties lying just east of a playground lot owned by the club.
The lawsuit involved a tiny alleyway between the parcels. Because of the summer rental crowds using these properties, the owners argued that they had a right to use a portion of the club property for an even wider path.
Master Sam Glasscock disagreed:
As I noted at the time, this decision affirms the point that "your parking problem is not your neighbor’s responsibility."
According to a news story tonight, however, it appears that one of these neighbors was not exactly graceful in defeat.
The tree's now dead, and according to one worker the tree will cost at least $3,000 to be replaced.
I hope the new tree grows quickly, thickly, and high.
May 17, 2007
Ann Althouse has been showing some great photos she took during a recent show of restored automobiles in Madison, Wisconsin.
The pictures she showed today, of a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500, took me way back down the memory hole.
The one she saw was a convertible, but our 1964 Galaxie 500 was a hardtop.
It was also fast.
I set a personal speed record in that car of 104 miles per hour on a back country road in New Castle County, a very long time ago.
And yes, it was a remarkably stupid thing to do at the time, when I was an immortal teenager. If I tried the same stunt now, on the same now-busy road, it would be completely suicidal.
The car was really fast, though.
He was his own worst witness
The Delaware lawyers I know who practice personal injury law tell me that the juries they deal with are pretty conservative when it comes to awarding damages.
There’s the occasional exception, but those are highly unusual cases, often with horrendous facts.
In the routine case, however, Delaware juries tend to be a bit tight-fisted. Nonetheless, sometimes the person seeking the money simply doesn’t do himself any favors, in the impression he creates for his peers who are sitting in judgment.
This happened again recently, in a lawsuit brought after a minor automobile accident. The plaintiff was sitting in his parked car when the defendant driver struck his car.
In the resulting litigation, the defendant admitted liability, and also admitted that the plaintiff was injured by the accident. The evidence included records showing $9,000 in medical expenses.
The jury awarded $100.
The plaintiff sought the trial judge’s order to add more dollars to the jury verdict or a new trial. After the trial court summarily denied the motion, the plaintiff appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court.
The panel showed the usual deference to the jury's collective wisdom, and also pointed out a few additional damaging facts:
In an effort to highlight just how bad a witness the plaintiff was for himself, the appellate panel added a little more salt into his self-inflicted wounds:
Based on this sorry record, the Supreme Court had little difficulty with affirming the jury verdict below, ruling that there was no abuse of discretion in deciding that this plaintiff did not deserve a chance at a better verdict than the one he apparently earned for himself.
It’s worth keeping in mind, therefore, that when you hear about juries making low-ball awards, sometimes there’s a very good reason for it.
May 14, 2007
It feels like I needed the break.
On the other hand, it's not like I was just sitting around twiddling my thumbs and actively avoiding the computer keyboard and the apparently now-defunct FrontPage software used to create this site.
However, while gone from here I also had a good time during the annual spring golf trip to the Myrtle Beach area. There'll be a golf column about it soon enough, but in the meantime, here are some pictures:
Golf balls can land on these shells, and the balls will not bounce onto the green.
Official small print disclaimer: This is, after all, a personal web site. Any opinions or comments I express here are my own, and don't necessarily reflect the official position of my work as a government attorney or any of my clients.
That fact may become obvious later on, but it needs to be said here anyway.
© Frederick H. Schranck 2002-2007