On First Looking Into Posner's Opinions, and Finding One Where He Didn't Exactly Hit a Homer

From Passing the Bar: Poems to Learn the Law By, by John Crouch

Negligence — The Offhand Formula

McCarty v. Pheasant Run, Inc.

826 F.2d 1554 (U.S. 7th Circuit 1987)

Held, by the Foremost Jurist of his Time, and an Admirer of Rustic Scenery, that if a Lodging-House have a Secret Door, affording Convenient Ingress to Sundry Villains, then So Be It; inasmuch as Caveat Emptor, Mercatum Non Potest Peccare, etc.

FACTS:

One evening a conventioneer checked into her hotel room,

not wanting any view, she said, just a quiet place-to-dwell room. 

She didn’t open her curtain, though it was six o’clock,

and she assumed it cloaked a window — not a door, which was unlocked! 

Through which an intruder entered, beat her and threatened rape.

She fought him off successfully, but he made good his escape.

He took her purse, and left her bruised and emotionally distressed,

for which she sued the inn, which had afforded her no rest.

POSNER, C.J.:

When you check into a resort hotel, you go inspect the view.

At least I know that’s the first thing that all reasonable people do.

I’m  not too busy to do that, so I’d like to know who is.

I guess my meager résumé would sure be dwarfed by his.

If this Philistine had moved the curtain, she would have seen the door,

affording access to a walkway, for that’s what it was for.

And reasonably, when she went to bed, she’d make sure and lock it.

So why should the cost of her negligence be paid from Defendant’s pocket?

Must the maids or clerks make sure it’s locked each time someone checks out,

just to safeguard the virginity of one thoughtless layabout?

Must they pay  someone to do this, when each reasonable guest

will repeat their labor, anyhow, when laying down to rest?

It would not be economical. Thus the costs it would prevent

must be shouldered by the victim of this improbable event.

_______ 

Note: 

[1]This case shows the dangers involved when a judge merely uses his own experience and tastes as the measure of “reasonableness,” in contrast to the Carroll Towing case, which is based on a review of numerous cases imposing various requirements in similar situations, and also looking at custom and usage in the industry. But in Judge Posner’s defence it may be pointed out that it was originally the jury, not a judge, who decided that it would not be reasonable to require hotels to make sure that such doors are locked.


Family legislation done for the year; 33 related bills enacted, relig freedom & weps stay vetoed

Here's how family law bills passed by both houses of Virginia's General Assembly stand on March 27. The governor's vetoes and changes will be dealt with when the Assembly reconvenes on April 5.

Governor Vetoed or Requests Changes:

 Died in or after Conference Committee:

Signed by Governor, Becoming Law Effective July 1:

Divorce

Support

Children

 Elder Law/Probate

 Procedure

Women's Liberation


Gov. vetoes guns for battered women, religious freedom, fun knives for kids; Zero Tolerance reform dies in conference committee

Here's how family law bills passed by both houses of Virginia's General Assembly stand on March 27. The governor's vetoes and changes will be dealt with when the Assembly reconvenes on April 5.

Governor Vetoed or Requests Changes:

 Died in or after Conference Committee:

Signed by Governor, Becoming Law Effective July 1:

Divorce

Support

Children

 Elder Law/Probate

 Procedure

Women's Liberation


Va. Gov. Signs Parenting Time, Expat Divorce, Digital Assets, Quitclaim Ban, Blaze Pink, & More Bills

Here's how family law bills in Richmond stand after Feb. 20:

Governor Vetoed or Requests Changes:

 

 Died in or after Conference Committee:

Signed by Governor, Enacted Into Law

Divorce

Support

Children

 Elder Law/Probate

 Procedure

Women's Liberation

 

 

Killed in first house (by any of several methods: Defeated, recommended not reporting, recommended tabling, carried over to next year, passed by indefinitely):

Marriage

Divorce

Support

Children

Domestic Violence

Elder Law/Probate

Procedure


24 Bills Affecting Family Law Get Through Both Houses, 4 Killed, More to Come

Here's how family law bills in Richmond stand after Feb. 20:

 Freshly killed in second house, after passing one house, since last post:

Highlights of what has passed both houses:

Signed by Governor, Enacted Into Law

Divorce

Support

Children

 Elder Law/Probate

Women's Liberation

Passed Both Houses, awaiting governor action OR conference committee -- Full List 

Marriage

 

 

 Children

Domestic Violence

 Elder Law/Probate

 Procedure

Passed One House, then Committee-Approved in Second House

Killed in first house (by any of several methods: Defeated, recommended not reporting, recommended tabling, carried over to next year, passed by indefinitely):

Marriage

Divorce

Support

Children

Domestic Violence

Elder Law/Probate

Procedure


Berkeley thug: Violence OK if they don't obey. Sounds like every wife-beater ever.

(And husband-beater.) I'm a divorce lawyer, so I should know. Masked Berkeley rioter Neil Lawrence makes the all-too-familiar argument that violence is OK when people don't shut up and obey even after you ask nicely:

"But when you consider everything that activists already tried — when mass call-ins, faculty and student objections, letter-writing campaigns, numerous op-eds (including mine), union grievances and peaceful demonstrations don’t work, when the nonviolent tactics have been exhausted — what is left? Of all the objections and cancellation requests presented to the administration, local government and local police, the only one that was listened to was the sound of shattering glass."

 in the Daily Californian, "Black bloc did what campus should have"

 


46 bills affecting family law have passed one house & "crossed over" to the other

Here's how family law bills in Richmond stand after Feb. 16:

Fresh kills since last post

Highlights of what has passed both houses:

Passed Both Houses, awaiting governor action OR conference committee 

Marriage

Women's Liberation

Divorce

Support

 Children

Domestic Violence

 Elder Law/Probate

 Procedure

Passed One House, then Committee-Approved in Second House

 Passed One House, then Subcommittee-Approved in Second House 

 Freshly killed in second house, after passing one house, since last post:

Killed in first house (by any of several methods: Defeated, recommended not reporting, recommended tabling, carried over to next year, passed by indefinitely):

Marriage

Divorce

Support

Children

Domestic Violence

Elder Law/Probate

Procedure


Richmond family law action on expat divorce, parenting time, voiding quitclaims, medical subpoenas, digital assets, spendthrifts

Bills that made progress since last post:

New killin' since last post:

Here's how bills stand after House and Senate Committees met on Jan. 25, in this order: (1) Approved by committee (2) Approved by subcommittee (3) Awaiting any committee or subcommittee action (4) Killed.

Approved by House or Senate:

Approved by Committee:

Approved by Subcommittee:

No action yet by any committee or subcommittee:

Marriage

Divorce

Support

Children 

Domestic Violence

Elder Law/Probate

 Procedure

Women's Lib

Killed (by any of several methods: Defeated, recommended not reporting, recommended tabling, carried over to next year, passed by indefinitely):


Va. legislature: More bills affecting families get through committee, more killed, more introduced

Here's how bills stand after House and Senate Committees met on Jan. 18, in this order: (1) Approved by committee (2) Approved by subcommittee (3) Awaiting any committee or subcommittee action (4) Killed.

Approved by Committee:

Approved by Subcommittee:

No action yet by any committee or subcommittee:

Marriage

Divorce

Support

Children 

Domestic Violence

Elder Law/Probate

 Procedure

Women's Lib

Killed (by any of several methods: Defeated, recommended not reporting, recommended tabling, carried over to next year, passed by indefinitely):