Truly amazing to read and consider the facts set out in the following article from the March 2, 2018 edition of the Chicago Daily law Bulletin. In view of the newsworthy contents, I’ve pasted the article in full because you have to read it to believe it.

“Parents owe $970K to daughter in civil rights suit

By Jordyn Reiland 
Law Bulletin staff writer

A downstate federal jury has awarded nearly $1 million to a Lawrenceville woman who claimed her mother and stepfather conspired with local law enforcement to take away her child.

Plaintiff Jade Green filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Illinois in July 2016 against her mother, Angela Howser, stepfather, Jack Howser, Lawrence County Sheriff Russell Adams and then-Lawrence County State’s Attorney Christopher M. Quick.

Adams and Quick settled with Green for $75,000 prior to trial, according to Green’s attorney H. Kent Heller of Heller, Holmes & Associates in Mattoon.

In August 2014, Green lived with her daughter and husband in a home owned by her mother and stepfather. When Green told her parents they planned to move out of the home, they tried to get custody of Green’s daughter, Heller said.

He said Green’s parents threatened to publish inappropriate pictures of their daughter in The Disclosure, a Calhoun-based newspaper they own.

They filed several orders of protection against Green that wouldn’t let her see with her daughter and pursued criminal charges against her in Richland, Lawrence and Saline Counties.

The lawsuit alleged Quick and Adams conspired with the Howsers and, on Nov. 5, 2014, Adams allegedly told his deputies to arrest Green at 2 a.m. on theft charges.

Heller said that at the time of the arrest Quick ordered his department to place Green’s daughter in the custody of the Howsers.

At the trial in East St. Louis, Heller argued his client was denied her right to due process when her child was taken away from her and placed in the custody of her parents without her consent.

As a result of this instance, Heller said his client had to pay significant attorney fees while she worked to get her daughter back.

The defense argued at trial that Green consented to her daughter being placed with the Howsers, Heller said.

Jurors awarded the $970,000 verdict on Feb. 22 after a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Stephen C. Williams of the Southern District of Illinois.

The verdict comprised $250,000 in pain and suffering; $100,000 for loss of companionship; $120,000 for attorney fees and $500,000 in punitive damages.

Heller said his client was pleased with the result and looks forward to returning to her life.

“I think like everybody they are just glad to get through this chapter and get on with other matters,” he said.

Jack and Angela Howser were represented by Morgan Scroggins of Scroggins Law Office Ltd. in Granite City. He could not be reached for comment.

The case in the Southern District of Illinois is Jade Green v. Chris Quick, et al., No. 16 C 863.”

The issues in State of Washington v. Trump can be framed broadly or narrowly. If framed broadly, the issues may have notable impacts as precedent that goes to the tripartite structure of our government, and the extent to which courts can, should, or will “look behind” the actual words of an executive order. The brief filed last night by the states is online at this page of the Civil Rights Clearinghouse. Kudos to that group.

Also, we extracted the supporting  Declaration of Former National Security Officials; see this page of Scribd for those pages only.  We also put online a “reduced size” version of the entire 101 pages of the brief and its attachments; see this page of Scribd. The “reduced size” version is easier to download and/or email or …..

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 11.27.36 AM

With so many executive orders being challenged in many forums, keeping track of the events presents challenges similar to the challenges in tracking events in mass tort litigation. Below, a note on the best resource I know of for tracking the civil rights cases. Guest posts are welcome if others know of better resources.

A University of Michigan law school web site provides open and timely access to the papers from the ongoing State of Washington case against Trump. That’s the case which produced the national  injunction of the executive order on Trump’s Executive Order more commonly known as the Muslim ban.  The web site is called the Civil Rights Litigation Clearing House. See

 The group appears to be collecting papers from all the executive order cases. As an Illini, it pains me to say it, but: Go Blue! Hopefully lawyers for all sides agree that open and timely access to information is critical for people to see the true picture instead of having to rely on the media.

This morning, the 9th Circuit refused DOJ’s emergency request to end the national injunction.

The government already filed its paper seeking a stay. The court set a briefing schedule that has a brief being filed tonight (Sunday) by the State of Washington at 1 minute before midnight (perhaps a Cinderella story :)).  Judging by the oral argument before the district judge, the brief may well include some of Trump’s tweet and other statements which were argued as showing racial bias and hatred.

The government replies in a brief due Monday at 3pm Pacific. See

No time set for a ruling.

Civil rights lawyers (and others) sometimes express exasperation when they are sometimes denied decent hourly rates after winning trials against governments (or insurers that fail to honor policy obligations.)  That group may be heartened by a new ruling from Judge Holderman of the Northern District of Illinois in a case arising from failure to provide anti-seizure medication to a state prison inmate. As reported by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, the civil rights lawyers were reasonably paid for a major win ($12 million of compensatory damages, and $1 million of punitive damages.): 

"In an opinion issued Thursday, Holderman awarded the plaintiff lawyers those requested amounts. Ray A. Fox, etc. v. David Barnes, No. 09 C 5453.

“The court finds that the requested hourly fees are appropriate to compensate Fox’s lawyers for their outstanding representation and the excellent result they obtained for their client at this highly contested jury trial,” the opinion says.

Lawyers with the Illinois attorney general’s office representing Barnes asserted that the fees and costs sought by Fox should be cut in half because Fox only prevailed against one of the two defendants at trial.  But Holderman rejected that argument.   In terms of hourly rates, Fox asked for $495 for Michael Kanovitz, $505 for Jon Loevy and $335 each for Aaron S. Mandel and Elizabeth C. Wang.  Lawyers for Barnes challenged those hourly rates.   Holderman also rejected that assertion, citing Hensley v. Eckerhart, 416 U.S. 424 (1983).   “Considering the Hensley factors, the court finds that Fox has amply met his burden of demonstrating that the requested hourly rates are appropriate,” Holderman’s opinion says.

“We think Judge Holderman correctly applied the law in awarding something closer to market rates and comparable to rates that lawyers earn at large law firms litigating commercial cases,” Loevy said. “Civil rights lawyers are sometimes frustrated that there’s a resistance to doing that.”

This is an age of increasing specialization even as to civil rights.  Thus, a new article in the Journal of World Energy Law & Business addresses civil rights in that sector. The article is by several European lawyers from ngos and Clifford Chance, and is titled: Human rights responsibilities in the oil and gas sector: applying the UN Guiding Principles, by Rae Lindsay, Robert McCorquodale, Lara Blecher, Jonathan Bonnitcha, Antony Crockett, and Audley Sheppard – J World Energy Law Bus. published 18 January 2013, 10.1093/jwelb/jws033The full article is behind this pay wall. 

The abstract provides an overview:


The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011 and are now an international standard in this area. This article explores the implications of the Guiding Principles for business enterprises operating in the oil and gas sector where there are human rights impacts of their operations. It considers the responsibility to respect human rights by these business enterprises, including in relation to remedies for victims, and the actions that should be taken by responsible and prudent business enterprises to implement the Guiding Principles.

Close consideration of the duty of due diligence is undertaken, which is a broad responsibility on business enterprises to identify their actual and potential human rights impacts (including by third parties) and then to address them through policies, practices and mechanisms. This position is considered in light of surveys and interviews of existing practices in the oil and gas sector. The consequences of this responsibility under the Guiding Principles are also examined through consideration of contractual issues, where a business enterprise s leverage is of relevance, and analysis of the many legal risks that might arise.

While the Guiding Principles do not, of themselves, create new law, it is evident that there are many legal issues that do arise, and are likely to do so at an increasing rate, and that all parts of a business enterprise are affected. This article offers constructive and practical legal guidance to some of the challenges and complexities that those in the oil and gas sector will face in their efforts to discharge their responsibility to respect human rights.


What are the economics of discrimination ? Alex Tabarrock from Marginal Revolution put up the following thought-provoking post, and it’s repasted here for further dissemination. Law and economics – they go hand in glove. 



"The Growth of Justice
Posted: 09 May 2012 04:32 AM PDT
Justice is a key ingredient for economic growth. People will not invest if they fear that their life, liberty and property may be subject to arbitrary seizure and destruction. The rule of law and limited government provide a sphere of liberty within which individuals can make decisions with confidence that the fruits of their labor will not taken by the more powerful.
Justice is not just about legislation, however. Public and private discrimination diminish a person’s ability to individuate and develop, an ability that drives innovation and growth in the artistic, economic and scientific realms. In India the caste system binds many people to the lives of their ancestors regardless of desire, talent or will. In parts of the world half the population is subjugated and bound to a limited vision of their life, a vision which is not of their own making. Similar if less extreme forces have limited women and blacks in the United States.
In a pathbreaking paper, The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth, Jones, Hsieh, Hurst, and Klenow connect a micro allocation model to a macro growth model to estimate that the lifting of much discrimination in the United States since 1960 has had a large effect on economic growth:
In 1960, 94 percent of doctors were white men, as were 96 percent of lawyers and 86 percent of managers. By 2008, these numbers had fallen to 63, 61, and 57 percent, respectively. Given that innate talent for these professions is unlikely to differ between men and women or between blacks and whites, the allocation of talent in 1960 suggests that a substantial pool of innately talented black men, black women, and white women were not pursuing their comparative advantage. This paper estimates the contribution to U.S. economic growth from the changing occupational allocation of white women, black men, and black women between 1960 and 2008. We find that the contribution is significant: 17 to 20 percent of growth over this period might be explained simply by the improved allocation of talent within the United States.
In other words, the United States has benefited greatly from the growth of justice."


Here’s a good idea – the ABA is assisting and promoting efforts to recruit lawyers and others to monitor protests at the NATO and G8 meetings.  Set out below is the text of the email I received this morning from an ABA international law group. 


The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE (OSCE/ODIHR) is recruiting monitors for planned assembly observation activities in the USA. Monitored assemblies will include protests and demonstrations organized in Chicago and, potentially, in / around Camp David, on the occasion of the forthcoming NATO and G8 summits. The G8 summit will take place in Camp David on 18 and 19 May 2012. The NATO summit will take place in Chicago on 20 and 21 May 2012.

The monitors will be part of small teams, which will generally include ODIHR staff, who will report their observations on the conduct of and interaction between assembly participants, law enforcement agents, as well as other relevant state and non-state actors. The information gathered will be used to compile a comprehensive monitoring report and to identify gaps, as well as examples of good practice, in meeting international human rights standards on the freedom of peaceful assembly.

Monitors are required to possess:

– a good understanding of human rights and of principles of human rights monitoring, preferably with a focus on freedom of peaceful assembly; previous experience in assembly monitoring, and a good understanding of local laws and regulations relating to assemblies are desirable;

– good report writing skills in English;

– sound judgement and awareness of the risks posed by crowds and gatherings;

– ability to work as part of a team.

Monitors are expected to be based in or near Chicago, to be available between 16 and 21 May 2012 and, in order to ensure their impartiality, not to be affiliated with any of the protesting groups or organizations, or with any bodies involved in the policing and regulation of assemblies. They will receive a one-day briefing / training in Chicago (some monitors may be required to deploy in or around Camp David on 18 and 19 May). The total duration of the engagement will be between three and seven working days, including one day for report writing.

Monitors will receive a fee of 125 EUR/day (approximately 165 USD at the current exchange rate), including for time spent in training, briefings, debriefings, and report writing. Travel expenses to/from Camp David will be reimbursed, if applicable. Assembly monitoring may require working long hours, and/or outside normal office hours.

Individuals interested in being considered for the position of assembly monitors should send, by 15 April 2012, a brief cover email (specifying the exact dates of their availability), attaching a curriculum vitae and a short unedited writing sample to this address:

Pre-selected individuals will be contacted by ODIHR for a telephone interview.

The OSCE/ODIHR is the specialized institution of the OSCE dealing with elections, human rights, and democratization. The OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization comprising 56 States from Europe, Central Asia and North America. For more information about activities by OSCE/ODIHR on freedom of peaceful assembly, including a link to the ODIHR Handbook on Monitoring Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, please see:

The marvelous post pasted below is from Alex Tabarrok at the blog titled Marginal Revolution. He says it all so well, I’ve taken the liberty of repasting the post in toto. The original is here, and is followed by an interesting series of comments. 

Compensation Now Legal for Bone Marrow Donation

Posted: 02 Dec 2011 04:32 AM PST


Excellent news; yesterday the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion stating that compensation for bone marrow donation, specifically peripheral blood stem cell apheresis, is legal because such donation does not fall under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA).

The case was simple and it’s outrageous that the government fought. In brief, a bone marrow donation used to require inserting a very big needle into the donor’s hip bone, a painful hospital-procedure often requiring general anesthesia. Today, however, donors typically do not donate marrow but hematopoietic stem cells which can be harvested directly from blood in a procedure that takes a little longer but is essentially similar to a standard blood donation. Compensation for blood is legal (blood is excluded as an organ under NOTA). The plaintiffs, led by the Institute for Justice, argued and the court agreed that there is no rational basis for outlawing one type of blood donation when a similar donation is legal.

I was shocked by the utter boneheadedness of one of the government’s arguments:

…the government argues that because it is much harder to find a match for patients who need bone marrow transplants than for patients who need blood transfusions, exploitative market forces could be triggered if bone marrow could be bought.

In other words, markets are forbidden just when they are most useful. It was in fact the patients with rare matches who brought this case. As the court noted:

…a physician and medical school professor…says that at least one out of five of his patients dies because no matching bone marrow donor can be found, and many others have complications when scarcity of matching donors compels him to use imperfectly matched donors. One plaintiff is a parent of mixed race children, for whom sufficiently matched donors are especially scarce, because mixed race persons typically have the rarest marrow cell types.

The patients with the most common cell types can afford to rely on the kindness of strangers. You don’t need a lot of kindness when there are a lot of strangers. The patients who are most difficult to match need to leverage altruism with incentive. It’s a lesson with many applications.



Dread diseases are complex and, often, horrible. Coping with dread diseases requires massive attention and perseverance. To date, the nations, ngos and corporations of the world have achieved only modest progress towards coping with the causes, effects, costs and horrors of dread diseases. 

This NYT story  by Jim Dwyer illustrates some of the horrors and a depressing example of a profound failure of institutional coping with dread diseases.  The story, however, also is a love story as it tells a small part of the powerful story of a determined and loving couple both afflicted with cerebral palsy. They are Edwin Morales and Noemi Rivera, and one has to marvel at all they’ve done and accomplished. Sadly, she recently died, prompting the story. 

The story of Edwin and Noemi includes a small part of the history of how poorly the U.S.  – like other nations – has dealt with long term disability and dread diseases. The story includes a "kidnapping" vignette which highlights a small part of the horror of a New York  "health care" facility known as Willowbrook. Ultimately, the horrors of the Willowbrook story were told by Bobby Kennedy and others – see this Wikipedia entry for an overview. The telling of the Willlowbrook story was part of the path to civil rights legislation.

Set out below is Mr. Dwyer’s brief telling of Edwin’s parents "kidnapping" him to save him from Willowbrook:

"The youngest of eight, Edwin Morales was put around age 4 into Willowbrook, an infamous dungeon for the disabled on Staten Island. He almost never was moved from his bed. Older children were tied into chairs. By the time Senator Robert F. Kennedy visited in 1965 and publicly deplored the place, the Morales family had liberated Edwin.


“My parents kidnapped —” Ms. Laracuente began, then stopped to steal a quick glance around the funeral parlor. She continued in a whisper: “My mother had a friend with a van. We signed him out for a picnic on the grounds, and when we got there, pulled the van over, threw him in and never looked back. We were so scared the whole way.”

Mr. Morales’s problems fell under the broad description of cerebral palsy, which includes impairment to the nerves and muscles, and in his case, the withering of his right arm and both legs. It was during a long hospital stay for surgery that he met Noemi, who had similar conditions."