China's PATRIOT Act

BusinessWeek: Jerry Yang on the Hot Seat. On Nov. 6, Yahoo! CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang answered to Congress for his company’s role in landing Tao behind bars. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs called on Yang on Nov. 6 to explain what reasons the Chinese government gave when it requested information from Tao’s Yahoo e-mail account.

Seriously, is this the U.S. House of Representations or the Chinese House of Representatives. I’m all for spreading freedom and democracy abroad, but can’t we first fix a few matters at home? When Tom Lantos criticizes a huge, U.S.-based multinational company for assiduously cooperating with the police, I’m thinking of search warrants for Yahoo
e-mail accounts as well as the Justice Department’s subpoena of Google search data. 🙄 It’s not just the Chinese who require a little protection from over-reaching bureaucrats.

consumer law personal injury

Poison Me Elmo

Forbes/Associated Press: Experts Urge Blood Tests in Toy Recall. Parents worried their children may have been exposed to excessive levels of lead in recalled Fisher-Price toys should visit the pediatrician for a blood test, experts said Thursday. 

So, explain this one to me. Toys that contain lead paint that you are not supposed to ingest gets recalled. However, chicken that contains melamine that is intended for human consumption…well, that’s safe. Huh?Anyways, Mattel will be taking a $30 million charge to reflect the cost of the recall, which may seem high. In reality, an American jury presented with a fact pattern showing that a major American toy company exported American manufacturing jobs overseas to cut costs and then imported lower quality Chinese manufactured children toys that contain toxic lead paint without screening for product safety…well, you tell me what the punitive damages award will be. Think the jury will want to “send a message” to corporate America? $30 million product recall looking cheap now?

personal injury

WSJ Laments the Lack of Product Liability Laws

Wall Street Journal: China Product Scare Hits Home, Too. China is still at the early stages of developing the type of product-liability and product-recall system that is common in many Western countries, a system that leaves little recourse against companies that flout regulations that are rarely enforced. Product-liability lawsuits, common in the U.S., are rare in China’s legal system.

And, if some politicians have their way, product liability lawsuits will be rare in the U.S. legal system as well. After all, President Bush said, “The cost of lawsuits, relative to countries that we compete against, are high.” [Actually, he should have said the costs—plural—are high, but who am I to pick on the President’s grammar.] Now, the Census tells us that our second largest trading partner is China. So, either we have to gravitate toward their model or they have to move to ours. Which will it be? Who wants diethylene glycol in fresh mint with tartar control?

criminal law

Lost in Translation II

no-climbing.jpgIn a previous post, I asked you to guess the act that this sign had forbade. The answer is “No Climbing.” How anyone that doesn’t read Chinese or English would interpret this to mean “no climbing” is quite a mystery, but all prohibited acts must be illustrated. Can’t afford to have a bunch of hooligans hanging around pleading ignorance of the law.

criminal law

Lost in Translation

no-pole-dancing.jpgNo pole dancing? That’s my first thought when I spotted this sign. After an initial chuckle, I took a closer look to see what acts were exactly prohibited. Care to guess what was prohibited and where I spotted this sign?