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a reflection on lawyer-legislator ethics February 11, 2017

Posted by Bradley in : governance , add a comment

The Florida House of Representatives features on its website quite prominently a Public Guide to Florida House of Representatives Rules Changes with a subtitle of “Ushering a New Level of Transparency and Accountability Revolutionizing State Government. Most of the document relates to lobbying- for example legislators should not fly on private planes owned by lobbyists or corporations that employ lobbyists (and Rule 15.3 of the House Rules specifies that the ban applies even were the representative to pay for the flight). But perhaps there are some other issues they might concentrate on.
Rule 15.2 of the House Rules states:

The Integrity of the House. A member shall respect and comply with the law and shall perform at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and independence of the House and of the Legislature. Each member shall perform at all times in a manner that promotes a professional environment in the House, which shall be free from unlawful employment discrimination.

I am not sure how promoting legislation that could be seen as conducive to a Representative’s personal financial interests as a personal injury lawyer, especially legislation that is drafted so ambiguously as to open up a wealth of litigation possibilities, can possibly be seen as promoting public confidence in the integrity of the House. But perhaps that’s just me.

proposed florida abortion statute February 10, 2017

Posted by Bradley in : regulation , add a comment

The Miami Herald reported on a move in the Florida Legislature by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, a personal injury lawyer with the Graill Law Group in Vero Beach, Florida in an article with the title: “If you regret having abortion, proposed law would let you sue the doctor years later“. The Bill allows a woman “who suffers emotional distress as a result of a physician’s failure to obtain informed consent” (under the statute) to sue the physician for damages up to ten years after the procedure, even where there is a signed informed consent form. The buill says the claim would not be for medical malpractice and the rules on medical malpractice would not apply.
If this is a good idea, which I doubt, why not apply the same idea to other medical procedures that seem to be the source of emotional distress and other psychological problems and where people are induced into undergoing the procedures by unrealistic hopes about the difference to their lives that the procedures will make? Here I am thinking, of course, of cosmetic surgery. Everywhere you go in South Florida you see encouragements to undergo cosmetic procedures. Even when I go to the dentist I am faced with posters advertising fillers. And we know that cosmetic surgery can be expensive and lead to non-financial distress and disappointment. In the cosmetic surgery context informed consent is undermined by pervasive advertising of an endless range of products from skin creams to botox as well as adverts for surgery. So why is that not a priority for Florida lawmakers?

brexit futures: uk as friend to human rights abusers January 28, 2017

Posted by Bradley in : fundamental rights , 1 comment so far

Theresa May’s friendly visits with Donald Trump as he orders extreme vetting for people entering the US from majority Muslim countries (but not Saudi Arabia), and Recep ErdoÄŸan (apparently she did mention human rights) raise some real questions about what Britain’s future will look like outside the EU. This is what Global Britain is going to look like?

girls doubt that women can be brilliant January 26, 2017

Posted by Bradley in : gender , 1 comment so far

It happens at age 6, according to a recent study. Thinking about the brilliant women I have known in my life, and know, I am devastated (but not really surprised). When I was in my 20s the future world I imagined for women was so much better than the one I now live in.

aals: the corporate stake in climate change response January 4, 2017

Posted by Bradley in : financial regulation , add a comment

I’ll be at the AALS in San Francisco this week, participating in a panel on climate change. I.m going to be talking about climate change as a financial stability issue based on this draft paper.

happy 2017, and how (not) to have a successful brexit January 3, 2017

Posted by Bradley in : brexit , add a comment

Get your (very experienced) ambassador to the EU, Ivan Rogers, to resign.

jotwell: bradley on admati December 6, 2016

Posted by Bradley in : jotwell , add a comment

Today my jot on Admati’s It Takes a Village to Maintain a Dangerous Financial System came out.

useful and timely caveat from the comptroller of the currency November 30, 2016

Posted by Bradley in : financial regulation , add a comment

Thomas Curry, in a speech at The Clearing House Annual Conference:

I am glad that our banks and the banking system are stronger today, but now is not the time to let our guard down. Those who have been in this business for more than one cycle know a downturn will come. Effective regulation and supervision will help ensure that the trough will not be so deep or so wide. Those who forget or choose to ignore the lessons of the last crisis do so at their own peril and increase the risk to all of us.

the play that goes wrong November 15, 2016

Posted by Bradley in : culture , add a comment

Not the election. But The Play that Goes Wrong is to transfer to Broadway. I saw it this summer (while feeling anxious about the aftermath of the Brexit vote (I am still anxious)). The play is not deep, but it is very funny. The sort of antidote some of us might need right now.

parliament talks brexit, rule of law, freedom of the press, and we’re none the wiser November 7, 2016

Posted by Bradley in : brexit , add a comment

Among the many failures of transparency in this whole situation, today’s discussion of last week’s court decision, and the press reaction, is the one about not wanting to disclose to Parliament anything about the Government’s negotiating position that might prevent the UK from getting the best possible deal for the UK.

This sort of “trust us, we will do the best for you (and transparency would stop us doing that)” talk contrasts with the EU’s disclosure of documents relating to TTIP negotiations. Transparency isn’t inevitably seen as inconsistent with negotiation – at least when you recognise that you need to bring citizens on board with the results of the negotiation.

These parliamentary debates seem to be based on a rather different idea – that when the Government tells the people that it has negotiated the terms of a Brexit that are the best terms possible, or that the failure to reach agreement on such terms means that there will be a Brexit with no agreement on terms at all, that the citizens should just accept it. After all, the point is to do what a majority of the voters said they wanted, which is Brexit. It is politically impossible, seemingly to notice the Parliamentary failure to think through the details in the referendum legislation, or the massive fraud that was perpetrated on the citizens who voted.

The range of theoretically possible terms is vast – and to describe them all as Brexit makes no sense.

Moreover, it looks increasingly likely (and this would be entirely rational) that the only terms on offer will be those that offer the worst deal for the UK. The other Member States have every incentive to try to pick off every single part of UK economic activity they can. If they did not insist on the worst possible terms for the AUK they would be failing in their duties to their own citizens, and failing in their responsibilities to each other to do what is necessary to hold the European project together.