Episode 15: 3 Charges of Mordenkainen’s Crushing Debt; 1 Year Recast

I made it home to D.C. but there’s a state of emergency declared, the Fastcase office is closed, and I’m once again joined only by myself. But at least I’m not in a hotel room in Dayton with a canceled flight. Would you care to cheer up my snow blues by subscribing to the podcast and rating us five stars on iTunes?

1. TIL that it’s about average for the Department of the Treasury to receive almost two million dollars in bequeathed funds from estates. The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog points us to a Buffalo News article examining the case of a bus driver who bequeathed $500,000 to the U.S. Treasury and Consumer Reports. Apparently, he was quite distrustful of the state government.

2. The Berkman Center is hosting a talk by Jonathan Zittrain and Ethan Gilsdorf titled, “How Dungeons & Dragons and Fantasty Prepare You for Law and Life.” I get behind this entirely. My tabletop RPGing love probably accounted for the reason I was one of the few nerds who actually loved civil procedure. And for added benefit, here’s a gem of a comment from @ouij from our subreddit:

Juris Doctor (cursed magic item, scroll):

• Instantly, upon entering possession of character: +1 INT, +1 WIS, Player gains “read fine print” ability, but suffers ENCUMBRANCE penalty as if the target of Mordenkainen’s Crushing Debt spell (q.v.).

• When displayed to PCs/NPCs who do not also possess this item: Character gains +1 CH (+3 if NPC INT is less than 9) in all dealings with person viewing scroll.

• When displayed to PCs/NPCs who also possess this item: All ability score bonuses/penalties conferred byJuris Doctor are nullified. Target must make saving throw v. spells or begin to laugh uncontrollably, mocking holder for his imprudence for 1xd4 rounds.

3. A recent oral argument between Judge Richard A. Posner and Matthew Kairis, head of the litigation section at Jones Day Columbus, is making the internet rounds today. I listened to a good portion of the audio and although I’ve had some oral arguments about this contentious, I’m happy that the entire Internet didn’t have an interest in listening to it. How Appealing has a good summary of “verbal sparring.”

4. Some lawyers are suggesting that it’s time to take Big Food to the courtroom to lessen the burden on taxpayers paying for obesity-related health care. I suggest checking out the article — it draws some good correlation between the Big Food now and Big Tobacco circa the mid 1990s. According to the senior director of communications at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, “Regulation through litigation is not an effective or appropriate mechanism for policymaking.” No kidding! Plus, it’s way harder to make campaign contributions to judges.

5. Now that marijuana is more or less legal in Colorado, some interesting regulatory issues are cropping up. Apparently there’s been a trend of new marijuana edibles hitting the market and some people are wondering who is going to regulate these products. Neither the FDA nor the CDC are involved right now, and the Colorado Department of Public Health apparently has its hands tied because it accepts federal funds. The only viable agency left is the Marijuana Enforcement Division, whose mandate was really to monitor the medical marijuana industry, and presumably has no appropriate experience monitoring food.

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