Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet Links

Looking for hastily conceived legal opinions? Scroll backwards through the blog and you should see a bevy of seemingly new posts, outlining my current understanding of The Law.

For the recovering music majors...
This guy spends 20 minutes explaining to normal people why they should be listening to classical music. It's strangely riveting.

For the new and soon-to-be parents out there...
Your kid may be smarter than mine. Your kid will likely be taller than mine. But my kid is going to know how to throw a spear. And a well thrown spear can make all the difference.

For the Crossfitters...
Melissa Byers makes me laugh. OL!

For the lovers of peaceful, ethereal music...
A nice Sigur Ros video. Speaking of strangely riveting: people from Iceland.

For the lovers of oldtime...
If you like this you should hear J & E cover it. We blow it out!

Enjoy your weekend. Go Cavs.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Roids and Torts

The latest water-cooler argument against Alex Rodriguez...

Did you read that story on When A-Rod was a sophomore in high school, his bench press went from one hundred pounds to over three hundred pounds in only six months! He was definitely on roids.

The Boom is calling BS, because there is a flaw in the above logic. I don't know the proper name of this fallacy, but here is the formula: X causes Y. Therefore if Y is present, we know X occurred. Or, steroids cause rapid strength gains. Therefore if someone gets strong quickly, we know they took roids.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that it completely ignores the possibility that W, Z, or any number of other events may also cause Y. To refute your buddy at the water-cooler, all you have to do is come up with an alternative cause that is plausible.

For instance, I started lifting weights when I was a junior in high school. In the first 6 months, my bench press more than tripled (65# to 200#). My friends started lifting at the same time, and they made similar gains.

Just last year, at the best gym in the world, my deadlift went from 135# to 335# in 12-weeks. When a novice lifter begins regular weight training, they get strong really damn fast!

I'm not saying A-Rod did or didn't take steroids. I just wanted to point out that this particular argument against him is weak. I also wanted to brag about my deadlift before Sean pulls a 400.


What does this have to do with torts?

Nothing. Let's shift gears.

Take a Plaintiff As You Find Them

Bartalone v. Jeckovich (New York, 1984)

The plaintiff had a latent psychological condition. His mother and sister had died due to Cancer. He worked out four hours each day as a coping mechanism (so as to avoid ever getting sick).

The plaintiff suffered minor and acute injuries during an auto accident. Temporarily unable to workout, he had a severe psychological breakdown. On his behalf, someone sued the driver who caused the auto accident.

Is the defendant responsible for the patient's schizophrenia?


Damages are subjective. It is irrelevant whether the damages are foreseeable. Clearly, the defendant did not cause the plaintiff's original psychological condition. However, the defendant must take the plaintiff as he found him. The car wreck became the catalyst for great personal injury.