Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WWH~~ Woody, in the Morning (June 21, 2011): IANAL

IANAL (I am not a lawyer): The SCROTUS delivered its opinion on the Walmart v. Dukes, class action suit today and predictably sided with the CorpoRats. It was, in fact, unanimous. And the key finding had to do with the continued liability of CorpoRats to intervention by 'classes' of complaintants. They're AGIN it, distressingly--though not unexpectedly--including BOTH of Prez. Shamwow's appointees, The KAGAN!, and Santa Sonia, the sympathetic. It came down, however, as I predicted: It's win/win for the corpoRats.

Walmart wins against low-paid, marginalized (in this case, female) employees. It now has the tacit permission of the Court to impose any kinds of discriminatory practices on it's employees as long as the damages they cause are small enough that a lawyer wouldn't touch the case.

THe CorpoRat State wins against the whole tradition of class action. Which was, of course, the fucking point. The Opus Deists accepted the case as an excuse to overturn Class-action as a remedy for CorpoRat wrong-doing... just like the same skeevy motherfuckers accepted the Citizens United case to overthrow restrictions on CorpoRat personhood.

The discussions of the case on Zuckerberg's Folly, today, reveal a serious lack of popular understanding of the principles and practices which make USer "law" such an unjust pile of crap. Folks were celebrating, claiming it a victory against "greedy" lawyers. It is a symptom of how far our collective understanding of the legal system has decayed that anybody should celebrate that. Imho, nobody who bad-mouths lawyers has ever been a defendant.

Let me explain, for the uninitiated: Say, hypothjetically say an individual--a clerk at Walmart--notices she is receiving less pay than a male peer in the store. The difference is, on the grand scale of things, trivial, mebbe five thousand dollars per year. The employee wants to sue the company on grounds of gender discrimination, for justice and to recover what she's been wrongfully denied.

N.B.: Lawyers in the USofA "work" for money. And their time is EXPENSIVE. In civil suits, such as employment discrimination, etc, they work for a percentage of the potential judgment. Mostly, they won't take cases in which their share of the potential settlement (usually a third) won't pay for the time and expense of trying the case. Because the cost of prosecuting such a suit would SO far, so EXPONENTIALLY, exceed the actual value of what damages could be recovered, no lawyer would touch it. So the wrong goes unrectified, the damages continue, and the CorpoRat goes scott-free.

Enter: Class action suits, of the kind struck down by the feculent corpoRat phux on the SCROTUS, today. These permit plaintiffs to accumulate their individual complaints under one action. So instead of representing one person with $5k in damages, there's 300,000 people (women, undergoing discriminatory pay practices) with $5k in damages. NOW it makes (cents) sense to pursue it: $5k times 300,000 complaintants = 150 MILLION bucks, one third of which goes to the plaintiffs' lawyers. Now it's worth it, if there's prima facie evidence of a a case.

Which there was in this case. The SCROTUS didn't rule on the merits, but on the approach. They won't ever say it, but the reason why the CorpoRats HATE 'class actions' is that they bestow on the injured parties sopmething like the same kind ogf power that the CorpoRats expect to wield unencumbered. This was why the Court granted Cert.

This is the SECOND 'class action' case the Roberts Court has decided; both have gone against the plaintiffs, for the defendants. It's is probably already too late to save the Country from the "deliberations" of these shitwhistling judicial mediocrities, but if it is not, then one of the Fascist Five--Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, or Thomas--has GOT to die/stroke out/get hit by a fucking bus, and SOON!

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