(Yawn), Some Legal Stuff.

Hi kids, you know those driver’s license privacy cases that have been floating around the State for a while?

Well, the 11th Circuit just dinged one and affirmed a Middle District summary judgment as to a state vendor in a well-reasoned opinion by Judge Fay.

It’s filled with nice statutory analysis and concludes as follows:

Plaintiff-appellants argue that Imagitas and the State of Florida are doing an “end run” around the DPPA, and indeed, the district court thought such an argument was not unreasonable. That may or may not be true. Congress knew what the states were doing when it passed the DPPA. There is nothing in the federal statute that prevents states from including advertisements in such renewal notices and the same statute specifically allows states to operate though private contractors. If this is a loop hole, Congress can remedy this situation. However, we can just as easily conclude that Congress knew exactly what it was doing and through the DPPA put broad limits on the disclosure of personal information while not preventing state agencies from using this method to pay for the cost of such governmental notices.

In other news, it turns out that the careers of Supreme Court clerks (Judge Jordan excepted) fall into two broad categories — country and western:

The study also showed polarized hiring at the law firms with significant Supreme Court practices.

Kirkland & Ellis, for instance, hired 22 former clerks from 1990 to 2006, all from the four most conservative chambers, according to the study. (A Kirkland spokesman added that the firm also hired two former clerks to Justice Byron R. White.) The firm is home to Kenneth W. Starr, the former Whitewater prosecutor who was solicitor general in the administration of the first President George Bush.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, on the other hand, hired 35 clerks from the five more liberal justices and only 5 from the other four. Seth P. Waxman, a solicitor general in the Clinton administration, leads the firm’s Supreme Court practice.

So the split is between K&E or Wilmer?They’re both BigFirms that represent powerful business interests, or am I missing something?

Finally, the NYT weighs in on a new pleading standard that absolutely does not interest me in the least:

For decades, a plaintiff filing a lawsuit needed to file only a short, clear statement of his claim and its legal grounds. That standard recognized that much of the evidence needed to prove claims may be in the hands of the defendant and not available before the pretrial discovery process. The Iqbal ruling, which followed a similar 2007 ruling applying to antitrust claims, abandoned that approach. Under the court’s new regimen, judges must assess the “plausibility” of the facts of an allegation before allowing the plaintiff to begin collecting evidence. That gives judges excessive latitude to bury cases based on their subjective views before the evidence emerges and can be fairly weighed.

See, I told you this was boring.