Stephen Sugarman

The overlooked victims of violent crime

Stephen Sugarman writes for The New York Times, January 20, 2014
“Otherwise, as tragic as it is for the victims and close survivors of mass violence, their situation in the end is no different from the terrible situations in which the victims and survivors of everyday individual deadly violence find themselves. Ordinarily, therefore, it would seem unjust to single out mass violence events for publicly funded compensation.”

To the mat: parents to appeal ruling allowing yoga in public schools

Jesse Choper and Stephen Sugarman quoted in The Christian Science Monitor, July 3, 2013

“Just because the Ten Commandments condemn murder and theft doesn’t make laws prohibiting murder a violation of church and state,” says Jesse Choper, a constitutional scholar at the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. “McGowan v. Maryland saved a lot of other religious-looking laws.”

The San Diego case is not the first time a court has rejected a legal claim that teaching yoga in the public schools violates the First Amendment prohibition of the establishment of religion by government, says UC Berkeley law professor Stephen Sugarman…. What is termed yoga can be delivered as a form of healthful exercise and breathing, in effect, as part of the physical education program, he says. “That is what the judge decided here.”

Chrysler gives in to feds on Jeep recall

Stephen Sugarman interviewed by KTVU, June 18, 2013

“Winning in court might well be much less than the cost of ongoing battles, and it may be just as well to be done on this basis.”

Designing tax credit scholarship programs

Stephen Sugarman writes for RedefinED, May 23, 2013

I have written an article about tax credit school scholarship plans that will be published in the Journal of Law and Education… Put simply, funded by state tax credits, these plans enable low- and modest-income families to send their children to private schools in grades K-12.

When independence means you’re on your own

Stephen Sugarman quoted in The New York Times, April 11, 2013

“When these health care professionals are on the job, there is no immunity and they of course can be sued for malpractice,” said Stephen Sugarman…. “Suppose the woman was in fine health and in the facility dining room and was clearly choking?” he said. “Would it be O.K. for the staff just to ignore her even if they knew how to do the Heimlich? I don’t think so.”

Soda ban: 4 alternatives

Stephen Sugarman quoted in The Epoch Times, March 28, 2013

One way to decrease sugar consumption would be to ask chain restaurants and retailers such as Trader Joe’s to reduce sugar in the products they sell by a certain percentage every year, says Stephen Sugarman…. “You require them to reduce the amount of added sugar that passes through their cash registers, by, let’s say, five percent a year,” said Sugarman. “And you just let them figure out how to do that—as long as they meet the target then there’s no tax, no penalty. Any individual shopper can keep on buying whatever he or she wants, but the company, just as they seduce us into buying the type of diet we buy now, will have to seduce us into buying an increasingly less sugary diet.”

Lawyers scramble for patients of accused Hopkins gynecologist

Stephen Sugarman quoted in The Baltimore Sun, February 21, 2013

Stephen D. Sugarman, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, said he doesn’t consider circumstances like those in the Levy case to be candidates for class action because experiences may vary among plaintiffs. Similar cases have rarely been class actions in recent years, he said.

Lafayette School District says 14-year-old child abuse victim may bear some responsibility

Stephen Sugarman quoted in Contra Costa Times, November 3, 2012

Stephen Sugarman, a UC Berkeley law professor who teaches tort law, said such a line of defense “seems entirely implausible.” “Indeed, if the district sticks to this sort of hardball tactic it could well backfire and increase both the likelihood of the defendants being found liable and the amount of damages awarded against them,” Sugarman said, adding that it also could taint the district’s reputation in the community.

Bakersfield woman wins $3.6 million in first of trials related to medical device

Stephen Sugarman quoted in The Bakersfield Californian, July 23, 2012

It’s common in large-scale personal injury litigation for both sides to see how the first few trials go before deciding how to dispose of the rest of them, said Stephen Sugarman, a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley. “Both sides are treating each jury case as an experiment,” he said. “They see what works and what doesn’t before a jury. If they have a bad witness, they switch them out. After a while, a pattern emerges.”

Why we need to readjust the tort system

Stephen Sugarman writes for The Atlantic, July 3, 2012

New safety-promoting mechanisms should be relied upon instead of personal injury law…. we should increase the penalties for drivers who carelessly cause injuries in the way that many states have upped the fines for drunk driving. At the same time, new cars should come with either higher taxes or tax credits depending on which of the cutting-edge safety features they do or do not contain—like side air bags, roll-over prevention mechanisms, and traction control.