"Motorola ... may seek $1 billion in punitive damages from the former owners of a Turkish wireless carrier. ... The trial judge said the Uzans had $5 billion", NYT, 22 November.
Gary Miller (GM) "stepped down after a lawyer protesting BP's plea bargain pointed out that the judge's former law firm had represented the oil giant. [He] noted that he was not required to recuse himself", Houston Chronicle, 22 November.
The Uzan's "'failed to demonstrate that the award exceeds their ability to pay. Therefore, we conclude that the modified punitive damages award of $1 billion is valid under Illinois law'," WSJ, 23 November. So said the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.
Who is GM, the Federal Bench's Mary Jo White, see my 10 August, 12 September and 7 October posts? GM wasn't? What's wrong with the federal bench?
Let's "do" some numbers. I can, I'm a CPA. A trial judge grants a punitive damages award of 20% of the Uzan family's net worth ($1 /$5). Now Exxon's and BP's net worths as reported in their 30 September quarterly SEC filings were: $118,603 and $90,541 million respectively, source: http://www.sec.gov/. Now dividing, we see the Exxon Valdez punitive damages award was 2.1% of Exxon's net worth ($2,500 / $118,603) and the BP fine is: drumroll please, .06%, that's right, not even a rounding error to BP of BP's net worth ($50 / $90,541). Will my "favorite" Supreme John Roberts grant immediate certiorari to reduce Motorola's award against the Uzans, individuals, not Fortune 500 corporations? Will Theodore Boutros of Gibson, Dunn & Cruther file an amicus brief with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, pro bono on behalf of the Uzans? Don't hold your breath. Also see my 23 and 30 October posts.