German report on American law

Californian marketing company fined $2m for sending unsolicited emails.

The German American Law Journal blog cites a report from (newsfeed available) and is worried that German readers may get the wrong impression. They might think there is a law and precedent for the whole of the USA, whereas this is just California and the jury’s verdict may be revised.

The Tagesschau report does say it was a California court and a California statute, so I wonder where the problem is. Perhaps it is the fact that ‘California’ is not mentioned in the first paragraph, which traditionally sums up the whole story.

The German American Law Journal blog says:
For instance, whenever juries deliver astounding verdicts, the German press points to them as examples of American excessiveness, without noting that such verdicts frequently suffer a remittitur. As a result, even 10 years later you hear Germans refer to that verdict as typifying the American legal system, without the benefit of knowing at least foggily what they are talking about and how wrong and embarrassing such statements are.

(Link to a definition for remittitur is given.

As the GALJ blog also points out, mistaken ideas about German law are also rife in the USA.

2 thoughts on “German report on American law

  1. Danke.

    Ich muß sagen, ich frage mich, ob das GALJ hier recht hat. Wahrscheinlich war da eine Jury, aber wieviel Freiraum hat sie unter dem Gesetz, die Geldstrafe festzulegen? Ich finde keinen ausführlich Bericht (Sabrina Pacifici linkt zu dem Urteil). Es ist möglich, dass das Gesetz für nicht rechtens gefunden wird. Aber es scheint mir nicht vergleichbar mit früheren Schadensersatzurteilen, die revidiert wurden.

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