Not a Czar: The New York Times talks to Kenneth Feinberg, the arbitration specialist whom the Treasury Department appointed Wednesday to oversee the compensation of employees at bailed-out seven companies. Feinberg, of D.C.'s Feinberg Rozen, was the arbiter of payouts for families of the Sept. 11 victims, just one of his high-profile roles over the years. "One thing that troubles me is this notion of me described as a compensation czar," he told the newspaper.
Civil Suits for Child Abuse: Triggered by high-profile scandals of abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, some of which occurred decades ago, a few states have approved "window laws" that temporarily open the courts again to allow past complaints of child abuse to be remedied through civil actions, though not criminal prosecutions. The Wall Street Journal reports that the laws can benefit people who might not have known years ago or didn't disclose that they had been harmed, but some defense lawyers say the only purpose is to wrench money from the Catholic Church.
Madoff Compensation: For the second time in a week, investors who fell prey to Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme are claiming they would be shortchanged under a plan proposed by the trustee charged with overseeing the liquidation of Madoff's investment securities firm, the New York Law Journal reports via Law.com. In a suit filed Wednesday in bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York, three Pennsylvania residents accused Irving Picard of favoring the brokerage industry and enriching Wall Street at the expense of innocent investors.
Tobacco Regulation: The Senate is expected to vote today on a bill that would give the federal government broad new powers to monitor and change tobacco products, The Associated Press reports. The bill would ban the use of expressions such as "light" and "mild" that might mislead people into thinking there was less health risk in the product, and it would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to restrict marketing; require pre-market approval of all new products; and impose stronger warning labels on cigarette packages.