TGIF: April 14, 2017 – On Being United…Against Ambiguous Contract Terms

Despite what you may have heard, lawyers are, in fact, human beings with interests and hobbies all their own. They are not, I repeat not, robots sent from the future solely for the purpose of billing hours, drafting documents, and negotiating terms.  Not all of them anyway.  

In TGIF, I touch on some of my own interests primarily through the lens of the “Rules of the Game”, focusing on the rules and incentives that affect many aspects of our daily lives. I may even crack a joke or two. Hard to say.

TGIF will be published regularly on (surprisingly enough) Friday mornings. For more information, check out or drop Rick a line at


United, Dr. Dao, and The Contract of Carriage

Well, United Airlines had an interesting week, didn’t they?  For those of you who missed it, this is how Wikipedia (!) summarizes the events of Flight 3411.

On April 9, 2017 just before 5:20 p.m., O’Hare International Airport police forcibly removed passenger David Dao from United Express Flight 3411 after he refused to depart the airplane upon the demand of management. Dao screamed as officers pulled him out of his seat, and his face hit an armrest during the struggle. Officers then dragged him by his arms on his back along the aircraft aisle past rows of onlooking passengers. He was later seen with blood around his mouth. Prior to the confrontation, managers offered compensation to passengers to vacate their seats to make room for four airline employees who needed to travel to the destination, Louisville International Airport. Three other passengers complied, and Dao was selected to be fourth.

After video of the removal (and apparent physical injury) went viral, more information came out.

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