Monthly Archives: September 2007
It’s Not Legal Related, But It’s Friday. And This Lizard is Real
Enjoy Your Weekend.
One Person, One Vote — Unless Your a Texas Representative
Wow — just wow. Check out the video below and see your legislators in action. It’s like a Benny Hill skit, as reps fall over one another to cast a vote for another rep. All hail democracy in action.
The Daily Memo - 9/28/07
Last week the ACLU issued a “Declaration of First Amendment Rights and Grievances.” (Concurring Opinions)
Why become a successful entrepreneur when you can have your soul crushed working in a law firm? (WSJ Law Blog)
A federal judge has tossed the lawsuit against that state judge who banned the words “rape” and “victim” from a criminal trial about, well, a rape. (Law.com)
A big company abusing intellectual property laws? Get. Outta. Here. (ars technica)
An attorney accused of robbing a drug store took a leap from the fifth floor of a hospital. (The Legal Reader)
With teachers like these, who need enemies?
QuizLaw frequently attacks the people of Florida because of the mind-boggling number of stories of idiocy that arise from the state (and we’re surely not alone, as the state is a frequent target of both Fark and Keith Olbermann as well). But now I’m wondering if the fundamental problem isn’t the greater population of Florida, but those in charge of teaching tomorrow’s Floridians.
Two teachers at the Oak Park Partnership school are being investigated after accusations came to light that the two “enlisted two older boys to beat up younger students in the classroom as a form of discipline, and then tried to thwart a police probe of the incident.” The alleged victim was a 14-year-old boy and his dad says that one of the teachers, Roslyn Holloway, left the classroom after getting mad at the boy. She came back with two older kids, and told them to beat up the boy and some of the other students to teach them a lesson. The father says that a second teacher sat behind his desk and laughed while the sanctioned bullying took place.
The teachers haven’t been charged with anything yet, but the school has suspended them and the local Sheriff’s Office has referred criminal charges to the State’s Attorneys Office.
See what I mean? With examples of such idiocy popping up before them in the classroom, is it any wonder so many folks down there fall right off the common sense spectrum?
When onions attack
Last week, a man from Des Moines, Iowa was tossed in the clink after allegedly hucking an onion at his wife. Now look, I know that domestic violence is nothing to laugh about. But onion tossing? I’m sorry, that’s a little funny.
Seems that 54-year-old James Izzolena had his drink on, and wound up getting into an argument with his younger wife (Nicole is only 27). That’s when he grabbed an onion and hucked it at the back of her head, causing some injury. James admits that he tossed the onion at Nicole, but claims that he didn’t actually mean to hit her.
First it was domestic assaults with Cheetos, now it’s onions. At least our food assaults are getting more healthy!
Goddamnit, I Heart Bill Clinton
As the presidential campaign heats up, we feel compelled to focus some attention on politics and, since politicians are also lawmakers (well, in theory anyway), we figure it’s not outside the scope of our blog. And me: I’m a huge, honking Bill Clinton fan, and nothing riles me up and tingles my political loins more than when Bill gets all self-righteous. I get goose-pimply and goo-goo eyed and remember a time in our distant past when politicians actually knew how to talk smack, back before they just exchanged robotic sound bites with toothless barbs in them (yeah, even Hillary).
Anyway, aside from his latest book tour — which has been mostly drama free — the former president has been relatively quiet. But, in the video below, Big Willy takes the G.O.P. to task for ridiculously attacking his wife over that whole MoveOn.org controversy. And man, it’s got my blood pumping again — how I can’t wait until November 2008, when I finally get to feel like a Philly fan as I watch the Dems inevitably falter during the last few days of the campaign and give up a huge lead in heartbreaking fashion, coughing up the election to some douchebag from New York City.
(And if you can’t wait 14 months to experience that feeling, just ask Seth to describe it to you on Monday, after the Phillies are inevitably swept this weekend and knocked out of the playoffs. Good times! I believe the estimable Bashman and our blog buddy, Mr. Last, are also Philly fans, so listen up for that achy blog yawlp sometime around 3:30 on Sunday, when the Phillies dash the hopes of millions! Playoff fever: Catch it!)
He’ll Be Riding Six White Horses When He …
All right, let’s see if I can parse this out: A Florida Lawyer named Jack Thompson — who himself is being threatened with disbarment — is actually suing the Florida Bar for allegedly collaborating with another Florida attorney, Norm Kent, with whom Thompson has had a contentious legal history. Whatever. Not important.
The important thing is that Thompson hates Kent, who publishes the National Gay News website and who Thompson accuses in a lawsuit of distributing porn “to anyone of any age.” And to prove his point, Thompson thought it was a good idea to include, in his motion to the judge, several gay porn pictures, though none actually come from Kent’s site (they are linked from the NGN’s adult section).
Well, the judge apparently didn’t care for the photos (what — is he a homophobe?) and so the judge is considering contempt charges.
The attached exhibit, which includes several graphic images of oral and genital sex between adult males, was filed electronically in the docket in this case, without prior permission from the court.
To the extent that the other attorney’s alleged conduct is in any way relevant… there was no need for Mr. Thompson to file these graphic images in the public record. A simple reference to the website and its alleged links would have sufficed.
Through his actions, Mr. Thompson made available for unlimited public viewing, on the court’s docketing system, these graphic images.
But the fantabulous part of this case is Thompson’s response to the judge’s displeasure.
To hold Thompson in contempt for alerting the federal court system to the criminal activity… is akin to arresting Paul Revere, in 1775, for “disturbing the peace” with his midnight ride.
Yep — Jack Thompson and Paul Revere: Two peas in a pod. American heroes. One warns that the British are coming, and the other distributes images of gay men coming.
Good night. Thank you very much. There’ll be another show in two hours.
The Daily Memo - 9/27/07
The Supremes are ready to talk about patents some more. (Slashdot)
California Court of Appeals to the Slesinger family: “No Pooh for you!” (WSJ Law Blog)
Above the Law seems to think that filing gay porn with Judge Adalberto Jordan (in Florida) is a bad idea. Really? (Above the Law)
Ouch - Cadwalader has been smacked with a $70 million judgment in a malpractice lawsuit. (Above the Law)
Double ouch - “speeding ticket costs man $275,000.” (The Legal Reader)
Did you know that in Texas you can void a marriage even after your spouse has died? (Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog)
An appellate court here in Beantown has ruled that ladies can have extra time during their medical boards to breasteed their kids. (WSJ Law Blog)
Judges aren’t always geniuses
The only good part of this story is that it takes place in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - Sheboygan is just a damn fun word to say. Try it? Go ahead, I’ll wait … great, right?
Anyway, a scumbum by the name of Mitchell D. Pask was recently convicted by a jury of felony child enticement for trying to lure a 9-year-old girl into a park shelter. He apparently went up to this girl, who was in the park with some friends, and said “look at those sexy little salty girls,” trying to get her into the park shelter with the enticement of candy. Luckily, the young girl refused. During the trial, the jury only needed 30 minutes of deliberation to find this prick guilty, ensuring he’d spend a nice long time in the clink.
However, Judge Van Akkeren decided to overturn the verdict because, in his wise estimation, a park shelter isn’t “secluded,” and felony child enticement requires the prosecution to establish that the child was lured to “a secluded place.” The county’s district attorney said he was “stunned, just absolutely stunned” by Judge Van Akkeren’s decision, because the jury had been instructed that it had to determine that the shelter was a secluded place. It obviously did so, so why should the Judge overturn the jury’s decision?
In our opinion, any area can be ‘secluded,’ including a park shelter, trees and large bushes — any area where a child may be sexually assaulted out of the view of other persons. The jury, having visited the site of the incident, obviously concluded we had met that burden beyond a reasonable doubt.
Which sounds about right to me, and I gotta figure this is going to be overturned on appeal, because I’m just not getting what the Judge was thinking here.
Common Sense Lesson #156
At first, I kind of thought the Common Sense Lesson here was “don’t text message the cops when you’re looking to sell some drugs.” But it turns out that’s not actually the lesson. Yes, this is exactly what West Virginia’s Joshua Wayne Cadle did last week, mind you. The 19-year-old wanted to send a text message to friend, asking the friend if he was interested in buying some weed. But unbeknown to Cadle, his friend’s phone number has been reassigned to the State Police, so it was a state trooper who received the text. That trooper set up a meet and Cadle was arrested when he showed up.
So the Common Sense Lesson here is actually that you should always be sure that your Contacts List is up to date.
One sausage ain’t enough Jack, you better make it three
Inmates in a New Mexico jail got a bit riled up when they were told that they could only have one sausage at dinner. In fact, 33 inmates (10% of the jail’s population) went into an all-out temper tantrum, breaking toilets and windows and setting fires. Things were quickly calmed down by local sheriff and police officers, and the damage to the jail was minimal.
According to a QuizLaw reporter on assignment, one inmate said, “well if those guys want some extra sausage, just tell them to stop by cell number 154. I’ll give ‘em all the sausage they want and then some.”
Last week, I believe it was douchebag extraordinaire, Rudy Guiliani (a.k.a., “America’s Mayor”), who took Hillary Clinton to task because she didn’t call out Moveon.org for headlining an ad in The New York Times: “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” Why it’s Hillary’s business, I don’t know, and why he insisted that she apologize for what the liberal group did is beyond me. I suppose he used to same logic to connect her to the ad as our current commander-in-chief used to connect Iraq with Al Qaeda, pre-invasion. Hell, maybe if Saddam had apologized for something he had nothing to do with, then maybe we wouldn’t be in this goddamn war.
Whatever. What I’m getting at here is that maybe, just maybe, America’s Fuckwit ought to take a lesson from himself in the same regard.
Why? Well, because Abraham Sofaer is throwing a fundraiser for Guiliani. And the theme of the fundraiser, of course, is to raise $9.11 per person. That’s right, Sofaer wants to raise $10,000 in $9.11 contributions? Why $9.11? Well, obviously, because he’s following in the lead of America’s Exploiter by bilking one of our nation’s biggest tragedies for political gain. Is Guiliani apologizing for this? Should he even have to? I dunno — but maybe he oughtn’t take a $10,000 fund that was so accrued with impeccably bad taste. And, of course, no one will take the blame for the theme — responsibility was passed on by higher-ups to two anonymous youngsters who came up with the brilliant idea. But, who’s man enough to put a stop to the fundraiser?
Not Rudy. Sean Astin is probably ashamed to share the same character name with this man. Eegads. Eee. Gads.
The Best Mug Shot Photo … Ever
So, I was watching last night’s Letterman show, one that featured another segment of Small Town News (which, by the by, Leno stole from Dave 15 years ago and passed off as his own). Anyway, there were two bits in this week’s segment that gave me pause. One featured an ad from my very own hometown newspaper, the Benton Courier (oh, Benton — how I don’t miss you at all), an ad that was actually typical of my hometown. It read: “Tammy L., Yes, I will marry you once you get a divorce, if you will still have me.” God love the place (cause no one else does).
But later in the segment, Letterman featured what must have been the best mug shot I’ve ever seen, the one pictured up above. The man’s name is John Joseph Quinn IV, and if I have to tell you that he was arrested for running a meth lab, well — clearly, you need to look at the picture again, because: No shit.
Smoking Gun — you’re going to need this one for your archives. I’m just surprised that this piece wasn’t the one featured in my hometown paper.
The Daily Memo - 9/26/07
Stanford is offering a new class to all graduate students, co-taught by the law school dean and nine other law profs, “Thinking Like a Lawyer.” It will presumably teach students how to bill 30 hours in a 12-hour work day. (Legal Profession Blog)
“Is sorting law school’s only function?” (Concurring Opinions)
Some Congressmen think that the FCC isn’t sufficiently repressing broadcast TV, so they’ve introduced the “how can you hate it”-named “Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act.” (FMQB)
It only took a British court 11 months to determine that a cute little sausage dog was not a threat to the community. (This is London)
Ah, how I miss Philly - turns out that Mayor Street is one of those tax scofflaws he recently announced he’d be going after. (Philly.com)
“Presumed idiot criminal uploads pix of self from stolen iMac.” (Boing Boing)
John McTiernan, director of Die Hard, just got four months in the clink for his lies to the Feds over this whole Anthony Pellicano mess. (Cinematical)
A NYC law firm is taking the novel approach of paying first year associates a salary that’s $100K below market. (WSJ Law Blog)
Mr. Riches, you never cease to amaze me
I recently told you about Jonathan Lee Riches’ wonderful lawsuit against Martha Stewart, and son of a gun if there isn’t more to report from the wonderful world of frivolous lawsuits. On September 21, Riches filed another handwritten lawsuit, this time alleging that O.J. Simpson has been a hitman for Steve Jobs ever since the Philly MOVE bombing in 1985 (only in Philly does a city bomb itself!). Riches claims that the bombing was actually started by Jobs, using pyrotechnics borrowed from Great White.
He also alleges that O.J. has been supplying Jobs with food blenders since 1993 and that O.J. actually paid Jobs to clone Dolly the sheep.
But wait, there’s more:
As for his other roles in the legal escapade, Jobs is charged with aiming nuclear missiles at Riches’ brain and Lance Armstrong’s bicycle, as well as price gouging iPhone customers. “On May 10th, 2007, I bought an Apple iPhone for $922.01 at the FCI Williamsburg commissary,” Riches wrote. “Now Jobs sells that same iPod for $199.”
The remainder of the complaint continues in the same outlandish vein, with Princess Diana, the United Auto Workers, and Cinderella’s Castle each making appearances, among others.
Sadly, the lawsuit has already been dismissed, as a judge ruled that it was “nothing more than fanciful nonsense.” The judge added that the complaint “reads like a cross between Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ and a Dr. Bronner’s soap label, if Dr. Bronner had been a first-year law student with untreated paranoid schizophrenia.”
Man, I’m so in love with Riches!
Is it November 2008 yet?
Can you believe that we still have more than a year before the next presidential election? Doesn’t it feel like these primary campaigns have been going on for years already? Well the good folks over at Comedy Central are trying to make it all a little more bearable for folks like you and me. They’ve launched the website Indecision 2008, which has “something approximating election news with something approximating honesty.” The site is built around the various political stories and interviews from “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” although it appears that some original content may spring up over the next year as well.
But there are even some treats for folks who regularly watch both shows. For example, the site has posted the uncut video of Jon Stewart’s recent interview with former pres Bill Clinton, containing six minutes of footage that didn’t make it on the air because of time restraints. You can kill some time at work by watching it now, if you’d like:
(Hat tip to LAist.)
Watching golf is boring, and reading books about the law is boring - but reading a book about golf law? Uhm…..
John H. Minan, a 64-year-old law prof at the University of San Diego has written The Little Green Book of Golf Law, discussing the lawsuits that have arisen from the greens. Cases involving golf balls breaking windows, or hitting other golfers, for example. For example, one case involved a Dallas golf club, where three families had homes by the sixth hole, and their cars were getting dinged up from poorly shot golf balls. So the homeowners sued the golf course with a claim that the golf balls were trespassing. Unsurprisingly, they lost since golf balls are inanimate objects and can’t really decide on their own to trespass or not.
Another case involves an extremely angry golfer. This guy got so pissed by a poor tee shot that, rather than simply flinging his club, he attacked a goose and beat it to death. He was convicted of animal cruelty and had his driver, the murder weapon, confiscated.
…Actually, I have to kind of take back what I said in this entry’s title. This book doesn’t sound half bad.
(Hat tip to Overlawyered.)
Waiting on Love’s Sweet Charity
A crazy lady in Arizona took drastic measures this week when her husband and son, fearing for their own safety I presume, ran away from her and locked themselves into the family car. I guess there was a fight, and the husband of Sheryl Ross (that cutie-pie to your left) took their ten-year-old son out to the hoopty and locked the doors. Sheryl responded in typical crazy-lady fashion by throwing rocks at the car and smashing the windows before eventually stripping down to her birthday suit and lying down on the hood of the vehicle.
Once deputies arrived, they tracked her down in a bedroom, where the naked lady struggled before being hauled away to the station. Asked what possessed her to bare herself on the hood of the vehicle, Sheryl was like, “What? You’ve never seen the Whitesnake video? I was just doing my Tawny Kitaen impersonation. A little later, I was going to take out one my high-heels and spike my husband in the face with it, but you bozo’s had to show up and ruin my night. Bastards.”
You know what’s not funny? When a 59-year-old man gets post-traumatic stress syndrome and falls into a diabetic coma that puts him in the intensive care unit.
You know what is funny? When getting one’s ass glued to a toilet seat is responsible for the coma.
That’s right, Bob Dougherty is suing Home Depot after he became stuck to a toilet seat in one of their restrooms, the result of someone pouring glue on the seat.
When the story surfaced in 2005 Dougherty also said he felt a “tremendous panic” when he realized he was stuck. The lawsuit claims it took 15 minutes for store officials to call for an ambulance and that paramedics had to unbolt the toilet seat and wheel out a “frightened and humiliated” Dougherty, who soon passed out.
Dougherty’s lawyer is claiming that he developed the diabetes as a result of the PTSD triggered by the toilet-seat incident. Medically, is that even possible? And can you really prove the link between diabetes and getting stuck on a toilet seat? And who the hell goes to a Home Depot to take care of his business?
Inquiring minds. The trial starts in March of next year. I hope the first question the defense asks is, “What possessed you, sir, to make the decision to use a public lavatory to drop a deuce?” The man’s lucky all he got was PTSD. And though rumors that you can get AIDS from a toilet-seat are completely unfounded, I’m guessing that those in Home Depot stores put that ridiculous theory to the test.
The Daily Memo - 9/25/07
The SuperSonics have been sued by folks in Seattle which want to keep the team in town. (ESPN)
The Consumerist provides a handy guide on how to write to Congress. (The Consumerist)
It’s hard out there for a
pimp lawyer. (WSJ Law Blog
A Florida appeals court hammered a Miami law firm in a recent opinion, calling the firm’s actions “a scheme to defraud” and “a case of unchecked avarice coupled with a total absence of shame.” (Overlawyered)
Seems that a shirt with the slogan “You Cum Like a Girl” can’t be trademarked on account of that slogan being “immoral and scandalous.” (The TTABlog)
Creative commons, shreative shmommons. (Slashdot)
According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Maryland voters would like the state’s $1/pack cigarette tax doubled to help fund an expansion of health insurance coverage. (The Examiner)
Can you hear me now?
Well this is really stupid. The good folks at Concurring Opinions have put up an entry letting folks know that they may start more getting telemarketing calls again next year. If you’re like me, you signed up for the federal Do Not Call list shortly after it came online back in June 2003. If you’re also like me, you may not have realized that the Federal Trade Commission, which keep an eye on the list, did something very stupid, deciding that requests would expire after five years. This means that starting in June 2008, phone numbers will begin falling off of the Do Not Call registry, and telemarketers will be free to harass and harass again.
The FTC says there’s an easy fix - just sign up again. “It was so easy for people to sign up in the first instance. It will be just as easy for them to re-up.” Sure, that’s relatively easy to do. But why should folks even have this burden placed on them - they signed up once, why isn’t that good enough? The FTC says that the expiration is intended to thin out the list, removing numbers for folks who have moved or changed their phone numbers. “Just like a regular person who needs to clean out their address book every so often, the commission felt that was something that was important to do with the registry.”
A Congressman from Pennsylvania calls BS on this, however, noting that the list is automatically purged, every month, of any phone numbers that have been disconnected or reassigned. Which would seem to cover the FTC’s big concern. And Representative Doyle introduced legislation to the House seeking to make registration on the Do Not Call list permanent, because folks “shouldn’t have to keep a calendar to find out when they have to re-up to keep this nuisance from happening.”
Well lookey here - Congress is actually trying to do something that would make our lives just a smidge easier. It’s like Opposite Day or something.
(And as a PSA, you can register your phone numbers or file a complaint by calling 1-888-382-1222 or heading over to www.donotcall.gov.)
Welcome back, Jonathan Lee Riches
Mr. Riches, a South Carolina inmate, is probably QuizLaw’s favorite prisoner. You might remember him as the plaintiff behind such handwritten lawsuits as the one accusing Michael Vick of identity theft and a missiles-to-Iran conspiracy and the suit which listed 57 pages of defendants, including Skittles and the Liberty Bell. Well Mr. Riches is back in court, this time suing Martha Stewart.
The complaint (which is handwritten, natch) is on the short side for Riches, coming in at a mere two pages. He claims that he tried to buy a $3.5 million estate belonging to Martha earlier this year (a purchase he was prepared to make with pennies!), but couldn’t complete the deal because the property was “full of deception.”
He claims the real estate listing for the property falsely claimed it was painted with Dutch Boy paint. The suit also states that while touring the property (although records indicate he would have been in incarcerated at the time) Riches contracted poison ivy, was scratched by pricker bushes and fell in a groundhog hole.
But better than any of that, he also claims that Karl Rove was working on the estate as Martha’s gardener. And better than that, Lee claims that “he saw Stewart’s turkeys playing football with Vick’s jerseys and that the birds attacked him.”
All of this allegedly caused Riches “emotional, mental, [and] psychological distress” and he’d like $3.5 million for his troubles. But say what you will about Riches, he’s nothing if not a philanthropist - his lawsuit says that he’ll donate any damages he wins to Rachael Ray.
I seriously love this guy.
You’re in the game now
Jack McBrayer has put out a very helpful video for those who are trying to live ‘neath the law. This might be particularly useful to some of the Floridian criminals we find ourselves so frequently writing about here on the QuizLaw (video is ever-so-slightly NSFW because of one F-bomb):
We’re All Stars Now In the Dope Show
You remember that anti-marijuana ad a few years back where the kids were smoking pot and one of them accidentally shoots the other kid while high (here’s the best video I could find of it)? I think they even aired it during the Super Bowl. And you remember how half of America was all like, “Dude — that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Completely absurd. People don’t shoot their friends while they’re high.”
Well, leave it to stupid kids to prove the ad right. In Orlando, in fact, a couple of teenagers fabricated a story about a break-in after a teenager was shot. The truth, however, was that the kids were smoking dope and the gun accidentally went off. Just like in the damn ad.
Well, I suppose the Office of National Drug Control Policy will get a lot of mileage out of that. But, you gotta know: It wasn’t the dope, it was the stupidity.
Meanwhile, marijuana arrests are up for the fourth year in a row. Awesome.
Ozzy Has Nothing on this Guy
Oh, it’s easy to bite the head off a bat — bats are disgusting, and no one gives a damn one way or another. Even PETA doesn’t give a shit.
But don’t mess with ducks, man. The Humane Society will eat your babies. Just ask 26-year-old businessman Scott Clark, who — while staying at an Embassy Suites hotel in St. Paul, Minnesota — cornered a live duck, grabbed the bird, and ripped its poor head off.
Clark then turned to onlookers and said: “I’m hungry. I’m gonna eat it,” said St. Paul police Sgt. John Wuorinen, citing the police report.”He was allegedly drunk,” Wuorinen said.
Allegedly? I hope to God the man was drunk, cause I’d hate to imagine what kind of sober man rips the head off a little hotel duckling and threatens to eat it in front of guests at the Embassy Suites. I hope he was really drunk.
Of course, the Humane Society is pissed — Clark is facing two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. But, their real beef is with the hotel — they say the hotel had no damn business having live ducks on the premises. “I think Embassy Suites needs to take another look at this and review how they keep ducks safe, or use fish like most hotels would use,” a spokesperson said.
Or maybe just keep the “allegedly” drunk guests away from the birds.
The Daily Memo - 9/24/07
Blawg Review #127 is currently under deliberation. (Deliberations)
Does the Scalia think that his lapdog, Justice Thomas, is “a nut?” (Dorf on Law)
As if the nuddie pictures weren’t bad enough, now Vaness Hudgens (from “High School Musical”) is getting sued for about $150,000 by her ex-lawyer. (Zap2It)
“Should teachers be allowed to pack a gun?” Uhm … no? (The Christian Science Monitor)
QuizLaw story update - that dude who didn’t want to give his receipt to Circuit City employees has resolved the ensuing legal brouhaha. (www.MichaelRighi.com)
Word has it that the lawsuit out in LA brought by the firefighter who was fed dog food has been settled. (Nota Bene)
Oregon’s Supreme Court is looking at an important question: To cut, or not to cut. (WSJ Law Blog)
Seems not everyone is a fan of Chief Justice Johnny’s recent speech on the First Amendment. (WSJ Law Blog)
The Postal Service has issued a new stamp honoring Jury Duty. (The Washington Times)
That’s Judge Seuss, thank you very much
This story has been all over the legal blogs, but in case you missed it, a federal magistrate recently issued an opinion in response to a suit filed by a prisoner, and he used Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham as the inspiration for his decision. Charles Jay Wolff is serving 10-to-20 for aggravated felonious sexual assault, and he’s filed a lawsuit against the prison because it allegedly refused to provide him with a medically adequate and kosher diet. And attached to his complaint was an exhibit in the form of a hard-boiled egg (Wolff says he can’t eat hard-boiled eggs, so he was pissed when the prison tried to serve them to him). And it seems that Judge James Muirhead wasn’t too pleased to see an egg show up in the court file.
No fan I am
Of the egg at hand.
Just like no ham
On the kosher plan.
This egg will rot
I kid you not.
And stink it can
This egg at hand.
There will be no eggs at court
To prove a clog in your aort.
There will be no eggs accepted.
Objections all will be rejected.
From this day forth
This court will ban
hard-boiled eggs of any brand.
And if you should not understand
The meaning of the ban at hand
Then you should contact either Dan,
the Deputy Clerk, or my clerk Jan.
I do not like eggs in the file.
I do not like them in any style.
I will not take them fried or boiled.
I will not take them poached or boiled.
I will not take them soft or scrambled
Despite an argument well-rambled.
No fan I am
Of the egg at hand.
Destroy that egg!
Today I say! Without delay!
Wolff’s attorney says that the egg has since been trashed.
(Hat tip to QuizLaw pal Jimmy V. and the the WSJ Law Blog.)
They may tax our income, but they’ll never tax … our internet!
Right now, most of you don’t pay any state taxes for the right to access the internet. Actually, none of you directly pay state taxes, but some of you have higher internet access fees because your service providers are paying state taxes. This all ties into a federal ban put into place in 1998 which prevents states from taxing internet access. However, some states were allowed to continue to collect taxes if they had a tax scheme in place before the 1998 ban was setup.
But that federal ban is now set to expire on November 1, which would free those other states up to tax away to their hearts’ content. But Senate Democrats are working to extend this ban, while a similar House measure tries to work its way out of the House Judiciary Committee. Senate Republicans also appear to want this legislation, but claim that the Dems are dragging their feet. Senator John McCain has co-sponsored his own bill to make this ban permanent, and he says:
In a little over a month, Americans will be forced to pay more to access the Internet, receive e-mails on their BlackBerries and use the Internet on their cell phones if the Democratic leadership refuses to allow the Senate to debate and pass this legislation.
The issue in the Senate appears to be one of a continued temporary ban versus a permanent ban - while McCain’s co-authored legislation would make the ban permanent, a conflicting bipartisan bill would simply extend the ban for four more years, requiring Congress to revisit the issue in 2012.
So you might want to keep your eyes on this issue for the next month, because if Congress doesn’t get its shit together, you may see your internet bills going up in the near future. Wonderful.
Please Hammer, don’t hurt ‘em
We return once again to everyone’s favorite Tased student, Andrew Meyer. Dustin has made his take on the situation quite clear, and I’ll just say that Meyer definitely seems a douche, but I still don’t think he quite deserved the Tasering. But that’s not the point of this entry.
The point of this entry is the following video. Do I feel a little bad for laughing at it? Yes sir.
Did I laugh my ass off anyway? Affirmative.
God Sued; Files Response
Earlier this week, we told you about a lawsuit that Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers filed against The Almighty, claiming — among other things — that “God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.”
Well, God is apparently a fan of litigation. Not one to let a complaint go unanswered (though, the bastard refuses to answer any of my prayers concerning my fantasy football team — thanks, big guy!) God has filed a response, specifically arguing the court’s lack of jurisdiction, after Ernie complained that “anyone can sue anyone.”
His response argues that the defendant is immune from some earthly laws and the court lacks jurisdiction.
It adds that blaming God for human oppression and suffering misses an important point.
“I created man and woman with free will and next to the promise of immortal life, free will is my greatest gift to you,” according to the response.
Now, seriously Creator-man — you think we can get a 4 TD game out of Drew Brees this weekend? Maybe send the 0-2 Eagles some love for Seth, too? Be a pal, God dude.
(Amen, brother. Amen. — Seth)
You gotta’ love the Chinese buffets!
Where else are you going to get garlic that’s not hand-pressed, but foot-pressed? Seems that the Great China Buffet restaurant, in Nanuet, New York, has been hit with two health department violations after pictures were taken “of an employee stomping on a bowl of garlic with his boots in an alley.” The witness/photographer said:
I go back there, and the guy’s stepping on garlic. There he was just jumping up and down on it, smashing it up, having a good time.
But the local health department, apparently, doesn’t like folks having a good time, and says that a boot isn’t a food preparation instrument. Phooey on them!
The Daily Memo - 9/21/07
Aw, poor baby no likey jail? That scumbag Florida prosecutor who went to Michigan to have sex with a 5-year-old girl tried to kill himself in jail. (MSNBC)
The Senate wonders why its approval rating is in the toilet? Maybe it’s because it can’t even get back that habeas corpus it so stupidly gave away. (Yahoo! News)
Dan Rather has sued CBS for a hefty $70 million over what he says was a forced retirement. (Nota Bene)
Wanna know one group’s take on who the most corrupt members of Congress are? Of course you do. (Beyond DeLay)
The guy who played Eddie Haskell is suing the Screen Actors Guild because, well, he’s got absolutely nothing else to do. (Hollywood Reporter)
Nelson Mandela: 1918 - 2007
According to President Bush, Nelson Mandela has died. He was killed by Saddam Hussein. Rest in Peace, Madiba.
Well he did manage his anger, just not necessarily in the preferred way
A St. Paul man, on his way to anger management class, allegedly used his class papers to hit a man on a bus.
Justin Boudin actually used his anger management class materials to commit an assault! I wish I could make up such idiocy.
Seems that Boudin was at a bus stop when he got into an argument with several other waiting people. He got particularly hot at a 59-year-old woman and when she pulled out her cell phone after he yelled at her to show him some respect, he hit her, causing her to fall over. And then, when someone tried to help the lady up, Boudin hit that guy with a folder of his anger management class papers.
Boudin has been charged with felony assault, his third such charge in 18 months. Plus he’s got two domestic assault convictions. Here’s hoping he gets a slightly stiffer penalty than more anger management classes this time.
I Want My Mummy!
Oh, man: Sure, sure, Norman Bates was really weird. But, holy wow! A judge in New Hampshire has ordered that Charles Peavey bury a mummfied baby that’s been passed down from generation to generation, unless the man can prove that the baby is related. Police seized the mummy last year, after Peavey mentioned its existence to staff at a day-care center. Peavey, however, can’t afford a DNA test, so I guess that means he’s going to have to bury the child.
And, here’s the really weird stuff:
The mummy, known as “Baby John,” had been on display on a bureau in Peavey’s home. Relatives and friends treated the mummy as a family member, giving cards during holidays and even a dried fish as a pet. Peavey said his family believes the mummy was the child of a great-great uncle.
“It’s one of the few things from our family past that we have left,” Peavey had written in a petition to the court. “And when I pass on, I was looking forward to passing it on to another family member, to keep some of the history for future family members.”
Peavey insists that “no weirdness was going on,” but — all due respect — you sort of lose your right to claim a lack of weirdness when you’re displaying a baby mummy in your house.
Tase Me, Mr. Officer. Tase Me!
First of all, I stand by my assertion that the University of Florida student, Andrew Meyer, who was tasered earlier this week, deserved it to some degree. It was clearly a designed stunt, one in which he’d hoped to create a ruckus (he asked someone to tape the incident before he unleashed his douchebaggery). And this more or less proves it:
Police noted that his demeanor “completely changed once the cameras were not in sight” and described him as laughing and being lighthearted as he was being driven to the Alachua County Detention Center.
“I am not mad at you guys, you didn’t do anything wrong. You were just trying to do your job,” Meyer said, according to the police report.
At one point, he asked whether there were going to be cameras at the jail, according to the report.
That goddamn tasing has now become the highlight of the kid’s life. However, there are some instances in which the police can get out of hand with the taser. In fact, the family of Emily Delafield is taking the cops to court after Emily was literally tasered to death. And, to make matters worse, the woman was a mentally ill, wheelchair-bound lady that the police tasered 10 times while she was in her chair. Granted, she was swinging two knives and a hammer at family members and the police, but 10 times?
Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case.
“One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.
And five, she was in a wheelchair. Six, seven, eight, and nine: She was in a wheelchair. Next time, maybe the police ought to just push her down a flight of stairs.
The Daily Memo - 9/20/07
A Wisconsin man has sued Brut because he claims the company’s aftershave caused 2nd and 3rd degree burns. (Wiconsin Radio Network)
A simple traffic stop has turned into a pissing match between the states of Louisiana and Oklahoma. (Tulsa World)
A 41-year-old woman seems to have tried to stay out of prison by setting up a fake obituary, although she of course claims to have no idea how the obit wound up in the local paper. (Indy Star)
It only took 8 years of legal wrangling to decide a couple could fly their flag on a flag pole! (Palm Beach Post)
One of the top defense attorneys in Dallas wound up in a bit of trouble after getting drunk, hitting a passing truck with stray bullets and trying to punch the cop who came to investigate. (Dallas Observer)
The Emperor set him up!
Seems that Darth Vader was recently arrested for assault. And contrary to what Mr. Lucas would have us believe, Anakin Skywalker ain’t the Sith Lord. Rather, his real identity is Andrew Mark Heyes, a 33-year-old British man:
Jayne Kearsley, prosecuting, said that police had been called to a phone box where they found Richard Hignett who told them that Heyes had returned very drunk to his flat after a night at their local pub. But he had then turned nasty and slapped him across the face in an unprovoked attack. Mr Hignett had fled, fearing further attacks, leaving Heyes in his home.
The cops came into the flat to find Heyes passed out on the sofa and when he was woken up and told he was being arrested, he identified himself as Darth Vader. He told the cops “that he had no recollection of assaulting Mr. Hignett,” but his Jedi mind trick didn’t work, and he was convicted and hit with a fine.
My favorite part of this story, actually, is that Wigan Today, which reported this story, clearly has a sense of humor - instead of including a typical photo of the criminal with the article, they instead used a picture of Lord Vader himself.
Maybe he was getting the hooker as a gift for his daughter?
Early one morning, last November, Erasmo Palacios and his wife, Rocio, dropped their 6-year-old daughter off at school. They then picked up their 22-year-old daughter and drove off for a nice family breakfast. Later on, the parents were sitting in the car outside of a restaurant while the daughter was inside exchanging her coffee for a hot chocolate. While Erasmo and Rocio were waiting, Rocio noticed a woman apparently in distress. The woman then approached the car, and the Palacios realized their mistake when she leaned into the car and asked Erasmo if he’d give her some cash for a BJ.
Erasmo and his wife laughed, but the laughter stopped when cops swarmed the car. Erasmo was taken off in cuffs and charged with solicitation, while his daughter screamed and his wife cried. Erasmo was released eight hours later, and the charges were eventually dropped - however, the family car was impounded, and the city refuses to give it back unless the Palacios pay almost five grand in towing and storage fees.
It should come as no surprise that the Palacios are now suing the city, saying this whole debacle was a violation of Rocio’s civil rights. At least Rocio has kept some sense of humor over the affair: “I’m so lucky I was with my wife - imagine if I had to try to tell her and she wasn’t with me. She’d never believe me. Never.”
The last line of the article is the most telling part of the story:
City officials declined to comment on the status of the family’s car and the Palacios’ case, while the undercover female officer involved in the arrest couldn’t be reached.
Translation: Chicago will surely be settling this case right-quick.
Everything I need to know, I learned on television
Michael W. Hobbs lives in Waco, Kentucky and he’s a big TV fan. His favorite show would seem to be “It Takes a Thief,” a show on the Discovery Channel where two ex-cons go to folks’ homes and show them where they’re vulnerable to break-ins. Hobbs used the things learned from this show to then go on a crime spree, robbing houses throughout central Kentucky.
He didn’t learn everything a master cat burglar needs to know, obviously, since he was eventually caught. However, a police representative said that Hobbs did learn to get rid of stolen items, because the ex-criminals on the show talked about this point:
“He didn’t hold onto any of the property,” [Police Major] Gregg said of Hobbs. “He had no physical evidence at his residence whatsoever. When we entered a couple times, he said, ‘Come on in, look around. I’ve done nothing.’”
Of course, turns out he kinda did do something, and now he’ll be serving 12 years in the clink after pleading guilty to five counts of burglary.
Police Blotter Files
From the Northwest Arkansas Times police blotter:
At 6: 01 p. m. Tuesday, Eric Madden reported the theft of a wallet at the Bentonville Parks Department, 401 N. Moberly Lane.
At 8: 40 p. m. Tuesday, Richard Miller reported finding an empty bottle at Lake Bella Vista.
At 8: 16 p. m. Tuesday, Gary Brashera reported that four ninja warriors were seen fighting on the playground at the First Presbyterian Church, 901 N. E. J St.
At 8: 23 p. m. Tuesday, Clarisa Talbert reported suspicious activity at 4002 S. W. Surrey Ave.
Somebody might want to check that out.
Oh, Obama Girl — Why Do You Hurt Us So?
The latest attack ads on Obama Girl paint a bleak portrait of the only woman in American who could actually beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. It’s been widely reported already that’s its’ not her voice in the “Crush on Obama” video and that she’s leaning toward voting for Hillary anyway, but if all the allegations in this video are true, it may be time to move on.
Actually, I pretty much lost all respect for Obama Girl when she appeared on The Howard Stern show for an interview wearing only a bikini.
We loved you for your political views, not your body, Obama Girl. Tsk. Tsk.
The Daily Memo - 9/19/07
A federal judge in SF has tossed a global worming case filed against carmakers. (WSJ Law Blog)
Meanwhile, the Ninth Circuit has tossed out a case against Caterpillar Inc. over the use of its bulldozers in Israeli military operations. (Overlawyered)
Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine, is answering some questions. (The SCOTUSblog)
Memo to Washington state legislators - you might want to add “men’s underpants” to list of things that people shouldn’t wear on their heads when they go into a bank, as this New Zealand trend might make its way stateside. (The Daily Telegraph)
OJ’s been charged with ten felonies in connection with that whole Vegas/memorabilia debacle. (ESPN)
The Elven Supremacy
Florentino Floro Jr. used to be a judge down in the Philippines. But not anymore, because it seems that the country’s Supreme Court was a bit tired of Floro being, uhm, crazy. Specifically, a medical clinic tested Floro and determined that he was actually suffering from psychosis, which explains this whole elf thing.
Floro has been on a campaign to get his job back, claiming that he has magical healing powers and that he will take “ungodly reprisal” against the Philippine Supremes if they don’t let him back. The Supremes have asked him to kindly stop making these threats, as they’re not amused by any of this. They’re particularly not amused by the fact that, get this, “a series of unfortunate incidents have befallen the supreme court justices or their families, including serious illnesses and car accidents.”
Floro refuses to man up and take full credit for these incidents however, instead blaming three elves, including “Luis,” who’s an avenging elf. Floro says that Luis and the other two help him predict the future, and they’re the ones responsible for whatever mishaps have befallen the country’s Supremes.
Oh, and just to clear the air, Roco says “he has never consulted [the elves] when issuing judicial decisions.” Cause that would be crazy.
(Hat tip to The Legal Reader.)
Lock them up and throw away the key
Seriously. Parents who abuse their children are some of the most despicable people in our society, and Wayne Burkhart and his wonderful wife Rebecca are prime examples. Last week, Jacksboro, Tennessee police arrested the couple in connection with their wonderful treatment of their five children, who run between 11- and 18-years-old. Specifically, Wayne was charged with two counts of rape and aggravated assault, while his wife was charged with failing to report her husband’s abusive ways.
An arrest report said Wayne Burkhart shocked some of the children regularly with a dog shock collar he used to train hunting dogs.
Speaking of dogs, I think we should take the lead from Michael Vick on this one - let’s put this couple in a pit and make them fight like dogs. If they’re reluctant at first, their kids can push buttons which will fire up the shock collars wrapped around Wayne and Rebecca’s neck. Let’s see how those bastards like it.
Somewhere in the night, Mandy isn’t smiling without you because she’s trying to get that feeling again
Fort Lupton, Colorado is like many places insofar as the town has a noise ordinance. Where Fort Lupton goes in a different direction is with regard to its punishments. City judge Paul Sacco has decided that the best way to punish the noisy criminals, most of whom are youngsters, is by locking them in a room for an hour and making them listen to crappy music. We’re talking Barry Manilow crappy. Dolly Parton, Karen Carpenter and Barney the Purple Whatever crappy.
Judge Sacco does this about four times a year because he thinks it’s a fitting punishment: “When you have a person playing rap at extreme volumes all over the city, and they have to sit down and listen for an hour to Barry Manilow, it’s horrible punishment.” Amen, brother. Amen.
Unsurprisingly, the offenders don’t love this so much:
During the full hour of punishment, they were not allowed to chew gum, eat, drink, read or even sleep. Most violators found the first few minutes funny. As time wore on … they weren’t laughing anymore. “At about 20 minutes into it, I was trying not to fall asleep,” said violator Luis Cano.
But Is There Jurisdiction?
Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers has got a lot of goddamn nerve. God gives us Life. He gives us eyes to see the beautiful, ears to hear lovely music, and a nose to smell delicious aromas. Did he not send his only begotten son to suffer for our sins? And what does Ernie Chambers do in exchange?
State Sen. Ernie Chambers sued God last week … Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.”
The Omaha senator, who skips morning prayers during the legislative session and often criticizes Christians, also says God has caused “fearsome floods … horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes.”
He’s seeking a permanent injunction against the Almighty.
To be fair, the senator was only trying to make a point, but really: Aren’t there better ways to make a point than suing the Creator? Like passing a law? Or making a speech? What the hell did they his constituents put him in office for? Surely not to bring suit against our Maker.
I wear my sunglasses at night…
Speaking of bank robberies, the Feds have decided that they’re sick and tired of criminals wearing shades and hats when they go on bank-robbing adventures. While some banks ask their customers to remove hats and shades when they walk in, the FBI would like this to be a Washington state law. Cameras are generally placed so high that a well-worn baseball cap can obscure a useful face shot, and sunglasses are also helpful in the whole obfuscation thing.
Special Agent Larry Carr notes: “The vast majority of bank disguises, that is their key disguise. That’s their disguise.” So the Feds are going to work with the state legislature to get this law passed. I’m all for this law, mainly because, if passed, it means robbers will have to get more creative in their disguises. And anything that gets us closer to more bank robbers dressed like clowns is Aces Up in my book.
The Daily Memo - 9/18/07
New York City is getting sued for $10 million by a school custodian wrongfully accused of being a kiddie piddler. (NY Daily News)
Speaking of which, a sex sting has busted a federal prosecutor trying to get some underage sex from … Jesus Christ … a five-year-old girl. (The Legal Reader)
Blawg Review #126 is running free. (Small Business Trends)
“Seven things to know about Michael Mukasey.” (WSJ Law Blog)
NBC Universal has filed a lawsuit over DVDs of the “The Dean Martin Show.” (TV Squad)
Cops come to arrest woman on warrants. Woman sics two pit pulls on cops. Pit bull bites stupid woman. (The Boston Globe)
“A defendant brought to court in a wheelchair began kicking his court-appointed lawyer and had to be subdued with a stun gun.” (
Old dogs can’t always learn new tricks - a 70-year-old man manged to find his way back into handcuffs just one day after being released from jail. (Yahoo! News)
Cheaty McCheaterson Gets a Tax Break
In case you somehow missed this story last week, Bill Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots, is a big. Fat. Cheater. The arrogant cheater knowingly violated an NFL rule which prohibits coaching staff and employees from using cameras on the sidelines to record the opposing team’s signals. The NFL penalized the Pats with a $250,000 fine and the loss of a first-round draft pick, and Belichick himself was hit with a half-a-million-dollars fine.
But get this. Cheaty McCheaterson can probably deduct that fine on his taxes as “trade or business expenses.” One tax professor argued that cheating is an unfortunate “ordinary” practice for coaches and players (especially for arrogant bastards like Cheaty McCheaterson), which means the fine for getting busted is simply an expense of doing business.
I have no real point here, aside to note that this means that NFL Commissioner Goodell’s punishment isn’t quite as stiff as he’d have us believe, since Cheaty McCheaterson won’t feel the full financial impact of that $500,000 fine. Not that it matters, since the Pats gave the big fat cheater a big fact contract extension. Because they love arrogant cheaters.
I love me some New England Patriots, if it wasn’t obvious.
One Question Only
Seriously, when John Kerry gives a speech at your college, you are limited to only one question. You know what happens if you ask more than one? Taser!
To be fair, it didn’t seem as though Kerry condoned the Tasering, and really — the kid was super obnoxious. You know you’re annoying when the police pull you away and your classmates stand up and cheer. And I guess the guy also walked in with several police officers, who were waiting to pounce. Kerry allowed him to ask the question, anyway.
Still, it looks more like a Bush speech than a Kerry one.
For a better quality video, click this link.
Dumbass Department Monday Round-Up
We start the round-up in Chicago, where a man is being held in custody for an armed robbery committed around midnight. How much did he steal? $1.50. That’s pretty much all he wanted, too.
The allegedly armed robber walked up to the male victim and said, “’Do you have 50 cents,’” according to the detective. The robber then said, “‘Hey, that ain’t enough’ and he [the robber] supposedly took out a gun,” the detective said. The victim gave the robber another dollar, which was all the money he had, and “took off,” the detective said.
I hope that $1.50 covers bail.
Out in Florida (where else?), meanwhile, a woman is considering bringing a lawsuit against Wal-Mart after wearing a pair of sandals she bought there for about an hour - she said that hour of resulted in “itching and swelling which got worse and worse, turning to blistering and scabbing until she said it was too painful to walk.” Apparently, her skin would tear apart. Wal-Mart, which has taken the sandals off the shelves, blames the supplier, which is located in China, of course. Personally, you have to blame the woman a little — what do you expect when you pay $2.44 for footwear? That walk-on-the-clouds feeling don’t come cheap. (More images of her feet, like the one above, can be found at Consumerist. And damn! It looks like Chinese manufactured the sandals with battery acid.)
And finally, speaking of Wal-Mart — in 2004, an internal audit showed over 1300 incidents in which they broke child-labor laws. This one may be the most egregious.
Happy Constitution Day!
September 17 is officially Constitution Day, ironically created three years ago by the federal government under the Bush Administration. We should all celebrate today’s holiday just like our current President! …By taking our copy to the restroom with us and throwing it under the Reader’s Digest, but only after wiping our ass with it.
The Daily Memo - 9/17/07
God bless Massachusetts - a two-year state program to explore racial profiling hasn’t produced good results because almost half of the police departments didn’t bother to follow the guidelines. (The Boston Globe)
Governor Ahnald has signed a law prohibiting teens from using cell phones while driving. (Engadget)
A brilliant man returns home from four days in the clink, only to wind up right back in jail after calling 911 to complain about someone breaking into his house and stealing his pot. (The Shelby Star)
UC Irvine is now trying to get back Erwin Chemerinsky, who was slated to be the dean of the new law school until fired last week because of his political leanings. (WSJ Law Blog)
Some federal appellate judges feel that the “overall quality of appellate advocacy that they regularly encounter” is quite low. (Law.com)
The trial over a black LA firefighter’s claims of harassment for being fed dog food is slated to start on September 24, and lawyers think the city could be thwapped with a big monetary judgment. (Nota Bene)
A brilliant bank robber in Englewood, Colorado managed to take almost five grand from a local bank last week. Unfortunately for the 27-year-old Forest Kelly Bissonnette, he would not have much free time to enjoy his earnings, as he turned himself over to the Feds a mere three days later. Turns out that the FBI was quickly able to figure out the robber’s identity because the note he gave to a bank teller demanding the cash was written on the back of a check which belonged to him!
Bissonnette had the “good sense” to scratch his name off of the check, but a G-man said “we could still make [his name] out even though he blacked it out.”
When asked for a comment, Forest said that he was hoping to use this money to move to Florida, so he could live among all the other truly moronic wannabe-criminals of American society.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that
Ross Weil and Brett Royce are not gay. Sure, the two New Yorkers are college buddies (both went to American University in D.C.) and previously shared a house, but they’re not gay. To suggest that they were gay would harm their reputation to no end because. They’re. Not. Gay.
So the two were furious when an American University newsletter said that they were gay. Seems someone played a prank on Royce and Weil by submitting info to the school that the pair were life partners who were married in Boston last year, and that they were the head of a phony group called “the Gay Rights Brigade.”
Royce and Weil are now suing the school, of course, for defamation. Their lawyers says that the school never bothered to fact check with either of the men, and while the editor won’t comment about this item she did say that, in general, they totally fact check before publishing stuff.
Is there a cause of action here? I guess. But the men insist that this has nothing to do with homophobia. I should hope not. But if they’re not going to argue that it’s absolutely heinous to be thought of as gay, I’m not sure how they’re going to establish their damages claim, which is for a ridiculous $1.5 million.
Killing Time Everywhere
We’re going to end “Killing Time” week here at QuizLaw with something which has absolutely nothing to do with the law whatsoever. But it’s a great way for all of you, no matter where you live, to kill some time. The fine folks at The Kevin & Bean Show over on KROQ have discovered the best TV show in the history of TV shows: “Let’s Paint TV!” This is a clip from the special live edition of the public access show, which includes … well, watch for yourself (and try to stick with it, because there are moments of hilarity and genius throughout the whole nine minutes):
Yeah, but wearing a retainer doesn’t crush your soul…
(As with all index card images we post, this comes from the wonderful Jessica over at indexed.)
The Daily Memo - 9/14/07
Some forceful ass-groping (or playful ass-tapping, depending on who you believe) has led to a nasty lawsuit filed by a former partner against her old law firm. (The Legal Reader)
Oversleeping lawyers everywhere - rejoice! The Second Circuit has ruled that showing up to court late doesn’t constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. (WSJ Law Blog)
The Republicans are, unsurprisingly, ignoring the Constitution in trying to change California electoral vote allocation. (Slate)
Roger Goodell and Gene Upshaw will be testifying at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing next week about the NFL’s neglect in taking care of retired players. (SI)
Prince is planning to sue websites that sell illegal copies of his tunes, while Trent Reznor gives a half-thumbs up to illegal downloads of his tunes. (Download Squad)
The Chief Justice of the PA Supreme Court is stepping down at the end of this year. (Law.com)
Justice Thomas is making a rare TV appearance on September 30th’s “60 Minutes” to promote his new autobiography. (Law.com)
A former NY judge is suing the Governor of NY on behalf of four current NY judges. (WSJ Law Blog)
Killing More Time in Iowa
Now I don’t know anything about Iowa, but my impression is that there isn’t a whole lot to do out there (although I know some folks like to kill time by hucking Cheetos at their dad). So if I were a gainfully employed lawyer in that state, and I had some work to do for a case, I’d probably be pretty thankful for the opportunity just to keep myself busy. But I guess Peter Cannon, Esquire, has more important things to do with his time. So when he was representing a client in a bankruptcy proceeding, he opted against writing his briefs entirely on his own, and filed two briefs which largely copied an unattributed bankruptcy article word-for-word.
Cannon’s main brief was nineteen pages long, and seventeen of those pages were verbatim excerpts from the bankruptcy article, with Cannon only adding an introduction, a conclusion and a one-page “argument.” While the nine pages of the second brief had a bit more original work, they still included copied text from the article, and used the article’s researched citations (because why should Cannon waste his time doing his own research?).
The plagiarism in and of itself is bad enough, but it gets worse - Cannon charged his client almost six grand for the preparation of these briefs! His bills claimed that he spent twenty-five-and-a-half hours preparing the briefs, but a judge found that “he could not have expended that number of hours in locating the Article, copying it into his word processing program, and adding what little material he did.” Cannon admitted to the plagiarism, and also admitted that the bill was a “my bad” on his part, saying “I have waived fees and costs of $11,500 to my client to accommodate him for my mistake and address the inconvenience to him.”
But the Court said this wasn’t enough, and sanctioned Cannon, not only requiring him to refund all of the client’s fees, but also mandating that Cannon take a law school-level class on professional responsibility. So I guess he won’t have any problems killing time for the next couple of months, at least.
(Hat tip to Overlawyered.)
Is that a federal holiday, or just a state thing?
Mayor Mike Vestal, of someplace called Tonganoxie (it’s apparently in Kansas), has gotten into a little trouble because he doesn’t know how to send e-mail. Rather, he doesn’t know how to ensure that he’s sending e-mail to the people he means to send it to. Vestal sent a naughty e-mail to several friends and — whoops! — included a reporter in the “to” list. That reporter, surely intrigued to be getting an e-mail from the local Mayor, was probably confused to find that it contained a picture of a topless woman and a message which read:
Next Monday is national female breast appreciation day. Beat the “expletive” out of Martin Luther King day, doesn’t it?
The reporter quickly got this story out there, and Mayor Vestal of course apologized and said it was a stupid but honest mistake. He also stepped up and said “if the citizens want me to resign, they need to let me know and I will resign if they want me to.”
I dunno — if I were a resident of Tonganoxie (knock on wood this never happens), I’d be less into asking the Mayor to resign and more into getting a formal declaration of National Female Breast Appreciation Day. Although I’m not sure he has the power to declare a “national” holiday, so maybe we’d have to settle for Local Female Breast Appreciation Day. I’m willing to compromise.
Killing Time in Texas
Well of course, much like Arizonians, Texans kill time with heavy drinking. But they also like the gun shooting. So four Houston-area men smartly decided to combine the two events. After a Sunday night of strong drinking, they decided to take their AK-47 rifle (!) to a nearby road overpass. Once there, the four men inexplicably (and allegedly, of course) took 12 shots at an off-duty deputy (!) who was doing some security work for a nearby business.
Luckily, the drunkards were ineffective in their shooting, and the deputy was able to get a call in for backup. Said backup showed up and arrested the four drunks. Maybe bored Texans should just stick to the drinking, and leave the shooting for more sober times, no?
Killing Time in Florida — Revisited
I knew we couldn’t stay away from the state of Florida for very long. There’s no place on Earth like it — sun, Disney World, senior citizens, and the dumbest, sickest, most morally deranged citizenry in all of America. Amen and pass the ammunition.
And, perhaps I jumped the gun (oh, fuck the pun) when I said that handing out water guns to kids had no effect on their propensity toward violence, because I suddenly get the feeling that 16-year-old Jacob Brighton played with an awful lot of water guns as a tyke. Why? Cause he blew away his parents.
Not that he didn’t have a good reason to snuff out their very existence. Were they abusive? No. Did they shortchange his allowance? No. Did they make him do all the lawn work? Not that I know of.
Well why, you ask, did Brighton shoot his parents to death?
Oh, because he didn’t want to disappoint them. Of course!
Jacob Brighton said he shot his parents last month because he always felt like a disappointment to them because he didn’t have a job, smoked marijuana and didn’t share the same “qualities or interests” as his father, according to the recently released documents.”So there’s nobody, now there’s nobody to be disappointed in me, try to make me lead … their life,” Brighton said.
Well, I suppose he could’ve gotten a job. Or stopped smoking fatties. But, yeah — he’s right. This was a lot easier.
Florida public schools! Catch the fever!
The Whole World: Humorless Bastards
Don’t get me wrong, folks. I’m a huge proponent of gun control. Hell, if I had my way, the Second Amendment wouldn’t exist at all. There’s not a single goddamn use I see for guns, except for movies like Shoot ‘Em Up to exist (which I’m all for — fake violence gets me through the week).
But, damn: Some people have got to take the huge cheese wedge out of their asses. Take James Sano, a Common Council member in Albany, N.Y. He’s got his britches all in a knot because the local library in Albany, in an effort to encourage children to read, gave out water pistols to any kid that read four books. Sano’s thoughts:
“They must have been out of rubber knives and candy cigarettes that day,” Sano said as he waved the toy gun during the council’s caucus last week. “They couldn’t give out books or bookmarks? … I was surprised and disappointed that this was a prize that was given away,” he said. “We shouldn’t send mixed messages to kids that we give a replica of a firearm.”
The library conceded it was a mistake to hand out the water pistols, because that’s what libraries do in the face of uptight politicians. But, come on: First of all, it’s a freakin’ water gun — they squirt water. It’s annoying. Kids love them. Hell, some kids might even love them enough to read a goddamn book. And you know what, Sano — kids that read: They can tell the difference between a water gun and a real one. You know what message you send when you give away a water gun, douchebag? That it’s fun to squirt your Dad in the face with a stream of water. Not that it’s OK to shoot your Dad in the face with a 9 mm pistol.
There’s some irony in that this year’s theme at the Albany library is “Get a Clue at Your Library.” Clearly, Sano needs to pay a visit.
The Daily Memo - 9/13/07
Maybe it’s time to rename QuizLaw - how’s “New York Personalist Injury Law Blog” sound? (NY PI Law Blog)
Dude, you’re never gonna get away from the cops in a canoe. (Berkshire Eagle Online)
“Man attempts to return Walmart ammunition at 1300 feet per second.” (Consumerist)
It’s fun to read about the DOJ attorney getting grilled by the Third Circuit over the FCC’s questionable legal reasoning. Trust me. (Law.com)
The civil suit brought against Imus by one of the Rutgers players has been withdrawn. (Overlawyered)
Congrats to Tennessee, which used its electric chair yesterday morning for the first time since 1960. (CNN)
Down under, Google is in court over allegations that its search engine results involve deceptive conduct. (Brisbane Times)
Killing Time in Colorado
Colorado is one of only three states in the US which has its boundaries made solely of lines of latitude and longitude. That’s about the most interesting thing my research turned up about the state. So I get that folks would want to kill time there by hitting up the oldest time killer, nookie. But a former prosecutor is now looking at a possible three-year suspension of her law license because that’s how she decided to kill time. Though the problem here is that she was getting down and dirty with a local judge who presided over at least two of her prosecutions.
I told you about this back in April – the 29-year-old lawyer started her fling with the 57-year-old judge in early 2006, and both admit that they got their sexual prosecution on in the judge’s chambers and in the courthouse women’s showers. Hurst has now admitted that her actions constituted misconduct, and she’s agreed to a three-year suspension of her license, although the understanding is that she’ll only serve six months of it, and that the rest will be stayed while she serves two-and-a-half years of probation.
I’m sure the pickings are pretty slim in Castle Rock, Colorado, but seriously — there must be someone other than a presiding judge (or a prosecutor who appears before you) who you can get your nasty on with, no? I mean, we all know you don’t prosecute where you eat.
Do You Think They Wear That Horsey Costume for Halloween?
Harvey Miller and Edwin Marzinske should know better. The 43- and 55-year-old Wisconsinites already have revoked licenses, so they shouldn’t even be driving at all, let alone driving drunk. And yet, drive drunk they did, with respective blood alcohol levels of 0.16 and 0.09 (aw man, Marzinske just missed out on being legal, poor schmoe). They were arrested and cited with both a DUI and driving under a revoked license.
But here’s where things get fun - they were busted driving the same truck at the same time! Yes sir - turns out that Miller’s legs are paralyzed (the unfortunate result of a logging accident), so while he was steering the truck, Marzinske was working the gas and brake pedals:
Miller said he takes drunken driving seriously, “but we were doing things as safe as possible.”
But get this - the two are planning to defend themselves in court against the charges and their argument is going to be that neither of them was actually driving since neither had full control over the truck. If we buy this questionable logic, how, exactly does “nobody had control” qualify as “doing things as safe as possible?” I love the idiotic arguments people come up with.
Killing Time in Iowa
People in Iowa (Iowans?) are family folk, so they like to kill time at home. For Patrick Hamman, this led to a charge of domestic assault. The 22-year-old meth addict, who still lives at home, apparently got into an argument with his father and, as meth-heads are wont to do, Patrick escalated the argument from verbal sparring to physical violence. But you have to give him props for his chosen methodology.
For he did not punch his father. Nor did he stab him, or shoot him, or kick him or gore him.
No sir. “The assault weapons listed on the Des Moines police report was a bag of Cheetos.” Yup — Patrick got angry at his father and hurled a bag of Cheetos at him. The bag hit Pappy’s glasses, causing them to cut the bridge of his nose.
The police report said: “Michael’s t-shirt was also covered in Cheeto dust.”
Wow! I mean, wowowowowowo ouch. Bobby James Allen, a confessed rapist hailing from the great state of Florida, has agreed to a very interesting plea deal. Facing life in prison for three counts of armed sexual battery, as well as a few other counts, Allen has agreed to part ways with Tom & Harry in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.
Yeah. Allen’s gonna get his nuts lopped off. A judge, who is very creative with his sentencing, has agreed to the plea, so long as Allen has his testicles removed in the next eight days.
“You understand that this procedure is the removal of your testicles?” the judge asked Allen.
And Allen was all like, “Bring on the knife.”
Hmph. He’ll still have to serve every day of the 25-year-prison sentence, and when he gets out he’ll be a castrated old man who will still have to register as a sex offender. But, you can pretty much guarantee — unless he’s got superhero powers of regeneration — that he won’t be much of a threat anymore. And he should have a helluva falsetto, if the prison choir is looking.
But that’s not even the best castration story of the day! In Oklahoma City, where they take their college football really fucking seriously, a Texan man made the mistake of going to a bar wearing a Texas Longhorns T-Shirt. They don’t like the Longhorns in Oklahoma (or anywhere else in the South, save Texas). So, when the Texas fan, Brian Christopher Thomas, went to go pay his tab, Oklahoma fan Allen Michael Beckett started a little trash talking. And before you know, Beckett had grabbed Thomas by the crotch.
When the two men were separated, Thomas looked down and realized the extent of his injuries.
”He could see both of his testicles hanging on the outside of his body,” said Thomas’ attorney, Carl Hughes. ”He was wearing a pair of white shorts, which made it that much worse.”
It took more than 60 stitches to close the wound.
Beckett’s attorney, Billy Bock, said it was just good-natured ribbing and that his client apologized to Thomas. Later, Bock said Thomas approached his client and threatened him.
Stay away from Oklahoma.
Killing Time in West Virginia
When you think of West Virginia, you automatically think of illiterate hillbillies, racists trailer trash, and gun-toting homophobes, right? Seriously, I once drove through West Virginia, and even though I never stepped out of my car, I still left the state with ticks.
Of course, a group of racist fucktards aren’t helping to dispel the stereotypes about West Virginians. The details are beginning to emerge about one seriously messed up kidnapping situation. Apparently, some racist trailer trash (eight people in all) captured a black woman, locked her in the shed out back of their trailer, and tortured the living mess out of her. She was sexually assaulted, beaten, and forced to eat rat droppings, for God’s sake. Not only that, the white captors “choked her with a cable cord, poured hot water over her and stabbed her in the leg while calling her a racial slur.”
Oh, and she was also forced to drink out of the toilet.
Eight people, most of whom had prior criminal records (including manslaughter), were arrested and charged with a slew of crimes. It is not known yet how the woman ended up on the property. The FBI is also considering prosecuting under hate crime laws.
Remind me again never to kill time in West Virginia.
The Daily Memo - 9/12/07
Chief Justice Rehnquist liked Bill Clinton about as much as Caligula. (Above the Law)
A judge is being sued by a rape victim because he wouldn’t let her use the words “rape,” “victim” or “assailant” during the rape trial. (Law.com)
Blawg Review #125 is the worst one ever. Seriously. (Real Lawyers Have Blogs)
Yesterday, the Third Circuit heard oral arguments on whether Janet’s wardrobe malfunction “was indecent, or merely a fleeting and accidental glitch.” (WSJ Law Blog)
New legislation has been introduced to provide for better nuclear safety. (Slashdot)
“The fight to fill judicial vacancies grows ever weirder.” (Slate)
Former Ravens linebacker Peter Boulware is planning to run for a seat in the Florida Legislature next year. (ESPN)
NTP, known for its massive lawsuit against Blackberry, is now setting its sites on national cell phone carriers over mobile e-mail. (Engadget)
Common Sense Lesson #155
This is just fantastic. Four men have been accused of stealing over fifty grand of video equipment last month from two companies that are in the same building. Cops were able to determine how the burglars busted in (broken window), what they took (computer and electronic equipment) and even who one of the criminals was, thanks to high-definition surveillance video obtained from one of the burgled companies.
The common sense lesson here? Don’t steal from a video surveillance store!
That’s right, one of the companies these nitwits jacked was Vigilant Video. As if the name wasn’t, you know, a dead giveaway, the cops said that “the video camera that caught them was sitting in plain view.” Genius.
Does this mean I can sue my boss if he makes me work on the Sabbath?
(From yesterday’s Non Sequitur, via go comics.)
Killing Time in Wisconsin
I don’t know about you, but when I think “Wisconsin,” I think cheese. (Actually, as a bitter Eagles fan, I think “god almighty how many ways do I hate the bloody Packers right now,” but that’s beside the point.) And when I think “cheese,” I sometimes think pizza. Which brings us to an unnamed resident of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. Last Sunday, local officers from the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department showed up at Mr. No-Name’s house because several hang-up calls had been placed to 911 from that house.
Inside, they had a discussion with someone at Mr. No-Name’s house and learned that the calls to 911 were because this certain someone was pissed off that the pizza recently delivered to their house was burnt. The article goes on to explain rather matter-of-factly:
Officers inspected the pizza and determined that it indeed was burned.
Then they told the caller to call the pizza place with their complaint, and not 911.
Which should be, oh I dunno, common sense. The caller in Mr. No-Name’s house got off lightly, however, as they were not arrested or charged with anything. Hopefully they learned from this lesson and once January rolls around, and they no longer have the football antics of wicked Brett Favre and company to hold their interest, they’ll find a better way to occupy their time than calling 911 to complain about burnt pizza.
Because everyone knows you call 911 when you have burger issues.
Killing Time in Florida
Man, we may have to stop by Florida and kill some time on several occasions this week, because no state is as messed up as the nation’s penis. I don’t understand it, either. What is it about Florida? It seems like they not only commit the most heinous crimes, but the dumbest. And it’s never limited to the simple folk — the politicians are just as crooked and debauched as the citizenry, even the failed politicians.
Take Keith Sawyer, a Democrat and repeat loser of local elections, who apparently got so frustrated with his losing ways he sought out a threesome. With a 15-year-old girl. In exchange for crack cocaine.
The only problem was, the other female in the scenario was a police informant. And when the informant asked Sawyer what he wanted to do with the 15-year-old, Sawyer gave a very political answer: “I don’t want to sound like a pervert, but whatever she wants to do.” As long as what she wanted to do involved sex and fellatio. When he arrived for the three-way, he was arrested. But, just like a Floridian, he didn’t have the crack with him — the man apparently wanted his underage threesome and his cake.
Of course, it gets a lot worse in Florida. Last week, for instance, St. Petersburg City Council Chairman John Bryan (a Republican — both parties are crooked and immoral in Florida) killed himself. Why, you ask, would a “hometown business hero, a pillar of the community, and powerful voice on the City Councilman” inhale golf cart exhaust in his garage (seriously — a golf cart?). Oh, because he’d molested two underage girls, who were his adopted daughters. He also allegedly sexually abused his former nanny, who is also one of his adopted daughters, although Bryan insisted that the affair occurred after she was 18 and was consensual, you know, because that makes it OK. Of course, only in Florida, would she choose to be a nanny for the man that molested her, anyway.
Killing Time in New York
You gotta love NY — New Yorkers don’t take shit from anyone (well, except the Cowboys and the Patriots. And the Broncos). You don’t mess with a New Yorker, if you know what’s good for you. They’re like Texans, without the firearms.
Take, for instance, a 32-year-old man in New York who sought out a senior citizen he could mug for some easy cash. Not so fast: The mugger followed 74-year-old Bruce Ferraro out of a department store carrying a tire iron. When Ferraro got into his car, the man pounded on his car and demanded cash.
And Ferraro’s response: “You’ve gotta be kidding me?”
And after the mugger called Ferraro an “old man” and threatened to kill him with a tire iron, it was on. Ferraro got out his car, grabbed the tire iron, scuffled a bit, and snatched the damn thing away. And then who was running?
Of course, the mugger didn’t get too far away — his car stalled in the parking lot and police apprehended him. He was arrested and charged with attempted robbery.
The lesson here: Dont’ fuck with New Yorkers. Even the old ones. They will hand your ass back to you with a tire iron sticking out of it, brother.
The Daily Memo - 9/11/07
I simply have to link to a legal blog that’s talking, in part, about my soul-crushingly infuriating Philadelphia Eagles. (Is That Legal?)
“A prominent attorney and the two Mississippi judges he bribed for favorable rulings were sentenced Friday to several years in federal prison.” (Law.com)
The Ohio Supreme Court tossed a complaint of unauthorized practice of law levied against a prisoner who acted as a lawyer for other inmates. (Legal Profession Blog)
The PA Supreme Court has agreed to take a look at the state’s moronic blue laws about beer and liquor sales. (philly.com)
Roman Catholics everywhere are so proud - “LA Archdiocese sells off properties to pay for sex abuse settlement.” (Nota Bene)
Down under, two men lost their appeal to overturn drug convictions despite the fact that their judge allegedly fell asleep during the trial. (smh.com.au)
There are some compelling alternatives to the notion of life tenure for Supreme Justices. (Concurring Opinions)
Former DOJ lawyer Jack Goldsmith talks about why he battled the White House’s legally dubious anti-terrorism tactics. (MSNBC)
Killing Time in Arizona
Arizonians laugh at those who say the best way to kill time is by driving nude and getting their self-love on. No sir. In the desert, they kill time the old fashioned way - heavy drinking. But Christopher Billie, a 37-year-old Flagstaff man, decided that simple drinking wasn’t enough, which is why he was recently arrested and charged with auto burglary.
After getting his drunk on, Billie stumbled by the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, where a funeral was going on. Billie made the wise decision to allegedly climb into the hearse. This is where things could go very bad with this story. I mean, if I said to you, “a drunk man climbs into a hearse,” you would surely expect a disturbing punchline.
Luckily, Billie spares us such nastiness. Turns out he simply wanted to steal some flowers!
The funeral director saw Billie climb into the hearse and prudently called the cops. As he continued to watch the hearse while waiting for the cops to roll up, the director saw Billie begin to snatch various flower vases. When Billie tried to leave, the mortician kept him around so that he could be arrested proper-like.
Asked what the flowers were for by crack-shot QuizLaw reporters, Billie said he was planning to eat them to cover the smell of booze on his breathe, because the ladies don’t like when you smell like a boozehound.
A son not even a mother could love
In Rhode Island, Garry Lamar has proven himself to be a less-than-loving son. He used to live with his 78-year-old mother, Mary Lamar Grancher. However, things got pretty rocky between the two, and she kicked him out of her house last year. Since then, Garry made almost weekly threats that he was going to kidnap his mom’s cat, and he allegedly did snatch the kitty at one point. The police claim that Garry then tried to extort over twenty grand from his poor old moms, and that she made over twenty payments to him to keep the cat safe.
QuizLaw has it on good authority that Garry Lamar is single, so all you ladies out there looking for a fine catch, I think your search is over.
Killing Time in Georgia
Georgia: The literal home of the Braves (and 1995 World Series Champs) and, of more notoriety of late, Michael Vick, now the most famous dog hater since Anthony Gomez, who decapitated his girlfriend’s therapy dog and gift-wrapped the head. It’s also the topic of one of the greatest songs of all time, “Georgia on My Mind,” recorded by Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, and The Band (among many others). Many of you may also remember that Georgia was where “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “In the Heat of the Night,” and Smokey and the Bandit were filmed.
In today’s story, Wendell Adams plays our Smokey. He went into a McDonald’s, ordered a hamburger, and was so dissatisfied with the burger’s flavor, that he arrested the woman who made it. Indeed, Kendra Bull accidentally spilled salt on the burger meat and, though her co-worker and supervisor tried to “thump the salt off” it still tasted a little off. So off, in fact, that our Smokey got a wittle-bit puny. It’s not like he had a heart attack or anything, he just got a little sick.
But, power-tripping asshole Smokey that he is, he took the woman outside, questioned her, and eventually not only sent the meat to a crime lab, but had the woman arrested for serving a burger “without regards to the well-being of anyone who might consume it.”
We’ve covered this before, but it bears repeating: Never put your life and well-being in the hands of a minimum wage fast food worker, capisci? And, besides, she may have been dumb enough to put too much salt on your burger, Smokey, but you’re the asshole who ate the whole goddamn thing. Moron.
Killing Time in Minnesota
Poor Minnesota. Though it’s a lovely state with beautiful lakes and a nice liberal bent, it’s known to the rest of the country as the state that elected a wrestler as governor. And, before that, as the only state to vote for Walter Mondale (its native son) versus Ronald Reagan in the landslide 1984 Presidential defeat. Minnesotans: They’re loyal! Situated in the middle of the country, their brand of liberalism is also a bit different than the socialist, welfare-state bastards on the coasts: Minnesotans like feminism, but they’re not above chivalry.
Indeed, here’s what you might expect from the typical Minnesotan man: Out in Duluth (Go Bulldogs!), Wayne and Kathie Boniface returned home from a night on the town only to discover a burglar in their house. Wayne, a sprite 69-year-old man — probably a typical lefty inclined to give the burglar a sandwich and send him on his way — was overcome by his protector instinct when the burglar laid hands on his wife.
“As soon as he grabbed my wife, I had him in the kitchen wrestling him to the ground in a head-lock and arm-lock,” Boniface said.
And wrestle, he did. After a five-minute scuffle — and thanks in part to baggy jeans, which have not yet been outlawed in Minnesota — Boniface had taken the burglar’s clothes off: pants, underwear, and shoes. The burglar was flopping in the wind as he took flight.
When police arrived and asked Boniface if he could identify the burglar, he said. Yep. “I believe he’s the only guy running nude in Duluth.”
He was apprehended about 20 minutes later.
Now, vote for Al Franken next year, Minnesota. And we’ll love you for being the state that voted for a comedian.
The Daily Memo - 9/10/07
Teddy Kennedy was just honored for casting his (holy mackerel) 15,000th Senatorial vote. (Bostonist)
It would seem that the good Professor isn’t such a fan of a certain embarrassed Michigan football team. (Professor Bainbridge)
Eegads - last month, a German court awarded about four grand “in damages to a man who had to have the top of his skull replaced with plastic because of a faulty hospital fridge” (doctors had been storing the skull piece in the faulty fridge while doing brain surgery). (Reuters)
A convicted peeping tom is suing the local police department for the return of his 500 porn movies and 250 skin mags. (Examiner.com)
A judge has put the kibosh on a lawsuit brought against the NFL Players Association over its representation of retired players. (ESPN)
The sex harassment lawsuit against Isiah Thomas is set to go to trial, with jury selection starting this week. (SI)
On Friday, the House passed the Patent Reform Act, although the Senate has yet to approve any similar patent reform legislation. (ITworld)
Everyone Loves Divorce Lawyers
But nobody loves divorce lawyers more than an ex who has been taken to the cleaners. Just ask Ronald Lynn Jenkins of South Carolina. He’s been involved in divorce proceedings against his ex-wife for the past three years. But late last month, Jenkins lost an appeal in his case, meaning Game Over.
So Jenkins did what any level-head man might do — he went to the office of his ex-wife’s wheelchair-bound lawyer and got into an argument, threatening to kill the man. The attorney, Robert Masella, called the cops, but Jenkins took off before they showed up. Later that night, however, Jenkins allegedly went back to Masella’s office and set the library on fire, causing around $60,000 of damage. This time he didn’t quite get away from the cops, and he was arrested and charged with arson, burglary and stalking.
The report says that Jenkins isn’t cooperating with the police which is rather shocking, considering the fact that he sounds like a such a level-headed bloke.
QuizLaw Story Update - The Drug Tax Man Does Not Cometh
Last week, I told you about Tennessee’s Taxation of Unauthorized Substances Act, a law which purportedly requires folks possessing illegal drugs to pay taxes on those drugs or face stiff financial fines. Commenter Amanda pulled out the apropos movie quote, succinctly stating: “Get bent, tax man!” Seems that the Tennessee Court of Appeals is also a fan of Stranger Than Fiction as it similarly told the drug tax man to get bent by ruling the Tennessee law unconstitutional.
The Court bought the argument raised by those opposed to the law, unanimously ruling that the law violates both the right to due process and the right against self-incrimination. The Court also added an extra reason for striking down the law: “We affirm the trial court’s conclusion upon the alternate ground that the statute is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable and, therefore, invalid under the Tennessee Constitution, in that it seeks to tax as a privilege, activity that prior legislation has designated as criminal activity.”
The drug tax man isn’t permanently bent just yet, however, as the state is planning to appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Killing Time in Indiana
This week at QuizLaw, we’re gonna go a little theme-like by taking a look at some of the ways folks kill time in different states. We begin by looking at Indiana where, late last month, an S. McCormick was arrested on the Indiana Toll Road. Seems cops received a call about McCormick’s driving early that afternoon, so Trooper Al Martinez went on the scene and pulled McCormick over. Martinez was surely pleased as punch when he walked up to McCormick’s car to find the driver in the nude, with petroleum jelly on his hands.
Apparently, those prudish Indiana drivers didn’t like the fact that McCormick was sharing the road with them, all nude and masterbating-like.
McCormick was charged with indecent exposure, naturally, but here’s the kicker: “When asked why he was traveling like that, McCormick said he felt comfortable driving in the nude and was on his way to Ohio to visit his mother.”
Nude masterbatory driving - is that any way to visit your mother?
The Drug Tax Man Cometh
In Tennessee, there’s this law called the Taxation of Unauthorized Substances Act. It basically says that folks arrested for illegal possession of drugs have to pay a tax on those drugs, with the tax amount determined by the weight of the drugs in questions. To avoid this penalty for what the state sees as tax evasion (because even if the drugs you buy are illegal, the state still wants its piece), folks are allowed to anonymously buy stamps from the state’s Department of Revenue. I’m sure folks are jumping at that opportunity — as one Nashville attorney puts it:
It’s the penalties for not getting these stamps beforehand that really costs people who get arrested. Who in their right mind is going to go into a state building and purchase stamps for their illegal drugs? I’m sure they haven’t sold any of them.
This attorney, Jonathan A. Street, is talking about the issue because he’s representing William J. Hoak, who is suing the state over this drug tax. The lawsuit stems from Hoak’s own drug possession arrest, when he was found at a concert with “rice creeper treats,” Rice Krispies treats laced with pot. He was hit with a drug tax of over $11,000, but he says this amount is way too high because most of the weight wasn’t contributable to the pot, but to the cereal and marshmallows and other goodness that goes into Rice Kirspies treats. Street adds that Hoak didn’t have a large amount of the treats: “It’s not like it was a pan of Rice Krispies treats like your mama would bring you.” No kidding it wasn’t — my mama never brought me a pan of Rice Kripsies treats cooked with pot. Talk about child neglect!
The Daily Memo - 9/6/07
One part down, a whole mess more to go - yesterday, a federal judge struck down a part of the Patriot Act dealing with National Security Letters. (Concurring Opinions)
Ouch - a former partner is suing the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal for over $9 million. (Law.com)
As the three leading candidates from each party have JDs, it seems likely that our next president will be another lawyer. (WSJ Law Blog)
Tee-hee: “Lulu sues Hulu.” (Download Squad)
“What Congress needs to ask Petraeus and Crocker.” (Slate)
Child Care Ain’t What It Used to Be
In Florida (of course), a 15-year-old girl has been charged with felony child abuse after allegedly smoking up with the child she was babysitting. The brilliant girl even posted a picture of her smoking pot with the kid on her MySpace page. She’s currently been charged as a juvenile, although the state attorney’s office may decide to charge her as an adult instead.
This story would seem to suggest that kids are better off with their parents but — hold on there, because an Indiana story begs to differ. Indianapolis is where we find Holly Schnobrich charged with public intoxication and two counts of felony neglect. The 24-year-old woman was wacked out on meds, having taking Percocet and sleeping pills. Unable to drive her car, she turned the wheel over to her 5-year-old son. When a neighbor asked her if her toddler was driving the car, Schnobrich responded by saying, “He’s a good driver.” Since he didn’t crash the car, I guess this is true.
Is the RIAA like the mob?
According to a lawsuit filed against the Recording Industry Association of America, yes, the RIAA is like the mob. At least, the lawsuit alleges violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, the law often used to prosecute gangsters (there are also claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act). The lawsuit stems from the RIAA’s recent anti-pirate methodology of tracking down folks who download and share illegal mp3s, and trying to sue them into submission (in the past four years, the RIAA has filed over 21,000 lawsuits relating to illegal music downloads).
Tanya Andersen, a disabled single mom, says that the RIAA knows that its methods are “flawed” yet it proceeds to file lawsuits against innocent folk anyway. She claims she was one such person wrongfully accused, but that there are many others, which is why she’d like to see the lawsuit turned into a class action. Essentially, she says the RIAA is practicing a modern form of thumb breaking:
For years, the RIAA and its member companies have been using flawed and illegal private investigation information as part of their coordinated scheme and common enterprise to threaten, intimidate and coerce payment from private citizens across the United States. As such they have clogged and abused the federal courts for many years with factually baseless and fraudulent lawsuits.
This is the longest semester of my life
ATL’s David Lat is absolutely correct - next spring, Georgetown Law is featuring the best law school course. The class?
The law of ‘24.’
Taught by a Naval Academy grad who used to work for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the course studies the “domestic and international legal issues concerning counterterrorism in the context of the utilitarian and sometimes desperate responses to terrorism raised by the plot of 24.” That’s just friggin’ fantastic. If we had that course at my school during those formative law school years, I might’ve actually attended class on a slightly more regular basis. If not because it sounds like a damn interesting course, then because I would probably be too scared of the prof coming after me for my tardies.
Rudy: Not Gay
One of the unofficial campaigners for Giuliani, who a few weeks ago touted that only Rudy “has the balls” to “stick a plunger up somebody’s ass to reduce crime” has returned with another campaign message.
After bragging that smart men avoid wars, he now rants that the Bush folks were behind the Larry Craig scandal and that, somehow, both Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney’s sons were involved. Obama girl aside, this guy is the best part of the 2008 election campaign so far. Check it out.
Dead Baby on Board
OK. I realize that the whole Michael Vick/dog-fighting thing raised a lot of awareness about animal cruelty — if there is any silver lining in this cloud, it is that. But, as a society, are we already starting to weigh the importance of a dog’s life over a human’s?
I ask simply because I found these two stories while searching the net today. In the first case, a Cincinnati assistant principal — who got distracted from her daily routine when she stopped off to get doughnuts on the way to work (not kidding) — accidentally left her two-year-old daughter strapped in her car suit. In her SUV. On a day when temperatures hovered around 100 degrees. Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby thought she’d dropped her child off at day care, only to discover when she returned to her SUV eight hours later, that her daughter was dead.
But, then, I see this other story involving a Phoenix police officer, Tom Lovejoy. He had a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois named Bandit. During a 109-degree day, the officer left his dog in the car for an entire day while he ran errands, took a nap, and hung out with his wife. By day’s end, his dog was dead.
So: Which of these folks do you think was charged with a crime? If you said the police officer, you get a gold star. That’s right — Sgt. Lovejoy was charged with one count of animal cruelty, while charges were not brought against Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby because her “substantial lapse of due care” did not meet the definition of criminal recklessness.
There’s a lesson here, but — the title of this post notwithstanding — I’m not tacky enough to say what it is.
The Daily Memo - 9/6/07
This really is a great story but man, people, Booze Cruises are supposed to be about the love. The love! (Above the Law)
Bush knew that Saddam didn’t have WDMs? Inconceivable! (Salon)
Authorities are just catching on to the fact that hookers love the Craigslist. (Download Squad)
“Know Your Rights: What to do when the RIAA comes calling.” (Engadget)
Jude Law was arrested on charges that he attacked a photographer. (Zap 2It)
Awesome! A Chinese Communist Party official on trial for corruption and copyright violations read an in-court apology … which was someone else’s apology and had been published in a paper less than two weeks ago. (Reuters)
Peeping Tom Dennis Saunders would like his porn back from the cops, thank you very much. (The Smoking Gun)
Nothings says “thanks for getting me a conviction” to your lawyer like laying him out. (WBIR)
The Patent Reform Acts of 2007 – coming to a House near you, this September 17. (Patent Baristas)
An act of judicial discretion?
The Contra Costa Times runs an advice column, like many local papers. Last week, The Ethicist received an interesting inquiry regarding two lawyers:
I am a lawyer. During a first date with another lawyer, we had sex, and I wore a condom. Days later, when I came down with a bad fever and couldn’t determine the cause, she revealed that she had genital herpes. A judgeship will soon open up in her county, and she’s a near lock for it. But if I report her lapse of sexual ethics, I doubt that the selection committee will pick her. Should I?
The Ehticists’ response? Don’t do it, because she’s not applying to be a role model, and sexual misconduct has nothing to do with the ability to be a good judge. He goes on to explain:
Some private conduct does bespeak an inability to do a job. A would-be jurist who belonged to the Klan or even one who regularly used racist slurs would not inspire confidence in his or her ability to dispense equal justice to all. You should come forward with relevant information like that. But being unscrupulous in bed does not presage being inept on the bench, and so you should keep this demoralizing episode to yourself. And your doctor.
Now look — I’m not necessarily saying that the newly-herp’d lawyer should come forward, but this argument seems a bit thin to me. Sure, a judge who’s in the Klan would not inspire confidence, but only if it were known that she was in the Klan. You’re telling me that there might not be a similar (though not as strong) loss of confidence in a judge if you find out that she puts others’ health at risk by not disclosing her own VD? Makes no sense to me, Mr. Ethicist.
Common Sense Lesson #154
This is a corollary of several previous lessons, which have talked about the fact that it’s not a good idea to show up to court drunk when you’re facing charges of DUI or public intoxication. Well the apparently not-so-obvious corollary is this:
Don’t show up to court drunk, period.
Especially in the early morning hours. Seems that this is exactly what Brian Busch did. The 54-year-old man chugged back four beers and some mimosas, and then rolled over to the local courthouse. He plopped down in a chair outside the probation office around 8:20 in the morning, and was later arrested and charged for public intoxication after being found by some sheriff’s deputies.
And the best part? Busch he had no reason to even be at the courthouse in the first place! Well played, Mr. Busch, well played.
Florida’s Latest Brilliant Innovation: Preventing politicians from asking voters about their view on issues
Yes, you read that headline right. A new Florida law bans political campaigns from asking voters about any of the issues that, you know, come into play during an election.
For example, political committees that push or want to defeat ballot initiatives, such as changing Florida’s property tax structure, can’t survey voters to find out how they feel about the issue.
As the article is careful to point out, an advisory opinion from the State’s Division of Elections only says that political committees are banned, and that they’re only banned from using voters polls. However, the advisory opinion “refers to a statute that, if read the same way, also would stop political parties and, beginning in January, electioneering organizations from surveying voters on issues.”
Florida, where the Voice of the People goes to die.
“It’s the greatest settlement over a broken toilet in the history of broken toilet lawsuits!”
The Trump Taj Mahal has entered into a $1.2 million settlement with Jean Ciocci. The 74-year-old Philadelphia woman (Philly … represent!) had stayed at the Taj, in Atlantic City, back in 2004. While she was using the toilet in her room, it broke away from the wall, causing her injuries which left her with a disability in one of her arms. And her lawyers said this injury caused her to fall a second time, more recently, which caused further injuries.
The Casino said it was dubious that Ciocci could prove her case, at least as to the first injury being a proximate cause of the second injury. But it obviously wasn’t that dubious, as it was happy to toss the lady over half of what she wanted in order to avoid the courtroom.
Ciocci’s lawyer said: “We’re hoping she’ll be able to use some of this money to make improvements to her house so she’ll be able to get around.” Ciocci was unavailable for comment, as she was apparently already on a train back to AC (although she is rumored to have said “see, the money is making my life better — I can travel to AC by train instead of bus!”).
Orville Redenbacher Will Kill You
Already the subject of lawsuits brought by workers in factories who work with chemicals used for flavoring microwave popcorn, Popcorn Lung is now making its way into your homes. That’s right, doctors have now possibly discovered a man who has been exposed to so much butter-flavored microwave popcorn that he actually may die (not funny).
A pulmonary specialist at Denver’s National Jewish Medical and Research Center has written to federal regulators to say doctors there believe they have the first case of a consumer who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years … [The Doctor] said the man with diseased lungs consumed ‘several bags of extra butter flavored microwave popcorn’ every day for several years.
Apparently, popcorn lung is caused by diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical in butter flavoring. But, damn — how much microwave popcorn do you have to eat to die of it? That’s crazy and, I’m sure, the subject of the next wave of class-action litigation. Move over asbestos — make room for microwave popcorn.
The Daily Memo - 9/5/07
Philly, representing! “A 13-year-old boy, who police found handcuffed and chained to a bed, was arrested a day later on charges of vandalism and attempted auto theft.” (MyFoxPhilly)
Don’t drunk drive. But if you must, try not to slam your car into a police horse. (TBO)
Speaking of DUIs … Sleeping it off in your car? That’s also a DUI. (The Newspaper)
One of the lawsuits against Google over AdWords and alleged trademark infringement has been dropped by the plaintiff in connection with a settlement for no money. (LawInfo)
The New York Times has a long article by Jeffrey Rosen, profiling Jack Goldsmith, “the Harvard Law professor and a former key constitutional adviser for President Bush.” (WSJ Law Blog)
Intel’s found itself stuck in a trademark battle over its use of “DUAL CORE.” (Engadget)
Is it time to lower the drinking age? (ABC News)
Happy Birthday, Dannielynn!
Yesterday, a brand-spanking new book from Rita Cosby — a second-rate Nancy Grace so awful her show got canceled off of MSNBC, a cable network that’s desperate enough to have Tucker Carlson on its payroll — hit the shelves, called Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith’s Death. I think the reason her show might’ve suffered was because of Cosby’s obsessive preoccupation with the Anna Nicole story, as she clung to it long after everyone but the gossip bloggers moved on to more important stories, like the structural integrity of Lindsay Lohan’s vagina (or what the gossip bloggers like to call their Little VaJesus).
Anyway, in her book, Cosby claims that the father of Anna Nicole’s baby, Larry Birkhead, shared some videotaped intimacies with the loser of the Dannielynn sweepstakes, Nicole’s lawyer Howard K. Stern. Cosby says that the two had a sexual tryst, which was videotaped and viewed by Anna Nicole. She claims they were secret lovers.
Birkhead, obviously, denies the allegation, and — after having her pulled from the “Today” show yesterday — is now, along with Stern, bringing a defamation suit against Cosby. “This is going to be one of the most expensive lawsuit settlements in book-publishing history,” Birkhead said.
And whether or not the allegation is true, he’s probably right about the expense of the lawsuit. I mean, damn: Didn’t Cosby pay anyattention to her own coverage? She’s going to be in court for the next ten years, which of course gives Birkhead and Stern an excuse to meet in private to “discuss the details of the case” for the next decade.
In other news, completely unrelated to the timing of the book’s release, Dannielynn turns one on Friday.
…We’re supposed to believe that the guy genuinely thought he was being asked if he had multiple anuses and answered with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’
You know you need to find out what this is all about, so go read the story for yourself – it’s not as lewd or vulgar as it sounds, or as the imagery behind that license plate phrase might suggest (you clicking this link is simply easier than me cutting and pasting the whole thing — plus, I’m sure Legal Antics wouldn’t want us stealing its thunder. QuizLaw is kindly and considerate like that!).
You can take your produce and shove it
Ok, let’s say I run a company. Something happens which I feel reflects negatively on my company. But it’s a pretty small thing that’s not picked up by the media or the general public. What should I do? I could do nothing, of course, and more often than not, that’ll be the end of it — no damage control necessary, not lost nights of sleep, no money spent on meaningless litigation, etc. Or I can make a mountain out of that molehill, get some attention on it, make myself look worse in the process, and suddenly it is all about damage control, lost sleep, and stupid litigation. A&P, a northeaster US supermarket chain, decided the second option was clearly the way to go here.
In one of their New Jersey stores, the brothers Mark and Matthew D’Avella were fired after making a parody gangsta rap video about grocery store produce. And now A&P is suing the brothers to the tune of $1 million for defamation because the video is just so vile and offensive. The chain claims that the video led one customer to boycott the store and that this was enough to get the store all fired up. Meanwhile, the video never suggests that it’s filmed in, or that it’s about, an A&P store, and the only apparent connection is a fuzzy A&P logo on one of the brother’s hats. Matthew feels hurt, saying: “This is just crazy that we put so much dedication into the company and they just stab us in the back.”
And as TechDirt points out, in filing this lawsuit, A&P has “now made it that a lot more people will both see the video and associate it with A&P. Before this, it’s unlikely most people would have known that it was filmed in an A&P. But, now that they’re suing… everyone will know and a lot more people will see it.” Yuppers.
Here’s the video for Fresh Beets’ “Produce Paradise,” by the way, and good luck if you can even make it through the whole thing — after being initially amused, I quickly lost interest and stopped watching before the halfway point:
(Hat tip to Download Squad)
Welcome to the Law, One-Ls!
As last week closed, over on WSJ’s The Law Blog, Peter Lattman rounded up a lot of legal celebrities (ha!) to offer advice to incoming One-Ls, most of whom began their legal education last week, probably with an incredibly awkward orientation in which most of the students looked around them and decided, almost instantly, that everyone but him or her was completely undateable. Guess what? So are you. That’s what alcohol is for — give it a few days and a few shots of Jager, and you may end up sleeping with half your class. And do yourself a favor and avoid the mistake Seth and I made early on: The $1 Mad Dog 20/20 beers aren’t worth it. You’ll wake up with the worst hangover of your life. Alone, if you’re lucky.
At any rate, among the legal celebrities (ha!) offering their wisdom was Scott Turrow, who offered this nugget: “Remember that law school is not lawyer school — it’s about more and less.” Jeremy Blachman, the Anonymous Lawyer, advised new students not to buy used casebooks because they tend to have unpleasant things written in the margins. Jeffrey Toobin waxed poetic about torts (man, I bet he got laid a ton in law school), while some guy named Rob Leibman warns that “your life is about to change.” No shit.
Well, I won’t speak for Seth, but I’m guessing his advice isn’t too far removed from mine. But here is my own friendly little tip to all incoming 1Ls, two cents that you’re going to want to take to the bank (maybe write it down, even). And it is this: Get the fuck out. Now. What the hell are you waiting for? You’ve still got at least a week before your tuition won’t be fully reimbursed.
You remember all those douchebags at your orientation? Yeah — it’s not really going to be much better. They’re going to annoy the piss out of you for three goddamn years and, probably, the rest of your life. You remember the uber-Republican tool with the gameshow haircut who wears sweaters in August that came up and started an awkward conversation with you about which firm you’d be going to after you graduate? In first year criminal law, during the section on rape, he’s going to argue that “she was asking for it.” Some will back him up. You will want to murder him, but your newfound knowledge of criminal law will prevent it.
The next year will be the worst of your existence. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t plan on being in that relationship this time next year. Do you like reading fiction? Tough shit. I hope you’ve already read the last Potter book. You smoke? No? Well, you will in a few months. You like to drink? No? Well, you will by this time next week. In fact, the reason that the alcoholism rate is so high amongst lawyers is not because of the stress involved with the job. It’s because the only time your colleagues will be bearable to be around is when you’re completely shitfaced.
You know what you should do with the $120,000 most of you are going to spend on law school tuition over the next three years? Throw it in the ocean. You’ll be a lot happier for it.
And, since no one actually takes this advice, we do hope that — over the next three years — you’ll stop by QuizLaw to help take the pain away. Because there’s gonna be a lot of it.
But some prisoners actually like the crotch-sniffing
Limerick Prison, on the other side of the pond in Ireland, has been dealing with a drug problem, like most prisons. To fight this problem, officials have employed the services of Rocky, a two-year-old black-and-white spaniel who’s got a nose for drugs. They let him sniff around in the prison visiting area, where most drugs come into the facility and since he’s been on the scene, Rocky has averaged 10 drug busts a day. This has resulted in prison visits dropping by 30% since he started his job, and the prison’s drug flow has been substantially slowed.
Inmates are so pissed off over Rocky’s success that they allegedly took the obvious course of action and placed a hit on Rocky.
Our crack team of QuizLaw reporters have learned that Mike Vick is already seeking extradition to Ireland so he can serve time in Limerick Prison. “I like the cut of those inmates’ jib,” Vick is reported to have said.
The Daily Memo - 9/4/07
Blawg Review #124 is long as the dickens, but it’s got some good links (the best being links to the old QuizLaw, of course!). (George’s Employment Blawg)
NASA and Caltech are being sued by scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who claim that they are subject to intrusive and unnecessary security checks for no good reason (or for an undisclosed reason). (Bad Astronomy)
Wee Brian Bonsall, who played little brother Andy on “Family Ties,” ain’t so wee any more — he just pleaded guilty to a charge of third-degree assault, getting two years of probation. (CNN)
Seems that the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America might just be abusing the DMCA and its take-down provisions. (Boing Boing)
Does Congress have enough evidence for a Bush impeachment inquiry? (Slate)
A default patent judgment has led to a judgment against Bodog, a gambling website, for more than $46 million. (Patently-O)
Taking a photo up a woman’s skirt in public is fine, argues a man’s attorney, because gals have no expectation of privacy for their private bits when they’re in public areas. (Fox News)
An Arizona woman is accused of stabbing her estranged husband while they were having angry break-up sex. (KPHO)
A Nasty, Bad Naughty Boy
All right — this will be the last Larry Craig post, I promise. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t present the now-stale news that Senator Craig is no longer a Senator, having resigned over the weekend after the Republicans pushed him out. Questions have been raised over why the Republican forced Craig out, but not Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who all but admitted he’d been involved with a D.C. prostitute. Is it because, in Idaho, Craig will be replaced by a Republican, while in Louisiana Vitter would likely be replaced by a Democrat? Or is it because Vitter paid to have sex with a woman, while Craig propositioned a man? I’m guessing it’s for both reasons.
And, there was a part of me that felt inclined to feel a little sorry for Craig, even though it is his type who forces gay Senators to stay in the closet and, subsequently, find themselves in airport bathrooms doing the blowjob toe-tap. But, then I saw this clip (on Bill Maher’s show), and the tiniest inkling of sympathy I had for the man dried up like day-old semen on a pair of finely pressed trousers. I mean, damn: Creepy.
(You have to love Chris Matthews’ look at the end! — SF)
I should also suggest to the many of you that, if you’re going to whip out your willy and ask someone in a public restroom to do the whistling, you’d best hurry. According to Michael Bresciani, restroom gays are bringing about the apocalypse:
Public bathrooms across the nation are now one of the favorites of the gay sleaze spots. Why all the attention on a single U.S. Senator and so little for the gay trend? That’s easy to answer as we approach an election year. We are also approaching a year of judgment but few will be aware of that.
To wit; “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Mt 24: 37-39.
Stand up for yourself and get arrested anyway!
Out in the Cleveland area, Michael Righi has a little story to tell. On Saturday, he took a visit to a nearby Circuit City to get his sister a gift. On the way out, one of the door bouncers asked for his receipt, to which he said, “no thank you,” and kept walking. This door bouncer and his manager followed Righi out to the parking lot and there was a brief discussion. Righi basically stood his ground and said “show me the law that says you can look in my bag when I’ve left your store.” (My understanding, thanks to a researcher over at Slashdot, is that Ohio law only gives stores an actual right to do a search when there’s probable cause that a theft has taken place.) But rather than getting into such a discussion, the door bouncer and the manager responded by blocking Righi’s father’s car from leaving (Righi was in the backseat — this fact will become relevant shortly).
So Righi hit 911 and called the cops over. After giving Righi a little grief for not showing his receipt, one of the cops asked for Righi’s driver’s license. Righi declined to hand it over to the cops because he wasn’t operating a vehicle. And that’s really the only time the law requires you to give over your license, since it’s a permit for driving the car. But the cops don’t care about these things, so they handcuffed and arrested Righi.
Of course, Righi was right in stating that he didn’t have to turn over his license in this type of situation, so when a charge was eventually filed, he wasn’t hit with a charge of failing to turn over his license — instead, the cops gave him “obstructing official business.” As Righi puts it:
Keep in mind that the official business that I was supposedly obstructing was business that I initiated by calling the police. I called for help and I got arrested.
Welcome to America, Mr. Righi.
(Righi’s write-up of the tale makes for an interesting read, and he’s been updating it as new readers find him via Digg and Slashdot and Boing Boing.)
How you doin’?
Matt LeBlanc, best know for starring in the movie Ed alongside a monkey (at least, he should be better known for this, rather than “Friends” or … *shudder* … “Joey”), is being sued by his former manager for at least one million smackeroos. Camille Cerio says she was LeBlanc’s manager back in 1994, and she claims to have a letter where LeBlanc agrees to give her 15% of anything he earns for “pilot and series derived from ‘Frinds Like Us’ and subsequent jobs derived henceforth.” Cerio says this means she’s entitled to a hunka-chunka of LeBlanc’s earnings from both “Friends” and “Joey.” And while she did get paid for a while, Cerio says the money stopped rolling in in 2000.
“Breach of contract,” she cries!
“Unfair business practice” she cries!
“How much more do I have to suffer - I was on ‘Joey’ for crying out lout,” LeBlanc cries!
Game, set and match to LeBlanc.
The Daily Memo - 9/3/07
Happy Labor Day all! Smell ya’ tomorrow….
Bob Marley’s family is planning to sue Universal Music Group and Verizon Wireless over the companies’ use of Marley’s name and likeness. (Yahoo! Music)
The “Shakespearean tragedy” of a lawyer who mistakenly stabbed his neighbor, thinking the guy molested his 2-year-old daughter, has come to an end — the lawyer was given a 12-year sentence for first-degree manslaughter. (CNN)
The DOJ says it’s looking into whether Alberto Gonzales lied or misled Congress during his testimony about the domestic spy program. Uhm, shouldn’t watching the video footage pretty much take care of this investigation? (Law.com)
The Justice Department: “Demoralized. Discredited. Dysfunctional.” (Law.com)
Want a detailed analysis of Leona Helmsley’s will? Of course you do. (WT&E Prof Blog)
Another shoplifter is ordered by a judge to brandish a sign advertising that she “stole from a local store.” (Local6)
A woman has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child because she allegedly took a 12-year-old boy to two whore houses, and paid for him to get some loving. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)