Monthly Archives: October 2007
Happy Halloween, Denny!
I turned on the Democratic Debates last night and managed to watch nearly twenty whole minutes before the glint from a penny on my office floor distracted me. Man — these debates are punishing, especially now that everyone is taking swipes at Hillary. I got no problem with the idea, but come on, fellas: Use a swear word or show a little goddamn charisma. I don’t care — just say something really substantive, instead of delivering the bits of your stump speech that coincide with the question.
However, there was one interesting moment last night: We told you last week that Denny Kucinich, who ironically is currently questioning Bush’s mental health, apparently saw a UFO while he was hanging out with Shirley MacClaine. During the debate last night, Tim Russert actually asked Denny about it (though, he had the audacity to preface it with, “This is a serious question”) and Kucinich’s answer, as well as Obama’s follow-up, were the highlights of last night’s debate. Check out the video:
And I also ran across this video of Bill Clinton, standing up to one of those 9/11 Truthers during a speech last week. God, it just makes you miss Bill all the more when you contrast him with the options on the stage last night, huh?
Here comes the bride … into the courthouse
Dean Kuehnen Jr. was all set to marry Andria Castellano. Last December, the two then-21-year-olds got engaged, and Kuehnen gave Castellano a hefty 3.23-carat engagement ring worth a whopping $48,000. But this past September, the wedding was called off (the news story, unfortunately, fails to give us the reason for the called-off nuptials).
You can surely see where this is going - Kuehnen is now suing Castellano to either get the ring back or to get a nice $48,000 check (along with his legal fees and costs). Castellano has refused to return the ring, and even threatened to destroy it.
Kuehnen says the two had an agreement that she would return the ring in the event that the wedding was called off. The Emily Post Institute, which provides etiquette and manners advice, also says that a bride should immediately return an engagement ring in this situation, unless the ring is an heirloom of the bride’s family. Since that doesn’t appear to be the case here, it would seem that Castellano is failing to show proper etiquette and manners. Whore.
The Daily Memo - 10/31/07
Any column about the Supremes that begins with a “Real World” reference is aces-up in my book. (Slate)
As a former scientist-in-training, I’d love to see a science-only Presidential debate, though there’s no way we’ll ever get one. (Slashdot)
The FCC has decided to put the kibosh on exclusive deals between landlords and cable companies. (Gizmodo)
Click your heels three times and say “there’s no place like Blawg Review #132.” (Home Office Lawyer)
While the practice of law continues to get more diverse, black lawyers are still rather rare at the Supreme Court. (Law.com)
Awwww, bummer … the Supremes aren’t going to hear a case involving Elizabeth Taylor, a van Gogh painting and Nazis. (CNN)
A QuizLaw Update on the Latest Gay Republican
Yesterday, we told you about Richard Curtis, a Republican state legislator in the great state of Washington, who denied allegations that he was gay and had solicited sex during a legislative retreat. We asked Mr. Curtis, kindly, to come on out and loudly proclaim his homosexuality.
Well, he obliged (he must be a QL reader).
State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, admitted to having sex with a man he met at an adult video store in Spokane last week, according to a police report released Tuesday afternoon.
The report is filled with graphic details of an encounter that began at a porn store on a Spokane Valley strip and concluded miles away in Curtis’ room at the city’s poshest hotel.
The police report contains an account of how Curtis allegedly donned women’s clothing, red stockings and a black sequined lingerie top before engaging in a sex act at the store. He continued to wear them throughout the night under his clothing.
Black sequined lingerie? Oh, come on, Curtis. You’re a retired firefighter (and a married father of two). Why you gotta go there? And why is it, when Republicans are finally outed, they all have to be goddamn perverts of some sort. Can’t we just find a nice gay Republican in a normal, loving relationship?
If you are going to do something, then do it right
This Hackensack, NJ man was charged with having nearly a terabyte (as in 1,000 GB) of child porn in a secret room at his home. One possible reason for the secret room (besides, you know, the child porn being illegal) was that Hurley was surprisingly (and yet, not so much) married with two children.
Tangled wires connected a heap of hard drives to a 72-inch television, where Graham D. Hurley was able to watch the videos “in a huge way,” said Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa.
A fingerprint identifying system installed at the door of a second floor room was the only way anyone could get in and out, the chief said.
Police also found hidden cameras – tucked in air fresheners, humidifiers and a radio – that they said the unemployed Hurley used to spy on young girls who used the toilet or took showers, Zisa said.
Police originally went to his home due to a tip that he was molesting a minor (really? no!), and discovered the room during the arrest.
This guy doesn’t pussyfoot around when it comes to kiddie porn. I guess if you are going to have that much porn, regardless of the legality of its subjects, then you might as well go all out with it. No one is going to argue with you about how much porn is a reasonable amount at that point.
But this does raise some questions:
1) Does this count as a Guinness world record? If so, who has the horrible job of verifying it?
2) Who would ever want to touch that fingerprint scanner now?
3) Is there any way to sponsor building a special place in hell for this guy, if there isn’t one already?
4) When the hell did he find the time to watch all that, let alone find it?
5) Wouldn’t this be the worst adaptation to The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe ever?
Child Pornography is Bad, but …
The Bush Administration is urging the Supreme Court to uphold a provision in a law that makes it a crime to talk about illegal images, possess innocent materials that someone else might believe is pornography, or produce movies that depict adolescent sex. The offense is punishable by up to five years.
Great, right? Child porn should be outlawed, and those who peddle in child pornography should be prosecuted. But, if you read the above paragraph a little more closely, you’ll realize that this law doesn’t actually prosecute child pornographers. It prosecutes people who produce images or movies that aren’t technically child porn, but materials that people might think are child porn. In more obvious terms, the provision of the Protect Act would apply to smut dealers who film skin flicks featuring of age participants who are advertised as underage (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just check your email spam folder).
Now, granted, I think child-porn dealers of all stripe should be taken out behind the woodshed and beat with a bag of switches within an inch of heir life, but this law not only infringes the First Amendment on its face, but think of the slippery slope: If someone thinks photos of your grandchildren in their swimming trunks is pornographic, then you could be held criminally liable. What’s more: Movies like Lolita and American Beauty depict adolescents having sex, but there aren’t any adolescents actually having sex — you’re just made to believe they are by the power of film! Sure, the Bush Administration claims that this provision wouldn’t apply to movies like that, but then again, it allows a court to make the distinction between what’s appropriate and what is not when the subject material is imaginary child pornography. All we have to go on, in fact, is the U.S. Solicitor’s statement that “the law is not meant to cover movies like ‘Lolita,’ ‘Traffic,’ ‘American Beauty’ or ‘Titanic.’” Is it because those were good movies? If Lolita was directed by, say, Ron Jeremy, would it be covered then? What about Bret Ratner? Where, exactly, is the distinction? And what if some sick bastard found the above photograph titillating? Does that then make it pornographic? Will the parent who took the photo be prosecuted? What if the parent sent the same photo with the caption, “Good pics with kids canoodling?” Will the parent be prosecuted for suggesting a perfectly innocent photo is lascivious?
This provision is kind of stupid.
Anyway, the 11th Circuit appropriately struck down the law. I just hope, for the sake of the First Amendment, that the Supreme Court follows suit.
Another Day, Another Gay Republican
Now, here’s my problem with the rash of Republicans unwillingly outed by their own actions — somehow, this plays into the hands of the G.O.P. platform. Every time someone discovers a Republican is gay, the mocking headlines pour forth, and said gay Republican is treated like a letch, thus stigmatizing homosexuality and setting the gay rights movement back another five years. So, c’mon Republicans: The next time one of you is outed, own it, herald it, proclaim it proudly. This denial business hurts both you and the cause, so cut it out, all right?
And yeah, I’m talking to you Richard Curtis. Curtis, a Republican state representative in Washington who was in Spokane last week for a legislative retreat, is being accused of having consensual sex with another man at the Red Lion Hotel (oooh — fancy!). Now, Curtis is purportedly being blackmailed by his alleged sexual partner, who has vowed to reveal the liaison unless Curtis meets his demands.
Well, so much for the extortion attempt — police are now investigating whether or not a sexual encounter took place. Curtis is on record stating that he is not gay and did not solicit sex. No, he says: He just got into a mess trying to help someone out. And if by “help someone out,” he meant, “give the man a reach around,” I’m sure he helped out quite a bit.
Now, Mr. Curtis — when and if you are officially outed, please (please) don’t deny your love of men, don’t say it was a mistake, and please don’t go to gay rehab. Just sing it out loud, man: “I’m Gay and I’m Proud.” The sooner all you Republicans do that, the sooner it’s going to be OK for the rest of the gay Republicans to come out without fear of reproach. Capisce?
This is just sick, folks. Sick. Sick. Sick.
A 24-year-old lab technician was apparently so hard up for a little loving that he had sex with a 92-year-old woman.
And not just any 92-year-old woman. A dead 92-year-old woman.
Anthony Merino has been charged with desecrating human remains … and that’s gotta be the most euphemistic way possible to refer to a man bumping uglies with a woman old enough to be his grandmother’s grandmother … his grandmother’s dead grandma.
The Daily Memo - 10/30/07
The DOJ has sued a Florida court clerk for allegedly demoting an employee after she was called up to serve in the reserves. (TBO)
A Florida man was issued a trespass warning from a strip club after trying to get a dancer to give him oral pleasures in the champagne room (he was also arrested for solicitation). (NWF Daily News)
An Oakland 19-year-old is suing the city police after being accidentally run over by a cop car. (NorthJersey.com)
After a church was banned from having its bakesale at the local courthouse because of that pesky separation of church and state business, the county has decided to create a bake sale-specific policy. (Newsradio 620)
Jesus Christ - a Pennsylvania man’s excuse for beating up his girlfriend’s 2-year-old kid is that he’s not a morning person. (Centre Daily)
The New York state legislature wants to make it a felony “to display the symbol of lynchings in the Old South in a threatening manner.” (Yahoo! News)
A hick Maryland town is considering a zoning amendment that would act to block the building of a mosque. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Some Standford law students are grading prospective employers with “diversity report cards.” (NY Times)
Another case from Florida. Another crazy parent inflicting pain upon their child out of desperation and, maybe, even love. But don’t dismiss her yet:
A 39-year-old woman forcefully had her 13-year-old daughter’s genitalia pierced to make it uncomfortable for her to have sex, the girl told jurors in her mother’s child abuse trial.
The girl, now 16, told jurors Wednesday that her mother asked a tattoo artist friend in 2004 to shave the girl’s head to make her unattractive to boys and later held her down for the piercing.
It seems the mother found out that her daughter was sexually active and was even having sex with the mother’s boyfriend. Tired of dealing with her rebelliousness and in an effort to curtail the behavior, she had her daughter get the piercing. Originally, the daughter consented to the piercing in order to rebuild her mother’s broken trust. Child welfare officials got involved after the piercing got infected.
The mother’s defense attorney also added:
“It wasn’t torture or extreme violence,” [Defense attorney Donald] Day said. “It was, in the young girl’s words, to try to save her. … That decision was a last-ditch effort. In my client’s mind, she had no other options.”
Frankly, if the girl was so out of control that this was the only option left, her mother should have just cut her loose. Children who feel they are grown enough to act in such a manner to warrant such an extreme reaction apparently think they have life figured out, and need to learn that they don’t. I do not agree with the mother’s actions, but I understand the reasons behind them. It may sound cruel, but if the only thing she has to worry about is an infected piercing instead of an STD or a child she can’t take care of, she should count her blessings.
The mother is charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse, and is looking at up to 30 years if convicted. The tattoo artist was given a year for her role, and an arrest warrant has been issued for the asshole boyfriend who thought it fun to nail a 13-year-old.
UPDATE: It seems the mother was acquitted. Not only that, but it seems that the defense offered a plea deal for a reduced sentence, but the judge would not accept it, believing the mother needed harsher punishment.
If this guy really wants to see stupid, he should start prosecuting crimes in Florida
In Athens, Ohio, Martha LaFollete has been charged with felony vandalism after allegedly “digging up her ex-boyfriend’s grave and stealing his ashes.” Seems that LaFollete was not invited to Roger Barber’s funeral and the cops speculate that this pissed her off enough that she decided to steal his ashes. So in June, she went to his grave and dug the man’s remains up. The theft was discovered two weeks late, and the cops eventually found Barber’s ashes at the house of one of LaFollete’s relatives.
LaFollete is scheduled to go on trial in January after recently pleading not guilty, and she faces up to a year in the clink plus a $2,500 fine.
The county prosecutor said: “I have a category of crimes that I like to refer to as ‘aggravated stupid.’ I have been doing this for almost 30 years now and I have never had anyone steal someone’s ashes.”
I Don’t Care What the Bible Says; Jesus Hates You
Jesus R. Medina is facing charges of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child, deputies say … It appears that [Jesus] on Saturday night was arguing with the woman outside his home. He revved the engine of his vehicle, put it in gear and dragged the woman down the driveway. [Jesus] using a machete then allegedly threatened a man trying to help, deputies say. A chase ensued. [Jesus] reportedly dropped the machete and punched the other man and a child the victim was holding both in the face.
Jesus doesn’t mess around with sinners no more — you sin, that’s a punch in the face. You break a commandment, you get dragged down a driveway. You take his Dad’s name in vain? He bends you over his knee and snaps your spine in too. Jesus 2.0 is a bad ass.
I Bet The NY Times Wedding Section Misses This One
A group of Florida corrections officers allowed two female inmates to wed earlier this year in an elaborate same-sex ceremony presided over by a fellow convict, according to a newly released investigative report. The St. Patrick’s Day ceremony at the Lowell Correctional Facility resulted in the suspension of six corrections officers, the firing of one guard, and the resignation of another, according to a Department of Corrections inspector general’s report, a copy of which you’ll find below. The same-sex ceremony occurred in the prison’s “Close Management Unit” and featured a wedding cake, pink bows fashioned from prison forms, and one bride wearing a makeshift bridal veil, investigators reported. The cake was topped with figures of two women. A review of prison surveillance tape revealed that the 6:15 PM wedding began with one bride exiting a cell with a flower bouquet in her arms. The bride was accompanied down the stairs by another inmate, who apparently was giving her away. They “proceeded down the stairs to the center of the quad” where they were met by the other bride. After a ten-minute ceremony, the newlyweds—who were not allowed to kiss—cut the wedding cake, while other inmates began dancing. IG interviews of inmates and guards determined that the cake was made from canteen items donated by fellow inmates and that rings exchanged were fashioned from dreadlock hair and dental floss.
Rings fashioned from dreadlock hair and dental floss? Well, I hope it costs the bride at least three-months worth of cigarettes. I understand, too, that the two women are going to spend their honeymoon in solitary confinement. Very romantic.
Shove Those Freedom Fries Up Your Ass, Lady
You know what? Good for Nicolas Sarkozy. During a “60 Minutes” interview taped several weeks ago, Leslie Stahl was introduced to the French way of doing things, i.e., if you ask about a politician’s personal life, be prepared to see your interview terminated. That’s exactly what Sarkozy did (video below) after Stahl asked him about his marriage.
In the interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” broadcast on Sunday, the French president sparred with the U.S. correspondent, called his press secretary an imbecile, said he was too busy to make time for a “stupid” interview and ended the whole conversation abruptly when asked about the state of his marriage to Cecilia.
The Sarkozys’ divorce was announced about two weeks later.
“If I had something to say about Cecilia, I would not do so here,” he said before cutting off further questions.
Maybe it’s silly, but I actually find it refreshing to see a politician declare that he’s too busy for a television interview, and I especially find it admirable that the guy basically told Stahl to stick it when asked about his personal life. Then again, Guiliani doesn’t answer questions about his family or previous marriages either, but I find nothing either refreshing or admirable about him. Maybe it’s just Sarkozy’s dark eyes, dapper suits, and that sexy French accent. Oooooh la la.
The Daily Memo - 10/29/07
The Senate more than doubled the House, passing a seven-year extension on the ban against an internet tax (the House extension only runs for three years). (Gizmodo)
So wait - judges making tasteless gay football jokes is a bad thing now? (Above the Law)
Ouch - a Mississippi plumber sued the millionaire who stole his wife away from him, and the plumber got over $750K in damages. (AP)
Hee-hee … “penal code.” (Legal Antics)
What of lawyers and threesomes with their clients? (Supreme Dicta)
“A candidate’s perspective on the [AALS hiring conference] meat market.” (Concurring Opinions)
The Ice Cream Man Cometh
In Portsmouth, Virginia, Claudio Jose Sanchez fought the good fight. Sanchez is an ice cream truck driver, and how can you not love the ice cream man? Well it seems that the Portsmouth City Council are a bunch of curmudgeons who inexplicably don’t like the ice cream man, because they passed a city ordinance banning Sanchez and other ice cream truck drivers from playing music out of their trucks to
lure bring in the kiddies. Sanchez was convicted of violating the ordinance on three seperate occasions over the summer, and decided to appeal the most recent conviction.
Well Portsmouth city attorneys have now agreed to ask the City Council to revise the ordinance, removing the flat-out ban and maybe setting up a decibel limit instead. They’re also asking the Portsmouth police to stop enforcing the current ordinance. As Sanchez’s attorney put it: “The city of Portsmouth can welcome back the ice-cream man and the music of ‘The Entertainer.’”
David Lat: The Biggest Loser
The results of Sui Generis’ “Best New York Based Law Blawger” are in, and I’m told that I was the “clear winner.” That’s right, folks. Landslide. Did you hear that, David Lat? What do you say to that, bitch? How do you feel about it, huh? I wiped the floor with your shirt, hotshot. Kicked. Your. Ass. Yeah, that’s right — when it comes right down to it, people prefer my half-assed ramblings on the nature of the criminal legal system to all that hooey about biglaw salaries and hottie contests. How does it feel, captain? You and your big-time blockbuster blawg getting hosed by the likes of little ole’ me. Sure, you have a Wikipedia entry, but I’m the most popular NY-based blawger in town. A lot of good that Yale law degree did you, huh buddy? The people have spoken, and the people say: You suck. Pack up your knives and leave, loser. There’s a new blawgstar in town, and his name is me. Suck it, Lat. Long and hard and …
What? Lat isn’t a NY-based blogger. He wasn’t even in the running? Seriously? Ah, hell. Damn you, David Lat. Damn you and your sparkly eyes, nice suits, and indeterminate sexual orientation.
Seriously, though: Thanks for the votes, folks. And thanks to the good people over on our sister site for contributing to the cause. You’ll now have to suffer my massive ego. And thanks to Nicole for hosting the contest. I’m giddy about selecting my single item from Billable Hour (luxury watch line and sets excluded).
And next time, Lat. You just wait. Next time.
Larry Craig — Bad Lay
For those of you who haven’t run across it yet, Wonkette has the exclusive on the lurid account of a man who says he toe-tapped with Senator Larry Craig in a hotel room. Here’s a taste.
“When we got to what reminded me of a rarely used guest room, he stripped me down, and the man’s hands and mouth were all over me. He kept his pants on, though, while laying me back on the bed to suck my cock. Then, he stripped naked and asked me to suck him. I complied for a while, then he disappeared and returned with lube and a condom to fuck me with. It was a clumsy and unremarkable fuck, except that I wasn’t clean and he was frantic about not getting my shit on anything. Still, he blew his load, ripped the dirty condom off and ordered me to get dressed without wiping myself. He hurried me to the back door, again ranting, ‘You were never here. You don’t know me. Right?’”
The rest is over at Wonkette. It’s kind of … unseemly. Meanwhile, another revelation has come forth in this increasingly lurid case: Larry Craig, before the Minneapolis airport arrest, was threatening a suit against an Idaho newspaper for investigation rumors that he was gay.
The Daily Memo - 10/26/07
Awesome - a telephone survey found Stephen Colbert polling at 13% as a hypothetical independent candidate against Hillary and Rudy. (Ramussen Reports)
Sam Adams versus Sam Adams … fight! (WSJ Law Blog)
Congrassman Boucher (D-VA) isn’t too happy about Comcast’s bittorrent blocking shenanigans. (Slashdot)
The State bar of California and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights are stuck in a pretty messy spat over affirmative action. (Fox Noise)
A Baltimore judge has barred the use of partial finger prints in a murder trial because the fact that they’ve been used for almost 100 years just doesn’t establish that they’re absolutely 100% reliable. (Baltimore Sun)
SanDisk has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 25 companies, over USB drives. (Gizmodo)
I need to move to Australia
I don’t know what the hell I’m doing wasting my time in the so-called “bars” the US has to offer, when I could be hanging out in real bars down under:
A barmaid has been fined for crushing beer cans between her bare breasts while an off-duty colleague has been fined for hanging spoons from her friend’s nipples, Western Australia police said today.
Awesome, right? And the cops had the nerve to fine the breasty barmaid a grand, and hit the nipple-spoony gal for $500, just for offering the patrons some solid and wholesome entertainment? Preposterous. A local police superintendent says that this “sends a clear message to all licensees … that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour in our licensed premises.”
Ah, small town life
In Lexington, Kentucky, all the talk seems to be over a master crime recently committed against popular downtown restaurant Alfalfa. On Sunday night, someone got into the restaurant and made off with the 100 pound safe kept in the back office. There was no appearance of forced entry, and this took place even though there’s a police station right across the street and a courthouse across from the back-alley entrance where the thieves likely made their getaway.
The highlight of this story is really the video report on WKYT’s website. First, I applaud their use of Henry Mancini’s fantabulous Pink Panther theme in the background. But more entertaining is the fact that folks are so impressed and baffled by this robbery. You’d think they were talking about the theft of the actual Pink Panther diamond from a high security vault for Christ’s sake.
An unnamed goth guy in Tulsa, Oklahoma decided to make a fashion statement by wearing handcuffs attached to one wrist, allowing the other end to dangle. Ok, whatever — I don’t get the whole goth thing, but I’ve certainly seen much weirder than that. But this goth guy also happens to be an idiot because it’s probably not the best idea to walk past a courthouse with dangling handcuffs. Because, you know, it might look like you’ve just escaped or something.
Someone saw the trendy goth guy and, noticing the dangling cuffs, called the cops. The cops stopped the man but released him after determining that there were no outstanding warrants.
Next week, word has it that goth guy is planning to wear a ski mask into a bank. “It’s just easier to put the black mask on, you know, instead of putting on the black eyeliner and lipstick, you know?”
Stalkers Really Have Lowered their Standards
NPR-handbag toting fans of Garrison Keillor — who is about as aesthetically pleasing as a giant sack of potatoes thrown against the wall — may be surprised to know that he nevertheless has his own stalker (what — do they hand them out at the airport these days?). Indeed, Keillor, who hosts the droning, insufferable “Prairie Home Companion” radio show (I’m a “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” guy, myself) had to secure a restraining order against a 43-year-old woman because she wouldn’t stop phoning his house, sending explicit emails and disturbing gifts, like a petrified alligator foot and dead beetles (homewarming presents?)
Keillor claims that the letters and emails he received were often “disturbing, unintelligible and rambling,” (much like his radio show) and in one, his stalker — Andrea R. Campbell — “graphically described making love to me,” which is only slightly less disgusting than the petrified alligator foot (sorry, folks — for reasons I, myself, don’t understand, I have an unhealthy loathing for Garrison Keillor, who now reads insufferable poetry every weekday morning on NPR).
Campbell said Keillor had misunderstood the letters, e-mails, packages and phone calls. She said she was never closer to his house than the sidewalk.
“I believe that he’s paranoid, or some woman, his wife, is upset and told him he has to do something about it,” she said.
While Campbell said she loved Keillor, she also said it wasn’t physical. She said she is a happily married woman with five children.
“It’s transcendental love, that’s all” she said. “Between a writer and a reader.”
Man, it is a sad world we live in when even Garrison Keillor can get a stalker — I’d love to see the man crush his larynx with a Powdermilk Biscuit. Hell, I’d probably contribute a lot more to NPR fund drives myself if it weren’t for the fear that Keillor would receive a portion of my proceeds.
I’m not Racist — I Just Think Whites Are Smarter, That’s All
The WaPo is carrying an interview with Presidential candidate Joe Biden today and claiming that he made some sort of gaffe during the sit down.
After a lengthy critique of Bush administration education policies, Biden attempted to explain why some schools perform better than others — in Iowa, for instance, compared with the District. “There’s less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you’re dealing with,” Biden said.
I know what most of you are thinking, but don’t go there. That’s not what he meant at all. He wasn’t implying that D.C. schools perform poorer than Iowa schools because there are more blacks in D.C. schools than in Iowa. That’s not what he meant at all. Jesus — cut the guy a break. Give the Senator a little credit and stop twisting his words around.
Clearly, what he meant was: Iowa schools perform better because there are more whites in Iowa. Sheesh. You people: Always assuming the worst. Tsk. Tsk.
The Daily Memo - 10/25/07
Stephen Colbert doesn’t care about silly election laws because our administration has taught us that true patriots don’t care about the law! (Slate)
This is understandable - I was often tempted to shoot up some of my law school books. (WSJ Law Blog)
Verizon is starting to make amends for cutting off folks who used too much of its “unlimited” data plans, but I suspect we haven’t heard the last of this silly mess just yet. (Engadget)
The California legislature has closed up an unintended loophole (at least, the court had ruled there was a loophole) in an earlier publicity rights law, meaning that Marilyn Monroe’s estate can now stop unauthorized use of her likeness. (WSJ Law Blog)
Well it was surely more interesting than what they were actually saying. (Legal Antics)
The real world lawsuit over the virtual Second Life world has settled, and the guy who sued is getting his account reactivated so that he can, once again, kiss reality goodbye. (Impact)
The IRS lucked out, as the final bill for last year’s phone tax refund is looking to be only about half of the expected $8 billion payout. (CNN)
This is a great story about a woman who hid her lotto jackpot from her eventual ex-husband, and the bouncer who got his mitts into the middle of it all. (Miami Herald)
Dear Valued Customer: You are a dumbass
Imagine you are a petty crook and you want to make some fake IDs. You want them in a hurry, but you don’t want them to be crappy, do you? So, what would be a good way to solve both problems? If you said “steal a printer designed to print driver’s licenses,” then you are of one mind with Timothy Short. He stole one from a Missouri state office, and even remembered to take the PC that was attached.
But now a new problem cropped up. The PC was locked by a special key kept in a separate secure location. This lock rendered the computer unusable to anyone. Now Timothy was stuck with a useless computer and a printer that would not work without the proper drivers. So how did he fix his dilemma?
Why, he did what any other person having trouble with his computer would do. He called tech support.
Surely, this would have normally been a good idea. But what Tim did not know was that the Secret Service was listening in on the customer service calls:
According to a sworn statement by Secret Service Special Agent John Bush, someone who identified himself as “Scott” called Digimarc two days later and asked if he could buy printer drivers for the model of printer that had been swiped from the St. Charles office.
The Secret Service agent later listened to a recording of this call and recognized Short’s voice from a prior investigation, Bush said. The caller also gave Digimarc the same phone number Short had used in an unrelated identity theft case, Bush said.
Agent Bush happily ‘assisted’ good old Tim right into a jail cell (the charge is “possession of document-making implements”), and now he is facing 10 years in prison and a whopping $250,000 fine. Next time, buddy, you might want to check the website first. Or not steal government printers. Whatever.
You gotta know when to hold ‘em…
Ah, gambling, how many ways do I love thee? (The over/under on that is 17, by the way.)
The WSJ Law Blog has a great post about the fight to legalize online poker, a fight being led by Charles Nesson and Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz is involved in the defense of an offshore-betting website executive, while Nesson is working with some Harvard Law students to create the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society. Huh — I guess something good can come out of Harvard Law (in fact, Harvard even has a law class on gaming law — where was that course when I was in law school, damn it!).
Nesson says that he thinks it’s nuts that Congress banned online poker and gambling: “The idea of internet freedom is a core notion of modern political freedom.” Damn straight — fists in the air for online poker! Nesson goes on to talk about the great benefits poker can offer to law students who are supposedly being trained to think deeply, and he gives the following advice to law students: “If they want to do something useful in their outside time, they should play poker.”
See, if I had professors like this when I was in law school, maybe I’d be a bit better at the game, and I wouldn’t have dropped so much money on the Vegas poker table last August. Damn you BU School of Law!
Little green men need not apply
Orange County, California is already a weird place. But Linn Murphy and Steve Zingali try to make it a little weirder by flying their custom-made UFOs over the night sky. They love flying them because of “the ‘gotcha’ element of fooling people.”
And actually, homemade flying saucers isn’t really that out of the ordinary for the OC. But I love this story because on one occasion, an Irvine cop tried to cite Zingali for one of his flights. Says Zingali:
“I said, ‘Sir, unless you’re with the FAA, my lights are not causing a disturbance. And unless you can show me a code we’re breaking, I think we’re going to continue to fly.”
As Lt. Rich Paddock, the Aliso Viejo police chief, helpfully explains: “[T]hey’re not doing anything illegal. There’s no ordinance that says it’s illegal to fly a super-double-secret, gyroscoptic UFO in county airspace.”
If that ain’t the quote of the week, I don’t know what is.
Gay? That Ain’t OK
I live about three blocks away from the main Cornell University campus here in central NY. It’s a bastion of hippy-dippy liberalness around here and, since I rarely trek outside of the three-mile radius beyond campus except to go to Boston or NYC, I tend to forget that the rest of the largely rural area surrounding Ithaca is a cultural cousin to Pennsyltucky — Yankee versions of Southern rednecks.
Well this week I was reminded of it when I picked up the local paper and read about a controversy taking shape in the small, adjacent town of Spencer, NY, where a petition signed by the local high-school alumni had to be brought to the school board asking that the school be safe for gay students. Seriously. In 2007. In the Northeast.
It started about a month ago, when Heathyre Farnham (note the spelling — she must be an Ithacan transplant) wore a T-shirt to school that said: “Gay? Fine By Me,” a t-shirt that got her sent home because the principal felt it was disruptive. After the school attorney noted that the principal made a mistake, a lot of locals and even the ACLU asked that the principal apologize.
Naturally, the principal has yet to apologize, but it wasn’t until this week that Heathyre was allowed to wear the T-Shirt again, by which time her and her mother had raised enough money to buy 130 of them to hand them out at school. And, of course, members of the football team snagged a few and added “Gay? Fine By Me … But Keep It Outta School.”
Lovely. At any rate, a few locals are trying to ban T-Shirts all together, for fear of the violence they might provoke (a fear based, in part, on the racial tensions here at Ithaca High school, where a rumored “hit list” has been taken out on some minority students).
And then a local pastor in Spencer just sort of summed it up for me, saying that “he thinks homosexuality is immoral according to the Bible. ‘I don’t hate homosexuals any more than I hate murderers and adulterers.’” Great — homosexuals and murderers are on the same level, huh?
Weird — I grew up a few miles from Little Rock Central, where 50 years ago, the National Guard had to be called in so that a black students could enter the school. And now, five decades later, the intolerance in the freaking state of New York is not much better. It’s all very embarrassing.
Back Away from the Roses, Denny
Denny Kucinich — who’s so crazy he actually makes sense sometimes — may be guided by higher powers. And no, I’m not talking about Jesus.
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has claimed to have seen a UFO, according to Shirley MacLaine in her new book, “Sage-Ing While Age-Ing.”
Kucinich “had a close sighting over my home in Graham, Washington, when I lived there,” the actress, a close Kucinich friend, wrote. “Dennis found his encounter extremely moving. The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up, he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him.
“It hovered, soundless, for 10 minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn’t comprehend. He said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind.”
Those directions? To get the hell away from the crazy lady who talks to trees as politely as possible without incurring the wrath of her former lives. Go sell batshit somewhere else, Shirley. Denny may be certifiable, but his wife is hot, and in the United States of America, that counts of something, damnit.
The Daily Memo - 10/24/07
Good riddance - the asshat judge who sued the dry cleaners for $54 million over his lost pants has not been reappointed to the bench. (Express)
Seven Red Sox fans have been given homework by a judge over their disorderly conduct - they have to “write a five-page essay explaining what they have learned from” being arrested after the end of the ALCS. (ESPN)
More law firms are cutting or changing their billable hours requirements for first year associates. (Concurring Opinions)
Chuck Norris doesn’t endorse candidates - candidates endorse Chuck Norris. (Supreme Dicta)
Amazon has been granted a patent for the use of a search string in a website URL. (Download Squad)
A man who wrongfuly spent 18 years in jail for a rape he didn’t commit has been awarded $360,000 from the state, but now he’s gotta deal with a lawsuit from his baby momma for back child support. (WRAL)
The Sixth Circuit has ruled unconstitutional the federal requirements that porn sites verify the age of the guys and gals in the porn photos. (How Appealing)
Who’s got two thumbs and a public censure? This guy!
Justice Edmund Caplicki, a local judge in the Poughkeepsie area of New York, is an idiot. Back in 2005, he basically told a lawyer, during a court proceeding, that she had a nice ass. Seems that Ruth Boyer was defending a man against theft accusations and Justice Caplicki claims that the accused thief had made comments about the lawyer’s rear. However, the Justice then asked three other male defendants if they agreed that the lawyer had a bodacious rump, and he also asked her if it was “so bad” that folks thought she had a nice tush, laughing while he asked her this.
Two years later, Caplicki has now been publicly censured. The state Commission on Judicial Conduct opted not to kick him off the bench because it determined that this was “an aberration” in Caplicki’s record.
Best part of waking up
In Easton, Pa. parents are resting a little easier come Christmas morning. Because now, the kids have gotten the message: don’t f*ck with Mommy or Daddy before the coffee is done.
Juan Arreola (probably already pissed at all the jokes about his name) pleaded guilty for several charges involving his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, including assault and endangering the welfare of a minor. Arreola, prosecutors say, had been viciously abusing the child, the most recent incident happening happening in the morning when the boy woke him up. Arreola proceeded to throw the kid across the room, following it up with a squeeze of his face and a few punches to the chest. But what was really genius was his excuse for doing so.
When Northampton County Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden asked Arreola if that’s how he regularly treated 2-year-olds, he replied: “I was working till midnight. I’m not a morning person.”
McFadden said she was almost speechless.
“You’re going to look at me straight in the face and say ‘I’m not a morning person,’?” she asked.
Of course, he had other excuses for the other times he beat the kid, including one where he kicked him because the child got in his way while they were moving and his hands were full with boxes. The judge (obviously much more well-rested than Arreola) ordered him to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluations and set sentencing on Dec 14, where he could get a maximum of 20 years.
So parents new and old, with this printed out, helpfully highlighted and stuck outside your door, you will suddenly find your kids a lot more self-starting (and quiet!) in the morning.
So does that mean that a purple nurple is out of the question?
Earlier this month, 38-year-old Louis Carlos Perales was arrested for public intoxication and making threats to kill. The cops had received a call that Perales was on his way to a house where he was likely to get into it with his wife. The cops showed up in time to see Perales roll up in his SUV and then belligerently jump out. He got into the cops’ faces, and started yelling at his wife, reportedly saying “you better be gone when I get out because I’m going to kill you.”
So he was arrested, naturally. And that would be the end of this story, but Perales had to go and get a third charge for assault and battery on a police officer. Here’s the kicker though — the assault and battery in question?
Perales gave one of the cops a wet willie!
Dumbledore: Gay. Strict Constructionist Revolt.
Michael C. Dorf, a columnist for Findlaw, wrote a somewhat amusing column yesterday about J.K. Rowling’s revelation that Dumbledore was gay and how an originalist would take issue with Rowling’s outing, noting that the original meaning of the Potter text doesn’t support her contention.
Given that the Potter books, now complete, make no mention of Dumbledore’s sexuality, Rowling would not appear to have any authority to declare the print version of Dumbledore gay, straight or bi. Her views on such matters are naturally of interest to fans of her books, but the work must stand on its own.
These principles may seem obvious enough when considering the relation of a fiction writer’s intentions to her text, but they are highly contentious when it comes to legal documents. In the balance of this column, I will explain why James Madison is no more of an authority on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, than J.K. Rowling is on Dumbledore’s sexual orientation.
I’ll admit it’s an amusing conceit for a column and one with the potential for serious amounts of satire. But Dorf doesn’t seem to be kidding around. I haven’t read any of his past columns, but judging from the tone and tenor of this one, Dorf seems deadly serious:
In other words, even if some of Us the People think that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause is best read in 2007 to permit Dumbledore to marry whomever he chooses, regardless of sex, the Supreme Court might nonetheless decide not to recognize his right to do so until it sees a clearer social consensus on the point. The one thing the Court should not say, however, is that Dumbledore cannot marry a man in 2007 simply because same-sex marriage was not allowed in 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.
Umm. Mr. Dorf — lighten up, big guy. It’s just a book, k? Do you apply Constitutional interpretation to movies, too? And if so, can you explicate the meaning behind the pivotal scene in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, in which Katherine Heigl’s drunken character — horny beyond belief and in the throes of lovemaking — tells her sexual partner, played by Seth Rogen, who is fumbling with a condom: “Just do it.” Maybe you can solve their ongoing debate: Did she mean, “Just do it,” as in hurry up and get the condom on, or “just do it,” as in, forget the condom and fuck me now?
What do you think the Framers of the Constitution would say?
So, What’d You Do Today While Waiting at the Bus Stop?
A Floridian resident was arrested, charged with solicitation to commit lewd molestation and attempted child abuse, and held on a $225,000 bond, because he apparently believed that a school bus stop was a great place to pick up the ladies.
A Fort Pierce man was arrested Thursday after police said he approached an 11-year-old girl at a bus stop and offered to pay her money for a lap dance … According to a police report, [Horacio] Benitez admitted to police that he showed the girl an undisclosed amount of cash and asked her for a lap dance while she waited for her school bus to arrive. Police said the girl told investigators that she did not know what a lap dance was.
In defense of Benitiz, however, the girl did look twelve.
Oh, and parents: Walk your kids to the bus stop, OK? Especially if you live in Florida.
The Daily Memo - 10/23/07
“Theft charges filed against man who cut his own tongue” out. (WSFA)
Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says that even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned someday, she thinks abortion would always be available to “women of means,” so the real impact would be a “devastating [one] on poor women.” (FindLaw)
In Australia, “a business man went on a $15 million spree, showering his mistress with first class travel, jewelery and designer clothes to stop his wife getting the family wealth.” The Court wasn’t impressed. (The Daily Telegraph)
A NYC lesbian has filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit because she was thrown out of a ladies room for looking too manly. (The Raw Story)
A scumbum former lawyer serving a 26-year sentence for sexual abuse of a 6-year-old boy will get to see a piece of his case argued in front of the Supremes (the issue involves the use, at trial, of a videotape of the 6-year-old boy’s testimony). (The Star Tribune)
Could a confirmation of Michael Mukasey as the next AG be a worse thing than many think? (Slate)
Twenty-year-old Chase C. Allen was recently in court facing misdemeanor trespassing and disorderly conduct charges. He had been arrested back in April for futzing around in an E.R. after having been discharged (he had originally gone in because of injuries that appeared to be from a fight). But Allen managed to plea out and have the charges dropped, which meant that the fresh Marine recruit would be able to show up to the scheduled start of his boot camp.
And what did Allen have to do for the plea, you ask?
Yup - Allen just dropped down in the middle of the courtroom and started doing pushups, with a uniformed Marine recruiter giving him encouragement from the gallery. He hit 50, threw in one or two more for good measure, and wound up receiving applause from the other folks in the gallery. Judge Barbara Collins then accepted the plea and allowed the charges to be dropped (and then ran to the press to make it very clear that she had nothing to do with it and would never make someone do pushups).
“Sir, I say that this will not make an issue, whether the oats were severed or not, never in the world.”
Thanks to the folks over at Concurring Opinions, I’ve learned about a kinda nifty new project put together by a professor from me and Dustin’s law school. Seems that Professor David J. Seipp has compiled a database of Year Books. As Professor Seipp explains it:
Year Books are the law reports of medieval England. The earliest examples date from about 1268, and the last in the printed series are for the year 1535. The Year Books are our principal source materials for the development of legal doctrines, concepts, and methods from 1290 to 1535, a period during which the common law developed into recognizable form.
Legal History: The Year Books is a searchable database indexing “all year book reports printed in the chronological series for all years between 1268 and 1535, and many of the year book reports printed only in alphabetical abridgements.”
After conducting a search for a few terms that turned up nothing, I searched for “sua sponte,” and suddenly found myself learning about a dispute decided in the year 1457 over trespass, concerning the “taking [of] 40 cartloads of oats and assault and threats to life and member.”
Nerdy? Yup. But interesting to law wonks? Yup again.
He’s a mother’s dream, he is
The guy on the left is Jordan Gann, and he wants to get in your panties. He is a con artist who has been loving and leaving single women for quite some time. Unfortunately, this dumbass Don Juan messed up when he tried to pass himself off as both a doctor and a lawyer within a half-hour.
Gann went into Hattricks Tavern in downtown Tampa on Sunday, telling the general manager that he was a lawyer in town on a case. He expressed that he wanted to throw a party at the bar, claiming that he needed full drinks and buffet for about 150 people, and wanted to spend $15,000 on the shindig.
Later, the manager, James Bronte, came in and found out about the supposed party. He knew something was fishy with this guy’s story right away, since Hattricks was a small bar and someone tossing around 5-digit figures for such a party wasn’t exactly common. He asked the guy for a business card, and Gann replied that he did not have one. Then he slipped up and said his name was “Dr. Shawn Cohen”, despite earlier introducing himself as a lawyer.
Bronte, now really suspicious, did what any reasonable person would do: he had the guy wait, went up to his office, and Googled the name. It showed a recent story on Gann and his activities, and even included a very helpful photo, which looked exactly like the purported Dr. Cohen. Bronte called the Tampa police, who came right away. Gann knew the jig was up and went peacefully.
Turns out that Mr. Gann had swindled numerous women in Arizona, Philly, and New Hampshire before ending up in Florida. One victim, Meredith Gavin of Orlando, was not only scammed out of $1000, but says Gann may be the father of her 3-year-old autistic son, Liam.
I must say, the story is a little light on the stupidity, but you think this guy could keep his covers straight for 20 minutes. I am just happy I finally got a Florida story on QuizLaw. I feel so official now.
He’s doing the Lord’s work now
We’ve talked about the wonderful Jonathan Lee Riches many times over on this site. I’m too lazy to go dig up the links, but you can search for the prior entries — Riches is the batshit crazy inmate who keeps filing ludicrously wonderful handwritten lawsuits that are more creative than two-thirds of the things coming out of Hollywood right now.
Well one of Riches’ latest lawsuits is against douchebag extraordinaire Perez Hilton. Unlike many of his complaints, which have many defendants, here Riches only has Perez listed as a defendant. As with all of his filings, you’re best off just going and reading the gem yourself. But essentially, Riches says he’s known Hilton and had a long sexual history with him ever since the two met “on a gay Nevada chat line called ‘the man hole.’” Riches says that, over the years, he committed multiple acts of identity theft, credit card fraud, etc. (known about and supported by Hilton) to get gifts for Hilton and to pay for the the two of them to take vacations. Riches says that now, “[e]veryday on Hilton’s site he slanders me with hate.”
Of course, that’s where this lawsuit enters the realm of the ridiculous, since we all know that Perez would never use hate on his website.
But the reason Riches is doing the Lord’s work is because, among other things, he’s asking the Court to shut down perezhilton.com. And if there’s a more righteous execution of justice in this land of ours, I ain’t never heard of it. God speed, Mr. Riches.
Hick Hop Waffles
When I was in high school, I spent a lot of late nights in Waffle Houses. They used to have this great deal: All you can eat for $2.99. The problem, of course, is that they’d only bring two items out at a time, and at least one of those items (usually the eggs) was completely inedible. And, Waffle House’s policy — at least where I was from — was that you couldn’t ask for anything else on the all-you-can-eat menu until you’d cleaned your plate, which was all but impossible when your eggs tasted like the underside of a truck driver: Assy. But, you take the bad with the good: In most places in the South, the Waffle House is the only restaurant remaining in which your short-order cook, in full view of the restaurant, can smoke cigarettes and scratch his butt while standing over your breakfast, as if to say: $2.99, bitches — and the nicotine is free!
And if you were in DeKalb, Georgia on Saturday night, you could’ve gotten Kid Rock to give you an ass-whoopin’ for free, too. All you had to do was talk shit to one of the fine skanks in his entourage, and you could’ve gotten toast, eggs, hash browns and a black eye for the low-low price of $2.99.
At least that’s what happened to Harlen DeJon Akins at 5:15 in the a.m. He gave some lip to one of the fine ladies in Kid Rock’s entourage, and Kid Rock and his little friends beat the tar out of Mr. Akins. Kid Rock was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, but Akins was charged with a felony because, during the altercation, he broke a window at the Waffle House. And a man ought to know never to fuck with a fine establishment like the Waffle House, which I’m sure just got some plastic and taped it over where the window should be and pocketed the insurance money. God Love Waffle House.
The Daily Memo - 10/22/07
What of the Alternative Minimum Tax. (Slate)
Awwwwww, poor T.I. doesn’t like being in the clink and he’d like to go home. (CNN)
The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that folks who disclose HIV test results without the patient’s consent can be sued for damages. (Law.com)
Of course size matters. (Legal Antics)
Justice Alito thinks that TV ratings would be terrible if cameras were put in the Supreme Court. He’s surely right, but that’s a stupid argument against having the cameras. (Law.com)
What, you expected them to invite you in for cookies?
In Montgomery, Alabama, the McKinnons came home from a week away to find their house torn apart by thieves, most things gone. Understandably, Adrian and Tiffany were upset, and Tiffany started bawling at the site of things: “Tears just rolled down my face as I walked in and saw everything gone and piles of trash all over my home.”
Tiffany left the house for a while, while Adrian started checking out the damage:
As he walked back into the sunroom, a man walked through the back door straight into him, Tiffany McKinnon told the Montgomery Advertiser in a story Thursday.
“My husband Adrian caught the thief red-handed in our home,” she said. “And what is even crazier, the man even had my husband’s hat sitting right on his head.”
Adrian managed to draw a gun he apparently owns and held the thief at gunpoint until the cops showed up and arrested the man, 33-year-old Tajuan Bullock. But get this — when the cops first showed up, Bullock started complaining. His complaint? While Adrian waited for the cops to show up, he made Bullock clean up some of the mess he had made.
“This man had the nerve to raise sand about us making him clean up the mess he made in my house,” [Tiffany] said. “The police officer laughed at him when he complained and said anybody else would have shot him dead.”
Ass Kicking is What’s Called For!
Did anyone catch “Real Time with Bill Maher” over the weekend on HBO? God love Mr. Maher. During the taping of his live show, a few 9/11 Truthers (idiots who believe that the 9/11 attacks were planned by the White House) got a little out of hand and started yelling at Maher. If Maher had had a taser on him, he would’ve done the honors himself. But here (in the video below), he handled the situation in a way that most politicians and talk-show hosts wouldn’t have guts to do: He ran out into the audience and threatened to remove the protesters himself, and then took issue with his security.
Everyone should handle hecklers this way.
“Here are your tickets, Mr. Sharley Cheen”
Due to the increase in percentage of marriages ending in divorce (66 percent in the city, 50 throughout Austria), the city of Vienna is hosting the world’s first “divorce fair.”
At this fair, couples whose days of wedded bliss have run their course gather to meet with such exhibitors as lawyers, mediators, estate agents, and even PI firms and DNA testing labs for those divorces with a little extra spice. Even the Viennese archdiocese (rhyme!) got in on the act with an exhibit booth, and a travel company offers holiday packages for the freshly singled. There will also be lectures on such related topics as children in divorces, although rumors of a workshop titled “Bitch Better NOT Have My Money” have been debunked.
The event takes place October 27-28 and includes a benefit concert by Paul McCartney! (All benefits to be given to “That One-Legged Gold-Digging Skank Fund.”)
Seriously: Tell Us What You Really Think
God. Damnit. It’s not bad enough that the Democrats couldn’t manage to push the S-CHIP Bill through Congress over President Bush’s objection, thus increasing the amount of funding for the children’s health care program. But for all intents and purposes, from a political standpoint anyway, the Democrats were whoopin’ up on the Republicans, and Bush and the jackasses who refused to vote for the funding looked like they hated children (or, at least, poor children). The S-CHIP Bill has been a nightmare for the G.O.P., and the Dems have strategically kept the issue front and center, ensuring that the Republicans would look like the cruel, heartless bastards that they are for denying health care to kids.
And then Pete Stark, a House Democrat from California, had to open his big fat yapper. So, you know that for the next three weeks, the motherfucking focus won’t be on children’s health care, or the callous indifference the G.O.P. has for poor (or even lower middle class) children, but on Pete Stark’s dumbass statements. There’s certainly some truth to what Stark is saying (check the video below), but dude: You’re a freakin’ Congressman. That ain’t how you go about saying it.
God Bless the Democrats: They always manage to fuck it up.
Jesus, He’s a Quadripeligic, Not an Opossum
Jurors ruled the city of Pasadena must pay $80,000 to a quadriplegic man who sued because police officers allegedly jerked him out of his wheelchair and hung him upside down to search him.
Cornell Greathouse sued the city and four police officers for assault, battery, false arrest, false imprisonment, excessive force, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and negligence.
A Superior Court jury decided Wednesday the officers weren’t culpable, but they ruled Pasadena must pay $78,939.12 for failing to train officers on how to deal with a quadriplegic.
Officers responding a 2005 disturbance call encountered Greathouse and, according to the suit, they pulled him out of wheelchair and hung him over a 4-foot concrete wall in order to search him.
Stupid @%*&&$#% Toilet!
God bless my home state of Pennsylvania. That’s where Dawn Herb is facing a fine of up to $300 and up to 90 days in the clink for — wait for it — allegedly cursing at an overflowing toilet! That’s right - Herb was in her house when there was a bit of a plumbing mishap:
“The toilet was overflowing and leaking down into the kitchen and I was yelling (for my daughter) to get the mop.”
While she doesn’t remember exactly what she said, Herb admits that a couple of not-for-TV words escaped her lips. Those words then floated out a nearby open window and into her next door neighbor’s ears. That neighbor, an off duty cop, asked Herb to keep the ruckus down. She says Herb didn’t keep it down, and so the police were called in and Herb was cited with disorderly conduct.
A lawyer from the Philly branch of the ACLU says this is pretty stupid: “You can’t prosecute somebody for swearing at a cop or a toilet.”
The moral of this story? Get rid of indoor plumbing, of course! Outhouses now and forever, that’s what I say!
(And that picture up there, by the by, is from a patent for a toilet snorkel, issued in 1982. In the event of a fire, the toilet snorkel can apparently provide a source of “fresh air,” so once can avoid smoke inhalation. …Ooooooo-kay.)
The Daily Memo - 10/19/07
Some law firms are taking a stance on keeping asshole attorneys away. (Law.com)
It’s unsurprising, but still a bit disturbing - “crack users do more time than people convicted of manslaughter.” (AlterNet)
Nice to know that you don’t infringe a trademark when you’re criticizing it. (Likelihood of Confusion)
A Vegas columnist who has been involved in a two-year legal battle with the owner of the Ventian has filed for bankruptcy. (Overlawyered)
A glimpse inside “the sausage factory called How a Lawyer Withdraws From a Case.” (WSJ Law Blog)
And the WSJ Law Blog also takes “a look at those wacky new lobbying laws.” (WSJ Law Blog)
You gotta love any lawsuit that involves blowjobs, right? (Above the Law)
Wanted: Better Actors
In Waltham, Massachusetts, city officials are trying to crack down on owners of liquor licenses who aren’t abiding with the booze laws. One of the things they’re concerned with is license holders who sell booze to folks who are already blitzed. Compliance with the ban on selling drinks to the uber-drunk will be tested by sending in actors to bars, restaurants and packies pretending to be sauced.
Trouble is, some of the city licensees say that the actors hired to play drunks kind of suck:
…Some licensees argued the problem with the actors is some bar tenders did not believe the actors were drunk in previous instances and thought they had a medical condition or special needs.
Ah, your tax dollars at work! And if that’s the quality of actors in Waltham, I’d suggest staying away from the community theater.
He has looks AND brains!
I know, I know. How could the story possibly beat that eye?
Well, it seems our friend here, one Randy-Jay Adolphos Jones, 29 and of Columbia, PA, had attacked a woman (also 29) outside her friend’s home Sunday. She managed to get away, but not before he took her purse, with her cell phone inside. When the cops arrived, they took a chance and had the woman call her phone, and “Baby Boy” (as police paperwork lists his nickname) picked up. He then demanded ransom for the phone. A ransom of $185,000. For a cell phone.
The woman, with the encouragement of police, stalled Jones and managed to get him to accept a lesser ransom of $200. He told her where to meet him with the money, and was of course arrested when he showed up. The cops found her purse not too far from the scene of the robbery. As befitting such an ambitious crime, Jones had no explanation for why he thought he could get that much for the phone.
Now that I look at him closer, I think if Will Smith had an epileptic fit, this is probably what he would look like.
One drink ain’t enough Jack, you better make it twelve
Back in January, Martin Ruiz was enjoying the fact that he had recently turned 21. One night, he enjoyed himself a little too much, and was drunk driving his car down a twisty Nevada mountain road at a healthy 70 miles per hour. He got into into an accident, injuring his passenger and the other driver, and wound up in the clink after blowing a .104.
Following his arrest, Ruiz managed to get himself released on his own recognizance. You’d think a guy in his shoes would try to keep his nose clean, especially with regard to booze. But this is QuizLaw, so you know this story doesn’t end with: “…and Martin Ruiz never drank again, nor did he ever have any more legal troubles.”
Rather, Ruiz got himself in trouble when he was found drinking a 12-pack of beer on the courthouse lawn. This led to his re-arrest and a bail hearing on Monday. During that hearing, Ruiz had the nerve to ask the judge to once again release him on his own recognizance, saying that he promised not to drink or drive anymore. But Judge Gibbons was having none of it, and set Ruiz’s bail at $100K.
Granny’s Got a Gun!
I love old people. Sure, they smell funny sometimes. And the “get off my lawn” threats can get a little annoying, especially after they just paid you to do their landscaping. But for the most part, really old people are sweet and endearing, all shriveled up and toothless and waiting for a big hug! They’re so gentle. And old. Like Ethel Sanders, the sweetest granny of all:
An 81-year-old pistol-packing granny shot a homeless man after finding him washing his clothes in her laundry room, police said.
Ethel Sanders told police she heard noises in her laundry room Monday morning so she grabbed her handgun and found a man standing in his underwear near the washing machine.
Sanders, who normally uses a walker, shot the man when he came at her, police said.
She was knocked to the ground by the force of the gun and the man grabbed it and pointed it at her. He then took his sopping wet clothes from the washing machine and fled.
Officers quickly found the nearly naked suspect at a nearby community center. He had been struck by a bullet that went through his leg to his stomach. He was expected to survive, and will be charged with first-degree burglary when he is released from the hospital, cops said.
Sanders said she bought the pistol four years ago to protect herself because she lives alone, but had never fired it before.
“Whenever I hear a noise, I just go grab my gun,” she said.
Awwww. Isn’t she precious?
The Life and Times of Vinegar Boy
I got sucked into this story this morning on a message board site called, Customers Suck. It was weirdly fascinating, and I couldn’t bring myself to quit it. It’s just this phenomenally bizarre account of a graveyard-shift cashier who sells a 15-year-old kid a bottle of malt vinegar (yes, vinegar), and this dumb kid drinks the malt vinegar and gets sick and starts redecorating the wall and doors of his house.
So after the kid drinks the vinegar, his mother comes into the store, threatens a lawsuit and demands an apology, claiming that the teller tried to poison her son, and that he should be fired for selling malt vinegar to a 15-year-old. Clearly, this woman is off her rocker. She goes so far as to suggest that the teller told her son to drink the vinegar, and then when the security tape reveals that he did nothing of the sort, she claims that the security tape was edited.
Anyway, for those of you interested, I’ll let you read the entire account, but before it ends, people are fired, lawyers are brought in, and apology demands are thrown around like confetti. Be warned, however: Despite the rambly writing, it’s mysteriously engrossing and on the longish side. If the Hollywood strike goes through, studios may find themselves adapting this for the big screen, starring Meryl Streep as the teller, Jessie Eisenberg as the idiot child, and Renee Zellwegger as the shitty mom.
The Daily Memo - 10/18/07
Our very own Dustin has been nominated for “favorite New York-based blawger.” (Sui Generis)
Presto-chango, IP-cadabra. (Slate)
Get your vote in for what you think Boalt’s new name should be (I’m personally a fan of “White Guys with Asian Girls School of Law”). (Above the Law)
Congress is considering a new bipartisan bill that would let victims of identity theft seek restitution (and does some other expansion of ID theft laws). (c|net news)
The EFF has published a list of ten tech patents that it very much wants invalidated. (Wired)
Strip club owners in Ohio are trying to fight new laws that ban touching (“no touching!”) and nudity after midnight. (WTAM)
The Quebec legislature has banned the word “weathervane” from its parliament. (The Star)
Kmart is being sued for $100 over some toilet paper. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“Flowers are love’s truest language”
Elana Glatt must be a pleasure to be married to. She was recently married in New York, with centerpiece flowers provided by Posy Floral Design. There were apparently quite a few flowers provided by Posy, as the total bill was almost a whopping thirty grand. But thirty grand of flowers wasn’t good enough for Glatt, because they were the wrong. Damn. Color.
Glatt says she ordered rust and green colored centerpieces, but got pastel pink and green flowers instead. The horror! Plus, she says they were wilted and old and sitting in nasty vases without sufficient water.
So, naturally, she’s now suing the florist.
Snarkiness aside, I actually don’t have a problem with this in principal - if Posy promised a certain type of flower, and instead provided shitty quality flowers of a different color, fine. That’s a breach of contract. (Although the florist claims that told Glatt they might not be able to provide colors exactly matching the photograph she provided, so maybe her claim isn’t even that cut and dry.) But. Glatt is seeking over $400,000 (!) in damages, which is absolutely preposterous. Almost half-a-million over flowers at her wedding? Come on!
And, shockingly, Glatt is a lawyer. As the florist put it: “My father used to tell me, ‘Don’t deal with the lawyers.’ … Maybe he was right, God bless his soul.” Amen, brother.
The police also noted that the sky is blue and the sun sets in the West
Earlier this month, a 17-year-old Michigan teenage decided he need a car, but he had no wheels of his own. So he stole a car, naturally. But dag-nab-it, wouldn’t you know that the stolen car had some mechanical issues. So the teenager went on to steal another car, and another car, etc. etc., eventually taking five (!) cars over the course of the night. The reason he needed to keep stealing new cars was because each stolen car eventually wound up being driven into a ditch.
The cops finally found our good driver chilling out in kiddie playhouse behind someone’s home. The wonderfully insightful cops said that “alcohol is believed to be a factor in the incidents.” You think?
Another day, another judge ruining a rape case
I am sure you still remember the mess about the judge that ruled that the words “rape” and “victim” could not be used in his courtroom during a rape case. Well, he has just been topped by a judge in Philadelphia.
A 20-year-old prostitute and single mother, quite desperate for money, agreed to perform sexual favors on scumbag Dominique Gindraw, 19, for the rock-bottom price of $150. She met him at what she thought was his residence, only to find out it was an abandoned building. Gindraw had also invited a friend, and the woman agreed to service him as well for another $100. But that wasn’t the last surprise in store that night.
When the “friend” arrived, instead of money, he drew a gun. Two other men showed up and they proceeded to force themselves on Gindraw at gunpoint. A fifth man showed up and, seeing her crying, asked what was wrong. When he didn’t get a response, he declined his “turn” and helped the woman dress and leave.
Now, here is where it gets messed up. Philly judge Teresa Carr Deni ignored the gunpoint-gang-rape charges and set all five men to trial for “theft of services” because the prostitute had already agreed to sex but merely failed to get paid for it. Judge Deni further rationalized her contempt for the victim in a conversation with the Daily News reporter:
“Did she tell you she had another client before she went to report it?” Deni asked me yesterday when we met at a coffee shop.
“I thought rape was a terrible trauma.”
A case like this, she said - to my astonishment - “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”
This ruling pissed off assistant district attorney Rich DeSipio so much that he refused to present another rape case involving the same defendant that was also brought before Judge Deni, citing that he didn’t wish to put the other victim through such a “farce.” Deni had the second case dismissed for failure to prosecute. Even the cop who investigated the incidents was shocked:
Police Detective Jack Ryan, who investigated the incidents, said the victims in the two cases “were in fear for their lives. Since they saw one of the doers really well, it crossed both of their minds that they’d be killed.”
Deni’s decision to drop the sex charges is “frankly, appalling,” he said.
DeSipio intends to refile, with a different judge of course.
Okay, what the hell is going on here? I know I am not a lawyer, but since when is putting a gun to a woman’s head and forcing her to have sex with several strange men not considered rape? Even if the woman, by the judge’s rationale, offered sexual services, she only offered them to one person, which was Gindraw, and she only agreed to the second guy later on. But wouldn’t that be rendered moot once the gun came into play? She didn’t have consensual sex with them, and was stiffed on her payment — they forced themselves onto her. The only one who might have deserved some leniency was the guy who didn’t join in and instead helped her out.
What really gets my goat is that the judge claims that it was the victim that damaged future rape cases. Apparently setting the precedent that it isn’t rape if she is a whore is quite the mighty blow for womankind.
Newest National Sensation: Nappy Headed Hos
Don Imus is back, bitches. That dumbass racist fuckwit is getting another show, this time on the nation’s largest talk radio station at an annual salary in the millions! That’ll teach him to say disparaging things about black female basketball players.
But then again, if it weren’t for Imus, this old white guy below never would’ve written the greatest rap song of the modern era, “Nappy Headed Hos.” Oh, it’s catchy. “Ice Ice Baby,” catchy. Sit back, crack open a Red Bull, and soak it in, Mighty Whities.
Curses Republicans. Curses!
And you thought the phone bank scandal that the Bush folks pulled on McCain in 2000 was a dirty trick? The G.O.P. gets much nastier, folks. In fact, this week, the Vice President’s wife, Lynn Cheney, all but ended Barack Obama’s presidential aspirations with one single revelation that will do more to harm Barack Hussein Obama than even his fascist middle name.
But could it be possible that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Vice President Dick Cheney share a common ancestor?
Cheney’s wife Lynne says yes.
In an interview on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Cheney said that in the course of researching her husband’s genealogy for her new book, “Blue Skies, No Fences,” she discovered that the two public figures share an ancestor eight generations ago.
Oh, man. That is a low blow lady. What’d Barack ever do to you, huh? You’re still bitter over that Jon Stewart interview last week, aren’t you? Don’t take it out on Obama, wench. This is not cool — you’ve tainted Barack Obama irreparably. I’m certainly not going to vote for him anymore. If those two have a common ancestors, it’s only a matter of time before the Vader rears his ugly personality within Obama’s heart.
It’s a good thing, too, that Dick Cheney isn’t running for anything next year. There’s no way the Republican faithful would vote for a candidate who was related to a black man.
The Daily Memo - 10/17/07
Father of the year candidate Reginald Cotton (of Tampa, Florida - where else?), was pulled over for having too much tint on his windows, and he decided to flee the car, leaving his crack and two infants behind. (TBO.com)
California’s state legislature has enacted a bill that bans employers from sticking RFID implants in their employees, which sounds like a pretty good thing to me (Wisconsin and North Dakota already have such bans). (Engadget)
Meanwhile, Governor Schwarzenegger has signed “an anti-gang measure essentially allowing the eviction of tenants who illegally possess weapons or ammunition.” (Curbed LA)
A federal judge has given the ok to Vick’s dogs being neutered. (SI)
And speaking of Vick, he’s been sued for just under $1 million by Wachovia, over an unpaid loan. (SI)
The Supremes are laying down some original jurisdiction to decide a boundary dispute between New Jersey and Delaware. (WSJ Law Blog)
Just because it’s CALLED a Bloody Mary…
With Halloween only two weeks away, I bring you this tale of a drinker of blood. But this guy ain’t no Dracula.
Li Man-yiu, 29, got completely blasted one September night in Hong Kong. He had been on quite a wild ride, and had somehow managed to injure his toe. So he stumbled along to a hospital in order to get treatment.
Now, he has been on a major bender already, so you would think he was quite satisfied. But, our parched pal is just so darn thirsty though. So he drinks two of three blood samples he ‘found’ on a nearby lab station. After he realized his impromptu shooters were more hemoglobin than Henessey, he immediately ran to the john and began to puke.
He pled guilty to theft, and the courts agreed, acknowledging that he was under the influence and wasn’t intentionally trying to skeeve everyone out. He got two months and a freaky story that will keep dudes from messing with him while he is in there.
“What’chu in for?”
“I got hammered and drank the blood of some random folks.”
“… … … I’m gonna go waaaaaaaay over there.”
An Open Letter to the Fantasy Football Gods
Dear Fantasy Football Gods,
For lo’ many years now, I have worshiped at your altar. You have never taken me to the promised land of a fantasy football championship, but I have never held that against you. Only the elite few ever reach the pinnacle of fantasy footballdom, and I am willing to accept that I may not yet be worthy of such an honor (although based on the “man” who took home the championship in my league last year, your standards don’t really appear to be all that high). But you have allowed me to reach the playoffs and at least contend, and as award show nominees say all the time, it’s an honor just to be recognized.
But this year you have taken things too far. I had a reasonably decent draft and for reasons inexplicable to man, you have seen fit to injure one after another of my players. First you took out Orlando Pace, the man most directly responsible for keeping Marc Bulger safe, and Bulger repeatedly killed me. Then you took out Bulger himself, which was almost a mercy injury at that point (did you break his ribs in the hope of taking a piece of them to make a fantasy football Eve?). Then you took Javon Walker from me. And Hines Ward. And Brian Westbrook. And Santana Moss. It’s like a veritable list of the walking dead.
And with all these injuries came an 0-5 record to start the season, my worst beginning ever. But still, I worshiped at your feet and did my best to persevere. Last week, I finally managed to post a healthy amount of points, despite your consistent blows to my team. Lead by the shockingly studly (at least from a fantasy perspective) Derek Anderson, my team posted the fourth highest score in my league. And yet you still denied me a win. Mercy for the downtrodden? Noooooo - you had to give my opponent one of the highest scores of the season, a few points shy of a whopping 200 points.
Well that was the last straw. I’ve announced this within my league, but now I’m making the pronouncement publicly, here, for all the world to see.
You have forsaken me, so I now forsake you. As I said on our message boards:
You no help me now, I say “fuck you fantasy football gods!” I do it myself.
You’re dead to me.
(The reason this post is appearing on a legal-stuff blog is because the Eighth Circuit has put fantasy sports into the legal zone by ruling that a fantasy sports company is protected by the First Amendment in its use of player statistics, although in this particular case, the company was found to have infringed baseball players’ right of publicity.)
We’re the sauce on your steak, we’re the cheese in your cake
Forty-five-year-old Christopher T. Haupt, of Sarasota, Florida, was just looking for a nice day at the park. So when he found out that a new local park, Payne Park, was having a grand opening, you better believe Haupt was there. Trouble is, he was there with an open booze container. Turns out that it’s just a bit illegal to have open containers in public, so the cops wandered over to arrest him. The arresting officer, Scott Patrick, says that Haupt was rather displeased at this situation and began cussing at Patrick. Patrick asked him to kindly stop with all the foul language, especially since there were kids around. But Haupt apparently said balls to that and kept on with his cussing ways. Think of the children, Haupt - think of the children!
But Haupt did not think of the children. So now, he’s got a second charge to go with that open container charge - a misdemeanor for using profanities addressed to a child. Yup - there’s a municipal code banning “Offenses Against Public Morals,” and section 21-86 of that codes says that folks can’t use “vile, indecent, profane, vulgar, obscene or improper language in the presence of or addressed to a” minor.
Man, with my gutter mouth, I’d probably be charged once a week under this ordinance.
The list of “Offenses Against Public Morals” also includes a ban on gambling boats and public nudity. But my favorite is that it says you can’t visit “a house of ill fame.” Now come on! Haven’t they ever seen the “Bart After Dark” episode of “The Simpsons?” I mean, we learned how important the Maison Derriere was to Springfield (it puts the spring in Springfield, don’t you know?). Maybe the folks in Florida should be a little more open minded. Don’t they want something that puts the highlights in their hairdo, that’s the extra arms on Vishnu?
Tuesdays in C*nt Punditry
An open letter, from Anne Coulter, posted on her website yesterday.
I’ve been participating in a charade for nearly eleven years, now. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. You have all been a part of a sick joke that I began considering shortly after first getting on the air. At first, it was quite interesting to see how people would react when I would use twisted logic and poorly masked bigotry.
But eleven years is a long time to be living a fake life, and I can no longer tolerate this falsity. Even someone as fake as I tires out eventually.
Here’s the truth, I don’t care what people believe. Jews don’t need to be “made perfect” as I so arrogantly proclaimed to Editor & Publisher not a half week ago. I don’t even care if people are Muslim. Granted, I don’t know much about the religion or the people, but they are people. This is something that we cannot forget, they are in an abhorrent situation. These people are in need of education. Perhaps if we did not participate in causing them misery, they would not hate us so.
In fact, does it really matter whether we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or even Pagan? We are one nation. One. We should not let petty differences separate us, we are all American, and should act in that manner.
And with that, my precious viewers, I bid you adieu. My career as a media figurehead is over.
The sickest joke of all? That she’s only kidding. Does anyone realize how much bad karma this lady has built up? It’s like she’s asking to be disemboweled by a swimming pool drain.
Update: Well, it turns out that the letter actually was a joke written by a hacker, who somehow got it put on on Coulter’s site. It has since been taken down. Sorry folks. So, I’ll just link you to this exchange, where she said that Jews are basically just imperfect Christians. There’s plenty of c*nt punditry to go around.
Tasty Waves and … Doink!
Anyone out there know what subway surfing is? I suppose it’s self-explanatory, but for those without self-explanation mechanisms, it’s when some dumbass climbs atop a subway and surfs it, like they would a surfboard. Only, instead of the ocean’s wave, the danger these jackasses face are walls, one of which took the life of a 23-year-old yesterday, when he smacked into it, fell from the subway, and was run over by a oncoming subway train. I’m not unsympathetic to the guy’s death, but when you do stupid things, you’re bound to see stupid results. In fact, subway surfing has been a sporadic problem in NYC since 2003, when three people died during two separate incidents, including a 14-year-old kid.
However, instead of outlawing this sport, maybe we should listen to the “Polite New Yorker,” who offers this suggestion:
A better idea might be to let the engines of capitalism turn Subway Surfing into a legal sport. Think of it: ESPN could broadcast the subway surfing championships and subway surfers can quit breaking the law and getting themselves killed and train professionally and have a career. I’m sure an enterprising group of investors can buy surplus subway cars and build a course of train tracks.
The city can allow gambling on subway surfing and use the revenues to bolster our crumbling and criminally under-funded public school system. And with the dumber students entering the professional Subway Surfing circuit, there will be fewer dim bulbs clogging our overcrowded classrooms. If we get behind this, we can even have Subway Surfing recognized as an Olympic sport by 2012, when we hope to bring the Olympics to New York City.
Amen to that.
Again With The Snip-Snip?
What is it with spurned spouses and damaging genitalia? I mean, can’t you just punch the bastard out?
An elderly Turkish man was arrested in Austria on suspicion of shooting dead another Turk and cutting off his penis because he believed the victim was having an affair with his wife, police said Thursday.
I mean, the guy is already dead. Why go that extra step? He isn’t going to feel it, he definitely won’t be going near the poon again, and the only result is a wang in your hand and a goofy look on your face as they cart you off to prison. That is not exactly a dish best served cold.
The Daily Memo - 10/16/07
“What the heck is going on in the Autoadmit lawsuit?” …Watch that harsh language there, Professor Hoffman! (Concurring Opinions)
“Porn spammers get five years.” (Today @ PC World)
Are the Wisconsin courts getting a bit wacky? (Overlawyered)
Good advice: “If you’re going to spend counterfeit money, it might help to use a denomination that actually exists.” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
“Should courts issue unpublished opinions?” I’m with the author in saying “not so much.” (Concurring Opinions)
Qualcomm is taking its ongoing legal battles to its own lawyers now. (Engadget)
The American Idol tour has been fined $5,000 for a bunch of labor law violations in New York, because Jordan Sparks and Sanjaya weren’t 18 when they performed in the state. (Reality Blurred)
Thirty-nine year old Lynn Dailey loves herself some donuts. So when she had a donut craving one afternoon, she did what any donut craver might do, and went off to the local grocery store. But rather than actually pay for a 44-cent donut — who would do something as silly as that? — she slipped a donut into the back of her pants and wandered outside of the market.
Unfortunately for Dailey, there were witnesses to her donut thievery and they called 911. The cops picked Dailey up outside an automotive store and arrested her for retail theft. And things get worse, in that Dailey had an outstanding bench warrant, so her donut thievery wound up getting her time in jail while waiting to see a county judge.
Meanwhile, the police spokesman, Sgt. James McElheny, is interfering with the public’s right to information:
Asked what type of doughnut police recovered from the woman, McElheny said, “smushed.”
Seriously, the public has a right to know what type of donut we’re talking about here! Jelly, glazed, butternut, chocolate? I mean, if there’s anything cops should be able to give us detailed info about, it’s donuts, right?
If Only Kelly LeBrock Was There
First off, greetings QuizLawyers! I am your humble servant Vermillion, the latest addition to this illustrious blog. I will do my best to uphold the reputation for responsible, mature legal reporting that has been established.
Now that intros are out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks.
David Worthy and his wife, Susan, are pretty cool parents. They let their middle son, Christopher, throw his 16th birthday party at home with only a few friends and such. They even opted to go out with their youngest son, in order to give Chris a bit more freedom. Too bad Christopher made the mistake of posting about the party on YouTube. Apparently, there were some folks that were quite peeved at not being invited. So they decided to party-crash, Vikings style.
More than 100 uninvited teenagers descended on the family house, stole whisky and champagne, smashed windows and started fighting, according to reports.
Engineer David Worthy, 53, was punched in the face when he tried to turn away a group of youths, while his son Stephen, 18, was badly beaten.
Luckily enough, there were no life-threatening injuries. Six teenagers have been arrested in connection to the attack and released on bail.
While it probably wasn’t the wisest move to post party info on YouTube, still, what kind of buttwipe would crash a kid’s party like that? Silver lining though: there were no reports of Russian ICBMs ripping through the house, nor was any furniture flung into a nearby lake.
This just in: I remember far too many details about that movie.
Some Children Are Beyond Reproach
I know some folks think that kids are purely innocent. Balls to that. For every cherubic little wunderkind out there, there’s also a Damien Thorn ready to whip some Devil on your ass. Some of those bad sees are beyond helping, and they should just be locked up forever.
Natalie Shea is one such child. This 6-year-old New York girl is malicious. She’s evil. She’s a scofflaw! And now she’s one step closer to getting her just desserts.
New York City’s Department of Sanitation received a call from a neighbor, explaining that Shea was a little, incorrigible graffiti artist. So the Department of Sanitation sent a letter to Natalie’s mom, letter her now that there’s a potential $300 fine in her future:
“PLEASE REMOVE THE GRAFFITI FROM YOUR PROPERTY,” the Sanitation Department warning letter read. “FAILURE TO COMPLY … MAY RESULT IN ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST YOU.”
And to those of you who say this is no big deal, that every kid in America has at one time drawn on a sidewalk with regular old sidewalk chalk — well, you’re part of the problem. Hopscotch corrupts our children, absolutely. It may be too late for Shae, but maybe we can save the next generation.
Porn Has Gotten Really Expensive Lately
A Nashville woman, Edwina McCombs, rented a hotel in Southern California for her and her two daughters, ages 8 and 9. After a long day of vacationing, she decided to take a nice bath. While she was bathing, she left her daughters to watch television. A few minutes later, however, one of her daughters knocks on the door and says something like, “Mommy! Mommy! We just saw a man stick his pee-pee in a woman’s wee-wee over and over and over again, and she kept asking the man to tickle her funspot!”
As it turns out, the hotel didn’t have a hotel-wide system in place to block adult movies in the room, so while the girls were looking for The Wizard of Oz, they found The Wizard of Ahhhs.
So, Edwina McCombs sued the hotel. And whaddya know: She won $85,000, $20K of which was for emotional distress damages for the nine-year old daughter, who had to seek counseling because of the incident. And that, my friends, is just stupid. This woman ought to be thrilled! She just got free porn! Way to punch a gift horse in nose.
Left. Left. Left. Right … He’s Dead?
Have you folks been following that boot-camp case down in Florida, where a 14-year-old African-American kid died only a few hours after he checked in to the state-run program? I’ve been trying so hard to avoid any spoilers about this week’s “Kid Nation” that this headline got lost in the shuffle of stories I was avoiding on my RSS feeds.
Anyway, it’s a pretty messed up situation. As I understand it, Martin Lee Anderson was sent to the boot camp for violating probation on his grand-theft auto conviction. Apparently, the kid had some sort of sickle-cell condition. So a few hours after he checked in, he refused to participate in a mandatory run, citing his condition. Well the guards who run the boot camp weren’t crazy about Anderson’s refusal to participate, so they restrained him against a pole, pinned him to the ground, and kneed and hit him. After they wrestled Anderson to the ground, they attempted to rouse him with ammonia. Unfortunately, he was dead.
So the folks who ran the boot camp where brought up on charges stemming from Anderson’s death but, last week, a jury of six white people failed to convict the guards, despite damning video evidence. Why? I have no idea. But a lot of folks down in Panama City think it has something to do with racism, and they have plenty of reason to believe as much.
First, the video shows that the guards were basically beating up the poor kid. The guards, however, countered that they “acted in accordance with their training and experience in the paramilitary environment of the boot camp, where offenders would often fake injury or illness to avoid the rigorous physical exercises.” Really? They were trained to beat the holy-living hell out of kids who were faking injuries? Where the hell did they get their training? The Israeli army? And since when does training excuse homicide?
Second, the boot-camp employees say that the video evidence doesn’t tell the whole story. They said that it didn’t pick up sounds, so you couldn’t “hear the words being spoken or understand the threat [Anderson] posed with his actions and body language.” Eight guards trained in a paramilitary environment felt that a 14-year-old kid with a condition was a threat? Because of his body language? Give me a goddamn break.
What else. Oh, the initial autopsy revealed that Anderson had died of complications stemming from his sickle-cell condition. However, after the town starting crying foul, then Gov. Jeb Bush appointed an independent medical examiner and a second autopsy revealed that Anderson died of suffocation and ammonia inhalation due to the actions of the guards. Apparently, the jury still wasn’t convinced.
And it’s not like the guards were particularly convincing with their testimony. One former drill instructor, Henry Dickens (who is also black), said this on the stand: “They’ve been calling me an Uncle Tom, but this was never about race. We cared about this kid. The kids are our future.”
The kids are our future? Dude steals a Whitney Houston line and the jury buys it? And he’s trying to convince the jury that he “cared about this kid,” who he met only a few hours before, and who he then beat up for purportedly faking an injury? I’m sorry, this is bullshit. But, at this point, it’s typical of what we expect out of Florida.
The Daily Memo - 10/15/07
“Does the Supreme Court still matter?” (Time)
My, Justice Scalia, what a large gavel you have! (Supreme Dicta)
A Texas personal injury lawyer has started running TV adds questioning the credentials of a competitor PU lawyer. (Law.com)
A 75-year-old woman was arrested for disorderly contact after busting up a Comcast office with a hammer because she was pissed about delays and broken promises. (Consumerist)
The Supremes have reinstated a death sentence for a neo-Nazi who was convicted of killing three men a quarter-century ago. (Law.com)
You gotta love when stupid lawyers make stupid claims just for the sake of being stupid (I’m referring to the lawyer discussed in the post, not the lawyer blogging about the whole thing). (NY PI Law Blog)
Congress wants more info from the the NFL and the Players’ Association regarding this mess over retired players not getting sufficient benefits. (ESPN)
Travis Henry will probably get some more playing time this season thanks to a federal judge’s ruling. (ESPN)
I don’t know who to root for in this one?
Britney Spears vs. Perez Hilton. The only winner here are other celebrity gossip blogs, right? Although, I guess I am rooting for Spears just because Hilton is loathsome.
Anyway, Brit-Brit is suing Perez for copyright infringement. Actually, it’s her label, Jive Records, suing Perez and his website. We already know that Perez doesn’t care about those stupid copyright laws, and this is just the latest example. He posted various recordings from Britney’s upcoming new album, without permission, and now the label says he needs to be punished. Hilton’s lawyer, meanwhile, seems as savy as Hilton himself:
This is what Perez’s lawyer told press, “It seems to me that when you single out PerezHilton and put out a press release, that maybe what you’re looking for is publicity. He will be vigorously defended in any action that is filed against him.”
Are they looking for publicity? Maybe. But does that mean they don’t have an actionable claim? Probably not. If this wonderful lawyer is the one giving Perez his legal advice, no wonder he ignores copyright laws.
(Hat tip: The Trademark Blog.)
All’s Fairplay in Love and Reality TV
Dustin recently showed you the clip of Danny Bonaduce laying some broken-face on reality
star leech Johnny Fairplay. Following up on that story, Fairplay (real name - Jon Dalton) has decided to sue Bonaduce, along with the Fox Reality Channel, producers of the Reality Channel’s award show and the venue where the awards ceremony took place.
Fairplay says that an ambulance should’ve been called right away, but that nobody did anything to help him out. And this, he says, amounted to “battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and negligent supervision.” The folks at Reality Blurred put it all into context for us:
The lawsuit reads like great fiction, or at least a version of reality written by a soulless lawyer. It explains Fairplay’s behavior like this: “Mr. Dalton, in an effort to minimize the akwardness of Mr. Bonaduce’s unscripted interruption and unprovoked insults, playfully jumped into Mr. Bonaduce’s arms.”
Aw, poor baby; all he wanted was some love and instead he got his face smashed. The lawsuit does not mention the face humping or Dalton’s drunkenness. But as a result of both, he now wants monetary damages, asks for his expenses to be paid, and wants to be compensated for his earnings.
Now why they gotta go with the “souless lawyer” comment?
(And in answer to the question asked by Eric Turkewitz over at his blog, it’s totally Fairplay’s own fault for jumping on Bonaduce in the first place. He’s an asshat (Fairplay, not Turkewitz) and got what he deserved.)
The Good, the Bad and the Ukulele
This video has absolutely nothing to do with the law whatsoever. But I discovered it last night, thanks to the ever-wonderful Fark, and now I share it with you. Because what are Friday afternoons good for if not for ukulele covers of spaghetti Western themes?
In case you’re curious, these folks are the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and I’m gonna give you a bonus clip because I’m seriously digging the hell out of these guys at the moment.
Aw hell, if you’re digging these guys as much as I am, you know you want more (and if you’re not, you’re already long gone from this entry, so whatever).
I Bet Clive Barker Never Did This Much Research
See this man above? He’s just been hit by a car. In fact, he hasn’t recovered enough from his injuries to give a statement to the police. Pretty grisly, huh? You gotta feel a little bad for the guy — he looks dazed and bloody; this man needs a hug.
But, how did he get there? How did he find himself with a massive head wound being tended to by a paramedic? How do I put this delicately? Well let me begin by saying that this man’s name is Jose Luis Calva. He’s a Mexico City man, and he wants to be a horror novelist when he grows up. In fact, he’s already written a book. It’s called Cannibalistic Instincts. It’s still in draft form, but I think he’s pretty proud of it. In fact, he did a lot of research for this novel.
Research? How do you research a cannibalism book, you ask? Well, you start by cutting up your girlfriend, stuffing her torso in the closet, a leg in the refrigerator, and a few of her bones in a cereal box. And if you really want to do great research for your novel, you boil your girlfriend’s flesh off the bone. Oh, and before you use your own girlfriend for research purposes, you kill and mutilate three other women including — quite naturally — a prostitute.
So, how did Jose Luis Calva find himself in the position above? Well, when the cops arrived at his house to arrest him, Mr. Calva high-tailed it out, and during the pursuit, he got ran over by a car.
The Daily Memo - 10/12/07
New York is considering a “stupid and wasteful” law that would make it a felony to sell most M-rated games to minors. (Wil Wheaton’s Geek in Review)
What of Michael Clayton and senior associates? (Above the Law)
(And for the record, I think Lat’s patently wrong here - at many firms, senior associate is just the next step from regular associate, and has no negative implication, whatsoever, regarding said attorney’s partnership prospects.)
A guy who bilked a NYC law firm into thinking he was actually an attorney has pleaded guilty to grand larceny. (The Legal Reader)
The Georgia Supreme Court has suspended a real lawyer because he pleaded guilty to a coke charge. (Law.com)
The Cali Supreme Court, meanwhile, is going to hear a case about the San Francisco 49ers patting down fans before games (well, not the Niners themselves, but you get my meaning). (ESPN)
The House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to give us four more years of tax-free internet, which certainly suggests that the amendment to the Internet Tax Freedom Act is on its way to passing. (Gizmodo)
What about Brett Favruhuh?
The fine reporters over at Kissing Suzy Kolber have unearthed a story that has inexplicably been silenced by the mainstream media — our Constitution now has a 28th Amendment. That’s right - the Favre Amendment passed with a strong 46-state approval. As “Christmas Ape” reports:
The amendment requires all working quarterbacks in the United States to be more rugged and rascally, with a twinkle in each eye and a song in their hearts. It also establishes throwing a shovel pass across the field off your back foot to an opposing linebacker as the national “football move.” Furthermore, it designates Kiln, Miss. as a National Historic Landmark for Quarterbacking, rather than for general squalor.
While many quarterbacks are being “forceably relocated to the Canadian Football League” for failing to live up to this new standard, I’m happy to learn that my Eagles QB, Donovan McNabb, is one of the few allowed to remain as long as he “grow[s] some more stubble on [his] face.”
…I wonder if he loses points for puking on the field during the Super Bowl, or if he gains points cause he kept playing anyway.
Hypothetical. Let’s say you’re a 24-year-old Salem, Oregon woman. You’re hanging out with another Salem chick, who just so happens to be your meth-buddy. You guys decide to go visit one of your boyfriends, who’s spending some time in the clink.
But wait - you have no car! What to do, what to do?
Steal someone’s truck, of course! Because nothing bad could happen by driving a stolen truck to the jail, right?
…Well, unless a deputy at the jail happens to hear a radio report about that same stolen truck, and then he just happens to wind up walking into the jail parking lot only to find said stolen truck.
It’s kinda romantic really - now the methhead can spend lots of time hanging out with her boyfriend in the clink (in fact, the gals are also facing drug charges because they had meth on them, and related paraphernalia in the stolen truck).
The Quiet Game Just Got Extreme
Those crazy school kids come up with the weirdest ways to pass the time:
The game is called “Quiet” — everyone sits silently at his or her desk, and the first one to speak gets hit by a flying textbook. It ended badly for an eighth-grader at Dreyfus Intermediate School, Stapleton, whose spleen was ruptured when a textbook hit him in the side.
But a look at the details is even more bizarre:
Chaz, who said he’s 4 feet, 11 inches tall and just 69 pounds, was sitting in his math class that Wednesday morning, while a substitute, Kuang Wei Li, supervised.
The class finished its work, he said, and Ms. Li told the students they could do what they wanted for the remainder of the class.
So they decided to play “Quiet,” he said.
Chaz spoke first — “I just said, ‘OK.’” — and the textbooks started flying.
He described the books as about an inch thick, “big and thin with a hard cover.” Each one weighed perhaps two pounds.
Chaz ducked the first book, which was thrown by a 14-year-old girl, but the next two made contact, one in his side and one in his back, he said.
“I was on the floor scrunched up, screaming in pain,” Chaz said.
He said he saw several other books sail overhead as he went down.
Ms. Li walked up to him but never asked if he was all right, Chaz said. “I was out of my seat, and she said, ‘Sit down.’”
Weirder still: The 14-year-old girl, who was unlucky enough to be the first to throw a textbook, was arrested and charged her with attempted felony assault and menacing for playing the Quiet game.
What the hell is wrong with kids these days? Do they play duck, duck, goose with mallets, too? Or tackle red rover? Or tag with pistols? Jesus Christ. Whoever heard of a Quiet game where an entire class pelts you with textbooks?
Since when does a cab ride to the airport cost $80K?
Back in 2003, Andrea Zemankova, then 29-years-old, owned a cab with her boyfriend, Marcel Medek. Over a two year span, their cab went through a lot of Illinois state tolls - in fact, we know that it went through 1,114 tolls. Or at least, that’s how many tolls the car went through without bothering to actually pay the toll (which was generally a buck or less).
So now the state’s worst toll offenders owe the state a whopping $80,571 in fines. And that number may actually be higher, as the toll agency is apparently way behind on its paperwork.
Zemankova is pissed about these fees, and says she was never even notified by the agency - she says she only found out when the newspaper called her to talk to the state’s worst offender. And she says that it’s not even her who should owe any money, as it was always Medek who was driving their cab. And, to make matters worse, the agency no longer offers a payment plan or amnesty program, so she’s gotta pay all of the eighty grand in one fat sum if she wants her record cleared.
If she can track down her ex-boyfriend, maybe she can borrow the cab and just start charging a bit of a surtax for the drunks she picks up after bar time.
The Daily Memo - 10/11/07
Well sure - why wouldn’t you want a disbarred lawyer giving a spiel on legal ethics? (Fox Noise)
Turns out when you try to get all the illegal immigrants out of your town - whoops - you might just see the local economy suffer. (The NY Times)
“A federal judge has ruled that forcing a non-driver in Michigan to submit to a preliminary breath test without a search warrant is unconstitutional” - so carry on with your drunk walking, citizens of Detroit! (Click on Detroit)
I dunno what’s going on in Austria, with court’s making crazy rulings that chimpanzees aren’t people. (Discovery.com)
A $1.2 million judgment has been thrown out because the judge says the lawyer on the case exhibited “disrespectful cockalorum, grandstanding, bombast, bullying and hyperbole” beyond anything he’s ever seen. (The Legal Reader)
Dahlia Lithwick takes a look and Justice Thomas’ new book, My Grandfather’s Son (… oh, I get it - that’s his father). (Slate)
No animals were harmed in the writing of this entry
Reid Hyams used to be a professor at Columbia College’s School of Media Arts. But then he left a note on the door of professor Jack Alexander and things changed. For this wasn’t a “I stopped by” note, or a “hey, come to my office when you get a chance” note. No sirree, this was a bestial-fellatio note. That is, Hyams note read: “Jack sucks donkey cock.”
Turns out, some take offense to such notions, and after complaints were made, Hyams found himself shitcanned. The school said this note was part of a dispute Hyams was having with Alexander. Hyams says “nuh uh,” claiming it was just “an impromptu joke.” He admits it might’ve been inappropriate, but doesn’t think it was a firing-type offense. And then there’s this explanation:
Besides, Hyams said, the note he wrote had said “Jack sucks donkey d—-” and that’s just an industry slang term for a type of electro-voice microphone.
“Somebody intentionally changed the term from one that has an industry connotation to one that does not,” said his attorney, Stuart Gimble. “Was it an inappropriate joke? Yes. But did he write what they say he did? No. That’s why we’re very surprised things have elevated to termination.”
Donkey dick equals a type of microphone? Is this slang Hyam picked up while he was in Tijuana?
(And, of course, Hyam is now suing the school.)
He’s Creepy and He’s Kooky — And All Together Spooky
Our close blog buddy, favorite blog pal, bestest blog friend, Perez Hilton, is heading back to the courtroom. This time, he’s being sued for defamation in what’s a fairly shaky case for the plaintiff, Samantha Ronson. She claims that Perez’s decision to repeat a false claim made on the site CelebrityBabylon.com is actionable. CelebrityBabylon claimed that Ronson planted the cocaine found in Lindsay Lohan’s car after the crash that ultimately led to LL’s current stint in rehab, and that she also set up LL to be photographed under the influence of alcohol.
Ronson, for her part, claims that she’s never touched cocaine (which suggests she wasn’t particularly good friends with LL), but she’s got a fairly high legal standard to overcome: She must not only prove that the report was false, but that Hilton published it maliciously. The court has decided to allow her attorneys to depose Hilton, for up to four hours, to determine if he was in fact being malicious. It’s a case she won’t likely win. In all likelihood, he saw the headline involved Lindsay, and copy/pasted the report, attached a stolen paparazzi photo, and never even bothered to read the story, making maliciousness next to impossible to prove. Lazy incompetence doesn’t just make you millions, it saves you from defamation suits!
However, I did love that Hilton’s attorney said that Hilton made sure the information was “accurate and trustworthy” before reporting it, which is bullshit, of course. Clearly, Perez doesn’t do any fact checking nor does he check his sources from the coffee shop he blogs from, hovered over the pastry counter and three Venti lattes. Also, he’s a blogger, which by definition means that half of what he reports is inaccurate or fabricated.
In fact, I think there should be a third prong attached to the defamation standard for bloggers: 1) The report was erroneous; 2) it was malicious; and 3) somebody is actually dumb enough to believe its true. Nobody hates Perez more than us, but still: Ronson is clearly a gold digger, and as deep as Perez’s pockets may be, nobody in their right mind wants to reach into them.
TVs keep falling on my head
A Texas man is suing Best Buy for the “willful, wanton, and reckless disregard for the safety and welfare of its customers.” The 27-year-old Sam Fisher alleges that he was in a Best Buy store when a 27-in television tumbled out of an employee’s hand, plonking Fisher on the head. Fisher says that Best Buy is guilty of gross negligence for failing to properly train its employees (and he’s not suing the employee, who was on a ladder, hoisting the television off of a high shelf, because he says the worker was just following store policies). Fisher’s lawsuit hasn’t stated the amount of money he’s seeking, but you can be sure it’ll be quite a hunk of change.
But he might want to do some more research, because in light of two new TV shows - “Chuck” and “Reaper” - one might wonder if there’s not more going on here. Maybe this was part of some super-secret spy mission. Or maybe the Devil did it. These days, you can’t just automatically assume the big-bad chain store is at fault, you know?
Oh Larry, You’re a Jokester!
In Springfield, IL, a New Jersey man walked into a bank, picked up a withdrawal slip, and — after filling it out — handed it over to the teller. However, what the man didn’t realize was that the slip had “This is a stick-up” scribbled on the back of the note, nor did he know that the teller he handed the slip to had been robbed twice before. So, the man — who wore no mask, never covered his face, nor made any attempt to disguise himself — was a little surprised when he returned to his car and the police arrested him.
Fortunately, the matter was sorted out within a matter of minutes and the man was very understanding. And, to the person who thought it would be hilarious to write “this is a stick-up” on the back of that withdrawal slip: You’re a laugh riot! What a jokester! What a brilliant practical joke. You know what would’ve been even funnier!? If the teller had gotten frantic and the police officer on duty had a hair trigger, and the man got a bullet to the eye! How funny would’ve that been? Or maybe, during the ensuing melee, two other customers got killed when the man reached for his identification, the police thought he was reaching for a gun, and they unloaded a spray of gunfire. Ha!
You know what else would be a great practical joke?! How about loosening the top rung of a house ladder.
Of course, I’m not sure which shows poorer judgment: Writing “this is a stick-up” on a random withdrawal slip, or a used car lot advertising air conditioned cars with this catchy slogan: “Tired of the wet backs?”
People = Dumb.
Well, It’s Not Quite the Princess Bride
Rob Reiner, once great director of fine movies such as The Princess Bride, Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally and North has made the logical leap from his last two hideously awful films, Alex and Emma and Rumor Has It to campaign commercials. And though there is nothing particular inspiring about this “be more inspiring” spot for Hillary, it is better than Rumor Has It, in that at least its about 90 minutes shorter. And to be honest, it’s quite an improvement over Hillary’s horrible “Soprano’s” spoof.
Aw - kward!
What do you get when you combine a Republican presidential candidate who is firmly against legalizing medical marijuana with a wheelchair-bound victim of muscular dystrophy who needs marijuana to dull the pain?
The most awkward photo op of the campaign so far.
The Daily Memo - 10/10/07
The NFLPA is going to appeal a ruling that says the Atlanta Falcons are entitled to almost $20 million from dog-killer Mike Vick. (ESPN)
“Has the Washington Supreme Court just endorsed a constitutional right to lie?” (Concurring Opinions)
A Texas Court of Appeals has adopted the “inherent-risk limitation” in sports/tort cases, meaning “a sports participant owes no ‘negligence duty’ to another sports participant for risks inherent in the sport.” (Law.com)
Lawsuits over Crocs that have nothing to do with their ugliness? Really? (Overlawyered)
“Should law schools abolish tenure?” (WSJ Law Blog)
Boalt is looking for a single, permanent-like name. (Law.com)
Do you see people? Do you see what happens when we let the gays get married?
They ruin the fine institution of marriage, that’s what happens! You were told this would happen. But did you listen?
So lookee here - in Providence, RI, there’s a lesbian couple which was married up in Gaysachusetts. And now they’re asking the Rhode Island courts to allow them to divorce under Rhode Island law. See? They’re getting divorced! They’re tearing down the institution of marriage!!!
“It is believed to be the state’s first same-sex divorce case.” Well it’s a slippery slope and we’re all sliding down together people, so buckle the hell up!
The defense calls Plinko to the stand
Bob Barker and producers of “The Price is Right” have been sued by a former employee of the show. Deborah Curling worked as a contestant screener and says that most of her time working for the show was great. But she says that things changed after she gave testimony in a wrongful termination trial against Barker a few years ago. After that, Curling says she was demoted and put into an “intolerable” working environment. She also says that black employees and contestants were discriminated against, and that Barker “created an atmosphere of terror on the show.”
I understand that Curling also approached Barker personally, seeking a quick financial settlement, but that he responded to the amount she requested by saying: “The price is wrong, bitch.”
It’s like a David Copperfield trick!
Rodney Rogers, a 66-year-old Ohio man, has been arrested and charged with vandalism and aggravated menacing. Seem that he had entered into an agreement with the Bowers, friends of his, to buy a house they were building. Rogers moved into the house while the final fix-ups were being done. But once they finished the construction, Rogers says that they wouldn’t tell him how much money they wanted for the house, nor would they give him the title.
So Rogers did what any reasonable man would do while involved in a title dispute: he “sawed the entire house, through siding, drywall and windows, in half!”
When the cops showed up, Rogers proudly showed off his work and then said he was going to “take care of the Bowers.” A loaded gun inside the sawed house made this seem like a bit more than an idle threat, so off to the clink Rogers went.
Smelly Feet … Smelly Feet … It’s All Your Fault
Piece of advice: If you’re sharing a small, 10x10 room with another man, wash your feet every once in a while. Otherwise, you might wind up dead.
William Antonio Serrano and his roommate were drinking Saturday night when the roommate told Serrano his feet had a foul odor, Houston police Sgt. Macario Sosa said. That insult allegedly led to Serrano grabbing a knife and stabbing his roommate several times, police said. The victim, a 25- to 30-year-old man whose name has not been released, died at the scene.
Serrano was charged with murder. And just remember kids: Drinking and foot odor do not mix.
(Hat Tip to Lowering the Bar)
Pizza for Paultards
Ron Paul may have unexpectedly raised $5 million in the latest fundraising quarter, proving that even wackjobs have a lot of spare cash they like to throw into bottomless wells, but if you ever needed a reason not to vote for Paul (besides his stand on most issues and that creepy old-man smile), then this video should put you off of him for good. If you manage to make it through the entire two minutes and twenty seconds, then maybe you are crazy enough to vote Paul. (Dude gets some credit, however, for rhyming “provolone” with “leave your fetus alone.”)
Failure to Engage in Conversation? That’s a Crow-Barrin’!
A 30-year-old man walks into a Family Dollar store, picks up two bottles of Sprite and walks up to the store counter to pay for his purchase. He pulls out a $5 bill and hands it over to the clerk. The clerk, 20-year-old Ricky Young, tries to engage the man in conversation. “How’s it going? What’s up, bro?”
The customer doesn’t answer.
“It’s a nice day out, huh?”
“I like your shirt.”
“Is that a five dollar bill or are you just happy to see me?”
Finally, after the customer refused to respond, Ricky Young — pissed at the customer’s rude demeanor — picks up a crow bar and beats him on the head with it.
Take that, Mr. Rude Pants.
Turns out, the customer was deaf.
Well, at least the deaf guy didn’t try to pay with a $1 million bill.
The Daily Memo - 10/9/07
A Florida woman was awarded $2.4 million by a jury after doctors left a foot-long piece of gauze in her following a C-section. (CBS4)
Oofta - Sidley Austin is gonna pay over $27 million to a bunch of former partners as the result of an age bias lawsuit. (WSJ Law Blogs)
An escaped Colorado prisoner has finally been caught after 32 (!) years. (Denver Post)
Apple’s being sued, yet again, along with Nike, over allegations that the pair infringed a patent with the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. (Engadget)
And Apple’s also been sued in California over this whole iPhone bricking issue. (Information Week)
A Kentucky gal was awarded $6.1 million in damages, stemming from her being forced to strip in a McDonald’s office. (CNN)
“Is a sex change tax deductible?” (WSJ Law Blog)
Rollin down the street, smokin indo, filing lawsuits (laid back)
California Superior Court Judge Helen I. Bendix isn’t as hip as you and I. When she was assigned the case of Calvin Broadus v. Priority Records, she thought it was just another lawsuit. Of course, we know better, because we know that Calvin Broadus is the D-O-Double-G, Snoop Dogg himself.
During the case’s first hearing, Bendix says she now realizes the dizzle: “Now I realize who we’re talking about here. I didn’t recognize the nonprofessional name, so to speak.”
As for the case itself, Snoop is suing the record company over allegations that it owes him a couple million in fees under an old recording contract. He also says the label didn’t consult with him before releasing a greatest hits album. Judge Bendix suggested the parties use the court’s case evaluation service to try to settle the dispute, although both sides said mediation to this point has been unsuccessful. Judge Bendix also said she thought the case was “very interesting.”
Rumors that she joined Snoop for a fatty, after the hearing, remain unconfirmed.
Einy, meeny, miney mo
Ok, I kinda hate these blog memes and games of tag, but I’m going to play along. The mysterious editor over at the Blawg Review recently listed what he thinks are the ten best blawgs and, naturally, QuizLaw made the grade. Then Kevin Hill made a list over at Lowering the Bar and, once again, QuizLaw reared its ugly head (and Hill appears to be rather jealous about the fact that we get away with being gutter mouths over here). And then Nicole Black made her own list over at Legal Antics, and GeekLawyer’s Blog made one too, and QuizLaw snuck into the top ten twice again. Thanks y’all. And with so much love, I now feel obligated, much as I hate these games, to make my own top ten list.
These aren’t the ones that I think are necessarily the best. Rather, these are just the ten that I read the most regularly, so for one reason or another (humor, scholarly hoo-ha, gossip, etc.) they tickle my fancy (and often provide content for this very blog). And I provide them without comment because … well … I’m feeling to lazy to tell you why I dig each site. Just go check ‘em out for yourself if you’re curious - they’re all quality.
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
In 2007, QuizLaw decided to take Columbus Day off. Enjoy your holiday, boys and girls, and we’ll see ya’ tomorrow.
If You Were Gay, That’d Be OK
Good old Larry Craig — the toe-stomping Senator from Idaho — has, in the end, decided not to resign from his senate seat, this despite his inability to get his guilty plea stricken from the record. He fully intends to fill out his term now, and retire from the Senate in January 2009. However, there are more than a few Republicans who are considering trying to have him removed for ethics violations, but I think opening up an ethics investigation not only draws out the embarrassment, but offers golden opportunities to highlight all the past Republican disgraces from the last couple of years, in particular the double standard with regard to Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who was all but forgiven frequenting a female prostitute.
But, enough about that. This weekend, we leave you with the beautiful harmonies of Avenue Q. This is just brilliant. Bloody brilliant.
I Got Things To Do. Places to Go.
When we say we work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., we mean 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Not 5:01 p.m. Or 5:10 p.m. 5:00. On the dot. We got places to go, people to see. Happy hour at the local TGIFs to get to. “Two and a Half Men,” to watch. Feet to play with. The Secret to read. Damnit — we got to get out of here. Come hell or high water, it’s 5 sharp. No exceptions.
What’s that? You need to file an appeal for an execution? Your computer is down? You need us to stay open an extra ten minutes? Sorry, bud. No can do. 5:00. On the dot. I’m having drinks tonight with friends from the office. It’s Carol’s birthday. She’s turning 49 today, you know. The big four-niner. We’re going to trivia night at the …
… huh? I don’t care if the governor of the goddamn state is getting the electric chair. Five o’ clock, you hear me?! Nononononono: Not 5:05. We’re getting the hell out of here. When the DJ plays “Bang on the Drum All Day,” that’s our signal. We’re hightailing it. I’ve been thinking about a rum daiquiri all day long. And maybe some buffalo wings. Doesn’t that sound goo …
Oh, you said your client is being executed tonight? And you just need to file an appeal to postpone it. He’s gonna get the needle at 8:00. Ohhhhh well, in that case: Nope. Still not doing it. 5:00. No earlier. No later. Can’t do it. Sorry pal. Tell your little felon friend better luck next time. And maybe next time you want to postpone an execution, you’ll get here on time.
[The execution went ahead that evening and Michael Richard, 49, was declared dead at 8.23pm. I hope Wanda enjoyed her wings.]
The Daily Memo - 10/5/07
Well fiddly-dee-dee, how shocking - Senator Craig’s attempt to have his guilty plea withdrawn got a big, fat “no” from Minnesota’s Judge Porter, but Senator Craig says he’s gonna keep wasting tax payer dollars. (WSJ Law Blog)
Anita Hill, in response to Justice Thomas’ book: “nuh-uh.” (Law.com)
Hey, you know what? We are simply the best. (And we’ve got better legs than Tina, too!) (Blawg Review)
Verizon’s being sued over its alleged overstatement of the number of FiOS subscribers. (Gizmodo)
The first RIAA verdict swings the plaintiffs’ way, to the tune of $222K. (Slashdot)
Professor Dorf is calling the Plagiarism Scandal Sweepstakes in favor of Harvard Law, 3 to 1, over Yale. (Dorf on Law)
A Philly judge has smacked Wal-Mart with a hefty $62 million judgment in a case where a jury said the store was under-compensating some employees. (Law.com)
Defendants record what my mind is thinking
God bless Jonathan Lee Riches. He’s the guy who filed crazy lawsuits against Barry Bonds and Michael Vick, who claimed that Martha Stewart’s turkeys attacked him and who says that O.J. Simpson is a hitman for Steve Jobs. Our litigious little convict (that’s his lovely mugshot, so now we all finally know what our hero looks like) is still going strong, as he’s now filed over 30 federal lawsuits. The Smoking Gun brings us one of his most recent lawsuits and, like them all, the handwritten complaint is a humdinger.
This time, Riches has sued Cheaty McCheaterson himself, Bill Belichick, along with the Patriots, Tom Brady and Randy Moss, for “Illegally Spying on My Life.” He would like $5 million from them all, because they’ve been involved “in a vast conspiracy with video equipment to illegally tape anything and everything with significant value” since the 1970s! And it would seem that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishment of McCheaterson didn’t go far enough because “the NFL can’t stop Belichick from recording other teams.” In fact, he’s “had cameras on the Good Year Blimp with the help of the NSA,” and he might’ve also been involved with a bathroom scandal involving “Candid Camera.”
Now you’d think my favorite part of the complaint is where Riches claims that Belichick “sends Randy Moss to Boston Hospitals to spy on ultra sounds” and to record traffic signals. But it’s not.
This line is almost my favorite: “Belichick is a Peeping Tom Brady.” But it’s not.
No sir, this here would be my favorite bit:
Defendants cheated during the 2005 Superbowl against the Philadelphia Eagles. Before the game Tom Brady put a recording device in Donovin [sic] McNabb’s Chunky Soup. He ate it.
I knew my Eagles were jipped! I demand retribution!!!
Please arrest me for growing pot. Pleeeeeease!
Note to self - if I’m ever growing copious amounts of weed, I might not want to draw attention to myself. This is a lesson which an Arizona man, Phillip Simmons, doesn’t seem to get. How else to explain why the 53-year-old was running around his neighborhood in the nude? The cops arrived after being tipped off to Simmons’ naked gallivanting, and when they caught him, they took him back to his house … where they found 150 pot plants with a total street value of about a quarter of a million dollars. Needless to say, Simmons was arrested and faces three felony drug charges (but, strangely, no charge for public indecency).
Meanwhile, an Ohio man was also busted for growing weed after taking photos of his plants and dropping the film off at a local CVS. When the film was developed and the CVS employees saw the weed plants, they of course called the cops. At least our buddy in Arizona got to enjoy a run in the buff as a tradeoff for getting busted. This Ohio guy didn’t even get to have any fun. But he may get off lightly, as the drug task force is hoping that he’ll lead them to a bigger drug growing operation.
Today in Douchebag Legal Documents
The Charlie Sheen/Denise Richards custody case/petty feud has given me reason to live again. Not since the Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger divorce of 2001 have legal papers been so goddamn entertaining. Indeed, in papers that Richards filed with the court, she includes pics of the “Two and a Half Man’s” (Sheen is the half) erect penis that he used for porn sites, some of which featured what looked like underage boys. The papers also include accounts of Sheen screaming at Richards, telling her that — when she stopped breast feeding — she was causing their daughter to “become retarded,” and another in which he took a framed wedding portrait out to their garage, sawed it in half, and spray painted, “Worst Day of My Life,” on it (soon to be supplanted by the day that the judge in this case grants Richardson full custody of their children).
“You are an evil piece of [shit]. I can’t wait to tell the world what a piece of [shit] you are. You don’t get a [fucking] dime till this is resolved,” Charlie Sheen wrote to Denise Richards in an e-mail the actress included in documents filed last week in L.A. Superior Court in the couple’s custody battle. “You are a pig. A sad, jobless pig who is sad and talentless and sad and jobless and evil and a bad mom, so go [fuck] yourself sad jobless pig,” reads another. “Go cry to your bald mom, you [fucking] loser,” says a third e-mail. Richards says in her court filing that she was particularly hurt by the one about her mother, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
Didn’t Alec Baldwin call his daughter a “thoughtless little pig.” What’s up with celebrities and pig insults? I bet it’s a Scientology code word, one that means: “Oh shit, I’m am so screwed. Help me, Theta.”
Further Misadventures in C*nt Punditry
More from Anne Coutler’s book, If Democrats Had Any Brains They’d Be Republicans.
If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.
It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and ‘We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?’
The day the laughter died
Oh “Giggles the Clown,” why can’t you just make balloon animals and squirt water out of your lapel flower while spinning your bow tie and trying to catch your falling pants? Instead, 29-year-old Antonio Lazcano wants to piddle little girls. Lazcano, also known as “Giggles the Clown,” was arrested in May on child sex charges. The mother of a young girl found a nekkid picture of Lazcano in her daughter’s e-mail account and undertook a sex sting, under police supervision.
The mom e-mailed Giggles and said she was a 12-year-old girl. Giggles said he was fine with this, as he had previously dated a 16 and 14-year old girl. He then sent web camera images of himself doing naughty things, and set up a meeting with the “girl.” That’s what led to his arrest. He was scheduled to enter a plea last week, but requested a continuance, so nothing will happen until late October. Under the terms of the proposed plea, some of the stiffer charges against him will be dropped and he won’t have to register as a sex offender. Not sure why the prosecutors are offering him such a deal, as this guy sounds like exactly the type of scum who should be registered.
On the plus side, at least Giggles seems to have the falling pants bit down. Ew.
The Daily Memo - 10/4/07
Howard K. Stern has filed a lawsuit … blabbitty blah blah. He needs to go away and never bother us again. (CNN)
A former page has sued a South Dakota state senator over allegations of touchy-touchy. (FindLaw)
The Fifth Circuit has reprimanded a federal judge in Texas because of harassment and improper touchy-touchy. (WSJ Law Blog)
“The Family Guy” has been freakin’ sued. (The Trademark Blog)
The Supremes appear to like the way New York picks its judges. (CNN)
Remember That One Time?
Remember the time, on “Survivor,” when Johnny Fairplay made up a story about his grandmother dying in order to bilk sympathy from his island mates? Wasn’t that awesome? Huh? Huh? And then, remember the time that Johnny Fairplay was on that E! reality show, called “Kill Reality,” and remember how he dropped a deuce on that chick from “The Bachelor’s” bed and got tossed off the show? Wasn’t that sweet? Right? Right? Oh, and then, remember the time that Johnny Fairplay (real name Jon Dalton) was at some reality show awards ceremony and thought it would be fun to jump up on top of Danny Bonaduce and wriggle around? Wasn’t that awesome. What a great idea. Right? Right? And then, you remember how Danny Bonaduce — who is completely fucking psychotic, by the way — threw Johnny Fairplay over his shoulder? Uh huh! Uh huh! And remember how Johnny Fairplay lost one tooth and broke another when his face hit the floor?
That was the awesomest of all!!! And if you don’t remember that one time, you can witness the glory the below. (A police report was filed; charges are being considered).
(Note to the Universe: Don’t invade Danny Bonaduce’s personal space. Especially when he’s drunk, as he so obviously is here.)
It’s like the modern day Goldilocks
A Michigan woman came home one night to find her bed being kept warm by a naked guy. Trouble was, she didn’t know said nekkid man. And further trouble is that the man was actually a teenager. The 28-year-old lady was none too pleased with this situation, so she called the cops. When the cops showed up, they learned that the man was drunk.
He said that the woman was a call girl, which is why, when he awoke, he offered her $14 and some weed for good loving. The woman says that she’s not a call girl, no sir, and is just a waitress at a strip club.
Shockingly, the drunk dude was hauled off and arrested.
You Done Messed with the Wrong Goddamn Grandma
You ever put a nice bit of leftovers in the fridge overnight and then spend all day thinking about eating them, only to arrive home and find that your dinner has already been consumed? Totally sucks, right? Doesn’t it piss you off? Doesn’t it make you want to stab someone in the leg?
Well, a certain English woman lacks what we like to call impulse control because that’s exactly what happened when Anthony Donkin ate the porkchop of his partner, Tracy Wenn.
The court heard the couple were due to meet for a drink at a pub in Hull, but she failed to turn up and Mr Donkin went home to their flat in Dagger Lane.
When he looked in the fridge and saw the plate of pork chops, peas, carrots and onion gravy, he heated it up and polished it off.
Later when asked about the food by Wenn, he replied: ‘I’ve eaten it.’
Prosecutor Michael Wrigglesworth said: ‘At this point she went mad. She grabbed him by the neck. She went out of the living room and came back.
‘She said the words, “Eat my food, feel my fork”, which they both accepted was a reference to the Quorn advert. She then stabbed him with the knife.’
Paul Genney, defending, told the court: ‘She meant it as a joke. Had she not been so drunk, she would have poked him with the knife, but, struggling around drunk, she stabbed him.’
Outside court Wenn said she was relieved not to go to jail. ‘I just lost it when I found out he had eaten my tea. They were lovely pork chops as well!
The 45-year-old grandmother of 8 (seriously? Forty-five years old and she already has 8 grandchildren!) was given two years of probation. Her and her partner, however, are still together. And I bet he gets to eat her porkchop anytime he wants now.
Today in C*nt Punditry!
From Anne Coulter’s new book:
“President George W. Bush is evidently the first mentally retarded person to get a Harvard M.B.A., graduate from the U.S. Air Force Flight School, be elected governor of Texas and then be elected President of the United States twice. I guess this is what they call ‘mainstreaming,’” Coulter writes in her new book, “If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans.”
Make of that what you will.
The Ugly Side of Humanity
You know those “Take Your Child to Office” Days that are so popular in the American workforce (or, at least, in American workforce sitcoms)? Yeah — it’s probably not a good idea to bring your kids to work with you when you’re a prostitute. I mean, I completely appreciate that Wendy Knowlton Cook was trying to save money by foregoing daycare, but multitasking is probably not the best idea when the two tasks you are engaged in are babysitting and giving two men a hummer in the front seat of the car while your five-year-old daughter and two-month-old son are in the backseat.
Oh, you probably oughtn’t snort lines of cocaine off your son while you’re breastfeeding him, either. That’s just tacky.
But, of course, the advantage to bringing your children to work while you’re whoring yourself out to strangers for cash is that, should an opportunity arise to sell your children to one of your clients in exchange for drug money, the children are close by, so — you know — you don’t have to run home and get them before your customer gets cold feet.
Fortunately, the prostitute — whose own father is one of the owners of the race horse Funny Cide — was picked up by the cops and taken away from her children. As the judge overseeing her case said, “I have never come across such an atrocity in my life and that’s saying a lot. Congratulations.”
Congratulations, indeed. It takes quite a gal to be able to balance her child in such a way as to nurse him while simultaneously snorting blow off his back.
The Daily Memo - 10/3/07
A federal judge slammed a bunch of Philly lawyers for acting in bad faith but, come on - the Phillies are in the playoffs! Can’t we just give all Philadelphians a pass for right now? (WSJ Law Blog)
Opening Pandora’s charm bracelet. (43(B)log)
Several states are planning to sue Bush and his cronies over “new rules that block the expansion of a health insurance program for children from low-income families.” (FindLaw)
The Supremes has refused to hear an appeal in a landmark class-action tobacco decision. (Law.com)
A New York jury has decided that Isiah Thomas is guilty of sexual harassment, although he still says: “I am very innocent.” (WSJ Law Blog)
Who better to help the healing process?
In Huntingdon, Tennessee, Mary Winkler is the shining example of a good wife and mother. If the kind of example you’re looking for is a lady who kills her husband with a shotgun blast. Last year Winkler was arrested for killing her minister-husband, although she says it was an accident - Winkler claims she was holding a shotgun while confronting her husband about his physical and emotional abuse of her and the gun simply went off accidentally. She was convicted of voluntary homicide, and hit with a three year sentence, although she was freed after just five months (plus two months in a mental health shop).
This story is back in the news now because Winkler wants to regain custody of her three daughters. Since being arrested, she has only seen them twice, although she sends letters and talks to them on the phone. The girls are currently in the custody of the dead husband’s parents and, understandably, they don’t want Winkler getting the girls back. In fact, they’re currently working to terminate Winkler’s rights to the kids so that they can adopt the girls. But Winkler says that - get this - she should have them back because she’s the one who can best help them heal emotionally from having their dad killed. By her, mind you.
Winkler told Judge Ron Harmon that she is competent to care for her children thanks to psychological counseling and drugs for anxiety and depression. The girls are now 10, 8 and 2 years old.
The children’s paternal grandparents, she said, also refuse to let her father and other members of her family visit the girls. “My children need 100 percent of their family,” Winkler said.
John Ciocca, a clinical psychologist, testified that denying young children access to a parent can be emotionally damaging. “If these children continue to be kept from their mother without good reason, they can be harmed by it,” Ciocca said.
Being kept from their mother without good reason? Uhm, how about the fact that she killed their father? I think that qualifies as a pretty damn good reason.
But how much is that in Unicorns?
Last February I told you about That’s What She Said, a website run by a Georgia labor lawyer. She tries to have a little fun with her employment law practice by looking at each episode of “The Office” and giving a run down on what that week’s episode is likely to cost Dunder Mifflin in terms of legal exposure. A recent WSJ Law Blog post reminded me of the fact that this site would be providing new updates now that “The Office” is running new episodes and, sure enough, we’ve learned that last week’s season premier could cost the paper company almost half-a-million smackeroos. Seems that hitting employees with your car and calling meetings to talk about employees’ religious beliefs may not be the best course of action for employers.
How long until there’s a law school course based on “The Office?” Now that’s a course I totally would’ve shown up to on a regular basis.
And here’s a clip with one of my favorite lines from “The Office,” shared for no other reason than the fact that this post provides the perfect excuse for including the clip:
To Go to Class or Not to Go to Class
A recent National Law Journal article tells of a debate over what it calls “a perennial subject,” the argument about whether or not law schools should have mandatory class attendance. Some argue that mandatory attendance is important because that’s the way things are in the real world. Says a Seattle University School of Law prof:
My view is: You need to start treating this as a job. You need to start imposing upon yourself the same standard that will be imposed upon you when you leave. When one graduates, it’s not just a matter of flipping the switch and having good habits.
I don’t buy that argument at all. First of all, many a college student (undergrad, law school, grad school - you name it) go from days of minimal class attendance to full-time jobs without having some sort of “not showing up to work” issue, so that “flip a switch” argument is just stupid. Plus, if the professor really believes that law school is truly supposed to prepare students for practicing in the real world, he’d be a proponent of much broader law school reform, as much of the law school process has little-to-nothing to do with actually preparing one to be a working lawyer (and to be fair, I have no idea what the professor’s stance is on this issue).
Meanwhile, others out there argue that mandatory attendance may not be all that important, as there’s no data to suggest that higher attendance correlates to better grades. One practitioner notes that the real problem here is that many professors aren’t engaging their students. And that’s absolutely right. I had classes I never missed, and I had classes I missed far more frequently than perhaps I should have. And with rare exception, the difference was that I went to the classes where I actually cared about the material and/or the professor, and I skipped the ones where I didn’t give a lick. And at the end of the semester, my grades were comparable, regardless of the amount of time I went to class. The majority of law school students are self-motivated types (since that’s who’s drawn to law school in the first place), and they’re going to generally prepare for exams in the way that best suits them. So rather than throwing around mandatory attendance requirements, law schools should work towards actually engaging the students and bettering the process as a whole. But that costs time and energy, and law schools are a business. And like all business, the lest time and energy spent, the more money in the pocket, right?
File Under: Seriously? You Have Got To Be Shitting Me
Under fire from environmental groups and wildlife enthusiasts, who allege that the 670-mile long fence the United States is building along the Mexican border is harmful to the environment, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff actually said that the fence is good for the environment. And you’re going to love his logic:
“Illegal migrants really degrade the environment. I’ve seen pictures of human waste, garbage, discarded bottles and other human artifact in pristine areas,” Chertoff said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “And believe me, that is the worst thing you can do to the environment.”
The worst thing, huh? You know what else will help the environment, Cherty? Killing migrant workers. All of them. Just take them out back behind the shed and shoot them in the head. Because, if there are no migrant workers for American industries to hire at a ridiculously low wage, there’ll be no one to operate the pollution-producing factories that contribute to environmental ruin. And then we can build a human-shield of illegal immigrants and plug holes in the ozone with them. Genius.
Or … how about this Chertoff: Why don’t you pay a few of those migrant workers slipping across the border to clean up the garbage and the discarded bottles that are fucking up the environment. Cheap labor,man. Cheap labor.
The Daily Memo - 10/2/07
The Phillies won the pennant!! (And some other legal gobbeldy-gook). (Concurring Opinions)
Yikes - “Wife stabbed, judge shot, Reno man on trial.” (CNN)
Double yikes - “Woman gives birth to her grandchildren.” (WT&E Prof Blog)
The Supremes have refused to hear Hamdan’s latest case. (SCOTUSblog
What of the old LL.B? (WSJ Law Blog)
Clarence Thomas says that Anita Hill was just a lousy employee used by political enemies to try to bring him down. (Law.com)
So wait - it’s illegal to ask a teenage girl to model underwear for you while hanging out in a Victoria’s Secret? (WAFF)
A Pennsylvania appeals court says that a family court judge went too far when she told a homeless couple that they were banned from having more kids. (The Times Leader)
Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Grease Fire
Britney Spears has officially lost physical custody of her two children after a judge ordered K-Fed to take custody, beginning Wednesday at midnight. Great — so, K-Fed is now in charge of feeding and clothing two children under the age of 3? What , were there no wild animals the judge could leave them with? No meth houses he could find with available foster parents? Why didn’t the judge just leave the kids in a strip club with a six-pack of Coors, a box of ding-dongs, and a roll of ones to leave in their next mother’s thong?
Those poor goddamned kids.
Spears has sold over 76 million records worldwide and her 31 million albums sold in the US make her the eighth best-selling female artist in US music history. After the judge ruled on the custody matter, she rolled up to a fast-food drive-thru, proving once again that, you can take the trailer trash out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer trash out of the girl. But you can take her kids away. Or something like that.
Respect my authoritah!
Who would’ve ever guessed that a law student might be a bit snooty? Shocking news, right?
… Yeah, not so much. Today’s snooty law student comes from Wayne State University Law School. I haven’t heard of it either, but I guess it’s one of those little fourth tier law schools that many of us have never heard of (despite getting some flack from some of his readers, David Lat spent all of of last week focusing on various stories from lower tier law schools). Anyway, an unnamed Wayne State 2L was scheduled to meet with someone from a little four-person local firm. When that attorney failed to show for the on-campus interview, Mr. 2L sent off a snarky e-mail that was only basically: “How dare you - I may be nobody now, but someday soon, I’m gonna be a somebody. And then you’ll respect my authoritah!”
Check out the full e-mail, and the firm’s response explaining the gall of standing up Mr. 2L, over at Above the Law.
The Dipshit Principle
Man, how dumb do you have to be? This guy ought to lose his lawsuit in principle alone — the dipshit principle.
So, it goes like this: Greg Calvino, a 45-year-old stock trader who loves ladies and nose candy, allegedly pledged to his girlfriend that he’d never “use drugs, stay out late, frequent strippers or prostitutes.” And, to back his pledge, Calvino wrote out a $100,000 check and gave it to his girlfriend, Elisa Kwon, and told her she could cash it if he reneged on his promise.
Well, he reneged on his promise. And she cashed the check. And, of course, he’s now in court, suing to get back his $100,000 along with interest and legal fees. He claims his girlfriend shook him down for the $100,000, saying that he wrote her the check after she threatened to go to his boss with made up stories of drug use and whoring.
Kwon is asking the court to dismiss the case.
In an affidavit, Kwon attached what she claims is the text of a long instant-message conversation she had with Calvino in which he appears to cop to doing drugs and visiting strip clubs and tells her to keep the cash.
After initially writing that he was “sorry I was irresponsible last night - but I didn’t do the bad stuff,” and that he was not “stupid enough to jeopardize our future,” Calvino explains he was only “drunk/bombed [on] Jack [Daniels],” according to the text transcript.
Kwon reminds him of the “$25 Rite-Aid” test - “it’s POSITIVE.”
Calvino then appears to blame one of his trading buddies: “He put it in my face.”
He put it in my face — well, if that isn’t a legally binding excuse, I don’t know what it is.
Pump It Up
So, last week, the continuing saga of a 33-year-old Harvard Medical student finally came to a conclusion after an appeals court overturned a lower court decision ruling that Sophie Currier could not have extra time during her medical licensing exam to pump breast milk for her four-month-old daughter (the medical board is appealing).
Now, for the many of you — like myself — who have been following this story but have never actually read past the headlines, you were probably shocked (shocked!) when the lower court ruled that Currier couldn’t have the extra time. As the husband of a nursing mother, I was appalled, thinking this was just like typical male judges who don’t understand shit about breast-feeding or the pain and inflammation that occurs if a nursing mother doesn’t pump regularly.
But last night I finally read an entire story. Turns out, because of her ADHD and other special needs (dyslexia), Currier had already been granted permission to take the 9-hour exam over two days (while most med students have to take it in one day); that she, like regular med students, had already been alloted 45-minute breaks; and that, because she was taking it over two days, she would be taking it in a private room where she’d be able to pump during the exam.
So, after knowing all of that, am I perturbed with the appeals court’s decision to grant Currier an extra 15 minutes on top of her 45-minute break?
No … not at all.
Why? Well, because everybody gets 45-minute breaks. And, it doesn’t matter that she’s already been granted permission to take the test over two days for her ADHD disability, she should be given a level playing field: If men and non-lactating women take 45 minutes to use the restroom, eat their lunch, and take care of their business, it’s only fair that lactating women get at least an extra 15 minutes to do the same things that everyone else does plus pump breast milk. A woman should not be penalized for being a good mother.
Granted, Currier is just about the worst test case imaginable — ADHD being a specious disability, as it is; I mean, seriously, there’s medication for that, right? — but that doesn’t change the simple fact that lactating women are put at a significant disadvantage. It’s just too bad that Currier is the poster-mother for this case because it’s gonna give men everywhere a fall-back argument against her position, and it’s not an argument without some bite to it. It just so happens to have absolutely nothing to do with her right — or the right of all nursing moms — to have extra time for nursing during the exam.
So, while I’m not jumping for joy that Currier is going to be given scads of extra time to take her licensing exam, I am pleased that future lactating mothers should be given extra time to pump, thus leveling the field at least a little bit (of course, it doesn’t take into account the fact that the woman is having to study for the boards while taking care of an infant, but there’s not much that can be done about that).
The Daily Memo - 10/1/07
I ran across this a bit late in the game, but the Sports Guy has offered up an amusing “Idiot’s Guide to the Isiah Trial.” (Page 2)
Michael Vick has been sued by a bank for failing to repay loans taken out by a car rental business. (ESPN)
Yet another iSuit filed against Apple over the iPhone. (Overlawyered)
An Ohio federal judge struck down two state laws which purported to protect minors, but which the judge said violated the First Amendment. (c|net)
A California Supreme Court ruling has narrowed the window of time when folks can file malpractice suits against a law firm when a lawyer leaves that firm and takes the client with them. (Law.com)
Quote of the Week
This whole article, by a former cop, is interesting enough. But I’m linking to it for one reason only - the following quote is the best quote I’ve read in a while from anything not having to do with Florida:
When I asked Bill for his driver license, he picked blearily through his wallet, then handed me a Polaroid of his genitals.
Cheaty McCheaterson and The New England Cheatriots sued for almost $200 million
Carl Mayer is a Jets fan, which means he is, by definition, living in a constant state of depression and misery. But now he’s found an outlet for these negative emotions, in the form of a class action lawsuit against the New England Patriots and their head coach Bill Belichick. As you no doubt know, the Pats got themselves in a bit of trouble for violating an NFL rule banning the use of video cameras, on the sidelines, to record opposing teams’ signal calling. They were caught doing just that in their first game of the season, when they were playing the Jets.
And so now Mayer has sued the team and its coach, claiming a host of violations, including of state and federal racketeering laws, and of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Mayer’s lawsuit contends that these actions “violated the integrity of the game” and deceived all Jets ticket holders. Thus, Mayer would like to make his law suit a class action on behalf of all Jets fans, and he’s looking for over $184 million in damages:
The lawsuit maintains that because other teams found illicit videotaping by the defendants, Jets ticket holders should be compensated for all games played in Giants Stadium between the Jets and Patriots since Belichick became head coach in 2000.
The two calculated that because customers paid $61.6 million to watch eight “fraudulent” games, they’re entitled to triple that amount — or $184.8 million — in compensation under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
“How many times have the Patriots done this? We find it hard to believe they did it just once,” Mayer said. “We just want to get to the truth of the matter of what the Patriots did to the Jets. I think the ticket holders are genuinely concerned about it. This is a type of misrepresentation.”
If I were Mayer, I’d think about suing the Jets for fraudulently representing themselves as a professional football team, but that’s just me.
The boys (and girl) are back in town
It seems like just yesterday that the Supremes ended their last term and yet, here we go again once more into the breach. Last week, the Supremes added 17 new cases to their docket for the upcoming term, which officially kicks off today. And over the course of this term we’ll see “a full array of hot button issues — executive power, death penalty, Internet free speech — that will continue to measure how far to the right the Roberts Court is heading on the eve of a presidential election.”
Over at Slate, SCOTUSblog’s Thomas Goldstein thinks that these new cases “strongly suggest that the highest-profile decisions will actually make the court look liberal.” Goldstein says that this view would be wrong, that the Court won’t actually have different views this term. Rather, it’ll just look that way because of the cases being reviewed — but the appearance of a move to the left might become a galvanizing issue for the Repulicans in the ‘08 campaign:
[I]n the most significant cases of the term granted thus far, the position of the court’s more liberal members will be (in the caricature of much popular reporting on the court) that accused terrorists deserve more rights, crack dealers deserve lighter sentences, and the First Amendment protects would-be distributors of child porn. All good headlines for Republican candidates.
But I mean, why are talking about the Supremes’ October term when there are baseball playoffs about to start off? Baseball playoffs which, shockingly, amazingly, wonderfully, will include the NL East Champions, my very own Fightin’ Phils!