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Archive for General Law

More Crazy: Laws

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Sometimes I just pull out the list of archaic laws that are still on the books in various states for a “head-shaking” moment. In Virginia, I can look at the legislative comments for some of our laws, to get a hint on the intent of  the legislation as it headed for vote to become law.

For these laws below, I cannot see an explanation… that could ever explain these.

In Maryland, it is still against the law for lions to attend the theatre. I don’t know the reason, but it is a relief for theatre attendees.

In Nevada, you cannot drive camels on the highway. I guess gas consumption is encouraged?

In Rhode Island, it is against the law to throw pickle juice at a trolley. I think that should be adopted for all traffic!

In Washington State, it is against the law to represent that your parents are rich. I suspect this has something to do with banking.

And finally for today’s blog… In New Jersey, it is against the law to slurp your soup. There probably is some food joke that should be inserted here involving Governor Christie, but I will leave him alone today.

And finally for pic o’ day, how about some poetry?

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Pond or Pool Payment

Monday, June 8th, 2015

I just saw an opinion out of the Iowa Court of Appeals that reminded me of a personal experience. In that Iowa case (Reilly Construction Co. V. Bachelder, Inc), a property owner and a construction company were arguing over a contract issue.

At issue was whether the property owner owed money to the construction company for a ‘pond” that had been constructed in the backyard. The company was looking for payment while the property owner refused to pay. The property owner claimed that construction of a pond must include water. The company claimed that construction  of a pond just meant digging an area that would hold water. “Here’s your pond”.

Justice Mary Tabor wrote the majority opinion that stated, “By definition, a pond is a body of water” and that the pond was not built unless it included water. So,  no payment was due until the pond… was a pond!

My personal experience takes me back several years, when I decided to install a pool in the back of my house. I called the pool installation company, who quickly sent out a salesman with a contract.

The contract provided a 20% deposit of the purchase price for the pool, and the remainder of the balance was due when the pool was filled with water. The salesman predicted that the pool would be complete in about 8 weeks and that my backyard would look like a construction site until then.

I took  a deep breath and wrote the deposit check. In two days, a bulldozer was out there and my backyard looked like a scary mud pit. Three days later, it still looked like a scary work area except that there was a hole in the middle… with water in it.

I received a phone call that night from the salesman who asked if he could come by and get his check. Their explanation was basically like the pond case. Water meant completion for money… not completion of pool for money.

What do you think that I did? Well, you know what I did! And several weeks later, the company received the remainder of the payment. It wasn’t a very good experience but I had a pool.

At the time, my Jack Russell didn’t care that the pool was finished. The dog saw water and was in it. By that test, the pool was finished in 6 days. Of course, I think that she enjoyed the mud pit too.

 

And our pic o’ day is on leadership… or lack of leadership!

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A Name and a Number Lawsuit

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Here comes news from the Supreme Court… of China. Never thought I would be blogging on that Court, but it involves Michael Jordan. It’s a lawsuit about his name and the number that he used when he played NBA basketball.

Here’s what Reuters reported:

Earlier this year, a court ruled in favor of Qiaodan over the trademark dispute, a ruling that was upheld by the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court, an official at the Chinese firm and legal representatives for Jordan told Reuters.

“In light of the trademark dispute ruling, we intend to appeal to the Supreme People’s Court for retrial,” the statement said, adding that a separate case with Qiaodan Sports over naming rights was still ongoing.

Reuters could not reach the Beijing court for comment. In 2013, the state-run Xinhua news agency said Qiaodan Sports had sued Michael Jordan for damaging its reputation and demanded $8 million (£5 million) in compensation.

Basically what Jordan is claiming is that a sports company named Qiaodan Sports has built its business around the number “23″ and his name, without his permission. As the report indicates… he previously lost in the Beijing Municipal Court. The 2013 suit brought by Qiaodan against Jordan for damaging their reputation is still ongoing.

All I know, China seems like a long drive from here. I’m glad I don’t have to handle that fight!
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
― Tom Bodett

 

And for pic o’ day… these are probably reruns but they both make me smile. Good for a Monday!

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A Case in Progress

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

I cannot remember the last time that I specifically blogged about a case that our firm is currently handling. Sometimes I will discuss a jury verdict. Most of the time I just discuss cases or legal issues that I see in the news.

I just saw one of our cases being reported about in PilotOnline.com. So, today’s blog is about one of our current cases.

Admittedly, I am attaching as the blog because it was a story that grabbed my attention before I realized it was our case.

Second, this is a lazy way of blogging by just attaching a reporter’s story. And third, the reporter lifted information right from the filed pleading that attorney Geoff Glick drafted. So, it’s interesting to me, to see the case through the eyes of the reporter.

If you want to read the specific article, then click at the attachment above. Below, I have attached the summary that the Virginia Trial Lawyers sent to all of its members summarizing cases that are in the news. Reading it is a lot quicker than clicking the whole article above!

A Virginia woman who was involved in a crash after she took a type of Ambien and then drove a vehicle has filed a lawsuit against the city of Virginia Beach and one of its employees. The lawsuit was filed in Circuit Court and alleges that the woman was under the influence of her prescribed medication, which she believed she took properly, when she crashed into the back of another vehicle. The plaintiff and a 4-year-old passenger were injured in the accident.  After the accident, the plaintiff was convicted of driving while intoxicated. The medication is known to cause “sleep driving,” sleep walking and memory loss, according to the lawsuit.

And for pic o’ day, these two cartoons are nonsense!

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A Malpractice Claim

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Hamptonroads.com reports a story that also serves as a reminder about the difficulties of medical malpractice cases.

A  7-year-old girl from North Carolina traveled to the Sewells Point Branch Medical Clinic in Norfolk for treatment. She had pinched her left thumb in a car door. The family thought that she just needed stitches.

The medical staff treated her with a nerve block and sutures. Before leaving the clinic, they also applied a compression wrap manufactured by 3M Health Care.

The girl went home with her parents. The next day she complained that the wrap was too tight; So her mother removed it and replaced it with a gauze dressing.

The family returned back to the clinic on three occasions over the next few days,  for three consecutive days of treatment. Finally, the doctor diagnosed the girl with “necrosis of the pulp” and amputated the thumb.

According to the reporter, the lawsuit that was filed claimed that the compression wrap tourniquet caused the necrosis and subsequent amputation. The defense claimed that many things could have caused the amputation including the original car door injury.

Part of the girl’s claim relates to the mental anguish. She says that “girls are mean” at school. “They use it against her”. She’s tired of explaining about how she lost her thumb.

So, she has tried to make up a “tough” story of how she lost her thumb. Sometimes she will say that it was bitten off by a wolf or piranhas.

She is now eleven, so this lawsuit has been dragging on for 4 years. She also believes that it has affected what she wanted to do in the future. Her hope was to join the military and become a corpsman. That’s because her grandfather was a Vietnam veteran.

Since the thumb was to her dominant left hand, she has also had to now learn to write with her right hand.

What do you think was the settlement payment for this claim?……… $125,000.

It’s not a case that I have personal knowledge regarding any of the facts, nor have I looked at the pleadings. However, it’s real life. The difficulties of successfully proving a malpractice claim with  a worthy recovery.

After that story it’s hard to even post a pic o’ day, but I need something to make me smile…

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A Curse Word Amendment

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

This is a blog about curse words… or it could also be called “Times have sure changed!’.

In 1897, the state of Maine enacted a statute that banned boxing from being shown in films. Then, in 1915, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case that held that there could be censorship in films because they were considered commerce and not art; which meant that there were no free speech first amendment protection.

Wikipedia provides an interesting listing of the various content that was disallowed in early films. (here) Such censorship ranged from language and subject matter, to content that still would not be allowed today.

The Motion Picture Production Code was drawn up by a Republican lawyer/former Postmaster General by the name of Will H. Hays. He prepared guidelines for filmmakers to assist in what would become standards of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. It was known as the Hays Code, which was enforced under the Hays Office or Board.

That brings me to the infamous  movie Gone With The Wind. Prior to that movie, curse words were not allowed.

On November 1, 1939, an amendment was passed that would effect the dialogue of that movie.  The amendment still recognized that using the words “hell” or “damn” were still not allowed unless their use “shall be essential and required for portrayal, in proper historical context, of any scene or dialogue based upon historical fact or folklore … or a quotation from a literary work, provided that no such use shall be permitted which is intrinsically objectionable or offends good taste.”

With that amendment, Scarlett O’Hara tearfully asked Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), “Where shall I go? What shall I do?”. With that, a nation was shocked when Butler uttered his last words to her, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn“. In 2005, that quotation was voted as the number one movie line of all time by the American Film Festival.

My how times have changed. I hope you have a great weekend!

And for our pic o’ day:

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Insurance in Sports

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

This picture with chopstick instructions made me laugh.

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It’s why the Preakness horse race on Saturday would cause people to bet on the horses. Different odds for different beliefs in their possibility of winning. Although, the result would cause me to believe that only American Pharoah had a chance.

While many of us don’t believe that life is just about luck or chance, insurance companies look at it as risk measurement. A belief that life is a bit of chance is what insurance companies count on in selling their product. They collect premiums with the hope that you will never need payment of insurance. We make payment for insurance premiums… with the hope that we will never need to collect!

That brings me to Ekpre-Olomu. The fact that you probably don’t know the name is part of the story. He used to play cornerback for the University of Oregon and was expected to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft.

He was a concensus All American who tore his ACL in December practice. Because of that knee injury, he was unable to perform at the NFL combine nor at pro day at his school. Those are the times when NFL scouts make their recommendations.

Because of his injury and subsequent fall in the recent draft, Ekpre-Olomu is now in line to collect on a 3 million dollar insurance policy. Last year, to encourage him to stay and play at the school, Oregon took out an insurance policy against such an injury that would effect his pro career.

When he wasn’t selected in the first round, he was eligible to collect on a portion of the policy. When he fell out of the second round, he was in line to collect the full 3 million. It won’t make up for his full loss because if he had been drafted around the 12th pick, he would have collected somewhere around 10.5 million in guaranteed money in that slotted spot. Still, that insurance policy will be a helpful offset as he works to get better from his injury.

That’s a form of disability insurance that is now becoming more popular among athletes. When I first started practicing law, I purchased a disability policy that would  pay if I am unable to physically try cases in a courtroom. I am thankful to be paying those small premiums… without ever collecting.

 

And for our Monday pic o’ day, a lack of confidence…

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The Law Excuse Blog

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

I have been out of town on a case, which is my excuse for not writing a blog the last couple of days. I could have written a short blog or at least posted a pic o’ day with the ease of technology by iPad these days, But,  I now claim the law as my excuse!

I did receive some great pictures. Here’s one from Jeff R. that just makes me laugh. You will only appreciate this one if you are not a fan of the Patriots. In light of the recent Tom Brady suspension and all the discussion of football deflating, this is a classic sarcasm picture  of their championship Super Bowl ring. (couldn’t help it, I had to post)

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I also thought that the Friday blog is good time to post a few more unusual laws that are still on the books in various states.

Here’s a curious one from Maryland: It is illegal in Maryland for lions to attend the theatre.
And, in Alaska it is against the law to wake a sleeping bear, just to take a picture. That seems more than curious. And finally in our Friday blog look at some unusual laws: In South Dakota it is against the law to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory. Guess that was a real problem.

I hope you have a great weekend. And here is our pic o’ day:

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Lawsuits After the Big Fight

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

It’s boxing and lawsuits. And, there’s a lot of money involved.

Last Saturday night in Las Vegas,  Floyd Mayweather won a 12-round victory by  a three judge unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao. Initial financial estimates indicate that the fight generated approximately $400 million in revenue. Now, fans want a piece of that prize money.

Two fans have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that consumer laws were violated and bettors didn’t get fair fight because of Pacquiao’s failure to disclose that he had suffered a shoulder injury before the fight. The lawsuit seek damages from Pacquiao as well as his promotion company, Top Rank Inc., on behalf of all who purchased tickets for the fight; those who watched the fight on pay-per-view television; and gamblers who wagered on the fight.

Since the boxing match, it has been reported that Pacquiao has already had right shoulder surgery to repair a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff. More fuel to the lawsuit, that the fight never should have taken place.

A separate suit has been filed against the victorious fighter, Floyd Mayweather.  The mother of three of his children has now filed a defamation suit against him in Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit was brought because of remarks that he made about her in media interviews before the fight. In an April interview with Katie Couric, he claimed among other things that he wasn’t really assaulting her in a 2010 incident at their Las Vegas home. Instead, he was just trying to restrain her because she was on drugs at the time.

At the time, Mayweather was arrested and charged with domestic violence after two of their children witnessed him pulling her hair and twisting her arm so hard that she thought that she had broken it. He ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge and spending two months in jail.

The lawsuit seeks $20 million. It is estimated that Mayweather could get as much as $200 million from the fight, once all the fight income including pay-per-view profits are totaled.

It just makes me shake my head!

Have a great weekend!

And for pic o’ day…

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Wal-Mart Wage Lawsuit

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

The greeters at the doors of Wal-Mart leave me with a positive feeling, because they smile. Not all Wal-Mart employees are smiling.

In 2002, several employees brought suit against Wal-Mart claiming that they were made to work on breaks, and that they did not get paid for those breaks as promised. Basically, a claim for failure to pay wages.

In 2005, these employees were certified as a class action. In 2006, the class went to trial and secured a jury verdict in the amount of $187 million. Wal-Mart appealed but ultimately the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the verdict.

From that opinion, Wal-Mart has taken their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is not whether the employees were improperly joined as a class to bring an action. Wal-Mart had previously been successful in a 2011 case for that reason,  when the Supreme Court struck down the certification  of a class for 1.6 million female employees who had brought suit with a claim for gender discrimination, relating to pay and promotion policies at the stores. (Wal-Mart v. Dukes)

Instead, the basis of appeal for this present wage lawsuit is an attack on the expert testimony at the original trial. According to Wal-Mart’s appeal, the testimony was based on a condensed version of information rather than actual evidence, which caused the expert testimony to be given in error. The argument… that there was no real evidence at trial relating to lost wages since there was no evidence of time-clock records.

At one time, Wal-Mart had used time clocks for employees. Close to the time of the original suit, all stores had ceased requiring time clock  “clock-in” by the employees. As a result, Wal-Mart now argues to the Supreme Court that no claim for loss of wages should exist without specific proof. The case will be heard during this term of Court.

And pic o’ day is more cartoon today:

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