Crime, Drinking, Holidays and Seasons, Sex

SantaCon Delivers Host of Legal Issues For Your Stocking

Massive brawls, videotaped hand jibbers, and violating Section 478 of the New York Judiciary Law. What an issue spotter!

Last weekend, New York once again endured the insufferable gathering of mouth-breathing douchebags known as SantaCon. Scores and scores of bros and ho ho hoes crawled into Manhattan bars dressed as Santa Claus (or some other holiday character) to get absolutely wrecked before screwing the bartender on the tip and moving on to the next bar for another dose of Jagerbombs.[1] That Agent Smith quote from the Matrix about how human beings are a disease that ruin everything and then move on to another area? That’s SantaCon.

And it’s all fun and games until they have to explain to the rental place why there’s vomit all over the red velvet suit. Or write a major publication pretending to be a lawyer to complain about the world watching Christmas-themed sex acts through a Duane Reade window….

Drinking should be reserved for people willing to do it every day, not binge-drinking posers. Building tolerance is like calisthenics, and if you don’t do it every day, you can find yourself garbed as St. Nick, writhing in the snow mercilessly beating some other jolly elves and permanently scarring some poor kid watching from a window:

“When you talk about a Santa fight, that’s what you want.” Indeed. The video is also exactly what the authorities might want to aid in an investigation. If I were teaching Crim or Torts this semester, SantaCon would provide the backdrop for my final. In addition to the battery we just watched, my exam would feature ersatz Santas using the streets as “as a combination trash can and toilet,” dram shop liability issues, minors in possession, drunk driving, and conflicts of laws problems as the party (inevitably) moves back to New Jersey… so many options.

Up to and including public lewdness. One documentary filmmaker covering the invasion of Kris Kringles captured one having what appeared to be a very jolly time in the window of a Duane Reade. Specifically, getting a hand job from a little helper. There’s an off-color milk and cookies joke that I had here that we cut because this is a classy publication. Someone should send this guy a T-shirt.

But tending to Santa’s Yule Log wouldn’t have piqued ATL’s attention until the story took another turn. The lawyer for the Santa captured in the video sent a threatening letter to Gawker demanding that they take down the video. Well, technically the letter asks HuffPo to take down the video, but whatever. In the grand scheme of things, threatening a lawsuit against the wrong website is exactly the kind of mistake you’d expect from a fake lawyer. Oh, yeah, that’s right… it looks like this is a fake lawyer:

While the identity of the SantaCon attendee remains unknown to us, we do know quite a bit about his attorney, Mr. Tyler Van Buren, Esq., thanks to his various online bios, which are linked to the telephone number he provided, and his Google+ account, which is linked to the Gmail account he emailed us from.

For instance, while Mr. Van Buren, Esq., appends the “esquire” honorific to his name—which is traditionally understood in the United States to indicate the status of a practicing attorney—neither his LinkedIn profile nor his Seeking Alpha biography indicate attendance at law school. His name does not appear in the New York Unified Court System’s directory of attorneys who have been admitted to the state bar. Nor does it appear in the directory of the state bar association of California, the state in which Mr. Tyler Van Buren, Esq., was married in 2011.

Well that sounds troubling. As Gawker notes, Section 478 of the New York Judiciary Law forbids people from pretending to be lawyers. So if someone from the NYAG is reading, you may have a case on your hands that just fell into your lap.

Get it?

[1] Fun fact: The original draft of this had the word “Jagrbombs.” An autocorrect throwback to his days as a Ranger I suppose. Back when I constantly wrote emails like, “why pay so much for Jagr if Sather won’t put anyone useful around him?”

Drunken SantaCon Brawl Features Six Santas [Gawker]
Union Square SantaCon brawl caught on camera [Gawker]
SantaCon Santa Gets Public Handjob from Naughty Mrs. Claus [Gawker]
Lawyer for Santa Accused of Public Handjob Demands Article Be Yanked [Gawker]

(hidden for your protection)

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