Remember this great lawsuit, which we wrote about last week? In case you don’t, here’s a quick recap: Summary: Pro se litigant George Allen Ward is suing Arm & Hammer and its corporate parent, Church & Dwight, for $425 million. His theory of liability: failure to warn. The company failed to warn him that if he cooked up THEIR PRODUCT, baking soda, with cocaine, he might end up serving a 200-month prison sentence on crack cocaine charges. You can read the full pleading here.
Opinion among ATL commenters was deeply divided. Some found the lawsuit almost offensive in its frivolousness, while others viewed it as presenting a colorable claim.
What do you think? We’d like to know (because commenters aren’t always representative of our entire readership). Time for a quick poll:
Remember the Best Notice of Appeal Ever? We’ve finally found a filing that tops it.
Pro se litigants, plaintiffs’ lawyers, and law professors all share the ability to “think outside the box.” They come up with novel and creative theories of liability — ones that courts have never entertained before.
Some are crazy. Some are brilliant. And some fall somewhere in between. Consider this civil complaint:
Summary: Pro se litigant George Allen Ward is suing Arm & Hammer and its corporate parent, Church & Dwight, for $425 million. His theory of liability: failure to warn. The company failed to warn him that if he cooked up THEIR PRODUCT, baking soda, with cocaine, he might end up serving a 200-month prison sentence on crack cocaine charges.
Ward argues that Arm & Hammer should add one of these warnings to boxes of baking soda:
“The use of this product with illegal drugs is punishable by law and is prohibited.”
“The use of this product with illegal drugs is punishable by enhanced penalties by the laws of the United States of America.”
This is just the beginning; the whole complaint is genius. It’s strangely compelling, and it gets better with every page. Also, we think it might fly in the Ninth Circuit.
We reprint the rest of the pleading after the jump. Enjoy!
* Fear not, you can continue the inexplicable and somewhat cheap practice of wearing buttons of your slain loved one when attending the trial of the accused perpetrator. [The Buck Stops Here]
* Think of the occasional theft as a write-off, which of course is moot since you’re not paying taxes anyway. And then rent Traffic, you clueless surburban kid. Disclaimer: I attended a suburban high school (but I never inhaled). [Sui Generis]
* Illinois wants to make it even easier for you to get out of jury duty. [Concurring Opinions]
* The choice of law school over medical school has its roots in our rather iffy math skills; but this is Yale Law, where the career center’s number-heavy cheat-sheet on the whole billable hours thing assumes (correctly) YLS students are the s**t all-around. [Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style]
* We think that this four-year-old’s parents may have tried explaining the birds and the bees using such technical terms as “special hug.” We’re hoping that he did not use sound effects during the alleged, er, breast nuzzling. [Waco Tribune]
* An additional bullet-point to add to my disturbingly endless “Why Video Games Creep the Hell Out of Me” list. [San Francisco Chronicle]
After driving her SUV the wrong way down a freeway, famine victim reality TV star Nicole Richie was arrested yesterday for driving under the influence (Vicodin and pot, allegedly). Perhaps she’s gearing up for “The Simple Life: Behind Bars”?
Seriously, though, we doubt Richie will do any prison time. She’s in the capable hands of Howard L. Weitzman, a prominent criminal defense lawyer who has represented oodles of celebrities over the years (e.g., John De Lorean, Michael Jackson, Ozzy Osbourne, and even O.J. Simpson (briefly)).
And this cloud has a silver lining. Now that she has a DUI arrest on her record, Nicole Richie is eligible for a state court judgeship.
Speaking of state judges and DUI arrests, our reader poll is now over. We asked you:
Who acted more stupidly? Judge Patrick Young, for driving under the influence, with a senior colleague as a passenger? Or Chief Judge Jan Fiss, for getting into the car with an inebriated colleague, and then trying to empty his tinnie by the side of the road?
* You have a right to a jury trial, whether you want it or not. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution via How Appealing]
* Santa’s big behind is gonna make kids want to drink beer?. [CNN]
* Now my case is at the Supreme Court, and I know why; because I got high, because I got high, because I got high… [WSJ Law Blog]
* It’s sad when otherwise good people get sucked into the seedy underbelly of the Arizona bingo scene. [MSNBC]
* Nice try, Jane, but a little too late to get your job on the Intelligence Committee back. [Jurist]
And they agreed to hear two other cases: a taxpayer lawsuit, and an appeal involving the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management. Control your excitement, people.
Tom Goldstein is a bit peeved at how late the Court is granting certiorari. This leaves relatively little time between the cert grant and the argument, which has unfortunate consequences:
The failure to adapt the briefing schedule to the smaller size of the Court’s docket produces expedited briefs that are less thorough and helpful to the Justices and creates a recurring cycle in which it is necessary to apply still more expedited schedules.
But we’re not shedding tears for the attorneys whose cases get granted. The opportunity to brief and argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court is once-in-a-lifetime experience. Suck it up and deal, people.
(Of course, Goldstein — a veteran Supreme Court litigator — probably doesn’t quite the same thrill from strutting his stuff at One First Street as SCOTUS virgins.) Supreme Court Takes ‘Bong Hits 4 Jesus’ Case [New York Times] Court grants three cases [SCOTUSblog] An Update on the State of the Docket [SCOTUSblog]
* The DOJ’s IG, its equivalent of the GAO, will investigate the NSA’s warrantless issuance of acronyms. [Law.com]
* Disecting the Chief Justice’s humor… lawyer style. [WSJ Law Blog]
* No name-calling: Court strikes down President’s power to designate terror groups. [MSNBC]
* Back in the Dogg pound: this time charges include “having a false compartment in a vehicle.” [CNN]
* Several federal law all-stars have filed amicus briefs in the 4th Circuit — which means a lucky clerk now has Janet Reno’s autograph! [SCOTUSBlog]
* Gun makers challenge a finding that lawsuits are legal. [Indy Star via How Appealing]
* “A lineup of legal heavyweights unusual even by Supreme Court standards is doing battle in a case pitting Wachovia Corp. against Michigan banking regulators.” [Bloomberg via How Appealing]
* Appellate law 101: Careful what you say at oral argument, they’re kind of picky about accuracy. [CNN]
* “Marijuana-for-homework mom gets 3 months.” [MSNBC]
* If you’re going to ban junk food ads, then bring back the cigarette ads! Nothing is as glamorous as a hot girl/guy smoking languorously. I’m only half kidding. [The Guardian]
* It’s great that attorneys have lives outside the law, but these people are probably the type who refer to themselves (and by “themselves,” I mean each of their “personas”) in the third person. [ABA Journal eReport]
* Although still not legal for non-medical purposes, much to Woody Harrelson’s chagrin. [Hit & Run]
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
LexisNexis and OverDrive®, the digital library solutions provider chosen by 22,000+ libraries, schools and colleges worldwide, have joined forces to provide a library management solution that suits evolving legal research requirements mobility, simplified library management, and space and budget reductions.
Reduce your library costs and extend the budget.
With LexisNexis® Digital Library, overhead and administrative costs for maintaining a print library are reduced dramatically. Adopt an easy-to-use platform that requires minimal staff resources so your organization can make the most out of your library budget. Plus, multi-year purchase options let your library lock in savings.
Empower your librarians.
Your firm’s librarians will have more time to conduct value-added research. They’ll have greater insight into what resources the staff actually uses so they can make adjustments to the collection quickly using a single website. Librarians can gain greater control, which can lead to better library utilization and increased strategic value to the firm.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!