Earlier this week, we told you about a class action lawsuit filed against Taco Bell over its taco fillings. The lawsuit alleges that Taco Bell inaccurately claims to be selling “seasoned beef” when in fact it is selling “taco meat filling.”
We didn’t think Taco Bell would take these allegations lying down. The WSJ Law Blog tells us that Taco Bell lawyers are thinking outside the bun box and contemplating a countersuit.
But today brings news of a more traditional response from the fast food giant: an all-out media blitz to assure customers about the quality of its food.
Taco Bell is issuing press releases, taking out full-page ads in newspapers, and even has their president talking about the Taco Bell “seasoned beef” recipe on YouTube. Sadly, Taco Bell isn’t available on SeamlessWeb here at the office — so I can talk about the ad campaign, but can’t experience it in my belly…
I’m not going to lie: I love Taco Bell. It’s my favorite fast food. One of the most consistently annoying aspects of my life is that I’ve never lived near a Taco Bell. I always have to go out of my way to get it.
Now, generally my wife and I learn how to cook things that we like but don’t have easy access to. I can turn my kitchen into a lobster holocaust zone. We buy beef and grind it ourselves to make Shake Shack burgers. I’ve even once had a chef from a restaurant in Vegas email me a recipe of a dish I particularly enjoyed.
But I’ve never, ever come close to recreating the taste of a Taco Bell taco. Oh, I can make tacos, and they are tasty, but I can’t get the Taco Bell thing right.
Now I know why. I’m using real beef. Taco Bell is apparently using… something else…
As previously covered in these pages, earlier this week a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered Rogue States Burgers to cease grilling operations at its Dupont Circle location. This news was met with sadness by burger lovers in the nation’s capital, but by relief from the employees of Steptoe & Johnson. Steptoe had sued Rogue States, claiming that fumes and smells from the burger purveyor were a nuisance requiring abatement.
Rogue States complied with Judge John Mott’s order. But this may not be the final act in the drama….
This afternoon brings some major news for hamburger lovers in the nation’s capital. In the lawsuit brought by Steptoe & Johnson against Rogue States Burgers, in an effort to stop Rogue States’ rogue smells from infiltrating law firm airspace, Big Law has triumped over big beef patties. Judge John M. Mott of D.C. Superior Court just ruled that the burger fumes from Rogue States must be abated immediately.
Judge Mott ordered Rogue States to stop its grilling operations by the end of today. Due to the unavailability of easy solutions to the smell problem — an alternate ventilation plan has been nixed by the building landlord — Judge Mott “effectively issued a death sentence for the Dupont Circle burger joint,” as noted by Tim Carman of the Washington City Paper.
A disconsolate reader emailed this reaction to us: “sad. i am pleading to obama, burger lover president, to intervene.”
It would be easy to snark on a large white-shoe law firm — represented by another large law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop — going to court to beat up on a local burger joint. But Steptoe might be a more sympathetic plaintiff than some might think….
* Hans Bader of CEI is fine with the bar exam — congrats to everyone who just finished, by the way — but wants to ditch the requirement of graduating from law school. After all, “[e]ven students who seldom studied, and reputedly were on drugs, managed to graduate from my alma mater, Harvard Law School.” [DC SCOTUS Examiner]
* For people who profess to hate law school, they sometimes act like they’re still in it: anti-law-school bloggers get caught up in a catfight. [Confessions of a Laid-Off Lawyer]
* A collection of entertaining legal opinions. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski appears multiple times, of course. [Google Scholar Blog]
* Chipotle is delicious — but does it violate the ADA? [Cato @ Liberty]
Tremayne Durham has some serious food issues. In 2006, he decided he wanted to enter the ice cream business, so he ordered an $18,000 ice cream truck from a company in Oregon.
When he changed his mind about selling popsicles, the company refused to give him a refund. Durham traveled from New York to Oregon to confront the company. Apparently, he has anger issues as well — he shot and killed an employee.
Now he’s making headlines for his unusual plea bargain. From the Guardian:
His craving for a decent bit of nosh was so intense that he agreed to pay a high price – a life sentence.
Durham, 33, struck a plea bargain last month in which he was guaranteed a meal of KFC chicken, Popeye’s chicken, mashed potato, coleslaw, carrot cake and ice cream – in return for pleading guilty to murder.
As part of the deal, and after receiving a life sentence this week in court in Portland, Oregon, Durham will also get a second feast, this time on an Italian theme, with calzone, lasagne, pizza and ice cream.
The judge, Eric Bergstrom, is understood to have accepted the bargain because it would save the state of Oregon thousands of dollars in hosting a trial and possible subsequent appeals.
One of the tipsters who sent this story our way was inspired:
The next plea deal I negotiate will contain a heart wrenching narrative about my client’s woeful circumstances, a § 3553 analysis, and a demand for a footlong sub, a sack of White Castle, and a Fudgie the Whale cake. I can’t wait for Durham’s habeas petition, based on the Government’s impermissible substitution of pizza bagels and chicken fingers, in violation of the plea agreement.
We thought the whole point of Ave Maria Law School, founded by Domino’s pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, was that with enough money, you can do whatever you want. E.g., establish a very conservative, Catholic law school, and not care if the liberal legal academy raises its eyebrows — ’cause you could buy and sell them, several times over.
So doesn’t it defeat the whole point if Ave Maria requires funding from sources beyond Monaghan’s pile of pizza dough? From Julie Kay’s article in the National Law Journal:
Got $20 million? If so, you could have a law school building named after you.
Ave Maria School of Law is selling naming rights to the new law school facility it’s building in southwest Florida.
“We’d like to find someone who would want the opportunity to have their name associated with the school, to help us with the construction costs,” said Dean Bernard Dobranski. He said the school is rapidly moving forward with its controversial plan to relocate from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Ave Maria, Fla., and has even obtained architectural renderings of the new school.
Ave Maria is already in turmoil: controversy over its move from Michigan to Florida, lawsuits filed by three professors who claim they were wrongfully terminated, an ongoing investigation by the American Bar Association. A suggestion that Tom Monaghan’s coffers are not infinite could not come at a worse time.
Meanwhile, in other Domino’s news, they’re trying to return to the glory days of their 30-minute delivery guarantee — without getting sued. Delivering delicious pizza in under half an hour is a noble mission. We wish them the best of luck.
P.S. Tom Monaghan no longer owns the pizza chain. He sold his controlling interest to Bain Capital in 1998 for about a billion dollars, which he plowed into launching Ave Maria University. Ave Maria still looks to move, puts name on block [National Law Journal] Domino’s Pizza and the Law [WSJ Law Blog] Will a Twist on an Old Vow Deliver for Domino’s Pizza? [Wall Street Journal]
Words to the wise: be extra careful when preparing food for law enforcement officers. From the Associated Press:
A McDonald’s employee spent a night in jail and is facing criminal charges because a police officer’s burger was too salty, so salty that he says it made him sick.
Kendra Bull was arrested Friday, charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and freed on $1,000 bail.
Bull, 20, said she accidentally spilled salt on hamburger meat and told her supervisor and a co-worker, who “tried to thump the salt off.”
Police Officer Wendell Adams got a burger made with the oversalted meat, and he returned a short time later and told the manager it made him sick.
Clearly it was Kendra Bull’s fault — ’cause people never get sick after eating McDonald’s.
Also, did Officer Adams eat the whole darn burger? If so, why, if it truly was insanely salty? If not, could he really have gotten sick from a bite or two of super-salty hamburger? Regular customers of McDonald’s presumably have a high tolerance for sodium.
Bull ended up getting charged with a misdemeanor. But what about when employees, to retaliate against customers who piss them off, add “extra-special sauce” to Big Macs? Would that be a felony?
(Gavel bang: commenter.) Oversalted Burger Leads to Charges [Associated Press via Drudge Report]
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Things have changed recently in Korea – a few of our US and UK client firms are looking, very selectively, for a lateral US associate hire. Until just recently, there was not much hiring like this going on in Korea, since US and UK firms started opening offices there. We have already placed two US associates in Korea in the past month at top firms. Most of the hiring partners we work with in Korea do not actively work with other recruiters.
If you are a Korean fluent US associate in London, New York or another major US market, 2nd to 6th year, at a top 20 firm, with cap markets or M&A focus (or mix), or project finance background, and you are interested in lateraling to Korea to a top US or UK firm, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our head of Asia, Evan Jowers, was just in Korea recently, and Evan and Robert Kinney will be in Korea in a few weeks. We are in the process of helping several firms open new offices in Korea (a number of which are interviewing our partner level candidates) and also helping existing offices there fill openings.
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!