Fast Food

* How crazy are bedbugs, exactly? [CNN]
* Which of your personalities is the arsonist?. [CNN]
* Yo quiero to sue Taco Bell. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Chinese Gitmo detainees say the same evidence being used to detain them was used to clear five others. [Jurist]
* Maryland Court of Appeals considers same-sex marriage. [Jurist]

Taco Bell restaurant franchise Above the Law.jpgDon’t say we didn’t warn you.
Investigations are underway — and lawsuits can’t be far behind. And when the plaintiffs are ready to file suit, they can turn to law firms that actually specialize in E. coli litigation.
Take, for example, Marler Clark, which touts itself as “the nation’s foremost law firm with a practice dedicated to representing victims of food poisoning.” They run the E. coli Blog, which charts outbreaks of the bacteria and litigation related thereto. Who knew?
E. coli in N.J. is linked to Taco Bell [Associated Press]
E. Coli Outbreak Hits L.I.; 8 Taco Bells Closed [CBS/AP]
Taco Bell E. coli Update [E. coli Blog]
Marler Clark [law firm website]
Marler Clark Makes Hay Out of Tainted Spinach [WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: It’s Not Just Burger King

Frank Easterbrook Judge Frank H Easterbrook Above the Law.JPGBack in September, we reported that Judge Frank Easterbrook — “a veritable judicial hottie, a possible SCOTUS nominee, and brother of well-known author and ESPN.com commentator Gregg Easterbrook” — would be taking over in November as the chief judge of the Seventh Circuit.
The passing of the torch has now come to pass. From a tipster:

Judge Frank H. Easterbrook (your favorite judicial bear hottie) assumed the mantle of Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit on Monday, November 27.

Judge Joel Flaum turned 70 over the weekend. Under 28 U.S.C. 45(a)(3)(C), he was forced to step down as chief judge.

There was a nice little party in the main courtroom for employees of the court. Cake even!

How lovely! But we think that Chief Judge Easterbrook might have preferred an Arby’s Melt.
28 U.S.C. § 45: Chief Judges [Cornell Law School / Legal Information Institute]
Earlier: All Hail the Chief: Judge Frank Easterbrook

* Thesauruses can still do the trick. Who knows if I would have passed AP English without one? On the other hand, one of the perks of public high schools is having your Cliffs Notes-cribbed essay graded by a teacher qualified only to teach woodshop and coach girls’ softball. [New York Times]
* What would the Supreme Court say about McDonald’s plans to patent its sandwich-making process? [CNN Legal Pad]
* Ah, law school flirting is just so cute. [Overheard in New York]
* While the poodles seem to be safe, babies, sadly, are not. [WCSH Portland]
* Blood money, in a way. Because someone killed my will to love. [Newsweek via Overlawyered]

* For you law review nerds out there, some direction as to the citation of new species of sources. But *sigh* you probably already know all of this. [Slaw.ca]
* Law students bring logic and order to child-bearing… It’s a shame that we have to forego all that spontaneity and excitement of unplanned pregnancies. (Like what 2L Tamina must have felt when she had her first of two kids in her late teens.) [Law.com]
* An Ohio woman litters by tossing bags of McDonald’s out her window, then invokes the Fast Food Nation defense — to no avail. [Tribune Chronicle]
* An Indian thief seizes the day — what’s money if you can’t spend it? [Reuters]

Emily Pataki Emily Pataki Emily Pataki Above the Law Legal Blog.JPG* Emily Pataki, the attractive and accomplished daughter of New York governor George Pataki, failed the New York bar exam — and sent around an office-wide email about it. The story was broken by the mainstream media.
* We heard from some of Emily’s law school classmates about the incident. In a reader poll, you opined that emailing her White & Case colleagues was unwise.
* The Democratic takeover of the Senate could make things tough(er) for the White House’s judicial nominees.
* Despite the sea change in Washington, President Bush resubmitted six controversial judicial picks to the lame duck Senate. Getting all of them confirmed is probably impossible, but getting two of them through might happen.
* The White House has not yet submitted nominees for the two vacant Fifth Circuit seats. (Texas’s Solicitor General, conservative legal superstar R. Ted Cruz, is said to be uninterested.)
* Borat-related litigation shows no signs of abating.
* O.J. Simpson: He’s back — and he’s still looking for his wife’s killer. Except this time, he’s looking in the mirror.
* Some bad ideas from the past week: getting frisky on an airplane; setting your ex-girlfriend’s kittens on fire; having sex with a deer (even if it’s dead); eating at Burger King or Taco Bell; and getting married without a prenup (if you’re a filthy rich Hollywood celebrity).
* Over the past few days, we’ve been spending some quality time with the Federalist Society. More reports on the proceedings — including lavish photography — will appear in the coming week.

Inspired by litigation taking place in Massachusetts, we recently polled you on this question:

Is a burrito a sandwich?

The poll result was clear, and in accordance with the ruling by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke: No, a burrito is not a sandwich.
burrito sandwich poll results Above the Law.JPG
It’s gratifying when the law coincides with the commonsense conclusions of ordinary people — since it doesn’t happen as often as one might like.
(We do not wish to get into a debate on whether or not the common law is (was?) efficient. It’s just a throwaway line to end this post. Okay?)
Earlier: ATL Reader Poll: Is a Burrito a Sandwich?

burrito sandwich Above the Law.jpgWe seem to be on a Mexican food kick here at Above the Law. Our first post of the day was about Taco Bell.
And now, just in time for lunch, we bring you this weighty legal issue:

Is a burrito a sandwich?

For explanation, check out this AP article (which Stella Q linked to yesterday):

Panera has a clause in its lease that prevents the White City Shopping Center in Shrewsbury, Mass., from renting to another sandwich shop. Panera tried to invoke that clause to stop the opening of an Qdoba Mexican Grill.

But Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke cited Webster’s Dictionary as well as testimony from a chef and a former high-ranking federal agriculture official in ruling that Qdoba’s burritos and other offerings are not sandwiches.

The difference, the judge ruled, comes down to two slices of bread versus one tortilla.

For some interesting thoughts on the issue, check out PrawfsBlawg and ACS Blog (especially the comments).
Cast your vote below. Andale, andale!

Make Free Online Polls

Is a Burrito a Sandwich? Judge Says No [Associated Press via Yahoo! News]
Is a Burrito a Sandwich? [PrawfsBlawg]
But Is a Wrap a Burrito? [ACSBlog]

Taco Bell restaurant franchise Above the Law.jpgWhen you patronize other fast food establishments, you could be taking your life into your own hands. And we’re not talking about transfats and the adverse health consequences of eating fast food (which have already spawned various lawsuits).
Take Taco Bell. Just like Burger King, they stand accused of serving drug-laced food:

Phillip Dagget, 27, said he bought several tacos from the drive-through window at the Taco Bell on Mariano Bishop Boulevard Saturday night. About an hour after he ate them, he started to feel “light-headed” and experienced “some (stomach) cramping,” he said yesterday.

Another half-hour later, his illness intensified, so he retrieved a half-eaten taco from the trash and noticed “a white, powdery substance on it,” he said.

Drop the chalupa, indeed! Law enforcement is investigating.
Also like Burger King, outlets of Taco Bell have recently hosted eruptions of gunfire (albeit accidental). And armed robbery.
Oh, and there’s this:

Drive-thru service is available on the north side of the Taco Bell restaurant at 3302 E. Main St. [in Richmond, IN]. But shortly after 1 p.m. today, a white sedan made it “drive-in” service on the south side of the building. The car crashed into the entry doors and hit an interior wall before stopping.

Make a run for the border — and away from your nearest Taco Bell.
Complaint has police thinking outside the bun [The Standard-Times via SouthCoastToday.com]
Gunfire Erupts At Local Taco Bell [NBC13.com (Birmingham / Tuscaloosa)]
Police seek Taco Bell robber [Jackson Sun]
No one hurt when car slams into Taco Bell [Richmond Palladium-Item]
Earlier: Burger King: Vector for Criminality
Lawsuit of the Day: “Have It Your Way,” Indeed

* In law school, a burrito was not only a sandwich, but breakfast, lunch and dinner. And midnight snack. [AP via Yahoo! News]
* When you have too much self-respect for a reunion tour, or another farewell tour is just not feasible, or you haven’t securitized your music catalog, then this may be your last recourse. Money wouldn’t be an issue if you had ODed at age 27. [AP via MSNBC]
* It took an attorney’s flashing to rouse suburban moms to fight for stricter indecent exposure laws. This would be a funny “Desperate Housewives” storyline; they could also hire this guy back. [King County Journal]
* Privilege, murder, a Kennedy… and also an episode of Cold Case. [CNN]
* Not funny. But your anecdotes can be. So send them our way. If it’s really bad, find a (real) lawyer. [Law.com]

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