Lawsuit of the Day

Chris Webby

If you enjoy the fact that a company called PeerViews apparently claims ownership of the term “Small Law,” you’re going to love this latest piece of IP ridiculousness.

Rapper Chris Webby has sent a cease and desist order to the Webby Awards. He wants them to stop using the hashtag, #webby.

I’m pretty sure that trademarking hashtags is one of the prerequisites for the Rapture.

And yes, of course Chris Webby made a video about his legal complaint…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cease and Desist Letter of the Day: Who Owns Your Hashtag?”

Earlier this month, we presented you with a trademark law hypothetical. It was based on a dispute between Lawyerist and PeerViews Inc., parent company of TechnoLawyer, over the term “Small Law.” Lawyerist used the words “Small Law” in the title and text of this post — about Above the Law’s new offerings for small-firm readers, incidentally — and PeerViews objected.

In a letter by Kristen McCallion of Fish & Richardson, PeerViews expressed the concern that Lawyerist’s use of the words “Small Law” would diminish PeerViews’s goodwill in its “distinctive SmallLaw trademark.” PeerViews uses the mark for the TechnoLawyer newsletter on small firms.

We asked you, our readers, for your opinions on this matter. In the comments to our post, most of you sided with Lawyerist (but there were a handful of very vocal dissenters).

How will a judge or jury feel about this dispute? Because that’s who will get the next crack at this controversy. Lawyerist Media just filed a lawsuit against PeerViews in federal district court in Minnesota, seeking to invalidate the PeerViews trademarks on the terms “BigLaw” and “SmallLaw”….

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A couple of points before we start:

  • I know who Elie Tahari is because he spells and pronounces his first name just like I do (it’s like “Eliot” without the “it”).
  • I once told a toll lady on the New Jersey Turnpike: “You know, you should really have to pay me for having to drive on this thing.” She didn’t laugh though.

Thomas Horodecki, a manager in a design house for Elie Tahari, is suing the company for $2 million because he was forced to work in New Jersey.

Sounds reasonable to me…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Doesn’t the 8th Amendment Protect Us From Being Forced To Go To… New Jersey?”

If your lover has these products in their bathroom, maybe you should use a condom.

I thought the most sketchy thing I’d see today was this article about people photoshopping the heads of their Facebook friends onto naked bodies and then masturbating. There’s nothing wrong with jerking off, but doing it to friends based on their profiles just seems violative.

Of course, there are things that seem wrong, and then there are things that are wrong. And Thomas Redmond, the creator of Aussie hair-care products, apparently crossed over the line into depraved wrongness.

When Redmond was 77, he banged a woman twenty years his junior, without a condom, and gave her his herpes. Mental note: I need to remember to never use Aussie hair products because the dude that created it has herpes and doesn’t take adequate precautions…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: It Only Costs $4.3 Million To Give Somebody Herpes”

Robert Leighton

Associates in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin seem to be doing a lot of walking these days. Last week, for example, bankruptcy associate Tyler Coulson announced that he was leaving the firm in order to walk across the country with his dog.

Today we bring you the tale of Sidley IP associate Robert Leighton, who apparently walked out on his fiancée, Lauren Serafin. But Serafin didn’t take the diss lying down.

Lauren Serafin is also a lawyer, so what did she do? She sued him, of course. Her suit for “breach of promise” seeks $62,814.71 in wedding and honeymoon expenses.

And it makes some lurid allegations about Leighton. Let’s take a closer look at the lawsuit — and the ex-bride behind it, who’s rather attractive….

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Ray Carey

You don’t see this everyday. Raymond Carey, a 57-year-old white male partner at Foley & Lardner, is suing the firm, alleging that it paid him less than it would have paid a “female, non-Caucasian, younger partner.”

Sadly, it appears the only evidence Carey has for his claims is that he wasn’t paid as much as he feels he was promised. That’s disappointing. When women, gays, or minorities make discrimination claims, there are usually juicy tidbits about inappropriate jokes and statements made to the alleged victim. But I just read through a 63-page complaint and there wasn’t a single alleged “cracker” joke. Apparently nobody at Foley told Carey he needed to show “more bulge.”

But hey, if the brother’s not getting paid as much as other people in his office, maybe he has a point. And even if you don’t find the complaint particularly salacious, one of Carey’s attached exhibits is the Foley & Lardner partnership agreement….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Old White Man Sues Firm, Alleging Racial, Gender, and Age Discrimination”

Legendary humorist Charlie Chaplin was once asked to describe “funny.” He famously responded: “You take a woman walking down the sidewalk. Show the audience a banana peel in front of her. Everyone knows that she is going to step on the banana peel and do a pratfall. At the last instant, she sees the banana peel, steps over it and falls into an open manhole that neither she nor the audience knew was there.”

Alright Charlie. Well here we have the set-up almost right. Reuters has a story about a banana peel and a 58-year-old California woman who busted her ass slipping on one.

Alone that’s not very funny, so we need something more. We need an open manhole…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Jokes / Torts 101: A California Woman, A Banana Peel, And…?”

Judith Regan (left) and Roger Ailes

The lawsuit captioned Dreier LLP v. Judith Regan was filed back in March 2008, months before Ponzi schemer Marc Dreier’s eponymous law firm went bust. But it’s back in the headlines as of today, thanks to some juicy documents unearthed by the New York Times.

The documents in question — affidavits that were supposed to be kept under seal, but inadvertently kept in the public case file (until their recent removal) — implicate a number of famous figures. The boldface names include controversial publisher Judith Regan, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, former New York City mayor (and presidential candidate) Rudy Giuliani, former New York City police commissioner (and current prison inmate) Bernard Kerik, and, of course, the now-defunct Dreier law firm….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: A Gallery of Rogues”

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…

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Shout-out to Nathan Koppel at the WSJ Law Blog (or his editor), for coming up with the perfect title for this post: The Frozen One?

Jewish hockey player Jason Bailey is suing the Anaheim Ducks NHL team, alleging that he was subjected to a hostile working environment. Not the run-of-the-mill hostility that comes from playing a sport where people regularly lose their own teeth and then refuse to purchase replacement chompers on the theory that “chicks dig gap teeth and lisps.” No, Bailey claims that the hostility was directed at him because he is Jewish.

I know this comes straight out of “Racial Conspiracy Theories 101,” but I can’t be the only one to notice that this suit was brought against the Anaheim Ducks, a franchise that was once owned by Disney and called the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (because anytime you can buy a hockey team in order to promote a movie staring Emilo Estevez, that’s something you’ve just got to do). And Disney of course has long been suspected of harboring anti-Semitic views. And… you know what, I’ll kick back with a glass of manischewitz and discuss this with my Jewish brothers some other time.

Right now, Bailey is making some much more reasonable allegations against the organization….

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