Ridiculousness

I don’t remember the moment I first learned how to wipe my ass without hurting myself. I don’t think I received a special present or accolade for that momentous life event. But perhaps my parents did take notice in this way:

MOM: Our little boy just successfully wiped himself without incident!
DAD: Good. Maybe you were right when you prevented me from taking him out back and shooting him.

The point is that successfully using toilet paper is a basic skill in civilized society. If you have an accident while administering toilet paper to yourself, it’s the kind of thing you really want to keep to yourself.

Unless, of course, you think you can get money out of the mishap. America baby, the only place where hurting yourself while performing basic hygienic practices can lead to a tort payday.

A Michigan woman broke her hand while trying to get toilet paper out of a dispenser in a restaurant bathroom. And now the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that her case can be presented to a jury….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Woman Breaks Hand Trying to Wipe Bum”

Court approved sippy-cup for lawyers appearing before Judge Gene Gasiorkiewicz.

If you’re a fan of state officials wasting valuable time, resources, and mental energy over issues of decorum and etiquette, you’re going to love Wisconsin Judge Gene Gasiorkiewicz. The Journal Times (gavel bang: ABA Journal) reports that this new Racine County Circuit Court judge has hit the bench with all sorts of decorum rules for lawyers appearing in his courtroom.

Many of the new rules are of the dress-code nature that we’ve come to expect from judges more concerned with style than substance. Judge Gasiorkiewicz requires Reagan-esque “coat and tie” attire in his courtroom. And, of course, ladies must have a mastectomy show absolutely no cleavage. We can’t have judges being distracted by barrel-chested men wearing mock turtlenecks or women with plunging necklines.

But while everybody is aware that judges have the attention span of goldfish and can be easily distracted by attorney attire, nobody expected Judge Gasiorkiewicz to take his Orwellian need for conformity all the way down to the level of beverage holders. But that’s because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Lawyers appearing before Judge Gasiorkiewicz now must use court-issued mugs.

And Wisconsin lawyers don’t seem to be pitching a fit over it. Either these attorneys are as docile as dairy cows, or they’ve decided to “let the baby have his bottle”….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge of the Day: Wisconsin Jurist Manages to Get a Stick All the Way Up His Butt”

Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to advice@abovethelaw.com.

Dear ATL,

We’re at NYLS and I’m in an argument with my friends for resumes for interviews with law firms.

I’m a member of MENSA and I think it’s okay to put “Member, MENSA” under my interests on my resume.  Some of my friends say it’s not okay.  What do you think?

– Smarter Than the Average Bear

Dear Smarter Than the Average Bear,

Let’s just cut to the chase here: listing  “Member, MENSA” on your résumé is incompatible with attending New York Law School. If you don’t have the IQ or EQ to realize  that, somebody needs to revoke your MENSA membership immediately and slash your tires with a Phi Beta Kappa key pin

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: But I’m in MENSA!”

Real Housewives of New Jersey son Albie Manzo may be slow, but he’s determined. He flunked out of Seton Hall law school, but he still wants his law degree, and met with a lawyer in the show’s last episode to figure out how he can get it.

Manzo says that the culprit behind his poor law school performance — reflected in his GPA of 1.9 — is a learning disability that causes him to take three times as long as normal people to absorb information. Some may question whether LDs and JDs go together. Said one ATL commenter:

If he has a learning disability, he really shouldn’t be a lawyer. It takes him three times as long to absorb information? Are clients going to be ok with paying him three times as much to get something done? The legal professions is a skilled profession and requires a certain amount of intellect. If one doesn’t have the required intelligence, then it is not right for them… it would be like making exceptions and giving special treatment so ugly people can be supermodels.

But his mom told him he should go for it anyway, become an attorney, “and show Seton Hall the mistake they made.” In the show’s last episode, Manzo met with a lawyer who told him he needs a letter from the school attesting to the fact that they made a mistake. Otherwise, Manzo has to wait two years to reapply to law school….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Albie Manzo v. Seton Hall Law School?”

I kind of blew my Star Wars referential load when we found out that the Star Wars Kid was going to law school. But that was weeks ago. Who could have known that in the past month Lucasfilms would become embroiled in some actual legal battles? Earlier this week, we found out that pregnant women have a bad feeling about working for the company. And on Tuesday, CNN reported that Lucasfilms sent a cease-and-desist letter to a laser pointer company because their product looks too much like the iconic lightsaber:

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas wants to force a laser company to stop making a new, high-powered product he says looks too much like the famous lightsaber from his classic sci-fi series.

Lucasfilm Ltd. has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Hong Kong-based Wicked Lasers, threatening legal action if it doesn’t change its Pro Arctic Laser series or stop selling it altogether.

I actually own a full sized lightsaber replica (of course I do — do I look like I got laid ever in high school). It lights up (red, d’uh, have you met me?), and it makes all the sounds when you swing it around. And let me tell you, this laser product looks nothing like a real lightsaber…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Cease-and-Desist Letter of the Day: Is That a Lightsaber in Your Pocket?”

It has come to our attention that a local comedy club is holding a contest to determine “the funniest lawyer in New York.” Could this be a train wreck of epic proportions? Based on the tagline in the event poster, all signs points to “yes.”

Oh boy. You know what they say: those who can, do; those who can’t, show up and make fun of those who can…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Funniest Lawyer in New York? This is Why God Invented Heckling.”

No, this isn’t about a lawsuit arising out of the writing of Animal Farm II: Sharks on Retainer — but who knows, my original thought for a post title might be subject to trademark infringement.

More on that later; for now, let’s turn our attention to this delicious product offered by ThinkGeek (which went on sale April 1, 2010):

As a connoisseur of unicorn delicacies, I was annoyed when the ThinkGeek people exposed this product to the general pubic. We’ve already got the Care Bears on our ass; we certainly don’t need PETA getting wind of this tasty treat.

But who knew that this entirely fictional April Fool’s joke would come to the attention of the National Pork Board and their legal representatives at Faegre & Benson

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Misadventures in Trademark Law: Faegre & Benson Helps Pigs Fight Unicorns”

Moving in-house really is the golden ticket. Better hours, great pay, and you get to bitch around law firm partners and their associate underlings whenever you want. The only thing separating in-house counsel from the good life seems to be that they have to regularly slough into a stuffy corporate office everyday.

Well, one general counsel isn’t going to let the great indoors ruin his awesome job. The ABA Journal reports:

[Richard Russeth], an avid collector of books about tree house architecture, is taking on his own endeavor: building a sophisticated tree-office nestled 20-feet high in a grove of 50 to 90-feet tall pine trees near his home in Evergreen, Colo.

Did James Cameron put him up to this? Is this guy going to start communicating in Na’vi?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: My Lawyer Got Stuck in a Tree”

In his speaking tours around the country, Clarence Thomas has a lot to say — sometimes critical things to say, about his fellow justices’ approach to oral argument and the lack of alma mater diversity among the Court’s clerks, for example.

But when Thomas is back at One First Street, sitting on the bench, he gets quiet. Very quiet. He hasn’t spoken a word during oral argument in over four years. He’s said before that it’s because he doesn’t see the point in badgering the attorneys arguing before the High Court. But we think there may be another reason: he hates his job. He’s suggested it himself.

In the Washington Post, we set forth a proposal for him: step down. And seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2012.

A bit about our reasoning, and a reader poll, after the jump.

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Writers tend to use the word “literally” too much — and literally incorrectly.

In this case, the word is entirely appropriate. A lawyer literally shot himself in the foot. The ABA Journal reports:

An Ohio lawyer shot himself in the foot on Monday as he was retrieving his gun from a locker at the courthouse.

Toledo lawyer Paul Redrup had placed his 40-caliber Smith & Wesson in a storage locker before entering the Wood County courthouse, the Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune reports. As he was leaving, he took the gun out of the locker and put it in his pocket. The gun accidentally fired, and Redrup was grazed in the right foot.

Here’s a question: why the hell was a lawyer taking a firearm to a courthouse?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Shooting Yourself in the Foot > Shooting Your Mouth Off”

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