Lawsuit of the Day

Ever since the royal wedding last April, the male population writ large has been obsessed with Pippa Middleton’s greatest asset. (Seriously, there’s an entire website dedicated to it.) How dare she steal the spotlight from her sister, Kate Middleton, the blushing bride. But now, more than a year later, it seems that the Duchess of Cambridge herself has given British blokes something to inspire late night thoughts in their bachelor pads, albeit inadvertently: topless pictures.

A French magazine, Closer, took the photos while Kate was vacationing with Prince William, and published them in its latest issue for all the world to see. Needless to say, the royals are positively pissed, because this is the third instance of noble nudity in less than a month. Palace officials took a break from their tea and crumpets to threaten legal action for what they’re calling a “grotesque” invasion of privacy.

But given their celebrity status, are the royals really deserving of the same privacy rights as we commoners?

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Watch out Tianna, your parents are right behind you…

You can run all the way to the Olympics, but you can’t hide from your family (rim shot).

It’s always nice when an Olympic story of overcoming hardship results in a lawsuit for libel and slander. Olympic sprinter Tianna Madison won the gold medal as part of the U.S. Women’s 4×100 relay. During the Olympics, Madison revealed that she had been the victim of molestation and that her parents had mismanaged her finances.

To which her parents said, “What”?

So, Madison’s parents did what most loving parents would do when their daughter says something they disagree with — they filed a lawsuit….

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“In accepting the offer to join Ropes & Gray, Ray accepted Roscoe Trimmier’s assurances that Ropes ‘does not see black and white, only shades of Ropes & Gray.’”

That’s paragraph 75 from the latest complaint filed by John H. Ray III, a 2000 graduate of Harvard Law School and an African-American man, against his former employer, Ropes & Gray. According to Ray, the firm, after initially embracing him with open arms, turned on him. Ray claims that he was subjected to racial discrimination and retaliation, which made his time at the firm more painful than pleasurable. And, unlike Anastasia Steele of Fifty Shades of Grey (affiliate link), Ray did not enjoy the alleged abuse.

When we first wrote about Ray, he was proceeding pro se against Ropes & Gray. Now he has hired counsel — an experienced employment-discrimination litigator who has appeared before in these pages.

Let’s find out who’s representing John Ray, and take a closer look at the complaint — which features an Above the Law shout-out, interestingly enough….

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You often hear about women filing gender discrimination complaints that allege sexual harassment by lecherous male superiors. It’s less often that you’ll see a man making similar allegations against a woman. But it just so happens that someone in the federal government has lodged these very complaints against a female superior, and boy is his complaint juicy.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, James T. Hayes Jr., a top-level Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, is suing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security because he claims that ICE’s chief of staff, Suzanne Barr, created a hostile working environment — specifically, “a frat house-type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees.”

What does one have to do to create a “frat house-type atmosphere” in the offices of a federal agency? Let’s check out the allegations made in the complaint….

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Item that zero percent of babies needed for roughly the first 3,000 years of civilization.

Last month, I found myself in a store named “Buy Buy Baby.” That’s not a typo. There’s really a store whose very name encourages rampant consumerism for babies before they can even start forming memories.

Walking around the store, one wondered how human babies survived and thrived for 200,000 years without the $200 Rodeo Child Bike Carrier Seat, or the $650 Baby Jogger Switchback Hybrid Bike.

Needless to say, I was not impressed. At one point, I threatened to buy my baby a wheelbarrow and some duct tape to avoid the stroller hijacking. When that joke didn’t magically make the prices go down, I asked one of the sales clerks what “poor” people do when they have children.

The clerk didn’t miss beat, and said, “You don’t want your baby to feel poor, do you?”

Of course, there is a real answer to the question “what do poor people do.” They go on Craigslist and buy used baby stuff! Because nothing says “broke” like going online and buying crap for your baby that some other baby has already peed and vomited on.

But when you are on Craigslist, buyer beware. And the seller should beware too, because people who buy things on Craigslist might be idiots. That’s something that a local judge in Massachusetts is learning….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Misdemeanor Offense of the Day: Judicial Cribs. Like, Baby Cribs, Not Lawyerly Lairs.”

Sexual harassment in the workplace is never a fun thing to deal with. Those who have had the unique displeasure of experiencing this kind of unwelcome conduct must constantly be looking over their shoulders, always wondering when the next unwanted sexual advance will appear — or in this case, when the next birthday card featuring a gigantic erect penis will allegedly materialize in their mailbox.

This is what a New York public school administrator claims occurred to him. He has filed a lawsuit against his former superior and the New York City Department of Education, and it is filled with a potpourri of sexual harassment allegations.

Apparently everything’s fun and games until somebody gets butthurt over your alleged refusal to participate in a gay foursome….

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Aww... does your head hurt? Maybe you'd feel better if you DID YOUR FREAKING JOB!

This has been one hell of a day for ridiculous lawsuits. We’ve already dealt with Octomoms turned strippers and thick girls who want to go to law school. Now we’ve got an office worker who claims that the pressure of her job led to her heart condition.

Accountant Tammy Armstrong is claiming wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress because her employer asked her to do a lot of work. She also wants to be paid overtime because her employer had the audacity to claim her as a salaried worker and then paid her a salary.

Basically, if she wins, then every single junior office worker in law or finance should be able to sue their employers. Which makes me think she’s not going to win…

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Can being seen in this keep you out of law school?

I’ve spent some time this morning pondering the definition of “aspiring law student,” in the context of what could be done to ruin somebody’s aspirations to go to law school. Murder would put an end to a person’s aspirations. Perhaps a massive head wound of some kind. But given the state of American law schools, there is very little that could happen to a person that would prevent an individual from following their dream of going to law school.

Certainly, leaking lingerie photos and being the subject of a case of mistaken identity on the internet wouldn’t prevent a person from going to law school. It wouldn’t even get someone dinged during the character and fitness process after passing the bar exam.

I ask this question because the suddenly hot story of Shana Edme — an “aspiring lawyer” whose lingerie photos were “leaked,” leading her to become the subject of some internet rumors for a day or two — seems to rest on the premise that there is some nexus between her leaked photos and her (as yet unrealized) legal career. Edme has filed a complaint claiming that because her lingerie photos were leaked, her “future career plans to apply for and attend law school have been placed in jeopardy.”

That seems totally bogus to me. But maybe the difference between “aspiring” to go to law school and going to law school involves not inventing fake hurdles to stand in the way of your dreams….

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Nadya Suleman aka Octomom

Back in June, we brought you news of a potential lawsuit against Nadya Suleman, aka Octopussy Octomom, she of the clown car uterus. In an apparent desperate money grab, Suleman entered into a contract with Florida strip club T’s Lounge to perform a topless routine from July 11 to July 14. Unfortunately, she canceled her scheduled appearances after one of the club’s employees allegedly called her “a little crazy” in an interview with a local TV station.

As noted in a prior letter from the attorney for T’s Lounge, the strip joint planned to file suit immediately if Suleman failed to comply with the terms of her performance agreement. And in a filing from July 6 that recently came to light, T’s Lounge did just that, accusing Octomom of performing the ultimate strip tease — apparently she’s scheduled herself to appear at another gentlemen’s club to shake her booty.

Unwilling to accept this, T’s Lounge has asked a Palm Beach County court for an emergency injunction to prevent Suleman from bumping and grinding her post-partum goodies on an alternative greased-up pole….

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Sexual healing, baby.

We mentioned this suit in passing back in November in Morning Docket. At first blush, this complaint looks like a slam dunk for the plaintiff. A 60-year-old continuing education student named Karen Royce sued her professor of “Human Sexuality” for giving her some intimate homework.

Professor Tom Kubistant allegedly told his students to masturbate “twice as often,” and required them to keep a sexual journal and discuss it with the class.

Usually, when your class starts sounding like the beginning of a Shannon Tweed movie, you can expect a successful lawsuit against you. But here’s the thing: Professor Kubistant required students to sign a waiver. And Royce signed it.

And all the other students arguably signed a waiver saying they’d listen to the sexual thoughts of a 60-year-old….

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