Tort Reform

Borat Above the Law Legal Blog Law Gossip Borat.JPGSeveral months ago, the world was awash in Borat litigation. But then things died down on that front.
Now they’re heating up again. From a tipster:

Check out this lawsuit. Although the damages claim might be a little silly, it seems like this guy might have a valid claim — he didn’t sign a waiver like those frat boys.

I’m a corporate lawyer, so I have no idea. I’d love to see what some litigator types think about it.

An excerpt from the complaint appears at Gothamist; the entire document is posted over at The Smoking Gun.
Your thoughts are welcome, in the comments.
NYC Borat Victim: Movie “Very Nice…Not!” [Gothamist]
“Borat” Sued Yet Again [The Smoking Gun]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Borat lawsuits (scroll down)

Robert H Bork Judge Robert Bork Bob Bork Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWho says that conservative judicial icon Robert Bork, of the famously ill-fated Supreme Court nomination, is anti-plaintiff?

Judge Bork is all in favor of punitive damages — when, for example, he’s demanding them in his Complaint (PDF). The distinguished law professor and former judge has filed a slip-and-fall lawsuit against the Yale Club of New York City.

Bork’s fellow traveler in conservative circles, Ted Frank — who’s currently a fellow at AEI, where Bork used to be a fellow — “sympathize[s] with Judge Bork’s serious injuries.” But even Frank deems Bork’s claim for punitives a bit dubious.

P.S. Bork groupies, mark your calendars: On June 26, the Federalist Society is holding Borkapalooza in Washington, DC. More details here.

Note to Fed Soc folks: Do not place Judge Bork’s dais at an “unreasonable” height, and be sure to have handrails on the stairs leading up to it. You’re welcome.

Bork Sues the Yale Club [Overlawyered]
Robert Bork Files Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit Against Yale Club [WSJ Law Blog]
Bork v. Yale Club of New York City [Wall Street Journal (PDF)]
A Conference Discussing the Contributions of Judge Robert H. Bork [Federalist Society]

Wal-Mart Walmart puke vomit Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGToday’s Lawsuit of the Day comes to us from Davenport, Iowa, courtesy of the Quad-City Times (via How Appealing):

First came a puddle of vomit and a fall, then a classified advertisement and now a lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

June and James Medema of Blue Grass, Iowa, filed the suit May 22 in Scott County District Court, alleging that negligence led to June Medema suffering severe personal and permanent injuries in a June 13, 2005, fall at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter on West Kimberly Road in Davenport. The couple is asking for at least $5,000 in damages, according to the suit.

The facts, while colorful — think puke green — are pretty straightforward. What we really enjoyed were the amusing reader comments appended to the original news article.
Check them out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Wal-Mart Truly Is Vomitous”

suit pants Judge Roy L Pearson Roy Pearson Above the Law blog.jpgJEEZ. What a tool.
An administrative law judge, Roy L. Pearson, is suing his dry cleaners. Over a missing pair of pants (subsequently found). For the insane sum of $65 million.
We kid you not. More details here.
Okay, we’re not completely shocked. Clownish antics from an ALJ? Heaven forfend.
No, we don’t have the highest opinion of administrative law “judges.” Roy Pearson should be flattered that news stories about his idiocy identify him as a “judge,” instead of a “petty and lame-ass federal bureaucrat.”
The defendant dry cleaners are represented by one Chris Manning. Is he Christopher C.S. Manning, of Manning & Sossamon, or Christopher N. Manning, the newly-minted Williams & Connolly partner? We’re guessing the former; but we’re hoping for the latter. We like the idea of the mighty Williams & Connolly steamrolling this prick pseudo-judicial moron.
More commentary from Overlawyered, here and here, and the WSJ Law Blog, here and here.
The second Overlawyered post provides a link to a reported opinion arising out of Roy Pearson’s divorce. The opinion reveals that Pearson and his ex-wife were having sexual relations very infrequently. Guess Pearson decided to go screw his dry cleaners instead.
And screw them he has. The Chungs have been so traumatized by the ordeal that they are thinking of closing their dry cleaning shop and moving back to Korea. Happy now, Your Honor?
Judge Sues Cleaner for $65M Over Pants [Associated Press]
Roy L. Pearson, Jr. [Office of Administrative Hearings]
The $65 million pants: Judge Roy Pearson [Overlawyered]
Judge Sues Dry Cleaners for $65 Million [WSJ Law Blog]

Whole Lesbian Sex Book Felice Newman Above the Law blog.jpgWe realize this news broke last week. But we were on vacation — and it’s just too good to omit from these pages. From

A father in Arkansas is looking for $20,000 in compensation for his teenage sons, after they found a book in a public library called The Whole Lesbian Sex Book.

According to Earl Adams, his sons – aged 14 and 16 – were ‘greatly disturbed’ by Felice Newman’s classic lesbian sex manual, described by its publishers as ‘the most comprehensive sex guide available for lesbians.’

And now he is demanding $10,000 from the city of Bentonville for each boy. The volume has already been withdrawn from the library shelves, and the director of the library has resigned – although she is adamant she left for personal reasons, not in response to the complaints.

So what’s the basis for the $20,000 damages claim? Per Overlawyered:

[This incident] happened, Adams said, while [his sons] were browsing for material on military academies (titter ye not!). The shock to their sensibilities from exposure to the “immoral” volume resulted in the boys being “greatly disturbed” and undergoing “many sleepless nights in our house.”

Simply ridiculous. Ask these boys in five years whether they still find lesbians “greatly disturb[ing].”
Also, The Whole Lesbian Sex Book has been critically acclaimed. Check out this review:

Cure for cancer? End to world hunger? What’s left to do after the publication of Felice Newman’s definitive guide to lesbian sex? Drawing on a wide range of published sources as well as her own notoriously graphic questionnaire circulated by e-mail… Newman has compiled an exhaustively thorough how-to guide for practices as exotic as play piercings and as pedestrian as oral sex.

Umm, who describes oral sex as “pedestrian”? Sounds like mistakes are being made in this reviewer’s household.
(Also, why are we not surprised that The Whole Lesbian Sex Book has been effusively praised on, of all websites, Amazon?)
Saw sex book by mistake; $10K apiece demanded [Overlawyered]
Man seeks compensation for lesbian trauma []
The Whole Lesbian Sex Book []

* No bad deed goes unrewarded. [Overlawyered]
* Pay per view internet porn is a lot like bottled water — the industry has somehow convinced the collective masses that because it’s not free, it’s a better product with no funny aftertaste. [Yahoo! Finance]
* I believe these are important developments for criminal lawyers, crack whores and Lindsay Lohan. [Sentencing Law and Policy]
* And in other drug enforcement news… [New York Daily News]
* The best case scenario is that this 88-year-old man is senile and/or cataracts-ridden; the worse case scenario is that he’s been doing this for nearly 70 years. [CBS5]

* Texas legislature blocks mandatory HPV vaccine that fights cervical cancer. [MSNBC]
* Indian court issues warrant for Richard Gere due to public kiss. [
* Secretary Rice may assert executive privilege to avoid House subpoena. [MSNBC]
* Review of new Justice Thomas biography. [Newsweek]
* ALJ seeking $65 million in damages from his dry cleaners. [WSJ Law Blog]

ATL poll results Jim Herrick cartoon plaintiffs lawyers attorneys Above the Law.jpgRemember that editorial cartoon from “Bench & Bar,” the journal of the Kentucky Bar Association? Some lawyers objected to the cartoon as offensive and inappropriate for the Association’s journal.
We viewed it as non-offensive, but only moderately humorous (capable of inducing a chuckle, but not a belly laugh). You seem to agree, according to the poll results shown at right.
We’re pleased by these results. Delicate sensibilities can be a liability for lawyers — and blog readers, too.
Some additional thoughts on the cartoon from Walter Olson, with whom we recently had lunch, are available here.
Earlier: Trial Lawyers Need To Lighten Up a Little

What do you think of this cartoon, by cartoonist Jim Herrick, which appeared in last month’s Kentucky Bar Association magazine — and is now the subject of significant controversy?
Legally Insane cartoon comic by Jim Herrick Above the Law.JPG
We chuckled over the cartoon (although we didn’t quite guffaw). We don’t find it offensive in the least, and we think it was perfectly fine for the Kentucky Bar Assocation to run it.
But considering that we find almost nothing offensive, we may not be the best people to ask. What are your thoughts?

Trial lawyers find nothing funny in cartoon [Louisville Courier-Journal]

Karolina Kurkova nude naked pic photo.jpgSome people, like the Overlawyered crew, can’t stop bitching about our ridiculously litigious society. They complain that here in the United States, people sue at the drop of a hat, for the most stupid or frivolous of reasons.
But there may be an upside to our culture of litigation. From the AFP:

The leading association of US fashion designers said it would issue guidelines this week on the issue of skinny models. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) will issue its findings to designers, modeling agencies and production companies by the end of the week ahead of castings for fashion week, which begins on February 2….

The former president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Stan Herman, last year ruled out a ban on skinny models in New York, saying such rules would expose the organizers to possible legal action.

“It would be the same as banning somebody who’s too fat,” he told AFP in September. “Those people could sue… I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.”

Indeed. And who’d want to be on the receiving end of such a class action, filed on behalf of every runway model with a sub-18 BMI? If liability is established, damages could be astronomical. As Linda Evangelista famously quipped, those girls “don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.”
So when Anna Wintour says her bedtime prayers tonight, she should thank God for the trial lawyers. They’re the only ones standing between her and a bevy of big-boned beauties.
Update: And models aren’t afraid of going to court to vindicate their rights. Check out this lawsuit, the subject of a recent Second Circuit ruling.
Doctors Fault Designers’ Stance Over Thin Models [New York Times]
New York fashion group to issue guidelines on skinny models [AFP]
NYC Fashion Week to Ban Twig Girls? [Gawker]

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