If we were counsel to MTV, we’d advise them to include a warning each time they play the mesmerizing music video for “Hips Don’t Lie.” As Shakira’s hips undulate hypnotically to the beat, a warning should scroll across the bottom of the screen: “Don’t try this at home.”
Why? A failure to warn could subject MTV to a wave of lawsuits. If the 15-year-old daughter of a plaintiff’s lawyer pulls her groin while trying to “get her Shakira on,” expect MTV and Shakira to get served the next day.
If you find this far-fetched, consider this wacky lawsuit:
A New Jersey woman who fell off a wet bar and injured herself while dancing in a “Shake-It-Like-Shakira” contest is suing the Manhattan bar that sponsored the shake-off.
Megan Zacher, 22, of Delanco, N.J fell inside Calico Jack’s Cantina on 42nd Street at Second Avenue on July 8, 2006. Her lawyer, Lawrence Simon, said the fall caused a torn ligament in her left knee and required surgery.
And what’s the plaintiff’s theory of liability?
[Zacher] has filed suit against Calico Jack’s Cantina, saying the bar “knew or should have known that the ‘Shake It Like Shakira’ promotion was dangerous and likely to lead to injury.”
* Senate approves broad new rules to try detainees. [New York Times; Bashman linkwrap]
* Senate House grandstands over Hewlett-Packard as most witnesses take Fifth; libertarians celebrate that time wasted is time not spent passing new appropriations. [New York Times; WaPo]
* Verizon Wireless piles on against H-P. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Observers suggest Supreme Court cases over abortion might be contentious. You think? [Legal Times]
* Dozen Iraqi journalists arrested under new law against criticism of government. See? They’re already following in our footsteps up to the Alien and Sedition Acts! [New York Times]
* Belgium rules sifting of bank data illegal. [WaPo]
* California court hearing testimony over how many angels can dance on the pinhead of an anesthesized Death Row inmate. [Bashman linkwrap]
* Louisiana appellate court strikes down med-mal damages cap for failure to index to inflation, providing another excuse for doctors not to return to post-Katrina New Orleans. [Point of Law]
* New York Times writes thumbsucker on the Pirro marriage. [New York Times]
It’s been kind of a slow week, what with the upcoming Labor Day holiday and all. So today’s Lawsuit of the Day — by the way, these “of the Day” features aren’t exactly daily, just whenever we feel like it — isn’t that ridiculous.
Here it is (via the New York Law Journal):
A medical student who injured his pinky horsing around in the snow and then sued a state hospital for malpractice has lost his case in the Court of Claims.
Judge S. Michael Nadel said David Kern could not establish a prima facie case of malpractice, in part because his own expert — a neurologist on the faculty of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, where the claimant was studying — gave the court next to nothing to work with.
The weakness of plaintiff’s expert testimony was the biggest problem with the case. But this didn’t exactly help matters:
Mr. Kern admitted that he had taken part in a SUNY talent show just weeks after the injury–a videotape introduced by the defendant showed him playing the piano and singing a rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” at the show…
“Free Bird”? It’s all over. That’s a pretty challenging song. Remember when Bo Bice sang it on “American Idol”?
(Any Beverly Hills 90210 fans out there? This reminds us of the time that Brenda (Shannen Doherty) got into a car accident with the lady who claimed she got a serious case of whiplash. Brenda goes over to the lady’s house to apologize, and sees the lady aerobicizing in her living room — sans neck brace!!! That episode was classic…)
Hey look, don’t get us wrong; the main problem here was with plaintiff’s expert testimony. We’re not belittling all lawsuits over injured pinky fingers. After all, we’d be screwed without ours; we love the semicolon!
And don’t forget Dr. Evil. If you injured his pinky finger, the compensatory damages could amount to… 1 MILLION DOLLARS!!! Claim Over Med Student’s Hurt Pinky Denied [New York Law Journal]
* Allegations of bill padding at Holland & Knight. An isolated occurrence — or more widespread within Biglaw? [WSJ via WSJ Law Blog]
* The secret to success: Wake up early. Like really early — try 3 a.m. That Ann Althouse is a machine! [Althouse]
* Here’s a link for those of you who don’t think we need tort reform. It’s a long post, but well worth reading. (And it’s not Ted Frank’s fault that the reporter got so much wrong.) [Overlawyered via Volokh Conspiracy]
* We think that judicial clerkships are fabulous — for clerks, for judges, and for this great nation of ours. But Raffi Melkonian disagrees — and makes some interesting points. [Crescat Sententia]
We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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