Oh what a weekend…

If you saw my last post, you saw a little bit about my weekend, but apparently there were other things going on as well, first up the Obama administration is sending Lawyers into the BP/Gulf situation. While I say it’s about time, I’m still, not sure if stuffing the pipe with lawyers is going to plug it up any better than stuffing it with golf balls. (Unavoidable aside, what do you call 100 lawyers at bottom of the Gulf of Mexico…a good start!).

Walt sent me a link to the camera feed that is cutting the pipe so that they can seal it off and re-route the flow of oil into a tanker (apparently I can’t hot-link it, but if you cut out the link (mms://a261.l9789246260.c97892.g.lm.akamaistream.net/D/261/97892/v0001/reflector:46260), paste it in your windows media player Open File URL, you will get to see a live feed). Walt says there is a site that does allow fro a hotlink, but he had to go to work, sio I’m guessing that he’ll post it later.

Oh yeah, and there was apparently a sinkhole that abruptly opened up in Guatemala. Yeah, you heard that right, a sinkhole (that looks eerily like something the Silver Surfer did in FF #2 or the Predators did in AVP #1, or even the Horta from the original Star Trek TV show.

So I’m figuring the end of the world is a tad sooner than the Mayans would have had us believe…Me? I’m preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.

The Perfessor

And now a word from our lawyers…

Well, not “our” lawyers, so much, but a buncha law-related stories that I thought I’d toss together while waiting for my client to call this morning. First up, the Vatican is setting up roadblocks…er it’s legal strategy in its most recent slate of sex-abuse lawsuits.

The Catholic Church has been dealing with its sex-abuse problems for decades. In that span, thousands of lawsuits have been filed, and millions upon millions have been paid out to victims.

But lawsuits filed against the Vatican have been few and far between. The vast majority of the litigation has been aimed at individual priests, bishops and dioceses.

With that as a backdrop, let’s give you the news: The Vatican itself is soon due to defend itself in U.S. court, after failing to thwart a lawsuit claiming it ordered American bishops to cover up evidence of child sex abuse. In court filings expected next week, the Vatican likely will provide the most comprehensive look yet at how it plans to defend itself against the accusations. Click here for our story in Friday’s WSJ.

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Next, something from TV lawyers, as we learn (much to our dismay), that Law and Order is officially, and truly canceled after 20 years on TV (tying Gunsmoke for the record of longest live-action drama in prime time).

The news is as unwelcome as the death of an old friend, even if you knew he was sick: NBC has canceled “Law & Order” after 20 years. The longevity of this beloved series has been a mystery to many critics, but its appeal has been undeniable. How many holidays have I spent on the couch watching “two separate but equally important groups” investigate, interrogate, and try murderers? How many such days have you, hypocrite lecteur, thus wasted too?

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Then there is this, far more sobering story about a 7-year-old child who was accidentally shot and killed (by the cops themselves) during a police raid.

It’s only been two weeks since the video of the February raid by the Columbia, Missouri SWAT team went viral. It caught fire because of the brutal, pointless, banal killing of the family dog, as cops in helmets and body armor swept into a home with a young child. The one saving grace, if it can be called that, is that they didn’t shoot the child. This time they did.

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Finally, there is this suit, concerning(of all things) Superheroes and, well lawyers:

Even caped crusaders can wind up in court.

After months of discussions, DC Comics, a unit of Time Warner’s Warner Bros., filed a lawsuit today against Los Angeles-based attorney Marc Toberoff in an attempt to protect rights to its lucrative “Superman” property.

The Perfessor

“First, Kill all the lawyers…”

Again, just to be clear, I’m not so much advocating violence, but quoting Shakespeare here. Why am I saying this (again), well, other than the obvious reasons? Easy, I just read this post over at No Funny Lawyers, and well, I was both amused, and a tad irritated.

On Reading Contracts: What to do When Asked for Your Immortal Soul
Whether it’s your soul or just your money at risk, assume that every contract you sign can and will be used against you. I don’t practice canonical law, so I can’t say if an agreement to sell your immortal soul can be enforced against you. An agreement to hold Facebook harmless against trouble coming from your use of its site is a different matter altogether, at least in Colorado.

Well, for an April Fool’s joke, the British gaming vendor Gamestation recently added the following requirement to its online terms of use:


By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions.

To be sure, it was an April Fool’s stunt, but apparently some 7,500 people (almost 90% of the site’s users on April 1st) agreed to this sinister Faustian bargain, all the while ignoring the opt-out option that would have given them a £5 credit (about $8) toward their purchase.

Apparently, there are other, equally suspicious, if not as outright evil, contracts that also exist, so we urge you all to actually read what you are signing, as no right of your is protected if it isn’t actually written down. Sure there are promises that are made and assurances given (“Oh, we’ll never do THAT.”) but unless it is in writing it is not only not worth the paper on which it’s (not) printed, but totally unenforceable.

Caveat emptor

The Perfessor, esq.

When in doubt…sue!

I know that by now you are all familiar with the national sport of the U.S., suing the crap out of everyone. Lindsey Lohan tried it recently, and since this is something of a “fake” lawsuit (OK, it is a real lawsuit, but no one other than Lindsey is taking it seriously). Want to know how I know this? I just read the following on Legal Blog Watch.com.

Welcome back to Judge Carton Rules, where a fake judge issues rulings to spare the parties to cases in which the outcome is obvious the time and expense of further litigation. Here is today’s docket:

Case 1: In the awesome commercial below, the toddler girlfriend of the E-Trade baby demands to know if “that milk-o-holic Lindsay was over” at her boyfriend’s house. Lindsay “You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Commercial Is About You” Lohan says that she “has the same single-name recognition as Oprah or Madonna,” and as such, the ad has misappropriated her “name and characterization.” She’s asking for $100 million.

Judge Carton’s ruling: Bwaaaah haaahaaaaahaaaaaa hahhaaaaa!! Wow. Good to laugh like that once in a while. Now get out of my fake courtroom, “Lindsay,” and do not return. E-Trade’s future Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.

(In case you missed the vid, we posted it here)

The Perfessor

Funny lawyer commercials

A few days ago we posted a funny lawyer ad that not only made the law firm that made the ad seem reasonable and, well honorable, and their lawsuit-happy potential clientele as money-grubbing whores, well, not only is there a new commercial:

…but now even are other lawyers are writing about it.

One ad for Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman begins with a woman sitting at a kitchen table describing her pain, the New York Times reports. “The pain was excruciating. It’s like I had this huge, really sharp machete chopping down on me every time I tried to move,” she says. “It was the worst paper cut I ever had.”

The commercial tagline says, “There are some cases even we can’t win, A voiceover says. “If you’ve been injured, call us, but keep in mind: you really need to be injured.”

We think that if more lawyers were like this, perhaps we wouldn’t hold them in such universal contempt.

The Perfessor

The only good lawyer…

Shakespeare once told us that the first thing we have to do is kill all the lawyers. An old lawyer joke asks what do you call 150 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean, with the response being (naturally enough), a good start.

Here is a new ad for Lawyers that actually makes them seem (believe it or not) reasonable:

The Perfessor