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

Hi-tech funnybook madness

I think that before I discovered funnybooks, I was a fan of syndicated comics in the newspaper. I totally love it when these two worlds collide, as they did this week in Foxtrot. I already posted this on my funnybook site (and showed it to Walt), but since there is a sly tech side to this gag, I wanted to re-post it here. The real gag isn’t obvious (I actually had to point it out to Walt), but it is there, and it is hilarious, so take your time.

(click the cartoon to get it large enough to read clearly)

The Perfessor

The House where Superman was Born

Superman's homeWe all know the story of Superman, a strange being from another planet who was rocketed to this world when his exploded. He was found by the elderly Kents, raised as their own, then went on to become the hero of our nation, fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Well, writer Brad Meltzer — while writing his novel The Book of Lies traveled to the home of Jerry Siegel, co-creator (along with Joe Schuster) of the iconic character, Superman, only to discover that the former Siegel residence was in an advanced state of disrepair.

Meltzer vowed to do something about it, and along with several local Superman devotees he created the Siegel & Shuster Society. The society asked friends in the entertainment industry to donate artwork and tickets to events, and the group held an auction last September. In one month, they raised a little more than $100,000, part of which paid for a steel fence with Superman’s insignia on it.

For more on this story read it in the Wall St. Journal.

The Perfessor

Only in New York

photo03In the Marvel Universe, they killed Captain America, Arrested Spider-Man, Booted Col. Nick Fury and Iron Man from their respective positions of authority and power, and put Master Criminal Norman (The Green Goblin) Osborn in charge.

Here in the real world. we arrest criminals and revere heroes.

Only, not so much

Superman and Batman took on New York’s Finest last night in an epic Crossroads of the World battle that left the Caped Crusader in cuffs.

Stunned Times Square tourists and office workers watched agog as cops struggled to subdue Clark Kent’s alter ego without kryptonite.

“The Man of Steel didn’t go down with just two officers, it took seven officers!” witness Ryan McCormick said. “He was putting up a good fight. Little kids were like, ‘Mommy, it’s Superman!’ ”

If that wasn’t weird enough, McCormick turned and saw the Dark Knight handcuffed to a chair like a common villain.

The whole world is crazy.

The Perfessor