Archive for the ‘Legal Blunders & Scams’ Category

Can You Get Out of Jury Duty?

Be careful what you say when you go down for jury duty!

Susan Cole thought it would be funny to act like a crazy homeless person so that she wouldn’t have to serve on jury duty. Well, she got out of jury duty. But now she has been arrested and charged with first degree-perjury! See, she didn’t tell the court the truth (and that just seems like common sense!). 

Susan Cole was dumb enough to go on a local radio station and brag about how she got out of jury duty: “I decided not to put my makeup on and I put black eyebrows on. I put bright red lipstick on. I left my hair in my curlers and I put on a t-shirt that said ‘Ask Me About My Best-Seller,’ ” Cole said on KOA radio. “When they asked me about mental issues I got up and said, ‘Yeah, I have some mental issues.’ Then the judge said, ‘Does anyone care if she leaves?’ And everybody else said all at once in a great big voice, ‘No,’” she said.

Jury duty is very important. I know it’s a hassle, but we live in a county that has the greatest judicial system in the world. Sometimes cases don’t turn out the way we want them to, but at least we have a system where a person can be judged by a jury of other people, and specifically people that your lawyer gets to select. The alternative in some countries is a crazy dictator or warlord or some bureaucrat that has nothing in common with you and you don’t stand a chance at a fair hearing.

We all serve on jury duty. Next time you are called, go and be proud you live in a county where we have this right!

For more, check this out.



Coffee Spill: Here We Go Again…

Starbucks won?  McDonald’s lost?  What’s going on?

In my blog entry on the McDonald’s Coffee Case  I explained how that case is one of the most misunderstood lawsuits in the history of mankind. Now we have another case that seems like the same case, except this time it is against Starbucks and this time the lady who was burned lost her case. So what’s up?

In this latest case Rachel Moltner, age 76, burned herself with a cup of Starbucks hot tea while she was in a Starbucks coffee shop.  As a result of spilling the hot tea on her left leg  Ms. Moltner had to have a skin graft. (Ouch!)

In the McDonald’s case the burn victim, Stella Liebeck, age 79, won her case (albeit she didn’t receive very much) because McDonald’s knowingly and intentionally kept making their coffee too hot, even after it had received more than 700 complaints. Bottom line, the McDonald’s coffee was, in fact, too hot.

In this new Starbucks case, the theory was different. In this case Ms. Moltner used the novel “Double Cup” defect theory! (one cup placed into another) The court dismissed the case and stated that the old “Double Cup” method is well known in the industry as a way to prevent people from burning their hands when the cup is too hot.  But Ms. Moltner had evidence that Starbucks had a directive to its employees that said you  should not use the double cup method because it changes the center of gravity of the cup and makes it more likely to tip over.  The court said no case.

So what’s the moral of the story? Well, I can think of a couple. First, if you drink hot drinks, you may wind up with a serious burn and have to have painful skin grafts. Second, when you file a lawsuit, even if you think you have a great case and even if you know someone else who has won a case like yours before, you may still lose.

Bottom line: Be careful….

Naked Personal Injury Lawyers!

Today on the radio I heard one of the craziest lawyer story’s of all time.  The story was about naked personal injury lawyers who were walking around blindfolded in the forest and sitting around naked in a big tent tent passing around a ……..well, you have to read it for yourself.  All I could think was, “What has the legal profession come to?”

The story was featured on the John & Ken radio show on KFI AM 640 and it had to do with a recently filed lawsuit against the Los Angeles personal injury law firm Bisnar/Chase. I’m not making this up. See for yourself. Here is a copy of the actual lawsuit. Steven Eggleston vs. Bisnar Chase To read even more about this crazy suit you can also read articles in the Orange County Register or in the ABA Journal and in the Houston Press .

It all has to do with a supposed retreat that this personal injury lawyer from the Bisnar/Chase firm was supposed to go on at a place called the The Mankind Project.  According to the articel in the Houston Press this retreat center had some questionalble programs.

The lawsuit includes causes of action for sexual harassment, retaliation and constructive termination.

Bottom line, this is one heck of a crazy story. Check it out!

What is the worst lawyer
commercial of all time?

I believe in the First Amendment and in the right of lawyers to advertise. But some commercials just go over the line in the category of bad taste! Some lawyers don’t understand that just because you own a video camera doesn’t mean you should film your own commercial.  Take a look at this commercial done by a lawyer who wants to handle your divorce case….Bad Lawyer Commercial.

In 1908 it was illegal for attorneys to advertise. The American Bar Association thought that only “tricksters” used legal advertising and they felt it was not appropriate for the legal profession.

Then in 1977 the United States Supreme Court changed everything and said that attorney advertising was protected by the First Amendment. Since then we have all seen a lot of attorney ads, some good and some pretty bad. Do you have any favorites?

Here is another zinger! Lawyer Commercial

What do you think of lawyer commercials?

Michael Jackson Lawsuit

Here is the actual lawsuit.

On September 15, 2010 Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson, filed a “Complaint for Damages” against AEG LIVE LLC and others claiming they contributed to her son’s death. The complaint contains some very interesting allegations. Here is the actual lawsuit: JACKSON vs. AEG

The complaint was filed by Los Angeles lawyer Brian Panish, known as one of the all time greatest trial lawyers. He is the same lawyer that won a jury verdict in the amount of $4.9 Billion dollars against GM for a defective fuel system that caused a Chevy Malibu to burst into flames when it was rear-ended. This guy is really a great lawyer!

The Michael Jackson case has a lot of interesting allegations in it that you won’t find in the superficial media coverage. Here are just a few of the interesting ones:

  • If Michael failed to perform the shows, AEG could seize his Sony song catalog, including the songs by the Beatles,
  • When Michael showed up for rehearsal on June 23rd, he was so messed up and freezing cold that his assistants had to give him several shirts to wear under his long heavy coat, even though it was warm in the Staples Center,
  • There was a “Riot Act” meeting that was said to be “tough love” for Michael to get him to go to the rehearsals.

For those interested, take a look at the lawsuit yourself. You always find a lot more accurate information when you go to the document itself. I hope you find this interesting.