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Expert: Invitation to Child’s Party Not Enforceable

The BBC asked its legal correspondent to weigh in on the case of Alex Nash, the five-year-old who was billed £15.95 for failing to show up for a friend's birthday party. Although the party organizers (the friend's parents) have allegedly…

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Kirby Delauter, Sherbert Deluder

I'm a little late to this party, but I didn't want to pass up a chance to mention Kirby Delauter, the county councilman who threatened to sue the Frederick News-Post if it used his name without his permission. It not only…

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Court Suggests Plaintiff Could Have Grounded His Brain

A statement in a judicial opinion that isn't necessary to the holding is called a dictum (pl. dicta), and isn't technically binding (though it may or may not be persuasive). Here's a good example of that from a 1976 federal case (thanks,…

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Woman Alleges Vicious Beagle Slain by Noble Pit Bulls

But not before it bit her, and that's why she's suing the beagle's owners for over $200,000. First of all, I don't think this is one of those cases that involves the debate whether pit bulls are inherently vicious or…

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“The Singing Was Quite Beautiful But Was Preventing Me From Hearing the Evidence”

Maybe this shouldn't be the case, but the fact is that singing in court is rarely appropriate.

I'd have said "never appropriate" had I not participated in a trial in which the plaintiff's attorney sang "What the World Needs Now Is Love" to the jury during closing argument. I didn't actually witness it, unfortunately, and so was surprised to hear that the jurors did not come down out of the box and beat him senseless, as I would have predicted. I was even more surprised that they later gave his client several million dollars, as I would not have predicted. But such is life. It's much more likely that singing in court will backfire, and at a minimum, you should not sing while evidence is being presented.

Also, don't call the judge "woman."

Those are among the lessons of this judgment, issued on November 7 in New South Wales (reported by the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday). This was a civil case brought by Sonni N'Ge-Sala, whose claims arose out of a 2008 police shooting. Since he wasn't the one who got shot, it's probably more accurate to say that Susan Bandera's claims arose out of the shooting, and N'Ge-Sala's claims arose out of his imagination.

Since the facts also involve four stubbies and a cocktail fork, they are worth a quick summary (and hopefully at least one more click).

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UPDATE: Rick Springfield’s Butt Will Face Retrial

You will be pleased to know that the plaintiff who accuses Rick Springfield of assaulting her with his butt has not given up despite an earlier mistrial. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, lawyers for Springfield and plaintiff Vicki Calcagno were back in court…

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Guy Sues Legal System Again

Just the one in Illinois, at least for now. According to the Madison Record (thanks, Dave), Aaron Wemple has sued the Illinois State Bar Association and all of its members, alleging that … well, that it and they have done and/or are doing…

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Woman Seeks Damages for Damage Caused by Woman

“I think I can safely say this is a very unusual claim,” said Shari Moore, the city clerk of St. Paul, Minnesota. Moore was talking about Megan Campbell’s claim against the city for damage to her car caused when a…

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Judge Rejects the Queen’s Claim for Back Wages

This recent decision by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (thanks, Lachlan) is called The Queen v. Pro Bono Law Ontario, and that name needs some explaining. In the U.S., criminal cases are usually named something like State v. Whoever or United States v. Whoever (or,…

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Napping Fan Sues ESPN and MLB for Allegedly Mocking Him

He is only the latest in a very long line of individuals who cannot understand that filing a lawsuit will not reduce the mockery level. The Smoking Gun has a copy of the poorly written complaint (which seeks $10 million…