Friday Links

  • Believe it or not, but the Marvel Comics character She-Hulk is an attorney. Above, you’ll see the cover of The Sensational She-Hulk #59, published not so long ago in 1994, during which She-Hulk, clad in her courtroom attire, asks the court for a “short recess” so that she can dispose of the host of super villains who have appeared. (One wonders how they all bypassed the security at the courthouse entrance). Whatever the case, we suspect the request was granted by the trial court judge. She-Hulk’s Wikipedia entry describes her as a “highly skilled lawyer” who has “served as legal counsel to various superheroes on numerous occasions.” She apparently practices at the fictional firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway which, curiously enough, has its own Wikipedia entry. (Below, at the end of this post, you’ll find the cover of She-Hulk #7, published very recently, only back in 2006. Note that She-Hulk dresses up for hearings and walks up the courthouse steps just like real lawyers do!)
  • The ContractsProf Blog uses a clip from “Seinfeld” to illustrate the principles of Lauvetz v. Alaska Sales & Serv. d/b/a Nat’l Car Rental, 828 P 2d 162 (Alaska 1991). We encourage this method of legal instruction. As you know, we love “Seinfeld.”
  • You may recall that here and here we mentioned the case of Barbour v. Int’l Union United Auto. Aerospace & Agric. Implement Workers of Am., (4th Cir. Feb. 4, 2010) (PDF), in which the Fourth Circuit adopted the last served defendant rule in the removal context. Beware: that case is now no more. Brian Peterson of the West Virginia Legal Weblog reports that the Fourth Circuit, en banc, has issued a new opinion in the case and held that it will not adhere to the last served defendant rule after all. Rather, it has elected to follow the McKinney Intermediate Rule. See the new opinion here. [PDF].

  • Eric Goldman of the Technology & Marketing Law Blog writes about Badella v. Deniro Marketing LLC, 10-03908 CRB (N.D. Cal. Jan 24, 2011), a putative class action brought on behalf of “lonely and vulnerable men” who claimed they were tricked into using an online dating site. The court refused to dismiss all of their claims. Those are going to be some great depositions.
  • We must confess that we love it when Plaintiffs claim one thing in their lawsuits and entirely contradict themselves with posts and pictures on Facebook. This past week, that topic was apparently quite popular, with a story at MSNBC/Reuters and follow-ups here at Overlawyered and here at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. While you’re off reading those reports, we’re just going to go set our Facebook Wall to private.
  • Deadline Hollywood, a widely read Hollywood blog, reported this week that pay cable giant HBO has bought the rights to “Hot Coffee,” the Susan Saladoff directed documentary about the Stella Liebeck McDonald’s hot coffee case. As you recall, we previously commented upon that film here. This, of course, means that the film will receive a much wider audience than it did at the Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered just a week ago . Writes Deadline Hollywood‘s Mike Fleming:
    EXCLUSIVE: HBO has closed a deal for Hot Coffee, the Susan Saladoff-directed competition documentary which focuses on how corporations have used the memory of outlandish legal verdicts as a way to press for tort reforms and avoid jury trials through arbitration on cases that actually have merit.

    HBO’s Sheila Nevins viewed the documentary after it premiered last Monday. I’m told the deal was mid to high six-figures. HBO licensed the film for broadcast and VOD for 2 years, and will afford the film a qualifying Oscar theatrical run before it airs on the pay channel. Preferred Content’s Kevin Iwashina brokered the sale. Carly Hugo and Alan Oxman produced with Saladoff.

    The film’s title refers to the famous case of a woman”s million dollar judgment from McDonald’s over a spilled cup of coffee. Saladin, a lawyer, focuses on other outrageous cases that illustrated where corporations were negligent or unresponsive. They include a case involving Halliburton, which housed a 19-year old worker overseas in a barracks with men and ignored her concerns. She was gang-raped.

    Although we caught some grief last week for pointing out Saladoff’s career as a Plaintiff’s attorney and longstanding ties to various “civil justice groups,” we stand by our post and look forward to see the film when it hits our television screens.

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