Friday Links

Action_Comics_286
Above, you’ll find the cover of Action Comics #286, published way, way back in 1962. As you can see, Superman stands before “The Jury of Super-Enemies,” a body composed of Saturn Queen, Cosmic King, Brainiac, Lightning Lord, Electro, and of course, Lex Luthor. We’re thinking that perhaps Supes should have simply waived his right to a jury trial if these villains were to serve as the fact finders. In fact, imagine how bad the venire panel must have been for old Supes to end up with this lot serving as the jurors.

Okay, so footnote 7 of this recent Texas Supreme Court case cites to and quotes The Big Lebowski. We’re not entirely certain what to think about that, but now we’re anxiously awaiting a Miller’s Crossing citation. (Hat Tip: Paul Szoldra at Business Insider).

The music site Loudwire offers an article entitled “10 Infamous Rock Lawsuits.”

TUMBLED_EP_COVER_FB_itunes

You might recall that back in April of 2011 we interviewed Brian Dale Allen Strouse of The Lawsuits, a Philadelphia rock band. Well, The Lawsuits are releasing a new EP, Tumbled, later this month. (That’s the cover depicted above.). For more information, see here.

A reader directs us to “Understanding North Carolina’s Proposed Constitutional Amendment Allowing Non-Jury Felony Trials” by Jeffrey B. Welty and Komal K. Patel. If you’re in North Carolina, you may want to read it before election day.

Our favorite recent tweet must be this one:

Friday Links

adv-supes

You know, we must ask what exactly is occurring on the cover of Adventure Comics #370, depicted above and published way, way back in 1968. Our heroes face “The Devil’s Jury,” suggesting perhaps that Superboy did not retain a jury consultant. “Legionnaires, for numerous acts of anti-crime, I sentence you to the Devil’s Island of Space!” exclaims the sorcerer jurist. That sounds unpleasant. Why is it that villains are always sentencing people to vile punishments at mock tribunals? Why are they concerned about the appearance of due process? This makes little sense.

Apparently, Thomson Reuters is officially retiring Westlaw Classic. We don’t know what we are going to do without it.

Okay, the rock band Kiss is being sued by a security guard claiming injuries arising from confetti. Yes, you read that correctly: confetti. For more on that, see here.

Guess what? GWB’s own David Rheney was recently named Lawyer of the Year in Insurance Law for Greenville by Best Lawyers in America. See here on that story.

Here’s our favorite tweet of the week from Texas country musician Owen Temple:

Friday Links

spidey-jury

Okay, so above is the cover of Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #3, published back in 1994.  The cover boldly proclaims: “The Jury is in and the verdict for Spider-Man is death.” Well, Spider-Man is certainly not in a courtroom. According to Wikipedia, “[t]he Jury is a fictional group of armored vigilantes in the Marvel Comics universe.” Get it? They’re armed vigilantes, and they call themselves “The Jury.” Sigh. In light of that, we suppose the cover above depicts Spider-Man exercising his peremptory challenges. Yes, you read that right. We tried to make a joke about a comic book vigilante group called The Jury. We’re sorry about that.

On a more serious note, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina recently issued the following notice about its local rules:

The Local Civil and Criminal Rules for this district were amended effective August 20, 2014.  The amendments include numerous stylistic changes including changes to capitalization, punctuation, citation form, and sentence structure.  Two rules were modified substantively:  Local Civil Rule 83.I.07 (Withdrawal of Appearance); and Local Civil Rule 83.VII.07 (Application for Attorney Fees [in Social Security cases]).

The amended rules as well as redlined comparisons of the most recent amendments to the November 15, 2013 versions of the Local Civil and Criminal Rules are available on the court’s website (http://www.scd.uscourts.gov) under the “What’s New” and “Rules” tabs.

We have to hand it to the Popehat Twitter account, which has perfectly captured the ennui of Star Wars fans of a certain age in the tweet below. As you might guess from our posts here and here, we are sympathetic.

Finally, we hope everyone has an eventful and safe holiday weekend. We here at Abnormal Use will be watching college football.

Friday Links

coh

Above, you’ll find the cover of City of Heroes #5, published not so long ago in 2004. Apex, the superhero depicted on the cover, has received a jury summons (although we’re uncertain why he wears his costume to check his mail.). You may recall that the cover of the very recent She-Hulk #6 – published in 2014 – depicted that super heroine with a civil summons. In fact, at that time, our editor Jim Dedman speculated in a tweet that She-Hulk #6 might be the first comic book to depict a legal summons:

Well, obviously, in light of the City of Heroes cover above, the answer to that question is no. Alas.

You know, we never did write about Madonna potentially serving on a New York jury this summer. Did you hear about that? Apparently, she received some special treatment at the courthouse. What a voir dire that might have been! For more, see here.

By the way, speaking of legally themed tweets, here’s one of our recent favorites (authored by Colorado journalist Matt Sebastian):

Friday Links

mcd

As we complete this week’s coverage of the twentieth anniversary of the Stella Liebeck McDonald’s hot coffee trial, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of our past hot coffee and food related posts. But first: Above, you’ll find the cover of McDonaldland Comics #102 which we felt we had to share in light of this week’s theme. We’re not entirely certain what Ronald McDonald is doing on the cover, but surely, he is being contributorily negligent. And with that, we return to the Liebeck case one last time this week to direct you to some links to our favorite blog posts on that and other hot food and beverage cases.

So, without further ado, here they are below (including the posts that ran this week on the subject):

The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case: Revisiting The Eyewitness Trial Testimony” (Jim Dedman, August 13, 2014).

20 Years of McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case Rhetoric” (Nick Farr, August 12, 2014).

20 Years Ago This Week: The Stella Liebeck McDonald’s Hot Coffee Trial” (Jim Dedman, August 11, 2014).

The Stella Liebeck McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case FAQ” (Jim Dedman, January 25, 2011).

Spill the Beans: The Truth Behind Susan Saladoff’s “Hot Coffee” Documentary” (Nick Farr, January 24, 2011).

Abnormal Use Cited in Today’s New York Times on ‘Hot Coffee’ Documentary” (Jim Dedman, June 26, 2011).

Film Review: Susan Saladoff’s “Hot Coffee” Documentary” (Nick Farr, June 27, 2011).

Statutory Construction: What is a “Documentary” Film?” (Jim Dedman, October 13, 2011).

Thoughts on “Hot Coffee” Director Susan Saladoff’s Appearance on “The Colbert Report”” (Nick Farr, October 26, 2011).

The McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case: Distinguishing Between Facts and Theory” (Nick Farr, March 19, 2013).

Photograph of the Day: The Canadian Hot Coffee Warning?” (Nick Farr, April 24, 2013).

The New York Times Reflects On Post-Liebeck Life” (Nick Farr, November 7, 2013).

Hot Queso Jurisprudence in Pennsylvania” (Jim Dedman, December 12, 2013).

Liebeck v. McDonalds Restaurants: The Original Coffee Product Liability Case” (Jim Dedman, April 24, 2014).

Friday Links

mcdonaldland-comics-101

Above, you’ll find the cover of McDonaldland Comics #101 which, really, has no apparent legal theme. However, we bring this comic book cover to your attention today because it is the 20th anniversary of the infamous Stella Liebeck McDonald’s hot coffee trial. That’s right, dear readers! Twenty years ago today, on August 8, 1994, that fateful trial began. The case would soon become the most well known American civil trial. Next week, we’ll be discussing the case in much more detail. In fact, we’ll have a week’s worth of coverage!

Apparently, there is a new brewery in the Carolinas called Legal Remedy Brewing Company. How about that?

We dug this article by Jena McGregor from The Washington Post simply entitled “The out-of-office reply, deconstructed.” We’ve been receiving a lot of these lately, and we’re pleased to learn that there is a philosophy of sorts to crafting them.

According to Scientific American, the State of California is now legislating the ability to operate driverless cars. Reports Corinne Iozzio:

The law is finally catching up to driverless cars. As of September 16, the state of California—home of auto newcomer Google—will require test drivers to have a special license, like a trucker or school bus driver. They will need to be employees or contractors of the car manufacturer, complete safety training, and have clean road records. Carmakers themselves will have to apply for a testing permit annually, install manual controls and override systems in each car, submit incident reports and secure $5 million in insurance.

By the way, remember back in 2011 when Scientific American name checked the Abnormal Use law blog? Yes, we do, too.

Oh, and our favorite tweet of late came from our GWB’s own Ron Tate, who commented upon a recent deposition experience:

Friday Links

detail

 Okay, so how’s this for a legally themed comic book cover? Above, you’ll find the cover of Uncanny X-Men #23, published just a weeks ago in 2014. The cover is simple: It depicts “The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier,” who we all know to be the leader of The X-Men. What is his testamentary intent? Did he comply with all of the formal prerequisites required of the execution of a will? Who were the witnesses to its execution? We assume that with such a fancy cover page that it is not a holographic will. We’ll review the issue and report back dear readers. In fact, this is the same comic book issue that we mentioned last week due to the fact that a part of the narrative is set in Charleston, South Carolina.

Here’s some news: In this month’s ABA Journal, our editor Jim Dedman offers two contributions to its “12 Movies With Pivotal Lessons Featuring Lawyers” article. As a part of that piece, he was asked to choose a significant legal scene from a film and identify some of the lessons that lawyers can learn from it. Of course, he chose to write about the expert witness sequence in My Cousin Vinny (a film to which we here at Abnormal Use dedicated a week’s worth of posts on the occasion of its twentieth anniversary back in 2012). As for his other contribution, he chose to discuss the wonderful Wilford Brimley scene in Absence of Malice.

Here’s how he describes the scene in Vinny:

In the final trial sequence, Vinny calls an unsuspecting Mona Lisa to the stand to testify as an expert witness for the defense. In so doing, he draws an objection from the prosecutor (Lane Smith), who rises to question Mona Lisa’s expertise. He then conducts a brief voir dire of Mona Lisa—which, curiously, takes place in the jury’s presence—to determine whether she is indeed qualified to testify. Impressed by the depth of her automotive knowledge, the prosecutor withdraws his objection and the judge permits her to testify. Through her testimony, Vinny wins an acquittal for his clients.

As for Absence of Malice, he sets the scene as follows:

No summary can do the final sequence justice; it must be seen to be fully experienced. As Gallagher’s efforts to “get even” begin to come to fruition, Wells convenes a meeting of all of those involved in the Gallagher affair—including the federal prosecutor, the district attorney (to whose campaign committee Gallagher has made anonymous contributions so as to cast doubt upon him), Carter and the newspaper’s lawyer—in an office conference room. The federal prosecutor attempts a mock cross-examination of Gallagher to prove his revenge scheme, but Wells takes over the meeting and queries Carter about her source into the investigation of Gallagher. Carter admits she received the information from the federal prosecutor, and following that admission, Wells—after commenting on the First Amendment and the purported reporter’s privilege—tells everyone where they now stand.

You’ll need to visit the ABA Journal‘s site to see the potential lessons from these films. You can read the Absence of Malice article here and the My Cousin Vinny article here.

By the way, we once tried to interview Mr. Brimley about his fateful scene, but alas, it was not in the cards. But it resulted in an interesting story about our attempts to do so, which you can revisit here.

Friday Links

alf

We here at Abnormal Use are somewhat embarrassed to admit that we were once fans of the television show, “Alf.” But, hey, we all have some mortifying secret from the 1980′s, right? Accordingly, we direct you to the above cover of Alf #33, published way, way back in 1990. Note that the cover depicts a wanted poster for Alf who is, apparently, sought by the law for “illegal entropy” and, our favorite, “impersonating a USDA inspector.” We wonder who defended our favorite alien life form at his criminal trial, but perhaps we will never, ever know (not having read this issue or mustered the energy to seek it out 24 years later). Alas, Alf.

We’ve written a bit about the products liability implications of driverless cars, but what about the criminal law? Apparently, according to Techdirt, the FBI believes that driverless cars will aide criminal enterprises. We’re thinking, perhaps, that the FBI has forgotten about all of the driverless cars that have assisted law enforcement, like KITT from “Knight Rider.”

As a law firm with three offices in the Carolinas, we were surprised to learn that part of the latest X-Men comic book takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. Apparently, aliens attack the city. For more on that, see here.

Did you hear that Duran Duran has sued the company it hired to run its fan club? If we had filed that lawsuit, we would have concluded our complaint with the phrase “(Save A) Prayer For Relief.” But we’re music nerds.

Are you following Abnormal Use on the Facebook? If not, you can do so by clicking here!

Friday Links

america_vs_jsa

“I accuse the JSA of treason!” exclaims Batman on the cover of America Vs. The Justice Society #1, published not so long ago in 1985. Technically, wouldn’t the proper caption be “United States v. The Justice Society?” We here at Abnormal Use don’t practice in the federal criminal courts, but we seem to recall that it is always the “United States” listed as a party in that type of litigation. And does Batman have enough evidence as required by the U.S. Constitution? Whatever the case, here is the somewhat confusing plot summary from, of course, Wikipedia:

The series was set on Earth-Two and began with the discovery of Batman’s diary (The pre-Crisis Earth-Two Bruce Wayne had been murdered by a criminal named Bill Jensen prior to this adventure as indicated in this story) which indicated that the Justice Society was guilty of treason during World War II and conspired to cover-up their treason after the war was over. The group is put on trial and their history is reviewed. All the historical adventures involving the JSA are remembered, and details are added. It eventually reveals that the diary is a hoax created by Batman in an effort to have the JSA apprehend Per Degaton at a future time that Batman believed he would not be alive for.

Here’s what the drummer of the band Tool told Rolling Stone about the litigation his band is facing: “We’re going to trial and we want to crush them. But every time we’ve gotten close to going to trial, it gets postponed and we’ve wasted money and time and it has just drained our creative energy. We bought an insurance policy for peace of mind, but instead we would have been better off if we never had it and just dealt with the original lawsuit.”

GWB’s own Stuart Mauney has been appointed to a one year term as a member of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Advisory Committee. The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs has the mandate to educate the legal profession concerning alcoholism, chemical dependencies, stress, depression and other mental health issues. Don’t forget:  You can follow Stuart on Twitter here. (Oh, and speaking of Stuart, you should go back in time and read his “Burned At Mediation By My Own Facebook Post!” blog entry from 2012.

Finally, there was a great turnout last night at the North Carolina Legal Geeks event at Charlotte, North Carolina’s Unknown Brewing Company. North Carolina attorney Clark Walton spoke to the group about digital and smartphone forensics. If you’re into legal technology issues, you might consider following @NCLegalGeeks on Twitter.

Friday Links

pym

As our editor recently tweeted, we here at Abnormal Use recently stumbled across the comic book cover above, that of Avengers #228, published way, way back in 1983. “At Last! The Trial of Yellow Jacket!” the cover proclaims. If you only know The Avengers from the recent films, you may be unfamiliar with Yellow Jacket a/k/a Hank Pym a/k/a Ant Man a/k/a as Giant Man a/k/a Goliath. He’s also the creator of the villainous robot Ultron (who will apparently be the main menace in the upcoming Avengers film sequel). Anyway, the producers of the Avengers films didn’t see fit to include Pym in the films, despite his status as a founding member of the group in the comics. Let’s just say, though, that he had some issues, as you might suspect from the cover above. Visible in the courtroom are She-Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, and Janet Pym a/k/a The Wasp, whose troubled marriage to Hank was explored in the comics for years. Here’s a summary of the issue we located:

While both the Avengers and the general public anxiously await the outcome of Hank Pym’s trial for treason, Egghead again reforms the Masters of Evil and sends them to the courthouse to free Hank. During the resultant battle with the Avengers, the newly recruited Radioactive Man unleashes a gamma ray burst which changes the She-Hulk back to Jennifer Walters, thus turning the tide in his allies’ favor. Despite the heroes’ best efforts, their opponents succeed in spiriting Hank away, while deliberately leaving behind a brainwashed Shocker to assert that the former Avenger planned his own escape. Now believing that he can never be cleared, the captive Hank is seemingly coerced into aiding Egghead’s latest scheme.

An Avenger on trial for treason, eh? How about that? In fact, we once wrote about this trial back in early 2013. For that edition of Friday Links, please see here.

In case you missed it, South Carolina Bar President Cal Watson penned an editorial entitled “Lawyers fight for America’s founding principles” for The State newspaper. You can read it here.

You know, we write a lot about McDonald’s litigation and hot coffee, but we’ve never written about bears at McDonald’s.