Friday Links


Okay, here’s an issue we need to find and read. Above, you’ll find the cover of Action Comics #581, published way, way back in 1986 (back in the days when we here at Abnormal Use were regularly visiting comic book shops). The cover proclaims: “In this issue you will meet the Man of Steel’s Lawyer!” Who could it be? How do you suppose he was retained? When Superman appears in your office as a potential client, do you require a retainer? Are you obligated to ask his secret identity for the purposes of the conflicts check? Where do you send your bills? To the Hall of Justice? Or do you handle cases for Superman pro bono (suspecting that it will probably pay off later if he owes you one)?

Did you know that there is a rock band called The Plaintiffs? Back in 2011, we interviewed  Brian Dale Allen Strouse, the leader of the Philadelphia rock group, The Lawsuits. (You can find that interview here). We think these two bands should tour together.

Don’t forget! If you’re in Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday, May 22, you can attend the “Food Truck Law” CLE planned by our editor, Jim Dedman. For more information on that (including instructions on how to register for the event, please see here.). Best part: The event will be held at a local brewery!

By the way, did you hear that GWB partner John T. Lay has been selected for inclusion in the South Carolina Super Lawyers Top 25 for 2014?  For more on that, see here.

Friday Links


As you may have heard, Al Feldstein, the long time editor of Mad Magazine, has died. He was 88 at the time of his death, but during his life, he edited the humor rag during its heyday from 1955 to 1984. Since we’re big Springsteen fans, we direct your attention to the cover above, that of Mad Magazine #270, which is a parody of the Live/1975–85 box set. That issue was published in 1987, just a few years after Feldstein retired from the publication.


Back in April 2011, in an edition of Friday Links, we here at Abnormal Use featured Mad Magazine #274 (cover pictured above) as our legally themed comic book cover of the week. Yes, as you can see, at the time of that issue’s publication (1987, again), the magazine was parodying “L.A. Law,” the then-popular legal drama. Of that cover, we said:

We recently realized that most newly minted lawyers are now too young to remember watching “L.A. Law” when it originally aired back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This is sad news. How is it that a practicing lawyer can be unaware of the fictional exploits of the McKenzie Brackman firm? Was it that long ago in the past when the show left the airwaves in 1994? Was it that many years ago that the Rosalind Shays character perished by falling down an elevator shaft? So, what can we do but commemorate this program by sharing with you the cover of Mad Magazine #274, published way back in 1987? (An aside: One of the writer contributors of this blog actually bought this issue off the newsstand back in ’87, but we’re not going to tell you which one of us it was so as to protect the innocent.).

Indeed, we here at Abnormal Use became familiar with Mad Magazine back in the mid-1980′s, well after it was an institution. It was certainly superior to the other fad of the time: Garbage Pail Kids. By the 1990′s, though, we had left comic books and Mad Magazine behind, so we missed the legally themed cover to issued #322, published way, way back December 1994 and pictured below:


Mad Magazine on the O.J. Simpson trial? We might have to make our way to eBay to find a copy of that one (if only to learn why Marcia Clark appears to be introducing a photograph of famed magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman as an exhibit to the proceedings). Yes, yes, we realize that if offering this tribute to Mr. Feldstein that we only displayed Mad Magazine covers from the late 1980′s and early 1990′s (after his tenure). So, today, in honor of Mr. Feldstein, head on over to Mad Magazine‘s official website, or if you’d like to stroll down memory lane, to Comicvine, where you can access images of all of Mad Magazine‘s covers all the way back to the 1950′s.

Friday Links


“I’m about to commit my first crime – and you, Batman, are about to be the victim!” exclaims Superman on the cover of World’s Finest #180, published way, way back in 1968. We believe him! However, the title of the story appears to be “Superman’s Perfect Crime,” and we must dispute that characterization. If Superman is attempting to commit the perfect crime, then perhaps he should refrain from literally shouting his confession from the rooftop in broad daylight.

If you like tweets about medical malpractice trials, this tweet might be the one for you.

Did you see this article in The Charlotte Observer this week about the proposed new regulations for food trucks? If not, click here for the story by Caroline McMillan Portillo. Speaking of food trucks, our editor, Jim Dedman, has planned a CLE on Food Truck Law in conjunction with the Mecklenburg County Bar Association. Best part: The CLE – which will start at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, will be at the Unknown Brewery in near Charlotte’s South End. For more information on the CLE, click here.

Speaking of our editor, he’s now on Twitter. You can follow him here at @JimDedman.

Friday Links


Above you’ll find the cover of the House of Secrets #43, published way, way back in 1961. As you can see, the two defendants find themselves in the “Court of Creatures” facing the death penalty. Yikes. We do not believe the Defendants will fare well in this forum.

Writing at The Mac Lawyer, Ben Stevens asks “What if You Could Charge an iPhone in 30 Seconds?” That would be something, wouldn’t it?


Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of Professor Mark Osler’s Last Lecture at Baylor Law School (more about which in the image above). For even more on that occasion, see Professor Osler’s 2010 blog post  here. Now, of course, Professor Osler teaches at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minnesota. Back in 2000, he joined the faculty of Baylor Law, where he stayed until 2010. By the way, you can read Professor Osler’s blog, Osler’s Razor, here, and you can follow him on Twitter here.

Don’t forget! You can follow Abnormal Use on Twitter here and on Facebook here! Drop us a line!

Friday Links


On the cover of House of Secrets #58, defendant Mark Merlin finds himself in a strange court indeed. His fear: that his defense lawyer is “in league” with the strange beats who serve on the judicial tribunal. We don’t know how things turned out for poor Mr. Merlin, but if his suspicions proved true, we hope that he file a grievance with the bar of which his defense counsel was a member.

You simply must see these photographs of the 1966 demolition of the Fresno County Courthouse. Wow. (Original source: The Fresno Bee).

The talent buyer associate for Transmission Events, a company that handles booking of rock bands in Austin, Texas, is named Marcus Lawyer. How cool is that? (See here more information about Mr. Lawyer and rock music in Austin).

A social media tip from the Columbia, South Carolina Free Times:  ”If you’re doing something illegal, you might want to keep a low profile on social media. A 30-year-old man had some run-ins with the authorities. After the man posted something incriminating on social media, the authorities were able to get a warrant; they arrested the suspect and charged him with intent to distribute. Next time you feel like posting about your illegal activities online, just resist the urge and go to a porn site like everyone else.”

By the way, we enjoyed meeting everyone at the DRI Products Liability Conference in Phoenix this week. We hope that everyone has safe travels on the way home from this event.

Friday Links

We hope you enjoyed Tuesday’s April Fools’ Day post, entitled Tuesday’s “In Employment Case, Texas Trial Court Holds That Retweets Are, In Fact, Endorsements As A Matter Of Law,”  as much as we enjoyed writing it. In celebration of the occasion, we direct your attention to the comic book cover above, that being The Spirit #357.  As you can see, it is rather appropriate (and it’s a Will Eisner cover to boot!). Further, in the interests of completism, we present these links to our four past April Fool’s Day Posts:

North Carolina Court Declares Harlem Shake ‘Over,’ Enjoins YouTube From Accepting Further Videos Depicting Same” (April 1, 2013).

American Bar Association Denies Provisional Accreditation To Miskatonic University School of Law” (April 1, 2012).

Star Wars Prequels Unreasonably Dangerous and Defective, South Carolina Federal Court Finds” (April 1, 2011).

Unsatisfying Snickers Bar Unreasonably Dangerous and Defective, Texas Court Holds” (April 1, 2010).

On another note, over at Evan Schaeffer’s Legal  Underground, Evan Schaeffer has a post entitled: ”Charlie Daniels Has Recorded an Album of Dylan Tunes?” In said post, Evan muses:

The Sirius/XM station “Outlaw Country” has been playing the Daniels’ version of “Tangled Up in Blue” quite a bit during the past week.

It’s not bad. Keeping in mind that this isn’t a music blog, per se.

Let us be the first to say that law blogs should be free to stray into the topic of music. Back in 2011, we here at Abnormal Use dedicated a full post to the life and death of the rock band R.E.M. and created the ultimate list of “Songs about Lawyers, Judges, and Attorneys.” So we’re fully on board with music lawyer blogging. By the way, Evan started his blog way, way back in January of 2004, meaning that it just celebrated its tenth anniversary. That’s no small feat, and we congratulate him on that achievement. His very first post, from January 28, 2004, was “New to the Blawgosphere,” and you can revisit it here. In fact, one of our favorite legal blog music posts was done by Evan in February 2004, just a few days after he officially launched his blog. That post, of course, was ”Federal Judge Sways to Rhythm of Talking Heads,” in which he analyzed and annotated United States v. Abner, 825 F.2d 835 (5th Cir. 1987), the famed appellate opinion in which the author embedded more than a few Talking Heads song names.

Friday Links


Okay, so we’re going old school today with All-American Comics #62, published way, way back in December of 1944.  According to Wikipedia, All-American Comics was the brainchild of All-American Publications, a predecessor company of the more well known DC Comics. On the cover, we see the original Green Lantern presiding as a judge with gavel in hand while Doiby Dickles, a Green Lantern sidekick, is acting a prosecutor, apparently, although we’re not certain of the identity of the witness, presumably the defendant.

The Drug and Device Law blog doing Throwback Thursday is the best thing ever. See here.

The Hollywood, Esq. blog brings us this story: “Teller Wins Lawsuit Over Copied Magic Trick Performance.”

Heads up! Yesterday, the senior resident superior court judge of the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina superior court division issued the following administrative order:

In order to promote the efficient and timely disposition of matters appealed from the Clerk of Superior Court and to prevent the development of a backlog of pending appeals, the undersigned Senior Resident Superior Court Judge for the 26th Judicial District enters the following Order.

IT IS ORDERED that, in all appeals from decisions of the Office of the Clerk of Superior Court of Mecklenburg County, the appellant shall contact the Caseflow Management Division of the Trial Court Administrator’s Office of the 26th Judicial District not later than 30 days from the date of the appeal to schedule a hearing before a Superior Court Judge. A failure to comply with this Order shall result in a summary dismissal of the appeal, and the matter shall be remanded to Clerk of Superior Court.

Finally, we were saddened to hear the news of the recent death of character actor James Rebhorn. Two years ago, he kindly agreed to an interview with us on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the release of My Cousin Vinny, in which he appeared as an expert witness. You can read that interview here. In fact, The Guardian quoted a paragraph of our interview in its obituary of Rebhorn. Rest in peace.

Friday Links


Above, you’ll find the cover of Daredevil #36, published in February of this very year. Note that Matt Murdock, Daredevil’s alter ego, sits outside of his former law office with all of his possessions in the hallway. “Closed for business,” the sign on the door proclaims. Quite frankly, we never understood how Murdock could meet his billable hour requirement and moonlight as a superhero. Whatever the case, sad times for Daredevil. We’ve previously written about Daredevil and his alter ego’s career as an attorney. In fact, back in the day, we even published an interview with Mark Waid, the writer of the current Daredevil series. You can revisit that interview here. Apparently, issue #36 was the final issue of this series (although the series was instantly restarted a month later). According to the comic book website Newsarama: “In Daredevil #36, readers saw Matt Murdock put on the stand and forced to fully admit his superhero identity in a place where he can’t argue his way out of it. After the bombshell was dropped, a cascading series of events played out where Daredevil put his origin and his thoughts on secret identity and superheroics in a brand new context, while simultaneously seeing his final battle with the Sons of the Serpent.”

This ABA Journal article about New York City night court becoming a tourist attraction does not mention the old NBC sitcom “Night Court.” Hmmmm.

Advice from Lifehacker: “If you’re feeling a bit low about yourself, turn off all your social media.” (Hat Tip: The Rainmaker Institute).

Headline of the Week: “Lawsuit Ends With 100,000 Tubes of Toothpaste on the Streets of Manhattan.” From The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, of all places. Enjoy.

GWB attorneys Phil Reeves, Stuart Mauney, and Steve Buckingham will receive the 2014 Leadership in the Law recognition by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.  Get this: They are three of only 30 South Carolina attorneys to receive the Leadership in Law recognition this year. Winning attorneys were nominated by peers and colleagues and selected by the publisher and staff of South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

Have you heard that veteran litigator John Cuttino has joined our firm as a shareholder in our Columbia, South Carolina, office? Well, if you’re not following John on Twitter yet, you can do so by clicking here.

Friday Links


Okay, so, above, you’ll find the cover of Fame: Justine Bieber #1, published not so long ago by Bluewater Productions. Why, why, are we posting a comic book featuring the pernicious Biebs? In case you haven’t heard, Bieber himself was deposed recently, and excerpts of his video deposition have leaked online to the celebrity gossip website TMZ. Let’s just say that Bieber presents as a difficult deponent. You’ve got to see it. TMZ has posted a number of clips online, all of which you can access here (although some of the ads on the TMZ website may be NSFW). While you’re at it, be sure to read Kevin Underhill’s commentary at the Lowering the Bar legal humor blog, which you can access here.

The Celluloid Optimist linked our interview with My Cousin Vinny director Jonathan Lynn this week in a post you can read here. (In fact, in that post, we were reminded of the debunked urban legend that Marisa Tomei did not actually win the Oscar for her performance in that film. By the way, can you believe it’s been two full years since our week long series on the twentieth anniversary of My Cousin Vinny?  Indeed, two years ago this week, we here at Abnormal Use dedicated a week’s worth of posts to the 20th anniversary, including interviews with the director, the writer/produce, and various cast members. That was a mighty fun project, and you can revisit it here.

Back in November, we wrote about To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee’s trademark infringement lawsuit against an Alabama museum. Well, according to recent press reports, Lee has settled that suit. Reported The New York Times: “One issue raised in the suit was the address of the museum’s website, formerly A notice on the museum’s site now notes that the address has changed”

GWB shareholder John T. Lay, of our Columbia, South Carolina office, was just became president elect of the South Carolina Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates. For more info, see here.

Friday Links

Rest in peace, Harold Ramis, the famed comedian, Ghostbuster, and director of Groundhog Day, one of our favorite, favorite films. Above, you’ll find the cover of The Real Ghostbusters #180, published way, way back in the halcyon days of 1991. Pictured prominently on the cover is Dr. Egon Spengler, the character immortalized by Ramis in the film. (Note: The character of Spengler has his own Wikipedia entry, which you can read here.). Like many in our generation, we first encountered Ramis in Ghostbusters, one of the biggest films of 1984. Those were the days. But it was 1993′s Groundhog Day that was his masterpiece. Has any comedy ever captured the existential dilemmas of life so well? We think not.

Friend of the blog and Georgia lawyer Michael Scaljon put it this way:

Whether as a writer, director or actor, Harold Ramis touched many people’s lives with a sense of humor that was both subversive and sweet for over three decades.  There aren’t many comedians, comedic actors or writers with a success rate quite like his.  That’s the most amazing thing, not that he was funny, but that he was really funny for a really long time, and without ego.  His passing sucks.

Indeed. For another good Egon related comic book cover, please see here.

Friend of the blog Jill Wieber Lens, a law professor at Baylor University, has published a new article on products liability issues.  Specifically, the article discusses the post-sale duty to warn and how the version of same that most states have adopted is likely a burden to small businesses.  If you’re interested, please take a look here. You might recall that we have interviewed Professor Lens not once but twice, first here in December 2010 and again here in September 2013.

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