Monday, May 11, 2015

Bad Lawyer Ads (Just Kidding)

It's the end of the semester.  Usually I post some of the latest "Bad Lawyer Ads" for the duration.  This year, the post is just for fun from the fictional Saul Goodman.  Have a great summer.  See you in the Fall.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Law Music Video: Against the Law

Below are a few versions of Woody Guthrie's, Against the Law. I hope that you choose your favorite and use it in class.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Extreme and Outrageous Conduct?

Since the Supreme Court reversed  the lower court ruling in Snyder v. Westboro Baptist Church, I have been looking for a new example of a fact pattern meeting the "extreme and outrageous conduct" requirement for an Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claim.  I think there is a new candidate. A Florida man who underwent a lower leg amputation at the hospital was surprised a month later when homicide detectives knocked on his door to ask if there had been any foul play.  It seems that his leg turned up in a landfill.  The police were able to trace it to the victim because it still had the hospital identification tags attached.   Apparently the hospital did not incinerate the leg as was called for by sound medical practice. The victim has filed a suit for IIED claiming, consistent with the language of the Restatement of Torts, conduct that was,"outrageous and beyond the bounds of human decency as to be regarded as odious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community."

According to the Miami Herald, "Doctors Hospital told him 'they would provide no explanation for what had occurred,'according to the lawsuit.The hospital is apparently lacking in the damage control department as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Too Clever For Their Own Good

In 2012 a deadly meningitis outbreak was traced back to a drug compounding firm in Framingham Massachusetts called the "New England Compounding Center."  When indictments were handed down in 2014, in addition to the second degree murder charges were charges for fraud against government.  Apparently the company claimed to have filled prescriptions for fictitious patients and charged the federal government. The investigation unearthed an e-mail from the company's owner cautioning his employees that, "All names must resemble 'real' obviously false names! (Mickey Mouse.)"

The clever employees conjured such fake customers as, "Chris Rock, Alex Baldwin, Michael Jackson, Fat Albert,Wonder Woman, Martha Stewart, Samuel Adams, Hugh Jass, Freddie Mae, Fannie Mac,Ned Flanders, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Harry Potter and Coco Puff, among others."

The "News of the Weird reports additional names of, "Baby Jesus, . . . L.L. Bean, . . . Mary Lamb, all of the Baldwin brother actors, and a grouping of Bud Weiser, Richard Coors, Raymond Rollingrock and,of course, Samuel Adams."

They would have called less attention to their crimes if they used the alias list from Psych. Criminals often suppose themselves to be more clever than they actually are.

Read the indictments here.

Click here or on the image below to see a CBS News report on how NECC customers supplied fake names to secure cheaper drugs from NECC rather than complying with the law.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

In Finland, Criminals Who Earn More, Pay More

A millionaire in Finland was fined about $58,000 for driving 14 MPH over the speed limit. Finnish law imposes fines based on income to make sure that there is equality of deterrent effect across income levels. It's a scheme not without merit. Although, if you can claim you were speeding for business purposes, you might be able to earn a tax deduction.

Just for fun:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fearing Legal Liability, Budweiser Does the Right Thing.

A recent Bud Light advertising campaign was scuttled over concerns of exposure to legal liability, but not before the bottles with a thoughtless slogan had been distributed. The Bud Light labels prominently identified the product as "THE PERFECT BEER FOR REMOVING "NO" FROM YOUR VOCABULARY FOR THE NIGHT." Fearing legal liability for promoting rape culture, the company has pulled the bottles and the slogan and has apologized.

Corporate decision-making can be siloed and fractured, but how many drunken frat boys must there be at this company to approve such an exquisitely callous and inappropriate public presentation of a product?  When students complain to me that businesses worry about getting sued my response is, "They are supposed to worry about getting sued."  Fear of being sued is what causes them to be more careful about safety and thoughtful about how their practices can negatively impact the rest of society.

At least once the online comments started to flow, the company responded appropriately instead of trying to stubbornly defend the indefensible. But what kind of "College Humor"-fueled, insular and thoughtless culture must permeate the social media marketing office at Bud that they were unable to comprehend the implications of adopting this slogan? Even if they were unable to recognize their callous disregard for the victims of sexual assault, they should have been able to recognize the obvious liability exposure.  I would hope that any 5th or 6th semester Legal Environment student would have caught that one.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Law Music Video: Chemical Worker's Song

This week is Employment Law including Worker's Compensation.  Choose your favorite version, below:

Singing Pirates: