Articles Posted in Humor

top gear.jpgAs a fan of the BBC series Top Gear and a civil litigation lawyer, it was with peaked interest I read the recent decision of Tesla Motors v. British Broadcasting Corporation, England and Wales Court of Appeals (Civil Division). The story of this case began with a 2008 Top Gear episode with a road test of the Telsa Roadster, conducted and narrated by the show’s host Jeremy Clarkson. During the episode, Jeremy put the vehicle through it’s paces and was rather critical of it’s performance. Tesla Motors was not pleased and sued BBC for libel alleging Top Gear made false statements about the Roadster, specifically comments by Jeremy that the vehicle only made it 55 miles on the track instead of Tesla’s promoted range of 200 miles.

As an American personal injury lawyer, I admittedly know very little about the merits of pursuing a libel suit in the United Kingdom’s court system. However, it makes no sense for a car manufacturer to blame it’s lackluster sales on a Top Gear episode. Anyone that watches the show knows its primary goal is to entertain car enthusiasts. Top Gear doesn’t claim to be some sort of British Consumer Reports conducting objective scientific tests on the best cars to buy. A typical test is conducted on a track at breakneck speed or some sort of crazy race against a jet, train or dog sled. Rarely will the average motorist ever find himself driving a vehicle under the insane conditions a car finds itself on Top Gear, which is exactly what Lord Justice Martin Moore-Bick wrote in the published opinion.

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Lee County Alabama has come up with a fool proof plan to catch and arrest parents who are delinquent on child support payments: offer them free tickets to the Iron Bowl, the annual game between Auburn University and the University of Alabama. According to the Opeika-Auburn News, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office set up a plan called “Operation Iron Snare” where they sent letters out to 140 parents who were delinquent on their child support payments telling them they had won tickets to the Iron Bowl. The letter said that all they had to do was bring photo ID to a specified location to claim the tickets.

The officers went all out decorating the room in balloons with banners on the wall, news cameras, and arresting officer dressed in both Auburn and Alabama gear. Unfortunately when the “winners” were greeted it was with handcuffs rather than tickets.With the plan, coined “Operation Iron Snare,” the department was able to catch about a dozen violators who owed an estimated $270,000 in back child support.

Mark Twain once wrote “nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” John Stossel recently presented a program on Fox News vilifying the American Civil Justice System and Trial Lawyers and promoting “tort reform”. The Tort Reform movement, led by people like Mr. Stossel, believes we should restrict the constitutional right to trial by jury to honest Americans because of a few isolated incidents of frivolous lawsuits. However, when Mr. Stossel needs to use the civil justice system it’s okay.

Based on what happened in the video below, Mr. Stossel sued wrestler David Schultz and the World Wrestling Federation and settled his case for a healthy sum.

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copier.jpgAs a Georgia Civil Lawyer I’ve taken hundreds of depositions, but it has been a long time since I’ve read a transcript as entertaining as what I recently read in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The deposition was taken in a case filed by title companies against Cuyahoga County in Northern Ohio. At issue in the case is whether deeds and other documents at the county recorder’s office should be made readily available at a reasonable cost.

Below is an excerpt from the deposition transcript of the head of information technology for a county office. The plaintiff’s lawyer wanted to know whether the county recorder’s office had a photocopier. According to the Plain-Dealer it took nearly 10 pages of court transcript to figure that out. I imagine the Plaintiff’s lawyer needed several aspirin after this line of questioning was completed.

Plaintiff’s lawyer: During your tenure in the computer department at the Recorder’s office, has the Recorder’s office had photocopying machines?

Defense lawyer: Objection.

PL: Any photocopying machine?

Witness: When you say “photocopying machine,” what do you mean?

PL: Let me be — let me make sure I understand your question. You don’t have an understanding of what a photocopying machine is?

Witness: No. I want to make sure that I answer your question correctly.

DL: Dave, I’ll object to the tone of the question. You make it sound like it’s unbelievable to you that he wouldn’t know what the definition of a photocopy machine is.

PL: I didn’t ask him to define it. I asked him if he had any.

Witness: When you say “photocopying machine,” what do you mean?

PL: Let me be clear. The term “photocopying machine” is so ambiguous that you can’t picture in your mind what a photocopying machine is in an office setting?

Witness: I just want to make sure I answer your question correctly.

PL: Well, we’ll find out. If you can say yes or no, I can do follow-ups, but it seems — if you really don’t know in an office setting what a photocopying machine is, I’d like the Ohio Supreme Court to hear you say so.

Witness: I just want to make sure I answer your question correctly.

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I have never advertised my legal services on television, so I admittedly have no idea what is considered effective TV advertising. However, I do know what I find to be the most entertaining…and a Rap Video Lawyer Ad certainly fits that description.

This Ad is certainly a lot more fun than most of what I see on TV. Although not rapping himself, the guy wearing sunglasses in the sport coat appears to be the actual Georgia lawyer the ad wants you to call to “get that settlement check.” I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a line about getting the client diminished value for the shinny Hummer in the background, that would really have put it over the top. As silly as this ad seems, I would not be surprised if it is effective in attracting new clients. If TV advertising didn’t work, I probably would not be inundated by lawyer ads whenever I have the misfortune of watching daytime television.

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