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Friday round-up

Got an appellate brief that's due today -- I tell you, if it weren't for the last minute, I'd never get anything done -- so we'll just skim off the cream from the stuff that's clogging up the Internet right now.

Sticks and stones will always hurt me, and calling me greedy on talk radio does the trick, too.  With a hat tip to Overlawyered, according to the Mobile, Miss. Clarion-Ledger, "Two Mississippi lawmakers took the unusual step Friday of going to the House floor to say they felt aggrieved by the way one of their colleagues discussed them on conservative talk radio."  What got their ire up was the member referring to a bill they'd recently sponsored as "the Lawyer Full Employment Act."  The bill would have required that an attorney be present at the closing of any residential mortgage that involved an escrow transaction.

The great thing about the Internet, though, is it leads you to one thing after another.  A quick perusal of the Clarion-Ledger's home page shows that there's all kinds of funky stuff going down in Mobile.  A 17-month old baby had to be taken to the hospital because, "according to witnesses, the grandfather of the infant poured a small amount of Vodka into the infant's sippy cup."  And a mistrial was declared in the case of the local police chief, a 50-year-old man accused of having sex with a 14-year-old; for the second time, a jury hung on the case.  The police chief's name was Jimbo Sullivan.  I am not making any of this up. 

Jesus, take the wheel.  From A Stitch in Haste comes this story, which surpasses by several orders of magnitude anything I've had in my Bullshit Traffic Stop of the Week:  In US v. Magana, a case out of the Western District of Texas a few weeks back, the cop had conducted a traffic stop because he believed he'd observed a defective tire.  Turns out the tire wasn't defective.  Nonetheless,

the officer detained the driver, because among other things, the driver had a religious statue on his dashboard. The officer stated that in his experience and opinion, religious symbols are used to dispel suspicion of wrongdoing and are usually indicative of drug activity.

Well, at least it was a plaintiff's verdict.  We've all heard the horror stories about auto accident cases where the defense lawyer will get up in closing argument, admit that his client is negligent, and suggest a sum that will adequately compensate the plaintiff (usually about 10% of what the plaintiff's lawyer will suggest), and the jury will still return with either a defense verdict or zero damages.  Courtesy of On Point comes the story of a Ford Bronco rollover suit, where the jury awarded the plaintiff, who was left a quadriplegic, over six million dollars in damages -- against her sister, who was driving the SUV.  The suit had been brought against Ford, of course, alleging a design defect in allowing the rollover.  Ford's lawyer was a standup guy:

Even Ford's lead attorney had said in his closing argument that if the jury found any liability, it should blame his client, not Marla Bear. "You shouldn't brand her with her sister's injuries,'' Donald H. Dawson said. "I say that even if it hurts my client."

The plaintiff termed the award "retarded."

See you on Monday.

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