Guess he'll learn what a tight end really is. Seems that Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress' biggest problem isn't that he (a) shot himself in the leg, thus (b) getting a four-game suspension which will cost him over a million dollars, and (c) putting in jeopardy the $35 million contract he signed at the start of the season, under which he's still due $27 million. No, the correct answer is: (d) he looking at 3 1/2 years in prison. As this article notes, last year, at the urging of New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the state legislature passed a law making that the minimum mandatory penalty for illegal possession of a loaded weapon.
Plaxico might not be going down alone, though. Turns out the doctor who treated Plaxico was mysteriously summoned to the hospital, and then signed off on medical papers which identified Burress by a phony name. As they say on the news, police are investigating.
A pound of flesh. From time to time, I'll mention some bullshit lawsuit, like this one, which often gets me a mention at Overlawyered, which keeps track of that stuff. It's not just the ambulance chasers who give us a bad name, though. As everybody knows, the Recording Industry Association of America has been suing people left and right for downloading music, some 20,000 at last count. The latest addition to that count is 19-year-old Ciara Suaro, who's disabled from pancreatitis and is hospitalized weekly. The RIAA got a default judgment against her for $8,000 alleging that she downloaded ten songs. She and her mother claim she didn't, and say that the internet address the songs were downloaded at was one opened by her father after he moved out.
I've represented some really scuzzy people in my time, but I'd take a job at McDonald's before I'd work for the RIAA filing lawsuits like that.
Then again... Speaking of Overlawyered, they direct us to the news that a father and son who were customers at the Wal-Mart Stampede on Black Friday, which resulted in the trampling death of a store security guard, are themselves claiming to have been injured in the melee. They're seeking a meager $2 million to compensate them for the neck and back pain they suffered. The lawyer for the pair was one Kenneth Mollins, and Popehat chronicled some of his previous lawsuits, including this one:
Mollins appeared on CNN in July 2007 after filing a suit on behalf of a woman, Francine Dorf, who sued Con Ed over the steam pipe eruption in Manhattan that month. Dorf wasn't injured: she just complained that the loud sound reminded her of September 11, entitling her to damages, in part because she could not "focus enough to read the romance novels that she checked out from the library."
And now, a service to our readers. If you do criminal law in Federal court, you'll want to know that the criminal rules have been amended. You can find the amendments here, and an explanation of the changes here. Most of them provide for expanded rights of victims.