Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

April 2016 Archives

A song so popular it spawned a hilarious guitar store backlash may have been stolen, according to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania. The heirs of Randy Craig Wolfe, a.k.a. Randy California, claim he wrote the iconic opening riff to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," and are seeking damages, profits from the song, and some money set aside for musical instruments for needy children.

The case is going to trial in a couple weeks, so here's what you need to know about the battle for one of the biggest songs in rock history.

In a case that stretched the limits of both dram shop laws and employer liability, a Dayton, Ohio strip club called The Living Room was found not liable for injuries caused by one of its strippers after a drunk driving accident.

A state appeals court overturned $1.43 million of a $2.85 million jury award that originally found the club as equally responsible as Mary Montgomery, the stripper who drank beer at the club before plowing into another car, severely injuring two people.

To the delight of some and the dismay of others, purchasing wild animals -- lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! -- has been relatively easy in the United States. Private individuals, not just zoos and sanctuaries, were able to amass collections of exotic animals, sometimes with tragic results.

But the days of stocking your mansion or estate with rare species may be over. Two new federal laws regarding the breeding, purchase, and sale of tigers in the U.S. will increase oversight and curb illicit tiger ownership. So getting a Bengal for your birthday may not be so easy anymore.

Justice Is Served: Brawling Florida Judge Is off the Bench

Some say that criminal court is where bad people are on their best behavior and civil court is where good people are on their worst behavior. So what are we to make of a criminal court judge who brawls with public defenders, forces defendants to appear without counsel, and totally loses his cool when an accused individual chooses to exercise his constitutional rights?

The Florida Judicial Qualifications Committee and the state's Supreme Court both considered the question, reviewing Brevard County Judge John C. Murphy's actions and reaching two very different conclusions. Spoiler alert: justice prevailed.

Certain TV shows are known for ripping their plotlines straight from the headlines. And sometimes it goes the other way around. In a story reminiscent of AMC's "Breaking Bad," an Indiana pastor plead guilty to producing almost 100 tons of synthetic marijuana, and using his church as a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking operation.

And that's before you get to the crooked married cop couple, the former traveling clown running for state legislature, and the connections to the imprisoned former head of Jared Fogle's foundation.