Legally Weird - FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog


If you had counterfeit fifty dollar bills, what would you buy? A basketful of groceries? Some new clothes? All the Taco Bell you can eat?

Or maybe you're worried that a big business will recognize your fake money, so you look for an unsuspecting rube to exchange your counterfeit $50 for smaller, real bills. Maybe that little girl running a lemonade stand to raise money for Alzheimer's research. If that's what you're thinking, congratulations -- you are a terrible person.

All the kids are back to school, and many are leaving their favorite toys, clothes, and gadgets at home. Administrators and teachers are generally given a lot of leeway when it comes to policing schools and classrooms, meaning that, for the most part, what they say goes. And sometimes they say some weird things.

Hugs? Clapping? Here are ten of the weirdest things schools have banned.

Truck Vandalism Explained in Giant Note of Carrie Underwood Lyrics

An Ontario, Canada, man is being charged with two counts of mischief by Canadian authorities for bringing a Carrie Underwood song, 'Before he cheats,' to life. Allegedly, the 43-year-old Canadian from St. Mary's not only punctured the windshield and slashed the tires of a Dodge truck, he may have left an oversized note on the windshield saying: "I might've saved a little trouble for the next girl."

While the Carrie Underwood song is about a woman vandalizing the car of her man/lover/boyfriend (or former man/lover/boyfriend) who has cheated on her, it's unclear if there is any motive for the vandalism in this case. Also unclear is whether the victim has any relationship with or to the impressionable perpetrator, or whether the vehicle owner was out with a bleached-blond date that was having a fruity drink and getting frisky.

When most people think of the Better Business Bureau, they think of consumer protection. After all, the BBB has a handy Scam Tracker to root out shady businesses and sales tactics. But the BBB might be most famous for its business rating system, where it provides grades for local shops and national chains based, ostensibly, on the level of customer service and amount of customer complaints.

Or perhaps infamous is the proper term there, after the BBB was nabbed in a pay-for-play scheme, handing out A's to stores that paid annual membership fees and F's to those that didn't. One of those high grades, an A-, went to a dummy company calling itself Hamas after the Palestinian nationalist group designated by many governments as a terrorist organization. Meanwhile, Leif's Auto Collision Centers -- "far and away the largest auto collision repair provider in Oregon and potentially the largest in the country" -- got an F. And now Leif's is suing the BBB to get its revenge and reputation back.

Inmate Turns Himself in After Accidental Release From County

An amazing story unfolded last week in San Francisco. Victor Rodriguez, a twenty-year-old inmate, was released from San Francisco County Jail last Wednesday -- on accident! After a few days on the lam and after the story started getting press, Mr. Rodriguez did turn himself in to authorities.

Apparently, the accident that provided Rodriguez with the free pass occurred when the court clerk erroneously dismissed all charges. That clerk better have a V8 next time. Rodriguez had been charged with additional crimes since his arrest and when the judge sought to dismiss the new charges only, the clerk accidentally dismissed the whole case.

Look, none of us like being in hospitals. Most everyone there is sick or injured, or attempting to comfort someone who is sick or injured. Hospitals are an institutional reminder of human frailty and the all-too-brief nature of existence on this planet. Plus, they smell funny.

Still, that's no reason to say, "F*** it," steal an ambulance, and try and drive it home. So don't do like David Joseph Karosus, of Carbondale, Pennsylvania did, lest you'd rather spend a couple years in prison rather than a couple more days in the hospital.

The First Amendment to the Constitution is short -- just 45 words -- but it covers a lot of ground, everything from corporate campaign donations to yelling 'Fire' in a crowded theater to putting the Ten Commandments on a state courthouse. And while "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech," there are exceptions to that general rule.

There are laws prohibiting obscene, defamatory, and threatening speech. And there are laws prohibiting draping yourself in an American flag and hurtling over the White House fence on Thanksgiving Day.

Just about every state has enhancement statutes that allow misdemeanor thefts to become felonies if the value of what's stolen exceeds a different dollar amount. Missouri certainly thought it was one of those states. But a recent state supreme court ruling determined that a flaw in how Missouri criminal statutes are worded means that most stealing offenses in the state can no longer be charged as felonies, no matter how much was stolen.

So how did the Missouri legislature screw this up? And how are they going to fix it?

Back in 2014, years before avowed racist Dylann Roof slaughtered nine black parishioners in a Charleston church and drew national attention to states still officially incorporating the Confederate Battle Flag into official locations and ceremonies, California passed a law prohibiting the state from displaying or selling merchandise emblazoned with the Confederate flag.

So does that law cover a citizen's Civil War painting depicting the flag displayed at a county fair? One resident and Civil War buff is trying to figure that out, and he's suing the state to do it.

The Garden State can breathe (and drive) a little easier tonight. After a proposed bill was rumored to ban drinking coffee while driving, the law's author and sponsor has clarified matters. Assemblyman John Wisniewski said his proposed legislation, which doesn't mention food or drink, is aimed at distracted drivers and he can't imagine police officers pulling people over for drinking coffee.

But the fact that so many Tony Sopranos were worried about being ticketed for DWC (Driving With Coffee? Driving While Caffeinating?) may reveal a fatal flaw in the intended legislation.