Legally Weird: December 2010 Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

December 2010 Archives

Billy The Kid Pardon: Gov. Bill Richardson Denies Outlaw's Pardon

The Billy the Kid pardon died not in a hail of gunfire, but rather with a quiet putting to rest. Despite much debate and media attention, there will be no pardon for Billy the Kid.

Outgoing New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson leaves office today, and there was much speculation as to whether the Billy the Kid buff would pardon the Old West's most famous outlaw. In his last weeks as governor, Richardson put considerable effort into and rustled up considerable debate over the proposed Billy the Kid pardon. In the end, the gunslinger born William Henry McCarty was not pardoned.

Adult Drive Thru: Sex Store Does Best on Rainy, Cold Nights

Would you like fries with that?

This is America. Land of the free. Home of the brave. We're busy, and we don't have time for things like getting out of the car. Not to eat. Certainly not to shop for sex toys. It's a fast paced world.

Enter Sherri Williams, who created a sex store that has an adult drive thru window. Just like a fast food restaurant, the adult drive thru sex store, Pleasures, features a lighted sign offering vibrators, lubricants, lingerie and other risqué items. On some days there is a line of several cars waiting to order. In Alabama of all places.

Fake 'Nurse of the Year' Posed as RN, Threw Her Own Award Party

Are you craving some recognition, but you can't find anyone to give it to you? If so, you could: go back to school, work your tail off, climb up the ladder, obtain success and receive well deserved recognition for your hard work and achievement.

Or you could just pose as a nurse and throw a phony award party honoring your own greatness.

This being Legally Weird, of course our subject opted for the latter. Betty Lichtenstein, 57, of Connecticut, planned a dinner honoring herself as "Nurse of the Year." Naturally she wasn't a nurse at all, let alone the "Nurse of the Year." However in order to get hired as a nurse, Lichtenstein cited an award she had received from the "Connecticut Nursing Association," NBCConnecticut.com reports. Of course, the association doesn't exist, and Lichtenstein had paid to hold the award dinner with her own funds.

Cafe Owner Doused With Gas, Fires Back at Robber

The old year went out with a bang in a small town in Florida. At the Internet Cafe in Lake Mary, Fla., a would-be robber found himself out gunned in the fire-fight he began when he attempted to rob the owner of the cafe.

Hassan Malih, the cafe owner, found himself confronted by a man wielding gasoline, reports MSNBC. The robber sprayed the gas from a water bottle onto Malih, threatened him with a lighter and demanded money. What happened next may recall the famous scene in The Raiders of the Lost Ark where our hero, Indiana Jones, (Harrison Ford) is confronted by a sword wielding baddie who postures and threatens and waves his sword. With a weary look, Indy simply pulls out his pistol and shoots, ending the confrontation. As did Malih.

Steve Martin 'Jury Duty' Tweets Fake Out Media

Comedian Steve Martin created a buzz on Twitter with a series of tweets about jury duty. He had a slew of media outlets reporting on his "jury duty" antics, started off off with:

REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: defendant looks like a murderer. GUILTY. Waiting for opening remarks.less than a minute ago via web

Twelve minutes later, the Steve Martin jury duty tweets continued with:

"REPORT FROM JURY DUTY: guy I thought was up for murder turns out to be defense attorney. I bet he murdered someone anyway."

Fire Crotch: Woman Sets Boyfriend's Pants on Fire

This gives new meaning to the term fire crotch.

And for once, thankfully Lindsay Lohan is not involved. A Florida woman allegedly assaulted her boyfriend by setting his pants on fire.

You can guess the area she lit up first.

Is Hooters Sex Entertainment or Family Fun?

A family friendly, kids-eat free kind of place, or a "sexually charged" hang-out that serves up waitresses as part of "vicarious sexual entertainment?"

If you ask the National Organization for Women, Hooters restaurants is trying to have it both ways: a smokin hot joint when it comes to defending against sexual equality or harassment lawsuits and just a cozy family place when it comes to marketing its baby-sized T's like "Future Hooter's Girl." That visual makes your stomach feel like you've had one too many greasy hot wings, doesn't it?

While no lawsuit has yet been filed, the NOW complaint has been lodged with the police department in San Francisco, according to local news KTVU. It seems in the past, when caught in a skin-tight corner in a sexual equality lawsuit (Hooters guys? Why not?) the company has deflected the claims by saying they are not a restaurant, but instead provide "vicarious sexual entertainment."

Neat. Sexual entertainment with high-chairs, kids menus and kids eat free on Sundays. Talk about family fun.

Naked Man in Cemetery Was Trying to Photograph Spirits

Stupid was the word a naked man in a cemetery used to describe his late night escapades. Illegal could have been an equally appropriate adjective. That's because 47-year-old Robert Hurst was caught by motion-activated cameras in a Mississippi church cemetery completely naked.

No, he was not trying to scare people or engage in otherwise sexually questionable behavior. H was just there to photograph spirits.

He was naked because skin is the best canvas to capture the spirits, according to Hurst. Although he only intended to take his shirt off, he quickly realized that the full monty was required for the best photographs possible. Ultimately Hurst turned himself in (clothed) and has been charged with indecent exposure.

Driver Blames Mercedes' New Car Smell in Hit and Run

Money will not insulate you from the problems of life. However, it will get you a very good defense should one of those problems turn out to be a terrible hit and run accident that leaves a wealthy money manager in jeopardy and a talented doctor in pain for life.

Did Martin Erzinger's money got him into the trouble he now faces and will it help pull him out of it? According to The New York Times, it might have been the new car smell from Erzinger's beautiful new 2010 Mercedes that caused the accident that injured bicyclist Dr. Steven Milo. According to reports, Erzinger was driving on a highway in Colorado last July when he fell asleep or lost consciousness at the wheel, possibly due to the new car smell, possibly due to his sleep apnea, possibly due to a combination of the two.

'Autistic' Man Cons Babysitters to Change Diaper for Sexual Purposes

A diaper-wearing Oklahoma man conned babysitters into changing his diaper for sexual gratification. Police say Mark Anthony Richardson Jr., 21, concocted a perverse sexual scheme to get young girls to babysit him and change his diaper.

The bizarre arrangement usually left Richardson aroused when getting his diaper changed. However the babysitters thought that was part of his condition and that he simply lacked awareness of what he was doing.

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the brain's normal development and social communications skills. The disorder can also have serious behavioral issues. One thing is for sure, the disorder can be a lifelong struggle that requires the assistance of others for certain tasks -- a fact that makes Richardson's alleged actions all the more infuriating.

Naked Mailman Just Looking to Cheer Up Woman on His Route

If you're going to deliver mail naked, it might be a good idea to pick a warmer location than Wisconsin in December.

It's bad enough getting arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior. It's even worse having to explain the issue of "shrinkage" to the recipient.

A 52-year-old mail carrier was arrested at the North Shore Post Office, after admitting that he delivered the mail completely naked to a woman on his route. The naked mailman said that it was, in hindsight, a stupid thing to do and that he was sorry. The Wisconsin mailman says that he only did it to cheer up a woman on his route that had been stressed out, The Associated Press reports.

In fact, the naked mailman says that the 21-year-old woman kind of "dared him" to do it. The woman denies this, of course. Though she told police she does not believe he intended any harm. The mailman said he did it as a joke to "cheer her up and make her laugh."

Father Castrated Daughter's Boyfriend With Bread Knife

Some stories, you just have to tell plain and simple because really, there is very little else to say. This is one of those stories. In Germany, a man is under arrest for attempted murder after he allegedly castrated his daughter's boyfriend with a bread knife. The daughter of the accused is 17, the boyfriend, 57.

The vigilante justice which nearly lead to the victim Phillip Genscher bleeding to death, was necessary according to the accused, Helmut Seifert, reports CBS News. Seifert allegedly recruited two helpers to assist him in pinning down the victim and removing his testicles without benefit of anesthesia. The victim was able to call police before bleeding out. Seifert has pleaded guilty to his crime, but won't name his accomplices. Seifert took his trophies with him when he left the scene.

Porn Company Wrongfully Used Madonna, Dr. Dre Songs on Sex Videos

The recording industry has settled a suit in which it alleged a porn company was wrongfully using its songs in adult videos.

RK Netmedia, the self-proclaimed "World's Best Reality Porn Website," had been accused of copyright infringement for using copyrighted music in the company's porn productions. The settlement, for an undisclosed amount, means the parties have been able to come to a mutual agreement to avoid litigation. Neither party has commented on the case. RK Netmedia was sued in July in a California federal court.

As is often the case, the recording industry went for the jugular, seeking $150,000 in damages per infringement on hundreds porn videos.

RK Netmedia hires porn actors to do their thing at nightclubs and parties, to the beat of popular music, such as Katy Perry, Notorious B.I.G, Lil Wayne, Dr. Dre, Usher and Justin Timberlake, among others. While the actors are performing, they would also lip-sync along with the lyrics. Clever.

Woman Stole Identity, Credit Cards for Bigger Breast Implants

One time my credit card number got stolen and the thief used it to spend $2.19 at Taco Bell, after first stopping in for a manicure. I thought that was kind of weird. True story.

But of course, this post isn't about me. It's about breast implants, which are always exciting. 

Especially when they are acquired by ill gotten means, or when someone is trying to repossess them from their ex-girlfriend.

In the case of Shatarka Nuby, 29, her quest for bigger breast implants took a turn to the dark side, and now she's forced to pay the price. Nuby was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison after pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft as well as credit card fraud. She was facing as many as seven years in a federal penitentiary, in part due to several prior convictions.

Twin Peaks v. Northern Exposure: It's Time for Breastaurant Wars

Legally Weird loves a crazy trademark suit. So if you fear a bad pun, head for the hills. (See, we did it already.) 

This amusing federal lawsuit concerns two restaurants, one very old gimmick and waitresses that provide what the restaurants refer to as "scenic views." Texas-based Twin Peaks restaurant is suing Arkansas-based Northern Exposure for trademark infringement and unfair competition. It seems Twin Peaks thinks they have cornered the market on the juvenile double entendre that keeps 'em coming back for more. Sorry, Hooters.

According to the suit, Twin Peaks' protected trademarks include its cleverly designed snow capped mountain logo with the slogan: EATS · DRINKS · SCENIC VIEWS, reports the Dallas Observer. Further, the restaurant wants to protect the trade dress of its log cabin decorated establishment. The trade dress includes rugged lumberjacks with a side order of cleavage with the uniform of the servers.

Stick 'Em Up! Robbers Hold Up Store with Tree Branch

Is this what would happen if we had real gun control? Police in Irvine, California, are looking for two men suspected of robbing a convenience store -- with a tree branch.

It sounds amusing, pitiful even, but if you view the surveillance video, posted with the story by ABC 7 local news, the robber in charge of the branch looks pretty threatening, vicious even. And he swings that thing like a baseball bat. Please note that the branch used in the commission of the robbery is not a stick with a few leaves clinging to it; it is a hefty chunk of wood.

Two robbery suspects entered a Irvine gas station on Nov. 22, ABC reports. The first suspect pretended to want to buy some tires from the gas station. But wait, why does that other guy have a big stick?

Slash and Flab: Obese Women Shoplift Using Breast, Belly Fat

Can you imagine the scene? Two grown (really, really grown) women, at a TJ Maxx, allegedly stuffing thousands of dollars worth of boots and jeans under their breasts and arm pits. Edmond police identified the alleged shoplifters as Ailene Brown, 28, and Shmeco Thomas, 37. The pair was caught red handed at the TJ Maxx by loss prevention security.

Can't you just hear their conversation while cooking up this scheme?

Ailene Brown: "I have an idea, let's steal some loot from TJ Maxx! They've got good stuff. If only there was a place to hide 3 pairs of boots so as to not alert the authorities."

Drugged up 'Jedi Master' Sentenced in Savage Beating

"Stopped they must be; on this all depends. Only a fully-trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor." - Yoda

Or maybe you prefer:

"For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." - Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi

Either way, a true Jedi Master would never attack an innocent person.

Diner Sues Restaurant for Not Teaching How to Eat Artichoke

Suits against restaurants happen all the time. Usually the offending meal gets someone really ill, or worse. Lawsuits on the proper way to eat food are less common. Never say never when it comes to FindLaw's Legally Weird, though.

A Miami doctor is suing the restaurant that served him an artichoke for failure to warn how to properly eat the vegetable. Arturo Carvajal filed suit against a restaurant group on a theory of negligence for failing to train table servers about the "proper method for consuming an artichoke."

Carvajal is seeking nonspecified damages for bodily injury, pain and suffering, disfigurement and aggravation of a pre-existing injury stemming from his unpleasant dinning experience. An exploratory laparotomy revealed the inedible artichoke leaves lodged within his bowel. Lesson learned.

Man Uses Drunk-to-Stay-Warm Defense to Beat DUI Case

There are lots of reasons people get drunk. Sometimes it's an accident, sometimes it is on purpose, and sometimes it is to stay warm while waiting for help.

That last reason was good enough to get a Missouri man a not guilty verdict at his DUI trial.

Thomas Drummond was driving on an unfamiliar road in Southeast Missouri when he missed a turn, lost control of his car on the ice, and ended up in a ditch.

With a dying cell phone, he texted his girlfriend for help but forgot to tell her where he was. Ooops. It took emergency workers two hours to find Drummond's location, and to kill time and stay warm he began to drink a bottle of brandy he had bought for a party.

Jury Trial Put on Hold so Lawyer Can Attend Bris

Mazel to New York attorney Bennett Epstein, on the birth of his grandchild. And why would the ever-patient readers of Legally Weird even care? Because the Manhattan lawyer had the chutzpah to ask U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood for some time off to celebrate. In the middle of a jury trial.

Yes, the elder Epstein wrote Judge Wood anticipating the birth of his grandchild on December 3, according The Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, Mr. Epstein is a gentleman of the old school (to put it kindly) and asked for time off only if the child was a boy. To quote his letter: