Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

July 2010 Archives

Dumb Bank Robber, Dumber Outfit

In our rapidly expanding pantheon of dumb criminals (N.B., the Santa Claus Burglar, the Bouquet Bandit) this one stands head, shoulders, and breasts above the rest. This criminal is so lacking in any form of gray matter than not only the police, but the fashion police, are going to want a piece of this guy.

Our story of the mad crime spree begins, according to CBS News reports, in always sunny Pittsburgh, Pa. Dennis Hawkins, 48, set off his one-man crime wave by shoplifting a BB gun from an area Kmart to use in his well-thought-out scheme. He then proceeded next to the target, a local bank, where he entered wearing a blond wig, fake breasts and clown pants. Hawkins allegedly proceeded to rob the bank at (BB) gun point and escape with the loot.

Simon Cowell Sued for 'Public Humiliation'

It was only a matter of time before someone sued that cuddly, teddy bear of a man, Mr. Simon Cowell. It may come as some surprise, however, that the suit is not taking place in what many (at least outside our borders) call the most litigious country in the world, the good ol' U.S. of A. No, this suit for exploitation and degradation, otherwise known as reality TV, comes to us courtesy of our cousins across the pond, England. A booted contestant, Emma Czikai, says she was humiliated and degraded on the show Britain's Got Talent. She is seeking £300,000 ($458,000) for injured feelings, compensation of £1 million ($1.5 million) and loss of earnings of £1.25 million ($1.9 million).

ABC News reports Ms. Czikai says not only did she suffer the slings and arrows of the judge's harsh words during her spot on the show in March of 2009, but she was also the victim of disability discrimination because the show did not make the necessary adjustments for her, such as lowering the level of backing music and microphone levels. Czikai suffers from cervical spine neuritis, which can cause head and shoulder pain, which in turn caused her singing to suffer.

More Stories from the Naked City: TM Suit Filed

When last we left this story of the naked city, the Naked Cowboy had sent the Naked Cowgirl a cease and desist letter claiming her naked actions were tarnishing his brand. Now, the sequel. On Wednesday, July 21, the Cowboy filed suit in New York federal court against said Cowgirl claiming she is "devaluing a real American brand and Icon." Yup, an icon, right up there with Roy Rogers. And his horse Trigger, or at least the back part of it. 

The New York Daily News reports that Robert Burck's (Naked's real name) attorney says the Cowgirl is confusing tourists and destroying the brand. The crux of the Cowboy's argument is that his trademark covered brand (since 2000) is about good clean fun. The Cowgirl is sullying his good TM with her raunchier approach to naked singing.

End Game: Butt Sketch Artist Sues For Trademark Infringement

The puns are so ripe for the picking on this one, that even the NBC News report leads off with a "Duke of Derrier" quip. So, in the spirit of perversity, this blog will give it to you straight on, so to speak, and keep the pun count in the low single digits for a change. Here it is: the originator of the "Original Butt Sketch" is taking what he says is a copycat artist to court to protect his good name. And all his other parts.

According to said NBC News report, artist Krandel Lee Newton sketched a backside for the very first time on a Dallas street corner lo, these 21 years ago. Fame and fortune and trademark infringement followed. From this has grown a veritable empire of butt sketching, with Newton traveling the world to capture for people of all shapes and sizes a side of themselves they rarely see. As the artist said, "it's really been propelled by the people."

Pharmacy Thieves Get Less Than They Burgled For

Burgle me once, shame on you. Burgle me twice, shame on me.

Although one would never condone any type of vigilante justice, a touch of sweet, sweet revenge might be just what the doctor ordered. Or in this case, the pharmacist. Reports are circulating of a pharmacist in downtown Edmond, Oklahoma, who, tired of being targeted by thieves, took matters into his own hands.

According to KOCO News, Duane Lawrence, owner of the Clinic Pharmacy on Bryant Avenue in Edmond, had been hit by thieves before. (This is where the burgle me twice part comes in.) Tired of being the victim, Lawrence took some precautionary measures.

A Federal Case: Fruit Roll Ups Aren't Good for You?

What great truths of human belief have been destroyed in the course of history? That the sun revolves around the earth? That you can't actually catch a cold by getting cold? That Twinkies don't really have a half life of 75 years? Well, brace yourselves for another one. According to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Fruit Roll Ups aren't really good for you.

Yes, the great truth of whether or not the delicious fruit (if it is actually fruit) filled treat is a healthy and nutritious snack will be litigated in open court. According to Reuters, plaintiff Payton McClure, a "life-long consumer" of General Mills products, including the soon to be despised Roll-Ups, is devastated to find that claims by producer General Mills that the Roll Ups are healthy for you to eat are "false and misleading." Not just that, the Roll Ups contain partially hydrogenated oil. According to the Mayo Clinic, that stuff is really, quite bad for you.