Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

December 2011 Archives

T.G.I.FindLaw! Brooms, Eyebrow Trimmers Wielded as Weapons

The holidays are supposed to be about love, family and cheer. This is supposed to be the season of goodwill and giving. But for some? Last week was anything but.

This edition of T.G.I.Findlaw! focuses on some of the stranger crimes committed over Christmas break. There were dozens to choose from, but the following won out for one specific reason:

The weapons.

Toy Doll's Potty Mouth Uses the B- Word, Shoppers Claim

Would you buy your child a toy doll that says profanity? Probably not. But if you recently purchased the "You and Me Play and Giggle Triplet" dolls from Toys "R" Us you might be in for a surprise.

The dolls say baby babble. They say "goo goo," "ma ma" and "da da."

They also say something that sounds suspiciously like a word that starts with a "b" and rhymes with "ditch."

Dutch Government Passes Law Limiting Sale of Pot to Foreigners

Want to plan a marijuana trip? Go to California! Oh, wait, technically federal law still bans marijuana sales. OK, then go to the Netherlands!

The Netherlands' marijuana laws make the country the envy of weed-lovers everywhere. Foreign visitors often trek over to the nation to enjoy legal joints.

Alas, those days are almost over. The Dutch government recently passed new laws that limit pot sales to foreigners.

The new rules, which effectively eliminate many tourists' reasons to visit the Netherlands in the first place, will come into effect soon. Some parts of the country will feel the brunt of the new laws starting January 1, 2012. The rules will hit Amsterdam in 2013.

Grinch Sues Santa Claus; May Not Be Comin' to Town

You better watch out. Yeah, you better cry. You better pout. I'm telling you why. Because Santa Claus may not be comin' to town anytime soon if the estate of songwriter J. Fred Coots has anything to say about it.

The Coots family is heaping some coal over the holiday season and has filed a federal lawsuit against EMI, the current publisher of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town."

They want their holiday cheer back -- and the money that goes with it.

T.G.I.FindLaw! Food Crime Spikes During the Holidays

It's almost the end of the year. This means one thing: everybody's trying to get their eat on. Diets be damned, as there are only a few more days until the popular New Year's resolution to lose weight kicks in.

This edition of T.G.I.FindLaw! highlights some of the weird food-related happenings that occurred this week.

Ready to have your curiosity sated, your appetite piqued, and your faith in mankind questioned? Read on!

Can you copyright a yoga pose? You could in years past, but now the U.S. Copyright Office says it's too much of a stretch.

The Copyright Office's Performing Arts Division recently changed its mindfulness regarding the legal status of yoga in response to a yoga-pose lawsuit, Bloomberg reports. Yoga poses were once considered "choreography" that could be copyrighted, but now they've been classified as mere "exercises" that get no copyright protections.

It's a burning issue that has many yogies fired up -- in particular, devotees of Bikram yoga, a style that involves 26 poses, two breathing exercises, and scripted dialogue over a 90-minute period in a room heated to 105 degrees, according to Bloomberg.

It's Friday, the end of yet another busy week, made even more hectic with the holidays. We know what you're thinking ... T.G.I.FindLaw!

Welcome to our new Friday feature, where we'll point you to some legally weird headlines that you may have missed, but just gotta click. These real-life tales are quirky, often quite ridiculous, and offer quick reminders about everyday law.

This week, T.G.I.FindLaw! focuses on some of the crazy shenanigans that seem to accompany Christmas.

A woman convicted in connection with a "Cat Woman" robbery could spend some of her remaining nine lives in prison.

Shanna Spalding, 29, of Astoria, N.Y., drew notoriety after a police sketch of her silly "Cat Woman" robbery disguise spread around the Internet. The New York Post has posted the police sketch here.

The "Cat Woman robber" moniker is a far cry from Spalding's other persona -- she performs as "Purgatory" when she's singing for her death-metal garage band "Divine Infamy."

WA Man Acquitted of Dead Weasel Assault Charges

Washington man Jobie J. Watkins has been acquitted of charges stemming from an alleged dead weasel assault last June.

Watkins was charged with burglary after busting into another man's apartment, looking for his ex-girlfriend. Oh, and he was holding a dead weasel.

Authorities are still perplexed as to why he was holding a dead weasel. The defense and jury might have been too. Defense attorney Chris Crew said that the "prosecution failed to prove a link to the mink."

Naked Boat Thief Tells Police, 'Taser Me, Bro'

Darrel Horne was not made to be a criminal. An overgrown frat boy? Sure. But a criminal? He can't hold his liquor well enough for that.

Horne's drunken escapade in Volusia County, Fla. ended Friday after he was tased in the back of a police car. This was after he encouraged the Sheriff's deputy to "Taser me. Taser me, bro."

Mind you, he also stole a paddle-less row boat and dove naked into the lake.

Man in Gorilla Suit Dumps Sand in Pizzeria, Runs Away

Some strange monkey business went down in a local Little Caesars pizza shop in Southgate, Michigan. A man, dressed in a gorilla suit, entered the restaurant and dumped a bag of sand onto the eatery's floor on November 25. Employees say it wasn't the first time it's happened.

What exactly spurred this act of grainy rebellion? It's unclear, especially because if the gorilla-suited man knew anything about gorillas he should know that the great ape is considered peaceful.

Oh, and they are plant-eating animals. As delicious as cheese and pizza dough are, it just isn't part of the gorilla diet.