Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog


Alaska Man Fakes Death to Avoid Prison, Gets Caught and Sentenced

So much for avoiding prison time! An Alaska man successfully committed pseudocide but chose a loving, yet lousy co-conspirator. Now he's headed back to prison for the sentence he was trying to dodge, plus an extra 15 months from a federal judge for fraudulent related activity.

Boy Scouts Sued by Girl Scouts for Trademark Confusion

Gender confusion is one thing. But Scout confusion? Evidently that's a thing too. As the old saying goes, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

But why are the Boy Scouts being sued by the Girl Scouts? Here's a look:

The robots were supposed to save us from ourselves. Artificial intelligence, in the form of self-driving cars, were designed to cut down on the millions of human error-caused auto accidents every year. These polite and rule-following autonomous automobiles were also going to reduce the number of road rage incidents. Alas, that didn't happen.

Recent incident reports from San Francisco, the cradle of self-driving civilization, detailed two separate attacks on autonomous vehicles, meaning no one, not even driverless cars, are safe from road rage. But is that still a crime if we're attacking a robot?

Oregon Man Arrested for Pumpkin Smashing Crime Spree

Smashing Pumpkins. Not the band, the activity. It is a seasonal act of vandalism that spikes this time of year, and Grants Pass, Oregon definitely got their fair share of pumpkins spiked.

Xtreme Trespassing: Human Spider Climbs Skyscraper

Recently, humans have begun practicing superhuman feats, the kind that are usually reserved for Marvel comic books and movies. Called parkour, it is the hobby, or perhaps sport, of traversing an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing. To many, it looks like human Spider-Man training. But to police and building owners, it looks like a menace, and trespassing.

Is There a Safe Haven Law for Wildlife?

We've all seen those Safe Haven signs at Walmart and police stations, making it legal for parents to unburden themselves by dropping off their infants and giving up all parental rights and responsibilities without legal ramification. But is there a parallel for wildlife?

Most of us are familiar with the story of Koko, a female gorilla known for adopting a pet kitten and learning quite a few sign language hand signs. Koko lived most of her life at a California preserve run by the Gorilla Foundation, along with male gorillas Michael, who died in 2000, and Ndume, who had been moved from the Cincinnati Zoo in 1991 to be Koko's companion.

Koko died in June of this year, and, as part of his loan agreement, Ndume was expected to return to Cincinnati "as soon as possible." But the Gorilla Foundation is allegedly blocking that move, and now the Cincinnati Zoo is suing for his return home.

To Protect Trick-Or-Treaters, Mayor Plans to Round Up All Sex Offenders

Mayor Gary Jones of Grovetown, Georgia has announced plans to round up all paroled sex offenders from 6 to 9 p.m. this Halloween, and have a parole officer guard them in city hall. Is this legal? Yes. Is it a good idea? Maybe not.

Parolees are required to meet wherever and whenever their parole officer tells them. The head of the city's parole department can indeed ask all 25-30 paroled sex offenders to meet at city hall for the designated hours. Whether or not a meeting of the town's paroled sex offenders is a good idea or not is debatable for a variety of reasons.

Does the Wrong Twin Ever Get Charged With a Crime?

Earlier this week, a Florida judge sent an escaped inmate from Georgia back over the state line to continue serving out his 25 year sentence for drug trafficking. Raul Prado was arrested after he fled a work-detail in Augusta and headed to Miami. When caught, he claimed that he was his twin brother, Jean Vernet Prado. He just happened to be using the ID of his imprisoned brother.

First, using the ID of a convicted felon is never a good idea. What kind of benefits does that get you in Florida? Second, if you're going to try this, it works best if you actually have a twin brother, which Raul Prado does not. But it brings up an interesting question. Does the wrong twin ever get convicted for a crime? Probably, but clearing your name is not as easy in real life as it may seem on television.

Senator Sued for Battery After Grabbing Student's Phone

It seems U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) has gotten himself into a bit of a pickle while on the Georgia Tech campus supporting his friend and fellow Republican, gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp. Nathan Knauf, a Georgia Tech student, was attempting to ask the senator how he could endorse Kemp, who some claim is attempting to disenfranchise black voters. Knauf was attempting to get the answer recorded on his cell phone. Perdue then snatched the cell phone out of Kemp's hand, touching him in the process.

Knauf is now suing Perdue for civil battery, and seeking a jury trial, damages, attorneys' fees, and costs. But what they are really looking for is an apology, and an answer to Knauf's question.