John G. Browning 2016-01-23 04:43:11
NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS Send your funny essays, deposition and trial excerpts, cartoons, jokes, and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Courthouse Forget Law & Order, Boston Legal, and every other courtroom drama or comedy you’ve ever seen. The imaginations of the hardest-working writers in Hollywood pale in comparison to the goings-on that happen every day in our legal system. There Is a God. Okay, this isn’t a Miracle on 34th Street -like case of the Almighty showing up in court. It’s actually the story of God Gazarov, a 27-year-old Brooklyn man who recently sued the credit reporting agency Equifax in federal court. Why? It seems that Gazarov was unable to secure loans because Equifax could not or would not process his name as “God”—and thus it reported that he had no credit history. While it took a federal lawsuit to do it, Gazarov received a confidential settlement and corrected credit rating—not to mention a federal judge’s agreement that God does indeed exist. Escape From Jury Duty. A mere $11 a day for jury service was going to cause a real financial hardship for Vermont truck driver James Lowe, whose wife was recently disabled following a stroke. So, jury summons in hand, Lowe showed up at the courthouse dressed like a prisoner in a black-and-white striped jumpsuit. According to Lowe, while other jurors were amused by his outfit, the judge was not. Lowe says the judge told him he could have been charged with contempt of court for his cheeky attire but released him from jury service nevertheless. Anything to Avoid Those Airline Fees. Nowadays, it seems that airlines are charging for just about anything—baggage, seat upgrades, in-flight snacks, you name it. Nineteen-year-old Adam Armstrong of England and his girlfriend were anticipating a holiday trip to Ibiza, Spain, only to belatedly discover that their flight was mistakenly booked under the wrong name. It seems that the girlfriend’s stepfather had bought the tickets and erroneously used the name “Adam West,” the actor who played Batman on the 1960s TV show (apparently Armstrong had assigned the name to his Facebook profile as a joke). Armstrong found out that Irish airline Ryanair charged about $335 to change a name on a ticket. Faced with this, he decided to go to court and pay about $157 to legally change his name to Adam West. While that may be cheaper, it’s further than most people would go to get out of an airline surcharge. But at least now, Armstrong can go up to airport security officers and whisper, “I’m Batman.” But What About a Chuck Norris Stare Down? The United States isn’t the only country concerned about friv-olous lawsuits. In China, regulations that went into effect in May make it more difficult for courts to reject claims. Some critics say the new rules will make it easier for people to file frivolous lawsuits. One example that China’s Legal Daily points to is a lawsuit filed in Shanghai Pudong district court against one of China’s best-known actresses, Zhao Wei, star of the prime-time hit Tiger Mom . The lawsuit by the viewer alleges “spiritual damage” caused by Zhao Wei by staring at him too intensely. And you thought some of our lawsuits were ridiculous. JOHN G. BROWNING is a partner in Passman & Jones in Dallas, where he handles commercial litigation, employment, health care, and personal injury defense matters in state and federal courts. He is an award-winning legal journalist for his syndicated column, “Legally Speaking,” and is the author of the Social Media and Litigation Practice Guide and a forthcoming casebook on social media and the law. He is an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
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