Welcome to Law.com’s Midweek Recess, in which we round up some tasty tidbits from the week’s legal news cycle. We’ll be here every Wednesday, so grab a cup of coffee and take a little break. It’s all downhill to the weekend from here.
A Real Killer - News flash: We’ve found the lawyer who wins the prize for most badass office decor. Matthew Ericksen, a litigator at the Atlanta firm Gray, Rust, St. Amand, Moffett & Brieske, has on his desk the taxidermied head of an alligator that he hunted and killed himself. Originally from Colorado, Ericksen came across the application for an alligator-hunting license when getting a fishing permit, and says he thought it was “the wildest, coolest thing I’d ever seen.” After applying for several years, he was granted one of a limited number of tags permitting him to kill an alligator. He teamed up with a friend from college, an engineer who was also a novice gator hunter. The two undertook the endeavor without the help of a guide (see above, re: badass). After several unsuccessful trips, they nabbed a 7-foot, 2-incher in Lake Seminole last fall.
The process involved a giant fishing hook, a powerful spotlight used to search out the reflective eyes of alligators in the dark (yes, they did this in the dark), a harpoon and a “bang stick.” And then there was the 15-minute struggle and the matter of getting the still-moving alligator into the boat …
Along with the aforementioned head (a “great conversation piece”), Ericksen ended up with 30 pounds of meat and the alligator skin, which he plans to have made into a pair of boots.
So, litigator friends: Still think you’re hardcore, or does this guy pretty much blow you out of the water (along with the gators)?
RBG RSVPs - We know, we know, we’ve been featuring a lot of Ruth Bader Ginsburg news of late, but this story is just too cute not to mention. Above the Law blogger Staci Zaretsky is getting married, and decided to invite her heroine, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to the wedding (the invitation was sealed with a rhinestone heart, because #reallove). As it turns out, the justice will be in Santa Fe on Staci’s big day, but she sent Zaretsky a lovely note with her regrets, along with “every best wish for life’s most important partnership.”
In a blog post, Zaretsky wrote that the justice “made my day – if not my life – with this letter.”
Our staff would like to congratulate Staci, both on her upcoming wedding and on receiving world’s coolest reply card.
PS. To heck with framing your wedding invitation. That letter is what should go on the wall.
Not So Nice - The trademark battle between singer Chubby Checker and Hewlett-Packard over an app of, ahem, questionable taste has ended with a confidential settlement. Checker, best known for the late-50s song and corresponding dance craze, “The Twist,” was decidedly displeased with the use his name as the title of “The Chubby Checker,” an app once sold on HP’s App Catologue. The problem? It was a “penis-measuring” app, which purported to assist the user in estimating the size of a man’s member by inputting his shoe size. (As you might guess, it wasn’t a runaway success. Fewer than 100 people forked over 99 cents for a download).
A federal judge last year allowed Checker’s claims to proceed, finding that HP, through its application and approval process, “knew, or could have reasonably deduced, that the owner of the Chubby Checker mark would never have consented to license the mark for such a vulgar purpose.” Well… yeah.
No ‘Special Tea’ in Kansas - It’s always fun to hear about truly nutty laws that remain on the books in various regions, but never more so than when they’re illustrated. Photographer Olivia Locher has brought some of the silliest of these statutes to life in her photo series, “I Fought the Law.” Inspired by learning of a law in Alabama that prohibits sticking an ice cream cone in one’s pocket, Locher has sought out other examples of cockamamie statutes and shot visual representations of them, mostly in her New York studio.
Consider yourself warned about the following: 1) Don’t tickle a woman under the chin with a feather duster in Maine; 2) New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” motto apparently doesn’t give its citizens the right to tap their feet or nod their heads to music; 3) Art aficionados in Ohio had best not disrobe in front of a man’s portrait; 4) Kansas takes all the fun out of tea parties by prohibiting the serving of wine in teacups; and 5) Do avoid wearing transparent clothing in Rhode Island.
Okay, fine, with regard to that last one, the Rhode Islanders might be onto something.
It’s the Principle of the Thing - A Delaware man who tried to rob a pizzeria in 2010 is now suing the employees who tackled him and removed his gun during the robbery attempt. According to USA Today, “Sykes alleges assault in a federal civil complaint claiming the rough treatment was ‘unnecessary’ and that as a result of the injuries he suffered during his attempted hold-up, he is due over $260,000.”
The idea that tackling an armed robber is “unnecessary” seems like a bit of a stretch, but we have to admit, we admire this fellow’s brazen commitment to proving that somehow or other, (this) crime pays. Seriously, man, full marks for persistence.