Brides bond bridesmaids’ bellies
It’s their special day, and now some brides are contractually obliging their bridesmaids to not put on weight, let themselves go physically or get pregnant, News.com.au recently reported.
UK bridal magazine, You & Your Wedding, surveyed 1,000 women and asked them what types of clauses they might put into a bridal party pre-nuptial contract. More than one in five respondents said that they’d be prepared to ask their maid-of honour to sign such an agreement, and almost half said they’d give their bridesmaids the boot if they broke the conditions of the contract.
The magazine’s website, www.youandyourwedding.co.uk, provides a sample bridesmaid contract, where the bridesmaid is contracted to “adhere to all of the following and all other unspoken duties as a bridesmaid on and leading up to the wedding day”.
The agreement includes an undertaking by the bridesmaid to not gain more than 7 pounds between signing the contract and the day of the wedding; wearing a dress of the bride’s choosing, regardless of their own opinions; not intentionally falling pregnant before the wedding; not consuming more than 10 units of alcohol during the reception; not bringing an inappropriate date to the wedding or reception; not making advances towards any inappropriate male guests attending the reception; not removing any item of their bridesmaid outfit during the reception; and not attempting to out-do the bride in any way.
We’re unable to find any examples of contractual disputes actually going to court (give us time), but clearly litigation will, totally, lyk, never be the same again.
Insult to personal injury
Sanity prevailed in Spain last week when a motorist who struck and killed a teenage cyclist dropped a lawsuit against the cyclist’s parents for damages to his car, the Associated Press reported. The driver of an Audi A8, Tomás Delgado, was travelling 160kmh when he hit 17-year-old Enaitz Iriondo in August 2004, killing the boy instantly and causing 14,000 euros-worth of damage to his beloved car.
After the accident, a regional court found that both the driver and the cyclist were at fault, given the speed at which Delgado was driving and that Iriondo was not wearing any reflective clothing after sunset. Delgado’s insurance company then paid the boy’s family 33,000 euros ($53,820) in compensation, and in 2006 Delgado subsequently sued the Iriondo family for 20,000 euros ($32,623) to cover the damages to his car (14,000 euros; $22,837) and replacement car rental (6,000 euros; $9,786).
Delgado’s decision to sue was a source of much discussion in Spain, and hotly debated on television and radio talk shows. The driver had told reporters that this was the only way for him to claim for the damages to his Audi, but we’re not sure how he managed to reconcile in his own mind his 33,000 euro lawsuit against the remaining 13,000 euros ($21,208) compensation the family would’ve been left with, had he been successful.
Casting the first fry lands girls in trouble
They apparently take school cafeteria food fights very seriously in Wyoming, where three teenage girls have been cited by police for “hurling missiles” and suspended from school for three days after they threw French fries at each other, the Associated Press reported.
Sensing impending culinary carnage and in response to rumours that a food fight was in the offing, the principal of Laramie Junior High and a local police officer warned students during an assembly that offenders would suffer the consequences if even a drop of ketchup was spilled.
“They saw it as really the planning of a riot, when you think about it,” Laramie police chief Bob Deutsch said. “It wasn’t a spontaneous thing — a couple of kids giggling, throwing a French fry at each other … They intended on getting everybody involved in this and starting something that no doubt would have the potential of getting out of control.”
There are, of course, suggestions in some circles suggesting that law enforcement and school officials perhaps went a little too far themselves. A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union said: “It certainly seems that this was an overreaction to a situation that could have been handled differently.”
Folklaw was unable to determine whether there were different citations for different classes of food, and if sodden foodstuffs carried a higher penalty than dry confectionery. You would think that these subtle differences would matter. In addition to threatening teenagers with citations for throwing food at one another, Wyoming is one of 35 states where death by lethal injection is an authorised form of capital punishment. It’s a short trip, people.
Take my breath away
In a consumer complaints story, a Romanian sex shop has been fined nearly RON3,000 ($1,354) for selling a less than satisfying inflatable doll, the Associated Press reported. A 40-something-year-old man had complained to the Romanian Consumer Protection Office that the object of his proclivities had lost its moan and deflated far too quickly.
A Romanian Consumer Protection Office representative, Iulian Mara, said: “No matter how strange it sounded to us, we went to the sex shop from where the man bought the object of complaint and found out he was justified. The doll was losing air very quickly and due to a faulty electrical circuit it didn’t make the expected specific sounds.”
In addition to the fine, the shop in Brasov, Transylvania, was ordered to replace the doll, but there’s no word as to whether the man is any more satisfied with the substitute for his substitute.
Statute Law (Repeals) Bill 2008 (UK)
Centuries of in-force English and Scottish legislation will be a little less quaint and quirky if the 18th Statute Law (Repeals) Bill 2008 (UK) successfully winds its way through the British Parliament.
In a joint statement, Sir Terence Etherton, chairman of the Law Commission for England and Wales, and James Drummond Young, chairman of the Scottish Law Commission, said: “Dead law can lead to false expectations and consequent costs. People need to be clear about what is in force and what is not, and an oversized statute book filled with out-of-date information wastes everybody’s time.
“As part of our drive to modernise and simplify the law we want to rid the statute book of meaningless provisions from days gone by which are no longer relevant in our modern world.”
The Bill, to be presented to the British Parliament by the two commissions, would repeal 260 Acts entirely and partially repeal a further 68.
The Commissions’ notes on the Bill run for 610 pages, but highlights include the repeal of: the 1839 law requiring street musicians to move along if requested to do so by peace-loving householders (it’s now safe for the Seekers to reform and tour the UK); the centuries-old turnpike Acts for roads in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk requiring travellers to pay a toll to cross a turnpike (you may still need to pay the ferryman, before he gets you to the other side); and laws relating to London workhouses, including one referred to by Charles Dickens in The Uncommercial Traveller in the 1860s (it’s now safer for sportswear manufactures to return en masse to England).
Does anybody really know what time it is?
If you’re feeling under pressure from a partner in your firm to fit more billable hours into your day, take heart in the realisation that you’re most likely to be operating within the temporal limits of space and time and your practising certificate. But a pair of Canadian lawyers may not have been paying such close attention to their 24-hour clock or professional obligations, and are accused of changing their client for 30 hours or more in a single day, RollOnFriday reported.
The mother and son team of lawyers, Mobina Jaffer and Azool Jaffer-Jeraj, defended the Oblates of Mary Immaculate against charges of sexual abuse in schools that the Catholic missionary order operated. After being billed CA$6.7 million ($7.4 million) for work done between 2000 and 2004, the order sued the lawyers for “unreasonably high and unjustifiable” rates, which, according to the Canadian Justice Review Board, included CA$450 ($498) an hour for Jaffer and CA$200 ($221) an hour for her newly-qualified barrister son.
Jaffer, who is also a Canadian senator, is alleged to have billed her clients CA$13,000 ($14,396) for working 30 hours in a single day. But that’s not the best part; 27 of those hours were attributed to … wait for it … bill preparation. The apple may not have fallen too far from the tree and Jaffer-Jeraj is alleged to have billed for 32.4 hours in one day, and an average of 20 hours a day over the course of a week.
A lawyer representing Jaffer and Jaffer-Jeraj said that the pair is cooperating with the investigation. We wonder if they’ll be double-checking their lawyer’s bill for similar irregularities.
Words we’d like to see judicially defined
Definition: “(say ‘ungkshoohuhs) adjective 1. Of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; oily; greasy. 2. characterised by religious unction or fervour, especially of an affected kind; excessively smooth, suave, or bland. 3. having an oily or soapy feel, as certain minerals. [Middle English, from Medieval Latin unctuosus, from Latin unctum ointment]” — Macquarie Dictionary online.
One of only five uses in Australian case law: “The husband by way of contrast, was an unctuous rogue, who would say and do anything that he thought might best further his case. He presented as initially affable and for a short time, credible, but it did not take long for it to become apparent that he was an unprincipled liar, who had more recently acquired Christianity as a cloak and justification for his behaviour.” — Re Karen & Rita (1995) 19 Fam LR 528.
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