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Folklaw: 4 May 2007

Folklaw: 4 May 2007

Home-wrecker lawyer loses million dollar inheritanceIn a lesson to lawyers the nation over who deal with wills, an American attorney is facing serious retribution after drafting a will for a…

Home-wrecker lawyer loses million dollar inheritance

In a lesson to lawyers the nation over who deal with wills, an American attorney is facing serious retribution after drafting a will for a man she was having an affair with that left her approximately US$5 million ($6.06 million).

US website ran the story of lawyer Michele Okin, who was named the chief beneficiary in the will of real estate magnate Pasquale Coviello, a former client.

Surrogate Elaine Slobod of Orange County, N.Y., ruled that Okin’s entitlement be removed when it was learnt that Coviello’s wife received nothing in the will, his children and relatives got more in debt through estate taxes than they were bequeathed, and his daughter’s middle name was misspelt. Okin had also failed to encourage Coviello to get independent advice.

As the website said, Okin may be down, but not out. Her lawyer, by the name of Michael Sussman (Suss man?), has pledged a “doozy of an appeal”.

“The fact that we don’t like his choices or don’t like Michele is completely irrelevant,” Sussman said, which Folklaw can only assume was not while in the presence of his client.

Indian teacher purifies students with urine

Parents of children at a school near Bhandara city called police after their teacher ‘purified’ them with cow’s urine to cast out evil spirits.

According to the Times of India, a member of an upper caste, Sharad Kaitade, who took over as headmaster from lower caste Tilottama Tembhurkar, ordered the school and its students be sprayed with ‘gomutra’, or cow urine as part of a purifying procedure called a ‘puja’.

During the process, some of the lower caste children had the urine sprinkled on their faces and exam papers, the paper said. These students complained to their parents, who took the matter up with Kaitade. As his apology fell short of a formal written one, the villagers complained to the district collector and superintendent of police.

An offence was eventually registered against the headmaster, who was arrested and released on bail, the paper said.

Crims lose suit over killer mozzies

Prisoners in Denver, Colorado, who are facing life in prison, have lost their claim against the government for an allegedly life-threatening exposure to deadly mosquitoes.

The jailbirds at lockups in Walsenburg and Limon filed a suit claiming they were at risk of contracting severe diseases, including the West Nile virus, after being bitten repeatedly by mozzies, the Associated Press said.

Representing themselves, the prisoners said they have suffered “the emotional and mental distress of whether or not each mosquito’s bite would result in death or serious bodily injury”.

According to the news wire, Stephen Glover, Alan Smith and Michael Freeman said the mozzie bites caused headaches, high fever, neck aches and weak muscles.

“Each attack constituted bodily injury, which the [Department of Corrections] had the power to prevent, but consciously elected not to,” the prisoners claimed.

Sadly, the Colorado Court of Appeal threw the case out, citing the fact that no cases of West Nile virus had been recorded in either prison, and that in any case, the criminals were given mozzie repellent.

Baby Metallica just wants to rock

A couple from Stockholm, Sweden is embroiled in a bitter fight with the country’s National Tax Board over their right to name their baby daughter Metallica.

The parents, Michael and Karolina Tomaro, have taken the Board to court after it disallowed their application, blocking the child from a social security number and a passport, the Associated Press reported.

The child’s mother sees nothing wrong with dubbing her six-month-old baby girl after the gods of heavy metal, and has already had her baptised under the name.

“It suits her,” Mrs Tomaro explained. “She’s decisive and she knows what she wants.”

Both parents were offended when an official from the Board reportedly told them the name was ugly. But they achieved an initial victory in the County Administrative Court in Goteborg, which has already ruled in the family’s favour, citing a Swedish woman whose middle name is also Metallica.

The Board’s appeal to a higher court has further annoyed the Tomaros.

“We’ve had to cancel trips and can’t get anywhere because we can’t get her a passport without an approved name,” Mrs Tomaro said.

Old man killed by heifer lover

In another bizarre bovine-related story from Asia, Folklaw brings news of an unfortunate elderly man in Cambodia who was kicked to death by a cow he was attempting to make love with.

According to Cambodian newspaper Kampuchea Thmey, Ta Sam, 67, of Svay Rieng province, was feeling lonely after 10 long days of divorce.

Having been woken by an urge in the night, Sam crept to the yard where a heifer was waiting with what Folklaw can only assume was a suggestive, come-hither look.

Later sounds of commotion roused Sam’s grandson, who rushed from the house to find the elderly man naked and dead on the ground. According to police, Sam’s head and genitals had been trampled when his attempts to woo the cow had failed, the paper said.

Judges get wickety-wack for Arts Law week

Following on from Folklaws report of bodacious surfing lawyers in last week’s issue comes news of something even cooler — rapping judges.

The Victoria Arts Law week is set to be launched on 7 May with an event called ‘FUSION — Arts & Law’. Fusion promises to team up judges with real-life Aussie hip hop artists to “create never-seen-before performances”. It simply does not get any better than that.

Those in the know can look forward to the musical stylings of rapper Joel Ma from TZU, MCs Azmarino and Momo from Daifrix, as well as the roundly respected Elf Tranzporter, and Mita & Reuben Kaa from 2XL.

These spirited youngsters have worked in close association with Justice Michael “Mac Daddy” Kirby AC CMG; DJ Jazzy Marcia Neave AO, judge Felicity “Flick-id” Hampel and Julian “Big Ups To Your Mother” Burnside QC.

Fused together, this unprecedented display of legally inspired lyrical lunacy will tackle the weighty subject of human rights.

Ma from TZU was said to be “thrilled” about the opportunity to work with one of his “heroes”, Burnside, while MC Azmarino relished the chance to meet with judge Hampel because of a passion for education.

“Talented beatboxer and poetic freestyler” Elf Tranzporter was lucky enough to be given the task of adapting Justice Kirby’s speech entitled ‘Courage’, and was rumoured to have offered the High Court judge some advice of his own on upcoming matters of constitutional importance.

This is an event that must not be missed, and best of all, entry is free. Fusion is sponsored by Holding Redlich, Clayton Utz and Baker & McKenzie. All enquiries to (02) 9417 6777 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Folklaw: 4 May 2007
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