Blame the lawyers
It was only a matter of time before someone found a way to blame the lawyers for the devastation wrought on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Bruce Nolan of The Times Picayune wrote on Sunday 28 August that President Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on Saturday and by mid-afternoon voluntary or mandatory evacuations had been called for in Plaquemines, St Bernard, St Charles, Lafourche, Terrebonne and Jefferson. Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, issued a voluntary evacuation at 5pm. Nolan’s report states that Nagin later said he was having his legal staff look into whether or not a mandatory evacuation would leave the city liable for closing hotels and other businesses. The mandatory evacuation was not issued until Sunday morning. However, this theory ignores the fact that has been pointed out constantly since the disaster — many residents refused to leave and many of those who wanted to go did not have the means to do so.
Total balls up
Fraudulence, misrepresentation… Authorities could have a field day — if only they knew who the perpetrator was. Organisers of the world testicle cooking championships, held in Serbia, were duped by an Australian claiming to be chef Nibel Bevan. The man asked to take part in the event and organiser Gornji Milanovic imported kangaroo testicles for the expected Australian team after being told that kangaroo testicles were a popular delicacy in Australia.
The caller even gave him details of where to source the testicles. “We were disappointed when no Australians arrived, we even had a band ready to welcome them,” Milanovic said. Organisers were hopeful that Bevan would turn up next year once he realised hoaxers had been pretending to be him. Organisers said the ability to compare the testicles of kangaroos with those of wild boars and bulls would really make the event a world championship.
Zoo missing roo
In another Kangaroo related story, police in Poland are searching for at least two people after a kangaroo was stolen from the zoo. Managers at the Krakow zoo alerted police after arriving one morning recently to find the door to Joey the Kangaroo’s cage broken open and marsupial missing. Police said that judging from the size of the animal they are looking for at least two adult thieves. Let’s just hope this story is actually completely unrelated to the other, for the missing Kangaroo’s sake.
Wanted for chicken feed
Again, to our friends in Romania … a man who stole seven chickens from a neighbour’s farm was listed on Interpol’s dangerous fugitives list. The 51-year-old from Iasi in eastern Romania left the country four years ago and returned recently to visit family. But he was stopped by border guards and identified from the list.
Police spokesman Serban Pittner said the man had been wanted for four years. He has now been sentenced to three and a half years in jail.
Karaoke incites assault
A 40-year-old British man was jailed for a night and fined $140 after he attacked two karaoke singers in Bulgaria. Kevin Tester, from Eastbourne, told police he had kicked and punched the pair, who were performing Queen’s We Are The Champions, because they were singing out of tune.
However, their tune was apparently so far off that Tester was also incited to attack other patrons of the bar and smash up the establishment. He claimed he had been provoked by “bad singing” and “bad English”. Apparently he has not been versed in the concept of bad manners. Tester will also have to pay the damages and compensation claims from the two singers.
A judge in the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Terence T Evans, is apparently well known for cramming his opinions with sports trivia, but he delved into the annals of rap culture for a footnote in the case United States v Murphy. The following notation appears on the website lawhaha.com.
“The trial transcript quotes a Ms Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch bitch “hoe.” A “hoe”, of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. We think the court reporter, unfamiliar with rap music (perhaps thankfully so), misunderstood Hayden’s response. We have taken the liberty of changing “hoe” to “ho”, a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps “You doin’ ho activities with ho tendencies”. Well, it is far more interesting than Babe Ruth’s batting average.
Nice work if you can get it
A story this month in the Washington Post has revealed just how good lawyers have it. It followed up on the class action filed against Sony for its use on a non-existent “blurber” to promote a number of movies. It reports that only 170 “real, honest-to-goodness ticket buyers” filed claims, for whom Sony had to pay out US$5,085, total. Meanwhile, it reports, court papers reveal “the attorneys for the plaintiffs got US$458,909. Sony paid an additional $250,000 for administrative fees and costs associated with alerting moviegoers to the settlement and processing the claims”. Charity received nearly all the $500,000 that had been set aside to pay consumers.