5 Important Cases You Should Watch in 2012…and 5 Totally Unimportant Cases You Might Not Be Able to Stop Watching Even if You Tried (Part 2 of 2)
This time of year, the legal press is pretty well flooded with articles summarizing the most important cases and decisions of the last year, or looking ahead to the most important cases of the coming year. This is all well and good — indeed, just this Tuesday, I offered my own list of five important cases to watch in 2012. But what’s the fun of spending all of one’s time following important cases, when there are so many amusingly absurd cases to watch out there instead? In that spirit, here are five cases that may not break any legal ground in the coming year, but that you’ll still want to keep an eye on (if only to have something funny to talk about at cocktail parties).
Five Cases to Watch Because You Can’t Help Yourself
Why Couldn’t You Have Been More Like That Other Movie About People Who Drive Cars? Evidently unsatisfied after spending 100 minutes watching slow-motion glamour shots of Ryan Gosling (but he’s so dreamy!), a Michigan woman sued FilmDistrict, the distributor of Drive, claiming that the movie failed to deliver on the Fast and Furious-like thrills promised in its advertising, and instead “contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.” (As one website noted after the October filing, “It’s too bad Drive couldn’t be more of an empowering story of Hebrew identity, like, say The Fast and the Furious. Why, hardly a day goes by that I don’t see a gang of Jews driving by in their tricked-out Toyota Supras making a terrible racket. ‘Oy, Hoischel, get a load of this meshugganah Honda with his farkakte ground effects,’ you’ll often hear them say. Typical Jews, always living their lives a quarter mile at a time.”)
Because Who Could Be More Interested in Reliving His Wedding Day Than the Guy Who’s Already Divorced? In November, news outlets picked up the story of a New York man who, in 2009, sued the photography studio he hired to document his 2003 wedding for failing to shoot the last 15 minutes of the reception, leaving out the last dance and the bouquet toss. Sounds ridiculous? It gets better. By way of remedies, he’s asking for $48,000 to recreate the entire wedding, guests and all, so that the photographers can capture the (recreated) magic. Sounds really ridiculous? It gets better. Even if he gets his $48,000, the plaintiff might have trouble recreating that magic, given that he and his wife separated in 2008, finalized their divorce in 2010, and (according to the New York Times) she is believed to have moved back to her native Latvia. The case is ongoing.
Well, the Complaint Filing Fee Cost Less Than a Gym Membership… If some people were to try to sit down in a fast food restaurant booth and discover that things were feeling uncomfortably tight, they’d hire a personal trainer. One New York man decided he’d rather hire a lawyer, suing White Castle on the theory that their uncomfortably slim booths violate the civil rights of fat people. So if you were worried that fast food restaurants have been getting off too easy on their legal bills ever since the McDonald’s “hot coffee” lawsuit that eventually became synonymous with the phrase “frivolous lawsuit,” worry no more.
But This Lisa Marie Never Married Michael Jackson or Nicolas Cage. Most conspiracy stories about Elvis surround his death, or should I say, his “death.” This one involves his life, or more accurately, the long-lost Swedish daughter whose identity was allegedly stolen (basically from birth) by the woman you and I know as Lisa Marie Presley, and who is now suing the Presley estate for $130 million for defamation and emotional distress. Maybe the plaintiff, Lisa Johansen, needs to refill her coffers after the publisher of her 1998 memoir sued her for $50 million back in 2000.
The Case You May Have Expected, But the Plaintiff You Definitely Did Not. The obvious highlight of the 2012 holiday season has been the sordid tale of the Walmart shopper who pepper sprayed her fellow customers on Black Friday. First she was a sociopath who engaged in some “customer-versus-customer shopping rage” over cheap Xboxes. Then she was a concerned mother protecting her kids from vicious consumers in an out-of-control environment. Now she might just be the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Walmart for failing to control the chaos of the orgiastic annual shopping spree of Black Friday.
- 5 Important Cases You Should Watch in 2012…and 5 Totally Unimportant Cases You Might Not Be Able to Stop Watching Even if You Tried (Part 1 of 2)
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- Leggo My Likeness Part Trois: Pau Gasol’s Celebrity Doppelganger
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