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Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Assumption of Risk

October 30, 2017

If you’re kind of kinky and you ask to be humiliated and dominated, can you sue if someone humiliates and dominates you? Of course you can. People sue over practically anything.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

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If you’re kind of kinky and you ask to be humiliated and dominated, can you sue if someone humiliates and dominates you? Of course you can. People sue over practically anything.

I bring this up because I love a lawsuit that presents an interesting intellectual challenge and a good one appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, filed on behalf of a plaintiff described as a “competent adult.”

I think they may have to present some evidence for that description at some point.

The defendants were “Does 1 through 20.”

I’d love to quote this complaint at length but then I wouldn’t be able to write anything. So I’m going to briefly summarize. (The case is BC680903, if you want to follow its progress.)

It seems this competent adult, according to the suit, used an app called OKCupid to contact “a female who had interest in Bondage Domination Submission and Masochism.”

Those capital letters are in the suit.

What followed was a series of communications in which the female – although apparently the plaintiff now isn’t sure he or she was really female – “demanded total obedience, politeness, submissiveness, and to be called ‘Mistress’ at all times.”

The plaintiff thought this was just fine.

He also agreed to send a nude photo of himself holding a note reading “I am training with Mistress/Goddess Kerry” and he agreed to create an online profile that said he would be submissive to Kerry at all times.

So far, so terrific.

Unfortunately, the next thing “Kerry” did was send the plaintiff a link to a BDSM website that required him to pay for a membership.

That was the deal breaker. She could have his dignity but she was not going to have his money. One has to have priorities.

He tried to ghost Kerry at this point but it didn’t work. She threatened to post the nude pictures on the Internet if the plaintiff didn’t fork over some Amazon gift cards.

“Plaintiff did not anticipate that defendant would act in such an unreasonable manner ...”

If you can’t trust an online dominatrix, who can you trust?

There’s going to be a fascinating assumption of risk debate here.

Stop slouching. This is my favorite tweet from last week:

You don’t get that kind of professional advice just anywhere. At least not outside of elementary school.

Barber law. Economics can be cruel, even to law schools.

First enrollment went down because tuition was too high and law jobs too scarce. So schools lowered tuitions and, in some cases, lowered standards.

Then the lower-standards schools got sued for promising jobs to students who probably couldn’t pass a bar exam. And other schools are rethinking the tuition drop because, well, there’s less money.

What to do?

Fortunately, I have a solution: barber school.

I’m not talking adding courses in perms and clipping methodology (although that might help). I mean law schools could learn from the barber school example – i.e., put students to work.

You provide low-cost, faculty-supervised legal counseling to clients who can’t normally afford lawyers. You give students real-life experience. And you make some money for the school.

One good class-action settlement could finance your institution for years to come.

Just be sure the malpractice insurance is fully paid.

Of course, then there won’t be enough jobs for graduates because of all the law student work ...

Some of you aspiring law students may want to consider barber school.

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