Bad Dog!

     I’ve been thinking about dogs this past week because they’ve popped up in a couple of Los Angeles lawsuits in ways I didn’t expect.
     First, there was this sentence in a dog bite complaint: “Defendant Albert did not display any sign anywhere on THE RESIDENCE that included the words ‘BAD DOG.'”
     This brought to mind so many questions.
     Why the capital letters?
     Is THE RESIDENCE a gigantic structure containing a gigantic DOG?
     And how would the sign have changed anything?
     Does the sign grant the dog immunity? Is it the bitee’s fault if there’s a warning sign?
     Would anyone ever have visited Albert or delivered any packages to his house if that sign were up?
     What if Albert’s dog was a good dog but just had a bad day?
     In the absence of his master, will the sign remind the dog his of undesirable character traits and influence him to mend his ways?
     Do passersby assume a risk by not wearing armor?
     Then there was this from a dog bite suit against Bank of America: “Bank of America Corporation had a duty to protect patrons on their premises from harm. They developed a pattern and practice of prohibiting the presence of dogs specifically in their banking and ATM machines areas, and posted signage that dogs were not allowed. Defendant, Bank of America, had failed to maintain the premises. … The signage was in such poor condition that at the time if (sic) the incident that it read (sic) ‘dogs allowed’ instead of ‘no dogs allowed.'”
     I’m picturing a schnauzer running from the bank with a used paintbrush.
     The biting dog, in case you’re wondering, was not owned by the bank. I guess he was using the ATM or waiting in line behind the annoyingly slow guy he bit.
     It’s an interesting legal question: Are banks liable for bites from passing dogs on their property? Should bank security guards be equipped with large nets?
     And how big a problem is this? Are The Beagle Boys based on real-life characters?
     I may switch to full online banking.
     If nothing else, this should bring hope to new lawyers wondering how they’re going to make a living in these competitive times.
     All you need to do is find a specialty and sell yourself as an expert in it. I know this because there’s a guy who specializes in – you guessed it – dog bite law.
     His website – dogbitelaw.com – claims he’s “earned tens of millions of dollars for children and adults bitten by dogs” and you can buy his forms and “Tips and Tricks for Dog Bite Lawyers” for just $169.95.
     Since biting dogs are taken, you’ll have to use some imagination to find your lucrative specialty.
     You could represent reckless driver dogs. There may not be a lot of cases, but there was one just last week. Apparently, dogs need more than one kind of license.
     Or you could specialize in police dog brutality cases. A divided Colorado Supreme Court last week – yes, it was a significant week in dog law – ruled on the issue of liability when K-9s abuse their authority.
     Not surprisingly, the police dog attacking an innocent person escaped liability. Expect civic unrest in Colorado.
     Cat law is an option – the closest I could find to a specialist was a British guy who insists cats are a menace to gardens. If that’s true, there should be a potential for litigation.
     Anonymous defendant law is an area ripe for specialization too. More and more people these days are suing unnamed defendants for defaming them on the Internet.
     Troll law is going to be huge.
     If you can spot a trend first, you’ve got it made.
     By the way, don’t tell anyone you heard about troll law here. I don’t want any comments.

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