Ignore at Your Peril

Sometimes lawyers are hilarious. Some of them mean to be. Others don’t. And sometimes I don’t know whether they realize what they’re saying.

I immediately thought all of the above (because I’m a fast thinker) last week after looking at the announcement of the upcoming wiener dog race at Santa Anita racetrack.

To enter your animal in the race, you have to sign a waiver. I assume someone at the racetrack or in the wiener dog racing hierarchy hired a lawyer to draft this waiver.

It contains a paragraph in capital letters that begins with this phrase: “I AM AWARE THAT DACHSHUND RACING IS A POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS ACTIVITY …”

What!?!?

It is?

Are we perhaps blissfully unaware of the disgusting contents of our wieners?

You can see the problem here: No one is aware that dachshund racing is a potentially hazardous activity. To participate in this event, you have to make a false statement.

Tell the truth and you’re out.

Obviously, this makes the waivers invalid – they’re based on a lie. The track can’t protect itself with an assumption of risk defense either because, well, what risk?

At least I thought this was obvious. Maybe I was missing something?

I decided to do some research (i.e. plug a few phrases into a search engine).

I tried “hazardous dachshund races.” I got links to the waiver. Apparently, it’s used for these dangerous events all around the country. The closest I came to peril in the first two pages of results was a site with the headline: “Dachshund Eating Grass in the Morning.”

I tried “dachshund race injuries.” Not much there either. Dachshunds are prone to back injuries – but they’re prone to them at any given moment. Spines aren’t supposed to be shaped that way. I have a beagle that can attest to this.

Not a hint of a human injury anywhere. On result page two, however, there was a link to a book called “The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo.” It seems to be about dachshund back injuries.

I decided to be more direct and typed in “humans injured at dachshund races.” The second entry was “RIDICULOUSLY Fast Dachshund Totally Smokes His Human in a Race.”

I was hoping this meant the dog barbecued some guy, but it turned out he just ran faster than the human.

There was also an entry referring to human injuries in the 2010 Iditarod. I checked – there were no dachshunds pulling sleds. Not a single dachshund leapt out from behind a snowbank to attack a racer.

So it’s clear that a competent attorney should rewrite this race waiver. I suggest: “I AM AWARE THAT DACHSHUND RACING IS A SILLY ACTIVITY….”

 

Disappointment. I’m always getting intriguing subject lines in my mass of daily emails and I’m almost always disappointed.

There was this one last week: “I’ve seen what investing in women does.”

Imagine my disappointment when it turned out to be from a women’s empowerment group, when it could have been a lesson learned from New York congressmen and Alabama governors.

 

A new national holiday. Think back to last Tuesday (April 11, 2017). Did you notice anything unusual about that day? Was it a strangely nice day?

No, I didn’t notice it either, but we should have. Last Tuesday was International Be Kind To Lawyers Day. All you lawyers out there should have been getting cards or bouquets or romantic dinners.

This seems to be a brand new holiday. It seems to have been invented by some guy with a website who somehow got the U. S. Census Bureau to put out a press release announcing the holiday.

Apparently, this is what the Census Bureau does in years when it’s not counting. I’ve always wondered about that.

As for the holiday, you can read about it at Bekindtolawyers.com. Please go there and read about it. It’s fascinating.

For one thing, you can learn that the holiday is “the brainchild of non-lawyer Steve Hughes.” There’s a picture of him on the “Our Story” page in an I (heart) Lawyers T-shirt.

He says that “Lawyers are just as good as bubble wrap and ice cream.”

There are also celebration ideas on the “How To Participate” page.

My favorites: “Salute the flag as you walk or drive by your local courthouse.”

“Do some simple repairs around the house with a gavel instead of your trusty hammer.”

Next April 11 I’m going to be prepared.

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