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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Religion & Fame

Here's a fun question for you: How do you accommodate an employer's religious beliefs if they violate an employee's religious beliefs?

I don't have an answer, but I enjoy making trouble.

As I noted last week, one of the next exciting judicial topics for our courts is whether corporations have religions. The question particularly applies to companies privately owned by religious people.

We got a tentative ruling this month. The ruling in Korte v. Sebelius, from the 7th Circuit, says that the private companies probably do have religious rights and can deny employees insurance coverage for contraception.

OK. Maybe so.

Now what happens when an employee is denied contraception coverage because of his or her religious beliefs?

After all, not believing in something is a religious decision just as much as believing in something. If someone is denied insurance because of a religious belief that contraception is just fine, that's religious discrimination.

Yes, I realize that most people who work for companies owned by hard-core fundamentalists are probably not going to complain. But some enterprising lawyer out there is going to turn up a malcontent somewhere and, voila: religious discrimination, equal protection class action.

It's going to be so much fun.

Oddity of the Week:

Take a good look at this picture.

Can you guess what sort of web page this photo has been used to illustrate?

Think about it.

I will now add another piece of information to this puzzle. If you right-click on the photo on the website and click on properties, you'll discover that the picture is called "Hylan-wedding-ballroom-photo1.jpg."

This will not help you in any way.

If you give up, keep reading.

Yes, it's the web page showing the venue for the very first Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame ceremony.

If you win a multi-million-dollar verdict in Texas, you deserve a wedding reception.

I've never heard of a Hall of Fame for verdicts before and, it turns out, the verdicts don't actually get recognition. All the honorees are law firms who, as far as I can tell, are getting honored for racking up large sums in court.

Apparently, these are people who need the ego boost.

The event doesn't appear to be very exclusive. There are 10 inductees in just the "contracts" category.

Then there's "Honorable Mention." This could be every other firm in the state.

Little League soccer isn't this inclusive.

But, you may be thinking, what about defense lawyers and contract drafters and guys who get great settlements? Where's their fame?

Beats me, but you can't sit at your desk and compile a list of largest defense verdicts.

One More: Here's another photo for your contemplation. Can you identify this woman and explain why her photo is on a web page?

Here's the answer: it's presidential candidate Belva Lockwood and she's in the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

Consider this from the biography on her Hall of Fame Web page: "Widely believed to have inspired the 1980's - 90's TV-show character Ben Matlock, who was played by Andy Griffith."

According to her Web page, she was born in 1927 and ran for president in 1884.

That's a Hall of Fame career.

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