Stuff You Should Know

     People ought to know better.
     They ought to, but, apparently, they don’t.
     That’s our theme for this week. Let’s start with a ruling from a State of New York Supreme Court called Lombardi, Walsh, Wakeman, Harrison, Amodeo & Davenport v. American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Company.
     Question: what do you do when you get an email from an unknown person in a foreign country offering you a lot of money if you’ll just deposit a check and then send the proceeds to someone who needs it?
     If you’re answer is “Don’t do it, you moron,” you are correct.
     Unfortunately, the law firm of Lombardi, Walsh, et al. got the answer wrong. Maybe they were misled because the email didn’t come from Nigeria. Instead, it came from someone who claimed to be the CEO of a company in Taiwan who said he wanted to hire the firm.
     All the law firm had to do, was deposit a $384,700 check into a bank account and then send the money, minus a legal fee, to a supplier in South Korea.
     The check, naturally, was bogus and the bank sued the law firm which, in turn, was surprised to learn its insurance company didn’t want to cover the loss.
     The court, in case you’re wondering, said the insurer may have to cover the loss because the law firm was performing a legal service even though its client didn’t really exist and any old lady with an email address could have done the same thing.
     Expect to see insurers inserting new “extreme stupidity” exclusions into future policies.
     Expect to see continuing legal education courses on responding to unsolicited emails.
     Item Two: There’s a downside to politics.
     We’ve just gone through a couple of weeks of fine comedic entertainment relating to Congressman Anthony Weiner’s weiner. But while the Congressman had to resign, a lawyer in Wisconsin has been reinstated after being suspended for, among other things, having sex with one client and having sex with the mother of another client.
     Eat your heart out, politicians.
     And the best part about it is that, according to the ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the lawyer has a wife who’s also a lawyer.
     Something’s wrong with this picture, but I’m not sure what it is.
     Item Three: Slipping on ice is not accidental. It may not be on purpose, but it’s not accidental. You should know better.
     I wouldn’t have thought so, but the Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court has said so in a couple of recent rulings in workers compensation cases when police officers have fallen down. See Ruggiero and Randolph v. DiNapoli. Apparently, you’re supposed to expect to fall if there’s ice around.
     Clumsiness is no accident.
     Item Four: A proposed class action has been filed in Los Angeles over alleged false advertising of Magnetic Slimming Panties. Apparently, magnets in your panties don’t help you lose weight.
     Now whose fault is it that someone actually bought those things?
     It’s no accident.
     Item Five: School is not the same as real life. People should know that.
     Check out Yu v. University of La Verne, a California appellate court ruling, in which we learn that a law student in what should have been her very last semester got busted for allegedly copying a contract off the Internet.
     Many law practices are based on the ability to copy forms. This could have been excellent professional preparation.
     Instead, there was a big brouhaha and a school “judicial board” decided not to give the student credit for the class.
     So the plaintiff once again did what lawyers are supposed to do – she appealed.
     That got her suspended by the school’s dean.
     You shouldn’t wonder why school doesn’t prepare you for real life.

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