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What Are They Thinking?

It's time once more to play What Are They Thinking!?!?!

The rules are simple. Just consider a current dispute in court and then come up with your own answers to the age-old question: What are they thinking?

It's harder than it sounds.

Let's start with some litigation brought by the city of Kansas City, Missouri. It's strange enough that Kansas City is in Missouri -- was "Missouri City" taken? -- but see what reasons you can come up to explain why Kansas City wants more kids out on the streets after 8:30 p.m.


Check out a U. S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruling called City of Kansas City, Missouri v. Yarco Company, Inc. in which we learn that the city sued the owners of an apartment complex for imposing a curfew of 8:30 p.m. for anyone under the age of 18.

This is actually a twofer for purposes of our game.

Come up with reasons why the city would be upset that kids are not allowed out of their apartments at night.

And/or come up with reasons why the landlords would want to keep the kids cooped up after 8:30.

The only explanation for any of this in the ruling is that the city claimed the apartment policy discriminated against families with children (who enjoy staying out late).

Just to get you started, here some ways of explaining this:

· The officials running Kansas City are all under 18

· The landlords have chained all the children to treadmills that are powering the building.

· There were complaints about the werewolf/vampire battles at night keeping people up.

See if you can do better.

YOU SHOULD PROBABLY MEET THE CLIENT FIRST. Now see if you can figure out what the plaintiff - a lawyer - was thinking in the scenario described below. What follows is from a lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles on behalf of a lawyer against Wells Fargo Bank:

"On April 12, 2010, a man who identified himself as Dr. George Clancy and a British citizen communicated to plaintiff, a respected immigration attorney, that he wanted to hire her services in the area of United States Immigration law."

The guy claimed he was training a group of South African doctors who would be working at the World Cup and they needed to come to California for the first part of their training. So he wanted help with visas and sent the plaintiff a check for $38,000.

A few weeks later, the lawyer got an email that said, "I want you to take out the sum of $24,700 USD from my balance and have it wire transferred to our tour agent in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. who will be handling all our United States bookings for hotels, tour buses, etc...."

Well, there was no mention of Nigeria....

Naturally, the $24,700 got transmitted but the $38,000 check from Dr. Clancy bounced.

So what was the plaintiff lawyer thinking?

I'm sure you'll have fun with this one.

FEELING SECURE. I've come to appreciate courthouse security more and more. It's so entertaining.

The Torrance courthouse security came through for me one day last week. When I showed up at the entrance, the x-ray machine wasn't working and the guards were methodically examining each and every wallet - poking through paper money in billfolds and plastic in card holders.

Looking for ... bad credit?

Wafer-thin pistols?

And then there was the guard riffling through what appeared to be a stack of papers in a file folder.

Looking for ... a poison pen letter?

I felt very secure.

PUBLIC INPUT. The following is from a "public notice" posted at the Redondo Beach, California courthouse:

"Please take notice that on September 28, 2010, after soliciting public input on the issue as required by Rule 10.620 (d)(3), the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, made the decision to permanently close the Redondo Beach courthouse....


"A total of 13 electronic messages were submitted, all opposing the courthouse closure. A written petition containing approximately 1,600 signatures was submitted, opposing the courthouse closure."

End of notice.

The people have been heard.

And they have been ignored.

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