What comes to mind when you imagine a courtroom or the legal system? – do you think of tiresome décor, unyielding rules, and unbounded austerity? Ask the average jury member how exciting his or her last stint was, and you’ll probably get a sarcastic response to what was perceived to be a sarcastic question. While it may be true that the majority of trials are nothing like Hollywood’s versions – packed with dramatic twists and turns, outbursts, disrespectful sneers at opposing counsels and more – some cases have withstood the test of time, and have put the lawyers in the spotlight of the world. In today’s article, we take a look at some of the stranger cases. Remember, no matter how strange your facts might be, don’t hesitate to talk to your Virginia Beach criminal lawyer. Most lawyers are willing to give clients a consultation.
Professor Gary Slapper, a writer for the Times’ Law section, has put together a remarkable list of legal hilarities for your reading pleasure. View his article here. If you thought the law was always boring, think again. Below are a few highlights sure to make your day.
Child Custody Case Decided by Coin Toss: Sure, divorce is hard for everyone involved including the judge who has to make the tough decisions, like child custody for instance. The Virginia Supreme Court removed Judge James Michael Shull after he admitted he tossed a coin to decide which parent was to have the right to child custody that Christmas. In his defense, (former) Judge Shull argued he was trying to make a point: that the parents should figure it out amongst themselves. But wasn’t that his job?
Man Sues TV Company for Making his Wife Gain Weight: Back in 2004, a man from Fond du Lac Wisconsin filed suit against a company for allegedly “turning his wife fat” and making his kids lazy. Whether he was successful in that endeavor, we’ll leave you, the intelligent reader, to decide.
Astrologer Sues NASA for Millions, Alleging “Disruption of the Balance of the Universe:” A Russian astrologer claimed that NASA was planning on committing a “terrorist act” in 2005. NASA’s space probe, Deep Impact, was designed to collect samples from a comet explosion. Despite the theatrical allegations, the claim was rejected.
Radio Station Pranks Woman with Fake Car Prize, but Court Reverses Prank at Station’s Expense: A 26 year old caller was jumping for joy after a DJ told her that she successfully answered a quiz question, and was thus entitled to a new car. She was summoned to the station to pick up her prize, only to receive a 4 inch model of the vehicle. Although everyone but her found the joke to be hilarious, she did not. She sued, and the court found that the station was legally bound to pay the cost of the real automobile. (Not an American case).
There’s always room for some courtroom humor, just not always in the courtroom itself. Always present yourself properly, and if possible, have an attorney by your side. Your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer can ensure that the prosecution proves all elements of its case, so that you have the peace of mind that the joke isn’t on you.