Tag Archives: Lawsuit

Want to get the real dirt on thedirty.com’s loss to former Bengal’s cheerleader Sarah Jones? Check out PACER.

Many people love to read the juicy stories from tabloids and online gossip sites; however, yesterday a jury in Kentucky held one online site liable for defamation. CBSSports.com reported a jury awarded Sarah Jones over $300,000.00 in her defamation lawsuit against thedirty.com. The CBS story gives some background and facts about the case, but lawyers often want to know the details that can only be found in the court record.

To find the complaint, answer, motions, and other filings for this case, simply go to the government’s federal court website called PACER, which stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. Using PACER you can search the case and docket information for federal district and appellate court cases, as well as, bankruptcy cases. There is a small fee for viewing documents that is capped at $3.00 per document. Currently, if you do not view more than $15.00 worth of documents in a quarter your fee is waived.

The risk of being hit in the face by a hot dog is not a well-known incidental risk of attending a baseball game. …

It’s not baseball season yet (almost though!), but it is never too early to think about potential baseball related lawsuits. A spectator filed suit against the Royals because Sluggerrr [sic], the mascot, threw hot dogs into the crowd, hitting him in the face and injuring his eye.  Although a jury found against him, he still has hope, as the case was reversed and remanded.

How can you find interesting cases like this to read?  Well, you can comb state court sites.  Many, like Missouri, have a site dedicated to the courts.  Here is Florida’s, for example.  Once you are in a court site, though, you may have to dig for opinions.  The best way in Missouri is to click on Opinions and Minutes from the Legal Resources drop down menu, then choose a court at the bottom (like the Western Appellate District), but you will have to explore in other court webpages.  Once you do that in Missouri, there is a search function, and you can enter fun things like baseball hot dog.  That gets you the opinion from above and the fun quote: “the risk of being hit in the face by a hot dog is not a well-known incidental risk of attending a baseball game.”  I wonder about peanuts…

Checking the Accuracy of a Tweet

last weekend I saw this tweet: Mental Floss Tweet: A motorcyclist injured when he collided with a panther is suing the state of Florida. (via @TheWeek)

Of course I had to know more! I went to the source cited (@TheWeek) and scrolled down to find what they referenced. I found no reference to the tweet on their twitter page. On their website, I searched Florida Panther. The first result was an article titled A Little Warning Would Have Been Nice. The article has a link to an article from WPTV giving me the details I need to find the case.

But case filings are not available online from the Broward County Clerk of Court. so I’ll have to wait until the case is decided. Most likely it will show up in the Florida Law Weekly Supplement, which is available form our subscription database page. If you’ve never used Florida Law Weekly (FLW) or Florida Law Weekly Supplement (FLWS), it can be a bit confusing. At the top of the screen, select which you want; FLW has Florida Supreme Court and District Court of Appeals opinions while FLWS has Florida Circuit Court and County Court opinions. At the top of the page, select which you want. From the next page, below the publication names, select search FLW or FLW Supplement. This will bring you to an advanced search page. A pretty neat way to find cases not normally found in Westlaw or Lexis.

Is a special appointment special or normal?

Well here’s not something you see everyday. The Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, is appealing a Federal District Court’s ruling that Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson will be the next Chief Justice of the Louisiana State Supreme Court. But why are the federal courts involved? Well, Justice Johnson was appointed to the Louisiana State Supreme Court in a special seat, to make up for the “racial gerrymandering” prevalent in the state at the time, in which she served for six years. governor Jindal argues that those six years shouldn’t count as service because it was a special seat. Hmm…what? Here’s  District Court’s Ruling. via Discourse.net

Watch out for wireless parking meters!

A resident of Santa Monica, California alleges in a recent lawsuit against the city that newly installed wireless parking meters are causing her to experience numerous health problems. Some of her claimed ailments include ringing of the ears, tightness in her neck and back, and an ear infection. She has sued the city for a whopping 1.7 billion dollars! The next time you are feeling a little tightness in the neck or your ear is ringing you better check to see if there are any wireless parking meters around.

Some people are saying Skechers Shape-Ups not so safe!

Who knew wearing Skechers could cause serious injuries? That is the claim made by the Plaintiffs in three lawsuits filed against Skechers USA Inc., Skechers USA Inc., II, and Skechers Fitness Group. Check out this story about the case, which includes links to the the Plaintiffs’ Attorneys website and the Complaint numbers.  You can find the Federal case filings by using PACER, the government’s Federal cased locator database.

Jack Daniels goes soft?

Jack Daniels is an American whiskey known as hard alcohol. It was founded in 1875 and is currently the best selling whiskey in the world.  Every bar has a bottle of Jack on its shelf (as well as many homes). You would think the venerable company would take a hard line when they see their beloved trademark being misrepresented as a book cover for a local author. Apparently not.  Jack Daniels attorney Christy Susman wrote what some are calling the nicest cease and desist letter ever. In the letter Ms. Susman actually wishes the pilfering author the best of luck in his future writing efforts in addition to asking (nicely) that the book cover is changed for future printings. But the kicker is when Ms. Susman actually offers to help defray the costs of book cover changes. Just goes to show that a nice letter goes a long way. You can read the letter in its entirety here:

Stein Suit (+Subscription)

In only two days, Musikfest will begin in Bethlehem, PA.

Billed as the “nation’s largest free, non-gated music festival,” Musikfest – put on by ArtsQuesta non-profit organization that celebrates arts and culture – boasts an extensive lineup of acts performing for free, including Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (video), Royal Southern Brotherhood (video), and Scott Pine and the Conifers (video) among many others.

In the past, people who attended Musikfest commemorated the experience with a stein purchase. For only $69.99, people were offered the opportunity to own a piece of music memorabilia, manufactured in Germany, that could be passed down through the generations.

Instead, according to former ArtsQuest employee Rebecca Stoneback, those steins were actually made in China!

If you can’t trust the music-festival vendor selling you a beer stein for $70, who can you really trust?

Stoneback has now filed two lawsuits against ArtsQuest in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Allentown) in connection with this alleged deception and her firing (5:12-cv-03286-MMB & 5:12-cv-03287-JKG).

Here in the library, we have a trial subscription to Bloomberg Law, which makes docket searching a breeze. So, if you want to read up on the suit, or just have a demonstration of how to do that research, contact the Reference Desk (web form or (904) 680-7612) and we’d be happy to help you.

Tip o’ the hat to Alanna Byrne at Inside Counsel, Strange Lawsuits, from July 25, 2012 for spreading the word about the Stein Scam.

Did You Think the Mandate in the Affordable Care Act was Struck Down?

On the morning of June 28, 2012, many people were watching Fox or CNN to learn how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on the Affordable Care Act. If you were one of these people, you could very well have believed, at least for a little while, that the mandate had been struck down. Jon Stewart does his usual priceless job of describing the confusion here.

One source that got it right the first time was SCOTUSblog. Read this fascinating and suspenseful blow-by-blow description of exactly what happened that morning, what went wrong, what went right, and why. One interesting detail was the Supreme Court’s decision not to email the decision to anyone, but to rely solely on its website for distribution – which promptly crashed.

Tom Goldstein, We’re getting wildly differing assessments, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 7, 2012, 10:04 PM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/07/were-getting-wildly-differing-assessments/


Format Things Correctly and Mind Your Manners, Even on the Web.

Do you ever get sick and tired of the countless formatting rules your professor requires for an assignment?  Have you ever “just turned it in” without checking to make sure you followed or read the directions?  That’s probably not the smartest move.  In fact, it could turn out that you just wasted a lot of your own time.  Here is an example of why it is ALWAYS a good idea to check the formatting requirements for anything you turn in, whether it is to a professor, a journal, or a judge.

Ever notice how people who run websites sometimes engage in cyber fights with the owners of other web sites?  If you said no then you are missing a huge piece of World Wide Web hilarity.  Get started with the recent developments from over at the oatmeal.com.  There is even a legal twist that involves defamation and intellectual property. There is something for everyone!