Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lawyers are arseholes

It's shit like this that makes everyone think that lawyers are idiots, and that the USA is a country overflowing with spurious lawsuits. Read here about the lawyer trying to claim damages for trousers lost by his dry cleaner. Reasonable, you might say, but the damages that he is seeking are $65 million. He is clearly a prick, and this is the sort of claim that seems to be increasingly common over here.


Blogger Jenny said...

I was once on a jury for a medical malpractice case where a lawyer was representing his 2 year-old son. The son had a genetic brain tumor* and the lawyer father was upset with the pediatric neurosurgeon because she wouldn't prescribe for the boy a non-FDA approved drug. The case was ridiculous because the lawyer prolonged the trial (by putting himself on the bench to testify for two whole days) as well as having a bogus "medical doctor" (who he probably found in the advertisements out of the back of a magazine) come in and to give his opinion, when it's a moot point - doctors are not allowed to prescribe drugs that are not approved by the FDA.

Needless to say, it only took us about 45 minutes to give the verdict that he lost the case. Too bad I had to sit through two weeks of court duty without pay from my employer for something so stupid.

* Do you all spell tumor like us or do you spell it like tumour?

9:14 pm  
Blogger swishfish said...

You're learning the UK ways, as it is tumour.

Yo don't get paid for jury duty? I've not done it but I am sure you do here.

11:46 pm  
Blogger Jenny said...

Um, you do and you don't get paid for jury duty...it's complicated.

It has changed recently (I last did jury duty in 2002 or 2003 - I'm not really sure when, as years become one giant year when you're working in a corporation), but at the time when I served, the US government pays you (I think) something like $15 or 20 a day. How it is now, I think you don't get paid for the first day (from the US government), but every day after the first day that you serve you get like $15 or 20 per day. (And there's a different process wherein you get called to serve involving the telephone.)

Companies, if they're private, are not required to pay you if you do jury duty. Since I was working for a private telecom company, I was SOL. Governmental/Public organizations are required to pay you, but I *think* restrict the number of days that you can be on a jury. It used to be that if you worked for a private company you could argue that it would be a financial hardship for you to serve, but I think that's a no-go anymore, since everyone was claiming financial hardship because no one wants to serve.

I actually wanted to serve the time I was called (I may have been able to argue financial hardship, but it would have been iffy because I don't have any dependents) because a.) that week the rest of my department was out at a tradeshow and b.) I was called to do jury duty in Santa Monica (so being at the beach every day was a plus). I enjoyed the first two days but then the week and a half after that was a serious bummer...being at the beach only mildly helped me not hate it all.

As for the large trial cases that last for the majority of the year or longer (like OJ or MJ - two of my state's more finer trials...CA might be the worst for frivolous and televised lawsuits), it would be a real financial hardship to serve, so I figure they must take something into account with those jurors...which is probably why the jurors all come out with their own books of what it was like to be on the jury. Trying to make up for lost wages!

4:00 am  
Blogger Jenny said...

Oh, and I am getting the hang of British spelling:

You prefer S to Z (as in realise), switch the R and the E (as in centre), and overall prefer to have more letters in a word by adding a U (as in tumour) or keeping double letters (as in travelling). Simple.

But it makes me wonder - do your Scrabble board games come with many more Us than we get here in America? If they don't, I imagine the game would be that much harder. Furthermore, since you're switching out the S for the Z, I imagine it'd be super hard to get rid of that Z tile.

1:44 pm  

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