As students in law school, we tire of reading endless cases, each one with a different rule which needs to be memorized for a final or a midterm. Ironically, the real world of law does not always produce cases with legally significant rules of law, but more often produces cases of humor or oddity. The following are such cases happening not only in the United States, but in the rest of the world as well. Enjoy!
When game programmer Markus Persson (creator of the game Minecraft) attempted to trademark his newest computer game “Scrolls,” his efforts were met with a cease and desist letter from fellow software developer Bethseda Softworks demanding that they change the name of their new game. Bethseda stated that the use of “Scrolls” infringed on their trademark for the game “Elder Scrolls.” Instead of resolving this matter in court, Persson suggested that the two companies settle the dispute by playing a “winner take all” round of Quake 3. If Bethseda won, Persson agreed tochange the name of his company’s new game, if Persson won, the name would remain “Scrolls,” and Bethseda would have to drop the law suit. For more on this story visit http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2011/08/18/minecraft-creator-challenges-bethseda-to-duel-to-settle-lawsuit/.
In the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, there has been an issue with drivers parking their luxury cars in the bike lanes instead of in legal parking spots. Instead of ticketing those vehicles, or having them towed, the mayor of Vilnius had another idea. In an attempt to make a statement, the mayor drove an armored tank over a Mercedes that was parked in the bike lane. While the Mercedes had been staged for the publicity stunt, the mayor hopes that the act will scare drivers into parking in legal parking zones. For more on this story visit http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0802/breaking18.html.
In the Boston area, Sal Esposito, a cat, was called to jury duty. The owners of the cat, Mr. and Mrs. Esposito, had written Sal’s name under the “pets” section of the last census which seems to be how the court house acquired Sal’s name in the first place. Sal was unable to get out of jury duty until Mr. and Mrs. Esponsito got a letter from Sal’s veterinarian and sent it to the court house. (http://yourlife.usatoday.com/pets/pawprintpost/post/2010/01/Jury-of-his-peers-Cat-gets-called-to-duty/14512/1)
In Seattle, Washington, a convict, Edward Russell, escaped from prison and was on the run for approximately one day before bad luck caught up to him. He knocked on a cabin door in hopes of using a phone to call for help, only to find that the person who opened the door was an off-duty guard. Can the situation get any worse? Yes! The off-duty guard was from the prison that Russell had escaped from. Russell was caught a few hours later and returned to prison. For more on this story visit, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/prison-escapee-caught_n_878917.html#s270483&title=Dumb_Crime_Masterminds.
In the state of Washington, a motorcycle rider outran the police who had attempted to pull him over. After successfully outrunning the police, the rider bragged about the incident on Facebook. He even went as far as to post a picture of the motorcycle he rode to make his getaway. The police found the rider and arrested him in his home. The charges: reckless driving and other infractions. For more on this story visit http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/29/3868728/sheriff-facebook-boast-leads-to.html.
The Miami International Airport discovered a man who attempted to get through security with seven snakes and three tortoises stuffed in his pants. The animals, which had been placed in nylon bags before being placed down the man’s pants, were discovered when he went through a body scanner. The man was arrested for violating animal trafficking laws. For more on this story visit http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/31/us-snakes-plane-idUSTRE77U3U920110831.