We Hope So, Yes

There’s not much funny about Dellen Millard, but I kind of loled at this.

The Crown was pushing for a consecutive sentence, while Millard’s lawyer, Ravin Pillay, asked for it to be served concurrently.
Pillay said during his sentencing submissions that a third consecutive sentence would be “extraordinarily harsh and excessive.”
“He will die before then,” Pillay said.

Go easy on him, judge. All he did was murder three people.

In the end, the Crown won out. Assuming neither of his other appeals are successful, Millard will be eligible for parole in the year 2088, when he’s a spry 102.

It’s Not My Fault That You’re An Idiot

So here’s a completely garbage road that I hope our courts are smart enough never to go down. If you send a text to a driver and they have an accident, you could be held liable: expert

An insurance and legal expert says texters could be held liable for any damages if they message someone they know is driving and that person has an accident.

“There’s an increasing public safety issue of operators of vehicles who are distracted while driving,” lawyer Jordan Solway said in a recent interview.

“And if you contribute in the same way as if you’re in the vehicle, and you interfere with their driving of the vehicle, you could be held responsible for that injured third party.”
Solway, vice-president of claim at Travelers Canada, pointed to a New Jersey court ruling from 2013 that said the sender of a text who causes a driver to become distracted and have an accident may be held liable.
The case involved an 18-year-old driver’s girlfriend who texted him about 25 seconds before his pickup truck crossed a median and seriously injured a motorcyclist and his wife. Both bikers lost their left legs as a result of the 2009 accident.

Solway said there have been no similar cases in Canada yet, but he believes it’s just a matter of time.
He compares it to what happens when a bar owner or the host of a party has to take responsibility for someone who is drinking, becomes intoxicated and gets into a vehicle.

“It’s analogous _ you’re putting someone in a position where they could cause harm to themselves or a third party,” Solway said.

To quote myself from at least one conversation I’ve had in real life with a wrong person, “it’s exactly like that, except it’s not.”

There’s no breathalyzer or eye test for stupidity like there is for alcohol. I can’t look at my buddy and say “George, you’ve had quite a bit of phone tonight, I think you’re too dumb to drive.” If I text George and it turns out that he’s got all the impulse control of a toddler at a candy dish and can’t wait until he’s in a safe place before he starts dicking around with his electronics, that’s nobody’s fault but his own. Saying that I’m responsible for George’s texting accident would be like saying it’s Justin Bieber’s fault that his song was so shitty that it made George take his eyes off the road and play with the radio, or that it’s the radio station’s fault for playing it when they knew he might be listening. That’s just goddamn ridiculous, and any judge who rules otherwise should be immediately fired and then committed.

If This Isn’t Where The Term Criminal Court Came From, It Maybe Should Have Been

I’d have to go back and check to be absolutely sure, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that this, by far, is the oldest Master Criminals story we’ve ever featured here. It dates all the way back to 1725 and involves two robbers taking each other to court for fraud after their partnership went south.

How the case even ended up in court at all is unclear, although one account claims that it was, in fact, Williams who made the first move: After a quarrel over the value of a gold watch they had acquired in a recent robbery, Williams sued Everet for £200. When Everet failed to show up to court (perhaps understandably, given the true nature of their business, although Everet would claim he was in prison), the action against him went undefended, and Williams won not only the case but Everet’s share of the spoils as well. In response, Everet—presumably aggrieved that Williams had won the case—then raised his own case against Williams. He took the unusual step of hiring a pair of solicitors, William Wreathock and William White, to represent him. Wreathock and White, in turn, hired legal counsel, a barrister by the name of Jonathan Collins, who drew up an official complaint and took the highwaymen’s case to the Court of Exchequer.

The bill Collins compiled—which requested that Williams account for the value of the goods in question, and repay any money owed to the plaintiff—is a masterclass in legalese. At no point are the criminal aspects of Everet and Williams’s business alluded to, and instead Collins merely wrote that:
“… pursuant to the said agreement, [Everet] and the said Joseph Williams went on and proceeded jointly in the said dealing with great success on Hounslow Heath, where they dealt with a gentleman for a gold watch … [Williams informed Everet that] Finchley was a good and convenient place to deal in, and so they dealt there with several gentlemen or divers watches, rings, swords, canes, hats, cloaks, horses, bridles and other things to the value of £200 and upwards.”

Yes, lawyers were already shifty in the early 18th century. Thankfully that tendency had not yet spread to judges, and the one presiding over this case was not having any of it. He not only dismissed it, but he also ordered that lawyers Wreathock and White be arrested and charged with contempt, and that barrister Collins pay every cent of the costs associated with the case from his own pocket.

As for Everet and Williams, they both wound up arrested and hanged a few years later, an outcome aided in no small part by police knowing what they did and where they did it thanks to the lawsuit.

And because some folks never learn or because leopards don’t change their spots or because whatever expression you want to use, William Wreathock wasn’t done getting himself into trouble. Five years after this case finished up, he himself was convicted of robbery and run out of town, or “sentenced to transportation” as I was surprised to learn that they called it back then.

If You Don’t Open Your Mouth To Say Stupid Things, No One Will Knock Out Your Tooth

Manhattan idiot David Kupferstein, 36, is suing a strip club for nearly $1 million over a missing tooth caused by his inability to keep his fool mouth shut.

David Kupferstein, 36, stopped with pals at the Hustler Club in March 2015 when one of the dancers chatted up the group.
“She kept on talking to me,” he recalled. “She kept on having drinks with us. Some of my friends were throwing money at her. She told me all about herself and her family and her children . . . and how they were f–king up with the police.
“I said, ‘It sounds like you are a bad mother.’
He added, “ I guess she didn’t like it.”
The dancer punched Kupferstein as he was sipping his drink, knocking out his left front tooth in the process, he charges in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit against the Midtown West jiggle joint.
“Within seconds, three or four bouncers surround me, escorting me out,” he said. “They bring me to the front. After a couple of minutes they found my tooth on the floor and brought it back to me.”

He said that club management had initially agreed to pay for any dental bills, but later changed their minds likely after realizing hey, fuck that guy.

Kupferstein, who the story notes is single, says that he’s suing because he expects to endure years of expensive dental work in addition to what he’s already gone through and wants the club to be held accountable.

But what about his own accountability?

In his interview, he did leave some room on his shoulders for blame while also being sure not to quit sounding dumb, since that seems to be kind of what he does.

“I guess it is sort of insulting to tell a woman she is a bad mother,” he said. “I felt we had that kind of rapport.”

Dave. Buddy. Come on. You’re 36. That should be plenty old enough to know that the answer to “do this strange, naked woman I just met and I have the kind of rapport that would allow me to gravely insult her and get away with it is pretty much always no.

Mr. Wrong

Assuming that everything Eugene Wright says is true, this is all kinds of messed up and I’d hate to be the person tasked with defending against his recently filed lawsuit. It’s frightening to think that even though these sorts of things don’t happen on the regular, it wouldn’t take all that much laziness and irresponsibility or that many unhappy coincidences for him to be any of us.

The suit claims Wright has the same name as a different Eugene Wright who had been at an orthopedic physician’s office around 10 a.m. June 15, 2017, and made threats to hurt himself and others.
The suit alleges on June 15, 2017, at about 1:45 p.m., Wright was walking outside his home to his vehicle, when he saw two Meadville Police Department officers and Robin Dowling, executive director of Stairways Behavioral Health, standing beside his vehicle.
The suit claims one of the officers then told Wright of the office incident. Wright said they were mistaken because he had been working his job as a customer service representative at Advance Auto Parts of Meadville at the time of the office incident, according to the suit.
Wright asked the police officers and Dowling to call the auto parts store to verify Wright had been at work that morning, but they refused, the suit says.
Wright then was handcuffed, but Wright repeatedly told police they had the wrong person and repeatedly requested he be able to show his identification and Social Security card to prove it, according to the suit.
The suit claims after arriving at the hospital, the hospital staff didn’t check Wright’s identification even though Wright previously was a patient at Meadville Medical Center. The hospital had medical records with Wright’s correct identification information, according to the suit.
The suit says a doctor then ordered Wright be injected with a chemical sedation of intramuscular Haldol and Ativan. Haldol is an anti-psychotic medication, and Ativan is benzodiazepam used to treat anxiety disorders.
Wright told the nurse he didn’t want to be injected with drugs and repeatedly said the wrong person was at the hospital, the suit claims.
One of the police officers then told Wright if he didn’t agree to receive the shots, officers would hold Wright down so the nurse could inject him, the suit said.
Wright didn’t want to be held down by police but was given no choice in the matter, so he eventually permitted the nurse to administer him the two shots, the suit states. The drugs Wright was given were against his will and ordered for the specifications of the wrong individual, the suit claims.
After that, according to the suit, “things were starting to get pretty fuzzy” for Wright.

Eventually officials were convinced by his daughter that maybe they ought to make sure they had the right Wright before things got any further out of hand. It was quickly determined that nobody had bothered to verify addresses or medical records or literally anything at all, and that Mr. Wright had indeed been wronged. He was then released and apologies were made. And what generous apologies they were.

The suit says the hospital later apologized to Wright and gave him a $50 gift card for Montana’s Rib and Chop House. The suit says the following day Stairways Behavioral representatives went to Wright’s home to apologize and give Wright a $25 Wal-Mart gift card.

His “sorry we kidnapped you and recklessly shot you full of drugs” edible arrangement should be arriving any day now.

The suit names the Meadville Medical Center, the entire Meadville Police Department, two specific officers identified only as John and Jack Doe, police Chief Michael Tautin and Stairways Behavioral Health as defendants. Nothing I’ve read lists an amount for damages. Also unreported is whether or not Wright has or intends to use his gift certificates, something I’m quite curious to find out.

Lawyer Lawyer Pants On Fire

Something tells me Stephen Gutierrez is going to have a hard time living this one down.

A Miami defense lawyer’s pants burst into flames Wednesday afternoon as he began his closing arguments in front of a jury — in an arson case.
Stephen Gutierrez, who was arguing that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and was not intentionally set on fire, had been fiddling in his pocket as he was about to address jurors when smoke began billowing out his right pocket, witnesses told the Miami Herald.

He rushed out of the Miami courtroom, leaving spectators stunned. After jurors were ushered out, Gutierrez returned unharmed, with a singed pocket, and insisted it wasn’t a staged defense demonstration gone wrong, observers said.

Instead, Gutierrez blamed a faulty battery in an e-cigarette, witnesses told the Miami Herald.

If it was a stunt, it wasn’t a very good one. The Jury convicted his client, Claudy Charles, of second-degree arson in connection with the burning of his own car. Why he was burning his own car was not reported.

Chop, Steele, Cook, Get Sued

Unless this is a case of me not doing my damn job, the geniuses who brought you Chop and Steele and Chef Keith really are being sued by Gray Television, essentially because they were made to look bad when one of their television stations didn’t do *its* damn job. Help them out if you can. Nothing they did here is against the law, and we really do deserve better from our media. Yes, even the shitty ass morning show part of it.

Hi, we’re Joe and Nick from the Found Footage Festival and we need your help.  Last November and again in January, we appeared on local morning news shows as a strongman duo called Chop & Steele . We lifted cinder blocks, chopped sticks in half with our bare hands, and crushed baskets with our feet. And in March, we posted short snippets from some of these segments online, hoping to entertain and make a point about how easy it is to get on certain news programs who aren’t doing basic fact checking. Then on April 13th, we found out in the New York Post that the parent company of one of the news stations, Gray Television, had filed a lawsuit against us in federal court, claiming copyright infringement, fraud, and conspiracy.

These claims are totally baseless and we’ve secured a great lawyer, Anderson Duff (that’s his real name!), who’s working well below his rate to take on these corporate bullies who are trying to suppress our criticism of the news. But even at discount rates, our legal bills are piling up and are expected to reach $100,000 by the end of the trial. We are confident we will win this important First Amendment case but we are suddenly faced with a very real possibility that we’ll bankrupt ourselves in the process. In order to continue doing what we do and secure the future of the Found Footage Festival, we need to raise $80,000.

If you’ve enjoyed our live show or our news pranks or even How to Have Cybersex on the Internet , please chip in what you can. If we meet our goal, we promise to continue serving up the most unintentionally funny videos ever committed to VHS and calling out lazy news stations whenever possible. Maybe in the form of incompetent cat trainers, we’ll see.

Lol Im Suin Ur Ass 4 Teh Movie

On one hand,I have a feeling Brandon Vezmar might be a little bit nuts. But on the other, I’m totally on board with the logic behind suing a failed date for $17.31 for the cost of a movie ticket and pizza because she chose texting over the date you paid for. Seriously, if you can’t put your damn phone down for even the time it takes to watch a movie in public, there’s something the matter with you.

Brandon Vezmar, 37, met the woman, 35, on Bumble, a dating app and went with her on a first date to see Guardians of the Galaxy on May 6, according to the American-Statesman. Vezmar said that the woman began texting in the first 15 minutes and continued after he requested that she stop. When he asked her to take it outside, she did so and then left the theatre, leaving him without a ride as they had arrived together in her car.
“It was kind of a first date from hell,” Vezmar told the American-Statesman. His claim stated that the woman “activated her phone 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.”
“I’ve seen people get kicked out of movies for this,” he said.

Vezmar’s claim alleged that the texting was a “direct violation of the theater’s policy” and that by texting, Vezmar’s date “adversely” affected both his experience and that of other movie patrons.
“While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behavior is a threat to civilized society,” the suit said.

As for her side of the story, she says she doesn’t have to pay him because he took her out on a date and that it wasn’t twenty times, it was three.

“I had my phone low and I wasn’t bothering anybody,” she said.


She also says she plans to file for an order of protection against Vezmar because he’s been bothering her sister about it (see nuts, probably).

“This is crazy. He has escalated the situation far past what any mentally healthy person would. I feel sorry that I hurt his feelings badly enough that he felt he needed to commit so much time and effort into seeking revenge. I hope one day he can move past this and find peace in his life,” she said in a statement to the media.

Maybe try giving him his 18 bucks back?

Next, Maybe Try Fabricating Some Morals

Generally speaking, I have a lot of faith in the Canadian and American legal systems. But let me tell you, if it weren’t for these Appeals Court judges slow roasting this here lawyer for arguing, for 16 years it should be noted, that social workers in Orange County, California, had no idea and could not have possibly known that it might be legally wrong to invent witnesses, hide unfavourable evidence and falsify records in order to get a judge to rule that a woman’s daughters be taken away from her and that even if they didn’t know that it should be a-ok because they’re government employees, I’d be questioning that faith pretty hardcore right now. This is completely insane and should be the kind of thing that gets an entire firm permanently disbarred and everyone responsible for authorizing even one payment at taxpayer expense fired and a half, however that would work.

In short, judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland were not amused. They affirmed Staton’s decision.
But to grasp the ridiculousness of the government’s stance, read key, Oct. 7, 2016 exchanges between the panel and Pancy Lin, a partner at Lynberg & Watkins.
Trott: How in the world could a person in the shoes of your clients possibly believe that it was appropriate to use perjury and false evidence in order to impair somebody’s liberty interest in the care, custody and control of that person’s children? How could they possibly not be on notice that you can’t do this?
Lin: I understand.
Trott: How could that possibly be?
Lin: I understand the argument that it seems to be common sense in our ethical, moral . . .
Trott: It’s more than common sense. It’s statutes that prohibit perjury and submission of false evidence in court cases.
Lin: State statutes.
Trott: Are you telling me that a person in your client’s shoes couldn’t understand you can’t commit perjury in a court proceeding in order to take somebody’s children away?
Lin: Of course not, your honor.
Trott: Of course not!
Owens: Isn’t the case over then?
Trott: The case is over.
Lin: Thus far we have not been presented with a clearly established right that tells us what our clients did which was remove the children pursuant to a court order . . .
Friedland: The issue here is committing perjury in a court to take away somebody’s children and you just said that’s obviously not okay to do.
Lin: According to our moral compass and our ethical guidelines, but we’re here to decide the constitutionality of it and we look to the courts to tell us.
Trott: You mean to tell us due process is consistent with a government official submitting perjured testimony and false evidence? How is that consistent? I mean I hate to get pumped up about this but I’m just staggered by the claim that people in the shoes of your clients wouldn’t be on notice that you can’t use perjury and false evidence to take away somebody’s children. That to me is mind boggling.
Lin: In criminal proceedings we know this to be true because . . .
Trott: No, no! It’s a court proceeding with a liberty interest, a fundamental liberty interest at stake.
Lin: And on the reverse side . . .
Trott: And you’re telling us that these officials [weren’t] on notice that you can’t commit perjury and put in false evidence?
Lin: I understand broadly the principle that common sense tells us that lying is wrong and lying to . . .
Trott: Yeah, but it’s more than common sense. We’re using statutes against this kind of behavior.
Lin: I, uh, I don’t. I was not presented [sic]. I have not been seen [sic] any federal law or case law or law that tells me that in this situation that we were faced in that, which is what we have to look at . . .
Trott: Well, say your clients hired six people to be actors and to go into court and to say, ‘We’re neighbors and we saw all this terrible stuff.’ And then your client presented those witnesses in court. You’re telling me that they would have no reason to believe that you can’t do that because there was no federal case that says you can’t bring actors into court to swear falsely against somebody?
Lin: But again here we’re appealing to a sort of broader definition of what is a clearly established right. I mean we have to find the clearly established right in the context our, um, social workers were presented with, which was they were faced with a court order.
Trott: Again, I cannot even believe for a micro-second that a social worker wouldn’t understand that you can’t lie and put in false evidence!
Owens: Let me ask the question a different way. Is there anything you know of that told social workers that they should lie and that they should create false evidence in a court proceeding?
Lin: No, and, of course, that is, uh, we contend that is not what happened here.

There is, as should be expected, an ongoing multi-million dollar civil case, and while I feel somewhat for the residents of the county who are going to get stuck with the bill when the officials lose, christ do I ever want to see the government and everyone else responsible for this get their clocks cleaned here. Just complete scumbaggery all around.