Legal Humour Blog


August 2014

Walmart Time

Aug 10, 2014 8:40 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    A Kristopher Oswald working at a Walmart near Detroit noticed a man harassing a women in the parking lot. He ran out to rescue the woman and for his efforts Walmart fired him. Reason: He  "violated company policy."

    What is it with these guys? Just what is company policy? If the employee sees a victim getting assaulted in the parking lot, what is he supposed to do? Join in and throw few kicks and punches?   What inspired their crass policy?  Sodom and Gomorrah?

    Not to be outdone, a mother of an 8 month old daughter and 5 year old son took photos of the backs of her kids, naked, as they were about to go into the bath. She also had a photo or two of her daughter clutching an empty beer bottle. She left them at Walmart in Gander, Newfoundlland to be developed and when she came to pick them up, the manager was summoned and told her she could not leave the premises with those pictures as they were "inappropriate" They violated a Walmart policy in that they depicted images of "child abuse" and "minors engaged in explicitly sexual situations".

    Mother left without those offending pictures. I think she could readily have beaten up the store manager and gotten away with it. We know store employees would not intervene.

    It is a mad mad world.

    From Michigan and Newfoundland we go to Rome. Remember Francesco Schettino? He was the former captain of the ill fated Costa Concordia, which through his negligence ran aground and sank . He is on trial for multiple counts of manslaughter.

    Well the captain was invited to La Sapienza University in Rome to give a lecture on "how to react in panic situations".  He addressed students at a class in forensic psychiatry.

    You will recall he survived the disaster as he fortuitously ended up in a lifeboat ahead of his passengers when he allegedly tripped and fell overboard.  He stated to the media that he considers himself an expert in dealing with situations of panic.  It makes me wonder about the sanity of the university faculty for even inviting Francesco.  Just what could this guy have told his audience?  "In a catastrophic situation, take it easy. Don't panic. Remember, you're stronger than those women and children."

    I can see a future for this guy. I'm sure he can get a job as a crisis manager at Walmart.

I practice as a sole practitioner, personal injury and family law and divorce. Please visit striglaw.com. My policies are not as complicated as Walmart's. Any problems, just see me.


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Laughter, Crying and Making Money

Aug 5, 2014 9:34 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    Let us start with laughter. Or rather if you are a woman, perhaps you should not read on, at least according to Bulent Arincs, the Deputy Prime Minister in Turkey. He said recently that women to be honourable, should not laugh out loud in public.  I hope this man’s looney tunes notion does not become law.  If it does I can just imagine the government hiring plainclothes officers to corner women in public and try to get them to laugh.  

    “Hey lady, Why did the chicken cross the road?”

    It could get worse. They can ultimately start arresting men, like Johns, for making women laugh.

    “Your Honour, while on patrol I saw the accused Ozgur Andovan pull up in his car and motion for the woman to approach. As she did, he said to her, “Knock knock.” The lady responded, “Who’s there?”  Before the accused could deliver the punch line the lady broke out in laughter.  I immediately arrested the man.”

    I guess laughter may not be considered the best medicine in Turkey.

    I am going to have difficulty talking about this next news item. A gentleman in Birmingham Alabama went into the Princeton Baptist Hospital for a circumcision. You might guess where this is going.  Most unfortunately the doctors amputated his penis.

    How could this happen? The man is of course suing and amazingly the hospital is denying liability claiming that, “The action is not meritorious and will be vigorously defended.”

    What can their defence possibly be? Consent? The plaintiff just lay on the table and announced,  “Never mind just the foreskin; I’ll have the full Monty.”  Give me a break.

    From laughing women and crying men, we go to fortunate hockey players. I am talking about  P.K. Subban, the Habs’ superstar defenceman, who just before an arbitration hearing settled his contract dispute.  The pre settlement news story read, “P.K. Subban/ Montreal Canadians 3 million dollars apart. “  

    The Habs had offered $5.25 million/ year and P.K. was demanding $8.5 million.  Subban  called the offer “low ball”.  The gap was actually $3.25 million but at these figures what’s $250.000?

    I have started doing mediations and quite frankly I would have had difficulty tyring to mediate this one.  I mean, what do you say:

    “You’re only $3 million plus apart but this case should settle. It is better to take control of the process rather than cast your fate to the whims of an arbitrator, who might be working part time at Tim Hortons.”

    I suppose if the gap gets shorter, we could throw in, “And the Habs will pay the cost of the mediation.”  That usually clinches the settlement.    

    The deal by the way was $72 million over eight years.  That’s $109,756 per game.  We’ll never know how an arbitrator would have ruled.    

    P.K. will certainly be laughing in public.


     I practice civil litigation/ personal injury and family law.  Please visit www.striglaw.com . I don't think I would take on a case like that medical malpractice one in Alabama. Sorry.





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July 2014

Three Certainties: Death, Taxes and... Litigation

Jul 27, 2014 12:05 PM
Marcel Strigberger

   A family in California is suing Six Flags amusement park for injuries suffered when the roller coaster, "Ninja" partially derailed as a result of a tree branch landing on the tracks.

    I know diddly about technical matters but it does not take Einstein to figure our that one should not allow a roller coaster track to run through a forest.

    What amazes me more is the apparent litigation culture in the U.S. especially California. The accident just happened on July 7th and already there is an action underway.  That's less 3 weeks ago! Don’t parties negotiate anymore?  It would not surprise me if it will get to the point where lawyers will issue their claims in anticipation of an accident:

        "5. The plaintiff pleads that she will be taking a ride on the Ninja next Wednesday, when she will get struck by a falling tree."

    To say some folks can be overly zealous in their desire to litigate, may be an understatement.  In Newport, Delaware, one Nigel Sykes tried to rob at gunpoint, a Seasons Pizza store. A handful of employees tackled the guy and in the struggle the gun actually went off. When police came he had not yet settled down so they tasered him.  Sykes, now in jail, is suing Seasons Pizza and the police for $250,000 for damages.

    He suggests they were not too gentle with him.  What did he expect? A free mushroom and pepperoni? Or maybe he believes there is some store guaranty in responding to orders in a timely fashion.  If the pizza store does not hand over all their money to him within 30 minutes, he gets it free.

    Saving the best for last, on July 25th 1917,  97 years ago, Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden introduced this country to income tax. The funny thing is Sir Robert told the public this tax would only be a "temporary measure". I imagine on that day Sir Robert tried hard to contain himself.  When got back to his residence at 24 Sussex Drive, he shut the front door and for about 10 minutes he rolled around on the floor with uncontrollable belly laughter.

    This comment about "temporary measures" is even more amusing than that action commenced by Nigel Sykes.

I practice personal injury/insurance law and family law. Please visit www.striglaw.com.  I go the extra kilometre. That is a 4th certainty.


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Water and Watermelon

Jul 21, 2014 10:13 PM
Marcel Strigberger

       Some organisations are a pleasure to work for. Others are not. Chicago's WaterSaver Faucet company is a not.  They have instituted a policy whereby employees using the washroom more than a total of 1 hour per 10 days can get disciplined. This is about 6 minutes a day in the can.  Nineteen workers were disciplined in June, receiving warnings. Strike 2 is suspension and strike 3 termination.

       I would love to see a wrongful dismissal trial down the road, on this one.

       Cross examination of employer:

    LAWYER-    Sir, did the plaintiff embezzle your company?

    WITNESS-   No sir.

    LAWYER-    Did he assault or abuse any of the staff?

    WITNESS-    No sir, not at all.

    LAWYER-    Sir, what was the reason he was let go?

    WITNESS-    Well, during a 10 day period, he spent an average of 7 minutes daily in the washroom...Here are the dockets.

    However, the company isn't all evil. It hands out $20 gift cards if during one month an employee does not use the facilities at all.  Isn't that magnanimous!  I would hate to be in the same room for too long with the employee who comes in to claim this prize.  I would look for the ark.

    Speaking of jails, the police in  Bantam, Connecticut must have very little to do.  One Carmine Cerevellino  got into an argument with his significant other during which he stabbed a watermelon.  All hell broke loose as she called the police who arrived and charged him with threatening and disorderly  conduct.  The girlfriend complained that he stabbed the watermelon in a "passive-aggressive manner".

    To me this makes Carmine come across like the owner of the Bates Motel. Psycho! Maybe in fact there was more to the story than that. Just maybe the watermelon was minding its own business taking a shower. Suddenly Carmine Cerevellino  arrived out of nowhere and jumped like a madman into the shower with his knife, and proceeded to serially stab the hapless melon.  Now that would merit a good 911 call.

    I invite you to visit my practice website, www.striglaw.com , while enjoying your water or watermelon this fine summer day.



Marcel's Musings, zero tolerance   1 Comment

In the Ballpark

Jul 14, 2014 10:26 PM
Marcel Strigberger

    The lawsuit of the month so far has to be the action commenced by Andrew Robert Rector, the 26 year old Yankee fan who fell asleep at a ball game at Yankee Stadium, watching a match against the Red Sox. The media camera caught him snoozing and this did not sit well with Rector.  He is suing  ESPN, Major League Baseball and the Yankees for $10 million. He claims  he suffered "substantial injury" to his "character and reputation" and "mental anguish, loss of future income and loss of earning capacity."

    This adds a new dimension to the song, "Take Me Out to the Ball game."  The lyrics in future might just read,

        Take me out to the ball game,
        Take me out with the crowd;
        Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, and give me 10 million dollars."

    I am sure for 10 million he would not care if he never comes back.

    My concern is for the defendants. Will their insurance cover this type of claim?  There may just be an exclusion reading:

        "This policy does not cover claims for damages arising out of:

           ....23 m) acts of war, riots, or fans falling asleep."

    My bigger concern is that there may actually be a lawyer in New York who is taking on this case. I would guess his process server will be asking for a deposit retainer up front.

    And while we're in the ballpark, July 11th,1914, 100 years ago , Babe Ruth played his first major league game, wearing a Red Sox uniform.  I wonder if Mr Rector had  been there, he would have fallen asleep.


     Please also visit my civil litigation practice site, www.striglaw.com .  It'll be my pleasure to chat with anyone about personal injury, family law or baseball.



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The Midwest Book Review has referred to Marcel Strigberger as "an irrepressible humorist with a story teller’s flair for spinning a yarn with true (and hysterically funny) insights into the basics of human nature".

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