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02 September 2010 14:39
Summer is gone, everyone's dragging their sorry asses back to the misery of the legal treadmill again. So to jolly you through the next few days of hard work and tedious conversations about where you went on your holidays, here's some semi-exciting stories from the legal world which you really wouldn't want to miss out on.

Whale of a time

Suzanne and Todd Connell, of New Hampshire are suing SeaWorld claiming that their 10-year old son was traumatised by the death of Dawn Brancheau, the trainer of killer whale Tilikum in February of this year.

Brancheau was dragged around by the hair before being drowned, which is - fair enough - not exactly what you expect to see when you pay for a lovely family day out in Florida. But then again might be exactly what you expect if you keep a killer whale (it's all in the name) in a tank the relative size of a bathtub and make it dance around for overfed tourists every day.

SeaWorld has already been stung with a $75,000 fine resulting from the incident. And with the family threatening to appear "immediately" on Oprah, America's favourite heartstrink plucking sofa fodder - it looks like things could get a whole lot worse.

Bad romance

Some weeks ago, The Source brought you details of a comicbook being made of the life story of everyone's favourite American stateswoman, Sarah "Moose killer"Palin. Well, it looks like a couple of other members of the US aristocracy - Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber (who? Ed.) are shortly to be similarly enobled - although both seem pretty unhappy about it. And have appointed Kenneth Feinswog - who has lost similar cases on behalf of New Kids on the Block and Motley Crue (although obviously in a different millennium)



Unfortunately, it looks like Feinswog's track record may well count against his clients. It has previously been held that comicbooks enjoy the same first amendment rights as any unauthorised biography.


Naked judge of the week

On the whole, judges are a quiet bunch, content to while away their autumn years opining on the odd low-value commercial dispute, or sleeping off a heavy lunch with a quick directions hearing. So it's always a surprise when a story such as this reaches The Source.

Lori Douglas, associate chief justice in Manitoba has temporarily stepped down from her role when pictures of her involved in...ummm...extreme sexual pursuits were released as part of a complaint to the Candian Judicial Council.

The complaint has been made by one Alexander Chapman, who claims Douglas' husband (Jack King, Chapman's lawyer in his divorce) tried to get him to have sex with Douglas in 2003. The honey trap was baited by some 30 snaps (sadly no longer available on the internet - but we're not brave enough to surf over to darkcavern.com anyway) of the judge engaged in various acts too naughty for delicate RoF ears. Long story short, the client "wanted to puke", King quit his firm, Douglas has stood down. And Chapman is now suing the husband for $10 million, the sexy wife for $7 million and the firm - Thompson Dorfman Sweatman (which sounds a bit suggestive anyway) - for $50 million.



  

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