Legal Tool of the Week

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If you think the "Legal Tool of the Week" might be, let's say, Westlaw or some new iPhone app, you are at the wrong website.

In fact, it is William Ogletree, a 62-year-old Texas attorney who is the owner of one "expensive black leather coat . . . made by Polo, size X-Large, [with] a plaid lining."  Or at least he was the owner of one of those, until he left it in a food court at Houston Intercontinental Airport on December 30, 2009.  Said coat now esta desaparecido.

In a letter obtained and posted by The Smoking Gun, Ogletree threatened litigation if one or more of the relevant entities did not either produce the coat or pay him $800 for the cost of a new coat.  "I have diligently attempted but failed to determine which of the above-addressed entities is responsible for the area and who should have collected the coat, kept it in a secure place and held it for a reasonable period of time for the owner to locate it," Ogletree wrote in a letter to Continental Airlines, the food court operator and the City of Houston.  "I contend that one or more of the parties breached their duty under the bailment laws of the State of Texas and could be responsible for intentional conduct and how they manage lost and found items for which they are responsible. . . . I am looking forward to discovering how all of you deal with lost property . . . I suspect your record is dismal and that employee theft runs rampant."

Ogletree stated that he had eaten at a pizza restaurant in the aforementioned food court on the day of the alleged bailment violation.  He believed the name of the restaurant was "Famiglia," but he said he was more than willing to come to the airport and identify the restaurant and the person who waited on him.  "I remember her very well," he said, "due to how badly she treated me."  He was also quite upset that none of the above-addressed entities had been willing to take responsibility for the tragic events of December 30, and stated his readiness to take the matter to court.  "To avoid this, all of the three entities need to come to an agreement on which party is responsible," Ogletree wrote.

I don't think it should be difficult to come to an agreement on which party is responsible, but I don't think Bill is going to like the answer we agree on.

Link: The Smoking Gun