Assorted Stupidity #144

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  • Firing off nasty emails to other lawyers is generally seen as unprofessional, and firing bullets into their offices even more so. See, e.g., “Lawyer Dispute Escalates From Picture of Cat Playing Violin to Gunfire” (Mar. 30, 2018). You might think the latter would be enough to get someone disbarred, in fact, and you’d generally be right. The shooter in that case was disbarred in the state of Washington, but on April 22 the Oregon Supreme Court decided that a five-year suspension (a long time, but less than one year per bullet) was enough. The court’s opinion noted that, among other mitigating factors, the lawyer was a veteran who suffered from PTSD and he had paid to fix the holes he put in the building.
  • A lawyer for the police officer who shot a 13-year-old boy in the chest while he was raising his hands in the air said it was “amazing and disheartening” that almost no one has asked how his client is doing. “Specifically,” he continued, “there is very little interest in the well-being of the officer and the impact experienced by the officer who was required to use deadly force in the line of duty.” But he said this after the release of body-cam footage that seems to show the officer was not required to use deadly force, which I think might tend to explain the disparity.
  • On Tuesday, April 20, many people in southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts reported what they thought was a small earthquake but turned out to be the latest example of the baffling and thoroughly stupid phenomenon of the “gender reveal stunt.” Police said the man responsible this time is an expectant father who created and set off a device containing 80 pounds of explosives mixed with blue chalk, the blue color apparently being meant to indicate that the child has, or will have, male genitalia. The report did not explain why the man did not simply use words to tell people this fact, or why those people were pretending to care. No injuries were reported this time, but at least five people have died during the past year as a result of similar nonsense.
  • The assistant prosecutor in McDowell County, West Virginia, says this case is the “craziest” his office has ever seen, and I sure hope that’s true. Because this one involved a woman who conspired with her father and sister to kill her boyfriend, apparently so she would be free to marry her father, although they didn’t need to kill the boyfriend to do that and it’s illegal anyway, and after they killed and buried the boyfriend they went back a few days later to dig him up and put a stake through his heart, for reasons that were not explained but presumably involved vampirism and/or crystal meth, and then later the woman and her father got married and moved to Ohio. Not that there’s anything wrong with moving to Ohio, necessarily, but they did do that.
  • Another thing you can’t do is keep money that gets deposited into your account by mistake. Well, you can keep it until the owner claims it, but you can’t spend it as if it were your own money, because it isn’t. We have discussed this before, as you may recall. See God Made That Deposit, Says Couple Who Spent It” (Jan. 27, 2009). The $177,477.50 at issue in that case was not a gift from the Lord, as the defendants claimed, or if it was then the Lord used a bank error as the instrument of His bounty. But that’s probably not what happened, because the bank got the money back. In this more recent case, the amount was $1.2 million, and the instrument was some software at Charles Schwab & Co., but the end result will be pretty much the same. The woman who received the bounty in this case immediately moved it to another account and used some of it to buy a house and an SUV, according to the report—ironically, things she probably won’t even need now, at least for the next few years.