Assorted Stupidity #146

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  • Seems like it’s not a good sign when the plaintiffs’ attorney vomits into the jury box during trial? I guess this could be interpreted several ways, though. It might mean the lawyer is distressed because the trial isn’t going well. Or, because in this case it happened while the star witness (Elon Musk) was testifying, it might have been a subtle strategy for indicating to the jury what one thinks about the testimony of said witness (although there are more suitable places to vomit). Or it could have been the flu. I guess we’ll never know.
  • This home on Falls Road in Baltimore looks really nice! It has a stone fireplace, a deluxe pantry, huge windows, six bedrooms, five bathrooms, five sovereign citizens, vaulted ceilings … hold on. You know, this is really my dream house, but the five sovereign citizens squatting in it might be kind of a dealbreaker. I guess it’s not so much that they’re in the house, it’s more that they won’t leave because they claim without any evidence to be the rightful owners. Yes, I do love the big backyard and indoor pizza oven, but still. —Bonus points for the Washington Post reporter who wrote: “Police reports detail how the group, which included an infant, attempted to acquire the property,” as if the infant was in on the scheme from the get-go, possibly even the ringleader.
  • Just so you know, California’s wage-and-hour laws do not apply to workers whose jobs take them to the outer continental shelf. Mauia v. Petrochem Insulation, Inc., No. 20-15810 (9th Cir. July 20, 2021) (PDF). This is, of course, pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which both extends U.S. federal law to that area and says state laws apply only if not inconsistent with federal law. 43 U.S.C. § 1331(a)(2)(A). Those working in (or on, or above?) the aforesaid outer continental shelf are covered by federal employment law, so the state law doesn’t apply. You’re welcome.
  • Where exactly is the “outer continental shelf”? Wow, that turns out to be complicated (legally, at least), and if you don’t already know, maybe you shouldn’t be out there anyway? It might actually be cheaper for you to find another job than to pay me to figure this out, but it’s your call. Also, sharks. Again, you’re welcome.
  • I’m sure it’s no coincidence that I just got an email forwarding this item about the guy who washed ashore after a problem with what he calls a “hydro pod” but the Times called “a makeshift human hamster wheel.” He had planned to walk 1,000 miles from Florida to New York via the ocean, but came up about 975 miles short. This is relevant here because (1) it’s ridiculous and (2) the Coast Guard says he may have violated something called a “Captain of the Port Order,” by which said Coast Guard may define the conditions under which a vessel may travel in the relevant Captain of the Port Zone. See 33 C.F.R. § 160.111. The issue seems to be whether his vessel is unsafe or requires an “escort vessel,” which I hope means a much larger human hamster wheel that can rescue him if he gets into trouble. The former Playboy model who is somehow associated with this venture told the Times that the man was “going to have a spear in case there’s a shark,” which is certainly a good idea for someone traveling in a vessel kept afloat by inflatable plastic balls.