Assorted Stupidity #158

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  • Scottish officials have confirmed that Nicholas Rossi, long wanted in the U.S. for a variety of crimes, will be extradited. As you may recall, Rossi once faked his own death to escape prosecution, and after being located in Scotland he started insisting he is an Irish orphan named “Arthur Knight,” a claim that some found less than credible. See, e.g., “Suspect Claiming Mistaken Identity Says Someone Tattooed Him Without His Knowledge” (Nov. 14, 2022). A court finally rejected the claim in August, and the government cleared the way for his extradition earlier this month.
  • A judge in Oklahoma could lose her job after it came to light that she had been texting and scrolling through social media during much of a murder trial over which she was presiding. It wasn’t just the number of texts she sent (over 500, all to the same person) but also their less-than-respectful content. “Why does he have baby hands?” she asked about the prosecutor. The judge also speculated that one juror was wearing a wig and that one witness had no teeth. The chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court has recommended that she be removed from the bench, so that’s probably how that’ll come out.
  • “A British Columbia man … claims he walked naked out of his shower to find a female uniformed Mountie standing in his bedroom” could be the beginning of a scene in a certain type of movie, except for the phrase I left out of the quote: “who is suing the RCMP[.]” The plaintiff says he was “shocked, confused, and embarrassed” by the sudden Mountie encounter and was later angered to learn they were joking about it down at the station. There might be something to this, because police claimed they entered his home after the door “flung open” when they knocked on it and they then felt obligated to make sure no one was injured inside. Since they were there to serve him with a traffic ticket, that seems especially unlikely.
  • An attorney isn’t allowed to “rummage” through a litigation opponent’s Dropbox account, a judge ruled earlier this month, ordering the Robins Kaplan firm to return documents it took from the account and to pay $156,000 in sanctions. A third-party vendor accidentally disclosed the link in discovery, and a Robins Kaplan lawyer then disclosed the week-long rummaging in a letter to the opponent, threatening to use some of what it found if the opponent didn’t dismiss the lawsuit. The court held the rummaging was improper and that the later attempt to “weaponize” the information made things worse. The firm says it will appeal the sanction. Sorry, it says it “looks forward” to appealing the sanction, so that must mean it has a really good argument.
  • A Texas man was arrested in August after his missing wife’s body was found in a black duffle bag. The man had filed a missing-person report and reported a black duffle bag missing from the couple’s apartment, presumably opining that his wife had left of her own accord. But he seems to have undermined that theory by telling investigators that he had been arrested for, in his words, “losing his wife’s body and not hiding the body very well.” As I have advised before, you should keep your mouth shut if you get arrested, but if you do speak, please make some sort of amusing confession.
  • People magazine reports that celebrity convicts Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos, fraud, 11 years) and Jen Shah (Real Housewives of Salt Lake, fraud, six years) have become friends in the federal prison camp they now share. This is based, however, on the testimony of Shah’s publicist, so who knows. “They’re both rehabilitating and have bonded over being on this journey of positive change,” the publicist said, which I guess is a publicist’s way of describing a stint in federal prison for fraud. The publicist also claimed that Shah (said to teach a fitness class called “Sha-mazing Abs”) is learning to be “a better person,” which I guess is a publicist’s way of saying “someone who doesn’t conspire to defraud the elderly.”