This week on Weird and Wacky Wednesdays, we look at what can happen when Star Wars Day goes horribly awry. Then, we examine the case of a Florida lawyer who came up with a creative way to spread the word about pandemic danger. Finally, we examine a complaint about a conflict of interest that was actually really just a dispute over a parking stall.
Follow the jump to learn more about this week’s weirdest and wackiest legal cases from around the globe.
This Isn’t ACTUALLY Star Wars
For people with a sense of humour and who love science fiction, May 4th is a day of punny celebration known as Star Wars Day. This is because if you say “May the 4th be with you” it sounds just like “May the Force be with you.” It’s silly, but harmless fun.
Well, one Lethbridge restaurant theme after the Star Wars franchise decided to celebrate the fictional Star Wars Day holiday by having an event where their servers dressed in costume and played the Star Wars music in the parking lot. It all sounds like a really fun time if you’re really into that.
Unfortunately, apparently Lethbridge police officers had never seen nor heard of Star Wars. They saw one of the servers, dressed as a Stormtrooper and carrying a toy blaster gun, in the parking lot and decided that the best way to intervene was to tackle her to the ground after she was physically incapable of getting on the ground in the costume.
I mean, I know that we’re in a pandemic and things are very serious all the time, but when did we stop being able to have a little big of fun on a fake holiday?
Speaking of Costumes
Meanwhile, in Florida, a lawyer decided the best way to address the pandemic was to do so in costume. After Florida decided to reopen its beaches notwithstanding the fact that the United States has far from flattened their curve, one lawyer thought he would remind people of the risk they were taking in going to the beach.
Donning a full grim reaper outfit, the Florida man walked down to the beach and sat in a lifeguard tower, solemnly watching over everyone on the beach. His goal was to raise awareness of the ongoing nature of the pandemic.
My favourite part of this is that the Reaper Lawyer is someone who has been practicing law over 20 years, meaning that he’s no spring chicken. Second favourite part? He’s totally serious about this and even has a large tattoo of the Grim Reaper.
Honestly, I think Daniel Uhlfelder and I could be best friends.
Allegations of bias or conflict of interest are something that happen in the legal profession. And in some circumstances they are made in litigation involving a bias or conflict held by a judge. Typically, they involve an obvious financial or emotional connection between a lawyer and judge. There may be a commercial relationship between the judge and the lawyer, for example.
But not every commercial relationship gives rise to a clear conflict of interest. And some are just ridiculous.
Like this one, which went all the way to the Supreme Court of Virginia. This conflict involved a judge who rented a parking stall in a parking lot owned by a lawyer, for $25 a month. This happened to be the going rate for the parking – there was no special backroom deal. And the parking lot had lots of other stalls rented by lots of other people.
Really, other than the fact that the lawyer owned the lot and the judge rented a stall, there was no relationship between them.
Naturally, the Virginia Supreme Court thought this was a bunch of nonsense and dismissed the conflict of interest complaint.