Quote of the Day - Church: A place in which gentlemen who have never been to Heaven brag about it to people who will never get there.
Coast to Coast Internet Radio Separate Church and State
Weeks ago, Congress removed a provision in a military bill that would have allowed chaplains to offer prayer at mandatory non-denominational events. Christian conservatives in Congress are expected to renew their fight to allow military chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus at public events, citing First Amendment rights.
Join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Bob Ambrogi as we discuss the spirited topic on Coast to Coast with three lively expert guests: Charles L. "Chip" Babcock, one of the top First amendment lawyers in the country from Jackson Walker LLP, David W. New, Esq., popular speaker for religious freedom issues, the Constitution and the First Amendment and contributor to Faith & Action and Eliot Mincberg, Vice President, General Counsel and Legal Director of People For the American Way Foundation.
Boys And Their Toys: Over Water, Over Land, And Be Fast About It.
MIPTC is going to take a day off from the occasionally mundane word of the law. But I won't venture too far; at least not far from the world of patents. Let's look at one company that owns several.
First, however, I have to admit to something you may already know. I'm a geek. Computers fascinate me, but I'm also a diver and a driver. So, when I saw a website that opens up both possibilities, it intrigued me, and may do the same for you, too.
How would you like to take a patented car, an RV, a bus and an off-road vehicle, and be able to not only drive them on the road, but also drive them across the water as well? Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International, LLC has all four, by two - land and water. The company now plans to mass produce the vehicles, especially the car, called the Hydra Spyder. The Spyder sells for $155,000, and can be yours with the jet impeller and a fish finder if you want to take a fishing detour on the way home.
The Spyder can travel at 70 mph on land, and 50 mph on water. An astonishing performance when you consider that one vehicle handles both modes of transportation. It also gets between 16 to 18 miles per gallon as it zooms across the ground. Pull one up to your dock.
Who's Running For President Next Term? Don't Use That Bumper Sticker.
Sometimes it's like manna from heaven. Try as I might, I can't make up the stuff that just falls from above. Like this one, for example: the nurse in Georgia who got a ticket for a bumper sticker on her car that read: "I'm tired of all the BUSH****." A Georgia cop perceived it as obscene and pulled her over. Of course MIPTC wouldn't be so lowbrow to reproduce the rest of the actual bumper sticker here, so you'll just have to click on this link to another website to read it. No, of course you can't say that on TV, it's one of the seven dirty words outlawed by the FCC. But you can read it on the Huffington Post.
According to this Associated Press article on CNN, "Denise Grier, 47, of Athens, Georgia, got a $100 ticket in March after a DeKalb County police officer spotted the bumper sticker ..."
Fortunately for her, the ticket got tossed, because the law that prevented lewd or profane stickers or decals on vehicles was declared unconstitutional in 1990 (yes, that's 16 years ago), but she wasn't satisfied. Now, she's filed suit to recover damages from the experience. Ya gotta love America. She's being represented by the ACLU and seeking punitive damages.
You can decide who's behind the times in the South: the cops or the ACLU. Or maybe I'm the one behind the times.
Bail Bond Forfeited Despite Delay In Hearing Requiring Defendant's Appearance
If you're a bail bond company, and you put up a bond to ensure that someone appears in Court, don't be surprised when the court cashes the bond if the defendant fails to appear. Even if it's been over two years.
That's exactly what the Court did in the case entitled People v. Ranger Insurance Company. That's the whole purpose of the bond.
The $80.00 Retirement Plan
It's not a financial plan I would recommend, and I doubt anyone else would, either. But it made sense to 63-year old Timothy J. Bowers. He was a delivery man for a company that went out of business back in 2003, and could only find odd jobs after that. He couldn't find a full-time job and felt employers discriminated against him due to his age. He didn't have tremendously marketable skills, but he apparently had watched a lot of TV.
Here's what he did: He robbed a bank. While that part appears designed to get money to help make ends meet, the next part may not make any sense to you, but bear with me for a moment. After the teller handed Mr. Bowers $80.00, he then turned around to the guard, and said, "It's your day to be a hero," and gave the guard the money. Then he waited for police to arrive.
That's not how it's supposed to work you say?
Well, Mr. Bowers had a different plan. His social security wasn't due to kick in until he was sixty-five, so he decided to plead guilty and then asked the judge for a three-year sentence. Yep, a cot and three squares a day.
According to the Associated Press, his lawyer was quoted as saying, "It's a pretty sad story when someone feels that's their only alternative." The prosecutor couldn't agree more: "It's not the financial plan I would choose, but it's a financial plan," replied the District Attorney.
Next Thing You Know, It'll Be McGroom
First we had McDonald's, and now we have Shawnta McBride.
Yep, she's alleged to have had almost as many husbands as the fast food giant has eateries. Well, not quite as many. Only six. Read all about it here.
Coast to Coast Internet Radio Discusses Hewlett-Packard
The HP Spying Scandal has rocked Corporate America. After learning that there were apparent in-house leaks sharing confidential company information with the news media, the top executives of Hewlett-Packard supposedly came up with their own way of dealing with the situation and consequently, we now have a new word introduced into society: a term called “pretexting.” Join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Bob Ambrogi as we call on the experts to get inside the controversial scandal.
This week, Coast to Coast welcomes Professor Peter Henning from the Wayne State University Law School and co-editor of the White Collar Crime Prof Blog, Attorney William Keane, head of the White Collar Crime and Corporate Investigations Group at the San Francisco law firm of Farella Braun & Martel LLP and Justin Scheck, reporter for The Recorder, a San Francisco-based legal daily. Don’t miss this discussion.
Tillamook Tussle Transcends Trademarks
Back in 1976, Tillamook Country Smoker started to sell beef jerky and smoked beef. You're probably more familiar, however, with Tillamook Creamery Cheese, a group of cheese products that have been sold for over 100 years. Both companies are, not surprisingly, in Tillamook County, Oregon. Smoker recently started selling its products in grocery stores, presumably not far from the shelves where the Creamery's products are displayed. The Smoker products had been previously sold by the Creamery online and in the cooperative's catalogs.
Once Smoker started to sell in grocery stores, the Creamery wasn't very pleased. It considered Smoker's attempts to enter the same channel as an infringement of its trademarks. So, it sent a cease and desist letter to Smoker. In response, Smoker sued and asked the court to determine that it had a right to sell in grocery stores and even apply for a separate trademark.
In the words of the Ninth Circuit, the Creamery had a beef with Smoker.
Beef aside, the Court ruled that the Creamery had taken too long to enforce its "Tillamook" trademark, and denied its application to stop Smoker from also using the name. Whether you have a beef and get confused between the two remains to be seen. MIPTC will continue to buy both products and enjoy them, despite the tussle between the two companies.