It’s that time of the week again…
Here’s a round-up of this week’s strangest/weirdest/wildest stories.
As always, some are serious cases with amusing twists, while others are ridiculous, embarrassing, tragic, fraudulent or just, well, weird.
All are appearing on the site for the first time — they just seem deserving of a collective, end-of-the-week eyebrow raise.
Included are a lawsuit accusing Tom Cruise of wiretapping, a wire fraud guilty plea by a Geto Boy and a lawyer who bit off a man’s nose in a Memphis bathroom.
The former owner of Beverly Hills-based magazine Bold is suing Tom Cruise, powerhouse celebrity lawyer Bertram Fields and investigator-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano, claiming at least 1,000 of his conversations were illegally intercepted after Cruise sued him for defamation.
In 2001, the magazine offered a $500,000 reward for video evidence that Cruise is gay.
The plaintiff, Michael Davis Sapir, said that the wiretapped conversations included talks with his attorney that Cruise and Fields were able to use to secure favourable settlement terms.
Courthouse News has the full story here.
A Tennessee lawyer bit off a portion of a man's nose during an altercation between the two in the bathroom of a Memphis-area bar.
Not surprisingly, the man is suing attorney Mark Lambert for $5 million. Lambert said he was acting in self-defence. He admits to biting off part of the nose, but says he did not swallow it.
The injured man claims he needs plastic surgery and might have to wear a prosthetic nose.
The New York Daily News has the full story -- with the really difficult to look at actual pictures -- here.
Here is an unusual attorney/client transaction: a San Francisco attorney's client testified that he took the train into town, met his lawyer, Waukeen McCoy, at a McDonald's and handed him an envelope with $15,000 in cash.
McCoy is accused of settling a civil rights claim on behalf of his clients against FedEx and then demanding three of his clients pay him more than his contractual fee.
He asked for the payments just weeks after he promised a California federal judge that he would not ask the clients for any more money.
The Record has the full story on the long-running fee dispute here.
A sad tale of a lawyer behaving very badly.
South Carolina's Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction of an attorney who killed a strip club owner in January 2006.
Police say Dewain Herring became angry after he was asked to leave the club after removing his clothes in a private room. He returned with a gun and killed John Johnson, Jr., the club's owner. Herring argued at trial that he was slipped a date rape drug and was not in control of the gun.
This was not persuasive, apparently -- he received a 30-year prison sentence and has been disbarred, the AP reported.
A former NFL player, currently serving jail time for drug possession, is in a court battle with one of the mothers of his nine children. All the children have different mothers.
When the judge ordered child support payment for the child in question, he said former running back Travis Henry had to pay $3,000 per month, plus create a $250,000 trust in case his history of delinquent payments repeated itself.
His lawyer is arguing such pre-payment is unfair and that not having access to that money is harming his other eight children, especially now that he is not earning income.
Henry signed a $22.5 million deal with the Denver Broncos in 2007, but was suspended for testing positive for marijuana in 2008.
The Fulton County Daily reported the story, and additional background on Henry, here.
A New York appellate court tossed the $7 million lawsuit a Star Trek fan brought against auction house Christie's.
The man said he was humiliated after spending more than $24,000 -- $6,000 on a visor worn by 'Data,' $11,400 on a Data Starfleet Uniform and $6,600 for a poker player from the Starfleet Lounge -- on props that turned out to be fakes.
Unfortunately, the court found the auction items were sold 'as is' and authenticity was not guaranteed.
The New York Law Journal has the full report here.
A veteran Washington D.C. detective pulled a gun in the middle of a peaceful snowball fight.
A huge snowball fight was organised via Twitter following last week's winter storm, and the officer apparently was very displeased when snowballs hit his personal car.
It is now his police chief who is not happy -- the detective's badge and weapon have been pulled and a full investigation will occur.
It may not have been so bad for the officer if several videos were not uploaded on You Tube, and if the crowd had not begun to chant, 'Don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!'
The AP story is here.
Image: YouTube (click to watch the video)
A Houston criminal court judge was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years' probation on charges related to his offering a drunk driving defendant a better public defender if she took him up on his offer of a romantic relationship.
Always the gentleman, she testified he wanted it to be 'more than a one-night stand.'
If she did not take him up on it, she said, the judge said she would be convicted. His attorney said he would appeal.
The Houston Chronicle has the full story here.
The Lingerie Football League threatened to sue former players who complained the league promised to pay medical bills for players injured while playing for the league.
The postings were made on the players MySpace and Facebook pages. The Smoking Gun broke this story and has many additional details on the 'uniform' requirements for the league.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The lead member of the rap group Geto Boys faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal wire fraud charges.
Willie D sold iPhones through a company called Texas one Wireless but never actually delivered the phones. He attracted international customers by posing as an electronics salesman on eBay.
A total of 29 people were defrauded out of approximately $132,000.
Photo: Geto Boys album cover (from wikipedia) -- Willie D is top right
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