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Judge Carton Rules: The Complete Set

Since February 2010, Judge Carton has been ruling on important matters here at Legal Blog Watch. As I wrote when I introduced Judge Carton, 

No, Judge Carton is not a real judge and, like Judge Wapner, my rulings are not "technically" binding on the parties. But that has never stopped me from ruling before, see, e.g., MacStupid, aka MacGyver v. MacGruber, and it certainly won't stop me here. Moving on.

My mission? To spare the parties to cases in which the outcome is obvious the time and expense of further litigation.

Given my imminent departure from LBW (Friday), I want to be sure that the collected works of Judge Carton are preserved for history, as I anticipate that fake judges in the future will want to rely on the precedents established in my rulings. Here, then, for posterity, are all of the rulings by Judge Carton.

  • Case 1: Dee v. Daily Telegraph -- British tennis pro Robert Dee sued the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph for describing him as "the world's worst tennis pro," saying the insult ruined his professional reputation. 
Judge Carton's ruling: Given that Dee reportedly lost 54 successive matches in international contests, including 108 sets in a row, the Daily Telegraph's future motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
  • Case 2: Record company EMI appealed a court ruling that the Australian band "Men at Work" copied a flute riff from the children's song "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" in their 1980s song, "Down Under."
Judge Carton's ruling: Despite EMI's claim that similarities to two bars of the Kookaburra song would only be noticed by "the highly sensitized or educated musical ear," the key bars from those songs sound exactly alike to Judge Carton's decidedly non-highly sensitized/educated musical ear. Appeal DISMISSED.
Judge Carton's ruling: Bwaaaah haaahaaaaahaaaaaa hahhaaaaa!! Wow. Good to laugh like that once in a while. Now get out of my fake courtroom, "Lindsay," and do not return. E-Trade's future motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
  • Case 4: Alhambra Superior Court sentenced 35-year-old serial bank robber Anthony Richard Cuellar to 1,948 years in prison for a nail salon robbery and eight bank heists in 2007.
Judge Carton's ruling: Even divided by 10, Cuellar's sentence is still 40-plus years longer than Bernard Madoff's 150-year sentence. Cuellar's future motion to modify the sentence is hereby GRANTED and the sentence is reduced by 1,800 years, down to 148 years.
  • Case 5: Ginger McGuire fell asleep on a flight from D.C. to Philly that landed shortly after midnight. She claimed no one woke her up until a cleaning crew found her four hours later. Her lawsuit alleged "false imprisonment, emotional distress and negligence" against United Airlines. 
Judge Carton's ruling: You were asleep during the alleged imprisonment and distress, so United's future motion to dismiss is hereby GRANTED, and you get nothing. In the alternative, I rule that you are awarded $100 for the airline's negligence, but must pay $101 to the cleaning crew for the wake up service. Your call, please see the clerk on the way out.
  • Case 6: Lauren Rosenberg sued Google after she was hit by a car while following walking directions provided by Google Maps on her cellphone. She claimed the Google Maps BlackBerry application told her to walk along a dangerous highway with no sidewalks to get from one Park City, Utah, address to another and she was hit by a car while doing so.
Judge Carton's ruling: I came back from the beach for this? Google's future motion to dismiss is hereby GRANTED and the plaintiff is forbidden from using any type of smartphone with Internet access for a period of 60 months. In addition, the plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to watch this video within the next 30 days, and certify to this court that she has done so.
  • Case 7: The Hershey Co. sued one of its competitors, Mars Inc., regarding the packaging that Mars used for its Dove chocolate bar with peanut butter. Hersheys claimed that the Dove wrapper infringed on its trademarks because it is so similar to the packaging Hersheys uses for its Reese's line of candies. Hershey's claimed this was "unfair competition."Reesesdove
Judge Carton's ruling: The court has taken five seconds to look at the two wrappers and they look absolutely nothing alike ... One wrapper is bright orange and one is brown. The court is not persuaded in the least that the presence of a tiny yellow/orange swoosh on the Dove bar makes it look like a Reese's bar. In fact, there is really not one thing similar about these wrappers. Case dismissed.
  • Case 8: A woman was walking through a mall while texting a friend about a birthday party and she walked straight into the fountain wall and fell head first, fully clothed, into the water. She quickly hopped out of the fountain and went on her way, but a video of her falling into the fountain went viral on the Internet, allegedly causing her "humiliation."
Judge Carton's ruling (from the official fake transcript):

JUDGE CARTON: It is impossible to tell who the person falling into the fountain is from this video. How was your client humiliated by this video?

PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL: Your honor, my client says that members of her church were able to recognize her in the video from "the way she walks."

JUDGE CARTON: Case dismissed.

  • Case 9: A restaurant offered "all you can eat sushi for $28." A diabetic man partaking in the "all-you-can-eat sushi" who could not eat rice just ate the seafood off the top of and left the rice. The owner of the restaurant told the man that if he wanted the all-you-can-eat price, he'd have to eat the rice too and not just fill up on fish because "sushi" includes rice, and "sashimi" is just fish. The man refused and sought at least $4,000 in damages for the "humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish" he suffered after being discriminated against "on the basis of his disability" (diabetes).
Judge Carton's ruling: I rule that the restaurant cannot make a person eat rice if they do not want to eat it any more than an all-you-can-eat prime rib restaurant can make me eat a basket of bread before I start on the meat. I rule that the plaintiff gets a coupon for one all-you-can-eat meal of fish only at defendant's sushi bar for the originally offered price of $28. And I rule that defendant must change his sign to state the price of a fish-only all-you-can-eat meal. I award plaintiff zero dollars in damages.
  • Case 10Sears has a well-known brand of car batteries called "DieHard," and it owns the trademark rights to that phrase. RockHard Laboratories began marketing a topical "desensitizing spray" that supposedly prevents premature ejaculation in men -- also called DieHard. Sears demands that RockHard cease its use of the DieHard name, "and pay damages and the cost of an ad campaign to correct any damage to the DieHard brand reputation." 
    Diehard
Judge Carton's ruling: After reviewing these claims for five seconds, it is the judgment of this fake court that RockHard's use of the DieHard name for a sexual enhancement spray, while creative and somewhat amusing, is embarrassing to Sears and will probably subject it to unwanted "DieHard" jokes from late-night comedians. Accordingly, the court finds in favor of Sears on its request that RockHard stop using the name. The request for damages and an ad campaign is denied, however, as any ad campaign attempting to further "clarify" this matter would simply add to the late-night comedy fodder.
  • Case 11Plaintiff attended an awards banquet at which there was a charity auction. At one point in the auction the president of the Florida Marlins major league baseball team joked that the next item for bid was the Florida Marlins and he'd sell them for $10 million. The plaintiff promptly bid $10 million and nobody else said anything. The Marlins then refused to sell plaintiff the team (purchased in 2002 for $143 million and recently valued at $360 million) to plaintiff for $10 million. 
Judge Carton's ruling: I rule that the president of the Marlins, who does not own the team anyway, was obviously joking when he offered to sell the team at a charity auction for a fraction of its market value. I rule that your client has no sense of humor. I rule that people who jokingly say, "I'm going to kill him" when they are irritated with someone are not guilty of any crime. Costs and attorney fees for the 120 seconds that this hearing has taken up are hereby awarded to the defendant's charity.

Posted by Bruce Carton on March 27, 2013 at 04:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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