Law School: It’s NOT Just For The Smart Kids Anymore!

Dante Vitoria's Dante's Inferno

By Dante Vitoria May 23, 2017

So, the joke goes, “What do you call a cruise ship that sinks with 1,000 attorneys onboard?” Answer, “A good start.” Now, I have many friends who are attorneys, and as you know, if someone is MY FRIEND…they’re COOL, so I don’t think jokes like that are funny. But, as I was reading NUMEROUS Newspapers, both in print and online (THAT is why I have ALL this knowledge to share with you Inferno-dwellers) I came across a number of stories that I could not believe…and I bet you won’t either!

Brandon Vezmar, a 37-year-old from Austin, TX filed a lawsuit for $17.31! Yes, “Diamond Jim” Vezmar…AKA “God’s gift to women” was upset that his date, Crystal Cruz was “texting” during “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” (sure NOW it makes sense). Apparently, Mr. Vezmar was so STIMULATING to Ms. Cruz, she took to her phone to text friends (perhaps, calling her friend for the “bailout call”). This upset Mr. Vezmar and he filed the suit, claiming: “Texting is a direct violation of the policy at the theater and his experience was adversely affected by it.” Cruz should sue this “charmer” for being such a LOSER, for adversely effecting her evening! Ms. Cruz, returned the FULL COST of the movie…the WHOLE $17.31! She also apologized to “Rudolph Valentino” Vezmar, he accepted and dropped the charges.

In Florida, 43-year-old Joanne Mogavero, was awarded $100,000. $15,000 for medical bills and $85,000 for pain and suffering. WHY you ask? Great question! In 2014, she ordered a Venti sized coffee at a Starbucks drive-thru window (by the way…what ever happened to small, medium, large and extra-large…just saying). The top of the coffee “SUDDENLY POPPED OFF” (yup, the top has a mind of its own and needed some cardio), as she passed the beverage to her passenger. Now, this is Starbucks fault somehow? I don’t know about you, but don’t you check the lid BEFORE you grab a cup, or at least, when you have it in hand, take your OTHER HAND and check the top? Or were we changing the radio station, texting, driving or a myriad of other things, OTHER than paying attention to what you are DOING?

Of course, Ms. Mogavero’s attorney, Steve Earle offered these two WONDERFUL insights:
“Starbucks should warn customers that lids pop off.” And my FAVORITE, “My client didn’t want sympathy from the jury, she wanted justice, and the jury gave it to her with its verdict.”
OK, fine, so with the $85,000, is she buying a BRAIN? Or at the very least, donating the “well-deserved AWARD” to a local charity? I’m sure you are, aren’t you?

Our next MENSA Member is Andrew Snelling. He describes himself as a “Creationist” and a Christian. He is upset that he was prohibited from removing rocks from the Grand Canyon, yes, the National Park! And Andrew is SO UPSET, he has convinced something called “The Alliance Defending Freedom” …YES that STELLAR GROUP OF LEGAL MINDS…funny, I checked their website, seems to be EASY to donate money to their “cause”, but not much information on much else. Now Andrew believes that the Grand Canyon is a result of the great flood, and God telling Noah to build an Ark to save all life forms.

Well, Andrew clearly was not a classmate of MINE in Catholic Grammar School, High School or in Theology class at St. John’s. OR there was a HUGE M&A deal that I missed (and I NEVER MISS THOSE) where the Rockies acquired Mount Ararat. Clearly you are quite the student, Andrew. Where did you get your PhD? Or a better question, which website did you buy it from? Did you use PayPal or Visa? Don’t worry Andrew, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good lawsuit, right? By the way, Andrew is a citizen of Australia. Pssst, Andrew or Dr. Andrew, I own those rocks, me and every other TAXPAYER in the United States of America. It is a National Park. So, keep your hands of OUR ROCKS!

How about San Antonio Spurs fan, Juan Vazquez? He is SO OUTRAGED that Spurs Superstar, Kawhi Leonard was injured in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. Vazquez has filed suit against the Golden State Warriors and Zaza Pachulia (the player involved in injuring Leonard). His attorney, Alfonso Kennard Jr. filed the lawsuit and noted: “The Golden State Warriors and Zaza Pachulia on May 14, 2017, subsequently to the purchase of tickets by Plaintiff, without excuse or justification, intentionally and maliciously invaded the landing zone of an opposing athlete, Kawhi Leonard, thereby devastating the quality of the Spurs chances of being competitive and having additional games in their home arena, both in the Western Conference Finals and also potentially in the NBA Finals.”
Lots of words to say two ballplayers bumped into each other and one sprained his ankle, no?

Oh, Vazquez wants $73,000.00 in damages. You all know I am a New York Mets season ticket holder (among many other teams), and with the rash of injuries suffered by my BELOVED Mets, I want to file a suit. So, who do I sue, BlueCross BlueShield? Ray Ramirez, the Mets trainer? Jesus Christ himself (after all, we are all HIS children and creation).

Sadly, there are many more suits…and some GREAT ones in the past (remember Stella Liebeck and her hot coffee that spilled on her lap, as she HELD THE CUP BETWEEN HER LEGS?) When does this STOP? Do you wonder why our courts are backed up? Here is the problem. And of course, I have a solution (and you just KNEW I would). Actually, I have two:
1-Have a committee (volunteers) of retired lawyers, who will review civil cases to be filed. There is an organization in New York called SCORE that’s retired business people who offer guidance and advice to people looking to start businesses so why not? They could offer “opinions”, non-binding, but…
2-IF you file a Civil Suit and it is deemed FRIVOLOUS, you must pay the municipality the amount you requested in your suit.

Think some “PhD” would sue over rocks? Oh, and for the attorney who represented him? He gets a one-month suspension from practicing law. A second time, a six-month suspension…and a third time…well that’s Strike three…YOU’RE OUT!

Dante Vitoria is the Founder and CEO of The Vitoria Group in New York City.

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