It is the season for the Christmas party. For lawyers, Christmas remains a horn of plenty for legal practice. Indeed, chaos and madness have been part of Christmas since its inception. So every year we gather to publish the annual list of Christmas stories and crimes. Fortunately, the holiday is much more than the entries in the criminal or civil files. However, these cases all remind us that even when the chaos lurks around holiday gatherings, we somehow survive and return year after year. So happy holidays to everyone.
This year we saw Santa’s ultimate mishap when the jolly elf thought it would be fun to skip the reindeer and paraglider with a gift-filled sleigh near Sacramento. The problem is that the reindeer can stay away from obstacles and Santa Claus gets caught in a power line. The miracle is that the sleigh hit the power lines just right and Santa was seated in such a way that an electric shock was avoided. Santa Claus had a red face but was saved. The gifts were delivered by more conventional means.
Other breakdowns tend to reflect the time of year. Dr. Fauci insisted that Santa Claus couldn’t spread Covid-19 because he had natural immunity. Oddly, however, Fauci later said he vaccinated Santa Claus – apparently a conflict in the scientific data. Even worse is the fact that Santa Claus is accused of being a super spreader in Belgium, where 61 of the house’s 169 residents and 14 employees of a retirement home tested positive after the elf’s visit. This will no doubt be the subject of a congressional hearing on what Fauci knew and when he knew it.
This year’s Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center had its own ordeal between species when an owl was found in a tree that was evicted from upstate New York. However, this false sentence was addressed by moving to a forest, and the owl appeared completely without advice.
The biggest tree moment remains the one that Aubrey Iacobelli of Tallahassee captured on tape that found a raccoon in her tree. Aubrey showed a steely determination to chase the raccoon out of the house, even when it came to her chandelier. Both the raccoon and Aubrey were unharmed. I can’t say the same for the tree:
This non-harmful result is better than many other vacation accidents that lead to hospital visits, fires and, of course, setbacks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 14,700 people end up in hospital emergency rooms due to holiday decorating accidents, and Christmas trees that are too dry cause nearly $ 16 million in fire damage each year.
The annual carnage is actually a sign of the holiday’s success. The Pew Research Center found that a surprisingly 90 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas and only 51 percent consider it a religious holiday.
This year’s breakup due to the pandemic may limit family gatherings somewhat, which often leads to criminal charges during the holidays. This was not the case at the Rogers home, however, where 55-year-old Shirley Rogers got into an argument with her boyfriend when her sister “tried to resolve the situation”. Rogers is said to have attacked her sister with a Christmas tree decoration. This applies both as an attack and as a battery for criminal law and tort law.
The elimination of parades also reduced some incidents. For example, last year Curtis L. Metz of Illinois was charged with drunk driving after slowly evading the police by going around a barricade. In addition to a Christmas parade in Beloit, the police did not want to pursue a chase through the parade arrested Metz and his passenger in the end. Metz received its fifth charge of drunk driving with additional charges of escaping from the police and five charges of reckless first-degree security threats.
Santa Claus got into hot water in a mall this year with an anti-toy gun. This, of course, is a bit better than last year when Russian families saw two St. Nicks crash into each other in a rolling, not-so-funny rumble. He was heard exclaiming “this is my territory” and the police believe organized gangs were involved in a “mafia-style territorial dispute”.
In California, Santa Claus is literally a little more law and order. This week, officers dressed as Santa Claus and his elves arrested a car thief in a parking lot in a mall. This is the ultimate naughty list when you’re tied up by elves and booked by Santa Claus.
Some accused offenders often insist on the holidays that they were punished for spreading narcotic cheers. Last year, Richard Ellis Spurrier, 67, said he was overwhelmed with the spirit of the season and started giving away marijuana. Police, apparently viewing Pot as a gateway drug for more serious crimes, nonetheless accused Spurrier of possessing marijuana for the purpose of selling it. That year, another accused drug dealer in Pennsylvania insisted that he even give away drugs, so he was not a drug dealer but a drug donor.
In North Carolina, the Faison family face a complaint from their homeowners association after adding a cross to their Christmas decorations. They received a letter stating: “The cross represents the death of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins so that we could have eternal life. The holiday season is associated with the birth of the Savior. “The club claimed:
In particular, such acts are contractual rather than illegal or constitutional. So you blame my fellow contractors.
Given these cases, perhaps one can understand why the Puritans made it a crime to celebrate Christmas in Boston. They refused to open their churches or close their shops for what they derisively called “Foolstide”. The Puritans, however, have never had so much fun.
Remember, part of the joy of the holidays is having survived them. On behalf of my colleagues and criminal defense attorneys, I remind you that nothing says “I love you” like a vacation accident containment contract.