Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jacob & Youngs v. Kent- (Court of Appeals of New York, 1921)

Shortly after the completed construction of the Emperor's new dreamhouse/battlestation, the Death Star, the Emperor along with Vader were inspecting the many features of the exterior of the space station when they stumbled upon what looked to be a thermal exhaust shaft within the equatorial trench of the Death Star.

The two called in the station's designer, Bevel Lemelisk, and pointed out to that within the contracts for him to design and construct the Death Star, there was a specific clause that stated "all thermal exhaust vents must be subject to approval by the Emperor, any thermal exhaust vents built without approval will be rejected and is to be immediately torn down, removed and remade or replaced in accordance with the official drawings and specifications, whenever discovered..."

Lemelisk refused, stating that "It's not a big deal. What possible harm could come from something like this? It's the size of a womp rat." The Emperor refused to pay him, and Lemelisk proceeded to file suit. At trial, the Emperor attempted to defend himself by pointing out the clause, but the Imperial Court refused (which lead to several force electrocutions, chokes and further electrocutions to certain Imperial Justices), stating that the cost of the substantial performance of removing or replacing the intricate duct-work that made the thermal exhaust ports lead straight to the reactive core of the Death Star would be grossly out of proportion to the good attained, and that the Emperor could recover only for the functional difference between a Death Star without such thermal exhaust ports.

The Emperor proceeded to execute Lemelisk following the trial, cloned him, and then executed him again. His rage that day was palpable.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wishnatsky v. Huey- (Court of Appeals of North Dakota, 1998)

On board the Executor the Emperor and Vader were having a serious Sith Master/Apprentice discussion about pressing Force related issues (namely capturing that slippery Luke Skywalker), Admiral Firmus Piett wanted to inform Vader that comscan had picked up some interesting activity. Piett entered Vader's lair without knocking, and Vader instinctively used the Force to shut the doors. Piett collided into the now shut doors and fell backwards against the wall.

He sued Vader for battery, however an imperial court granted Vader summary judgment, stating that as a matter of law, it was not a battery. This was affirmed by the higher court, stating that the contact had been "momentary, indirect, and incidental," and that Vader's actions were "rude and abrupt" but would not "be offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity." The court basically implied that Piett was a crybaby, something that would stay with him for the rest of his life until an A-Wing crashed into the deck of the Executor. Probably because he actually was a bit of a crybaby.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Swinton v. Whitinsville Sav. Bank- (Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1942)

Tricky Aadj-Duck Jun sells a summer home to Admiral Ackbar on the newly freed planet Endor. Aadj-Duck Jun knows there to be one clan of Ewoks hiding out in the attic and another camping in the shrubbery surrounding the house. However, he purposely withholds this information from the unsuspecting Admiral, the latter being understandably more shrewd in matters of space warfare than in real estate. Months later, Admiral Ackbar discovers the Ewoks while investigating the mystery of his beloved cat's disappearance. When he sues Aadj-Duck Jun, he loses. This is because there is no liability for bear nondisclosure.

Contributed by Charlie Gokey

Friday, November 13, 2009

General Motors v Sanchez- (Supreme Court of Texas, 1999)

Young Luke Skywalker was training under Obi-Wan Kenobi on board the Millenium Falcon on their way to rescue Princess Leia from the Empire (she claimed they were her only hope). Obi-Wan was instructing Luke on lightsaber techniques, and as part of his training, had Luke read the holographic manual which described safety measures to be taken to reduce the risks involved with such a highly dangerous (and elegant) instrument, including the proper way to turn a lightsaber on and off.

One night after Obi-Wan had gone to sleep, Luke decided to practice his sweet lightsaber moves, so that the princess would be impressed when they rescued her. When he was done, he believed that he'd flipped the lightsaber off, unaware that an intermediate position existed between the on and off positions. While Luke was admiring his Force-bulked physique in the mirror, the lightsaber, which had indeed not been fully turned off, flipped from the intermediate position back on, and sliced off Luke's hand.

Luke sued the lightsaber manufacturer, claiming that the intermediate position was a design defect.

The imperial court held that while the lightsaber was defective in its design, however a space jury found that Luke was negligent for not taking measures to ensure the lightsaber was off, and he was held 50% responsible for his own injury. They found that although Luke did not have a duty to guard against unknown defects, he did have a duty to take reasonable precautions to secure his lightsaber. Because Luke had read the holographic manual, he knew the safety measures required to ensure it was properly turned off, and had breached his duty when he failed to follow those measures. Therefore the imperial court held that the lightsaber manufacturer's damages should be reduced by 50% to account for Luke's comparative responsibility in the harm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lakotos v. Billotti- (Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, 1998)

Anakin Skywalker, padawan, and Padme Amidala, senator, were secretly married on the planet Naboo. There they kept a secret home, which was held by both of them in joint tenancy with right of survivorship (They both shared an equal interest, with one gaining full control of the property when the other died). For a while everything was totally cool, and Padme got totally preggers. Then Anakin made his inevitable turn to the dark side. After hearing of her husband's slaughterfest at the Jedi temple, Padme hitched a ride with Obi-Wan to meet Anakin and confront him on the planet Mustafar. Anakin, now Darth Vader, suspecting Padme of being in cahoots with Obi-Wan, and wanting the Naboo home all for himself, Force-choked her like crazy, until she eventually died. As the surviving spouse, Vader was now the sole possessor of the property on Naboo and held it until his children grew up and sued him. Although Vader was legally entitled to the property, the council found that it should go to Luke and Leia, citing the Empire's slayer statute, which states that a murderer is not allowed to benefit from his wrongdoing, and that the property should therefore go to Padme's heirs.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Peet v. Roth Hotel Company- (Supreme Court of Minnesota, 1934)

Famed pod-racing super star, Sebulba, was preparing for the Boonta Eve Classic and noted that his powerbinders were not functioning correctly. He took his pod's specialty powerbinder to Watto's shop for a quick bit of maintenance, but when he arrived, Watto was not available (he was out rolling chance cubes). One of the service droids running the shop gave Sebulba a box, in which he placed the powerbinder and gave the box to the droid. The droid then wrote Sebulba's name on it and placed it to the side.

A few weeks later, Sebulba inquired about the status of the repair, to which Watto replied stating that he had never received the part. Watto then investigated his staff to see if any of the droids had made off with the part, or perhaps a certain human slave named Skywalker, but these efforts to find the powerbinder failed. The droid who accepted the part did not know what had happened to it.

Sebulba sued for damages, stating that Watto's shop had failed to return the bailment of the powerbinder. The shop claimed that the droid was not made aware of the value of the specialty powerbinder since Sebulba had placed it in a box, and as such could not be held responsible for such high damages. The Tatooine court disagreed, stating that Sebulba had not misrepresented or hidden the nature of the powerbinder by placing it in the box, and that the shop would be held to a reasonable standard of care in its keeping. By not returning the powerbinder, they had breached this standard of care, as well as failed in acting as a bailee.