Friday, August 25, 2006

Are you Kidding Me?

One of the my law school orientation activities this week was a lecture called, "Introduction to Lawyering Skills," and the professor's lecture started off by discussing "the myths of the legal profession," and one of the myths he sought to dispel was that there are too many lawsuits. I found myself seriously questioning his arguments when I saw this in the Chicago Tribune the very same day:
Two middle school students' spat over a missing iPod Nano has grown to involve a judge, a lawyer, two parents and a second filing Monday in DuPage County Court.

"I'm disappointed that it got this far," said Melanie McCarthy, mother of Shannon Derrik of Naperville, who claims that classmate Stephanie Eick's carelessness resulted in Shannon's iPod being stolen.

"I had hoped that the Eicks would have offered a settlement," she said. "I'm sure the cost of Mr. [Stephen] Eick's attorney is more than the cost of an iPod."

Stephen Eick of Aurora says he agrees that "disputes between 14-year-olds should not be adjudicated in a circuit court." But, he added, "This is absolutely not my daughter's fault. If it was, we would pay."

The dispute began June 6, the last day of classes at Aurora's Still Middle School. McCarthy claims Stephanie Eick asked to borrow Shannon's iPod to listen to a few songs. Shannon agreed to let her use it, then left the room for a few minutes.

When Stephanie finished listening, she reportedly placed the iPod on Shannon's desk, but Shannon says that when she returned, the iPod wasn't there.

"I put trust in her," Shannon said. "She should have taken care of it. She should have held it and handed it to me."

McCarthy is suing Stephanie for $335, which she said covers the cost of the two-week-old iPod, a black leather case, an unspecified number of downloaded tunes and court costs.
Ah, it's rather appropriate that the person filing the suit is from my hometown of Naperville, a town where residents always find something to complain about no matter how petty it might be. So let me get this straight, you're going to sue a 14-year old for being negligent, probably spend at least as much money as the cost of a new iPod on a lawyer, all so you can be reimbursed for the cost for a new iPod even though you could easily afford to buy your child at least 2 or 3 iPods if your heart desired. Yeah this definitely sounds like a lawsuit worth the court's time.