Cities across the country have been cracking down on Airbnb and homeowners who rent through the service but may be playing fast and loose with the rules: from enacting city laws and creating offices to enforce said regulations, to ordering the company to pay millions of dollars in hotel taxes and levying fines against those who provide accommodations through the site. The latest such case comes out of San Diego where a woman was recently ordered to pay $15,000 for renting rooms in her home in violation of city laws. [More]
Rave all you want about Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walt White or how Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman is the show’s true but flawed moral compass, but I say the real star of Breaking Bad is Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, the bus bench attorney whose got-dressed-in-the-dark outward appearance belies the sly legal fox lurking underneath. So what better way to end the week than with this Vulture video of Odenkirk dissecting crappy ads for real-life ambulance chasers? [More]
A Texas mother took her child to a dentist who only works on children based on the referral of the family’s regular dentist. She didn’t really like the specialist, and wrote a relatively short, clear Yelp review explaining why. That got her a letter from the dentist’s attorney ordering her to take down her review, OR ELSE. [More]
Lest you think that the only people being taken in by apparently obvious scams are naive rubes, it looks like lots of people with fancy law degrees are being scammed by letting their avarice get the better of them.
Woman’s Day has rounded up some of the more silly of the fine-print warnings appearing on products. You know, those one’s like on the kid’s Batman cape where it says, “Warning: Cape does not enable wearer to fly.” I think my favorites are the “Terrestrial Digital Outdoor Antenna which warns “Do not attempt to install if drunk, pregnant, or both.” And of course there’s the iPod shuffles’, “Do not eat iPod shuffle.” Gotta love lawyers.
Ever the hotbed of innovation, a new innovation in foreclosure defense is emerging in Florida. Until now, the big question for foreclosure lawyers is “how do we get paid?” If their client can’t afford to pay the bank, how are they going to pay for legal services? One firm has figured out a way. After the original mortgage is nullified or reduced, the client takes out a new mortgage for 40% of the savings, and pays it to the lawyer.
I am typing this post with a digital TV antenna stuck in my ear, and all because nobody told me that this wasn’t the right way to install it. Ow! Apparently Antennas Direct of Missouri knows that there are people like me out there, because they’ve included some very specific warnings on their installation instructions (PDF). (Thanks to Billy!)
Mom and Dad always wanted you to be a lawyer but who wants to dump all that money down the tubes and read those boring books? Well, no longer! Some burnout is selling his law degree from a fancy university on Craigslist!
Consumerist’s Hero of the Weekend is attorney and writer Wajahat Ali, who fought an epic battle for a home loan modification against Wells Fargo and won. Eventually. It’s a well-written and terrifying look into the financial crisis, the state of America’s megabanks, and how homeowners in need seemingly stand no chance against the towering indifference, incompetence and confusion of those megabanks.
Recalls are imprecise and never fully successful, but how can they be improved? Jeff Gelles of the Philadelphia Inquirer took a look at the recall problem with snow throwers manufactured by a company called MTD, and sold under Yard Machines, Troy-Bilt, and Craftsman brands. The snow throwers used plastic wheel rims which sometimes exploded, so in 2006 the company cooperated with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and announced a recall.
A judicial commission for California judges censured and barred the recently retired judge Brett C. Klein for showing bias, abusing authority, and grandstanding to the press. At issue was his January 2009 alteration of a class action settlement, where he ordered everyone, including the attorneys, to be paid the same way: via $10 gift vouchers from a woman’s clothing store.
What constitutes adequate security for a bank? PlainsCapital Bank in Lubbock, Texas says what it currently has is enough, and if after all that some crooks still manage to steal your money, it’s not the bank’s fault. The bank has preemptively sued a business customer, Hillary Machinery, to absolve itself from any liability on what it couldn’t get back from the more than $800,000 that was stolen by foreign hackers last November.
Chris wrote in to us this afternoon, “I found this gem in my AT&T wireless inbox [today]. I received no notification it was there, just happened to notice that I had a new message from AT&T online.” It’s an announcement that AT&T Mobility has arranged a proposed settlement over a class-action lawsuit concerning early termination fees. If it’s approved, there’ll be a settlement fund created from which AT&T customers “may receive monetary or other benefits.”