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Courtroom Fun With Oscar Impostors, Baby Murloc, Scorched Seats, And A Miffed Meteorologist

May 16, 2012

Time for another post on what the American legal system is justifiably famous for: bizarre lawsuits.

Every month, Inside Counsel Magazine sends me short summaries of four such suits. I sketch out a cartoon for each one, and the editors pick the one they like best.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

This month’s winner involved veteran California meteorologist Kyle Hunter, who is suing CBS for age and gender discrimination. Hunter claims he was passed over for jobs at two different Los Angeles stations in favor of attractive and much younger women who lacked Hunter’s credentials and experience. Hunter contends the women hires are a ploy to induce more men to watch the newscasts. CBS calls the complaint frivolous.

I had a vision of dark clouds of rage morphing into thunderclouds, with inclement results. Here’s the final.

BTW: it contains a glaring physical error which occurs three times. Can you spot it? Answer at end of post.

cartoon showing lawsuit courtroom scene involving veteran weatherman and meteorologist Kyle Hunter who sued CBS for age and gender discrimination, he claims CBS only wants beautiful young women forecasters to attract male viewers

Among the other contenders: Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences sued an events rental company for copyright infringement. Why? The Academy claims the company rents 8-foot-tall statues that are “strikingly” similar to its famous Oscar. The company says it has modified its original statue, and that the new version is modeled after a weightlifter.

I decided to “rent” some of the statues myself and stick them in the cartoon:rough sketch for a courtroom cartoon about the Academy of Motion Pictures suing a rental company for copyright infringement because it rents 8-foot-tall gold statues that look like the famous Oscar statuette

I’d heard of Baby Ruth (candy bar), Baby Face Nelson (1930s American gangster), and babydoll (pajamas), but never Baby Murloc. That’s because I’ve never played the online role-playing game World of Warcraft, created by Blizzard Entertainment.

Amanda Lewis, a former “game master” for Blizzard, is suing the company for copyright infringement and misappropriation of her voice. She claims she developed the voice and an original song for baby murlocs, which are cute aquatic humanoid creatures that appear in the game. The complaint alleges that “game master” is a customer service position, that providing creative content is not part of the job description, and that Ms. Lewis’s voice and song have been incorporated into the game without her permission.

I envisioned a courtroom filled with Warcraft characters, and yes, that is a baby murloc singing in the witness box.

sketch for a courtroom legal cartoon about someone who is suing Blizzard Entertainment which owns electronic game World of Warcraft, plaintiff says Blizzard stole the voice and song of the Warcraft game's Baby Murloc character

A Eugene, Oregon couple has sued General Motors for injuries caused by seat warmers in GM’s Chevrolet Silverado. The suit says that the man, a paraplegic, lacked the sensation to know that his right buttock was being burned by the electric heater in the truck’s driver seat.

This case is a good example of the challenge posed by certain suits: drawing something funny that does not mock the less fortunate. I solved the problem here by making everyone but the lawyer a crash test dummy.

sketch for lawsuit cartoon involving couple who's suing General Motors, claim says the seat warmers in 2008 Chevrolet Silverado burned the buttocks of man who is a paraplegic and couldn't feel that he was being burned

And here’s the original rough sketch for the miffed meteorologist.

So what’s the error in the finished cartoon?

Scroll back up and you’ll see that three of the jurors are holding umbrellas with no shafts. Perhaps they’re novelty umbrellas that are attached to the jurors’ heads… : )

rough sketch for cartoon showing lawsuit courtroom scene involving veteran weatherman and meteorologist Kyle Hunter who sued CBS for age and gender discrimination, he claims CBS only wants beautiful young women forecasters to attract male viewers

What do you think? Have you ever been involved in a big money lawsuit? Ever bounced a baby murloc on your knee?? Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Pennies From Heaven: Attack Of The Tweety Boids

A Blog Named Sue: More Lawsuits

You Sure Are A Lot Uglier In Person

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2012 12:55 PM

    It’s fascinating the time and energy people put into these lawsuits! The meteoroligist probably is absolutely right I’m sure but is that against the law? I don’t think it should be. CBS has a right to put on anybody they want to improve their ratings. I can’t imagine that he could win that one. Loved the cartoon and I didn’t notice the umbrella stems being missing.

    In the crash dummy cartoon, the lawyer’s expression cracks me up! You came up with the perfect solution for that tricky one. It does seem like those seats shouldn’t have been that hot. He must have turned it on accidentally.

    I never noticed until I saw your cartoon that Oscar looks like he’s freezing his tail off! Haha!!

    I think Baby Murloc might have the best case. Poor Baby Murloc! It will be interesting to see how all these cases turn out. 🙂


    • May 16, 2012 5:25 PM

      Ah! Thank you, my dear Ms. Vernon for that excellent analysis! Many people will read about these cases and think: How strange! But until they read some of your own wonderfully twisted tales, they won’t really know what strange is… : )

      The fact that Baby Murloc is considered “cute” worries me. Women are always coming up to me and cooing: “You’re cute.” Now I’m always gonna wonder… : P

      I can sympathize with that crash test dummy because I once got burned by a stove. I wanted to be a cowboy and ride the range. Guess I shoulda made sure all the burners were off… : (

      Thanks as ever for making the scene! : )


      • May 16, 2012 6:36 PM

        LOL Mark! Wiping tears from eyes. You make me laugh so much! You get me every single time with the remarks you make! LOL! Now get back on that range!!


  2. May 16, 2012 4:56 PM

    Wow, that was hard! You really are a genius!

    But I’ll tell you something: How about you tell “Inside Counsel Magazine” to send me whatever project they’d like and I’ll take care of the illustration… I am sure they’d like my sketch better? What do you think?

    hahaha 🙂


    • May 16, 2012 5:34 PM

      Did I hear the word genius? Ah, you must be addressing me… : P

      That’s a very generous offer you’ve made, my dear Dolly, but alas– no, no, no!! I must refuse. Why? Because if Inside Counsel Magazine ever saw what a great artist you are, they’d toss me in the trash bin and it would be very hard for me to sign autographs for my fans if I were covered in banana peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds– see what I mean? Besides, my shirts have enough stains as it is… : )

      But thanks anyway, you really are a very generous person… : P


  3. May 21, 2012 9:38 PM

    Loved the Oscar jury. At least they weren’t Oscar the Grouches.

    Our state is famous for dumb lawsuits. I was threatened with a lawsuit by my old landlord because I moved out after not paying the last month’s rent. In my defense, there was SEWER WATER filling the sink and the bathtub. I’m not even kidding. I was a college kid though and not smart enough to file a complaint.


    • May 22, 2012 8:03 AM

      An Oscar jury– now that sounds like a recipe for lawyerly theatrics… : P

      Well, your old landlord got off easy. Nowadays he’d be facing a Tough Mudder, and shaking in his soggy, sewer water-filled shoes… : )

      Many thanks for stopping by, Amelie!


  4. May 24, 2012 7:15 PM

    Nice illustrations, Mark, especially the first one. It’s really funny with the guy who was in anger, LOL.


  5. robpixaday permalink
    May 25, 2012 6:55 PM

    I love it when you hide things in these that you say were errors but we KNOW they couldn’t be, that they’re just little morsels of cool for us to find. I spotted the bumbershoot non-handled-ness right away. Do I get a prize? LOL…
    Legal wrangling isn’t the easiest thing to put into images and you do it so very very well. I love the weather one, especially.
    Never heard of a murloc, baby or otherwise.
    ☂ ☂ ☂



    • May 30, 2012 9:56 AM

      “Little morsels of cool…” reminds me of the time I dropped my popsicle on the floor… : P

      Anybody who can spot my errors and write them off as clever tricks is either a true friend or they’ve been inhaling paint fumes. In your case, I’d say both!! : )

      Many, many thanks, Robin, and yes, you do win a prize for spotting the missing bumbershoot handles. Unfortunately, that prize is a Baby Murloc, and I’m gonna stick him in the mail immediately!!

      Don’t worry, though– I’ll use the zip code for Outer Mongolia… : )


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