Horton Hears a Judge in Court

Dr. Seuss: A Guide to Criminal Defense

Dr. Seuss: A Guide by a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney

 “Lawyers cite these classics in official documents with pride”

As a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney, I can say with certainty that the works of Theodore Geisel, more commonly known under his pseudonym Dr. Seuss, are not a body of literature one would expect to see cited nor mentioned in a court of law. However, as America is often a place where impossible sounding things happen with alarming frequency, it is not as hard as you would think to find a legal precedent for this phenomena. There are appeals courts that have used the Doctor and there is at least one trial court that has used Dr. Seuss as authority for a legal opinion. More about that later.

One Fish Two Fish: A Fish Is A Fish No Matter What You Wish.


Dr. Seuss on Criminal Defense at Sea

Dr. Seuss on Criminal Defense at Sea

The US Supreme Court reeled in a few #CopsGoneWild who convinced a Federal Prosecutor to indict and prosecute a fisherman near Tampa, Florida. The court overturned the conviction obtained for destruction of records. Fish are obviously not records. The Supreme Court said, “A fish is, of course, a discrete thing that possesses physical form. See generally Dr. Seuss, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960).” Yates v United States, 574 US ____ (2015) ( Docket No. 13-7451).

Cat In The Hat: Criminal Defendant: Not That Cat


“admitted committing this crime and indicated he did it with a man adorned in a Dr. Seuss ‘Cat in the Hat’ hat”

 

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back to Court

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back to Court as one Judge waxes poetic

A criminal defendant dragged these beloved characters into a courtroom “Mr. Howard was charged as a principal in the armed robbery of a convenience store that was committed by two men. At Mr. Howard’s trial, the State presented the testimony of a man who had admitted committing this crime and indicated he did it with a man adorned in a Dr. Seuss ‘Cat in the Hat’ hat, whom he knew as “Bear.” The State had other evidence tending to establish that Mr. Howard was ‘Bear’.” Howard v State 869 So. 2d 725, (2d DCA 2004).

Horton Hears A Who: Judges On Mission To Repeat Repetition


 “the elephant, meant what it said and said what it meant”

 

Horton Hears a Judge in Court

Horton Hears the Judge

In a collision of litigants in a personal injury suit, the Judge was incensed that someone had missed a court date. With regard to instructions to appear for court proceedings, ” like Dr. Seuss’s Horton the elephant, [the court] meant what it said and said what it meant.” Mourning v Ballast 32 Fla. L. Weekly D 1673 ( 4th DCA 2007 )

Floridians went to war over a boat slip in Palm Beach. The court noted, “the Florida Supreme Court, like Dr. Seuss’s Horton the elephant, meant what it said and said what it meant. . . ” Graham v Yeskel Trust 928 So. 2d 371 (2006). I don’t know what the court meant, but this is about Dr. Seuss in court.

A United States District Court Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich instructed the lawyers in “The words of Horton the Elephant come to mind: “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!” Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg.” Campero v ADS Foodservice 916 F. Supp. 2d 1284 ( SD Fla 2012 ).

My Name is Seuss: I am not a Doctor


 “Seuss entered a plea of nolo contendere to possession of marijuana in excess of 100 pounds”

 

There was an unfortunate defendant named Seuss who was detained by police who threatened to get a warrant. Seuss v. State, 370 So. 2d 1203 (Fla. 1st DCA 1979) (threats to get a warrant, prolonged detention). Poor Jack Seuss “Seuss entered a plea of nolo contendere to possession of marijuana in excess of 100 pounds . . . .” The opinion continued, “Seuss had been detained for more than an hour; he had refused repeated requests that he open the vehicle and allow the agents to inspect; he was informed that he could not leave until the vehicle was searched . . . .” Seuss walked away from the charges when the court ruled that threats to get a search warrant were baseless. supervisor represented that if Seuss continued to refuse, he could get authority to search anyway. . . . The court found the cops should have gotten the search warrant rather than detain gangapreneur Seuss for over an hour while attempting to obtain his “consent.”

Cat In The Hat: Intellectual Property Law: Source of A Kerfuffle Fee Faw.


 “The Cat Not in the Hat! A Parody by Dr. Juice”

 

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back to Court

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back to Court as one Judge waxes poetic

In the 1990’s Dr. Seuss Enterprises became entangled in a case that was rejected by the United States Supreme Court. Penguin Books USA, Inc., et al. v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 521 U.S. 1146 (1997). “The Cat Not in the Hat! A Parody by Dr. Juice, a work poised to supply a “fresh new look” at the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial. Katz’s rhymes, the illustrations provided by Chris Wrinn, and the book’s packaging by the manufacturer defendants *fn1″ (the individual and corporate defendants are referred to collectively hereinafter as “Penguin”) mimic the distinctive style of the family of works created by Theodor S. Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.”

“Dr. Seuss has made a strong showing as to its copyright claims”

 

The court ruled, “Dr. Seuss has made a strong showing as to its copyright claims, and has raised serious questions providing a fair basis for litigation as to its trademark claims. The balance of the hardships tips markedly in its favor. A likely copyright infringement appears on the back cover of Penguin’s work, and instances of possible trademark infringements of the stove pipe hat appear on the front and back covers and throughout the work.”

“Defendants are therefore enjoined, pending trial of this action, from directly or indirectly printing, publishing, delivering, distributing, selling, transferring, advertising, or marketing the book The Cat Not in the Hat! A Parody by Dr. Juice.” Penguin Books USA, Inc., et al. v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. (1996) http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19960426_0000015.SCA.htm/qx

Yertle The Turtle: Yertle The Turtle Heightens Fertile First Amendment Hurdle!


 “I’m king, and you’re only a turtle named Mack.”

 

Yertle the Turtle: All the Turtles are Free

Yertle the Turtle: All the Turtles are Free

In Texas, Yertle The Turtle made an appearance when a judge scribbled a judge blurted “”Silence,” the King of the Turtles barked back, “I’m king, and you’re only a turtle named Mack.” Seuss (T. Geisel), Yertle The Turtle and Other Stories, Random House (1950). The court continued, “Dr. Seuss’ rhyming narrative about Yertle, The Turtle, concludes: “And the turtles, of course . . . All the turtles are free As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.” The court quipped in the context of employees’ first amendment rights. Davis v. Williams, 598 F.2d 916 ( 5th Cir 1979 ).

One Fish Two Fish: A Fish Is A Fish No Matter What You Wish.


 “conduct did not run afoul (or a fish)”

 

Dr. Seuss on Criminal Defense at Sea

Dr. Seuss on Criminal Defense at Sea

One legal expert has said, “A fish is still a fish, but it is not a tangible object under 18 U.S.C. Section 519” says legal scholar Solomon Wisenberg. Wisenburg quipped “The Court ruled 5-4 that Yates’ conduct did not run afoul (or a fish) of 1519, because the little fishies were not tangible objects under that particular statute . . . .”  Check out the White Collar Law Blog here.

Stetson Law School Professor Ellen Podgor then joined the conversation, “The recognition by these dissenting justices of the growing problem of overcriminalization in the United States is an important step. In many ways this decision is really a 9-0 decision in that the plurality tossed the fish case out because it did not fit in this sea. ”  See Professor Podgor’s Take on this Federal Criminal Case Here.

Seuss Landing: Your Injury? Judge Responds With Fury!


Finally, Universal Studios Orlando was the site of a war over the “Seuss Landing” project in Orlando, Florida. Whiting v US Fidelity 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40456 ( MD Fla 2006 ).

The End – My Friend


Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Editorial Board Member of Law Review Certificate

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Editorial Board Member of Law Review

Perhaps in the future, scholars will revile at our society’s use of books relegated to the status of children’s literature. But I await a future where Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyers cite these classics in official documents with pride.

Dr. Seuss Titles:

Yertle The Turtle: Yertle The Turtle Heightens Fertile First Amendment Hurdle!

Seuss Landing: Personal Injury? Judge Responds With Fury!

One Fish Two Fish: A Fish Is A Fish No Matter What You Wish.

Cat In The Hat: Intellectual Property Law: Source of A Kerfuffle Fee Faw.

Horton Hears A Who: Judges On Mission To Repeat Repetition

Infographic – Dr. Seuss Goes to Court


Dr Seuss Goes to Court - Criminal Defense Dr Suess Infographic

Dr Seuss Goes to Court – Criminal Defense Dr Suess Infographic

Polk Marijuana Defense Attorney 813-222-2220 – Drug Crimes – Cannabis

Polk County Marijuana Law

Polk County Marijuana Law


Drug2Go.com and Polk Marijuana Defense Attorney now have a FREE fully searchable Polk Drug Crimes Cannabis Marijuana defense database on marijuana and drug charges in Florida. This video discusses and Compares How to use probable cause in criminal cases and the possibility of drug charges being dropped or dismissed when police illegally improperly search for and then seize contraband without a Search Warrant. Casey reviews the Minimum Mandatory sentences that may apply to some Marijuana and Cannabis Drug Trafficking cases. W.F. “Casey” Ebsary, Jr. is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, a specialist who defends drug crimes in Polk County, Florida.

 


Transcript: [Polk Marijuana Defense Attorney Narrates] Hundreds of people are arrested every day. You may be one of them. I spend most of my time defending cases in State and Federal Courts. Many times drug crimes arise from searches of motor vehicles. Sometimes police will stop a car and then search it. Sometimes we are able to attack these searches when police do not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search the motor vehicle. In the event we can suppress the evidence, we may be able to have the drug charges dismissed, since there is no longer any evidence to be admitted against you in a criminal prosecution and evidence becomes unavailable for admission in a trial. I have arrived at my destination – one of the many courthouses in Tampa Bay where I help people. Let me help you. Criminal charges in State or federal Court? Let me help. Call me at 813-222-2220. Let me drive to court to help you.[End of Polk Cannabis Defense Lawyer Narration]

Accidental Smuggler | Junk in the Trunk

Nerd Smugglers Key Codes

Federal Criminal Defense Source has supplied us with an Affidavit from Federal Law Enforcement that outlines how drug smugglers would obtain electronic key codes using the Vehicle Identification Numbers. They would then use the keys to open the trunk to stuff drugs in the trunk outside of the United States, and retrieve them from the vehicle after it had returned to the United States.

 



Drugs in the Trunk? How Did That Get in There?

“The FBI has uncovered an elaborate drug smuggling scheme along the U.S., Mexican border. It involves G.P.S. devices, duplicate keys, duffel bags stuffed with drugs and regular commuters used as mules” according to a television news report, see video below.

A Doctor and several other unsuspecting people were arrested at the border after cops found some vehicles to have the drugs in the trunk. All the drivers claimed to not know there was 200 pounds of weed in the trunk. Charges are pending against the smugglers. Excerpts from the Affidavit are below. Smugglers call these unsuspecting folks “blind mules.”

Accidental Smuggler | FBI Arrests Marijuana Blind Mules

The affidavit details the use of blind mules to run drugs from Juarez to El Paso. It’s public record in a case out of El Paso, Texas and was filed July 1, 2011.

Electronic Key Codes and Smuggling Excerpts From FBI DEA Agent Affidavit:
Based on the information provided by [Confidential Source] CS-1, the locksmith [they] were using was specifically identified. Throughout the remainder of this Affidavit, this locksmith is referred to as LOCKSMITH A.
13. On 06/17/2011, we interviewed an El Paso, Texas-based licensed locksmith, {not LOCKSMITH A). This licensed locksmith informed us that there were several “key code source” companies that have the capability to provide vehicle key cut codes to licensed locksmiths based on the provision of the VIN by the licensed locksmith, This licensed locksmith further informed us that, as a result of differing standards and policies amongst vehicle manufacturers, “key code source” companies have varied abilities to provide key cut codes depending on the vehicle make and model. For example, this locksmith stated that most “key code source” companies had very limited access to key cut codes for most XXXX key cut codes, but had widely available access to XXXX key cut codes.
14. Texas Department of Public Safety records indicate that LOCKSMITH A is a licensed Texas locksmith with a license expiring on 12/31/2011. Based on the information described in this paragraph and in paragraph 13 above, I believe that LOCKSMITH A has access to one or more “key code source” companies and therefore has the ability to obtain vehicle key cut codes for vehicles, especially Ford vehicles, solely by providing a VIN to one or more of these “key code source” companies.
I have reviewed the information from this database with respect to a single user account (hereafter referred to as USER ACCOUNT A) from a XXXX Dealership located in Dallas, Texas. This information indicates that the following vehicle key codes were pulled by USER ACCOUNT A:
27. Per XXXX Motor Company, USER ACCOUNT A has pulled/accessed 5,321 vehicle key codes in the last 18 months, approximately 10 key codes per day. Also based on my review of this information, USER ACCOUNT A has pulled vehicle key codes for XXXX vehicles which are registered all over the United States, not just in Dallas, Texas. Based on the high volume of key codes pulled, as well as the geographic dispersion of the registered locations of the associated vehicles, I believe that USER ACCOUNT A is being utilized to provide vehicle key codes to one or more “key code source” companies as described in paragraph 13 above,
28. In order to corroborate CS-l’s information with respect to LOCKSMITH A, and to confirm the link between LOCKSMITH A and USER ACCOUNT A, we tasked an Individual to go to LOCKSMITH A and request that LOCKSMITH A make a copy of a XXXX vehicle key, solely based on the provision of the VIN for that . . . .  vehicle.
LOCKSMITH A employee informed the Individual that the key would only work to get in to the car, but would not start it.
30. On 06/27/2011, we received confirmation from [the manufacturer’s] Global Investigations Department that on 06/24/2011, at approximately 12:22 PM (10:22 PM Mountain Time), USER ACCOUNT A pulled/accessed the TEST VIN for the 2006 [vehicle]. The TEST VIN was therefore pulled/accessed by USER ACCOUNT A during the relevant timeframe that the Individual provided the TEST VIN to the employee at LOCKSMITH A.
[B]y utilizing keys made by LOCKSMITH A and by victimizing individuals whom they have caused to unwittingly smuggle drugs, have violated Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846, Possession with Intent to Distribute a controlled substance, namely 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and Conspiracy to possess with the intent to Distribute controlled substance, namely 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.
Did Someone Hide Drugs in Your Car? Call me Toll Free 1-877-793-9290 .

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