Quiz: Test your knowledge of February's top legal news stories

How well do you remember the most significant—and strangest—legal events of the past month?

 

The second month of 2013 has come to a close, but before turning the page on February InsideCounsel took a look back at some of the most significant, or simply bizarre, legal stories that topped the news last month. Read through these 10 questions, then click over to the next page to see how well you remember your legal news.

 

1) True or False: In a product liability case this month, the 9th Circuit found it acceptable to sue for emotional distress over uneaten but contaminated food.

2) The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey filed a federal breach of contract lawsuit earlier this month, after an audit revealed that it was paying what company $10,582 a month for services that were allegedly never rendered?

a. AT&T

b. ConEd

c. FedEx

d. Office Max

3) Which of the following mergers did not move forward in February?

a. Penguin and Random House

b. Anheuser Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo

c. American Airlines and U.S. Airways

4) What singer, who reached the top of the Billboard charts in the 1960s, is suing Hewlett-Packard for $500 million over an explicit app that bears his name?

a. Little Richard

b. Frankie Valli

c. Chubby Checker

d. Manfred Mann

5) What did a survey by the National Association of Legal Career Professionals find about part-time lawyers?

a. They often get passed over for promotions

b. They are mostly associates

c. They are mostly women

d. Most law firms don’t allow part-time schedules

6) Carnival Corp., which is already battling lawsuits over last year’s Costa Concordia shipwreck, is now facing new litigation courtesy of cruise ship passengers angry about what?

a. Contaminated food that sickened hundreds of passengers on a recent voyage

b. An engine fire that set one of the company’s ships adrift without power for days

c. A spate of onboard robberies, which were later revealed to be the work of a crewmember

d. A navigational error that sent a Caribbean cruise two days off course

7) At the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced his executive order on cybersecurity. What will the order do?

a. Ask agencies to create a set of mandatory cybersecurity standards for companies

b. Give the private sector access to government information about cybersecurity threats

c. Task the Department of Homeland Security with identifying companies that operate crucial infrastructure, like the electric grid, where a breach could have catastrophic consequences

d. All of the above

e. Only a & b

f. Only a & c

g. Only b & c

8) Macy’s Inc. CEO Terry Lundgren told a courtroom on Monday that he was “literally sick to my stomach” during a conversation with what domestic diva?

a. Rachael Ray

b. Ina Garten

c. Martha Stewart

d. Giada de Laurentiis

9) In a rare move, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor appended a statement to a denial of certiorari, in which she criticized a prosecutor in the case for doing what?

a. Swearing repeatedly during the course of the trial

b. Insulting the trial judge during his closing arguments

c. Arriving late to court

d. Posing a racially charged question to a defendant

10) Which high-profile case(s) went to trial in February?

a. The civil case against BP, Halliburton and Transocean over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

b. The two gay marriage cases, heard by the Supreme Court

c. Monsanto’s patent infringement case against a farmer who used its seeds without paying, heard by the Supreme Court

d. The antitrust case against the Dairy Farmers of America, accusing the industry group of fixing milk prices

e. all of the above

f. a & c only

g. a & d only

h. c & d only

1) True or False: In a product liability case this month, the 9th Circuit found it acceptable to sue for emotional distress over uneaten but contaminated food.

Answer: True.

A sheriff’s deputy claims he was traumatized by a phlegm-covered hamburger he received at Burger King, even though he never took a bite. A district court initially found that the Washington Product Liability Act doesn’t provide for emotional distress damages unless the plaintiff actually eats the contaminated food, but the 9th Circuit disagreed, and said the deputy could proceed with his case at the district court level.

 

2) The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey filed a federal breach of contract lawsuit earlier this month, after an audit revealed that it was paying what company $10,582 a month for services that were allegedly never rendered?

a. AT&T

b. ConEd

c. FedEx

d. Office Max

Answer:

a. AT&T

In a dramatic example of bureaucratic waste, the Port Authority allegedly paid more than $10,000 monthly for a line connecting two telephones, one at John F. Kennedy International Airport and one at a U.S. Coast Guard facility. To make matters worse, the agency’s lawsuit contends that service to the line has not worked for the past six years. AT&T maintains that it billed the agency properly.

 

 

3) Which of the following mergers did not move forward in February?

a. Penguin and Random House

b. Anheuser Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo

c. American Airlines and U.S. Airways

Answer:

b. Anheuser Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo

American Airlines and U.S. Airways announced their $11 billion merger on Valentine’s Day. The Department of Justice (DOJ) approved of Penguin and Random House’s merger, which would create the largest publisher in the world, but it went after Anheuser Busch InBev, claiming that the company’s proposed purchase of Grupo Modelo, the exporter of Corona beer, would lead to higher prices for consumers. It sued to block the merger.

 

 

4) What singer, who reached the top of the Billboard charts in the 1960s, is suing Hewlett-Packard for $500 million over an explicit app that bears his name?

a. Little Richard

b. Frankie Valli

c. Chubby Checker

d. Manfred Mann

Answer:

c. Chubby Checker

The music legend, famous for popularizing “The Twist,” is suing HP and its Palm Inc. subsidiary for allegedly maintaining “The Chubby Checker,” an app that uses a man’s shoe size to estimate the size of his penis, on their app catalogue. The app was reportedly downloaded just 84 times, and is no longer for sale. But lawyers for the musician, who was born Ernest Evans, say that HP repeatedly refused to remove the app from its store and “continues to perpetuate degrading and derogatory content directly linked to Chubby Checker.”

 

 

5) What did a survey by the National Association of Legal Career Professionals find about part-time lawyers?

a. They often get passed over for promotions

b. They are mostly associates

c. They are mostly women

d. Most law firms don’t allow part-time schedules

Answer:

c. They are mostly women

The National Association of Legal Career Professionals reports that most law firms do allow flexible and part-time schedules, but employees often don’t take advantage of them. Of those that do choose to work part-time, a whopping 70 percent are women, a number that far exceeds other industries.

 

 

6) Carnival Corp., which is already battling lawsuits over last year’s Costa Concordia shipwreck, is now facing new litigation courtesy of cruise ship passengers angry about what?

a. Contaminated food that sickened hundreds of passengers on a recent voyage

b. An engine fire that set one of the company’s ships adrift without power for days

c. A spate of onboard robberies, which were later revealed to be the work of a crewmember

d. A navigational error that sent a Caribbean cruise two days off course

Answer:

b. An engine fire that set one of the company’s ships adrift without power for days

More than 3,000 Caribbean-bound passengers had their hopes for a restful vacation dashed when a fuel leak—and subsequent engine fire—left the Triumph cruise ship at a standstill with no air conditioning, electricity or toilets for five days. Now two passengers have filed a class action suit against Carnival, claiming that the company should have known that the ship “was likely to experience mechanical and/or engine issues because of prior similar issues.”

 

 

7) At the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced his executive order on cybersecurity. What will the order do?

a. Ask agencies to create a set of mandatory cybersecurity standards for companies

b. Give the private sector access to government information about cybersecurity threats

c. Task the Department of Homeland Security with identifying companies that operate crucial infrastructure, like the electric grid, where a breach could have catastrophic consequences

d. All of the above

e. Only a & b

f. Only a & c

g. Only b & c

Answer:

g. Only b & c

Obama’s order will have the government sharing more cybersecurity information with the private sector, and pinpointing the companies where breaches could have national effects. Agencies will be creating a set of standards, however they will be voluntary. Obama asked the agencies to see if they would be able to make some of them mandatory under their authority, but that remains to be seen.

 

 

8) Macy’s Inc. CEO Terry Lundgren told a courtroom on Monday that he was “literally sick to my stomach” during a conversation with what domestic diva?

a. Rachael Ray

b. Ina Garten

c. Martha Stewart

d. Giada de Laurentiis

Answer:

c. Martha Stewart

Lundgren’s colorful remark was part of his courtroom testimony in the long-running legal battle between Macy’s and J.C. Penney Co. over a line of Martha Stewart products. Lundgren’s company sued J.C. Penney’s last August, arguing that the latter’s plan to open Martha Stewart boutiques in hundreds of its stores breached Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s exclusive contract with Macy’s.

Lundgren also testified that he hung up on Stewart, whom he once considered a friend, when she told him of the deal with J.C. Penney, and claimed that it would be good for Macy’s.

 

 

9) In a rare move, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor appended a statement to a denial of certiorari, in which she criticized a prosecutor in the case for doing what?

a. Swearing repeatedly during the course of the trial

b. Insulting the trial judge during his closing arguments

c. Arriving late to court

d. Posing a racially charged question to a defendant

Answer:

d. Posing a racially charged question to a defendant

The offending query came during the trial of Bongani Charles Calhoun, who was ultimately convicted on drug charges. During questioning, when Calhoun denied any foreknowledge of the drug deal that put him behind bars, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Ponder asked him: “You’ve got African-Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money…A light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, ‘This is a drug deal?’”

 

10) Which high-profile case(s) went to trial in February?

a. The civil case against BP, Halliburton and Transocean over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

b. The two gay marriage cases, heard by the Supreme Court

c. Monsanto’s patent infringement case against a farmer who used its seeds without paying, heard by the Supreme Court

d. The antitrust case against the Dairy Farmers of America, accusing the industry group of fixing milk prices

e. all of the above

f. a & c only

g. a & d only

h. c & d only

Answer:

f. a & c only

The Supreme Court will hear the gay marriage cases in March, and the Dairy Farmers of America settled their antitrust accusations for $158.6 million in January, right at the last minute, on the day the case was scheduled to go to trial.

Alanna Byrne

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