Quiz: Test your knowledge of July's top legal news

Recapping the most significant--or just plain strangest--news stories of the past month

Another month gone, another InsideCounsel news quiz. Read through the following 10 questions, then click through to the next page to discover how much you remember about July's most significant--and strangest--top legal stories.

1. Earlier this week, angry former contestants sued what popular reality TV show for racism?

  1. American Idol
  2. Big Brother
  3. Top Chef
  4. Survivor

2. A Halliburton Co. subsidiary admitted to engaging in what illegal activity following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill?

  1. Wiretapping prosecutors to learn more information about the investigation
  2. Skimming spilled oil off of the Gulf, but then dumping it in a protected wildlife reserve
  3. Conspiring with co-defendants Transocean and BP to cover up prior warnings of the explosion
  4. Destroying computer simulations that examined the structure of the exploded oil well

3. A London law firm admitted this month that it was responsible for a breach of confidentiality that exposed the true author behind what pseudonym?

  1. Elmore Chandler
  2. Ruth Sagal
  3. Piper Ortiz
  4. Robert Galbraith

4. Missouri resident Catherine Oldham sued her hair salon for negligence after an ill-fated appointment during which what happened?

  1. Hair dye caused a bacterial infection that sent Oldham into cardiac arrest
  2. An errant pair of shears amputated Oldham’s left ear
  3. The salon mistakenly billed her $50,000 for an hour-long appointment
  4. A permanent hair color bled onto Oldham’s skin, irreversibly staining her neck orange

5. After the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 killed two people in San Francisco, the airline was the one threatening to file suit. Who did the company plan legal action against?

  1. An Oakland TV station
  2. The pilot of the crashed plane
  3. An air traffic controller at San Francisco International Airport
  4. An ambulance driver who struck one of the passengers following the crash

6. After more than a year of litigation, a federal judge ruled that Apple Inc. had indeed conspired to fix the prices of what?

  1. Cell phones
  2. Tablets
  3. E-books
  4. Microprocessors

7. A recent study from Consero Group shows that 61 percent of general counsel are unhappy with what?

  1. The performance of their direct reports
  2. Law firm rates
  3. The frequency of their communication with the board
  4. The economy

8. Kickstarter put the kibosh on a sequel to what classic children’s book, citing copyright concerns?

  1. “Where the Wild Things Are”
  2. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
  3. “The Chronicles of Narnia” series
  4. “Charlotte’s Web”

9. Wyoming businessman and philanthropist Timothy Mellon filed a lawsuit this month, claiming that he paid $1 million dollars to fund a search expedition for which of the following, even though it had already been found?

  1. The lost city of Atlantis
  2. Bigfoot
  3. Amelia Earhart’s plane
  4. Jimmy Hoffa’s grave

10. Employees recently sued which of the following retailers for a racist training memo that contained numerous Hispanic stereotypes?

  1. Topshop
  2. Wal-Mart
  3. Target
  4. Home Depot

1. Earlier this week, angry former contestants sued what popular reality TV show for racism?

  1. American Idol
  2. Big Brother
  3. Top Chef
  4. Survivor

a. American Idol

The would-be pop stars claim that the show’s producers illegally obtained information about all contestants’ criminal records, and then used black contestants’ records in an effort to “systematically disqualify and humiliate” them. The 10 plaintiffs are seeking $25 million each in damages for economic injuries, and lost earning potential and lost business opportunities.

 

 

2. A Halliburton Co. subsidiary admitted to engaging in what illegal activity following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill?

  1. Wiretapping prosecutors to learn more information about the investigation
  2. Skimming spilled oil off of the Gulf, but then dumping it in a protected wildlife reserve
  3. Conspiring with co-defendants Transocean and BP to cover up prior warnings of the explosion
  4. Destroying computer simulations that examined the structure of the exploded oil well

d. Destroying computer simulations that examined the structure of the exploded oil well

Hoping to pin the blame for the exploded Macondo well on its co-defendant BP, Halliburton ran a simulation to show that the oil company had used just six cement stabilizers in the well—instead of the 21 stabilizers that Halliburton recommends. When two computer simulations showed that the extra stabilizers would not have prevented the disaster, Halliburton employees were ordered to destroy the evidence.

In exchange for Halliburton’s admission—and a $200,000 fine—the government has agreed to drop all criminal charges against the company.

 

3. A London law firm admitted this month that it was responsible for a breach of confidentiality that exposed the true author behind what pseudonym?

  1. Elmore Chandler
  2. Ruth Sagal
  3. Piper Ortiz
  4. Robert Galbraith

d. Robert Galbraith

When Galbraith’s detective novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” was released earlier this year, critics hailed it as a well-plotted and gripping book, and a surprisingly advanced piece of work for a debut author. It later emerged that Galbraith wasn’t so inexperienced after all—“he” was actually “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.

London law firm Russells later outed partner Chris Gossage as the source of the leak. Gossage evidently shared Rowling’s identity with his wife’s friend, who later passed the information on to The Sunday Times via Twitter. The firm later made a charitable donation to the Soldier’s Charity to settle a lawsuit from Rowling.

 

 

4. Missouri resident Catherine Oldham sued her hair salon for negligence after an ill-fated appointment during which what happened?

  1. Hair dye caused a bacterial infection that sent Oldham into cardiac arrest
  2. An errant pair of shears amputated Oldham’s left ear
  3. The salon mistakenly billed her $50,000 for an hour-long appointment
  4. A permanent hair color bled onto Oldham’s skin, irreversibly staining her neck orange

a. Hair dye caused a bacterial infection that sent Oldham into cardiac arrest

The hair appointment from hell allegedly occurred on April 7, 2011, when Oldham visited Geoffred’s Hair Salon looking for a cut. One of the stylists allegedly suggested that Oldham color her gray hair and proceeded to apply a dye that she borrowed from another stylist.

Shortly after her appointment, Oldham says her scalp began itching and blisters formed on her head. Oldham subsequently developed a bacterial infection that sent her into cardiac arrest and put her on life support for eight days, according to her lawsuit. She is now suing the salon for damages, arguing that the stylist used an acidic dye without applying a proper rinsing or neutralizing agent to her hair.

 

 

5. After the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 killed two people in San Francisco, the airline was the one threatening to file suit. Who did the company plan legal action against?

  1. An Oakland TV station
  2. The pilot of the crashed plane
  3. An air traffic controller at San Francisco International Airport
  4. An ambulance driver who struck one of the passengers following the crash

a. An Oakland TV station

KTVU made headlines instead of reporting on them this month, after one of its anchors read off the supposed names of the pilots on the downed flight, apparently unaware that the names were both fake and offensive. The names—which included “Sum Ting Wong,” and “Wi Tu Lo”—were mistakenly confirmed by an intern at the National Transportation Safety Bureau.

The airline argued that the erroneous news report damaged its reputation and announced plans to sue the station for defamation. But Asiana later abandoned its suit to focus on dealing with the aftermath of the crash.

 

 

6. After more than a year of litigation, a federal judge ruled that Apple Inc. had indeed conspired to fix the prices of what?

  1. Cell phones
  2. Tablets
  3. E-books
  4. Microprocessors

c. E-books

Back in 2011, the government sued Apple and five book publishers—MacMillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin Group and HarperCollins—for their roles in the alleged conspiracy. According to the feds, Apple persuaded the publishers to set e-book prices using the “agency model,” under which publishers—not retailers—determine prices. This allowed them to keep the cost of books higher than Amazon Inc.’s low prices.

Apple continued to fight the suit alone after the publishers settled with the Department of Justice. But that effort proved futile earlier this month, after Judge Denise L. Cote ruled that the tech company pushed for the scheme by taking advantage of the publishers’ “fear and frustration” over Amazon’s pricing.

 

 

7. A recent study from Consero Group shows that 61 percent of general counsel are unhappy with what?

  1. The performance of their direct reports
  2. Law firm rates
  3. The frequency of their communication with the board
  4. The economy

b. Law firm rates

Consero Group’s 2013 Spring General Counsel Survey showed that more than half of GCs are not satisfied with the rates that they’re paying for outside legal advice. Sixty-one percent of law department leaders surveyed reported that they are using alternative-fee arrangements (AFAs), and 60 percent of respondents said that they are planning to increase their AFA use next year.

Law firm rates weren’t GCs’ only concern, though: Eighty-one percent of respondents reported dissatisfaction with their companies’ social media policies, and a whopping 69 percent have not yet identified a successor to the GC spot.

 

 

8. Kickstarter put the kibosh on a sequel to what classic children’s book, citing copyright concerns?

  1. “Where the Wild Things Are”
  2. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
  3. “The Chronicles of Narnia” series
  4. “Charlotte’s Web”

a. “Where the Wild Things Are”

Before his death, Maurice Sendak dismissed the idea of writing a sequel to his popular book, calling it “the most boring idea imaginable.” But that didn’t deter British author Geoffrey Todd and illustrator Rich Berner from launching a Kickstarter to fund a second installment. The duo assured potential contributors that they had been “very careful not to impinge on Mr. Sendak’s copyright.”

The original book’s publisher, HarperCollins, evidently felt otherwise. The company sent a copyright notice to Kickstarter, which subsequently pulled the plug on the “Back to the Wild” project.

 

 

9. Wyoming businessman and philanthropist Timothy Mellon filed a lawsuit this month, claiming that he paid $1 million dollars to fund a search expedition for which of the following, even though it had already been found?

  1. The lost city of Atlantis
  2. Bigfoot
  3. Amelia Earhart’s plane
  4. Jimmy Hoffa’s grave

c. Amelia Earhart

Mellon says that he paid The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) $1 million to fund its search for the aviatrix’s crashed plane. TIGHAR believes that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan crashed onto the South Pacific atoll of Nikumaroro, although the group says it has not yet found any evidence to support hat theory.

But Mellon says that aerial photos taken in 2010 clearly show the wreckage of Earhart’s plane—as well as human remains—in the water off the island. He contends that TIGHAR discovered the wreckage years ago, but concealed the evidence in an effort to get more funding for unnecessary searches.

 

 

10. Employees recently sued which of the following retailers for a racist training memo that contained numerous Hispanic stereotypes?

  1. Topshop
  2. Wal-Mart
  3. Target
  4. Home Depot

c. Target

Three former employees sued the company over the memo, which reminded managers that not all Hispanic employees eat tacos and burritos, dance to salsa or wear sombreros. The memo also said that Mexican employees often have a “lower education level” and may be undocumented, while Cuban employees often have a higher education level, but are frequently political refugees.

The company subsequently apologized for the document, which it says was used at only one distribution center.

Alanna Byrne

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