A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Most Profitable Dog Walk in History?

OneMillionDollars

By LASIS Staff

Last November, we published the strange story of Ryan Leslie, an R&B singer whose laptop was lost or stolen while traveling and performing in Germany. Because there were unpublished songs on the computer’s hard drive, he offered a $1 million reward to whoever returned it to him.

Armin Augstein was out walking his dog, he says, when he found the computer, but Mr. Leslie refused to pay up. Mr. Augstein sued. We analyzed the case, found there was, in fact, a binding contract, and predicted Mr. Leslie would settle and avoid going to trial. As our reporter Nadia Harris so memorably put it, “Mr. Augstein may actually have taken the most profitable dog walk in history.”

Now there are allegations, on both sides, that the other party erased the computer’s hard drive. Mr. Leslie says that he doesn’t owe any money because the computer was returned with its hard drive scrubbed clean. Mr. Augstein accuses Mr. Leslie of erasing the hard drive post-return to avoid paying the $1 million reward.

The case is going to trial. Stay tuned.

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