A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: Law

Balls, Bigfoot, and Blasphemy

By José I. Ortiz

Verbally castrating your adversary could have legal consequences in Italy.

Earlier this year, two lawyers referred to only as Alberto and Vittorio in the Digital Journal got into a courtroom brawl in southern Italy. After Alberto yelled out something to the effect of Vittorio having “no balls,” Vittorio responded the way any red-blooded, Italian man would…

Uh – nope. He sued.

Even better: he won.

The judge who heard the case held that the insult was “injurious” because it implied that Vittorio’s manhood was worthless. The situation was even graver than it might have been, said the judge, because the insult was hurled while Vittorio was at work, potentially injuring his professional reputation. Alberto faces a not inconsequential fine for his crime.

Clearly, it’s important in Italy not to call into question another man’s virility because Italian society places a premium on manliness. We wondered what societal values could be gleaned from other laws throughout the world.  A quick hop around the world with LASIS

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Man Receives Oral Sex; Must Pay Child Support?!

By Sarah Berent

So, a man sued his ex-girlfriend for fraud and emotional distress after she secured a court order demanding he pay child support for their two year-old daughter. The reason? This woman saved his semen after performing oral sex and secretly impregnated herself. No, this is not a new plotline of absurd television show One Tree Hill but actual events that formed the basis of a 2005 legal battle in Illinois.

Although this case is six years old and garnered some media attention at the time, we recently came across it on Professor Jonathan Turley’s blog and couldn’t resist an opportunity to discuss it. (more…)

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