Friday, March 4, 2011

Of Mice and Pizza Men

In the name of competition, I have seen some pretty ridiculous things lawyers have done to gain a slight edge over competitors. I know attorneys who have purchased billboard advertising in view of their "rivals".  I have heard rumors of lawyers leaking unflattering stories to the press.  I even read a story of one shameful lawyer who dressed up a staffer as a priest.  His intent was to have the guy mingle among the grieving families of air crash victims.  

Recently, I ran across some goofy behavior from a local law practice. My firm had installed a brochure holder outside of our main entrance.  It was an old fashioned way for after-hours visitors to get some basic contact and practice area information about our law office.  I started noticing we were going through an inordinate amount of brochures.  I thought it might be some punk teenagers.  With their iPhones, Justin Beiber haircuts and sugary cereals, you can't trust them.  I was wrong.  Checking our security tape, I recognized an overzealous paralegal from another firm.  He was the culprit.  He was taking all of our brochures and throwing them into a public trash bin.  Had it really come to this?  If stealing brochures is your way of dealing with the competition, you are doing something wrong.  At least this guy did not resort to putting mice in our vents.  A Pennsylvania pizza restaurant wasn't so lucky.

Apparently, the residents in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania love their pizza.   One section of town even has three pizzeria shops.  Culinary connoisseurs have their choice of Bella Pizzeria, Verona Pizza, or Uncle Nick's Pizza.  The glut of choices was just too much for Nicholas Galiatsatos.  He owned Bella Pizzeria and wanted to be the only game in town.  As such, he decided to pay his competitors a visit.

The first stop for Nicholas was Verona Pizza.  With bag in tow, he came in and asked to use the bathroom. He was empty handed when he came out.  Curious, Verona's owner inspected the bathroom.  He found footprints on the toilet and noticed the drop ceiling tiles were moved.  He discovered a bag stashed inside the ceiling.  The owner handed it over to a couple of cops who happened to be eating lunch at the restaurant.  They discovered three mice inside.  Curmudgeonly chef Nicholas was also accused of walking across the street to Uncle Nick's pizza where he dropped another bag of mice into a trash bin inside the restaurant.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  What's the big deal?  Pizza places and mice have a long history with each other.  Look at Chuck E. Cheese.  Maybe this guy was trying to be nice.  Maybe he was hoping one of the rodents would turn into a chef like in Patton Oswalt's Ratatouille.  Nevertheless, Nicholas was charged with a variety of counts including disorderly conduct, harassment and animal cruelty.  At least one local business did well.  The mice were purchased at a local pet store.


Anonymous said...

ah, Chef Papa Nixon...what did they call it? Rat f_cking?

Equus Spirit said...

Question should be: How long AFTER the call to the Health Inspector (or whatever relevant office it happens to be in your area) were the rodents placed in the store? Also, where the rodents the white or the more common darker ones? One would think that the white ones would raise suspicions even more quickly...Most inspectors don't look for the live animals-so one has to wonder what was the point? Just scaring the wits out of the employees and customers??

Tacky tactic.

Anonymous said...

You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will do
nothing dishonest, and will not knowingly allow anything dishonest to be done in court, and
that you will inform the court of any dishonesty of which you have knowledge; that you will not
knowingly maintain or assist in maintaining any cause of action that is false or unlawful; that
you will not obstruct any cause of action for personal gain or malice; but that you will exercise
the office of attorney, in any court in which you may practice, according to the best of your
learning and judgment, faithfully, to both your client and the court; so help you God or upon
penalty of perjury. (General Statutes § 1-25 and annotations.)
(Amended pursuant to Public Act 02-71 to take effect Oct. 1, 2002.)

and - what did you do?

Adrian M. Baron said...

It would be an attorney's duty to report such behavior to the bar. If you note in my post, I only read about the firm dressing up a staffer as a priest in another state. As to the gentleman with the mice, our oath does not cover pizzerias.

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Chris said...

I think it is too awkward for attorneys to dress that way just to get some clients. Lawyers should always act and look decent enough to maintain their credibility.

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form 2290 said...

Indeed Chris. You wouldn't want to be represented by a guy on a Hawaiian shirt and beige shorts, wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

Competition is everywhere. The most important thing is, lawyer is doing their works just to give their clients a satisfaction on handling cases.

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Suzy Thompson said...

Some lawyers take a competition as a challenges. They'll make a better professional or better person because of competition. Take it as a big part of your life and you'll see you would be a greater person that you ever know.

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