Here’s Some Comic Relief on a Friday With a Complaint That Includes a Comic Book: Litigation Trends

Think all filed petitions and complaints look the same?  This comic book store in Houston filed a complaint against a nearby hotel for damage to their roof.  But the way they filed it was unique!

As reported by Texas Monthly, Third Planet Sci-Fi Superstore, a comic book store in Houston, filed a lawsuit against the nearby Crowne Plaza River Oaks, claiming that the hotel’s guests keep throwing objects such as fire extinguishers and dishes from balconies onto the store’s roof, necessitating costly repairs. But the weird part is what the pleading from the store looks like.

What does it look like?  As the embedded pleading illustrates, it looks normal for the first five pages.  However, starting on page 6, the plaintiffs “provide[d] the facts in illustrated form”.  In other words, they filed the lawsuit as – a comic book!

Artists Michael Charles, Maurice Terry Jr., Michael Brooks, and Benjamin Carbonero of Bad Cog Studios illustrated the 24-page comic book at the request of Third Planet owner T.J. Johnson and his attorney, Cris Feldman. “I was really intrigued by it because, first of all, I got a lawyer calling me to do a creative project,” Charles told the Houston Chronicle. The full-color comic shows the store staff fending off an onslaught of ceramic plates, lit cigarette butts that they allege have twice caused fires, and no fewer than fourteen fire extinguishers tossed from hotel balconies onto the store’s roof. One panel depicts store employees using buckets to collect water as rain leaks through the damaged roof onto the shelves.

According to the pleading, lawyers for the defendant claimed that they didn’t understand the previous petition, which meant that filing it as an easy-to-comprehend comic book fits the time-honored legal tradition of being snarky to opposing counsel.  That’s one way to make a statement!

Hat tip to my old boss, Brad Jenkins, for letting me know about the story!

So, what do you think?  Have you ever seen a pleading quite like this?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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