Tag: Criminal Law

Superhero Plaintiffs — This looks like a job for…my attorney!

by on Sep.23, 2009, under Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Torts

“There’s been a mix up in the lab!” “The experiment can’t be stopped!” “Who’s that on the test field?!” “Are we missing a spider?” “Watch out for that kid!” So many superheroes start their crime fighting careers as accident prone individuals who fall victim to an industrial waste spill or a top-secret experiment gone awry. These accidents could lead to more than just superhuman abilities as toxic torts could mean big bucks for our heroes.
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Superheroes – All for one, vicarious liability for all

by on Sep.09, 2009, under Criminal Law, Torts

“Each of you bring something different to the table: strength, speed, stealth,whatever, but we’re all equal in at least one way, each of us is willing to make the sacrifices a hero needs to make, even the ultimate one . . . We can be proactive, we can do some real good in the world, but we’re gonna have to be organized. J’onn1 will be up here keeping an eye on everything, he’ll be the one deciding who goes where and when. I know a lot of you are used to making those decisions by yourself [sic], but from now on we have to be more coordinated than that. We can’t be cowboys anymore…or cowgirls.” – Superman’s address to the Justice League
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“Self” Defense of Others – “Here I come to save the day!”

by on Aug.19, 2009, under Criminal Law, Torts

In a dark alley behind a theater a wealthy couple is walking with their son. Two figures emerge from the shadows; one man with a gun demands money and jewelry while the other stands watch by the street. There’s a struggle; two shots ring out and the couple fall to the ground. Just as the robber is about to pull the trigger on the boy a costumed superhero intervenes deftly subduing the man with the gun. After making sure the boy is alright he gives chase to the lookout and apprehends him a few blocks away. In situations like these there is no question that our hero saved a life but what right did he have to do so? What amount of force was he privileged in using, and can the criminal now bring a lawsuit against him for assault or battery?
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Your tax-dollars at work?

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Criminal Law

Superman stands for truth, justice and the American way, but does that include the protections of the Constitution? Some superheros are treated better by the cities they protect than those hunted as criminals themselves. At what point does acceptance by the government amount to a sanction to engage in quasi-legal behavior? Any discussion of “superhero law” begins with the classification of crime-fighters as vigilantes or government actors. This classification will determine the extent of protection their actions receive under the law as well as the standard by which those actions are judged.
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