While you were gawking at the new kind-of-better-in-some-ways-I-guess Macbook Pro at this week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s law team was quietly paying out a settlement to a Australian government regulators. Apple shipped their newest 4G-compatible iPhones and -Pads to Australia, where ravenous consumers quickly snatched them up. There was one catch: the electronics did not actually work with any LTE networks in the country. Luckily, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was ready to slap Apple around with a lawsuit, alleging that Apple knowingly advertised this whole 4G business despite being well aware that the technology wouldn’t work. Sensing an uphill court battle, Apple quickly settled the case (if I had to guess, I’d say it was a pretty clever tactic to hide the negative press among all the buzz for their WWDC event). The outcome: Apple must pay a fine of $2.25 million to the Australian government, and will also probably have to pick up the tab for $300,000 worth of legal fees. Though they aren’t required to, Apple is also offering refunds to customers who felt cheated. What a nice company.
In Indianapolis’s second-largest legal settlement to date, the family of Eric Wells, a motorcyclist killed by a speeding police car two years ago, has received $1.5 million from the municipal government. While stopped at a red light with some other motorcycle enthusiasts, Wells was struck from behind and killed by a policeman driving a city police vehicle. Officer David Bisard’s actions at the time of the crash are a triumvirate of dangerous driving practices: he was drunk (technically only allegedly — see suspicious circumstances below), he was speeding towards a non-emergency he was not dispatched to, and to top it all off, he was using his in-car police computer for non-police purposes while driving. Any one of those details on their own would be enough for a hefty civil case. Combined, it seems to any observer that the man is justly doomed to a life in jail. In fact, a criminal trial for reckless homicide and criminal recklessness are still pending, along with two more civil cases for the two motorcyclists he only injured. So what’s the hold up?
Turns out gay divorce is pretty much just as acrimonious as straight divorce. In 2010, Melissa Etheridge, a singer/songwriter, split from her longtime actress wife Tammy Lynn Michaels. The two married in 2003, though not explicitly legally. It was a “commitment ceremony”, which is really more like a party and doesn’t set any legal claim to marriage. The two registered themselves in a domestic partnership with the state of California, which carries a different set of rights and obligations than marriage. Michaels gave birth to a set of twins in 2006, further cementing their bond. They unfortunately missed the deadline to get married legally in the short period of time when California permitted gay marriage in 2008, which would have made this much less business-like. However, since their breakup in 2010, the two have been in a contentious divorce-like fight about the dissolution of their partnership, which was finally resolved yesterday. And if you thought business partnerships were rough, just imagine it when children and spite are involved.