Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lawyer, Lawyer, Pants On Fire!

Attotrney Steven Guitierrez'a pants caught on
fire when he was litigating a Florida
arson case.
The sometimes unfair stereotype of lawyers is that they're liars, that "lawyer" is just another way of saying "liar."

And we've all heard the chant directed at the dishonest: "Liar, liar, pants on fire!"

Well, in Florida,  (where else would something like this occur?) while a defense attorney was litigating an arson case of all things, his pants caught on fire.


According to the Miami Herald:

"Stephen Gutierrez, who was arguing that his client's car spontaneously combusted and was not intentionally set on fire, had been fiddling in his pocket as he was about to address jurors when smoke began billowing out his right pocket."

As you might expect, Gutierrez rushed out of the courtroom. Jurors were ushered out out, and soon, Gutierrez returned, without injury but definitely with singed pants. '

This was not an elaborate defense demonstration, the Miami Herald said. It was a faulty battery in an e-cigarette in Gutierrez's pocket.

The Miami Herald tried to contact Gutierrez, but he didn't return the calls.

Whatever happened, it didn't help Gutierrez'a client, Claudy Charles. He was convicted of second degree arson.

Gutierrez could be held in contempt of court because of the incident, the Miami Herald says, but this isn't the first time e-cigarettes have caused trouble.

As I noted back in November, e-cigarette batteries do seem to have a nasty habit of exploding and/or catching fire, which isn't a good thing for e-cigarette enthusiasts.

I guess that's one habit I won't take up, then.

 Repeated calls to Gutierrez’s cellphone went unanswered. Miami-Dade police and prosecutors are now investigating the episode. Officers seized several frayed e-cigarette batteries as evidence.
“A lot of people could have been hurt,” another observer in court told the Miami Herald.Gutierrez was representing Claudy Charles, 48, who is accused of intentionally setting his car on fire in South Miami-Dade. He had just started his closing arguments when the fire broke out. Jurors convicted Charles anyway of second-degree arson.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman, in the coming days, could decide to hold Gutierrez in contempt of court.
The 28-year-old lawyer graduated from Florida International University’s law school in 2015.
With millions of users across the country, e-cigarettes deliver vaporized nicotine through a heated liquid solution. But questions about the health and fire risks of the products have mounted, with the U.S. Department of Transportation recently banning e-cigarettes from checked bags on airplanes.
Last year, a Naples man filed suit in Miami-Dade after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth, leaving him in a coma.

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