A Lawyer Studies Insects In Preparation To Sue

HUMOUR

A LAWYER STUDIES INSECTS IN PREPARATION TO SUE

(A parody by Smokin' Joe)

The Baltimore Herald, AP

Encouraged by the recent, near success in an unprecedented, dog vs master lawsuit for cruelty, Harry Bomfield, a Baltimore lawyer, is leaving no stone uncovered in seaching for a new animal victim to represent. In a recent interview at the Baltimore public library, he enthusiastically told reporters that his next plaintiff could very well be an insect.

" Not just any bug..er I mean insect species, mind you. I'm targeting buhhs, I mean insects, that are helpful to the environment and pose no threat to humans."

Asked for an example he said he could not name one specifically, but went on to say that he was sure there will be many .When talking to us he was sitting behind stacks of heavy books with insect titles, doing research.

" I'm notinventing anything new, " he said, somewhat defensively, " the federal goverment has been at it for years. Just weeks ago they put a bunch of developers out of business…we're talkin' million dollar bankruptcies here…in California… for the sake of a fly ! Not just any fly of course, but a fly just the same. Hell, in California you can go to jail for running over a salamander. Even if you don't see it! Two years, federal law. Did you know that " "

Asked how an insect could sue a US citizen when, in most cases, the injured plaintiff is usually stuck to a windshield, Mr. Bomfield look perplexed.

" I have to admit I don't hold all the cards like the EPA andReno's Justice Department. My partners and I are working on that (question). We think the best way would be to have your neighbor call us if they see you sprayin' Raid in the backyard. Were setting up an 800 hotline number for that purpose.Then we'd try to get a search warrant,or maybe just hang out across the fence an' wait for the right bug… er insect species,.. to fly over and croak… er expire. "

We asked Mr. Bomfield what possible civil complaint a dead ant, for example, could bring against a live human being.

" Well I don't know a lot about ants, " he replied, " but I think they have workers and soldiers and stuff like that. If it was a worker killed, then we would show how the capacity of the colony to build and develop the ant nest was adversely affected. If it was a soldier, then we could prove emotional trauma to the queen,… 'cause she's nervous now about being attacked since some of her soldiers are dead. Of course these are just hypothetical cases. There will be plenty of real cases " Bomfield added enthusiastically, "once we can be sure that insects will be getting a fair hearing from American juries in a civil or criminal suit. But," he smiled " with the Clinton administration, it has been proven time and again that there are many Americans out there who are sympathetic to insects. So we are somewhat optimistic. We also have PETAas pro bono consultants since they are the legal pioneers, so to speak, in this specialty."

Bomfield's voice raised to an impassioned whisper inside the hallowed halls of literature.

" Listen ! I want you to know that I'm not just doing this for the money. Millions of innocent bugs are being gassed, crushed, stepped on, swatted, vacuumed, dissected, shooed, cursed at and electrocuted every day. Just look at how many pet dogs at home snap up bees and wasps with impunity. No, thereis wanton insecticide going on in this country and it has got to stop, " he said , waving his forefinger above his head, " and the only lawful way to stop it…. is to make its' perpetrators pay dearly! "

Mr. Bomfield put on his thick reading glasses and returned to the same page he was studying prior to the interview. When asked, he told reporters that it was a chapter on cockroaches.

Smokin' Joe

Published on October 13, 1999 with permission from the author

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