The Beginning of the End Revisited

April 18, 2013 - by: Doug Hall 0 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: Possible workers’ comp claim for Dwight for injuries sustained in trying to cross a “flaccid cord”; groundwork established for a breach of contract suit by Nellie if Andy follows through on his intent to fire her

Tonight’s “previously aired” episode takes us back to the first episode of this, the last season of “The Office.”  The film crew apparently took the summer off, as the characters start the episode by discussing what they did over the summer (including Kevin’s unfortunate encounter with a turtle in the parking lot), Andy returns from a corporate Outward Bound adventure, and we are introduced to Clark (“new Dwight”) and Pete (“new Jim”), the “new guys” of the title.  We also get the first hint of what later will be developed as trouble in paradise between Jim and Pam. (Personally, I cannot believe that, after finally getting those two together, much to the viewers’ delight, the producers decide to manufacture problems between them.  But I digress.)

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Three Dwight Circus

September 24, 2012 - by: Kristin Starnes Gray 4 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: Andy’s vocal hatred for Nelly = fodder for her brewing constructive discharge and breach of contract case; New versus Old Dwight dynamic = possible future age discrimination issues; watching Old Dwight’s jealous alter ego attempt a terrifying stunt in the parking lot to put New Dwight in his place = priceless.

The Office kicked off its final season with quite a bang. With a New Dwight (“Dwight Jr.”) and a New Jim (“Plop”), Oscar’s secret affair with The Senator, growing tensions between Jim and Pam over career issues, and the big reveal about the paternity of Angela’s baby, this season should be an interesting one. Andy is back and relishing his role as Regional Manager except for one small problem–Nellie is still lurking around. Hopefully Outward Bound has not resurrected angry wall-punching Andy.   

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Stapler-Markers And Other Unusual Gift Ideas

December 23, 2011 - by: Joshua Drexler 0 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: potentially millions when Dunder Mifflin/Saber tries to assert ownership rights over the Stapler-Marker or scented pink paper.

In an unusual deviation from its comic roots, last night’s episode of The Office, “Gettysburg,” tackled a difficult societal issue: the isolation and depression resulting from corporate America treating business like war….. Ok, that’s not true – just making sure you are paying attention. In reality “Gettysburg” was a re-run and typically hilarious. Jaclyn West initially provided great commentary.

One of my favorite moments from the episode involved the “Stapler-Marker.” The idea for this ingenious device bubbled up from the depths of Kevin’s unusual mind. Imagine it: no longer will you have to set down your marker before stapling the document that you are working on to another document. Instead, in one seamless movement, you will mark and then staple. Or you will staple then mark. As Kevin demonstrated, you might even be able to do both tasks at the same time, cutting out endless hours of wasted moments during the day.

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Words Matter (More than Lithium)

August 19, 2010 - by: Matt Rita 3 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: A plaintiff (and high school) class consisting of “Scott’s Tots,” each of whom could claim entitlement to four years of college tuition — less an offset for the value of a laptop battery. (Thanks, Mr. Scott.)

Greetings, faithful readers! You know the summer’s going fast and the nights are growing colder — at least in some parts of the continent — when this blog circles back on itself not once, but twice. While watching the most recent repeat of The Office, I seemed to recall writing about someone else within Ford & Harrison who had previously written about this episode. Or maybe I just read his or her prior post. Whatever the case, the fact that I can’t remember how many levels in we are (can you say “Inception”?) suggests that it’s high time for a new season!

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Who Wanted to Be a Millionaire?

December 03, 2009 - by: Doug Hall 2 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: From Dunder Mifflin’s corporate perspective, likely $0, though it might find itself having to defend claims that it should be liable for Michael’s tuition promise. Michael on the other hand . . . but you can’t get blood from a turnip, right?

Just how long has Michael Scott been wreaking havoc on the greater Scranton area? From this episode of The Office, Scott’s Tots, we learn that he’s been at it for at least 10 years, when he promised a group of third graders — Scott’s Tots — that he would pay their college tuition should they graduate from high school. Oh those heady days of 1999, when Michael thought he’d be a millionaire by age 30, 40 at the latest. Well, it’s 2009 now and the chickens have come home to roost. In a series of cringe-inducing scenes, Michael tries to avoid facing the music at all, then reluctantly comes clean, but only after letting the kids sing his praises.

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The Michael Scott Paper Company

March 27, 2009 - by: Troy Foster 9 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: $100,000 * and possibly a permanent injunction

On the “Two Weeks” episode of The Office, Michael decided that since he was leaving Dunder Mifflin, he would start his own company, the Michael Scott Paper Company. This raises a lot of issues about what’s going to happen to the Scranton gang without their fearless leader -– and about unfair and unlawful competition.

The good news is that for once, we’re not talking about how much Dunder Mifflin might have to pay in court. Instead, we can talk about what the company might receive in court.

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More On Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

March 13, 2008 - by: Julie Elgar 2 COMMENTS

In the truth is stranger than fiction category, I recently re-discovered a case in which a Hooter’s waitress in Florida sued her employer for tricking her about a prize in a beer-selling contest.  The waitress thought she would win a Toyota if she sold the most beer.  However, after she won the contest, her manager blind-folded her; led her to the parking lot; and presented her with a plastic “toy Yoda” character from Star Wars.  The manager claimed the prank was an April Fool’s joke.  Funny, right?  Apparently, the employee didn’t think so– she sued her employer, a Hooter’s franchisee, for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation.

We all know that subjecting employees to ridicule and disappointment is not a great motivational technique.  But, as the employer learned in this case, conducting business this way can also lead to protracted, and ultimately, expensive litigation.  While cases usually aren’t this egregious, the lesson is the same:  “I was only kidding” is never going to be your strongest defense.

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