We are currently preparing for the legal battle of our lives. Time then to bone up on some legal precedents in this area:
1. In 2005, a Brazilian woman sued her partner for failing to give her orgasms. The 31-year old woman from Jundiai asserted in her case that her 38-year old partner routinely ended sexual intercourse after he reached an orgasm. After a promising start, the action ended in something of an anticlimax for the claimant when her case was rejected.
2. In 2004, a German lawyer, Dr Juergen Graefe, acted for an elderly pensioner from St Augustin, near Bonn, who was sent a tax demand for €287 million, even though the woman’s income was only €17,000. Dr Graefe fixed the problem with one standard letter to the authorities, but as German law entitles him to calculate his fee based on the amount of the reduction he obtained, his fee came to €440,234 (£308,000). It will be met by the state.
3. In 2005, Marina Bai, a Russian astrologer, sued NASA for £165 million for “disrupting the balance of the universe”. She claimed that the space agency’s Deep Impact space probe, which was due to hit a comet later that year to harvest material from the explosion, was a “terrorist act”. A Moscow court accepted Russian jurisdiction to hear the claim but it was eventually rejected.
4. In 2005, Pavel M., a Romanian prisoner serving 20 years for murder, sued God, founding his claim in contract. He argued that his baptism was an agreement between him and God under which, in exchange for value such as prayer, God would keep him out of trouble.
5. In 1874, Francis Evans Cornish, while acting as a magistrate in Winnipeg, Canada, had to try himself on a charge of being drunk in public. He convicted himself and fined himself five dollars with costs. But then he stated for the record: “Francis Evans Cornish, taking into consideration past good behaviour, your fine is remitted”.