Absolute Law Group - February 2022

BROCK VS. BROCK THE MAN WHO SUED HIMSELF

On July 1, 1993, Robert Lee Brock made a mistake. By his own account, he had a few too many alcoholic beverages that evening, and in his drunken state, he committed breaking and entering, as well as grand larceny. Brock was arrested, and the court sentenced him to 23 years behind bars at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Virginia. In 1995, Brock decided he deserved restitution. Reasoning that he had violated his own civil rights, he sued himself for $5 million. For his family’s pain and suffering, as well as his children’s college tuition, he requested $3 million. He also asked for $2 million to support his needs during his 23-year prison sentence. Central to Brock’s claim was that, due to his drinking, “I caused myself to violate my religious beliefs. This was done by my going out and getting arrested, which caused me to be in prison.” And since he was a ward of the state, he explained that Virginia should pay the $5 million on his behalf. After all, he was incarcerated and unable to work, and the state was responsible for his care. Plus, he promised to pay the money back after his release. In a move that shocked no one (except, perhaps, Brock), Judge Rebecca Beach Smith dismissed his case. While she did call his claim “ludicrous,” she also praised his creativity, stating that he “presented an innovative approach to civil rights litigation.”

Perhaps the lawsuit against himself wasn’t his first or last attempt at legal restitution. He once filed 29 complaints in a single year. Due to the repeated suits, the court removed his ability to file further litigation. “None of Brock’s allegations have ever been found by any court to have any merit,” the decision read. “Because Brock’s repeated, frivolous claims have placed a significant burden on this court, as well as on the district court ... we hereby impose sanctions upon Brock.” Brock’s case ranked No. 3 on Time Magazine’s list of Top 10 Outrageous Legal Battles. So, while he didn’t achieve wealth, he did gain fame. It was an impressive feat for a man who found a novel way to take personal responsibility for his actions.

Valentine’s Day Activities for Everyone 3 IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples — everyone can spread the love! This month is all about love and happiness, and there are tons of activities you can do with your friends and family this holiday season. This is the perfect opportunity to remind your loved ones how much you care about them and how happy you are to have them in your life. MAKE FESTIVE TREATS. You know how the saying goes — the quickest way to someone’s heart is through food. You can make tons of goodies to celebrate Valentine’s Day. These treats can be made with your friends and family, too. Heart-shaped items are a symbol of love, and you can make cookies, pancakes, and toast into hearts. Fruit tarts, pies, chocolate cakes, and brownies are also favorites on Valentine’s Day. Pink and red are the colors that symbolize the day of love, too. Create strawberry smoothies, cocktails, and other festive beverages for the occasion as well. CREATE A SCRAPBOOK. Putting together collages of pictures of your loved ones is an enjoyable activity that will bring back memories you’ve shared with others. When

doing this with your family and friends, you can talk about the good times you have shared and spend quality time together. You can also write captions for your pictures about the funny moments or a memory that has always stuck with you.

GET CREATIVE BY COLORING. Release your inner child by coloring. This is a great way to relax, and research shows it can help improve cognitive functions. You can order more complex coloring books online or print out Valentine’s Day coloring sheets from the internet. Color alongside the kids! Then, if you’re feeling extra loving, you can give your finished pictures to your loved ones. Valentine’s Day is all about spreading love to one another and telling the ones you care about how much they mean to you. It’s a great time to create new memories with your friends and family. Appreciate the little things this Valentine’s Day and live in the moment with the ones you love most.

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