Would you like fries or our tips to go with that?

hamburglarHelpful hint for job applicants: It’s best that you don’t steal before you even get the job.

A woman who filled out an application at a Five Guys in Rehoboth Beach, Del., lifted about $15 from tip jars at the burger joint, police said. Authorities looked at surveillance video and her application, then arrested Melissa Brittingham, 44, of Rehoboth Beach. She pleaded guilty to theft and got a year of probation.

Oh, another hint, this one for would-be thieves: It’s best that you don’t leave your contact information with the place you’re stealing from.



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BDC seeks $200K unpaid loan from former hotel owner

Inn at the Black OliveMF01The Baltimore Development Corp. is seeking repayment of a $200,000 loan it made to the previous owners of The Inn at the Black Olive in Fells Point.

The BDC gave the loan to The Black Olive Development Co. LLC in February 2011, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The judgment by confession seeks the unpaid principal of more than $196,000 as well as more than $29,000 in attorneys’ fees.

The Black Olive Development Co. filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in March. The company is owned by the Spiliadis family, which also owns the nearby Black Olive restaurant as well as Olive Grove Catering Inc. The catering company is also named as a defendant by the BDC.

The boutique hotel was sold at auction in June for $3.9 million to 1st Mariner Bank, which holds the mortgage and foreclosed on the property in January.

The sale was completed in June, according to bankruptcy records. The Spiliadis family continues to run the hotel under an arrangement with 1st Mariner.

Law blog roundup

Bananas FosterWelcome to Monday and a reminder to reserve your infield spot for Saturday. Here are some news items to get your week started.

– Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticizes Roe v. Wade.

– The family of NHL player sues National Hockey League for wrongful death.

– Male lawyers will don stilettos to make a point.

– The family behind the Bananas Foster fights over its New Orleans restaurant.


D.C. lawyer (chicken) dances around political debate

When it comes to defending same-sex marriage, one Washington, D.C., lawyer is no chicken.

Attorney Ted Frank, who also blogs, has come up with a way to support same-sex marriage and consume controversial Chick-fil-A chicken.

The country has been abuzz about the Georgia-based fast-food chain in the past few weeks after its president, Dan Cathy, told a Baptist newspaper in an interview that he only supports marriage between a man and a woman.

Since then, each side of the political spectrum has jumped into the issue. Opponents of same-sex marriage declared a “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” and encouraged those supporting Cathy’s views to head to their nearest Chick-fil-A and order a chicken sandwich and waffle fries. Those in favor of same-sex marriage responded with Chick-fil-A “Kiss-Off” day, where same-sex couples smooched outside chicken chains across the country.

Frank has found himself, like many Americans, facing a conundrum: he loves Chick-fil-A food, but dislikes the company’s stance against same-sex marriage. So Frank decided to take a stand — all for the love of chicken and same-sex marriage.

Frank started the website, Chicken Offsets, where people can donate every time they eat at Chick-fil-A. The money will then go to a number of LGBT nonprofits. Every $1 donated equals an offset of one chicken sandwich, and $6 is worth 10 chicken sandwich offsets, according to the website.

As Frank explains on the website:

Chick-fil-A sells $4,100,000,000 of chicken a year and donates about 0.04% of that to Christian organizations that are only anti-gay in a collateral sense. Buying a chicken offset does far more for gay rights than boycotting the chain because someone asked a business executive so religiously Christian that he insists that the stores be closed on Sunday what he thought about gay marriage and people are pretending to be surprised by the answer.

At least 90 percent of the money donated goes to the It Gets Better Project, which focuses on helping LGBT teens, and The Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA School of Law that researches gender identity and sexual orientation law. Only a small amount of money is kept by the website for operating expenses.

Frank launched the website Saturday night and reportedly had raised $100 by late Monday.

So now, thanks to Frank,  gay rights supporters hankering for a spicy chicken sandwich bathed in signature Chick-fil-A Sauce can consume the 630-calorie meal guilt-free. Well, morally, anyways.

Lawyer puts a cork in legal career

A Washington, D.C, lawyer has chosen vino over verdicts.

The Washington Post reports Elizabeth Banker, part-owner of law firm ZwillGen PLLC in the District, has decided to quit the law and go into the wine business. Banker is opening a wine bar on Wisconsin Avenue in mid-August.

Banker has put about $600,000 into Slate Wine Bar, $450,000 of which was her own. Much of the rest of the money came from other lawyers.

The restaurant will serve some food but will concentrate on wine, a menu Banker prepared for by traveling to wineries around the world for two years.

Hon Inc. and ‘pulling a Danny’

Judging by the reader responses to news that the word “Hon” has been trademarked, some Baltimoreans might have a new name for Cafe Hon owner Denise Whiting: Atilla.

The great John McIntyre explains why this touches a nerve:

What leads to the raised voices is the question of ownership of language. And with that question come all the overtones of social class, local history and culture, and personal likes and dislikes that crowd in on discussions of language and ensure that such discussions will never be neutral or unemotional.

Coincidentally, The New York Times had a story yesterday about athletes trademarking their catchphrases. I did not know that Nike owns the right to the name “LeBron.”

The lesson? I better call a lawyer now about the legal rights for “pulling a Danny.”

Top 5: Pizza Boli franchisee under fire

Supreme Court rulings, the National Football League, consumer class-action suits, an attorney disbarred and cold pizza — last week’s most-read stories written by The Daily Record’s legal team cover many of the touchstones of the modern-day news diet.

1. Pizza Boli wants D.C. franchisee to go
A federal judge in Baltimore is likely to order a former longtime Pizza Boli’s franchise in Washington D.C., to significantly change the way it does business and may even shut it down for a time.

2. Supreme Court rejects McCrary case, others
The Supreme Court turned aside a host of petitioners Monday, including some of the defendants in retired Baltimore Raven Michael McCrary’s long-running insurance fraud case.

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For you, Subway, The Daily Record’s just $1

The other day, I found in my office mailbox a photocopied Subway coupon sheet addressed to “Daily Record Newspaper Employees” and touting “great offers.” As a longtime Subway customer, I read on, expecting to find a deal that would save me a few bucks. Instead, I met with an insult to my intelligence.

“Daily Record Newspaper Employees,” one coupon advertised, could get a FOOTLONG sub, chips and a drink for $7.

Thanks for the personal invitation, Subway, but spare me the disingenuous implication of exclusivity. As any regular patron of the sandwich chain knows, that’s what everybody pays when they make a $5 FOOTLONG into a combo meal.

I don’t know whether the other coupons offer similarly misleading deals. Maybe somebody at another downtown Baltimore employer who eats six-inch subs and has little tolerance for “one for $1, two for $2″ bargains cares to chime in.

Return of the deli (again)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:a new restaurant has taken the place of the former Court Towers Deli in Towson.

Nearly one month after the Perring Place Express Deli closed, the space was open for business again today under a new name: Crush Cafe. The restaurant appeared largely bare, and there was no sign to indicate its name, but I saw a customer walk in and purchase a drink.

My courthouse sources indicated the new restaurant is owned by the same people behind Crush in Belvedere Square, and that the breakfast offerings are pretty tasty. A Crush employee confirmed the restaurant’s Towson presence and said today was the new joint’s first day.

More details as I learn them. Here’s to hoping Crush Cafe can hang around longer than one of Murphy Brown’s secretaries.

Deli’s closed (again)

Well, that was quick.

The Perring Place Express Deli in Towson has closed six months after opening. A sign on the door says it is temporarily closed and will open under new management in the “near future.” (But we’ve heard that timetable before.)

My courthouse sources said the closing was so sudden last week it even took the employees by surprise. The general consensus was the food was good but a little a pricey. The sources said they’ve heard it could re-open in three weeks, but no one is holding their breath.

And so the Deli Watch begins again…