Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #374

Bob Ingersoll

By day Bob Ingersoll was an attorney in the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, Appellate Division in Cleveland, Ohio, until he retired in 2009. But in the “Real World” he has also been a freelance writer since 1975, when he sold his first comic-book story to the late, lamented Charlton Comics. He’s still at it and, in addition to his long-running column “The Law Is a Ass” has sold stories to DC, Marvel, Innovation, Now Comics, Comico, Kitchen Sink and others; as well as co-authoring the novels Captain America: Liberty’s Torch and Star Trek: The Case of the Colonist’s Corpse. Bob is married with children, which is about as close to Al Bundy as he cares to get.

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3 Responses

  1. Jim Stickford says:

    Mr. Ingersoll

    Great column as always. But I have a quick question. One Sunday recently, the Hallmark Movie Channel was having a “Columbo” marathon. (I’m from Detroit. What am I going to do on Sunday afternoon, watch the Lions?) I hadn’t seen a Columbo in years, so I sat down and watched what was on. It was great. I watched the next one. Ended up seeing like four in a row.

    Like a drug addict, I had fallen off the wagon and was hooked on Columbo. Decided to cruise the Net and see what others wrote, and came across your column about the one with Fisher Stevens. You wrote how Columbo had committed an illegal search by looking around the movie director’s boy cave without permission and finding evidence.

    Question. If Columbo had said “I’d like to have an ice cream soda in your man cave and explore the space to see how a movie genius like you spends is spare time?” and Stevens said yes. Would that have counted as permission? Would that have stood up in court?


    • Probably not, because Columbo would have obtained permission to search under false pretenses. If Stephen Spielberg — Okay I know Fisher Stevens’s character wasn’t named Stephen Spielberg, but we all knew who he was — had known the real reason Columbo wanted to look around, he probably would have said no. Permission obtained by lying about the underlying reason for the permission is not an informed consent.

  2. Jim says:

    Cool. Good to know. Great idea . You write a series of columns here you rate the legal strength of Columbo’s cases.

    You do all the hard work, and I take credit.

    I can live with that.

    Thanks for the quick answer.