Don’t try to make a panini out of an exotic dancer and other life lessons


Congratulations to my old Board of Bar Examiner colleague Barbara Goodwin on getting a summary judgment vacated and a remand in a 1983 case, Morrelli v. Webster 

You can learn so many life lessons by reading slip opinions.  For example, this one teaches that if you are an exotic dancer and you trot off to a hotel room to do your thing, and something smells fishy (rightfully – it was a prostitution sting), as you leave, do not take $20 off the $300 on the bed for your time and aggravation.  The next thing you know, the police will be all about, a beefy officer is smooshing you against a wall and you end up with a torn rotator cuff.  

The First Circuit affirmed the legality of stopping her (because there was probable cause that her taking the $20 was theft under Maine law), but said she had a viable excessive force claim.  If you are an itsy bitsy exotic dancer thought to have, at most, committed a Class E crime, it is unreasonable – for summary judgment purposes- for Officer Six-Foot-Two to engage in the above noted smooshing. 

Congratulations, Barbara, along with the MCLU.