Legal, Eh?

Jeff Bercovici, for DailyFinance:

Asked whether he’s concerned his company may have committed a crime in buying the phone, Denton says that Gaby Darbyshire, Gawker Media’s chief operating officer, researched the relevant case law and came away satisfied that Gizmodo was in the clear.

Gaby Darbyshire, however keen a legal mind she may possess, is not a U.S. attorney. She’s a former English trial lawyer. I suspect Denton might have gotten different advice if he’d asked a California attorney familiar with California’s lost property statute:

One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010