Dogs are people, too, or so some dog owners think. They may let their pets have the run of the house, take them everywhere they go, have deep conversations with them, and dress them up in cute little holiday outfits.
Assuming the animal is not mortified by the choice of garments, there's no harm done.
Some dogs are even registered to vote, and too often vote Democratic.
Some dogs inherit estates. Some have their interests represented by attorneys and even become parties to lawsuits. This, too, may be fine, provided counsel does not take advantage of the client's legendary loyalty.
Lucy Lu may have been a fetching young thing, but she was also a bitch (the canine kind), and that should have given Mikal Watts pause.
Lucy Lu was ostensibly Watts's client, one of more than 41,000 he claimed to represent in a lawsuit seeking billions in damages from BP for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. She was identified as a deckhand on a fishing boat.
It's unclear whether Lucy Lu “hired” Watts directly or through an intermediary, inasmuch as the vast majority of his clients turned out not to be alive, or not to have correct Social Security numbers, or not to be aware of their representation by Watts. There were a lot of WattNots.
David Watts had misgivings about his brother's client list, specifically questionable client birth dates and Social Security numbers. “This does not pass the smell test,” he warned Mikal and their associates, to no avail.
BP's claims director and Louisiana attorney regulators had suspicions of their own.
On Sept. 15, federal grand jurors in Gulfport indicted the two Watts brothers and five others, charging them with fraud and identity theft.
Mikal and David Watts are now in the doghouse, but they may soon be in the pen.