badrowboatcop asked: young law student I am desirous of my friend's two cows but my friend tells me the cows have been awarded a thousand square acres each in his now-dead uncle's will. I found one cow dead of pneumonia and decided to eat it but now my friend thinks I'm a cow murderer and is demanding I pay him for the cow and land. what. help. why.
It’s time once again for ridiculous legal hypotheticals. As per always, you can leave these in my /ask, and I will attempt to answer them, but any answer given in ridiculous legal hypothetical time should not be mistaken for legal advice, even when I couch it in apparently advice-y terms, because I am a law student which means I basically know six weeks more than you do about the law. Do not follow my advice. Don’t do it. If you have eaten a stray cow, my non-legal advice is that you probably shouldn’t have done it raw.
Ok, now to the hypo.
This presents several separate legal questions, one of which I am going to research totally de novo because I’m super curious about it, but which I know even less about than usual. Those questions are,
1) If you eat a dead animal that you know belongs to someone else and you are not starving, do you have to pay damages?
1a) Do you have to pay more damages if you killed the animal yourself?
2) If an animal is left money in a will, who gets the money when the animal dies?
3) If necessary, as a matter of strategy, how would you best defend against the civil claim that you killed the cow deliberately to eat it?
4) Did you commit a crime?
The odds are extremely strong I won’t get to four. Let’s assume your neighbor hates the cops but loves tort claims.