LAST CALL: Ignorance of law isn't bliss for one PR executive in CA

Ignorance of the law is no defense, as any PR person can tell


Barry Hutchison, director of media relations for VC firm Draper Fisher

Jurvetson, thought he was doing the right thing when he pulled to the

side of the highway in Silicon Valley to answer a call from a New York

Times reporter.

"I'm not a big believer in sitting in the left-hand lane and talking on

the cell phone," he said.

Alas, the iconic California Highway Patrol officer who pulled him over

did not agree. Hutchison was fined $174 for making a

"non-emergency stop."

The humiliation did not end there. Hutchison could have contested the

fine in court, but instead chose to take the compulsory online driving

school and exam.

Sounds simple for a grown-up, right? Well, it took four hours to

complete the online class. Then he had to take the online test, um,

twice. He failed on his first try, but they gamely let him have another


"I spent almost the entire day on this project, and there was not a

single question on the test about cell-phone usage," he complained.

But the law-abiding folk at Last Call wanted to know: Has Hutchison

learned any valuable lessons from his brush with the law? "I think in

the future I'll only take calls from The Wall Street Journal and USA

Today when I'm driving," he wisely concluded. "Larger circulation."

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