Antitrust, Department of Justice, Federal Judges, Technology

Why Write an Amicus Brief — When You Can Draw One Instead?

Any Tintin fans out there? How ’bout Frank Miller? No? Me neither.

No matter, because we may have a new genre of graphic novels to add to the canon that will specifically appeal to attorneys: the illustrated amicus brief. Yeah. That’s a thing now. happened.

For anyone who has ever been frustrated by a judge’s imposition of silly page limits, just follow the lead of Bob Kohn. He filed a brief regarding the Justice Department’s proposed settlement in the long-standing e-book (so appropriate, right?) price-fixing case involving Amazon, Apple, and some of America’s largest publishers.

Let’s take a look…

Kohn is the chairman and chief executive of RoyaltyShare and one of the more outspoken critics of the settlement put forth in the spring by the DOJ with three e-book publishers, according to the New York Times Media Decoder blog.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote forced him to keep his argument to five pages, so instead of getting mad, he got creative. He enlisted the help of his daughter, Kate (the other main character in the comic), and her Harvard classmate, Julia Alekseyeva, to draw it.

I would just blockquote the thing, but it’s literally five pages of cartoons (plus a cover page, a Table of Authorities, and a signature page). We’ve got the whole thing embedded on the next page. Click through below to take a look; it’s almost easier than reading Garfield.

Admittedly, it’s not really funny — at all — but that’s not the point. And Kohn probably gets some pretty high style points, at least from bloggers with nothing personally at stake in the case. Apparently Kohn made a point of following official court rules about margin and font size as well.

Anyway, here are a couple panels to get us rolling:

An amicus bref done as a cartoon is pretty impressive, but I really want to see an illustrated document from someone actually involved in a case. Where are the animated motions for summary judgment? How about for sanctions?

I don’t want to make any promises, but if anyone has the cojones to submit one of those in court, well, we’ll probably be more than happy to make your work (in)famous. As you may recall, we were more than happy to write about a colorful opinion by Judge Richard Posner (7th Cir.) that featured two pictures (of an ostrich and an ostrich-like attorney).

Check out the document on the next page…

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