* All may not be genetically sound with
Suri babies of holoprosencephaly sufferers. (But does genetic perfection really exist?) And once again, wordplay gets us out of the woods of potential litigation by a crazy actor midget. [Overlawyered]
* Jack Abramoff has been hitting the books in the prison law library and will represent himself in two lawsuits filed against him by Indian tribes. I think “kitchen duty and carpentry” is prison-speak for “shower activities.” [Law.com]
* Off-ensive or just off-menu? Not brought to you by the people who brought you this refreshing drink. [Vivir Latino via Racialicious]
* Remember when we used to de-contract words (e.g., “does not” for “doesn’t”) to inch our way towards the minimum word requirement? [FN1] Apparently, this is the only way law school is not like high school. [PrawfsBlawg]
[FN1] Enough already! law professors lament. And yes, smart aleck, footnotes do count toward the word limit.
* Running with Scissors writer Augusten Burroughs is being sued for libel, not for his part in the adaptation of his memoir into the abysmally bad film version. [Vanity Fair]
* Any future husband of mine should be so lucky as to take on “Q” as their last name, or our combined last name. But for the record, could it be that “Buday” is pronounced “booty”? [ACLU of Southern California via PrawfsBlawg]
Pro Se Litigants
- ACLU, Books, Celebrities, Crime, Defamation, Feminism, Food, Gender, Immigration, Jack Abramoff, Law Professors, Movies, Native Americans, Non-Sequiturs, Prisons, Pro Se Litigants, Weddings
* All may not be genetically sound with
As one of you has noted, our favorite pro se lawsuit, filed back in 2003, has already been decided.
Interested in seeing how the case was resolved? Check out the published opinion: Ward v. Arm & Hammer, 341 F.Supp.2d 499 (2004).
Ted Frank has the link, plus commentary. Click here to satisfy your curiosity.
Because we all love wacky pro se suits: Ward v. Arm & Hammer [Overlawyered]
Earlier: Ward v. Arm & Hammer: What Do You Think?
The Fine Line Separating Pro Se Litigants, Plaintiffs’ Lawyers, and Law Professors
Remember this great lawsuit, which we wrote about last week? In case you don’t, here’s a quick recap:
Summary: Pro se litigant George Allen Ward is suing Arm & Hammer and its corporate parent, Church & Dwight, for $425 million. His theory of liability: failure to warn. The company failed to warn him that if he cooked up THEIR PRODUCT, baking soda, with cocaine, he might end up serving a 200-month prison sentence on crack cocaine charges. You can read the full pleading here.
Opinion among ATL commenters was deeply divided. Some found the lawsuit almost offensive in its frivolousness, while others viewed it as presenting a colorable claim.
What do you think? We’d like to know (because commenters aren’t always representative of our entire readership). Time for a quick poll:
|Make Free Online Polls|
- Announcements, Borat, Celebrities, Drinking, Duke Lacrosse Team Rape Case, Eumi Choi, Job Searches, Movies, Nauseating Things, NYU Law School, Orrin Hatch, Pro Se Litigants, Public Interest, Senate Judiciary Committee, Sex, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Stephen Breyer, Week in Review
Here’s our recap of the past week in ATL, completely free of Biglaw or bonus news (which will be summarized in a separate “Week in Review” post).
The theme for this week’s news: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
* Hardworking lawyers are still unhappy with their sex lives.
* Celebrities still get in legal trouble (and so do state court judges).
* Borat-related lawsuits still keep getting filed.
* The Duke lacrosse team rape case is still FUBAR.
* Law school libraries are still foul-smelling at the height of final exams.
* Pro se litigants are STILL AWESOME.
* Senator Orrin Hatch is still on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
* Justice Breyer is still concerned about sectarian violence in the 17th century.
* Eumi Choi is still our idol.
* Working for the government still offers many young lawyers more interesting work, and greater responsibility, than Biglaw life (but without a five-figure bonus).
* Also, public interest work still attracts some of the most promising law school graduates.
Have a good weekend, everyone!
Remember the Best Notice of Appeal Ever? We’ve finally found a filing that tops it.
Pro se litigants, plaintiffs’ lawyers, and law professors all share the ability to “think outside the box.” They come up with novel and creative theories of liability — ones that courts have never entertained before.
Some are crazy. Some are brilliant. And some fall somewhere in between. Consider this civil complaint:
Summary: Pro se litigant George Allen Ward is suing Arm & Hammer and its corporate parent, Church & Dwight, for $425 million. His theory of liability: failure to warn. The company failed to warn him that if he cooked up THEIR PRODUCT, baking soda, with cocaine, he might end up serving a 200-month prison sentence on crack cocaine charges.
Ward argues that Arm & Hammer should add one of these warnings to boxes of baking soda:
“The use of this product with illegal drugs is punishable by law and is prohibited.”
“The use of this product with illegal drugs is punishable by enhanced penalties by the laws of the United States of America.”
This is just the beginning; the whole complaint is genius. It’s strangely compelling, and it gets better with every page. Also, we think it might fly in the Ninth Circuit.
We reprint the rest of the pleading after the jump. Enjoy!
It would be hard to find a court filing more boring than the notice of appeal. For all you non-lawyers, it’s the document by which a losing litigant gives notice of her intention to appeal. The notice of appeal gets filed with the court and served on the opposing party.
Usually the notice of appeal is a formulaic, bare-bones document that just identifies the decision being appealed from, the court being appealed to, etc. But this one is a bit more colorful:*
For penning such a wonderfully spirited notice of appeal, George C. Swinger, Jr., deserves counsel. Anyone want to represent him?
* Addendum: This post was based on an email tip from a reader. After drafting this post but before publishing, we learned that this NOA was previously discussed last month at both the Volokh Conspiracy and The Legal Reader (which we somehow managed to miss, despite reading both blogs fairly regularly).
Anyway, since we already went to the trouble of writing this up, we’re publishing it (in case any of you also missed this document). But yes, we’re aware that this is not “new” — so you can refrain from sending us emails telling us so. Also, the blogosphere is not the legal academy, so “preemption” isn’t as much of a problem.