• e-Filing,  Humor,  Legal Humor,  Legal Technology

    How flexible is that midnight electronic filing deadline in federal court?

    When I was a young lawyer, my mentor told me, “Practice law as if the rules will always be strictly enforced against you but will never be strictly enforced against the adverse party.” Wise words. Last week I posted about a party that applied for a 15-minute extension of time to file its documents with the federal district court in Ohio because of some technical difficulties it encountered with the electronic filing. In doing so, it lived out the first half of my mentor’s adage, as it did not assume that it would get a break of even 15 minutes without explicitly requesting such relief. In Hyperphrase Technologies, LLC, et al. v. Microsoft Corporation, a patent infringement case in…

  • Blogging,  Ethics,  Legal Humor

    Your RSS feed reader is not malfunctioning

    That’s right, this really is a new post. I didn’t plan to go for more than a month without posting — the longest time I’ve ever had between posts without first announcing a hiatus —  but events got the best of me. Which is OK.  Between clients and the blog, it’s not a close call. I do plan to get a substantive post up this week and get back on a regular posting schedule soon.  Just wanted you all to know the blog has not been abandoned. As a welcome back treat, allow me to share a couple of blawg items I found interestting. First, I just ran across a…

  • Appeals,  Judges,  Legal Humor

    Does it Matter Who’s On Your Panel?

    Our local appellate court in Ventura (Second District, Division Six) can be a good place to hang out if you’re looking for a chuckle. I don’t think I’ve ever left a session there without having at least once laughed, or at least smiled — just not in my own case. No, I don’t laugh at anybody . . . I laugh with them. At a recent session, a somewhat mischievous question from the presiding justice brought some grins to those waiting and provided food for thought. Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert is well known for his wit, and recently it even came out during the criminal case calendar. Usually, all four…

  • Legal Humor

    Ever Felt Like Using an Expletive at Oral Argument?

    I imagine swear words are material to cases quite often, especially in defamation or employment cases (the latter being the first time I had to put one in a brief).  But I suspect they are rarely the focus that they will be in oral argument in this case before SCOTUS.  Apparently, “Justice Roberts is undecided on whether or not he should even allow the lawyers to use the words — and if so, whether to allow the argument’s audio to be played on C-SPAN.”

  • Legal Humor,  Ninth Circuit

    Judge Bybee Pokes Fun (Update: He’s Not Alone)

    When the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges convened for their conference last year, they did so amid a lot of buzz about whether the circuit should be split up. If there is a similar cloud surrounding this year’s conference, I haven’t caught on to it. But a lack of press buzz is no barrier to discussing the circuit’s checkered reputation. WSJ.com Law Blog summarizes Judge Bybee’s funny presentation about how the Ninth is viewed through the eyes of various institutions. Update (8/1/08): Judge Bybee isn’t the only judicial joker this week.  Tenth Circuit Judge Michael McConnell earned some laughs this week by noting that the Constitution refers to his…

  • Legal Humor

    A Little Bit Funny, Mostly Not

    When I found this Youtube video, I was hoping to send everyone off on their weekend with a good laugh. Then I watched it.  Don’t get it.  At all.  Which is why I’m not embedding it here, and you’ll have to follow the link. If you think you get it, leave a comment. Nonetheless, I looked at part 2 of the video, and that one does have a pretty funny sequence starting around the 1:20 mark, and another starting at about 3:30. Since this appears to be a legitimate research training video with a laugh track added, and the humor arises (presumably unintentionally) from the dialogue in the training video,…

  • Legal Humor

    Not Really Appellate Stuff . . .

    . . . but it concerns a legal blog — or at least a blog that likes to criticise the legal system — so what the heck. You know that annoying “404 Not Found” message you get when you try to access a web page that is no longer there? Of course you do. Royal Pingdom shows that they don’t have to be boring. Among the 17 such pages honored in that post is the one at Overlawyered, which gave me a chuckle.

  • Legal Humor

    This Case Name is Worth Blogging About After All

    Several weeks ago, I clued everyone in to what I think is the best law firm name of all time. And I’ve also mentioned when an unusual case name has caught my eye. Then I ran across a case out of the Ninth Circuit this morning that I almost blogged about just because of the name. But it’s an in rem action, where names are often a little weird (usually currency, as in United States v. $1,201,894.38 in U. S. Currency”). Then I thought, “Nah, I just don’t get out much. Everyone’s going to think I’m crazy that this name is so unusual.” Then Robert Loblaw at Decision of the…

  • Legal Humor

    PrawfsBlawg Looking for “Screwed” Nominations

    PrawfsBlawg is seeking nominations for “most screwed victims in case law history.”  The post has already collected quite a few nominations in the comments. Surely, the readership of this blog has something to contribute.  For lawyers who represent a lot of appellants, virtually everyone who walks into their office feels like they have been “screwed” — and many of them have.

  • Legal Humor

    A Legal Classic Spoofed, and Well

    I doubt you can find a lawyer unfamiliar with the scene in the movie “A Few Good Men” in which the defense lawyer, played by Tom Cruise, grills the witness, a Marine colonel played by Jack Nicholson, over the disciplinary practices at the Marine Barracks at Guantanamo Bay.  (You know the one: “You can’t handle the truth!”) There’s a terrific spoof of that scene over at PrawfsBlawg.  Substitute a congressman for the Tom Cruise character, 7-time Cy Young award winner Roger Clemens for the witness, and the subject of steroids and human growth hormone for discipline at the Marine Barracks, and you have a wonderfully entertaining spoof.  (Just a script,…

  • Legal Humor

    Best Law Firm Name of All Time

    I was reminded of the best law firm name ever when I saw the firm as counsel of record in a Ninth Circuit decision Wednesday. I am familiar with them from my days in Orange County (in fact, I interviewed with them around the time I interviewed with and became an associate at the late, great, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison). The best real law firm name I’ve ever run across: Payne & Fears, LLP. As good as, or better than, the fake firm names in your law school exams (like Dewey, Screwem & Howe or Low, Ball & Lynch). UPDATE (2/15/08): Several commenters point out that Low, Ball & Lynch…

  • Legal Humor,  Legal Research

    Try Tackling All of This Case Law

    “S. COTUS” at Appellate Law & Practice suggests heading over to this link at Public.Resouce.org, where, according to Robert Ambrogi, more than 1.8 million pages of case law have been released in what AL & P calls “somewhat raw form” (raw enough to title his post “XML case law”), apparently as an invitation to developers to catalog them in more usable form.  He adds there are some “fun” videos there as well, and includes a link to a re-enactment of Marbury v. Madison.

  • Ethics,  Law Practice & Marketing,  Legal Humor

    Lawyer Advertising Pit Bulls, uh, Make That Pitfalls

    Not that you’d ever know it from reading this blog, but I’m a pretty funny guy. So I like things about humor and the law. A front page article in last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal documents how badly some state bars lack a sense of humor (subscription required — if that link doesn’t work, go to this post at the WSJ.com Law Blog, which appears to allow non-subscribers to link to the article). Take the opening few paragraphs: Syracuse, N.Y., attorney James Alexander ran a TV spot for his firm showing lawyers offering counsel to space aliens who had crashed their UFO. He also did one with lawyers towering like…

  • Legal Humor,  Legal Writing

    Legal Acronyms for the Communication Age

    Legal Writing Prof Blog has an amusing synopsis of an article titled “Legalese in the Age of IM (Instant Messaging).” If you are internet savvy and familiar with such acronyms as “rotfl” (rolling on the floor laughing) or “omg” (oh my God), then you’ll get a kick out of law-specific acronyms like OFG, 2SL, WADR, and others. Can you guess what they are before looking?

  • Labor & Employment,  Legal Humor

    The Legal Value of a TV Comedy

    Thanks to this post at WSJ.com Law Blog, I (and you) know about the blog ?That?s What She Said,? which follows the TV show “The Office,” a comedy featuring an outrageously inept, offensive, and politically incorrect boss. Here’s how WSJ.com describes the blog: It has a clever gimmick: [blogger Julie Elgar, a labor lawyer at Ford & Harrsion in Atlanta] puts a price tag on each episode, estimating how much the politically incorrect behavior would cost real companies to defend. Last night her approximate legal bill came to $450,000. Maybe there’s an HR Director or General Counsel out there trying to figure out how to work episodes of The Office…

  • Legal Humor,  U.S. Supreme Court

    So Your Child Wants to Be a Lawyer

    If you’re determined to set your kid on the path to lawyering at an early age, you might consider The ABA Journal U.S. Supreme Court Coloring and Activity Book.  That link leads to a description that includes this more-than-likely true statement: “It’s the first SCOTUS-centric publication to come with its own box of crayons.”  The ABA post includes links for purchase and PDF downloads of sample pages featuring Sandra Day O’Connor and John Marshall.

  • Legal Humor,  Legal Writing

    Gobbledygook Award Winners

    Party of the First Part has announced the winners of the Golden Gobbledygook Award, including a link to the first prize winner: an information for conspiracy, money laundering and other crimes, which includes a sentence more than 1,000 words long.  With writing like that, you could write the entire Jeff Skilling brief in just 58 sentences.

  • Legal Humor

    Nothing Good on TV?

    How about watching some depositions and other legal proceedings that will keep you laughing? Just don’t click on crazydepos.com while you’re at work and then blame me when your billables are down.

  • Appeals,  Legal Humor

    Prawfsblog Looking for Worst Legal Arguments

    Here’s our second contest of the day related to bad legal skills.  Well, not a contest really, since there doesn’t appear to be a plan to announce a winner or award prizes.  Prawfsblawg is soliciting examples of “the weakest legal argument you’ve ever heard.”  Add your contribution to the comments at this post at Prawfsblawg.  As of this posting, there were 56 comments already. Appellate practice offers a whole new area of bad argument: the argument that was proper at trial but has no place at all in the court of appeal even if legally correct.  Using emotion-laden arguments, arguing credibility and relative weight of the evidence are some examples. I…

  • Legal Humor,  Legal Writing

    Bad “Legalese” Can Earn an Award

    Have you run across a particularly egregious case of “legalese” lately?  It may win you some prizes.  Go to the blog The Party of the First Part for details on submitting your entry for the newly announced “Golden Gobbledegook” award, learn where the word “gobbledegook” came from and the prizes the winner and two runners up will win. POFP offers this encouragement (besides the prizes): “Looking for inspiration? Check out the Legalese Hall of Shame at POFP’s website.”

  • Blogging,  Legal Humor

    Legal Antics Announces Legal Humor Law Blog Poll Winners

    That was fast.  Legal Antics announced the winners in its “Top 10 Funniest Law Blogs” contest that it announced less than two weeks ago.  Sixteen blogs were nominated.  In order to generate traffic to Legal Antics, I’m not going to disclose the winning blog here.  (A link to the post disclosing the winners is below the teaser quote.)  Here’s the teaser: [Winner], a web site that, upon information and belief, doesn’t even consider itself a blog, let alone a law blog, has won the “Funniest Law Blog” contest by a landslide. Go here for the complete results. By the way, all of the sixteen nominated blogs that weren’t already on…

  • Announcements,  Blogging,  Legal Humor

    Legal Blog Nominations

    OK, this is just a little outside my normal subject matter.  But since I figure most of my visitors are regular readers of legal blogs, I thought I should tip you all off to the fact that Legal Antics is soliciting nominations for its upcoming list of “Top 10 funniest law blogs.” Look for me to add a “Legal Humor” category to the blogroll in the next few days.