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Posts Tagged ‘Well Mannered Frivolity


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“Finally, if the language of the contract is to be construed as broadly as defendant urges to encompass the presence of poltergeists in the house, it cannot be said that she has delivered the premises “vacant” in accordance with her obligation under the provisions of the contract rider.”

169 A.D.2d 254, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672

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November 18, 2008 at 1:23 am

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Screaming Obscenities

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So, over the past 2 days, I’ve been attempting to keep my mouth shut in class about the parol evidence rule. The idea behind it is that you don’t allow outside evidence regarding the terms of a contract when the contract has been written in clear, precise terms. You do allow it in some situations such as if there are ambiguities in the contractual terms, etc.  This is largely to protect the enforceability of the contract – outside evidence alters the view of the contract from the cut and dry plain meaning of the words to interpretation based on testimony, etc.

At some point, we began discussing the evolution of the law, and how more and more parol evidence is eventually making it into cases through the liberalization of the interpretation process. Some legal scholars are thinking that all evidence should be allowed in, and then let the jury sift through it.

That was first brought up yesterday, I was tired, cranky, and just – unhappy. I managed to abstain from saying anything stupid.

Today, the professor brought it up again, and I was unable to refrain from a sneer and an eye-roll. As fate would have it, my professor saw my reaction, and asked for my thoughts.

This is how it happened:

“Mr. O’Hara, you seem to have an opinion of dismissing the parol evidence rule”

*I put my hands up in the air in a concilliatory manner*

“Ma’am, I don’t want to say anything inflammatory”

“Oh, come on, Mr. O’Hara, law school is the time to have strong, outrageous beliefs!” – At this point in the semester, she knows she can count on me for something entertaining, because I rarely tow the new age-liberal interpretations of the law.

*I sigh in defeat*

“Alright, well, I just don’t think that giving the jury too much to work with is smart. It took me 5 weeks to figure out the difference of ‘meeting of the minds’ versus ‘manifestation of intent’, and how to apply it. Do you really think the juries going to be able to? They’re going to sympathize with a sob story, and the fact that every term and condition was spelled out with precision in the contract will have no weight. Why even have a contract in the first place then, when there can be no reliance that the terms will be upheld in court??”

*Class kind of goes silent for a little while, as they mull over the fact that I just called juries stupid/incompetent

*Professor looks at me with an amused expression, says I have a good point, and moves on to the next person.

What’s funny is that once I broke the dam, all of a sudden a bunch of people thought it would make sense to have stricter rules as to what was admissible, and I think one person actually explicitly said that juries were stupid. Law school ain’t so bad!

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October 28, 2008 at 10:39 pm

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Well Mannered Frivolity

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From my casebook, describing a plaintiff who brought a really complicated, international suit in a rural Texas court in an attempt to pull one over on the defendants.  My favorite part is the end, where the judge describes his reading skills :

In the second case, Republic of Bolivia v. Phillip Morris Co (1999), Bolivia had filed suit in Brazoria Country, Texas (a county with a reputaion  as being pro-plaintiff) against a group of US tobacco companies.  The case was removed to federal court and the court granted the defendants’ motion for 1404(a) transfer to the District of Columbia.

The Court can hardly imagine why the Republic of Bolivia elected to file suit in the veritable hinterlnds of Brazoria County, Texas.  The Court seriously doubts whether Brazoria County has ever seen a live Bolivian even on the Discovery Channel.  Though only here by removal, this humble Court by the sea is certainly flattered by what must be the worldwide renown of rural Texas courts for dispensing justice with unparralleled fairness and alacrity, apparently in common discussion even on the mountain peaks of Bolivia!  Still, the Court would be remiss in accepting an obligation for which it truly does not have the necessary resources.  And, while Galveston is indeed and international seaport, the capacity of this Court to address the complex and sophisticated issues of internation and foreign relations presented by this case is dwarfed by that of its esteemed colleages in the District of Columbia who deftly address such awesome tasks as a matter of course.  Such a Bench, well-populated with genuinely renowned intellects, can certainly better bear and share the burden of multi-district litigation than this single judge division, where the judge moves his lips when he reads.

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October 19, 2008 at 1:52 am

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Hunt me some grey wolf with a side of grizzley

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Veto – In response to our Endangered Species Act Memo:

“Man, all this reading about the Endangered Species Act makes me want to go out and hunt me some endangered grey wolf with a side of grizzley.”

I’m starting to think the overall liberal flair of law school is making some people see the stupidity of it.

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October 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Artistic Renditions

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One night at Quigley’s a few of us got bored and started drawing famous judges.  Below is Brennan, smoking weed, and stomping on the Constitution (Framers Intent)

This is Justice Scalia, or Peter Griffen depending on the lighting.

The coup de grace of the night was Judge Learned Hand (best name ever).

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October 5, 2008 at 11:46 pm

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Note to self:

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Don’t suck at law.


“Plaintiff’s counsel, apparently laboring under the impression that I am not dealing with a full deck and that my knowledge of diversity requirements is about equal to that of a low-grade moron, chose to disregard the directional signals posted in my  memorandum. Counsel brazenly, discourteously, defiantly, arrogantly, insultingly and under the circumstances rather obtusely threw back into my face the very allegations I had held insufficient by reiterating and incorporating those same crippled paragraphs. The so-called “amended complaint” itself cheekily informs me that these paragraphs allege the states of incorporation or (emphasis added) principal places of business of the defendant corporations. Of course, any law school student knows that both the state of incorporation and principal place of business must be diverse, but I suppose I can hardly expect any more from counsel whose familiarity with Title 28 U.S.C. 1332 could be no more than a friendly wave from a distance visible only through a powerful telescope.”

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October 1, 2008 at 12:29 am

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More Proof Justice Scalia is a God.

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This is worth the read – Scalia writes the dissenting opinion arguing that Casey Martin (handicap golfer) shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the PGA.  His dissent was basically based on his belief that the Supreme Court shouldn’t even be hearing the case (he maintains there were tons of procedural reasons it never should have gone this far, and says so in the opinion).  The best part, is when he says

“The answer, we learn, is yes.” – as if the other Justices are letting him in on a big secret.

Either way, I couldn’t help from laughing out load in the basement of the Pentagon when I read this case.  I LOVE SCALIA!!!!!!!

PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661 (2001)

If one assumes, however, that the PGA TOUR has some legal obligation to play classic, Platonic golf – and if one assumes the correctness of all the other wrong turns the Court has made to get to this point – then we Justices must confront what is indeed an awesome responsibility. It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government’s power “[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,” U.S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 3, to decide What Is Golf. I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner or later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this August Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer? The answer, we learn, is yes. The Court ultimately concludes, and it will henceforth be the Law of the Land, that walking is not a “fundamental” aspect of golf.

Written by DMN

September 23, 2008 at 1:36 am