Ed Walters / July 30, 2010

Why so serious?

The folks at Google Scholar dug up some entertaining legal opinions this week, and well, the geeks at Fastcase got such a kick out of these decisions that we just have to pass a few along. You can check out Google’s full post here.

Our favorite is Rimes v. Curb Records (2001), a case in which country music star LeAnn Rimes faced record company Curb Records.  Impressively, Chief Judge Buchmeyer wrote this comedic decision “to be sung to the tune of LeAnn Rimes, ‘How Do I Live’.”  Click here to view/print the full opion.  Here’s the first portion…

“LeAnn Rimes

A very rich and famous star

Wasn’t so rich in times afar

But what a talent she had!

Enter Curb

To sign a contract, they hoped

After her talent they scoped…”

Foodies and New Englanders will enjoy the second decision which features a lengthy history of New England Clam Chowder, and even a recipe from The Boston Cooking School Cook Book. Perhaps the White House chefs used a similar recipe here in D.C. for today’s (Friday) White House Soup of the Day, which was also Clam Chowder. Click here to view/print Webster v. Blue Ship Tea Room (1964).  Here’s a portion that truly illustrates the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts’ love for good chowder…

“The defendant asserts that here was a native New Englander eating fish chowder in a “quaint” Boston dining place where she had been before; that “[f]ish chowder, as it is served and enjoyed by New Englanders, is a hearty dish, originally designed to satisfy the appetites of our seamen and fishermen”; that “[t]his court knows well that we are not talking of some insipid broth as is customarily served to convalescents.” We are asked to rule in such fashion that no chef is forced “to reduce the pieces of fish in the chowder to miniscule size in an effort to ascertain if they contained any pieces of bone.” “In so ruling,” we are told (in the defendant’s brief), “the court will not only uphold its reputation for legal knowledge and acumen, but will, as loyal sons of Massachusetts, save our world-renowned fish chowder from degenerating into an insipid broth containing the mere essence of its former stature as a culinary masterpiece.”

Familiar with any colorful decisions?  Shoot us an email to comments@fastcase.com, we’d love to post it, tweet it, or just have a laugh.

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