Category: Humor


Thanks, Jennifer Aniston (or the Manifold Ways to Do the Same Search)

jennifer-aniston1a.jpgOne of my more popular posts is one entitled Jennifer Aniston Nude Photos and the Anti-Paparazzi Act. It seems to be getting a lot of readers interested in learning about the workings of the Anti-Paparazzi Act and the law of information privacy. It sure is surprising that so many readers are eager to understand this rather technical statute.

Anyway, for the small part that Jennifer Aniston plays in this, we thank her for the traffic.

In looking through my Site Meter stats, I’m particularly fascinated to learn about how many different ways the search can be done. Here are some of the search terms readers of the post used to locate it:

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But some searches are much more direct and to the point:

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A Heartening Thought

Here is the judicial quote of the day for me from Yankee Publishing Inc. v. News America Publishing, Inc., 809 F.Supp. 267, 280 (SDNY 1992)(Leval, J.):

First Amendment protections do not apply only to those who speak clearly, whose jokes are funny, and whose parodies succeed.

Thank goodness for that…


The Funniest Justice

scalia_smiling.jpgFor all of those law geeks who obsess over Supreme Court trivia, here is a new question: Who is the funniest justice? Well, the data has been carefully analyzed by Professor Jay Wexler in a new article in the Greenbag, and the answer is in. As summarized in a NYT article on the study:

Transcripts of oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court have long featured the notation “[laughter]” after a successful quip from a justice or lawyer. But until October 2004, justices were not identified by name, making it impossible to construct a reliable index of judicial wit.

That has now changed, and Jay D. Wexler, a law professor at Boston University, was quick to exploit the new data to analyze the relative funniness of the justices. His study, which covers the nine-month term that began that October, has just been published in a law journal called The Green Bag.

Justice Scalia was the funniest justice, at 77 “laughing episodes.” On average, he was good for slightly more than one laugh – 1.027, to be precise – per argument.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer was next, at 45 laughs. Justice Ginsburg produced but four laughs. Justice Clarence Thomas, who rarely speaks during arguments, gave rise to no laughter at all.

Of course, it is not clear that Scalia’s victory is evidence of humor and wit on any absolute scale. I found during law school that my sense of what was funny became seriously warped. I started finding even mild judicial humor uproariously funny, and would read sections of opinions to my speech-pathologist wife. For a while she would listen with an indulgent expression on her face, but eventually she gave me the news with the air of a woman telling a child the awful truth about Santa Claus. “Nate,” she said, “I don’t think that legal humor really counts as real humor.”


Fine Print from the Experts

signcontract.jpgThose wacky contracts professors over at the AALS’s contracts section have appended the following bit of boilerplate to their website:


This web site is a forum for the exchange of information and points of view. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the Section on Contracts or of the Association of American Law Schools, which when you think about it are really only reified abstractions that have no independent existence and therefore can’t really have any “opinions” about anything at all, so we’re not sure why we have to say this. All statements herein are the sole responsibility of the authors, except for any that are inaccurate, irresponsible, tasteless, or actionable, which are solely the responsibility of student editorial assistants who are working as independent contractors and for whom we will accept absolutely no responsibility whatsoever. There are no warranties, either express or implied, for the use of this site. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice, since only an idiot would take free legal advice on an important issue from the casual musings of a law professor instead of paying a practicing lawyer who actually knows the law of the jurisdiction you’re in. Any disputes arising as a result of your use of this site shall be decided by arbitration under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce in Japan, unless you happen to be somewhere in or near Japan, in which case it shall be decided in Belgium. Your reading of this provision signifies your assent to all its terms.

I will leave the analysis of its legal effect to the academics, although I would be happy to offer an opinion for a reasonable fee…

(Hat tip to Ben Davis for pointing this out.)


How to Be an Industry Lobbyist

Chris Hoofnagle has a humorous post about industry lobbyist arguments in the consumer privacy arena:

Ever wanted to be an industry-side lobbyist? You can learn the basics right here on!

I’ve made the entry to your new career simple with this privacy industry deck of cards. These cards articulate all the arguments you need to make your case, without actually knowing anything. Master these arguments, and you too could be a high-paid lobbyist for almost any tech industry.


Judge Moore and the Motion to Kiss My Ass

lawbooks300x200.jpgJustice Sandra Day O’Connor once told students at Stanford Law School how annoying she finds it to be woken up at night with an emergency application to stay an execution.

District court judges receive lots of frivolous filings. Normally, they are dealt with in a simple order denying relief and nobody hears much about them. Sometimes, a more stringent response is needed.

I recently came across a 1996 opinion by District Court Judge William T. Moore of Georgia prohibiting Matthew Washington, a pro se inmate, from filing any future lawsuits or motions in any district court unless he first posted a contempt bond of $1,500. The bond would be returned after the adjudication of the case if Washington’s conduct throughout complied with the federal rules. In addition, before Washington could proceed in any matter, a judge would conduct a preliminary review to ensure the filing was not frivolous.

What prompted these measures? Washington had filed a civil rights suit against various judges, including Judge Moore. Pursuant to that lawsuit, Washington filed a “Motion to Kiss My Ass” in which he moved “all Americans at large and one corrupt Judge Smith to kiss my got damn ass sorry mother fucker you.” Judge Moore ordered Washington to demonstrate why he should not be sanctioned. Washington ignored the judge’s order. Judge Moore dismissed the lawsuit and imposed the above restrictions on further litigation.

This incident apparently followed a long history of Mr. Washington’s courthouse antics.

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This one takes the cake

The Co-Op has a long and glorious tradition of blogging about public sex. We’ve posted about sex tapes. About Jennifer Aniston nudity. And about the privacy implications of students who have sex in front of an open window (and are photographed doing so).

But the latest blog story truly takes the cake. Blogger Scott Kaufmann recounts his uniquely interesting morning. The tale begins:

ME: Do do do do WHOA!


ME: What?

HALF-NAKED FEMALE: DON’T YOU KNOCK? (putting shirt back on)

I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Perhaps we should turn seek the opinion of our resident privacy advocate. Dan, does an amorous couple have a reasonable expectation of privacy if they choose to have sex in a faculty member’s office? I think Professor Kaufmann’s actions may have put an unreasonable damper on their free speech and expression.


Weird E-Bay Auction


Via one of my contracts students, I found this bizarre ebay auction. The winning bidder paid $611.00 for the following item [emphasis added]

This is the PREMIUM BUNDLE BOX only. It would include bonus accessories, if it were the actual PREMIUM XBOX 360! DOES NOT Come with 20GB Hard Drive, Console, HD Cables, Wireless Controller, Headset! In other words for those of you who do not understand, YES YOU ARE GETTING AN EMPTY BOX SO DO NOT ASK! Great for gags! DO NOT bid if you don’t intend to buy! No excuses, I will not retract bids for you! You will be reported to eBay if you backout after winning the auction. I Cannot be more clear! This is not even a factory made xbox 360 box. I made it myself, just a few minutes ago. It does not contain an Xbox 360 console, just the Xbox 360 home-made box. this box is great hand made by me says XBOX right on it[.] It doesn’t look anything like the picture I included in the auction. It looks much better, in my opinion.

The student (rightly) noted that a disappointed buyer would have a hard time making out a fraud claim. Other defenses and excuses (mistake, unconscionability, no meeting of the minds, etc.), seem similarly problematic. The only possible wriggle-room I can think of – if the buyer does in fact feel aggreived when she or he receives the empty box – is that the auction history seems to bear some marks of puffing.

So, I guess someone is getting a $600+ empty box (not even an XBox Box!) under the tree, or by the menorah, this holiday season. They better appreciate it.


FBI Virus

fbi1.bmpI just got a humorous virus email. It’s from with this message:

Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.


Please answer our questions!

The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,

Steven Allison
Federal Bureau of Investigation -FBI-
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 3220
Washington, DC 20535
phone: (202) 324-3000

Of course, the list of questions attached is a file containing a virus. I’m dying to see the questions, but alas . . . my email program stripped out the virus-laden file.