Patent Humor: A Method of Tilting A Head to Indicate Confusion

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See above for illustration accompanying an issued patent for A Method of Tilting A Head to Indicate Confusion.

This method is routinely employed and likely infringed by most law students when first confronted with Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(a) and 19(b) regarding Joinder of Required Parties, as amply illustrated by the appropriately numbered illustrations above.

Note for example the bugged-out eyes and pupil dilation occurring upon exposure to Rule 19(a) governing necessary and feasible persons to be joined, which leads to an almost canine-like confused tilt of the head upon turning to Rule 19(b), which determines whether the court should dismiss the civil action for non-joinder.

Be warned: it should be noted that the patent’s claims are not limited to law students, or for that matter, humans. It is unlikely, of course, that family members or house pets would be willing to endure explanations of Rule 19; nonetheless, the patent’s claims are sufficiently broad to include grandparents and German Shepherds.

Um, just kidding. Nobody would ever file such an absurd patent.

Graphic via Context-Free Patent Art. Cross-posted to Infoglut Tumblr.

Comments on AALS panel on 75th Anniversary of the FRCP

As noted a couple of days ago, I watched an excellent panel at the annual conference of the Association of American Law Schools noting the 75th anniversary of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The panel was chock full of procedural luminaries, from the moderator — Prof. Arthur R. Miller of Harvard — to its attendees, which included Justice Antonin Scalia, Professor Stephen B. Burbank (Penn), and judges Patrick E. Higginbotham (5h Circuit) and Lee H. Rosenthal (Southern District of Texas).

As one would expect, the discussion focused on the Court’s recent and controversial pleading and class-action jurisprudence. As a whole, the panel was unsurprisingly critical of Iqbal v. Ashcrofts so-called “plausibility” standard (a case that Scalia joined but did not write), and had somewhat more nuanced criticisms of the Wal-Mart v. Dukes class-action case that Scalia wrote.

I live-tweeted much of the discussion. Below are some pertinent tweets; more can be found at my Twitter feed. As the Tweets suggest, I am not a fan of the Court’s recent pleading decisions.

The panel was stellar, and I think it will be many years before I see such a performance, from Miller’s masterful moderation to the comments of the panelists. As Scalia was on the hot seat, he often seemed quiet, although he did get in a couple of his classic zingers as noted above.

As a side note, I should mention that I’d never met Prof. Miller before. When I caught sight of him at the lunch table, sitting there in silent command without a name tag, I figured he could only be one of two people: an important federal judge or Arthur Miller. (Speaking of legends, I also spotted Sylvester Stallone as I was standing outside of my hotel. Great trip!)

Cross-posted at Infoglut Tumblr.

AALS on the 75th anniversary of the FRCP

At the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the highlight so far has been a spirited panel on the 75th anniversary of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Yes, I know that this statement may be yawn-inducing for those who are not court or procedure geeks.) The All-Star panel was moderated by legal legend Arthur Miller and included Justice Antonin Scalia.

I’ll post more when I have access to a computer (I’m blogging from the iPhone app). But for now suffice it to say that it was amazing to watch Miller and the panel skewer the court for some of its very questionable recent procedure decisions, particularly Iqbal (pleading).

Cross-posted on Infoglut Tumblr.

Google and Viacom reach partial YouTube data agreement

The NY Times reports that Google and Viacom have reached a partial agreement regarding production of YouTube user data:

Google said it had now agreed to provide lawyers for Viacom and a class-action group led by the Football Association of England, a large viewership database that blanks out YouTube username and Internet address data that could be used to identify individual video watchers.

The parties are still working towards a separate agreement concerning YouTube employee data, an issue I wrote about yesterday.