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Poetic Justice: Another Verse

Poetry is sweeping the profession. Just 10 days ago we reported here on the Aesop of law, the law school professor who published a book of humorous fables and verses drawn from real-life legal stories. As we noted, the book's forward is written by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, a jurist with a propensity towards poetry that he sometimes expresses in his opinions. For Eakin, his juridical muse drew judicial rebukes from two of his Supreme Court colleagues, as the New York Times reported in 2002, with then-Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala saying that "an opinion that expresses itself in rhyme reflects poorly on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania."

Now, showing no deference to that state court precedent, a federal magistrate-judge in New Hampshire has issued a ruling in verse of his own. U.S. Magistrate Judge James R. Muirhead found authority for his ruling in the writings of the esteemed jurist Dr. Seuss -- the case of Green Eggs and Ham, to be precise. As both the Boston Globe and report, the case involved an inmate who filed suit because prison staff kept serving him boiled eggs despite his protests that he did not like them. After the inmate filed a request for a preliminary injunction, in which he included a hard-boiled egg, the magistrate-judge issued this ruling:

    No fan I am
    Of the egg at hand.
    Just like no ham
    On the kosher plan.

    This egg will rot
    I kid you not.
    And stink it can
    This egg at hand.

    There will be no eggs at court
    To prove a clog in your aort.
    There will be no eggs accepted.
    Objections all will be rejected.

    From this day forth
    This court will ban
    hard-boiled eggs of any brand.
    And if you should not understand
    The meaning of the ban at hand
    Then you should contact either Dan,
    the Deputy Clerk, or my clerk Jan.

    I do not like eggs in the file.
    I do not like them in any style.
    I will not take them fried or boiled.
    I will not take them poached or broiled.
    I will not take them soft or scrambled
    Despite an argument well-rambled.

    No fan I am
    Of the egg at hand.
    Destroy that egg!
    Today! today!
    Today I say! without delay!

    SO ORDERED (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 24, 2007 at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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