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I wondered if the casebook writer was playing a joke…

23 September, 2008

“As a lowly chauffeur in defendant’s employ he became in a trice the protagonist in a breath-bating drama with a denouement almost tragic.”

“Somewhere on that thoroughfare of escape they indulged the strategem of separation ostensibly to disconcert their pursuer and allay the ardor of his pursuit.”

“To hold thus under the facts adduced herein would be tantamount to a repeal by implication of the primal law of nature written in indelible characters upon the fleshy tablets of sentient creation by the Almighty Law-Giver, ‘the supernal Judge who sits on high’.”

“There are those who stem the turbulent current for bubble fame, or who bridge the yawning chasm with a leap for the leap’s sake or who ‘outstare the sternest eyes that look outbrave the heart most daring on the earth, pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear, yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey’ to win a fair lady and these are the admiration of the generality of men; but they are made of sterner stuff than the ordinary man upon whom the law places no duty of emulation.”

These are quotes written by Justice Carlin in the case Cordas v. Peerless Transportation Co., decided in 1941 in the City Court of New York. It is not a joke – this case is one of the top ten significant cases in tort law with regards to negligence.

That last one is my absolute favorite. And to think, I was worried that my creative writing skills would go to waste!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 September, 2008 10:37 pm

    OMG!! my whole class was talking about that case. It’s like the worst poetry I’ve ever read…ridiculously long and pretty. I hate that case but I love that the guy jumped out of a moving taxi. I mean the case was written in 1940 not 1600?

  2. 24 September, 2008 8:16 am

    I know, right?!?! It was VERY Shakespearean.

  3. 24 September, 2008 8:50 am

    Did he get paid by the word?

  4. 24 September, 2008 9:17 am

    If I were but a lowly juror in that nubile courtroom, I would with mirthy outburst spread a fluid unlike the Thames amdist my peers as I guffawed like a lark. “Ha, ha.”

  5. 24 September, 2008 9:18 am

    otherwise, I bet he got nasty looks from the court reporter.

  6. Llama Momma permalink
    24 September, 2008 9:46 am

    Ouch…..are they all like that?

  7. 24 September, 2008 2:30 pm

    Ingenue: You’d think so, wouldn’t you?

    Colsy: Ah, I adore you! And I hope he didn’t actually speak that way during the trial…this was his written opinion. How awful would that be?!? If I were the court reporter, I’d be interrupting all of the time to ask how to spell words!!

    Llama: Thankfully, no. So, SO thankfully.

  8. 28 September, 2008 3:42 pm

    I totally just blogged about this case. lol.


  1. A breath-bating drama or the most poorly written opinion ever? « No 634

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