Overheard in Bar Review

A grocer in New Ulm, Minnesota, a predominantly German-speaking town, ordered coffee from a New York seller. When the shipment arrived it became clear that rats had “infiltrated” the packages of coffee while in transit. The grocer then wrote the following letter of complaint:

Schentlemens in New York:

Der last two pecketches ve got from you off koffee was mit rattschidt gemitz. Der Koffee may be gute enuff, but der rattsdurds schbeels the trade. Ve did not see der rattschidt in der sambles vich you sent us for examination. It takes so much time to peck der rattsturds from the koffee. Ve order der kelen koffee and you shop schidt mit der koffee; it vas a mushtake, YA? Ve like you to schipp us der koffee in van sak und der rattschidt in a udder sak. Den ve mix it to suit our kstorner.

Write please if ve shudt shipp der schidt bak and keep der koffee or if ve shudt keep der schidt and schipp der koffee back or ship der whole schidten verks bak. Ve vant to do rite in der madder, but ve don’t like dis rattschidt bizziness.

Mit mutch respeckts,
Karl Brummenschidt

From Professor David Epstein.

Res Ipsa Loquitur

It seems that appellant consumed one plug of his purchase, which measured up to representations, that it was tobacco unmixed with human flesh, but when appellant tackled the second plug it made him sick, but, not suspecting the tobacco, he tried another chew, and still another, until he bit into some foreign substance, which crumbled like dry bread, and caused him to foam at the mouth, while he was getting “sicker and sicker.” Finally, his teeth struck something hard; he could not bite through it. After an examination he discovered a human toe, with flesh and nail intact. We refrain from detailing the further harrowing and nauseating details.

The thing, truly does, speak for itself.

Pillars v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 117 Miss. 490 (1918).

io9: Four Fictional Legal Systems Respond to Sentient Androids

Over at io9, an anonymous blogger is asking the tough questions:

People have long imagined automatons for society’s drudge work. The possibility and its implications are among science fiction’s favorite topics. One question that crops up constantly: What is a sentient android’s legal status? Is something that feels still property?

Extending human rights to an android is an interesting proposal. While the author lays out four different instances, starting with Star Trek’s Data, of androids challenging their status as machines, the writer doesn’t go quite far enough. What are the implications of extending human rights to androids? How does the connection between slavery in the U.S. (emancipation to the gradual extension of rights) and androids fit in to this thought experiment? Is there a better system — partial rights — to extend to androids and does that raise a “separate but equal” concern?

Read the entirety at io9.

Names Applied to Actors/Concepts in Law by Academia

Legal academia loves to utilize names as signifiers and placeholders. Aimed at facilitating material to law students, each subject has developed its own set of names and phrases sometimes used as placeholders other times for complex phrases. A few instances below.

Property: Blackacre, Whiteacre, Greenacre, Brownacre.

Dukeminier traces the theories of the use of these terms in his textbook, Property:

One of the earliest law treatises written in English, Coke on Littleton (1628), refers to Blackacre and Whiteacre. The OED suggests the terms indicate lands growing different crops (peas and beans are black, corn and potatoes are white, hay is green). Or ther terms might originally have referred to lands receiving different rents (black rents are payable in produce, white rents in silver).

Community Property & Family Law: Henry and Wilma//Herb and Wanda//Howard and Wendy

As you can imagine these take the place of husband and wife, although it’s not uncommon to see same-sex name pairings come up when studying community property law in California.

Real Estate Law: “The deed is done” and “Bite the dust.”

Apparently, both of these phrases come from old real estate common law. The deed is done means that the obligation securing the piece property has been completed and so the deed of trust will be disposed of.

Evidence: Hearsay

Rather than saying “an out-of-court statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted” lawyers and law students and anyone really can just say heresay. It’s a simple word for a very complex doctrine.

Generally: Paul and Dwayne//Phil and Duke//Peter and David//Pauline and Dawn

As Plaintiff and Defendant make up most law problems students face, they will inevitably encounter some variation on “P” and “D” names.