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Judicial Humor

Sources on the lighter side of the law, including court opinions.

Veiled References

Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association, Inc. v. Clark, 482 F.2d 325, 328 (5th Cir. 1973) (Brown, J., concurring).
Contains names of detergents.

City of Houston v. F.A.A., 679 F.2d 1184 (5th Cir. 1982).
In this case involving federal prohibition of nonstop flights between Washington National Airport and any airport within a 1,000-mile perimeter, Judge Brown obliquely referred to various airlines and their slogans.

Croft & Scully v. M/V Skulptor Vuchetich, 664 F.2d 1277 (5th Cir. 1982).
Contains name of sodas.

In the Matter of West Texas Marketing Corp., 12 F.3d 497 (5th Cir. 1994).
In this case about the IRS hoping to collect an overpayment to a Chapter 7 debtor with the name “Kellogg,” Judge Goldberg wrote, “This case makes plain the proposition that Kellogg does not have a monopoly on flakes. Indeed, it is Kellogg’s opponent, the United States Government acting through the Internal Revenue Service … which has committed two scoops of errors, allowing a case which should have been a snap, to dissolve into a series of crackles and pops.”

United States v. Syufy Enterprises, 903 F.2d 659 (9th Cir. 1990).
Mentions the titles of at least 200 movies.

People v. Arno, 90 Cal.App.3d 505, 153 Cal.Rptr. 624 (1979).
Itemized list in fn. 2 spells out "schmuck."

Russell v. State, 372 S.E.2d 445 (Ga. Ct. App. 1988).
In the opening sentence of this case about an ex-girlfriend who trashed her ex-boyfriend’s home after he married, Judge Deen references the adages “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” His brethren did not find his opinion amusing.

In the Matter of Charlotte K., 427 N.Y.S.2d 370 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 1980).
The plaintiffs argued that a girdle should be considered a “burglar tool.” The judge responded by making puns inspired by the word “girdle”.