Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Beer to Fill Your Stein

In an earlier post I discussed the Mettlach lawyer stein. On a trip to my local liquor store yesterday, I found the perfect beer to fill that stein. It's called "Collaboration Not Litigation Ale" and it's produced by Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, Colorado. Not only is the ale quite good, but the label is one every lawyer should like. Indeed, I think that every law school class in ADR should have this as the official class brew. And, perhaps, in states like Kansas, which require mandatory ADR in certain cases, the parties ought to partake of this ale as a prelude to their negotiations.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

La Femme Avocat

The other day Mommy Blawg was kind enough to mention this site. In their honor I am posting selected postcards from a series printed at Nancy in France ca.1900-1902 entitled "La Femme Avocat." The entire series consists of fifteen cards. The text on the cards is decidedly feminist and in favor of women lawyers. The first card reads, in part [in my loose translation]:

Married, a mother, I have the honor, before I plead the case entrusted to me,
to give the court my deepest respect, assured of their good will and persuaded that it is
not necessary to be a see good law and justice triumph.

I wil gladly send scans of these cards to anyone who would like them. Just email me at

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Law Relating to Fleas

Thanks to an invitation to participate in a Golieb Seminar at NYU, I was able to spend a few afternoons browsing through used bookstores in NYC. I spent nearly a full day on the third floor of the Strand, well-known to most book fanatics, looking through their enormous stock of antiquarian works. Among these, I found one quite delightful text. It is a catalogue issued by Maggs Bros., the great London book seller, in 1931, titled: "Curiouser and Curiouser" [a line, of course, from Lewis Carroll's marvelous Alice]. The catalogue is a collection of unusual titles, including several on the law. No. 25 is a copy of Tractatus Procuratoris, editus sub nomine diaboli (Rome ca. 1491-1500). This esoteric work is a school book "in which the Devil (called Ascaron) pleads for justice at God's Tribunal aginst Man, who is defended by the Virgin Mary."

No. 173 is a book by George Whither, The Great Assizes holden in Parnassus by Apollo and his Assessours, in which William Shakespeare appears as a juror.

My favorite legal work contained in this catalogue, however, is No. 259, Otto P. Zaunschliffer's Dissertatio juridica de eo quod justum ext circa spiritus familiares foeminarum ( Marburg, 1688), a legal treatise on the rules relating to fleas. Among the topics considered are:

"Are fleas subject to the Civil Law?

Can a commoner's flea contract matrimony with a

Senator's flea?

May a flea be killed if it is pregnant when caught?

If I bequeath my clothes to you, am I expected to

include the fleas in my legacy?

Interestingly, I have a German translation of this work attributed to Goethe,published in Berlin by Alexander Duncker in 1839. It is, perhaps, one of the oddest legal works ever printed. I wonder if there are any modern legal books or articles on the flea?