April 01, 2018

"Legal Monism"

As usual, Larry Solum (Georgetown) has a funny April Fool's joke entry.  (I'm not sure this gag will be as successful as the one from 2010, which led to people, especially students, asking me for the article Larry described for years afterwards!)

UPDATE:  And in the spirit of the day, several readers call my attention to this amusing piece by Columbia's David Pozen.


April 1, 2018 in Legal Humor | Permalink

March 27, 2018

Trump takes out Craiglist ad in search of legal counsel

Very funny.

(Thanks to David Zimmerman for the pointer.)


March 27, 2018 in Legal Humor | Permalink

March 15, 2018

How not to draft a contract

February 02, 2018

Harvard Law School actually advertises its SSRN ranking

It's pretty clear civilization has ended.  The SSRN citation ranking is almost as worthless as the download ranking, since it skews very heavily to just a handful of areas that are well-represented on SSRN.


February 2, 2018 in Legal Humor, Rankings | Permalink

January 08, 2018

SSRN download rankings now measure mentions in newspapers

The top 11 "most downloaded" law authors in the last 12 months are eleven tax professors who co-authored two papers on the recent tax overhaul, which garnered a prominent mention in The New York Times, leading to more than 70,000 downloads in the last month.  For 10 of these 11 tax professors, these two NYT-plugged papers constitute 95% or more of all their downloads.  The traditional #1 in downloads among law professors, Cass Sunstein, is now a mere 12th!  This has happened before with SSRN, but usually involving one author (e.g., Christopher Fairman, or Daniel Solove).   Farewell to SSRN downloads as a metric of any interest for at least a year!


January 8, 2018 in Faculty News, Legal Humor, Rankings | Permalink

October 18, 2017

Why the "trial by ordeal" actually worked

Amusing, and seemingly plausible, analysis.

UPDATE:  Daniel Sokol (Florida) points out to me that this short essay is based on a longer article published in 2010 and available here.


October 18, 2017 in Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 03, 2017

Touchy originalists!

Mary Bilder (Boston College) wrote an opinion piece for the Boston Globe about originalism and Judge Gorsuch.  This elicited the following astonishing reply from originalist Larry Solum (Georgetown) on his usually benign and informative Legal Theory Blog.  Some of the questions might have made sense were Solum the referee for a scholarly article making some of these claims; as a response to an op-ed, they are almost comical overreactions.  Take just Solum's first intervention:

Question One: You wrote the following:

Today, most originalists contend that a judge should abide by the text’s “original public meaning” — a term of art that originalist scholars have written thousands of pages trying to explain.

What is the basis for the page count?  Which articles by which originalists scholars are you discussing?  I am very familiar with the theoretical literature on original public meaning, but if this claim is correct there is a large body of work that I have missed entirely.

The basis for the "page count"?  Seriously?  One can look just at Solum's own SSRN page to find at least 400 pages of writing on this topic.  And that's just one author.  Add in Randy Barnett, Keith Whittington, the late Justice Scalia, John McGinnis, Michael Rappaport, Larry Alexander, Will Baude, and Stephen Sachs, and "thousands" seems like a plausible off-the-cuff estimate.  But why quibble about nonsense like this?

I would advise Prof. Bilder to let these questions pass in silence.

UPDATE:  Prof. Solum replies here; I will give him the final word on this matter!


April 3, 2017 in Faculty News, Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

February 02, 2017

Jerome Frank's argument for the absolute priority rule in bankruptcy

This is classic:

Courts of equity have a tradition of aiding the helpless, such as infants, idiots and drunkards.  The average security holder in a corporate reorganization is of like kind.

This comes from "Some Realistic Reflections on Some Aspects of Corporate Reorganization," 19 Virginia Law Review 541, 569 (1933).  (I owe the reference to a working paper by my colleagues Douglas Baird, Anthony Casey, and Randy Picker.)


February 2, 2017 in Jurisprudence, Legal Humor | Permalink

January 03, 2017

I answer "Ten Questions"...

December 27, 2016

Federalism and Baby Jesus (with a nod to Trump)

Rick Hills (NYU) comments.


December 27, 2016 in Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest | Permalink