CivPro Prof Channels Dr. Seuss with ‘There’s a Pennoyer in My Foyer’
Posted Sep 15, 2009 11:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A Florida State University law professor is using Dr. Seuss to deliver kernels of civil procedure wisdom.
“It’s civil procedure galore as you’ve never felt it before,” law professor Elizabeth Chamblee Burch writes in an essay titled “There's a Pennoyer in My Foyer: Civil Procedure According to Dr. Seuss.”
Burch imagines the deponent who is questioned mercilessly about eating green eggs and ham, and a litigant impleading other parties with the command of Yertle the Turtle.
In one section of the paper, Burch casts Chief Justice Earl Warren as the Grinch Who Stole Thanksgiving from her law students at Cumberland School of Law with the opinion Hanna v. Plumer.
He stood there on Thanksgiving Eve, hating the 1L’s,
Staring down from his bench with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For he knew every 1L down in Birmingham beneath
Was busy now studying, done writing their briefs.
“And they’re studying contracts!” he snarled with a sneer.
“Next week are exams! They’re practically here!”
Then he growled, with his grinch fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find a way to keep Thanksgiving from coming!”
For next week he knew
the 1L’s would return to International Shoe!
And then! Oh, the minimum contacts! Oh, the minimum contacts! Contacts!
Contacts! Contacts! ….
“I know just what to do!” Justice Warren laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick reference to Erie and Byrd.
And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great Justice trick!
With this pen and this paper, I’ll change precedent!
And I’ll confuse and befuddle until their puzzlers are sore!
And they’ll all beg ‘please stop’ we love civ pro no more!”