Archive for the ‘popular culture’ Category

Spooky Law on this Happy Halloween!

Woke up this morning to the sounds of Halloween: zombie growls, witch cackles, the resonating scream of a vampire victim. Ahhh… marathon Halloween television. When I reached the kitchen, I grabbed a healthy handful of Sweet Tarts, drank my coffee, and reviewed my schedule for the day, I decided to search for Halloween case law  as a way to connect the parties to our continuing legal curriculum. And what a treasure trove I found.

The first is, Halloween Law by Victoria Sutton, a wonderfully appropriate textbook that would allow a school to teach an entire first-year law school curriculum using just Halloween-related cases. Imagine learning about constitutional law, criminal law, tort law, property law and contract law, all with a scary twist (as if law wasn’t scary enough!). Ms. Sutton even skips Chapter 13 in honor of Halloween superstitions. You can buy the book on Amazon.

Another interesting link that gives a good rundown on Halloween case law is Daniel B. Moar’s excellent article, “Case Law From the Crypt, The Law of Halloween” published October, 2011 by the New York State Bar Association. The best tidbit from this article is how tort’s classic “duty not to scare” is changed on Halloween eve. On that night only, our expectations change. Another juicy one is from the opening of the article, where the plaintiff sued her neighbor for defamation through the “tombstones” on the neighbor’s lawn:  “The decorations included an ‘Insane Asylum’ directional sign pointed towards the plaintiff’s house and a homemade Halloween tombstone purporting to reference the plaintiff, which read:

At 48 She had
No mate No date
It’s no debate
She looks 88
She met her fate
in a crate
Now We Celebrate

In case you want to dress up as something law-related for Halloween, here’s a blog article from 2009 that offers some pretty good options for you, including dressing up as the Socratic Method (Greek-inspired toga); Assault and Battery (er… salt shaker and… a battery); and the Billable Hour (carrying around a hourglass and a billing statement…), among others. You get the idea. Speaking of Halloween costumes, LegalZoom offers some excellent advice to employers regarding employee costumes. BEWARE, they say!

We also have a blog post that certainly outdoes my humble offering of links, from Harvard Law Library Blog: Halloween and the Law: A Round Up of Links. More recently, however, is Jonathan Turley‘s excellent annual listing of Halloween cases entitled Spooky Torts. And since it’s an annual listing, you can look back on his blog archives and find all his excellent listings of litigation horrors.

Finally, a real-life horror: laws that prohibit sex offenders from participating in Halloween. Sounds reasonable, yeah? disagrees!

Enjoy the reads, learn a little law, offer up your own Halloween law link, stay safely within the law…

Happy Halloween!

and…. Happy Halloween, my friends.


Law and Fantasy

Ever wonder if Superman would be held liable for all the damage he does to city buildings? Or if She-Hulk would have a right to privacy claim when she was photographed sunbathing? These are very valid questions that need exploring. So a couple of blogs that will help answer such questions:

  • Law and the Multiverse – this is an up and running blog that’s regularly updated.
  • Superhero Law – this hasn’t been active in quite a while but has some great blog posts.
  • Legal Geeks – this is a great blog. How can it not be? Admitted Geeks discussing all kinds of things from a legal point of view such as Dune and Battlestar Galactica


What is Constitution Day?

What is Constitution Day?

On September 17, 1787, delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completed and signed the U.S. Constitution.  Congratulations, us!

AIDSWalk and La Verne’s Rainbow Alliance

Hey! Join the University of La Verne’s Rainbow Alliance Team for this year’s AIDS Walk in Los Angeles on October 18. Check out the event website at AIDS Walk!

If you’re interested in joining La Verne’s Rainbow Alliance club here on campus, check out their website. They are having weekly meetings and are planning lots of activities for the year. Join up and stand up for GBLT pride.

Law on Television this Week

Want to see law in action? No, no, not in an actual courtroom, but on TV! This is what’s on this week:

My Cousin Vinny, on A&E, Sat. at 9:00 p.m.

I Am Sam, on A&E, Sat. at 10:00 p.m.

Legally Blonde 2, ABCFamily Channel, Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

A Civil Action, Encore Drama Channel, Monday at 1:15 p.m.

A Reasonable Man, Encore Mystery Channel, Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Heaven’s Fall, Showtime2, Wednesday at 1:30 a.m.

Compulsion, Fox Movie Channel, Friday at 6:30 a.m.

Runaway Jury, TNT, Friday at 8:30 p.m.

The Accused, HBO, Monday at 1:10 a.m.

And don’t forget, “Raising the Bar” on TNT.  Now, go get yourself some popcorn.