Dickishness

Nuisance in tort is a fun doctrine:

After the Saturday episode the physician informed the defendant of his patient’s condition and predicted that the plaintiff would have further convulsions if the defendant rang the bell the next day. After receiving the warning, the defendant said he would ring his bell as usual the next day because he had no love for the plaintiff. He added that he would ring it even if his mother were ill. The next day the defendant rang his bell and the plaintiff suffered further damage[]

Sometimes you forget that there are a lot of frivolous cases out there, as well as cases that ensue only because most people are, at heart, dicks. The same doctrine covers the right to an easement for the light and air over one’s property. One might be surprised at exactly how many neighbors have sued each other for infringing upon a right to enjoy light and air because of a tree or new building extension that casts an unbearable shade upon land.

Sometimes one just has to sigh and wait for the day when one becomes a judge. I suspect a lot of my opinions will look something like “Stop being such a douchebag and play nice. Deal with it, dick.”

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One Response to Dickishness

  1. Alex says:

    Just read this case and thought you’d like the last line.

    From Mattel v. MCA Records:

    “After Mattel filed suit, Mattel and MCA employees traded barbs in the press. When an MCA spokeswoman noted that each album included a disclaimer saying that Barbie Girl was a “social commentary [that was] not created or approved by the makers of the doll,” a Mattel representative responded by saying, ‘That’s unacceptable. . . It’s akin to a bank robber handing a note of apology to a teller during a heist. It neither diminishes the severity of the crime, nor does it make it legal.’ He later characterized the song as a ‘theft’ of ‘another company’s property.’

    MCA filed a counterclaim for defamation based on the Mattel representative’s use of the words ‘bank robber,’ ‘heist, ‘crime’ and ‘theft.’ But all of these are variants of the invective most often hurled at accused infringers, namely ‘piracy.’ No one hearing this accusation understands intellectual property owners to be saying that infringers are nautical cutthroats with eyepatches and peg legs who board galleons to plunder cargo. In context, all these terms are nonactionable ‘rhetorical hyperbole.’ The parties are advised to chill. Affirmed.”

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