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Welcome to the fourth installment of The Law Is A Ass!  We know we're a little late with our weekly update (um, about 45 weeks or so) but we've been having some trouble finding sponsors, and that makes producing the site a little tough.  If anyone from Westlaw or Lexis reads this and wants to help out with a complimentary account so we can research these cases, please let us know and we'll advertise your company!  Of the five following cases, you have to decide which are real and which are the product of an overactive imagination.   Click on the gavel next to each case to find out if you were right.  Enjoy!

We’re feeling pretty good this week, spring is upon us, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we feel like being a little poetic. Each of the cases this week involves court decisions rendered in verse. See if you can tell whose doggerel can be found in the Reporters, and which of the following is our feeble attempt at being the next Maya Angelou.

All of the poetry below is the actual text of the opinion.

Click here for the answer We thought that we would never see
A suit to compensate a tree.
A suit whose claim in tort is prest
Upon a mangled tree's behest;
A tree whose battered trunk was prest
Against a Chevy's crumpled crest;
A tree that faces each new day
With bark and limb in disarray;
A tree that may forever bear
A lasting need for tender care.
Flora lovers though we three,
We must uphold the court's decree.
Click here for the answer (Ed. note: The following is apparently supposed to be read to the tune of the famous Gilbert and Sullivan song)

This is the very model of a prosecutor’s oversight,
We thank the defense for bringing the true evidence out to light.
We don’t appreciate the attempt at such a vast travesty,
The State should know that it can not fool the likes of we Judges three..

The Dead Man’s Statute we agree is surely inapplicable,
The use of it at trial is nothing less than despicable.
This poor man should not feel that he could be forced to cop a plea,
And wind up just another one of this State’s liabilities.

Rule 403 of Evidence the trial judge could not recall,
Unfortunately we rebuff the judge for having dropped the ball.
Beyond a reasonable doubt is what is needed to convict,
With this standard we feel that none of the charges below should stick.

This is a classic case of prosecutorial misconduct,
A civil suit for damages would surely have a lot of luck.
And so we tell the State with the knowledge that their balloon will burst,
Our unanimous decision is that this case is now reversed

Click here for the answer The D.A. was ready
His case was red-hot.
Defendant was present,
His witness was not.
...
‘This trial was not fair,'
The defendant then sobbed.
‘With my main witness absent
I've simply been robbed.'
...
‘If you still say I'm wrong,'
The able judge did then say
‘Why not appeal to Atlanta?
Let those Appeal Judges earn part of their pay.'
...
To continue civil cases
The judge holds all aces.
But it's a different ball-game
In criminal cases.
Click here for the answer (Ed. note: This one probably had Edgar Allen Poe spinning in his grave)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary
Over many quaint and curious files of chapter seven lore
While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door,
"Tis some debtor" I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door--
Only this and nothing more."
Ah distinctly I recall, it was in the early fall
And the file still was small
The Code provided I could use it
If someone tried to substantially abuse it
No party asked that it be heard.
"Sua sponte" whispered a small black bird.
The bird himself, my only maven, strongly looked to be a raven.
Upon the words the bird had uttered
I gazed at all the files cluttered
"Sua sponte," I recall, had no meaning; none at all.

Click here for the answer On January 30th, 1974,
This lass agreed to work as a whore.
Her great mistake, as was to unfold,
Was the enticing of a cop named Harold.
Unknown to _ _, this officer, surnamed Harris,
Was duty-bent on _ _'s lot to embarrass.
At the Brass Rail they met,
And for twenty dollars the trick was all set.
In separate cars they did pursue,
To the sensuous apartment of _ _.
Bound for her bed she spared not a minute,
Followed by Harris with his heart not in it.
As she prepared to repose there in her bay,
She was arrested by Harris, to her great dismay!
Off to the jailhouse poor _ _ was taken,
Printed and mugged, her confidence shaken.
Formally charged by this great State,
With offering to Harris to fornicate.