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February 18 2008 Legal Blog Roundup

( 2 votes, average: 3.6 out of 5)
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Some things tend to elicit a "yuck." Case in point: a Charleston, West Virginia, radio station's contest to give away on Valentine's Day a free divorce. On Valentine's Day? Still, that's not the only tasteless divorce stunt lawyers are trying — in Chicago an attorney posted some racy billboard ads with the slogan "Life's Short. Get a Divorce." The female model in the billboards was actually the lead attorney, and she has gone on to do a Playboy spread.

On the fantasy front, there are several items of news, involving two of the biggest fantasy franchises ever. In the first one, author J.K. Rowling, who created the popular Harry Potter series, is suing the author of a Harry Potter encyclopedia. This is actually a pretty big case for fair use and copyright law, so it bears watching. I'm sure the defendant would like to magic the case away — it's hard to imagine having the deep pockets to defend against Rowling.

The J.R.R. Tolkien estate has jumped into the lawsuit sweepstakes with both guns blazing as well. They are suing New Line Cinema, who produced the popular Lord of the Rings movie trilogy for a cool $150 million, claiming that is what New Line stiffed them on royalties, plus an injunction to stop the movie The Hobbit from being made. That amount of dough will buy a lot of swords, though I'm not sure it can make the fans look any better in their elvish costumes.

Maybe those heartbroken fans can go to law school. If so, they'd better get into the right school now that the ABA has imposed new accreditation standards on law schools which may threaten some currently operating institutions.

And one hopes those heartbroken fans will have more sense than to gin up a Holocaust float and whip out the "dancing Hitler" outfits. Just such a float was barred from the parades in Rio de Janeiro's Carnival celebration.

I'll close with a comment on what's probably the least effective way to try to discuss a love matter: write your sweetheart a "love memo" in true legal style. Don't do it, fellas. It only makes you a laughingstock.

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