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A court decision written entirely in rhyme

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  • Lawrence
    Dear Readers: On page 1 of the New York Law Journal of Monday, 07 May, there is an article about a lawyer who may face disciplinary charges because he wrote a
    Message 1 of 2 , May 9 10:15 AM
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      Dear Readers:

      On page 1 of the New York Law Journal of Monday, 07 May, there is an article about a lawyer who may face disciplinary charges because he wrote a letter to the special referee assigned to his client's divorce case -- and the letter was all in rhyme.

      Early in my legal career, when I was defending Admiralty claims, I came across a Federal court decision which was written by the judge entirely in rhyme. Even the footnotes are in rhyme. Not only that, but when West Publishing printed it, the editor wrote the headnotes in rhyme as well.

      No, it wasn't a No-Fault suit -- an area which sometimes inspires me to write poetry (an inspiration I have thus far suppressed).  In fact, it was an Admiralty suit in which a seaman sued a shipping line for unpaid wages and the defendant moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

      For your entertainment, I now present what is probably unique in the annals of American jurisprudence -- a court decision written entirely in verse.

      Larry Rogak




      United States District Court,
      E.D. Pennsylvania.

      Richard MACKENSWORTH
      v.
      AMERICAN TRADING TRANSPORTATION CO.

      Civ. A. No. 73-943.
      Nov. 19, 1973.

      A seaman, with help of legal sages,

      Sued a shipowner for his wages.

      The defendant, in New York City

      (Where served was process without pity)

      Thought the suit should fade away,

      Since it was started in Pa.

      The District Court there (Eastern District)

      Didn't feel itself restricted

      And in some verse by Edward R. Becker, J.,

      Let the sailor have his day.

      The owner, once to earn freight fare,

      Sent ship to load on Delaware.

      Since it came to reap in port,

      T'was turnabout to show in court,

      With process so to profit tied.

      Motion to dismiss denied.


      West Headnotes


      [1] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

      Key Number Symbol313 Process
         Key Number Symbol313II Service
           Key Number Symbol313II(A) Personal Service in General
             Key Number Symbol313k60 Place for Service
               Key Number Symbol313k62 k. Nonresidents. Most Cited Cases

      Long-arm service is a procedural tool
      Founded upon a "doing business" rule. 42 Pa. S. § 8309.

      [2] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

      Key Number Symbol170B Federal Courts
         Key Number Symbol170BII Venue
           Key Number Symbol170BII(A) In General
             Key Number Symbol170Bk76 Actions Against Non-Residents; "Long-Arm" Jurisdiction in General
               Key Number Symbol170Bk76.35 k. Other Particular Types of Cases. Most Cited Cases
                 (Formerly 106k12(2))

      A New York shipowner which, to its later dismay
      Loaded a ship in Philly, Pa.
      In the year of Our Lord 1972
      Could be served in a suit there by seafarer who
      Claimed that his wages were long overdue,
      Since the loading, in the learned court's ken of it
      Was a single act done for pecuniary benefit
      And thus doing business (for profit to boot)
      Within the state's long-arm statute. 46 U.S.C.A. § 594; 42 Pa. S. § 8309(a)(3).

      [3] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

      Key Number Symbol170B Federal Courts
         Key Number Symbol170BII Venue
           Key Number Symbol170BII(A) In General
             Key Number Symbol170Bk76 Actions Against Non-Residents; "Long-Arm" Jurisdiction in General
               Key Number Symbol170Bk76.15 k. Transacting or Doing Business. Most Cited Cases
                 (Formerly 106k12(2))

      Under the Commonwealth statute providing
      That in cases of persons elsewhere residing, "the doing of a single act * * * for the purpose of thereby realizing pecuniary benefit or otherwise accomplishing an object with the intention of initiating a series of such acts." No future intention is needed when "pecuniary profit" is heeded; one acting from profit ambition need not contemplate repetition. 42 Pa. S. § 8309(a)(3).

      [4] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

      Key Number Symbol170B Federal Courts
         Key Number Symbol170BII Venue
           Key Number Symbol170BII(A) In General
             Key Number Symbol170Bk76 Actions Against Non-Residents; "Long-Arm" Jurisdiction in General
               Key Number Symbol170Bk76.1 k. In General. Most Cited Cases
                 (Formerly 170Bk76, 106k12(2))

      Lest the long-arm statute make all nervous
      It was amended to avoid guess
      And to extend long-arm service
      To the full reach of due process. 42 Pa. S. § 8309.

      [5] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

      Key Number Symbol92 Constitutional Law
         Key Number Symbol92XXVII Due Process
           Key Number Symbol92XXVII(E) Civil Actions and Proceedings
             Key Number Symbol92k3961 Jurisdiction and Venue
               Key Number Symbol92k3965 Particular Parties or Circumstances
                 Key Number Symbol92k3965(5) k. Services and Service Providers. Most Cited Cases
                   (Formerly 92k305(6))

      A New York shipowner who
      Once sent its vessel over the blue
      For loading in Philly, in '72
      Could be sued there, to its rue
      In accord with process due
      Under International Shoe.

       Cohen & Lore, Harry Lore, Philadelphia, Pa., for plaintiff.

      Krusen, Evans & Byrne, E. Alfred Smith, T. J. Mahoney, H. Wallace Roberts, Philadelphia, Pa., for defendant.

      OPINION AND ORDER


      EDWARD R. BECKER, District Judge.


      The motion now before us has stirred up a terrible fuss.

      And what is considerably worse, it has spawned some preposterous doggerel verse.

      The plaintiff, a man of the sea,

      after paying his lawyer a fee,

      filed a complaint of several pages to recover statutory wages.FN1

      [FN1. In nautical terms, the wage statute is stowed at § 594 of 46 U.S.Code.]


      The pleaded facts remind us of a tale that is endless.

      A seaman whom for centuries the law has called "friendless"

      is discharged from the ship before voyage's end

      and sues for lost wages, his finances to mend.

      The defendant shipping company's office is based in New York City,

      and to get right down to the nitty gritty,

      it has been brought to this Court by long arm service,FN2

      [FN2. Long arm service is effected, not by stealth,but through the Secretary of the Commonwealth.]


      which has made it extremely nervous.

      [1] Headnote Citing References Long arm service is a procedural tool

      founded upon a "doing business" rule.

      But defendant has no office here, and says it has no mania

      to do any business in Pennsylvania.

      Plaintiff found defendant had a ship here in June '72,

      but defendant says that ship's business is through.

      Asserting that process is amiss,

      it has filed a motion to dismiss.

      Plaintiff's counsel, whose name is Harry Lore,

      read defendant's brief and found it a bore.

      Instead of a reply brief, he acted pretty quick

      and responded with a clever limerick:

      "Admiralty process is hoary

      With pleadings that tell a sad story

      Of Libels in Rem-

       The bane of sea-faring men

      The moral:

      Better personally served than be sorry."

      Not to be outdone, the defense took the time

      to reply with their own clever rhyme.

      The defense counsel team of Mahoney, Roberts, & Smith

      drafted a poem cutting right to the pith:

      "Admiralty lawyers like Harry

      Both current and those known from lore

      Be they straight types, mixed or fairy

      Must learn how to sidestep our bore.

    • joeyesq@aol.com
      When Eminem got sued for defamation awhile back, the Judge threw the case out... and rapped her decision. Which is possibly the most embarassing thing to
      Message 2 of 2 , May 9 6:03 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        When Eminem got sued for defamation awhile back, the Judge threw the case out... and rapped her decision. Which is possibly the most embarassing thing to happen in a court room ever (well in a non-no fault courtroom anyway)
         
         
         
         



         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Lawrence <insurancelawyer@...>
        To: TheRogakReport <TheRogakReport@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wed, May 9, 2012 1:17 pm
        Subject: The Rogak Report: The Most Useful Publication In The Insurance Claims Industry A court decision written entirely in rhyme

         
        Dear Readers:

        On page 1 of the New York Law Journal of Monday, 07 May, there is an article about a lawyer who may face disciplinary charges because he wrote a letter to the special referee assigned to his client's divorce case -- and the letter was all in rhyme.

        Early in my legal career, when I was defending Admiralty claims, I came across a Federal court decision which was written by the judge entirely in rhyme. Even the footnotes are in rhyme. Not only that, but when West Publishing printed it, the editor wrote the headnotes in rhyme as well.

        No, it wasn't a No-Fault suit -- an area which sometimes inspires me to write poetry (an inspiration I have thus far suppressed).  In fact, it was an Admiralty suit in which a seaman sued a shipping line for unpaid wages and the defendant moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

        For your entertainment, I now present what is probably unique in the annals of American jurisprudence -- a court decision written entirely in verse.

        Larry Rogak




        United States District Court,
        E.D. Pennsylvania.

        Richard MACKENSWORTH
        v.
        AMERICAN TRADING TRANSPORTATION CO.

        Civ. A. No. 73-943.
        Nov. 19, 1973.

        A seaman, with help of legal sages,

        Sued a shipowner for his wages.

        The defendant, in New York City

        (Where served was process without pity)

        Thought the suit should fade away,

        Since it was started in Pa.

        The District Court there (Eastern District)

        Didn't feel itself restricted

        And in some verse by Edward R. Becker, J.,

        Let the sailor have his day.

        The owner, once to earn freight fare,

        Sent ship to load on Delaware.

        Since it came to reap in port,

        T'was turnabout to show in court,

        With process so to profit tied.

        Motion to dismiss denied.


        West Headnotes


        [1] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

        Key Number Symbol313 Process
           Key Number Symbol313II Service
             Key Number Symbol313II(A) Personal Service in General
               Key Number Symbol313k60 Place for Service
                 Key Number Symbol313k62 k. Nonresidents. Most Cited Cases

        Long-arm service is a procedural tool
        Founded upon a "doing business" rule. 42 Pa. S. § 8309.

        [2] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

        Key Number Symbol170B Federal Courts
           Key Number Symbol170BII Venue
             Key Number Symbol170BII(A) In General
               Key Number Symbol170Bk76 Actions Against Non-Residents; "Long-Arm" Jurisdiction in General
                 Key Number Symbol170Bk76.35 k. Other Particular Types of Cases. Most Cited Cases
                   (Formerly 106k12(2))

        A New York shipowner which, to its later dismay
        Loaded a ship in Philly, Pa.
        In the year of Our Lord 1972
        Could be served in a suit there by seafarer who
        Claimed that his wages were long overdue,
        Since the loading, in the learned court's ken of it
        Was a single act done for pecuniary benefit
        And thus doing business (for profit to boot)
        Within the state's long-arm statute. 46 U.S.C.A. § 594; 42 Pa. S. § 8309(a)(3).

        [3] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

        Key Number Symbol170B Federal Courts
           Key Number Symbol170BII Venue
             Key Number Symbol170BII(A) In General
               Key Number Symbol170Bk76 Actions Against Non-Residents; "Long-Arm" Jurisdiction in General
                 Key Number Symbol170Bk76.15 k. Transacting or Doing Business. Most Cited Cases
                   (Formerly 106k12(2))

        Under the Commonwealth statute providing
        That in cases of persons elsewhere residing, "the doing of a single act * * * for the purpose of thereby realizing pecuniary benefit or otherwise accomplishing an object with the intention of initiating a series of such acts." No future intention is needed when "pecuniary profit" is heeded; one acting from profit ambition need not contemplate repetition. 42 Pa. S. § 8309(a)(3).

        [4] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

        Key Number Symbol170B Federal Courts
           Key Number Symbol170BII Venue
             Key Number Symbol170BII(A) In General
               Key Number Symbol170Bk76 Actions Against Non-Residents; "Long-Arm" Jurisdiction in General
                 Key Number Symbol170Bk76.1 k. In General. Most Cited Cases
                   (Formerly 170Bk76, 106k12(2))

        Lest the long-arm statute make all nervous
        It was amended to avoid guess
        And to extend long-arm service
        To the full reach of due process. 42 Pa. S. § 8309.

        [5] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

        Key Number Symbol92 Constitutional Law
           Key Number Symbol92XXVII Due Process
             Key Number Symbol92XXVII(E) Civil Actions and Proceedings
               Key Number Symbol92k3961 Jurisdiction and Venue
                 Key Number Symbol92k3965 Particular Parties or Circumstances
                   Key Number Symbol92k3965(5) k. Services and Service Providers. Most Cited Cases
                     (Formerly 92k305(6))

        A New York shipowner who
        Once sent its vessel over the blue
        For loading in Philly, in '72
        Could be sued there, to its rue
        In accord with process due
        Under International Shoe.

         Cohen & Lore, Harry Lore, Philadelphia, Pa., for plaintiff.

        Krusen, Evans & Byrne, E. Alfred Smith, T. J. Mahoney, H. Wallace Roberts, Philadelphia, Pa., for defendant.

        OPINION AND ORDER


        EDWARD R. BECKER, District Judge.


        The motion now before us has stirred up a terrible fuss.

        And what is considerably worse, it has spawned some preposterous doggerel verse.

        The plaintiff, a man of the sea,

        after paying his lawyer a fee,

        filed a complaint of several pages to recover statutory wages.FN1

        [FN1. In nautical terms, the wage statute is stowed at § 594 of 46 U.S.Code.]


        The pleaded facts remind us of a tale that is endless.

        A seaman whom for centuries the law has called "friendless"

        is discharged from the ship before voyage's end

        and sues for lost wages, his finances to mend.

        The defendant shipping company's office is based in New York City,

        and to get right down to the nitty gritty,

        it has been brought to this Court by long arm service,FN2

        [FN2. Long arm service is effected, not by stealth,but through the Secretary of the Commonwealth.]


        which has made it extremely nervous.

        [1] Headnote Citing References Long arm service is a procedural tool

        founded upon a "doing business" rule.

        But defendant has no office here, and says it has no mania

        to do any business in Pennsylvania.

        Plaintiff found defendant had a ship here in June '72,

        but defendant says that ship's business is through.

        Asserting that process is amiss,

        it has filed a motion to dismiss.

        Plaintiff's counsel, whose name is Harry Lore,

        read defendant's brief and found it a bore.

        Instead of a reply brief, he acted pretty quick

        and responded with a clever limerick:

        "Admiralty process is hoary

        With pleadings that tell a sad story

        Of Libels in Rem-

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