This Is Not Funny

I apologize but I’m going to be derelict in my duty this week. I know I’m supposed to be snide and cynical when the appropriate news item appears. I know I’m supposed to be making fun of those who seem to deserve it. But the news coverage last week announcing that Kim Kardashian West is studying for the bar exam doesn’t strike me as funny.

Or at least not as funny as it should be. The fact that there are news stories about someone studying for the bar strikes me as pretty odd — where were the reporters when I was studying so many years ago? — but hearing that a big-time celebrity is studying law strikes me as a good thing not to be mocked.

Admittedly, I know next to nothing about Kardashians except that they’re famous for something. But surely studying for a real profession and claiming to want to do good are fine things.

Celebrities becoming lawyers also has beneficial impacts for the entire legal industry. Finally, we’ll have the role models we need for courtroom fashion and makeup. Finally, the court system will get the attention it deserves. Finally, there will be red carpets outside courthouses so we won’t wear out our shoes on all that hard concrete.

And I hardly need mention the potential for movie deals.

To do this right, we need to get on social media and encourage all types of celebrities who can bring in all types of audiences for legal drama to start their bar review courses.

You can come up with your own candidates for the bar. I want to encourage Paul Heyman, Rachel Bloom and Zenyatta to start briefing cases. If you don’t know who those celebrities are, I encourage you to check them out on YouTube and then imagine them in court. Then do that with your favorite stars.

Meanwhile, since we haven’t seen the celeb court invasion yet, have you ever entered a courtroom and wondered whether anyone noticed or cared? Have you ever wondered or cared whether you’ve entered that courtroom more than anyone else?

You probably haven’t. But perhaps you are being noticed.

I bring this up because a law firm called Fish & Richardson last week issued a press release that began with this sentence: “Fish & Richardson today became the first firm to mark 1,000 appearances before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) — with 137 more appearances than its closest competitor — according to Lex Machina.”

My immediate reactions: Someone was counting? Are there standings? Is tallying appearances before specialized government agencies the world’s most boring job?

I also want to know where the full standings are. Who else is on the list? How have they done in their last 10 games? Who are their star players? Is anyone tanking to get better lawyers for next season? What other leagues have standings?

If litigation is going to imitate baseball, it should go all in. All this information must be made public — so we can make intelligent bets.

Same/Not Same? Here’s a riddle for you. How can two things that are clearly different also look the same?

Consider this:

The same-but-different items are the subject of trademark infringement litigation in federal court in New York. There’s been no resolution of this dispute yet, but I have a suggestion: Limit sales of the upside-down product to customers who are paying attention.

Consumers should be allowed to buy the products only if they can tell the difference at the checkout counter. If they cannot, police should be on hand in the parking lot to administer breathalyzer tests.

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