Party Games

     I have a new party game for you: “Romance or Sexual Harassment?”
     It’s a challenging contest of wits. Contestants get a set of facts and have to decide whether the story is a romantic fantasy or quoted from real litigation.
     Hours of fun.
     Here’s one to get you started: “Ms. Eisenhour also found a poem by Judge Storey, which revealed his romantic feelings for her. Although Judge Storey never mentioned the poem, he gave it to Ms. Eisenhour in a stack of papers to file.”
     Aww. What could be more romantic than that?
     OK. That was pretty easy. It’s obviously from an appellate ruling. It’s in Eisenhour v. Weber County from the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals.
     The ruling, by the way, is a nice example of creativity (assuming the allegations are true). It seems that, allegedly, a county in Utah shut down a courthouse just so it could fire a woman who complained about a judge’s advances.
     There’s nothing some people won’t do for romance.
     
     More Love: For more serious romance, check out a ruling from the Maryland Court of Appeals called Tshiani v. Tshiani .
     It begins quite perplexingly: “A character portrayed by the actress Julia Roberts observed, ‘Happiness isn’t happiness without a violin-playing goat.’ If that be so, the live goat included as part of the dowry at a traditional marriage ceremony on 23 December 1993 in Kinshasa, Zaire, marking Marie-Louise Ntumba’s union with Noel Tshiani, was no Vivaldi.”
     This is followed by a footnote explaining who Vivaldi was.
     He wasn’t a goat.
     My guess is that the goat wouldn’t have been a Vivaldi even if Julia’s saying wasn’t accurate.
     Anyway, it’s worthwhile reading this ruling just for the description of the very practical wedding ceremony. It includes three questions for the groom. The first one is: “Do you know this girl?”
     Don’t you just hate it when you accidentally get married to a stranger?
     
     Another Game: After you get tired of romance, try this game: Rocky Mountain High Court.
     Contestants see who can come up with the best list of potential courtroom crazes (i.e. popular new forms of litigation) now that marijuana is becoming legal.
     The long form of the game (if, for example, you have an annual get-together and can keep track) includes bonus points for predictions becoming reality.
     Ten points, for example, if last year you guessed Hookah Copyright Litigation. The real life ruling is Inhale Inc. v. Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
     An extra 20 points if you guessed the names of the parties. I think someone could have gotten that one.
     The ruling, by the way, in its first footnote informs us that “A ‘hookah’ is a device for smoking tobacco.”
     Mmm-hmm.
     Well, we know what the judges are smoking …
     My prediction: a class action titled Smiley v. Taco Bell on behalf of a class of late-night smokers who couldn’t tell the difference when they paid for Doritos double-stuffed burritos and were served empty cardboard boxes.
     The defense will argue that no one could possibly understand what was being ordered through those little speakers by members of this particular class.
     And customer satisfaction was not affected.

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