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The voice of nature

October 3, 2022

A company in Britain wants to give "Nature" a voice. Unfortunately, only humans will be allowed to speak for Nature.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Sometimes it’s hard being a professional skeptic. Usually, it’s easy, but sometimes it’s hard.

Case in point: How do you react to a press release headline like this one: “Faith In Nature Legally appoints ‘Nature’ to its Board of Directors.”

Like you just now, I also chuckled when I saw this.

It turns out that this British “natural beauty products” company called Faith In Nature has decided that “Nature” needs to be represented on the board of directors of a company that already at least claims to be solicitous of nature.

“The brand has worked with leading environmental and corporate lawyers to turn an idea into reality and have now officially amended their company constitution to include Nature as a director, with all the same voting rights as any other company director.”

We will now find out how Nature feels about executive compensation.

This may sound silly but is it really? Yes, it is, but consider that corporations are people and they’re not even real. At least Nature exists.

You may be wondering at this point how Nature can attend board meetings. The answer is it can’t (unless you include nearby potted plants). Instead, the press release informed us, “Nature will be represented though a proxy role whereby a human who is legally bound to speak on behalf of the natural world, acts on behalf of Nature.”

So nature itself doesn’t really get a vote. It’s just some human who probably doesn’t care what invasive pythons and tigerfish think even though they’re part of nature.

This is the sort of thing I want to believe in. I don’t believe in it, but I want to believe in it. The rational side of me (I think) sees this as a publicity stunt by a company that already claims to preserve nature. All the company really had to do was write a bylaw requiring environmental review.

But suppose this Nature voting thing is real — what if Nature doesn’t want Faith In Nature using up all that aloe and coconut and shea butter? A person wouldn’t want their hair and toes torn off. Nature certainly wouldn’t want all that harvesting.

Those board meetings could get awfully uncomfortable.

Party time. If you’re hard up for entertainment and looking for astonishing laws and appellate opinions, there’s no better source than the courts of Louisiana.

Recent case in point — a Louisiana Court of Appeal ruling on the issue of whether a state law giving immunity from suit to Mardi Gras “krewes” applied to a parade accident.

There’s a lot of wonderful detail here but this is my favorite passage:

“The statute was amended in 1987 to include subpart B, which stated that a person who attends an organized Mardi Gras parade assumes the risk of being struck by a missile traditionally thrown or tossed by members of a krewe during the parade….

“We find the expansive language … was intended to cover a broad spectrum of risks and losses associated with traditional parade activities.”

It’s statutory assumption of drunken partying risk.

Consider packing a helmet if you’re going to Mardi Gras.

A new chapter. There’s a new episode available in the ongoing soap opera involving The Trial Lawyer College in Wyoming that we told you about last month.

There’s now romance gone wrong — the ex-girlfriend of one of the members of the “Spence group” has turned on him and given text messages to the “Sloan group” that “allegedly implicate (the lawyer) and the other individual defendants in a conspiracy to misappropriate TLC’s intellectual property.”

That’s from a federal judge’s ruling last week in a separate lawsuit over use of The Trial Lawyers College name. We also learn that one of the Spence lawyers “engaged in a litany of actions in violation” of a court order.

There’s so much to learn from these veteran trial lawyers.

One of the lessons may be not to share evidence with anyone you’re dating.

Categories / Op-Ed

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