June 21, 2005

Kozinski Is Fun To Read

by Sean Sirrine

Well, again today I found myself startled by great writing from that wild and crazy Judge Alex Kozonski. The post I wrote yesterday doesn't do justice to the wild-west nature of this infamous Judge. This time Juan Non-Volokh from the Volokh Conspiracy linked to an old opinion United States v. Syufy Enterprises. (Don't click this link until you've read the next paragraph.)

The link, rather than going to the actual case, takes you to the 1992 BYU Law Review 457 article dubbed "The Syufy Rosetta Stone". You should check out the link, or if you think you're a real legal expert, check out this original case opinion and see how many movie names you can find. If you can identify over 150, send your resume to Kozinski immediately.

Judge Kozinski managed to get more than 200 movie titles into his opinion on this monopolistic case and still write an excellent opinion. Here is some background:

When the Syufy case was first published rumor had it that hundreds of movie titles were hidden in Judge Kozinski's opinion. This is in fact true. The eminent judge has confirmed that there are 215 hidden titles, in part thanks to his law clerk, who was also an avid movie buff and went on to become an entertainment lawyer.

This was no casual effort; there were rules of the game. Only feature films were permitted, no made-for-tv movies. Titles had to be exact, no letters added or deleted. Punctuation was important; "seven days" did not count because the movie was "Se7en Days"; there is, however, a "Seven". Judge Kozinski arm-wrestled and beat West Publishing for a middle initial M with no period after it. Although the trial took place over two weeks, technically, courtroom time was 8 1/2 days. There is only one lawyerly wriggle: many people do not pronounce "Ran" in Japanese. Yes, there really is a "Humongous"; I would suggest readers have the Internet Movie Database running to check titles they aren't familiar with, or to find out just popular "Easy Money" is.

That opinion, and to be thorough, the concurring opinion, is reprinted here with the titles highlighted in living color. In the few instances in which two titles immediately follow each other, there is a double space between them. One title is a footnote number; it is bracketed in color. Star paging corresponds to that in the Federal Reporter. It has also been published in 1992 BYU Law Review 457 as The Syufy Rosetta Stone with the titles underlined.

For the truly anal, wannabe law review types, you might try going through the text in the reporter to test yourself. If you find fewer than 50 titles, you need to get a life; 50-100, you're a law geek, but there's hope; between 100 and 150, you're a modern centaur - half lawyer/half movie buff; 150-200, send your resume to Judge Kozinski; and 200 plus, forget law, you're a natural for The Industry.

Wow, talk about eye popping, Kozinski actually makes reading these things fun!


June 21, 2005 05:03 PM | TrackBack
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