The items below are the items that got the most traffic here during 2010. Not all of these were written or posted during 2010, though most were – they are just the items that, for whatever reason, happened to draw the largest number of eyeballs this year.
1. Censure for Judge Who Ordered Attorney Be Paid in Gift Cards, Like Class Members
This was the second of two posts about the judge who was asked to review a proposed class-action settlement that would have compensated class members by giving them each a $10 gift card usable only in the defendant's stores – likely leading to a profit for the defendant that plaintiffs' attorney was claiming had broken the law. This judge, who was filling in for someone else that day, thought this settlement was ridiculous but approved it on condition that the plaintiffs' attorney would also get paid in $10 gift cards – 12,500 of them, to be exact.
When the original judge got back, she "reconsidered" the order and approved the original settlement. Someone (most likely her) also complained to the state Commission on Judicial Performance, and the fill-in judge was ultimately censured. But my guess is that the popularity of this post about the censure is some evidence that he remains a hero to many.
2. Reasonable Consumer Would Know "Crunchberries" Are Not Real, Judge Rules
Almost as popular was this item from June 2009, the first in a string of posts about the various plaintiffs who have alleged they were utterly bamboozled by the product names "Crunch Berries" and "Froot Loops." The remarkable popularity of this post is likely due to the remarkable stupidity of these lawsuits.
3. PRACTICE TIP: Referring to Judges on Your Panel as "Ass Clowns" Does Not Maximize Chance of Success
Clearly, many people had been wondering whether this was a good idea. Turns out the answer is no.
Number four on the list is the page where I am attempting to collect those opinions that, for various reasons, I feel should be immortalized. Not stuff like Brown v. Board of Education – that's already on somebody's list – more like United States ex rel Mayo v. Satan and His Staff (self-explanatory) or Nance v. United States ("How do you know it was me when I had a handkerchief over my face?"). These should also be read and studied by all.
5. Family Drops Plan to Sue Cable Company for Making It Fat and Lazy
This one goes way back but apparently never gets old. And really, how could it? The plaintiffs had claimed that their cable TV – which they had been getting for free for four years – was "addictive" and that said addiction had, among other things, made them lazy and caused them to gain weight. The head of the family later called a press conference to say they were dropping the suit and to deny that his children were "lazy," although he did confirm that his wife had gotten fat.
6. Seventh Circuit: Plaintiff Unhappy With Search Results Can't Sue Yahoo!
"Like many," this opinion begins, "Beverly Stayart was curious about what she would find when she put her name into a search engine." And like many, she was not happy with what she found. Unlike anybody else, however, she sued.
7. Mugging Outside Ninja School Goes Poorly
Needs no explanation, really.
8. "Plaintiff Has No Recollection of What Transpired in the Private Room"
Also self-explanatory, at least once you understand that thousands of dollars had been charged to plaintiff's credit card for things that allegedly transpired in the private room.
9. Dog-Flinging Mascot Blamed for Eye Injury
Not at all self-explanatory, this one involved "Sluggerrr," the Kansas City Royals' mascot, who got himself and the team sued by a fan who alleged that while Sluggerrr was chucking free hot dogs into the stands, he chucked one into the plaintiff's eye socket. On the plus side, this might have made at least one Royals game somewhat interesting this year.
10. Superheroes Foil Comic-Book-Store Robbery
Tip: trying to steal rare comics on the store's Costume Day is a bad idea. Maybe not as bad as trying to mug somebody right outside a ninja school, but you know those goody-two-shoes Jedi knights are going to get involved.
11. Longest Known Sentence in a Legal Document?
The one referenced here was 538 words long, but we subsequently found one that measured 593. Could somebody spare some punctuation for our cousins in the Massachusetts legislature?
Twelfth and last on this list is the "Comical Case Names" page. See, e.g., Schmuck v. United States, 489 U.S. 705 (1989); United States v. An Article of Hazardous Substance Consisting of 50,000 Cardboard Boxes More or Less, Each Containing One Pair of Clacker Balls, 413 F. Supp. 1281 (E.D. Wis. 1976).
Finally, as this is either the last post of the year, or the last post likely to be read by those who read this at work, not that anyone would do that, this is probably my last chance to thank many of you for reading this blog in 2010. If you are interested in the status of the voting in the "Fun" category of the ABA Journal's "Blawg 100," this blog is not winning, as that has really become a contest between two firm-sponsored blogs, Law Law Land and That's What She Said. As I have said before, they are both excellent. I do suspect it is easier to mobilize voters if you have, let's say, 17 lawyers contributing to a blog rather than one, but that is just the nature of the contest, not a comment on quality, and it would be sour grapes for me not to congratulate whoever wins, which I hereby do. Still, hundreds of thousands of people visited this blog in 2010, and that is a sort of vote, and I continue to be very thankful for that.
Have a safe, happy, and entirely non-billable New Year's Eve.