Thursday, October 23, 2014


This comes from The Internet (so it has to be true).  Byline: Boston.  A female executive sued her corporate employer for sexual harassment.  The suit referenced (inter alia) the corporation’s less than sedate Halloween parties with claims of inappropriate dress and behavior.

The corporation’s male CEO, a Halloween devotee, was deposed for six days.  Each day he wore a different Halloween costume.  One day he was decked out as a priest (including a garlic necklace as a vampire repellent).  Another day he was Mr. Peanut.  Unfortunately Mr. Peanut’s top hat was very heavy and when the CEO leaned back the top heaviness toppled him out of his chair.

At trial the CEO dressed like a college professor, complete with a prop pipe.  This must have played well to the jurors because they found in favor of the corporation.  There was also the fact that, despite vociferous objection, the jurors were allowed to see a number of photos of plaintiff dressed “provocatively”—no better and further particulars were provided—at past corporate Halloween parties.  The argument was, Hey, plaintiff embraced the company’s “work hard, play hard” culture and was not a victim of that culture.  Verdict upheld on appeal. 

Litigation & Mediation

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



—     Pay particular attention to this first clause because it’s most important. It says, “The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part.” How do you like that?
—     No, it’s no good. Let’s hear it again.
—     “The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part.”
—     That sounds a little better this time.
—     Well, it grows on you. Would you like to hear it once more?
—     Just the first part.
—     What do you mean? The party of the first part?
—     No, the first part of the party of the first part. 

                                         * * * * *

—     Hey, wait, wait. What does this say here?
—     Oh, that?  That’s the usual clause. That’s in every contract. That just says, “If any of the parties participating in this contract is shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.”
—     Well, I don’t know...
—     It’s all right, that’s in every contract. That’s what they call a “sanity clause.”
—     Ha ha ha ha ha! You can’t fool me! There ain’t no Sanity Clause!

from "Night at the Opera" (Marx Bros.)