Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lawyerly cliches


For the first time in my 18 years as a lawyer, I am quoting
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in a formal legal writing. I did once work in the old movie cliche, "meanwhile, back at the ranch," in an appropriate context, and a coworker once opened with "It was a dark and stormy night." Somehow, I need to get the following famous first lines into legal memoranda: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" (Tolstoy, Anna Karenina ) and "One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a giant cockroach." (Kafka, The Metamorphosis). Well, that last one might present a real challenge.

3 comments:

Ann said...

Gotta have the quote, R.

Anonymous said...

This particular batshit insane litigant has taken us down the proberbial rabbit hole many times:

"In another moment down went Alice after [the white rabbit], never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.
. . .

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end!"

The late Fifth Circuit Judge Irving Goldberg quoted Alice on a regular basis. His opinions are fun to read.

--Randy, too lazy to sign out of C's google account and into my own.

Ray Ward said...

I'm guilty of having once used "It's deja vu all over again," to describe an opponent's repetitious motion.