Even More Star Wars Quoting Judges

Josh with R2D2 at The Geekie Awards 2013

I often wonder if Geek Judges call their Law Clerks Padawans.

Below are two more Judges who reference Star Wars in opinions.

One directly makes a Star Wars reference to shoot two proton torpedoes at an attorney’s argument; the other referencing testimony from a party.

Who Doesn’t Like a Judge Who Quotes Obi-Wan Kenobi?

Stapleton also demands a list of Dr. Harries’s publications over the last decade, a list of the cases in which he has testified over the same period, and a statement of his compensation. See R. 93 at 5. Without citation to authority or much supporting argument, Stapleton tries a unique line of attack. He directs the Court for “guidance” to the more detailed requirements of the analogous rule of civil procedure. See R. 45 at 5 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(B)). This attempted diversion—the legal equivalent of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for,” see Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Lucasfilm 1977)—is unavailing. “[D]iscovery afforded by Rule 16 is limited to the evidence referred to in its express provisions.” United States v. Presser, 844 F.2d 1275, 1285 (6th Cir. 1988). The government has already provided Dr. Harries’s reports and curriculum vitae. See R. 87 at 2. Because these documents amply cover his opinions, the bases and reasons for those opinions, and his qualifications, Rule 16(a)(1)(G) is satisfied. The government has thus met its disclosure obligations regarding Dr. Harries’ testimony.

United States v. Stapleton, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108189, 23-24 (E.D. Ky. July 31, 2013).

Would “Callrisian-esque” Be an Adjective?

Defendants, who referred to TestMasters as an “evil empire,” began working together in September and October 2004 on what would become Blueprint while all of them were still working for TestMasters. For example, on September 28, 2004 Teti wrote to Martin about the terms of a potential partnership agreement and how to compete successfully with TestMasters. On October 12, 2004 Teti wrote to Capuano, Triplett, and Martin “collectively for the first time,” distributing a list of “vital questions to consider” for their new business. By October 13, 2004 defendants were discussing the viability of forming a new business together, undercutting TestMasters’ price (by $250), and preparing for litigation with TestMasters. Defendants made plans in October 2004 to meet with attorneys to discuss these issues, and to get advice on what they “were and weren’t allowed to do in terms of figuring out whether this potential business was feasible while still employed by TestMasters.” Teti, Capuano, Triplett, and Martin met several more times in October 2004 to discuss creating their own LSAT preparation company, and by October 25 were referring to each other as partners and were working on structuring their course and creating course material for their new business that would be “very similar to the TM [TestMasters] course structure.” Capuano promised the others he would “not do anything ‘Callrisian-esque,'” which was his way of saying that he would not betray defendants to TestMasters, as the character Lando Calrissian (“the mayor of  Cloud City” played by Billy D. Williams) had done in the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back (Lucasfilm 1980).

Robin Singh Educ. Servs. v. Blueprint Test Preparation, 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 537, 11-13 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Jan. 23, 2013).

The Court Will Be With You, Always

I believe there will always be Star Wars quoting judges. The Gen Xer’s now on the bench grew up with an X-wing fighter in hand, chasing a sibling with a Tie Fighter. Those sort of positive life long memories simply do not go away, they helped define a person. Those same attorneys and judges have watched The Clone Wars with their kids (or without) and are counting down the days until Episode VII is released.

The more interesting question is whether a Federal or State Court Judge will write the Star Wars Bench Book for judicial quotes for specific rulings…