May 25, 2011
Bob Dylan Turns 70: Answer Still Blowing in the Wind
So yesterday was Bob Dylan's birthday, and he turned 70 years old. University of Tennessee College of Law professor Alex B. Long's paper, The Freewheelin' Judiciary: A Bob Dylan Anthology, looks at how the courts have used Dylan's lyrics over the years. In honor of Dylan's birthday, I offer the following business law-related excerpt from Professor Long's paper:
One of the more interesting [Dylan quotes] comes from McKesson Corp. v. Islamic Republic of Iran [520 F. Supp. 2d 38 (D.D.C. 2007)].
There, the court used the weatherman metaphor to signify the idea that some future events are so likely to occur that they do not require an expert to predict. In the case, a corporation (McKesson) was suing Iran for failing to distribute dividends the corporation was owed. The corporation made at least three failed attempts to obtain payment.
In this Court's judgment, the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn about Iran's intentions from these three unsuccessful attempts by McKesson is that nothing McKesson would, or could, do would result in the payment of their dividends. To put it in 1960's vernacular: “you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” FN16
FN16. B. Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues, on BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME (Columbia Records 1965).