Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Being on Both Sides of a Litigation Not Entirely Without Precedent

Posted by Alan Childress

As for my earlier assertion that having an interest in both sides of an appeal is entirely without precedent, I retract somewhat.  Consider Chico Marx cross-examining himself in Duck Soup, whichMv5bmti1otg1otkwov5bml5banbnxkftzty required him to ask the questions then quickly sit down to answer himself. (Or was it Groucho?)

The movie has a broader theme of straddling the fence, perhaps not lost on the attorney in my prior post, but contextualized here as to the larger war at issue for the nation of Freedonia:

Groucho : Awfully decent of you to drop in today. Do you realize our army is facing disastrous defeat? What do you intend to do about it?

Chico : I’ve done it already.

Groucho : You’ve done what?

ChicoI’ve changed to the other side.

Groucho : So you’re on the other side, eh? Well, what are you doing over here?

Chico : Well, the food is better over here.

All as quoted at this clown ministry site (and here), which also notes that the town of Fredonia, NY, had "complained about the use of its name with an additional 'e'. The Marx Brothers’ response was: 'Change the name of your town, it’s hurting our picture.' "  (Quoting from imdb.) Meanwhile: Groucho: "I’ll see my lawyer about this as soon as he graduates from law school."  Finally, as to sanction for such a fiduciary breach:

Groucho : Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you: he really is an idiot. I implore you, send him back to his father and brothers, who are waiting for him with open arms in the penitentiary. I suggest that we give him ten years in Leavenworth, or eleven years in Twelveworth.

Chico : I’ll tell you what I’ll do: I’ll take five and ten in Woolworth.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2008/07/being-on-both-s.html

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