Friday Links

Well, it’s Friday, so we might as well have some fun with popular culture. The law is not often a subject for the poets and singer songwriters, but when it is, such artists are usually at its mercy. Case in point: In the YouTube clip above, Bruce Springsteen covers “I Fought The Law,” made famous by the Bobby Fuller Four, and covered by many bands, including The Clash in 1979, the Dead Kennedys in 1987, and Green Day in 2004. (That’s right; you are reading a products liability law blog written by defense attorneys who know and reference punk bands.). Wikipedia alerts us that the song was done originally by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets (after the death of the late, great Buddy Holly). However, it was the Bobby Fuller Four’s version that brought the song into the public consciousness. Enjoy.

The question: Are personal letters from U.S. Supreme Court Justices to screenwriters considered persuasive authority? This week, the blogosphere has been picking apart Justice Scalia’s 2006 letter to screenwriter Daniel Turkewitz, whose brother, Eric Turkewitz, runs the New York Personal Injury Law Blog. Daniel had been researching the basis for a screenplay about Maine and secessionists, and not being a lawyer, he wrote all sitting members of the U.S. Supreme Court for advice on how to depict a legal dispute over secession in his film to be. Eric posted a copy of Justice Scalia’s response at his blog on Tuesday, and since that time a number of blogs have discussed it, including two separate posts at The Volokh Conspiracy (here and here). If you’ve not yet read the letter, check it out. Interestingly enough, Justice Scalia was the only Justice to reply to Daniel’s letter.

The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Success has posted its Top Ten iPhone Apps for Busy Lawyers. (Hat tip: The Mac Lawyer). We here at Abnormal Use recommend TweetDeck, and, of course, Shazam, which no lawyer – indeed, no person – should be without.

According to this report at Injured: The Findlaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog, Plaintiff’s lawyers are already seeking black box data from Toyota in the new acceleration suits. Attorneys should keep an eye on this litigation. Although some black box data can be downloaded by third party applications and consultants, some cannot. If judges get into the habit of granting orders compelling automotive companies to download their vehicles’ black box data, how might those same judges rule in later personal injury cases in which the automotive company is not (necessarily) a defendant? We’ll see.

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