Today is a banner day here in the Department of Making Fun of Lawyers. For the first time ever, this blog features the work of a guest author who, for some obscure reason, prefers to be known simply as “Captain Tie-Dye”. I met him last week while I was wandering around in the mountains of Colorado and he seemed like a decent chap. We somehow got to talking about many things including but not limited to Quantum Physics and Lawyers. He revealed to me that he had, in fact, written a piece to amuse some lawyers he knew. He showed it to me and I liked it.
“Bonus Round”, I said.
“I’m overdue to put up another post. You can be my guest author.”
Most clients who are new to the legal process start out with a set of preconceived notions like “justice” and “truth”; novices believe that these concepts are actually useful in understanding how the legal world works.
At one momentous point In the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, lawyer Atticus Finch addresses the jury saying: “Now gentlemen, in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system. That’s no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality. Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson.”
The Reality of IP Law
It is painful and difficult for all of us to give up our preconceived ideas about the law and accept the reality of it.
But the real essence of the law is Wu-Li.
The road to Wu-Li is the road to enlightenment.
There are five steps on the road to Wu-Li; each of these co-exists in perfect congruence with the others.
Lawyer Norm Bowley once said, “The Court of Queen’s Bench does not play dice.” There is order to the law. But one must look past the apparent chaos and see this deeper order.
Step One: Patterns of Organic Energy
We can never predict the outcome of a case. We can only predict the probability of the outcome. As each side presents its evidence, it can appear to be very compelling. Each side can estimate the probability of success during each phase of the pre-trial and trial procedure. In fact, it could be said that the possibility of a favorable verdict co-exists for both plaintiff and defendant right up until the moment that the judge renders a verdict. We call this the “Kerr Wave Function”. At the moment that a judge’s decision is handed down, this wave function collapses. This is called a “Queen’s Bench Jump”.
Until the decision is rendered, all of the allowed things that could happen in the case unfold as a developing wave function. However, when the judge’s decision is rendered, one of those possibilities actualizes, and the rest cease to exist. The Queen’s Bench Jump moves the case from a multifaceted potentiality to a single actuality. At this point, the probability of a positive verdict for one of the parties increases to 100%, while the probability of a positive verdict for the other party is reduced to 0.
Step One: My Way
Herein we learn that litigation does not exist outside of the participation of the litigants. The concept of “proof” is rendered irrelevant during the litigation process. The concept of “facts” becomes a matter of opinion and interpretation. Objectivity does not exist in a court of law. Law itself is not an exact science, but is merely a function of the observations of the participants.
Step One: Nonsense
At some point in the litigation, the litigants realize that they are not in control of things but instead work out that the process has acquired a life of its own.
At this point, the facts of the case can be described by the formula F=hc². This means that each fact, (F) is not actually an entity in itself. It is merely a function of the number of hours required to enter the fact into evidence, (h) times the lawyer’s hourly rate (c) squared.
Step One: I Clutch My Ideas
As we approach the point of enlightenment, we must utilize a process known as “discovery”.
The discovery process seeks to ensure that both the lawyers and the litigants reach their lowest, or ground state, energy levels before trial. This state of being is called being a “shell”.
The study of a Zen tool called a “koan” used to achieve enlightenment can be helpful during this process. A “koan” is a puzzle which cannot be answered in ordinary ways because it is so paradoxical. For example, if a lawyer sends a bill, but the client does not read the bill, does the client owe the money? Or, conversely, if the client reads the bill, but the client’s company is in bankruptcy when the bill arrives, does the debt really exist? Koans are powerful tools which can help bring about important changes in our perceptions and understanding.
Step One: Enlightenment
After implementation of the settlement, both clients and lawyers must analyze the results. The client realizes that no litigation actually existed.
Right and wrong are merely subjective terms that we have constructed to describe our impressions and desires for reality. The truth is that there is only the process. The lawyers realize that their existence, too, is merely a subjective construct. The process itself is not intended to reach a logical conclusion. It’s sole function is to convert facts into money, based on the universal law, F=hc².
The Essence of Law
The study of the Law is known as Legal Mechanics. It can never be truly understood, because the very act of studying the Law impairs the process of rational thought.
It is enough that we participate in the process.
As the iconic Professor Kingsfield said in the movie. “The Paper Chase”:
“You come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer.” In other words, the wheel turns full circle, and nothing ever changes.