I love a sense of humor, especially when trying to make a point with a bit of sarcasm. I applaud the creativity of attorney Bob Kohn in the case of United States v Apple et al. (Civil Action No. 12-CV-2826). Attorney Kohn was given only five pages to make his legal arguments in an amicus curiae brief in a very complex litigation matter involving antitrust law and the sale of electronic books in the United States. An amicus curiae brief is an argument submitted to the court by a non-party in the lawsuit for consideration on a pending legal matter where the non-party will be significantly affected by the outcome of the court’s ruling in the case. In other words, someone not involved in that particular case files a document to be reviewed by the court about that case because the outcome of the case would directly affect the person. These are commonly known as “friend of the court” briefs.
In this case, Kohn was asked to edit his 25-page brief down to only five pages, which is incredibly insufficient to address the complex legal issues involved concerning the appropriateness of supply and demand principles in e-book pricing in light of illegal downloading. Attorney Kohn used his five pages to submit a comic book-style legal argument. The highlight in the brief was the frame text “I’m not a lawyer, but that sounds like a major screw up.” “Yup.” He also took the opportunity to provide some off-handed comments about the task he was given in the final two frames: “You should’ve been a lawyer.” “Nope, not for me.” “Why not?” “I’m a novelist and it is impossible to tell a complex story in only five pages!”
Gotta love it. Made his point with humor and sarcasm. Well done. The court hasn’t yet ruled on United States v Apple et al., and the parties involved have been pretty hush-hush about it. It will be some time before we see what, if any, impact Kohn’s creativity has on the case and on the courts.