Skip to main content

A Brief Cartoon Interruption



They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and one lawyer tested that notion last week when he filed a five-page cartoon as his amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The amicus brief was written by Bob Kohn, an expert in music licensing law and chairman of RoyaltyShare, Inc. The brief was filed in response to a proposed settlement offer in a lawsuit initiated by the U.S Justice Department, against Apple, Inc. and five additional publishers.  Apple and the other publishers were accused of illegally colluding to set prices for electronic books. Kohn’s brief argues (rather, illustrates) that since Amazon sold e-books below marginal cost, horizontal price fixing here is legal as it countervails Amazon’s predatory pricing, and creates a more efficient market. As Kohn believes the Justice Department’s conclusions are not reasonable, the court cannot hold the settlement to be in the public interest. 

Kohn conceived of this unusual brief after he was given permission to file an amicus brief with the court by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who limited him to five pages, instead of the usual twenty-five page limit allowed by local rules. The brief includes a coversheet and table of authorities, with citations made in the margins of the cartoon’s panels- no Bluebook formatting, though.  You can read the entirety of the brief here, note the proper use of 1” margins and 12-point font; Kohn took pains to ensure his cartoonish brief complied with court rules. No word yet on whether the the court was persuaded by Kohn's artistic interpretation of the law.

If you’re interested in finding out if Kohn’s more traditional forms of legal writing are as clear and engaging as his brief, check out his book, Kohn on Music Licensing, available at the O’Quinn Law Library (KF 3035.K64 2010).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades

It’s that time of year again. Law students across the country are poring over their class notes and supplements, putting the finishing touches on their outlines, and fueling their all-night study sessions with a combination of high-carb snacks and Java Monsters. This can mean only one thing: exam time is approaching.

If you’re looking for a brief but effective guide to improving your exam performance, the O’Quinn Law Library has the book for you. Alex Schimel’s Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades, now in its second edition, provides a clear and concise strategy for mastering the issue-spotting exams that determine the majority of your grade in most law school classes. Schimel finished second in his class at the University Of Miami School Of Law, where he taught a wildly popular exam workshop in his 2L and 3L years, and later returned to become Associate Director of the Academic Achievement Program. The first edition of his book was written shortly after he finished law school, …