Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

An excerpt from the popular study guide, “Civil Procedure for Dummies.”

Chapter 1: Courthouses are Big

Look outside the window. Turn around. Not too fast or you’ll get dizzy. Chances are, you will see at least one building bigger than all the rest. It might be a courthouse. Because courthouses are big.

Chapter 2: Going to Court

It’s usually best to go to court in a car, unless the reason you’re in court is because your drivers license was suspended. Or if you don’t have a car, it’s probably not a good idea to steal one and drive it to court. If you live really close to the court, you might be able to walk there. Look both ways before you cross the street.

Chapter 3: Finding stuff

Lawyers use a technique called “discovery” to find evidence that you did bad stuff. They can ask you questions or make you give them papers that have big words on them. Don’t try and read the papers. They’re for the smarter lawyers. The ones who didn’t buy “Civil Procedure for Dummies.”

Chapter 4: Personal Jurisdiction

You can skip this subject. You won’t understand it anyway.

Chapter 5: One Law, Two Law, Red Law, Blue Law

Different states have different laws. Luckily, you don’t have to know any of them. Just know they’re different. And they each have rules about when you use their laws, and when you use the laws of other states. There are 50 states. That’s why there are 50 stars on the American flag. The flag is pretty. And big. Like a courthouse. There’s probably a flag in the courthouse.

Chapter 6: Res Judicata

An anagram of res judicata is “Jar Caused It.” That’s also a good defense if you’re ever accused of throwing jars at people.