March 28, 2020
I love it when judges don’t sugarcoat it.
This order, issued last week by a federal judge in Illinois, is a good example of that sort of thing.
The case apparently involved a copyright infringement suit over “counterfeit unicorn drawings.” It came at a time, the court noted, when “[t]he world is in the midst of a global pandemic. The President has declared a national emergency. The Governor has issued a state-wide health emergency. As things stand, the government has forced all restaurants and bars in Chicago to shut their doors, and the schools are closed, too.” In view of the pandemic, the court had issued an order bringing a halt to all but the absolutely most critical judicial matters.
Despite all this, the plaintiff sought an immediate hearing on its request for an injunction and, when that request was denied, filed a motion for reconsideration. In that motion, the court wrote, “Plaintiff argues that it will suffer an ‘irreparable injury’ if this Court does not hold a hearing this week and immediately put a stop to the infringing unicorns and the knock-off elves.”
“The filing,” the court wrote, “calls to mind the sage words of Elihu Root: ‘About half of the practice of a decent lawyer is telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and that they should stop.'”
In short, the court concluded, “The world is facing an emergency. Plaintiff is not. The motion to reconsider the scheduling order is denied.”
Watch out for counterfeit unicorns in your neighborhood soon.