This month's Hard Taco song, "Catan Catan," was strongly influenced by the Beatles. You could argue that 'strongly influenced' could be replaced with 'directly stolen from.' You could also argue that after 382 consecutive original songs, I have earned the right to dip my ladle into someone else's creative punch bowl and stir up a few bubbles.
Naturally, I was worried about the legal ramifications of borrowing a beloved melody and claiming sole authorship credit. No need! My lawyer-wife assures me that I cannot be sued for musical plagiarism because "[this] song kicks ass compared to the original." To avoid any breach of copyright law, she also recommends that I end this paragraph with the phrase, "Suck it, Sir Paul."
I have learned a good deal about the law by cohabitating with an attorney, even if she is kind of a potty mouth. True story: In reference to a case she was working on, Lauren once said, "It wasn't the helicopter crash that killed them... it was the magma." That was probably the only time I ever thought that being an attorney sounded cool. I really wanted to hear the rest of the story, but at the time, her rate was $300/hour.
Her current job eschews the billable hours system. To take advantage of this, I've asked Lauren to answer some of the Frequently Asked Legal Statutory Inquests on Every Subject:
Is there a sketch artist with colored pencils at every trial?
No. Cameras are not allowed in courtrooms, but they only employ colored-pencil sketch artists for high profile cases. In small claims court, artists must create representations of the defendant with mixed media compositions employing found objects.
What happens when two enemies fill out Form 741-8 in the presence of a notary public and file it at the county courthouse?
They become sworn enemies.
Can a movie reviewer write, "Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow sizzle in this timeless tale," even if they didn't especially sizzle?
Do lawyers really refer to the Supreme Court Rulings Of the United States as SCROTUS?
Yes, we are all potty mouths.
Is flag burning still legal?
On this planet, it is considered Freedom of Speech. This does not hold true vis-à-vis the American flags on the Moon. No oxygen means no burning, and no speech.
I want to point at strangers and yell "Citizen's arrest!" Is this awesome and advisable or just awesome?
(Mumble mumble. I don't think she did very well in criminal law class.)
What do you call a group of opossums?
If they are your crew, your homies, and they always have your back, then you can call them your oposse.
Which is more irritating, the word legalese, or the words it describes?
It's very close. I will say both of these out loud and we will make note of the point at which someone punches me in the throat.
2. Restrictive provisions hereinafter appearing forthwith comply with said jurisprudence (SWAK! THROAT PUNCH!) negligent civil remedies and promissory estoppel code sections 33, 40, 74T (My God, she's still talking! SWAK! SWAK! DOUBLE THROAT PUNCH!)
With warmest regards,
Disclaimer: The statements attributed to Lauren London in this document are for entertainment purposes only. No persons are liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or exemplary damages arising from anything stated above or in any other document.