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Hot Chicks With Douchebags Not Defamatory,

because (among other things) "An examination of the entire publication compels the Court to conclude that a reasonable person would determine that the book Hot Chicks With Douchebags is intended to be satirical humor. While it may in some eyes be vulgar and tasteless, it definitely is not an assertion of fact that anyone would take seriously." So says a New Jersey Superior Court opinion in Gorzelany v. Simon & Schuster. What, Johns Hopkins doesn't have a "Department of Scrotology"?

Congratulations to Judge Menelaos Toskos, for getting this right, and for being named Menelaos. Greeks get to have the coolest names. (OK, "Eugene" is originally a Greek name, too, and it's not at all cool, at least in the U.S. But Menelaos is hard to beat.)

wfjag:

"Eugene" is originally a Greek name, too

Eugene O'Neill was originally Greek?
2.11.2009 5:44pm
DonBoy (mail) (www):
I once met an Austrian man named "Eugen", pronounced of course Germanically: "Oy-gin". That was cool.
2.11.2009 5:55pm
neurodoc:
What, Johns Hopkins doesn't have a "Department of Scrotology"?
Hey, careful, Hopkins is one of my alma maters.

While Hopkins doesn't have a "Department of Scrotology," it does have the most excellent Brady ("Diamond Jim") Urologic Institute, which deals with scrotologic issues. And though now departments specializing in skin disorders are ones of Dermatology, there was a time when sexually transmitted diseases were a large part of their practices and they were often referred to as departments of Dermatology and"Syphilology and Venerealogy."
2.11.2009 5:58pm
DrGrishka (mail):
The judge, while delivering an otherwise fine opinion referred to Hopkins and John Hopkins. That alone calls for at least a vacatur and remand.
2.11.2009 6:03pm
DrGrishka (mail):
Errr... that should be "to Hopkins AS" not "to Hopkins AND"
2.11.2009 6:04pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Setting aside the Greek issue, the complaint is frivolous, and the frivolousness is underscored by this:

In count five, plaintiffs assert a cause of action for unfair competition under a non-existent New Jersey statute described as the "Business &Professions Code Section 17200."

That's a California statute.
2.11.2009 6:04pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
You could always go to Yevgeny, that is cool.
2.11.2009 6:05pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

the complaint is frivolous

I'm left wondering why the hott chicks sued, and not the douchebags.
2.11.2009 6:06pm
Anderson (mail):
I'm left wondering why the hott chicks sued, and not the douchebags.

Because truth is an absolute defense.
2.11.2009 6:22pm
Anderson (mail):
I liked this:

In count eight, plaintiffs allege a claim for "humiliation." This cause of action is not recognized in New Jersey.
2.11.2009 6:25pm
PC:
In count eight, plaintiffs allege a claim for "humiliation." This cause of action is not recognized in New Jersey.

Obviously.
2.11.2009 6:34pm
Dr. T (mail) (www):
Eugene is cool to me. When I was a little lad, one of the infrequently seen characters on the televised Popeye cartoons was a cute character "Eugene the Jeep." It doesn't get cooler than that.
2.11.2009 6:46pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

In count eight, plaintiffs allege a claim for "humiliation." This cause of action is not recognized in New Jersey.
A friend grew up in New Jersey. From he remembers of high school, that couldn't be a cause of action, or there wouldn't be enough lawyers to handle all the suits.
2.11.2009 6:47pm
Jonathan F.:
Congratulations to Judge Menelaos Toskos, for getting this right, and for being named Menelaos. Greeks get to have the coolest names.
I always thought this of Leonidas Meacham, the former director of the Admin. Office of the U.S. Courts, who may or may not have been Greek but certainly had an awsome Greek given name.
2.11.2009 6:54pm
EvilDevilCuckoo (www):
This is excellent. One of my favorite blogs gets a favorable court decision and another favorite lauds the decision.
2.11.2009 7:00pm
Arkady:
It's obviously a work of fiction: No self-respecting hot chick would be caught dead with a douchebag (unless she really did need a lift, of course).
2.11.2009 7:02pm
1Ler:
I really don't think anything is more awkward than judicial opinions explaining dumb/juvenile humor. We really should have a hall of fame for opinions doing this--I know I've seen others out there.
2.11.2009 7:12pm
CDR D (mail):
Greek names are cool, and "Yevgeny" is cool, too.

I like Achilles, Agamemnon, Aias, and Deiphobus.

Latin names are neat too!

But the Irish ones are really the best...like...

Diarmuid O'Scannlian

I just enjoy trying to pronounce it.
2.11.2009 7:21pm
wooga:
Great opinion. The judge cites some funny examples from the book, but completely avoided the temptation to make lame puns. Far too often, judges and lawyers try too hard to be funny, revealing themselves to be douchey. This guy lets the subject matter speak for itself.
2.11.2009 8:19pm
Sergei Zhulik (mail) (www):
Best line from the opinion:

"[H]ow can a person reasonably believe that in 1981 archaeologist Renee Emile Bellaqua uncovered in a cave in Gali Israel a highly controversial Third Century religious scroll suggesting that the 'douchey/hotty' coupling was a
troublesome facet in early social religious structures?"
2.11.2009 8:21pm
David E. Young (mail) (www):
There is nothing wrong with Eugene. I know.
2.11.2009 8:34pm
bornyesterday (mail) (www):
My kid's middle name is going to be Aristophenes
2.11.2009 8:57pm
autolykos:

I'm left wondering why the hott chicks sued, and not the douchebags.


The same reason hott chicks do anything - to get attention and point out that other people think they're hott.


It's obviously a work of fiction: No self-respecting hot chick would be caught dead with a douchebag (unless she really did need a lift, of course).


Go to Chicago some time. Or New York. Or LA. Or anywhere in Europe.
2.11.2009 9:09pm
Kirk:
This thread is worthless without pictures.



(j/k!!!!)
2.11.2009 9:09pm
Kirk:
But joking aside: it appears that the plaintiffs were not pro se. Isn't going to be some kind of sanction of the attorney for wasting the court's time in such an egregiously frivolous way?
2.11.2009 9:13pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

In count five, plaintiffs assert a cause of action for unfair competition under a non-existent New Jersey statute described as the "Business &Professions Code Section 17200."

That's a California statute.

Maybe the plaintiff's lawyer meant to raise a choice of law issue, but forgot to brief it.
2.11.2009 9:27pm
Kirk:
Regarding Greek names, my favorite example is Diogenes Allen, but perhaps he doesn't fully count because, despite his Anglo-sounding surname, he actually is of Greek ancestry.
2.11.2009 9:32pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):
As a child, I thought Eugene was a cool name because so many science fiction writers wrote about Eugenics wars. I had no idea what the term meant until at least junior high.
2.11.2009 10:31pm
vassil_petrov (mail):
Plaintiffs's names were Obiedzinski and Gorzelany.
I do not mean to insult anybody born Polish, but these names are just ugly.
2.12.2009 3:12am
vassil_petrov (mail):
I like Jewish names, especially female ones - Ruth, Devora (as is known in Bulgaria), Anna, Ester, etc.
It's very rare for a girl in Bulgaria to have a Jewish name (except for Anna, of course), unless she's actually Jewish or the parrents were devout Christians. That's why I like them.
Yevgenii is very coll name. The problem is it's Greek and Greek names are everywhere.
Even two of my names are Greek:

VASSIL Krumov PETROV.

Vassil ("Basil") is from Basileios
Petrov is from Petar ("Peter") - Petros
Krumov is from Krum (my father's name) - the name of Bulgarian pre-Cristian ruler.
The name appears in a Harry Potter movie.
2.12.2009 3:25am
Ricardo (mail):
I'm left wondering why the hott chicks sued, and not the douchebags.

Ah, at least one has but it slipped past VC. See this.

The book notes that a certain Las Vegas guy's "popped-collar, spikey-haired presence was so far beyond regular douche, so far beyond uberdouche, he could spontaneously create a new element on the periodic tables--Douche Nine."
2.12.2009 4:19am
Tom Perkins (mail):

From he remembers of high school, that couldn't be a cause of action, or there wouldn't be enough lawyers to handle all the suits.


For God's sake Clayton, to lead them to a virgin field.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
2.12.2009 6:29am
Tom Perkins (mail):

From he remembers of high school, that couldn't be a cause of action, or there wouldn't be enough lawyers to handle all the suits.


For God's sake Clayton, don't lead them to a virgin field.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
2.12.2009 6:29am
Tom Perkins (mail):
I don't know how that preview got posted, sorry. My finger must have stuttered. TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
2.12.2009 6:30am
ajax (mail):
P. 9: "Third, there is nothing in the record to support a claim of falsity."

Does this mean that the Plaintiffs have failed to offer necessary evidence of non-douchebagery?
2.12.2009 6:33am
KilgoreTrout_XL (mail):
"With respect to the photograph depicting the plaintiff Pauline Pakos it is located on page 180 and comes under the title heading "Step 5: Leave New Jersey". Under this heading the author describes why in his opinion leaving New Jersey is an essential step in "the de-douchification process" of a male. Again, nothing is mentioned about plaintiff Pakos any of the females depicted in the photographs contained in that chapter."

I don't even know if that quote was necessary, Judge, but thanks for putting it in. Ha ha. Opinion of 2009.
2.12.2009 11:04am
Dave N (mail):
Congratulations to David M. Nieporent for getting quoted and noted in James Taranto's Best of the Web column at WSJ.com.
2.12.2009 7:33pm
dearieme:
Greek names were popular in Scotland, especially in the West Highlands and Islands - Hector, Alexander and Aeneas, particularly.

When I was young, our coalman was one Hector Mackay.
2.13.2009 6:14am
wfjag:

"Eugene" is originally a Greek name, too


Eugene O'Neill was originally Greek?


dearieme:
Greek names were popular in Scotland, especially in the West Highlands and Islands - Hector, Alexander and Aeneas, particularly.

When I was young, our coalman was one Hector Mackay.

I'd forgotten about the popularity of all things Hellenistic in Scotland. I remember it in connection with the English aristocracy because of Lord Byron. Thanks for the reminder.
2.13.2009 9:48am
George Smith:
You can see hot chicks with douche bags all the time - it's called the Red Carpet Walk.
2.13.2009 1:45pm
Curious Passerby (mail):
You think the publisher paid the chicks to sue to get all the publicity for the book? I couldn't think of much better publicity than this.
2.13.2009 5:12pm

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