Survival Kit for Law Students and Families

1L of a Ride

Going to law school?  Have a loved one?

The "Companion Text" to Law School

1L of a Ride — McClurg’s classic law school prep book, assigned as recommended or required reading at law schools throughout the country.  Read the Amazon Reviews.

The “Companion Text” to Law School — The only book to prepare the loved ones of law students for the wild and crazy vortex into which they are about to be propelled.  Named an Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year!

Baby Showers with Guns

Leave it to insurance coverage guru/legal humorist Randy Maniloff to track down the most interesting, and in this case, bizarre tort cases for his monthly publication, Coverage Opinions.  Among this month’s excellent articles (which include a mock interview with Tom Brady), Randy revisits his insurance Coverage for Dummies contest with the case of Blank-Greer v. Tannerite Sports, LLC, No. 13-1266 (N.D. Ohio Apr. 21, 2015).

Here are the basic facts, borrowed from Randy’s excerpts from the court’s opinion:

“In May 2012, [James] Yaney’s friend, Jason Vantilburg, in anticipation of the birth of his first child, asked Yaney to host a party to celebrate. Yaney and Vantilburg fashioned the party into a ‘diaper shootout,’ where guests could bring diapers for the new baby and enjoy an afternoon shooting guns in Yaney’s backyard. As a ‘grand finale’ to the party, they also decided to blow up an old refrigerator.

In preparation, Yaney used his [Yaney] Motorsports truck to haul the refrigerator from Vantilburg’s home to his property. He then used his trailer to tow a box van to his backyard so that guests had a target to shoot. On the day of the event, Yaney set up the Motorsports truck and trailer as a staging area for guns and ammunition. ***

Towards the end of the event, Yaney and Vantilburg decided it was time to blow up the refrigerator. They hauled the refrigerator from Yaney’s pole barn into the backyard. Guests stood behind tables fifty meters away from where the refrigerator was located. Vantilburg moved into position behind his rifle, fired at the explosives [H2] inside the refrigerator, and detonated them. The refrigerator immediately blew apart and sent shrapnel flying across the yard. A piece of shrapnel hit (guest) Plank–Greer’s hand, nearly severing it.”

Read Randy’s full account of the case here, where he also recounts the leading contender for the Coverage for Dummies Award, a case involving an employer who made all of her female employees strip to find a tampon offender.

Warning: Dogs to the Left, Horses to the Right

Dogs swim left, horse right

So sorry to see my friend and colleague move to Switzerland, but on the upside, has a great new source of pictorial instructional and warnings signs, which we love (as shown by a few examples here, here, here, here, here, here). Remember that the goal of a pictorial warning is to advise of risks or deliver instructions to persons who cannot read or

Read more…

Motion to F*** This Court

Motion to F This Court

… and Everything It Stands For.

As bad as the title to this motion is, the content is even worse. I’m sure you can find the entire motion somewhere online, but, as we know, is a family friendly website.

Gee, I wonder if the motion was granted.

Warning: No Hunting within 100 Feet of Trail

Gun Safety in Action

Went for a wonderful hike over the weekend with a friend in a state park. It’s a really nice park with well-maintained, well-used hiking trails.

And it was comforting to note that they take visitor safety seriously, as shown by this sign at the trail head:


Surely one hundred feet is a more than adequate safety margin for hunting around hikers. After all, how far could a bullet possibly travel?

Well, that’s where there might be a problem. A bullet fired from an average deer-hunting rifle, say a 30-06, has a maximum range of 5,675 yards–or 3.22 miles.

Read more…

Pictorial Warnings from Picturesque Italy

Sign from Italy

We love pictorial warnings at, as shown here, here, here, here, here, here, and several other places. Remember that the goal of a pictorial warning is to advise of risks or deliver instructions to persons who cannot read or understand the written warning. So in trying to figure them out, you have to set aside the textual versions that

Read more…

Warning: No Protection in Texas from Dangerous Farm Animal Activities

Protection for Texas Farm Animal Professionals


From Texas comes this warning sign that:

A farm animal professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in farm animal activities resulting from the inherent risk of farm animal activities.

First, we notice the evolution of the term “professional” in modern society. Originally, there were only three professions: clergy, lawyers, and doctors. Over time, the number of groups laying claim to the title of a “professional” has expanded to include architects, engineers, pharmacists, et cetera. Add to that list “farm animal professionals.”

Not sure of the history of the referenced statute, but it would be interesting to see if the

Read more…

The Law School of Rock

Know any lawyers or law students who rock? Literally?

Encourage them to send in a short bio to with a description of the kind of music they play and a YouTube link to a live performance. We will be happy to post it. Few better stress relievers than music–and we all know lawyers and law students can use all the stress relief they can find.

While we await your responses, here’s a psychedelic nugget from the sixties as performed by my cover band, The Rants. Believe it or not, this band plays for tens of dollars in a single night! Don’t let the glitzy surroundings fool you. It’s hard

Read more…

Where the First and Second Amendments Intersect

Exercise your First and Second Amendment rights in the same place.

Exercise your First and Second Amendment rights in the same place.

Former student Ben Wilkins took a trip to Somerville, Tennessee to search through deeds from decades past. Now that’s genuine, old-fashioned lawyering.

While there, he snapped this picture, astutely noting that he’d found a place where one can exercise their First and Second Amendment rights at the same time.

–Thanks to Ben Wilkins.

Warning: Pacemakers and Chainsaws Bad Mix

Pacemakers and Chain Saws

The highlighted warning in this image sounds like a joke, but it’s part of a real set of FAQs on a pacemaker information site.

Overall, it’s good news. You can use a lawn mower and other power tools with a pacemaker, but not chainsaws:

Can I use a chainsaw?

Chainsaws are hard to operate at a safe distance from your chest pacemaker. They should be avoided altogether.

Hard to argue with the factual assertion. The user would either: (1) have to rip the pacemaker out of his chest and leave it in the house; (2) set the chainsaw up in the backyard,

Read more…

Spot the Tort: A Tortfeasor and Proud of It

Proud tortfeasor

Courtesy of a law student at St. Thomas law school in Minneapolis comes this drinking, phone-talking, smoking driver and proud tortfeasor. As the student explained:

Here’s a potential tort for you. I’m a law student at University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis). While driving through Iowa, I spotted a girl drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone. When she saw me taking a picture, she even posed for me.

The ultimate in driving multitasking.

Everybody’s Gone Surfing, Even the Cats

sign 1

So I’m taking a pleasant walk along a Florida beachfront park and encounter this sign warning that it is a crime, punishable by up to one year in prison, to abandon cats in the park. I’m thinking, “That’s weird.”

Then I get to a second sign warning it is unlawful to feed or abandon cats or other animals. Unlawful to feed a cat? Wait a minute.

At this point, I’m thinking, “Aren’t we engaging in some serious overkill on the cat issue?”

But then I come to a third sign and go, “Uh-oh.” Did Tuggers run away to

Read more…

Share the Road … Or Else

Share the Road

From a golf course in Florida, comes this pair of signs.

The first one features a seemingly contented (despite having a decapitated head) golf-cart driver cruising along above a warning to “Share the Road.”

Twenty yards farther along we get a much more ominous sign. Same cart, but the driver has been “disappeared.” Did he fail to share the road?

An investigation is underway.


Breaking Bad–Canadian Judicial Version

Breaking Bad

Don’t think for a minute that Canadian judges can’t keep up with American judges when it comes to Strange Judicial Opinions. Wild and crazy judicial happenings in Canada are here, here and here.

Now comes a new hit TV series, I mean, an order in a divorce case, entered by Superior Court Justice Pazaratz, where the court analogized the parties’ ugly divorce to the hit television show, Breaking Bad. Excerpts from the order include:

1. Breaking Bad, meet Breaking Bad Parents.

Read more…

Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
Learn more...

Funny Law School Stories
For all its terror and tedium, law school can be a hilarious place. Everyone has a funny law school story. What’s your story?

Strange Judicial Opinions
Large collection of oddball and off-the-wall judicial opinions and orders.

Product Warning Labels
A variety of warning labels, some good, some silly and some just really odd. If you come encounter a funny or interesting product warning label, please send it along.

Tortman! Andrew J McClurg
Tortland collects interesting tort cases, warning labels, and photos of potential torts. Raise risk awareness. Play "Spot the Tort."

Weird Patents
Think it’s really hard to get a patent? Think again.

Legal Oddities
From the simply curious to the downright bizarre, a collection of amusing law-related artifacts.

Spot the Tort
Have fun and make the world a safer place. Send in pictures of dangerous conditions you stumble upon (figuratively only, we hope) out there in Tortland.

Legal Education
Collecting any and all amusing tidbits related to legal education.

Harmless Error
McClurg's twisted legal humor column ran for more than four years in the American Bar Association Journal.