Gifts for Law Students and Families

1L of a Ride Second Edition coverThe "Companion Text" to Law School1L of a Ride — McClurg’s classic law school prep book.  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!

Santa Strikes Back

Uh-oh, Christmas is over and  the old man in the red suit decided to retaliate over the lawsuit filed against him by the children of the world. Originally appeared in the December 2001 issue of the ABA Journal.

Harmless Error - A Truly Minority View on the Law

Santa Strikes Back


Readers may recall that holiday cheer was dampened two years ago when the children of the world filed a class action against Santa Claus (Santa Suit, Jan. 2000). That action remains pending as thousands of judges who have received gifts from the defendant continue to recuse themselves. Now Mr. Claus is fighting back with his own class action:

Santa Claus, Plaintiff


Children of the World, Defendants.


Plaintiff, Santa Claus, aka St. Nick, Kris Kringle and Father Christmas, sues John and Jane Does 1-3 billion and alleges:

1. This is an action for damages and equitable relief.

2. Plaintiff is a jolly old soul engaged in a complex enterprise of global commerce.

3. Defendants consist of the class of all kids in girl and boyland, including infants tender and mild, who have received merchandise from plaintiff over the years without compensation.

4. Recission. Throughout the fall, plaintiff and his employees have met with defendants at various shopping malls and department stores to negotiate contracts for the delivery of goods. Each negotiating session is marked by grossly unequal bargaining power as defendants literally climb on top of plaintiff to dictate their unreasonable demands. (Defendant possesses substantial photographic evidence to support this allegation.)

5. To persuade plaintiff to accede to their demands, defendants employ numerous forms of coercion and intimidation, including but not limited to pitiful pleas, doleful looks, drooling, beard pulling, and high-pitched screaming. Defendants frequently vomit on plaintiff to “seal the deal.”

6. These sessions result in billions of unconscionable contracts requiring defendant to personally deliver trillions of packages on a single evening, to wit, December 24, to every zip code in the world using a costly and inefficient shipping method. As defendants repeatedly emphasize during the negotiations, time is of the essence in performance of each contract.

7. Labor law violations. The only consideration plaintiff receives for his extraordinary services are stale cookies and spoiled 2% low-fat milk. Although he is hundreds of years past retirement age, plaintiff has no 401k plan or other retirement security.

8. Whereas defendants used to be satisfied with little tin horns and little toy drums that go rooty-toot-toot and rummy-tum-tum, they now demand expensive electronic equipment and name-brand athletic apparel. As a result, plaintiff has been forced to lay off his largely unskilled workforce of elves and spend long overtime hours assembling PlayStations® and stitching Swoosh® marks.

9. Reckless endangerment. Contrary to popular belief, it is not fun to ride in an open sleigh, especially at high altitude. It is a terrifying experience. Yet rather than support reforms to improve plaintiff’s working conditions, defendants show callous indifference by seeking to actually increase the hazards with repeated calls to “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

10. Fraud. Each year, defendants induce plaintiff to deliver the subject goods by affirmatively misrepresenting their behavioral status, providing false assurances that they have been good when, in fact, they have been rotten. Upon information and belief, despite receiving ample notice that plaintiff is coming to town, defendants continue to pout, cry and shout.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays for damages, equitable relief, and that everyone have a merry little Christmas and happy holiday, despite the fact that he is a little ticked off right now.

Santa Suit

Children’s rights is a popular issue these days. One reason is that it is an impossible issue to oppose. A person can not stand up and say, “I oppose children’s rights.” Such a person would be reviled, especially by children. Of course, in our society we carry everything to extremes. Holiday cheer received a jolt yesterday with the announcement of a new lawsuit:

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Warning: Watch Your Head, British Style

Watch Your Head - Yanks vs Brits

Low-clearance warnings can help avert unintentional head-banging (as opposed to purposeful head-banging to, say, Metallica).

In the U.S., we shout these warnings (Danger! Watch Your Head!) like we shout everything. But the Brits take a more proper, refined approach, as shown by the sign on the right, taken in a London pub.

The only thing missing is an “Old Chap” at the end, as in “Please Do Mind Your Head, Old Chap.”

Thanks to Pat Crowell.

Hilarious New Book: UnVentional by Tom Giesler

How do you describe a book that is so original, creative and wacky that the best comparison to it is to MAD Magazine? (Fitting since Al Jaffee, the legendary MAD cartoonist and creator of the fold-in cover, wrote the forward to it.)

We’re talking about Patent Illustrator Tom Giesler’s new book, “UnVentional,” an unhinged collection of bizarre free inventions to save the world. Watch his hilarious trailer for a clearer picture:


Adam Savage, co-host of Mythbusters: “Tom Giesler has the illustrator’s version of perfect pitch. His drawings perfectly capture the sense of strange adventure inherent in every patent drawing. This book is a virtuoso performance.”

David Rees, author of

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Lawn Darts for the Torts Museum

Banned Lawn Darts

Having taught Torts for more than a quarter of a century, acquiring the nickname “Tortman” along the way, it’s no surprise that Ralph Nader’s new American Museum of Tort Law moved to the top of my bucket list the moment I heard about it.

In case you missed the news, the Torts Museum opened last month in Nader’s home town in Winsted, CN. The museum offers a history of American tort law, with exhibits covering everything from the infamous McDonalds hot coffee case to the even more infamous Ford Pinto exploding gas tank fiasco.

In the spirit of the cause, I decided its time to part with the

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Technology Dangers for Lawyers

Former student George Carder sent along this tale of caution about technology and client relations:

I was preparing a will for an 87-year-old woman. She and her 67-year-old daughter were meeting with me. I was looking at her previous will, which said she was to be “interned.”

I was thinking that didn’t look right and that the correct word was “interred.” So I pulled out my phone, hit Google and touched the mic button. When I said “interred,” unfortunately, Google didn’t hear the “in” part.

Can you imagine my embarrassment when my phone shouted out the definition of what it thought it heard?


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Snoopy the Legal Beagle

Snoopy The Legal Beagle

Being lifelong fans Peanuts and Snoopy fans, is happy to promote this ebook, Snoopy the Legal Beagle.

Snoopy, Esq. gets into all sorts of antics in these classic Charles Schulz comic strips. After all, what could possibly go wrong with Snoopy running the litigation team?

Spot the Tort: Secure Your Dirt

Always Tie Down Your Load

Some of the worst “Rolling Torts,” as we call them here at, involve folks negligently failing to secure objects being transported on the backs or tops of their cars or trucks.

Not sure whether to give the driver of this truck credit for at least trying to secure this huge loose pile of dirt or demerits for not trying quite hard enough.

Other examples of Rolling Torts are here, here, and here.

Mom Lacks Clarity on Relations with Cuba

International Relations Meets Daughter-Mother Relations

We’ve all seen those funny texts posted on Facebook and elsewhere. Being a skeptic by nature, I assume most of them are made up … but maybe not.

From a good friend in South Florida we get this hilarious text exchange between her and her mom about the historic recent reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba after a fifty-four year gap.

It makes me laugh every time I read it. Lest you think my friend’s mom is not very smart, the contrary is true. She’s a highly educated professional … but obviously not a big follower of politics or world relations.

Meanwhile, I’ve suggested to

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Warning: Do Not Touch Warning Sign

New Zealand Warning Sign

I’ve seen pictures like this on Facebook that were Photoshopped jokes, but this sign warning “Danger: Do Not Touch, This Sign Has Sharp Edges” is the real deal, straight from Auckland, New Zealand.

The friend who captured this image reports that she is not sure whether the sign is a joke or not because it’s attached to another large normal sign. Weird stuff.

Thanks to Lina Lim.

Warning: “Get rid of children”

Free parenting advice - "Get rid of children"

Free parenting advice – “Get rid of children”

What to do with the kids? It’s an eternal problem for parents.

Who knew the answer would be so simple and come, not from a parenting book, but from a product warning label on a Power Bank charger for electronic devices:

Get rid of children

We also see that it is unlikely the language of this warning will make it into the next edition of Strunk & White, Elements of Style:

Do not break,dismantling, into the fire or placed in …


With all the money the goes into R & D for a new product,

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Warning: Trail Unsafe When Under Water

Trail Unsafe When Under Water

Yes, it may be hard to believe, but it’s true. This trail at the Razorback Regional Greenway in Northwest Arkansas–along with every other trail in the world–is dangerous when underwater. Trails are also dangerous when covered with poisonous snakes, loose sticks of dynamite, large rusty spikes, and giant spiders from the planet Xenon. Where are the warnings for those dangers?

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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.
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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.