Buy 1L of a Ride Second Edition

1L of a Ride Second Edition coverThe "Companion Text" to Law SchoolIt’s that time of year again.  If you’re contemplating or applying to law school, boost your ability to maximize success with the highest-rated law school prep book, 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law SchoolRead the Amazon Customer Reviews.

And don’t forget the loved ones. They’re in for an adventure too.  The “Companion Text” to Law School: Understanding and Surviving Life with a Law Student is the only book written just for them.

Death Certificate Shows Man Died from Slipping on Banana Peel

Poor guy died from slipping on a banana peel.

Poor guy died from slipping on a banana peel.

Slipping on a banana peel is, of course, a classic clichéd accident depicted in cartoons. As my 1Ls get ready to tackle the famous trilogy of banana peel slip and fall cases in the Prosser, Wade & Schwartz Torts casebook next week, the nagging question that lingers is: do people really slip on banana peels?

A previous post discussed this issue, but check this out. It’s a 1927 Tennessee death certificate for a 74-year-old hospitalized man. A bit hard to read, but the highlighted note written across the top

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1L of a Ride Cited … On a Business Card

1L Business Card

I was really touched by this. A first-year student at the University of Denver law school asked if she could use a line from 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School on her business card.

If only law students–and all of us–could always remain idealistic.

Warning: Figure Out These Pictorial Warnings

Dehumidifier Warning - Let's Dance 2

“Let’s Dance”

We love pictorial warnings at, as shown by the samples here, here, here, here, and here. These are supposedly universal warnings designed to be understood by everyone. As in these warnings on the outside of a dehumidifier box, they are often accompanied by written warnings. But not everyone can read the written warnings, either because of language barriers or simply an inability

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When the Ambien Isn’t Working

The Bluebook A Uniform System of Torture

Here’s an exciting PDF list of citations by courts, books, and law reviews to McClurg’s publications as of July 2014, in reverse chronological order.

It reflects the outstanding skill and Bluebook-obsession of some very talented research assistants.

When the Ambien isn’t working, go directly to this:

McClurg Citation List Updated July 2014 PDF

Warning: Smoking Causes Impotence

Graphic cigarette warnings

And a whole lot of other undesirable results.

The World Health Organization (WHO) directs, in Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, that parties to the convention “implement large, rotating health warnings on all tobacco product packaging and labelling.”

The WHO website shows twenty countries (and their mandated warnings) currently participating, including Brazil, which is where the Florida International University law student who gave me this pack of Marlboros purchased it.

Some of the warnings are much more graphic. Speaking of warnings, here is fair warning: DO NOT LOOK at this larynx warning from Malaysia unless you have a strong stomach.

Other countries

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Best Case Name Contest

A former student of mine at the Florida International University College of Law sent this along, his entry for “Best Case Name of the Month.”

This month’s contestant is Wise v. Strong, 341 S.W.2d 633, 634 (Mo. Ct. App. 1960).

Spoiler alert: Strong wins. Strong always wins. *Tear.

Send along any entries you come up with!

–Thanks to Michael Hirschkowitz.

Suzy Spikes — America’s Favorite Little Litigator

“We live in a hideously unjust society where the only thing anyone cares about is oppressing precious, innocent children.” — Suzanne Marie Spikes

So proclaimed 11-year-old Suzy Spikes immediately before her parents imposed sentence in Spikes v. Spikes, Case No. 1,094,908, in which Suzy was charged with 48 counts of Bad Attitude with Intent to Act Like a Teenager. Just another day in the life of poor Suzy Spikes.

Check out Suzy’s world by clicking on the links below (or just scroll down). Make sure you’re well-insured and keep your lawyer’s number handy:

Sentencing Suzy ★ ★ ★ ★ (1998 Drama) Litigious adolescent defends herself

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Law Review Articles CAN Have An Impact

Preying on the Graying cover

One doesn’t have to look far to find criticism of law professors for spending such a large portion of their time writing long, heavily foonoted, sleep-inducing law review articles. We even poke fun at ourselves for it, Exhibit A being The World’s Greatest Law Review Article.

But law review articles can and do have an impact. Have to share the good news that my proposal for a statutory presumption of elder financial exploitation in my recent Hastings Law Journal article, Preying on the Graying: A Statutory Presumption to Prosecute Elder Financial Exploitation, was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott

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Spot the Tort: Yet Another Rollin’ Tort

Another Rollin' Tort

What calls “Rollin’ Torts” are so common they probably deserve their own subcategory in “Spot the Tort.” As will no doubt be defined in the next edition of the Oxford Dictionary, “Rollin’ Torts” are vehicles moving down the highway carrying items too big and/or unsecured to be moved safely in that fashion or by that vehicle. They are, literally, accidents waiting to happen.

Here, we have another great (meaning outrageously bad) example–in the pouring rain no less–courtesy of a 3L law student who, along with all her classmates, I taught to play “Spot the Tort” as a 1L.

–Thanks to Jessica Wargo.

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Warning: Do Not Roast a Turkey in Toaster

Toaster Warning

Okay, this warning label, sent along by lawyer comic and insurance expert Randy Maniloff, does not actually cover turkey roasting, but maybe that’s because there wasn’t any room left after warning people not to toast their “Danish, Muffin [or] Cake” in the toaster.

But wait, what’s up with the warning to not put “Bread” in the toaster?

–Thanks to Randy Maniloff.

Signs of the Times: Dive Head-First Into Pavement

Signs of the Times

… at least that’s what these two signs seem to be indicating.

–Thanks to Gary Golden.


Warning: Another Coffee Cup Maker Thinks Hot Coffee Is a Joke

More hot coffee warnings

A while back I posted a picture of a coffee cup, reportedly from Canada, that made fun of U.S. tort law and, indirectly, poor Stella Liebeck, the plaintiff in the infamous McDonald’s coffee spill.

Now Chris Fergus, a professor in Australia, sends along this photo showing another coffee cup maker having a grand old time with the case by including a warning on its cups stating, “Avoid Pouring on Crotch Area.” I don’t speak French, but can guess the French version amounts to something like “Don’t Pour It on Your Oolala.” Chris said he received the photo from

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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.