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With all due respect?: We must know pronto, Tonto

Every Issue

Cite as: (2004) 78(4) LIJ, p.88

Damn those clever marketing people. At the time of writing, WADR was in a very agitated and confused state because of a piece of highly cryptic mail that landed in the pigeonhole late February.

The small, white envelope came from Monash University’s Law School. It did not look like the harbinger of sleepless nights.

Then the envelope was opened. Inside were a Lone Ranger mask and a piece of paper that said “Crusader or criminal?”.

The paper also had the Lone Ranger’s creed: “I believe in being prepared physically, mentally and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.”

There were no other clues as to what this peculiar piece of mail was about.

WADR called the Monash University Law School and asked the main switchboard for help in the matter. The switchboard operator confessed to being in the dark on the matter (as was WADR at this point because of the Lone Ranger mask).

WADR was then put through to the law students association. They had no idea as well. Finally, WADR ’s call found its way to the law school’s marketing department.

Sorry, can’t tell you, was the reply to WADR ’s anguished plea for sense.

“It will be revealed in due course. You will have to sit tight,” came the response.

The only piece of information that could be extracted was that another piece of mail was on its way in March with a promise to reveal all.

Readers will be kept posted. In the meantime, readers should also know that:

  • The Lone Ranger’s mask was made from the fabric of the Ranger’s brother’s (Dan Reid) black vest. It was the one Dan, also a Ranger, was wearing when killed by bad guys.
  • Tonto’s horse was named Scout. Originally, Tonto rode double with the Lone Ranger on Silver. After a publicity photo was taken of the Lone Ranger and Tonto this way (we’re not sure if they were bareback) the show’s producers decided to give Tonto his own steed ...
  • Yes, there were silver bullets. The Lone Ranger owned a silver-mine and used silver bullets to remind himself how expensive it was to take a man’s life.
  • Kemosabe is spelt ... “Kemosabe” and means “faithful friend”.

Great Rob Hulls quote number 3757890. The state Attorney-General was at it again on 11 February when he launched a bullocking broadside at Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock over their attitude towards the Australians held in Guantanamo Bay.

“Downer and Ruddock do nothing, rolling over for the US to tickle their tummies and tell Fluffy and Rex what good boys they are,” Mr Hulls said.

So much for throwing an opponent a bone.

Congratulations to Allens Arthur Robinson who have “won the race” to become the official law firm of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

The title means that AAR will work with the Games’ in-house legal team on a decathlon of issues ranging from contractual and supplier negotiations through to preventing ambush marketing.

The gold-medal honour follows the firm’s work on the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup and the World Cricket Cup.

WADR has now “run” out of Commonwealth Games puns.

This item is for all those lawyers who either type badly or do not take as much care as they should on their documents to the judge.

The Legal Intelligencer reported on 25 February that a Philadelphia attorney who won a $430,000 verdict for his client would be paid at half the costs scale for his written work because it was so sloppy.

US magistrate Judge Jacob P Hart found that Brian Puricelli’s courtroom work deserved the $300 an hour allowed to him, but that the $300-an-hour rate for work on the pleadings should be halved because of the amount of typos they contained.

Judge Hart found some of Mr Puricelli’s writing to be “nearly unintelligible”.

When defence lawyers complained about the amount of typographical errors in Mr Puricelli’s work, his response contained many more such mistakes.

One paragraph read: “As for there being typos, yes there have been typos, but these errors have not detracted from the arguments or results, and the rule in this case was a victory for Mr Devore. Further, had the defendants not tired [sic] to paper plaintiff’s counsel to death, some type [sic] would not have occurred. Furthermore, there have been omissions by the defendants, thus they should not case [sic] stones.”

Mr Puricelli also got the judge’s name wrong, calling him the Honourable Jacon Hart.

Thankfully, the judge took that in his stride. “I appreciate the elevation to what sounds like a character in The Lord of the Rings, but alas, I am but a judge.”

While the judge’s comments hurt Mr Puricelli’s pride, it was the hip pocket that really felt the brunt of the pain. He had performed 209 hours of written work, which meant that the rate cut cost him more than $31,000.

And that’s not a typo.


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