Lawyers.com published a piece a few years ago which still seems like sage advice for April Fool’s pranks. It advised the legal community should avoid jokes that involve the police, “creates a panic,” or causes damage or injury to people or property.
We’d like to think we’re following the spirit of that advice while also taking liberty to celebrate April Fool’s Day with a bit of levity. To that end, here’s a roundup of some classic April Fool’s Day pranks the legal community has seen in previous years.
1. Groundhog faces the death penalty?
A prosecutor in Ohio apparently sought charges against a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil for “misrepresentation of early spring.” Allegedly, the rodent did not see its shadow and yet the long cold winter continued when the long arm of justice (and popular opinion?) would have preferred it didn’t. Further, after the outrageous winter we’ve seen in the US this year, we can’t imagine the precedent bodes well for rodent-kind in 2015. Law360 published this anecdote in a round up last year: No Joke: 7 Strange-But-True Suits For April Fools’.
2. Does Pennsylvania Avenue need a law blogger?
In 2010 a New York personal injury lawyer, announced on his blog a new role as “official law blogger” for the White House. The ABA Journal covered the announcement – and the ethics outcry that followed. It also noted the attorney, in a rebuttal, cited “a [then] recent federal appeals court decision holding that law firm ads showing space aliens and lawyers running at breakneck speeds did not violate ethics rules.” Be sure to swing by that blog today to see if a new idea is up for 2015.
3. Cease and desist for “canned unicorn meat.”
April Fool’s Day can’t all be rainbows and unicorns. In 2010 the ThinkGeek ecommerce site, which sells a myriad of interesting gifts and gadgets for “geeks” received a 12 page cease and desist letter for a parody product. The company has previously promoted “Canned Unicorn Meat” as an April Fool’s Day gag. The company wrote it had “nothing to worry about–this kind of use is protected as a parody.”
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Have you spotted a gag today related to legal but offered in reasonably good taste? Please do share in the comments.
Updated: Here are some of the pranks we’ve seen so far today.
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