Funny Law Review Article Titles In An Essay

I have always liked David Hoffman's "The Best Puffery Article Ever," which appeared in the Iowa law Review a few years ago.

Posted by: Doug Richmond | August 21, 2012 at 01:31 PM

Any article with the word "rethinking" in the title. Because we just don't think anymore. We rethink. Or any article announcing the "death of" something. If you do a search, you'll find a lot of things have died in legal academia (including but not limited to the forests that have died).

Posted by: Lawprofblawg | August 21, 2012 at 04:54 PM

Dubious as I am about puns (of which there is no shortage among law review article titles), I can't resist the interdisciplinary cheek of Samuel Brunson's "Taxing Polygamy: Married Filing Jointly (and Severally?)"

Posted by: Saurabh Vishnubhakat | August 21, 2012 at 05:07 PM

Bob Bone's "Hunting Goodwill." But admittedly I am biased-- trademark law and the Matt Damon film are two of my favorite things.

Posted by: alex roberts | August 21, 2012 at 05:12 PM

Bill Prewitt, Note, The Crimination of Peeping Toms and Other Men of Vision, 5 Ark. L. Rev. 388 (1951) is often spoken of as one of the great law review titles. I think my torts teacher Al Hill commented on it way back in the fall of 1987. Don't think I've ever read the article.

More recently, I'm partial to Trent McCotter's "Down The Drain: How North Carolina Municipalities Lost Immunity for Storm Drains in Jennings v. Fayetteville."

Posted by: Alfred Brophy | August 21, 2012 at 05:40 PM

One of my favorites was a student comment on the Supreme Court's 1992 decision regarding the Krishnas at Kennedy Airport: "Public Forum Doctrine Crashes at Kennedy, Nine Killed"

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | August 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM

I'm partial to titles that manage to cram a complex concept into a short phrase. In my field of admin law, Elena Kagan's "Presidential Administration" and Cass Sunstein's "Nondelegation Canons" are a couple of good examples.

Posted by: Jason Marisam | August 22, 2012 at 09:57 AM

Even though it as a colon, for sheer audacity, I've always been amazed by Tushnet's "Darkness on the Edge of Town: The Contributions of John Hart Ely to Constitutional Theory."

Posted by: Louihen | August 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM

I really enjoyed both the title and substance of Douglas Baird's "Car Trouble" about the Chrysler and GM bankruptcy cases. However, I believe the title was eventually changed to "Lessons From the Automobile Reorganizations"

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | August 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

There should be a sub-genre of Mark Tushnet's best titles. I'd include his review of Laurence Tribe, American Constitutional Law in the 1980 Michigan Law Rev: "Dia-Tribe."

Posted by: Mary Dudziak | August 22, 2012 at 09:10 PM

This is a good time of year to revisit "The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule" which starts out by stating "The infield fly rule is neither a rule of law nor of equity,"

Posted by: Bill Turnier | August 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM

What is the view on the prime window to submit for the fall cycle? There must be threads on this, but I can't find them.

Posted by: AnonVAP | August 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

When I was an editor in the late 1980s, I saw an article about organ procurement with the title (before the inevitable colon): She's Got Bette Davis['] Eyes.

Still cracks me up, 23 years later.

Posted by: Matt Sawchak | August 25, 2012 at 10:20 PM

« Friends as Fiduciaries | Main | Faculty governance »

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Best Law Review Article Title

Given today’s date, I cold use a little cheering up.  And so, I’m wondering what our readers think is the “best” (funniest?  most catchy?) law review article title.  You are allowed to nominate anybody's article - even your own!  I’ll start by nominating Frank Snyder’s Late Night Thoughts on Blogging While Reading Duncan Kennedy’s Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy in an Arkansas Motel Room.  What are your thoughts?

Posted by Miriam Cherry on September 11, 2006 at 09:26 PM in Legal Theory | Permalink


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Jed Rubenfeld, Antidisestablishmentarianism. (Which is actually the subject of the article!)

Posted by: Marty Lederman | Sep 11, 2006 10:26:54 PM

Carol Rose, The Comedy of the Commons. Alliterative, creative, descriptive, evocative, terse, and memorable. And the article's not bad either.

Posted by: Dave | Sep 11, 2006 11:00:53 PM

Your post title all but cries out to be answered with Dave Hoffman's "The Best Puffery Article Ever." That one never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Posted by: James Grimmelmann | Sep 11, 2006 11:08:34 PM

I hereby nominate this one:

Thank you very much.

Posted by: S.cotus | Sep 12, 2006 7:08:51 AM


This one:

Posted by: S.cotus | Sep 12, 2006 7:09:22 AM

Michael Stokes Paulsen has a bunch of funny article titles, but my all-time favorite of his is Captain James T. Kirk and the Enterprise of Constitutional Interpretation, 59 Ala. L. Rev. 671 (1995).

Posted by: Sofia | Sep 12, 2006 8:32:14 AM

Tim Greaney, How Many Libertarians Does It Take To Fix The Health Care System?, 96 Mich L.R. 1825 (1998).

Nic Terrry, "Prescriptions sans Frontières (or How I Stopped Worrying about Viagra on the Web but Grew Concerned about the Future of Healthcare Delivery)," 4 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics 183 (2004).

Posted by: Frank | Sep 12, 2006 9:03:42 AM

A. Althouse, Standing in Fluffy Slippers, 77 Va. L. Rev. 1177 (1991) (discussing Gary Gilmour and the death penalty), perhaps, for the sheer venus flytrap nature of the title as relates to the subject matter.

Posted by: Simon | Sep 12, 2006 9:14:47 AM

Pierre Schlag has a few good ones:

Law as the Continuation of God by Other Means, 85 Cal. L. Rev. 427 (1997)
Law and Phrenology, 110 Harv. L. Rev. 877 (1977)
My Dinner at Langdell's, 52 Buffalo L. Rev. 851 (2004)

Posted by: CL | Sep 12, 2006 9:33:25 AM

I'm another vote for Dave Hoffman's, The Best Puffery Article Ever.

I also like the two funny "Taking X Seriously" pieces:

Taking Lefts Seriously, 92 Yale L.J. 1041
Taking Takings Seriously, 80 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1591

Posted by: Kaimi | Sep 12, 2006 2:54:47 PM

If you're going with "Taking X Seriously," you can't forget David A.J. Richards, "Taking Taking Rights Seriously Seriously," 52 NYU L. Rev. 1265 (1977).

My personal favorite, for weirdly combined, but clever allusions:

Jeanne Schroeder, "Chix Nix Bundle-O-Stix: A Feminist Critique of the Disaggregation of Property," 93 Mich. L. Rev. 239 (1994).

Posted by: Brad | Sep 12, 2006 3:04:20 PM

Here's another good one:

Paul Caron, Tax Myopia, or Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Tax Lawyers, 13 Va. Tax Rev. 517 (1994)

Posted by: Miriam Cherry | Sep 12, 2006 3:52:54 PM

Well, if they grow up to be administrative lawyers, they can go to the Chevron station. See Peter H. Schuck and E. Donald Elliott, To the Chevron Station: An Empirical Study of Federal Administrative Law, 1990 Duke L.J. 984.

Posted by: Jed Adam | Sep 12, 2006 4:17:48 PM


I believe you meant Chris Fairman's "F***." Which only has four leters, not the eight you suggested. The "Article is as simple and provocative as its title suggests: it explores the legal implications of the word fuck."

It was a fairly enjoyable read.

Posted by: karl | Sep 12, 2006 5:37:54 PM

Double-dipping here: how about R. Siegel, She the People: The Nineteenth Amendment, Sex Equality, Federalism, and the Family, 115 Harv. L. Rev. 947 (2002)?

Posted by: Simon | Sep 12, 2006 5:51:07 PM

I liked the article, but note 33 can go screw itself. The reason we on the left find it so difficult to engage with the Bush-Jugend is that most of their beliefs derive from religious or quasi-religious (Libertarianism) authority or are so otherwise entirely detached from ordinary people's lives that discussing issues with them is impossible. They also tend to not admit when they are wrong (Iraq war, Katrina, Bush, governance) and instead like to reject our contributions to the debate wholesale (anti-American al-qaeda sympathizers). They are also a minority in this country, an increasingly alienated minority that has squandered its moment in power, so what I'm really trying to say is enjoy the Federalist Society.

Its an interesting question of why a guy like Synder possesses zero-class consciousness or desire to improve institutions that could help guys like the younger him. Otherwise, as someone attending a school well outside the elite and trying to convince my school to start a blog, I found the article...unhelpful.

Posted by: Bart Motes | Sep 13, 2006 10:19:32 AM

Michael T. Yu, 3 Pitt Tax Rev. Issue 2, "A Proposed Allocation of Distributable Net Income to the Separate Shares of a Trust or Estate that Eliminates Inequities under the Regulations upon the Receipt of Tax‑Exempt Interest, upon Express Distributions of Income in Respect of a Decedent, or upon Discretionary Distributions of Principal".

Posted by: andy | Sep 14, 2006 3:18:36 PM

I think Dave Hoffman, with two votes here, is the winner. But Andy's comment is interesting and perhaps prompts a different type of contest... Stay tuned...

Posted by: Miriam Cherry | Sep 14, 2006 4:38:46 PM

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