Friday, January 30, 2009

Tenenbaum files First Circuit brief in support of webcast; takes spare, pious approach

Joel Tenenbaum's legal team has now filed its own First Circuit brief opposing the record labels' effort to block the webcast of an important upcoming motion hearing in Federal District Court in Boston. It's one of the oddest, and shortest, appellate briefs I've ever read. The brief cites the Bible (“And all Israel heard of the judgment of Solomon; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment." (cited in the brief as 1 Kings 3:16, though I believe it's actually 1 Kings 3:28)) -- but not a single legal case. Good thing Tenenbaum has some very persuasive friends backing him up.

Brief of Respondent Joel Tenenbaum


  1. Don't forget that there was expedited briefing on the issue, and, well, the law probably isn't on Tenenbaum's side (at least federal law beyond what Judge Gertner cited, which is very hostile to cameras in the courtroom).

    Kyle K.

  2. I am actually surprised that this is all they could come up with. Nesson has a whole team of eager beaver Harvard Law students -- with free Westlaw! -- working for him. There are plenty of cases that support the conclusion that Judge Gertner had the discretion to permit the webcast -- the amici had no trouble finding and citing them. I have never seen an appellate brief from a party that basically just says, "We don't really have anything substantive to say; please just rely on the amicus briefs."

  3. Ben you are confusing it.

    It's not that respondent has nothing substantive to say, it is simply not necessary to write some lengthy brief since Evil4 and the HRO guys are so off track with their ridicules demand to overturn Judge Gertner's ruling!

  4. I don't think it's a good strategy for an actual party to just tell the court that the other side's arguments are so unworthy of consideration that they don't need to be argued with. Tenenbaum's explicit reliance on the amicus briefs for legal authority supporting its position is a pretty bizarre strategy, one that I've never seen employed before.

    I do think the labels' arguments on the webcast issue are wrong, but they aren't so patently frivolous that they can simply be ignored by the opposing party -- which is one reason why the amicus briefs did include extensive legal argument.


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