Link Round-Up: August 4, 2017

'Link Round-Up’ gives you a glimpse into the articles that got the most airtime around the Loom Analytics water cooler this week. Published every Friday, article topics include access to justice, big data, legal technology, and what’s happening in the Canadian legal landscape.

 

  • On a related note, Facebook has stepped up in the fight against fake news, rolling out a “Related Articles” feature which will appear below news links that are shared on the social networking site and link to other perspectives as well as articles on the subject from third party fact checkers. As TechCrunch’s Josh Constine puts it, “Facebook will become the suggester of perspective to avoid being the ‘arbiter of truth.’” (Let’s just hope that Snopes will continue to be around to be included amongst those third party fact checkers).
  • As the Knight First Amendment Institute suit against Donald Trump for blocking his detractors on Twitter rolls on, The National weighs in on why the suit probably won’t gain much traction.
 
 

 

  • Apparently 2017 is the year that U.S. Federal Judges say, ‘We’re not going to take it anymore’ on the subject of poorly formatted legal documents:
    • In Orlando, U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard tossed a legal filing by Darden Restaurants, giving the restaurant’s lawyers a chance to refile, “but not before delivering a scolding for failing to double-space.” Judge Lenard’s criticisms also included the filing’s undue length and overuse of footnotes.
    • Judge Lenard is not the only federal judge struggling with footnote fatigue. Washington, D.C. Judge James Boasberg has recently tossed a government brief for “excessive footnoting”, ordering lawyers to submit a new one which contained no more than ten footnotes.
  • If you’re in need of a good laugh today, look no further than the ACLU amicus brief on the subject of Bob Murray’s suit against Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for, basically, hurting his feelings. After an episode on coal in the United States which included, amongst other things, a man in a giant squirrel costume telling Bob Murray to ‘Eat Sh**’, Murray filed a suit against the show, as well as asking for a temporary restraining order. With the (Constitutional) law and common sense clearly on John Oliver’s side, Jamie Lynn Crofts took the opportunity to construct a brief that is pure comedic gold from start to finish. Highlights include:
    • Every single header. (“1. All of John Oliver’s Speech Was Protected by the First Amendment. You Can’t Sue People for Being Mean to You, Bob.”)
    • The list of grievances against John Oliver, including ““[A]fter the live taping, Defendant Oliver exclaimed to the audience that having someone in a squirrel costume tell Bob Murray to ‘Eat Sh**’ was a ‘dream come true’” (with added footnote reading, “Everyone is allowed to have dreams.”)
    • The part of the brief which is literally just Bob Murray’s head photoshopped onto Dr. Evil’s body.