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Our 7-year-old son, Sam, and most of his buddies suddenly have gone wild over something called Yu-gi-oh cards. According to the official Yu-gi-oh Web site, self-deprecatingly called www.yugiohkingofgames.com, the whole thing began “a millenia” ago and had to be locked up until America’s gross national product was large enough that our kids could afford to buy endless streams of “dueling cards” in packs of nine at about $3 a pop while they watch the animated Yu-gi-oh television show out of one eye and the Yu-gi-oh computer game out of the other. Yu-gi-oh, it seems, was the name of the ancient Egyptian god of marketing and spin-offs, and if what I can tell from gossip around the neighborhood is true, Yu-gi-oh really means “spirit who magically steals allowances.” But that’s not why I want to talk to you about Yu-gi-oh. It’s the duels. Each of the Yu-gi-oh characters has powers to attack other characters and to defend itself. To make things interesting and prevent adults from understanding what is going on, each spell or defense has a power rating and limitations on its proper use. For example, when it properly appears, Oct Bertha, from the water race, has an attack rating of 1,600 and a defense rating of 1,400. The premium monster Blue Eyes Toon Dragon has a 3,000 attack and a 2,500 defense rating, but you only can summon him if you have the magic Toon World card in your field and you pay 500 life points. Each side in the duel puts out its card, and there are rules to decide who wins. The kids apparently can figure this all out in a heartbeat. Now, what, you may be wondering, does any of this have to do with us? Look again at the last paragraph. Summon. Appearance. Procedure. Some Japanese media conglomerate is making big money plagiarizing the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. Go read Rule 120a. You tell me whether it’s any less complicated to make a correct special appearance than it is to play a full Yu-gi-oh duel. I think we’re on to something here. What a Game So may I respectfully suggest to our Supreme Court and the Rules Committee that we abolish the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and litigation forthwith and henceforth conduct “Procedur-mon” duels, using decks of Procedur-mon cards available at fashionable courthouses and retailers all over the state? Here’s a sampler of how it works. Duelist ?-mon fields a petition using cards from his Procedur-mon deck. If he has a Dist-Cour card, he gets 1,000 attack points because of the higher jurisdictional authority of most District Courts, but a low-speed rating because it takes longer to get a case to trial there. If he has a Coun-Court-La card, he gets fewer power points and more speed points, unless he has a Dallas, Harris or El Paso realm card in his field, in which case he gets as many points as if he had a Dist-Court card and higher speed points. Now we come to service. ?-mon has a pub-sum-mons card in his field, which has low defense points if attacked by a due-pro dragon, so he might not want to use it until he gets a pro-cess-serv card and can make sure a pers-serv spell is personally delivered to the ?-mon. The ?-mon has no defense points if hit with a pers-serv spell, unless ?-mon’s spell is improper in form. ?-mon is not without spells of his own. If he doesn’t belong on the field, he can play a spec-app spell, which reverses the field and destroys ?-mon’s spell. Later, he can try the sum-j spell or even the no-ev-sum-j spell, each of which nullifies entirely the spell put on him by ?-mon. I don’t have to go any further with this for you to see how cool an opportunity this is. Not only can we use the Procedur-mon system to start teaching kids civil practice and procedure young — say at ages 6 or 7, when they’ll retain it — but we also have the ideal vehicle for endless anime cartoon shows, Web sites, movies, DVDs, fan fiction and spin-offs. For example, all of you who slept through income tax class in law school may want to consider getting the Tax-mon starter set as a way to brush up. Attorneys wishing to learn how to preserve instructional points for review, an arcane area if ever there was one, will want Error-mon decks, soon to be at every drug store. What would you rather do, spend hours to become board certified or get the knowledge you need on E-bay? Needless to say, Procedur-mon is bound to be the hottest holiday gift-giving idea in years, so don’t expect a ham from me. I know you want the Appella-mon cards I’ve already gotten for you. Want to trade a writ-man spell card for a stat-lim defense card? Tom Alleman, a shareholder in the environmental practice group at Winstead Sechrest & Minick in Dallas, used to rub the back of his baseball cards with old pennies to see what the answer to the riddle was. It’s no wonder then that his fingers are still filthy and his opinions are not necessarily those of the firm, its clients or Yama Yugi. “Cert Denied” runs monthly inTexas Lawyer.

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