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Eleventh circuit judge Stanley Marcus is citing-and rejecting-Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel circa 1966 on whether rocks can also be islands. In footnote 9 of the July 8 opinion U.S. v. McPhee (which appellate guru Howard Broadman pointed out for us), the judge quotes at length from “I Am a Rock” (“I am a rock, I am an island”) off the pair’s classic Columbia album Sounds of Silence. The loser is Rodcliffe H. McPhee. He appealed his conviction for conspiracy to possess a quantity of marijuana with intent to distribute. McPhee’s defense was that when the Coast Guard arrested him-after a sea chase during which more than 2,000 pounds of pot was heaved overboard-the Coast Guard lacked jurisdiction because his ship was in Bahamian waters. Specifically, the ship was near Saint Vincent’s Rock, which, McPhee’s attorney argued, qualifies as an island and so has Bahamian territory radiating out for 12 miles around it. But Saint Vincent’s Rock isn’t called Saint Vincent’s Island for a reason, the prosecution countered. The judge agreed, reluctantly, that the lower court was right to find it was no island. Metaphysically speaking, the rock “label is not altogether satisfying,” Marcus wrote, but then again, “neither Simon nor Garfunkel has been identified as a nautical expert.” the advertisement features an extreme close-up of a guy with a nasty cigar who looks like he’s on the lam from “The Sopranos.” “What do you get when you cross the Godfather with a Lawyer?” asks the ad, which appears in this month’s Corporate Legal Times. The answer: “An offer you can’t understand.” The law firm that’s decided that if you can’t beat lawyer jokes, you might as well join them, is Downey Brand, until recently Downey Brand Seymour & Rohwer. With 105 lawyers, it’s the largest firm in Sacramento, Calif., and, at 77 years of age, it has been the city’s most venerable. Until recently, the firm limited itself to tasteful sponsorship spots on National Public Radio. if the united nations ever hopes to station troops in La Verkin, Utah, things could get ugly. La Verkin, population 3,500, is reviving its efforts to put itself on the map as the world’s first U.N.-free zone. Two years ago on the Fourth of July, the southern Utah city adopted an anti-U.N. ordinance. It was promptly revised and then dropped after the city attorney -echoed by the state attorney general-pronounced it unconstitutional. But a version is back, in the form of a referendum bound for the November ballot. Besides keeping troops out, it would forbid flying the U.N. flag on the city’s flagpoles and forbid making any city donations to the organization. just in time for the dog days of summer, a trio of inventors have convinced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to grant them rights to an “ice fishing hole simulator system.” On June 17, the government granted it as Patent No. 6,578,299. The system is comprised of a housing that one can enter from the top, with a series of lights and mirrors set to give the illusion of a hole cut with an ice auger. The inventors-two Minnesota residents and a third from North Dakota-say there have been at least seven related patents but none of them is very good at visually recreating the ice-fishing experience.

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