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Quote champ is a guy from Harvard Who is the champion quotemeister on legal affairs? The Los Angeles Times can’t write about a legal issue without citing Erwin Chemerinsky, and television has had a crush on Alan Dershowitz for two decades. But when the history books are written, the title for most mentions may go to constitutional scholar Laurence H. Tribe of Harvard University. At least that’s what it looks like in Amazon.com’s digital archives. As of Oct. 23, Amazon.com made the full text of some 120,000 books accessible to Google-style searches. Of course there are caveats. It’s impossible to separate legal scholar Arthur Miller from playwright Arthur Miller. And apparently a Richard Posner who writes novels about teenage girls’ crushes-e.g., Goodnight, Cinderella-is slightly padding the tally for the federal Judge Richard Posner. That said, here’s a count of books referring to 15 notables: Laurence Tribe, 5,638; Richard Posner, 2,786; Bruce Fein, 1,779; Paul Rothstein, 1,751; Floyd Abrams, 1,559; Robert Bork, 1,059; Leslie Abramson, 747; Johnnie Cochran, 531; Alan Dershowitz, 465; Stephen Gillers, 367; Laurie Levenson, 272; Lawrence (and Larry) Lessig, 229; Gloria Allred, 107; Alex Kozinski, 65; Greta Van Susteren, 34. For context, it should be noted that Perry Mason scored 8,132. He tried, versified William Nussbaum of Washington’s Hogan & Hartson was thinking hard about the last five minutes of his Oct. 21 closing argument at a trade secret misappropriation trial in DuPage County, Ill., Circuit Court. “Then I remembered a case in Texas where a lawyer sang his closing argument,” he said. “I decided closing arguments are a place where you get to do whatever you think is right.” What Nussbaum thought was right was a 20-stanza poem summing up his defense of Hughes Network Systems Inc. Jurors had responded well to his jokes throughout a six-week trial. His co-counsel had given permission. He was speaking last among three defendants’ counsel. “I knew I needed to do something distinctive,” he said. Early on, the poem asked, “Was a secret revealed? I doubt it.” And in conclusion, “So thanks to you all for your time/And for listening now to my rhyme/As I’ve said all along/Hughes has done nothing wrong/And we don’t owe the plaintiff a dime.” The jury agreed. They rejected some $400 million in claims against the defendants. Nussbaum said he’s never done this in court before and doesn’t recommend it to inexperienced lawyers (he’s tried some 85 cases since 1979). Pet food terror We were imagining anthrax-fueled rottweilers and calico cats carrying Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever. But such lurid examples would have come up in debate, and apparently there wasn’t much of a debate over whether the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 should cover pet food as well as human food. Under the act, foreign and domestic facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food to be consumed in the United States must register with the Food and Drug Administration. A notice must go to the FDA if food is going to be imported. There’s a record-keeping provision. The whole enchilada goes into effect on Dec. 12. Food has been defined by statute since the 1930s as including pet food, so it’s covered by the law, said Bob Lake, director of regulation and policy at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Contaminating pet food with chemicals or pathogens would be a way to introduce them into the home, he said, and if the specifics “are not something you or I would think of, hopefully terrorists wouldn’t think of it either.” Besides, Lake says, even if national security is left out of the equation, anything that helps pets is a good thing.

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