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A research attorney-or a justice-with a little time on his hands can be a dangerous thing. Thus an eye-catching footnote in a recent unpublished ruling out of California’s 1st District Court of Appeal that goes to great lengths to define the word “fuck.” We quote: “A certain four-letter verb for ‘copulate,’ of possible Scandinavian origin (see Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1977) p. 463, col. 2) appears frequently in the record along with its gerundive and a related noun involving the maternal parent.” Sure enough, a quick search of the text of Smith v. City and County of San Francisco reveals 19 uses of “fuck,” nine of “fucking” and three of “motherfucker.” There’s also one “F up”-as in “shut the F up”-and three instances of “asshole.” The case involved a Haight Street confrontation between James Smith and two San Francisco police officers. Jurors threw out an assault and battery and civil rights suit against the two, and the appeals court affirmed. Rich material for a bored justice or his research attorney.- The Recorder Nun, esq. A nun in the Indian state of Kerala will be allowed to practice as a lawyer without giving up her vows, a high court ruled, overturning a legal association’s code that bars members of other professions from becoming attorneys. Sister Teena Jose appealed to the courts, which ruled that the regulations applied only to people engaged in another profession for profit. “I am really happy that the court has ruled in favor of me,” she said. “I want to become a lawyer and serve the poor.” -Associated Press

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