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This has been a big movie summer around Alleman Casa de Confusion. Sam, our 9-year-old, and I saw “Shrek 2,” and he saw that epic sport saga, “Dodgeball,” as well as “Garfield the Movie” and “Yu-Gi-Oh! Attack of the Merchandizing Mummies,” or whatever it was. But unquestionably the box office champion of Sam’s summer was “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” this year’s installment of the teen wizard franchise. Sam saw it on the Saturday of its opening weekend, a second time on Sunday, a third time on Monday and a fourth time the following Saturday — with his dad dutifully in tow on three of the four occasions. I must say that I enjoyed the movie, although not quite as much as Sam, but by about the middle of the third viewing I was beginning to notice some things that were making me uncomfortable in a strange sort of way. First, I noticed how gray and lifeless everything seemed around Hogwarts. Next were all those huge books the students were schlepping around. Then there were those scenes in which Professor Snape was particularly snide to Hermione, Hogwarts’ obvious valedictorian to be, and someone you would think would get a little slack for that reason even if she did belong to Gryffindor House. And finally there were those Dementor guys (as Sam put it), the weird robed figures whose occupation was sucking the souls out of people. These and other little things disturbed me in a way I couldn’t quite figure out with a 9-year-old elbowing me for popcorn. But it all came together the next Monday. I was visiting with another lawyer in my office and we got to reminiscing about law school. When he started talking about how crummy his first year had been, it hit me. All the scary parts in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” were lifted straight out of law school experiences. SPOOKY COINCIDENCE? Come on. Admit it. No matter how nice it was outside, it always was gray, drab and dull in the law library. Piles and piles of heavy casebooks or hornbooks always weighed you down physically and psychologically. You always had at least one professor for whom nobody’s answer ever was good enough. And Dementors? If you can’t name the professor at your law school voted “Most Likely to Cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” you probably haven’t recovered from your case of PTSD yet. Now look. I’m not trying to put together some massively neo-quasi-Freudian analysis about how J.K. Rowling is a closet attorney or even argue that law school is an unalloyed horrifying experience like, say, the flying monkeys in “The Wizard of Oz,” undoubtedly the scariest movie monsters of all time. But I am willing to assert that law school is at least as good of a source for horror stories, TV shows and movies as the colony of giant mutant ants that invaded the L.A. sewer system in the 1954 sci-fi classic “Them!” starring James Whitmore as a New Mexico highway patrolman and James “Gunsmoke” Arness as an FBI agent. The parallels between the L.A. sewer system and my law school, both of which were made out of poured concrete, are far too obvious to ignore. And as for comparisons between giant mutant ants and lawyers … well, I rest my case. So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Well, think about it. Harry and company are just about through with Hogwarts, and if we intend to keep the franchise going he’s going to need a place he and the gang can go to continue their education, right? I mean “Harry Potter and the Swing Shift at the Nimbus 2000 Factory” just doesn’t make it, now does it? So as they say in Tinseltown, let’s take a meeting, run a few screenplays up the flagpole and see who salutes. To start, how about “Harry Potter and the Rule Against Perpetuities,” in which the gang has just days to find out whether the treasure in the vault at Gringott’s will vest within a life in being and 21 years? Is the legatee a life in being? Is it a being at all? Can Dumbledore and the phoenix re-animate our beneficiary? Can Voldemort send them off to the nether world? I’m thinking weeks of being No. 1 at the box office here, aren’t you? Then we can go on to “Harry Potter and the Conflict of Laws,” in which Harry and Voldemort apply clashing choice-of-law principles in an epic battle to see if the decision to deny Dumbledore’s mold claim under the Hogwarts’ homeowner’s policy will hold up. Watch Hermione search the ancient lore of the Restatements for just the right incantation to help Harry in his struggle to save Hogwarts from the evil remediation contractors. And finally, the scariest sequel of all, “Harry Potter and the Relation Back,” in which Harry must come to Dumbledore’s aid to keep the statute of limitations from running on an amended complaint. There you have them. The first three of a long line of Harry Potter classics gay-ron-teed to keep the franchise alive long enough that I can afford to buy Sam the big tub of popcorn at the Cinema Hyperflex. Care for some Junior Mints? Tom Alleman, a shareholder in the environmental and insurance practice groups at Winstead Sechrest & Minick in Dallas, has always thought “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is among the great movies of all time. With taste like that, it should come as no surprise that his opinions aren’t necessarily those of the firm, its clients or Bela Lugosi.

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