Not a happy family

The TLC show Sister Wives may be a hit, but its stars fear it got them attention in Utah County, Utah, for all the wrong reasons.

Kody Brown and his four wives have sued the county and state over a criminal investigation that followed their show’s debut. Polygamy can net five years in prison in Utah, according to news reports in The Washington Post and elsewhere. The Browns argue the law is unconstitutional. The Utah Attorney General’s Office filed for dismissal, arguing the case is moot because the charges were dropped. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups was unconvinced, suggesting officials were employing “a ruse to avoid having the issue reviewed.”

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, who represents the Browns, said the family remains in danger of prosecution. An estimated 30,000 fundamentalist Mormons practice polygamy. — Richard Binder


A judge has blocked the Miss United States of America Organization from using that title in a pageant in Georgia. The Mrs. United States National Pageant claims one of its former beauty queens launched a knock-off pageant after it refused to sell her its trademarks. U.S. District Judge David Larimer said the maxim that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” doesn’t apply in intellectual property law. — New York Law Journal

Out of bounds

Illinois’ attorney ethics board has recommended the censure of an attorney convicted of battering a golfer whose errant ball hit the attorney’s home. In October 2009, a foursome approached Richard Van Kalker’s property, which backs up to the seventh hole of a golf course in Crete, Ill., to recover a wayward ball that dented Van Kalker’s gutter. According to witnesses, after Van Kalker expressed his anger about the poor aim, one of the players informed him that he had assumed the risk of damage by living adjacent to the course. Van Kalker, who is a federal arbitrator, then punched the golfer in the face and bent his glasses before jumping atop him, scratching and trying to bite him, witnesses said. — Leigh Jones

The show must not go on

David Adjmi’s play 3C has ended its off-Broadway run. Thanks to a cease-and-desist letter, the curtain may have come down permanently. The play, a deconstruction of the TV series Three’s Company, drew a cease-and-desist letter from the Kenyon & Kenyon law firm on behalf of DLT Entertainment Ltd., which owns the copyright to the 1970s hit. Adjmi won support from theater luminaries including Stephen Sondheim and Tony Kushner but in the end acquiesced, telling The New York Times, “I can’t afford a fancy lawyer.” — Richard Binder