As I lay infringing

The past may not even be past, but it can be litigated.

The estate of William Faulkner is suing Sony Pictures Classics for alleged copyright violation over a line in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, The Associated Press reported. In Requiem for a Nun, Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” The line uttered by Owen Wilson in the movie: “The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past.” The very next day, the estate filed a separate lawsuit against Northrop Grumman Corp. and The Washington Post Co. over the use of another Faulkner quote in an ad: “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”

Lee Caplin, representing the estate, complained that Allen “just wanted to kind of take” the quote and “felt entitled.” And he’s uncertain Faulkner’s heirs would want his name associated with an arms manufacturer. — Richard Binder

Next to godliness

The “cleaning fairy” has pleaded guilty to attempted burglary. Susan Warren got the nickname after breaking into a home west of Cleveland, cleaning it and leaving a bill for $75. Warren told authorities that she was driving by the house and “wanted something to do.” She broke in, washed some coffee cups, took out the trash, vacuumed and dusted. Then she left a bill that included her phone number. — Associated Press

Laff riot

Attention Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partners: Did you know that the next Stephen Colbert is incubating right under your noses? Goutam Jois’ other side was on full display at a New York comedy club a few weeks ago, when he won the America’s Funniest Attorney crown. The associated beat out finalists including Ira Kustin, a partner at Akin Gump; solo practitioner Debby Reiser; Francis Russell, a partner at Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting; and Clinton Starghill, a former associate at Salans’ New York office. How are the Gibson partners taking Jois’ win? “I didn’t tell anyone at the firm [before or after the contest],” he said; he actually entered before lateraling from Cravath, Swaine & Moore. “I guess they’ll know about it now,” he said. — The Careerist

A wing and a prayer

An attorney detained by police after what he said were untrue accusations that he had filched $6.95 worth of chicken wings has lost his bid to sue a bar and two of its employees. “The charge of stealing a $6.95 order of chicken wings, hardly constitutes that of a serious crime,” New York County, N.Y., Supreme Court Justice Louis York wrote. Vikrant Pawar alleges that the employees at The Stumble Inn made the allegation in retaliation after he reported that they were serving underage drinkers. — New York Law Journal