The May 3, 2023 issue of The Arkansas Lawyer features an article from McMath Woods P.A. partner Charles Harrison. In the article, Harrison regales when he was working as a law clerk for United States District Judge Elsijane Trimble Roy. He brings up the infrequent connection between law and music and how the use of song lyrics and musical references has been used to emphasize legal points in past cases.
Harrison writes that in his research for a 1994 case he was working on, he read details about another case, Fogerty v. Fantasy Inc., from 1985. In that case, John Fogerty, the singer and songwriter of the band Creedence Clearwater Revival, petitioned against his old band’s record label about a song he’d written after the band had broken up.
Harrison decided to use details from the Fogerty case to draft an order to award fees and costs for the case and state that the judgment should be amended. In an effort to bring some humor and amusement to an otherwise stringent case, Harrison included some subtle nods to the band into the order of motions on his case, hoping someone would take note. Specifically, he included a key sentence from the order that addressed Fogerty’s right to attorney’s fees and costs in the case that he won:
“The decision of the Supreme Court to give credence to Fogerty’s argument and to clear the water on this issue represents a significant revival of the interests of a prevailing defendant in recovering costs and fees under federal fee-shifting statutes.”
Their motion was signed and approved quite promptly, but Harrison was disappointed that no one seemed to notice his little musical easter egg and that he “would think twice in the future before casting pearls before swine.”