Friday Fillip – the Simpsons and Legal Research

As many SLAW readers likely know, Fox’s “ The Simpsons” includes a number of great legal references, primarily through the character called Lionel Hutz, a.k.a Miguel Sánchez, as the “law talking guy” (voiced by the late Phil Hartman). One of Lionel Hutz’s scenes even has him talking about legal research. In the episode “Flaming Moe” (where Homer accuses Moe of stealing his cocktail recipe), Homer and Marge consult Lionel Hutz for legal advice:

Marge: So, Mr. Hutz, does my husband have a case?

Hutz: I’m sorry, Mrs. Simpson, but you can’t copyright a drink.

Homer: [whines] Oh!

[Hutz then consults the case law reporters behind his desk]

Hutz: This all goes back to the Frank Wallbanger case of ’78. How about that! I looked something up! These books behind me don’t just make the office look good, they’re filled with useful legal tidbits just like that!

If that creates a sufficient connection to one of SLAW’s themes of legal research then I have justified the true purpose of this Friday fillip: Immediately go to (and click “Enter the Site”) and click on the link to create your own Simpsons character (or “avatar”) using simple-to-use online tools. A lot of fun. I did it the other day while at work and got caught by a colleague. I of course told her it was (somehow) related to legal research.

I will leave it to the smarter minds at SLAW to interpret Fox’s website “Terms and Conditions” regarding the legal consequences if your avatar commits a crime while wandering through Springfield . . . .

The Simpsons movie premieres 27 July 2007.

And one final Lionel Hutz quote:

Hutz: And so, ladies and gentleman of the jury I rest my case.

Judge: Hmmm. Mr. Hutz, do you know that you’re not wearing any pants?

Hutz: DAAAA!! I move for a bad court thingy.

Judge: You mean a mistrial?

Hutz: Right!! That’s why you’re the judge and I’m the law-talking guy.

Judge: You mean the lawyer?

Hutz: Right.

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