Dowling v. Stapley (CA1 4/16/09)

We’re not going to review this in detail. This controversy has been a big political cat-fight in the Phoenix area and we don’t actually care a whole lot about courts settling political scores.

But you know you’re in for a long opinion (this one is 64 pages in the draft) when the court starts out with Greek mythology. The court tells us that this case “is reminiscent of Daedalus’ labyrinth. Like Theseus and Ariadne, we attempt to use a detailed history of the litigation as a thread to guide us through this maze and resolve the issues presented.”

Wow. How erudite.

Now, we don’t necessarily object to Greek mythology. We were the sort of nerds who read Bullfinch as kids. Actually, our memory is that Theseus went into the labyrinth alone, Ariadne just supplied the thread. But whatever.

We also don’t object to good writing. But talking about Deadalus and Theseus and Ariadne isn’t.  Its just pompous and pretentious. Its also clumsy; a clever, metaphorical reference might pass but “this reminds me of a story I know because I’m intelligent and well-read” is the sort of thing that embarrasses everyone except the guy who says it.

Let’s leave this stuff to District Court judges, okay?