Over the years, I’ve compiled a (very) short list of authorities a lawyer can cite to When All Else Fails. This list includes the following, pretty much in order of frequency of use (at least from attorneys I’ve spoken to :-):
1) Marbury v Madison
2) Hadley v Baxendale
3) Statute of Westminster
4) Something, anything almost, from Blackstone
And today, while tracking down another librarian lead (Government Database Restriction Access Information on Abortion – also Wired story here), I found this:
“I recently read this news article about a man who ran his car into a pole, and when asked by the police what caused the accident his one word answer was “pterodactyl”. I thought that was pretty great, and a friend and I decided that it would become our one word answer as well, to be produced when nothing else would work. Then, today I read this post about a tiny pterodactyl fossil found in China the size of a sparrow.”
Maybe I can start a When All Else Fails for Librarians list. Pterodactyl is a good word to start off any list, isn’t it?