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"I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me! For I am the ruler of all that I see!” "He's made our case for us, your honor, you see. And so prosecution rests our case, don't we?"
February 7, 2010 9:34 PM   Subscribe

"Your responsibility is to defend Yertle. You may argue that Yertle is the king and, as protector of the realm, has a right to order his subjects to do whatever he thinks is necessary. He thought it was necessary to see what was beyond his pond and pressed other turtles into service so that he could see that far. They were hurt in the line of duty, so he wasn't personally liable for Sadie's injury. He did not realize how young she was, or he wouldn't have ordered her to join the stack of turtles." Turtle on Trial, a lesson from the ABA for Law Day, May 1.
posted by ocherdraco (17 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't care what you say about his liability, that book is still the definitive volume on turtle stacking.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 9:36 PM on February 7, 2010


I'm favoriting this primarily for the fine use of tags, and with the hope that some other post will share one of the lower tags eventually.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:47 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


May 1st, Law Day? Law Day?! Who was the reactionary Guy Whitey Corngood who came up with that one?
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 9:49 PM on February 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


But I thought they ruled out all action against Yertle the Turtle so that Barack the Croc would have a better shot at achieving universal shellcare.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:50 PM on February 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


Man those instructions to the defense attorney are terrible. I'd go straight to sovereign immunity, make a motion to dismiss, and skip the witnesses entirely.

Then I'd have the plaintiff (and possibly all of her witnesses) arrested for sedition. Ain't the common law great?
posted by jedicus at 10:08 PM on February 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


What the hell? That's not Law Day, that's International Worker's Day.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:14 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the hell? That's not Law Day, that's International Worker's Day.
It may be both, but it's definitely Law Day in the U.S.
posted by planet at 10:35 PM on February 7, 2010


What the hell? That's not Law Day, that's International Worker's Day.

It's amazing how many of our little customs and calendar choices and the like are born out of America's screaming terror of the word "socialism".
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:42 PM on February 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Funny how they decided to juxtapose the one over the other.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:19 PM on February 7, 2010


I suppose the Stephen Hawking defense would work? "I was told the universe was turtles all the way down."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:46 AM on February 8, 2010


He thought it was necessary to see what was beyond his pond and pressed other turtles into service so that he could see that far. They were hurt in the line of duty, so he wasn't personally liable for Sadie's injury.

Was his need to see beyond the pond "in the line of duty" too?
posted by DU at 4:51 AM on February 8, 2010


It's amazing how many of our little customs and calendar choices and the like are born out of America's screaming terror of the word "socialism".


I've heard of May Day, I've never head of Law Day. Apparently Congress can say something, but that doesn't mean it doesn't go anywhere beyond the printed page (just like health care!).
posted by Atreides at 6:17 AM on February 8, 2010


Yertle the Mock Turtle Mock Trial

FTFY
posted by etc. at 6:23 AM on February 8, 2010


I'm no fancy big city lawyer, but I think I'd go right for the time-honored 'provoke Yertle into admitting guilt" approach. I think it'd go something like this.

YERTLE: "I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Sadie, and you curse the turtle stack. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Sadie's injury, while tragic, probably saved lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you WANT me on that turtle stack, you NEED me on that turtle stack. You want answers?"
HANDSOME LAWYER: I want the truth!
YERTLE: YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

And so forth.

(IApretty obviouslyNAL).
posted by Comrade_robot at 6:54 AM on February 8, 2010 [3 favorites]



For some reason I thought this was a mock trial exercise for law students, so after reading the description I was relieved to scroll back to the top of the page and realize that it's intended for elementary school kids.

Also, this seems like an odd moral to teach children:

Tell students that Yertle is not only tyrannical, but also lazy and irresponsible. Since he didn't want to bother ensuring justice for his subjects by hearing their cases himself, he established an independent judiciary.
posted by yarrow at 8:34 AM on February 8, 2010


Even if Law Day is a sop to anti-socialist hysteria, sometimes things go really, really right.
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:21 AM on February 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Moreover, and maybe this is why I never went into Law, but doesn't this exercise show a profound disregard for, you know, laws?

Insofar as we've fleshed out the jurisprudence of the community in question, Yertle is a rather epitomic absolute monarch. I guess they've specified that he's set this up as an independent tribunal under which he's being tried, but this is really really weak for a constitution and legal framework.

We're then trying Yertle under the weight of whatever bathos attending "laziness," "irresponsibility," and "tyrrany" the students happen to bring to the table and focusing more on the legal process than its rudiments. I don't know much about how elementary-aged children think, but this seems to set them up more for a reading of Kafka than practicing for their LSATs.

I'd offer that such an emphasis, along with longstanding complaints about our torts system (pun unintended), are among the more prominent structural problems with the American legal system.
posted by 7segment at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


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