Judge Huck Cites Emily Dickinson And "International Concept of Due Process."


Ok, maybe not a entirely fair headline, but I have to spice things up somehow.

Actually, this is an interesting order in which Judge Huck denies reconsideration of his refusal to enforce $97 million in Nicaraguan judgments against Dole over alleged injuries sustained from the pesticide DBCP sprayed on Nicaraguan banana plantations.

We've previously discussed this case here and here.

Judge Huck's Dickinson reference brought back some pleasant college memories:
But now, Plaintiffs contend that, unbeknownst to the participants in this lawsuit, including, apparently, Plaintiffs themselves, late arriving, independent legal grounds have emerged that compel recognition of Plaintiffs’ judgment. This alone is reason to deny Plaintiffs’ motion. “The past is not a package one can lay away.” EMILY DICKINSON, SELECTED LETTERS 290 (Thomas H. Johnson, ed., Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 1986) (1914). Rules 59 and 60 do not provide litigants with an opportunity to test new legal theories in the absence of an intervening change in controlling law.
Classy and erudite (and properly cited!), but I might have went with this bon mot:
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ectasty.

For each beloved hour
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.
I don't know, maybe the Judge's reference was more on-point.
Then we have Judge Huck's reference to that dreaded hip Eurobeast, international "law":
In refusing to recognize the judgment, the Court applied the “international concept of due process” outlined by the Seventh Circuit in Society of Lloyd’s v. Ashenden, 233 F.3d 473, 476-77 (7th Cir. 2000). Osorio, 2009 WL 3398931, at *16, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99981, at *51.
Woah -- I guess the Judge is unaware of the mild hand-wringing that occasioned Yale Law Professor Harold Koh's nomination to serve as legal advisor to the State Department or Justice Sotomayor's comments on "foreign law" (she actually said Justices Scalia and Thomas had a point).

Old Europe and Emily Dickinson, all in one order -- that must have been one nice Valentine's Day.


  1. Why the cite to Dickinson? Seems like a waste of time/space and it kills the flow. I mean, it isn't being cited as a legal authority, right? If it were, then it would need to be cited, but if it were then we've got some bigger problems. Dickinson is illustrative of the point, but not authority that needs to be cited. Loosen up people.

  2. I love erotic poetry in judicial opinions!

  3. Emily Dickinson is a snoozer but does come in handy impressing chicks at Vassar

  4. My favourite Dickinson:

    Because I could not stop for Death,
    He kindly stopped for me;
    The carriage held but just ourselves
    And Immortality.

  5. perfect for Huck, a quick read

  6. Ah! Thank you for posting this!| There have been a lot of contradictary
    info blogged about, this dispells, puts to rest
    most of what I've read.

  7. Court decisions could be poetrically enriching sometimes. Who would have thought this casecould be a good source of fine lines.


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