After working ten long years at the Twolane Law School, Professor Carmellow Youchello finally earned a sabbatical. Never one to appreciate the southern climes, Youchello decided to spend the fall in the splendid isolation of southern Maine. He rented a mansion on a private island owned by a former Twolane Dean Jack Bob Remark. One day, while snooping around the attic, Youchello uncovered a musty old volume of Sir Henry Maine’s Ancient Law. On the reverse side of the dust jacket, he discovered scattered notes entitled “Plot for a Movie”. Youchello read the scribbles, jotted down notes, and called his old college roommate Stephen Spielberg. Spielberg loved it; something about a cute little extra-terrestrial that finds happiness in America, and a star is born. Youchellow collects $1,000,000 in royalties, and buys a vineyard in Tuscany.
Two years later, ex-Dean Remark uncovered the Maine volume while browsing through his collection in Maine. As luck would have it, he noticed the scribbles. A movie aficionado, Remark immediately recognized the plot as that of ET. He confronted Spielberg, who confronted Youchellow who, as usual, shrugged his shoulders.
Remark brings an action in District Court against Youchello and Spielberg for $50,000,000, the profits made on the movie. News of the lawsuit is plastered all over the “media”, and Richard Wall learns of the action. Wall intervenes in the suit claiming that he owned the book, and sold it to Remark; he seeks $50,000,000 in damages.
The case with the full cast of characters comes before Judge Honor Off for whom you clerk. He asks you to evaluate the legal basis for the claims of each party, and as always, he is relying upon you to guide him as to which claim is the strongest.