Thursday, August 04, 2005

A real legal wiz

Having read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I couldn't help but notice that J.K. Rowling's wizarding world could benefit from some legal assistance. While the creative use of a house elf cleared up a potential inheritance squabble, there are other unique problems that would require a lawyer. I believe I can help.

1. The screamer. To establish defamation, you must prove that a defamatory statement about you was published and injured your reputation. But what if you were Ron Weasley, and the statement was made in a screaming note from your mother that was delivered by owl? By definition, third parties will hear such libelous remarks. As a separate issue, we must determine whether or not the wizarding world keeps any immunities for intrafamily actions. (Given that Bellatrix Lestrange killed her cousin, probably not.)

2. Uneducated use of spells. The plaintiff in this tort action, Draco Malfoy, argues that the defendant's intent was established because he knew that shouting "Sectumsempra!" while brandishing a wand will likely result in something bad, even if the defendant does not know exactly what.

3. The Weasley family locator. Again with the Weasleys. Does this charmed household device, which monitors the whereabouts of all family members at all times, invade any right of privacy? My client Percy Weasley seems to think so. Now estranged from the family, he works diligently for the Ministry of Magic on several matters of national security, and yet any visitor to his previous residence will always know where he is. Please note that my client's claim can be distinguished from the Marauder's Map case, which we all know was dismissed for a lack of service of process.

4. Fangirl rights. At issue is whether teenage female readers of the series have any rights to control the future actions of any of the books' male characters. Specifically, can a girl get Harry Potter to marry her? This question was answered by case precedent; in Jones v. Estate of Austen, a London court ruled that fictional characters could only be given "love reassignments" in authorized, published works. So there. And no amount of begging will reinstate Oliver Wood to the Quidditch team, as he has already graduated.

5. The Unbreakable Vow. Yeah, right. Is it in writing?


Courtney said...

Your post brings to mind several thoughts. Chief among them is that I forgot how truly creepy lego hands are.

Neel Mehta said...

True. I wondered if anyone ever clicked on the visual aids.

I take it you keep Legos away from your kids? Good idea, seeing as how Kamran would likely eat the pieces.

Courtney said...

Our house is littered with the Duplo variety -- big enough to not fit down the gullet of your average infant.

K-Lyn said...

I'm so disappointed...a head shot of Oliver Wood is out there and you chose instead to comment on lego hands? I gotta go drink cosmos with Samantha and Miranda...