Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sixth Circuit Sez I Win.

Just kidding, of course. I know only the parts that go into deciding the case count, but I'm still basking in the glow of the Sixth Circuit's citation to my work and wanted to point out that Judge Martin sided with me on two contested points of Bourbon history.

First, he agrees with me (and others) that Kentucky whiskey probably was first distilled at Fort Harrod, the first permanent European settlement in what is now Kentucky, in 1774, and not by Jacob Spears, Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, or any of the other claimants.

Second, he agrees with my explanation for why bourbon is called bourbon and doesn't give the competing theories even a mention. Ha!

You can always count on your family to help you keep things in perspective. As my sister wrote, "I sure hope all that stuff you wrote in your book was true now that they're using it to decide court cases."

The case is getting a lot of notice, primarily because of the bourbon primer that starts it off.  The New York Times editorialized about it, mistakenly placing the Sixth Circuit in Kentucky.

On The Michigan Lawyer, a blog from Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Ed Wesolowski observes that Judge Martin "used the case as an opportunity to do some extended research on 'bourbon’s unique place in American culture and commerce.'”

As is characteristic of courts of appeal, the case was heard and decided by a three judge panel but the decision was written by one of them, Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., who lives in Louisville but works two hours up the road in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the Sixth Circuit sits.

There's a good public speaking warm up exercise for you. "Cincinnati where the Sixth Circuit sits." Say that five times fast. Go ahead. It's fun.

Judge Martin is, at age 76, the most senior active judge on the Sixth Circuit, to which he was appointed in 1979 by Jimmy Carter. He was Chief Judge from 1996 to 2003 and has written more than 1,100 opinions. Before that he helped reform Kentucky's antiquated courts system and became the first Chief Judge of its new Court of Appeals.

In other cases he has quoted Homer Simpson, so I'm in good company.

1 comment:

weller_tex said...

Homer Simpson? Hilarious! You are in good company!