Rejoice: The 9th Circuit Fixed its Octane Fitness Problem

Under the Lanham Act, a prevailing party can get its attorneys' fees from the losing party in "exceptional cases." 15 U.S.C. ยง 1117(a). While this is interesting enough in the trademark and false advertising litigation context, it also has some application to SLAPP suits -- at least when the plaintiff tries to play games with the Lanham Act. So lets start with the Lanham Act's fee provision -- giving us fees in "exceptional" cases. What does "exceptional" mean? Well, that … [Read More...]


Reverence For The Blue

Wednesday was Big Government night at the Republican National Convention, with speaker after speaker extolling the virtues of public employees. Scott Walker said that government lawyers should not just be respected — they should be revered. Newt Gingrich called for zero tolerance for people who call for the death of IRS employees. Vice-Presidential nominee Mike […]

Lawsplainer: Are Milo's Faked Tweets Defamatory?

I'm not going to address the broad subject of Twitter banning the needy, cynical huckster Milo Yiannopoulos. It's been done, you know what I'd say, and I don't have much to add. I'll address just one small piece of the story. Before he was banned, Yiannopoulos retweeted bigoted tweets fabricated to look like Leslie Jones […]

Cynicism And Taking Clients Seriously

Let me tell you a story about taking clients seriously. Years ago I had a young client who got into a summer program at Big Prestigious University, or BPU. The Client didn't go to BPU — he went to a community college, but was accepted by an on-campus summer program at BPU. Client got arrested […]

Comrade Stalin

Ask Stalin

We're proud to welcome Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known to the world as Comrade Stalin, or Koba to old friends, to the crew here at Popehat. Each week, Comrade Stalin will answer your questions on dating, relationships, etiquette, and workplace issues. If you have a problem you just can't solve, why not turn for advice […]


China, Part Two

I expected Tiananmen Square to be flooded with nationalist iconography. Unless selfie sticks are the new symbol of the People's Republic of China, it wasn't. The square was flooded with tourists — most of them Chinese — taking pictures of themselves, and taking pictures of each other, and taking pictures of each other taking pictures […]

Let's play "fish or garage metal band?"

China, Part One

Blue. That was my first impression of the landscape as our plane made its approach to the improbably gigantic Bejing Capital International Airport, which shortly before the 2008 Olympics turned a bucolic suburb into one of the busiest places in the world. Blue roofs. You don't see a lot of blue roofs in America, but […]

Confessions of An Ex-Prosecutor: Post Up Over At Reason

Today I've got a post up at Reason Magazine reflecting on how three different cultures shape prosecutors.

Get The Popehat T-Shirt

Do you want to virtue signal that you believe in liberty, are prone to making abrupt taint-related invitations, and may possibly erupt into an angry rant about some obscure point of law at any moment? Now you don't have to say a word! The first Popehat t-shirt is available at Cotton Bureau — one design […]

Senator Joe Manchin

Ask Popehat! Joe Manchin Edition

Welcome to Ask Popehat!, the feature where we take your questions on topics ranging from law to ethics to proper child rearing, and give sensible easily digested answers that you can share with friends and family at the dinner table. For this edition, we'd like to welcome Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. As the […]


In Support Of A Total Ban on Civilians Owning Firearms

I support the argument that the United States should enact a total ban on civilians owning firearms. Oh, I don't support the ban. I support the argument. I support the argument because it's honest and specific. It doesn't hide the ball, it doesn't refuse to define terms, it doesn't tell rely on telling people they […]