The Kardashians And The Law, A Little Levity

Those famous Kardashian sisters recently lost a federal appellate court opinion, but along the way we at least got a few chuckles from the Judge who wrote the appellate opinion. In a nutshell, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian wanted to compel arbitration with a makeup company that filed a lawsuit against the reality TV stars for cosmetics trademark infringement.   Fortunately, the Eleventh Circuit in an opinion written by  Chief Judge Ed Carnes, said “not so fast” and put a stop to compelling arbitration in the case.  The fun part of the decision was that Judge Carnes wrote the decision with cosmetics puns to bring us a smile.

Now, at the outset, I must confess that we very much despise “arbitration” clauses which force Plaintiffs seeking to recover damages into a one-sided forum to permanently decide the case.  All too often in arbitration, a person (who usually is beholden to the insurance companies for a living) reviews the evidence in the case and then imposes a decision that is binding on all the parties.  It’s yet another way the insurance industry seeks to limit paying out claims by taking away your right to have things decided by a jury.  Therefore, any case putting a stop to that abusive practice has our vote.

So, turning back to the Kardashian case, Judge Carnes peppers his opinion with such classics as: “At first blush, the issue appears to require application of {legal jargon omitted}….”  He then goes on to write, “But there is a wrinkle in this case {more legal jargon omitted}…” But my favorite has to be: “Like makeup, Florida’s doctrine of equitable estoppel can only cover so much.”  Well, Kudos to Judge Carnes for both his rejection of unfair arbitration and in his wit (albeit a bit corny) in getting us there.

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