Most Self-Indulgent Legal Opinion?:
There seems to be a trend towards judges needing to prove oh-how-funny and oh-how-witty they are by writing legal opinions that just scream, "look at me! look at me!"

  The latest example is a separate opinion yesterday in a Florida state appellate court decision, Funny Cide Ventures v. Miami Herald. The opinion, by Judge Farmer, is a meandering waste of 8-pages of West Reporter. Its primary goal seems to be to impress readers with just how clever and entertaining Judge Farmer can be.

  Fortunately, the other two judges on the panel, Judges Stone and May, had the restraint and common sense not to sign on to Judge Farmer's wannabe Green Bag submission. As best I can tell, they forced Judge Farmer to write a two-page traditional opinion rejecting the lawsuit (which was completely frivolous). Farmer then labeled that opinion "per curiam," and added on his submission as a separate opinion along with an explanation of what happened.

  To be clear, I really enjoy clever and well-written legal opinions. Once in a while, a joke in a legal decision can be really well-done and harmless (and can even advance an argument). And yes, I'm sure a lot of people find this sort of thing entertaining. But legal decisions are government documents; they are statements from the judiciary as to the rules that govern our affairs. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I would rather judges err on the side of writing clear, short, and direct opinions rather than trying to impress us with how funny they can be.

  Thanks to the WSJ Law Blog for the links.