I read somewhere recently that, internally, the Supreme Court justices refer to case names as “[Plaintiff] against [Defendant]” instead of “[Plaintiff] v. [Defendant]” or “[Plaintiff] versus [Defendant],” and the procedural rules of the Court require attorneys arguing cases before it to adopt the same practice during oral arguments. I thought this was quite strange, as all case names are printed in the format of “[Plaintiff] v. [Defendant],” including the Supreme Court decisions, in official reporters.
So I thought I would test this theory in class. My jurisdiction professor clerked on the Supreme Court and, amazingly, I just realized today that he too referred to cases by saying “[Plaintiff] against [Defendant].” I wonder why I never noticed him doing this before — maybe this is one of the secret handshakes of some sort that go unnoticed unless you belong to that particular group.
My admiration for the professor’s achievements notwithstanding, “jurisdiction and choice of law” is, quoting the opening statement of a jurisdiction outline I found on the Law Review’s repository, “the ultimately lame class.” I have already been confused beyond hope, especially when it comes to choice of law issues.