October 12, 2020
Mix Many Metaphorsanalogies galore in Oracle v. Google oral argument
A lot of legal argument is argument by analogy. In the most formal sense, that means talking about how a court decided an earlier, similar case, and whether the court should decide a new case in a similar way. Lawyers also argue by hypothetical, making up stories using details of daily life that tend to show a case should go one way or another.
Here’s a quick list of analogies mentioned by the justices of the Supreme Court and arguing lawyers during oral argument in the case of Oracle v. Google:
- mathematical proofs, coarse and elegant
- writing in English and French
- words of a song the audience has learned by heart
- book of a thousand memorable Seinfeld lines
- short story adapted to a movie
- QWERTY keyboard layout
- phone switchboard layout
- cooking spice shelving system
- organization of produce in a grocery store
- periodic table of the elements
- biological taxonomy
- connective tissue
I’m sure I’ve missed at least a couple.
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