OA288: More Led Zeppelin! (& Legal Ethics with Amy Chua)

Today’s episode explains exactly what happened with the story you probably saw about how Led Zeppelin “got a new hearing” in their lawsuit with the estate of Randy California. What’s going on? Listen and find out! We also break down the latest ethical wrangling over Yale law professor Amy Chua and Brett Kavanaugh. Is it as bad as everyone says?

We begin with the tale of “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua, the Yale law professor who wrote a stirring defense of Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” after Kavanaugh had offered Chua’s daughter a plum clerkship. Did that pot get sweetened when Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court? (Hint: yes.) We break down all of the ethics & more in this segment.

Then, it’s time to revisit the lawsuit brought by the estate of Randy California against Led Zeppelin alleging that Led Zep stole the iconic riff for “Stairway to Heaven” from California’s band, Spirit. If you haven’t listened to Episode 236, go give that a listen right now, and then come back to find out what’s new.

Then, it’s time for another Andrew Was Wrong segment — this time, involving the actual penalty for refusing to answer or giving false answers on the Census.

After all that, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam #130 about the constitutional propriety of collecting sales tax from a private individual who will then turn around and sell the objects to the state. Did Thomas get it right? There’s only one way to know for sure!


None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read Chua’s original Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Kavanaugh Is A Mentor to Women.”
  2. After that broke, Elie Mystal criticized Chua in an Above the Law article, to which Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld tweeted that she “[w]on’t be applying to SCOTUS.” Mystal also teamed up with The Guardian to unearth more revelations regarding Chua, Kavanaugh, and how his clerks always “look like models.”
  3. Of course, it was Mystal who broke the news that Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld was chosen as a Kavanaugh SCOTUS clerk.
  4. We covered Zeppelin in Episode 236.
  5. The false answers statute is 13 U.S.C. § 221.

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OA236: Stairway to… the Supreme Court??

Today’s deep-dive Tuesday tackles a long-running lawsuit by the estate of Randy California — the founder, lead singer, and guitarist for the band Spirit — alleging that Led Zeppelin stole the iconic riff for “Stairway to Heaven” from Spirit’s 1968 song “Taurus.”  With assistance from Thomas on guitar, we tackle all of the fun issues that are currently pending before the 9th Circuit… and possibly headed to the Supreme Court!

We begin, however, with two follow-up questions that got cut from Friday’s blockbuster show regarding the American Media, Inc. plea agreement:  (1) Could David Pecker still be indicted? and the big one:  (2) Can Donald Trump pardon a corporation?  The answer… may surprise you!

After that, it’s time for a deep dive into the law regarding musical copyright and an exploration of the similarities and differences between “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven.”  Where do Andrew and Thomas come out?  You’ll have to listen to find out!

After that, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #105 regarding a bank and a car dealership attempting to modify a contract.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!


None!  If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We discussed the AMI deal in Episode 235.
  2. You can check out Spirit’s “Taurus” by clicking here.
  3. Click here to read the original (and awesome!) Randy California v. Led Zeppelin complaint; you can also read (1) the jury verdict by the trial court; (2) the brief filed by Taurus in the 9th Circuit; (3) the opposition brief filed by Led Zeppelin; (4) the 9th Circuit’s ruling; (5) the petition for rehearing en banc filed by Led Zeppelin; (6) the opposition to that motion for rehearing en banc; and (7) the just-filed reply brief by Led Zeppelin (filed 12-10-08).  Phew!
  4. Finally, click here for a mashup of “My Sweet Lord” (George Harrison) and “He’s So Fine” (The Chiffons).

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com


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