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I Will Sue You in FEDERAL COURT!

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | August 19, 2010 |


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On the top of my list of common movies phrases that I loathe is the one that I keep hearing in the otherwise decent trailer for David Fincher's The Social Network. During that trailer, for dramatic effect, one guy says to Jesse Eisenberg's character, "We will sue you. IN FEDERAL COURT!" Why the need to stress FEDERAL COURT? Why so much emphasis on jurisdiction? The difference between state court of federal court is a matter of diversity jurisdiction or applicable law. It's not like the judges in FEDERAL COURT hand down harsher penalties. In fact, it's the judges in state courts -- the ones elected by a bloodthirsty electorate -- that are more likely to deal stiffer fines or longer sentences. Federal judges are appointed. They don't have to deal with re-election campaigns. So, the next time someone says to you, "I will sue you in FEDERAL COURT," you just thank them for 1) suing you under the Constitution instead of some obscure Georgia law that some redneck pea-brain enacted back in 1932, 2) for not subjecting you to meaner judges.

Another pet peeve is that whole, "I will take this to the Supreme Court!" Yeah. Sure, you will. That is, if the Supreme Court grants cert, assuming you make it all the way through the appellate level. And then, the Supreme Court only hears around five percent of cases that are filed. So, good luck with that stolen bicycle case. I'm sure it's high on the list of priorities for the Supreme Court.

All of which brings me to another annoying movie phrase: "I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you." How many times have you heard that one? And why do screenwriters still think it's amusing? It's not. And just in case you haven't suffered "I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you," fatigue, here's a movie montage.

Do you hate it now?

What recurring movie phrase annoys you?


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