"Nachas" in the Courtroom

November 19, 2010
Practical Advice

Litigators, take note: A Yiddishe Kop lawyer has successfully devised a novel legal argument for suspending his trial: a "writ of possible simchah."

In a Yiddush- and footnote-laden motion filed in the Southern District of New York, lawyer Bennett M. Epstein lays out the "facts" that his "beautiful daughter" Eva ("with a doctorate, no less") and her husband are expecting their first child. The motion continues:

Should the child be a girl, not much will happen in the way of public celebration. Some may even be disappointed, but will do their best to conceal this by saying, "as long as it's a healthy baby". My wife will run to Philly immediately, but I will probably be able wait until the next weekend. There will be happiness, though muted, and this application will be mooted as well.

However, should the baby be a boy, then hoo hah! [footnote: Yiddush for "a big fuss"] Hordes of friends and family will arrive from around the globe and descend on Philadelphia for the joyous celebration mandated by the halacha [footnote: Jewish Law] to take place during daylight hours on the eighth day, known as the bris6 [footnote: Hebrew for "covenant", for the Covenant of Abraham, i.e, ritual circumcision, joyous to everyone except, apparently, the baby]. The eighth day after December 3rd could be right in the middle of the trial. My presence at the bris is not strictly commanded, although my absence will never be forgotten by those that matter.

Judge Kimba M. Wood ruled on the motion the very next day, permitting Epstein to attend the bris "in the joyous event that a boy is born," but added:

But the Court would like to balance the scales. If a daughter is born, there will be a public celebration in Court, with readings from poetry celebrating girls and women.

Read the full motion here.