CIVIL LITIGATION REVIEW OF 2018 3: THE OPENING LINES OF JUDGMENTS: THE CACTI WINS IT…
Every year we look at the contenders for the best opening lines of a judgment. This year we have even looked abroad. The winner comes, perhaps surprisingly, from the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court.
THE TATOO ARTIST -v- THE CACTUS SHOP
Martinez (t/a Prick) & Anor v Prick Me Baby One More Time Ltd (t/a Prick) & Anor  EWHC 776 (IPEC)
Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke:
THE WISE CHILD
K (A Child) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1834 (Admin)
Helen Mountfield QC
It is said to be a wise child who knows his own father. It might be thought, having read the facts of this case, that it is an even wiser child who knows who is deemed to be her father for the purposes of the British Nationality Act 1981 as amended (“the BNA 1981”). But, as the facts of this case also show, this can be an important question, in particular, for a child who seeks to establish their entitlement to British nationality through her father, by virtue of section 1 of that Act.
Brayshaw v The Partners of Apsley Surgery & Anor  EWHC 3286 (QB)
Mr Justice Martin Spencer
- Plato said:
“The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated.”
Thankfully, medicine has moved on in the intervening 2,400 years and the separation of medicine and religion is well-established. A doctor who uses, or abuses, his position to inculcate his patients with his religious beliefs is acting unprofessionally and deserves to be struck off. The issue in this case is whether such a doctor is also tortiously liable to his patient where the patient is occasioned harm and whether, if he is, liability transfers to his employer or quasi-employer through the doctrine of vicarious liability.
DINOSAURS ROAMED THE LAND
Murray -v- BEJ Minerals (DC Np.1.14.cv-00106-SPW.
District Judge Robreno.
Once upon a time, in a place now known as Montana, dinosaurs roamed the land. On a fateful day, some 66 million years ago, two such creatures, a 22-foot-long theropod and a 28-foot-long ceratopsian, engaged in mortal combat. While history has not recorded the circumstances surrounding this encounter, the remnants of these Cretaceous species, interlocked in combat, became entombed under a pile of sandstone. That was then . . . this is now
SHOPPING FOR LOVE IN THE WRONG PLACE
Burki v Seventy Thirty Ltd & Ors  EWHC 2151 (QB)
HHJ Richard Parkes QC:
Gertrude Stein quipped that whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop. This case is about a woman looking for romantic happiness who says she was tricked into shopping in the wrong place, paying a large sum to a dating agency which, she says, made promises but failed to produce the goods.
REFERENCE TO A POPULAR BEAT COMBO
And then the same case on appeal
Mr Justice Julian Knowles.
“I don’t care too much for money/
Money can’t buy me love”
‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, Lennon-McCartney
SEND THEM TO THE TOWER
1. The parliamentarian Sir John Eliot met his end by way of microbe, rather than by the judicial axe. The cause of his demise, from consumption, in 1632 at the Tower of London was nonetheless oppression by the Crown.
His offence was that he spoke freely in Parliament. Sir John had found himself a member of Parliament at an unfortunate moment, of the sort which is sometimes the lot of people opposing forces larger than themselves. As in his case, it sometimes does not turn out well.
He had presented resolutions against illegal taxation, and other matters, which he read to the House. When interrogated, he asserted a right to rely on privilege against questioning what was said in Parliament. He was fined by the Lord Chief Justice for conspiracy to resist an order of the King and for refusing to accept the jurisdiction of the Court of King’s Bench, the predecessor of the court in which this judgment is given. (Sir John Eliot’s case, (1629) 3 St. Tr. 294, 3 Digest 326, 134.)