Metroland: Yellin’ of Troy

Metroland Dec. 12 | 2013 - Rapp on This, p. 24

Yellin' of Troy

Well, well, well. Copyright issues rarely rise above blog chatter and me bitchin’ about things here. Rarely do they take center stage in a significant public forum. But lookie here! Troy represents!

The Night Before Christmas (originally titled A Visit From St. Nicholas) was first published anonymously in a Troy newspaper (The Sentinel). A New York City scholar named Clement Clark Moore claimed credit for writing it, then the descendants of a Hudson Valley farmer named Henry Livingston Jr. said, no, Livingston wrote it. The debate has raged on ever since.

Authorship will be determined, sort of, at a public jury trial at the Rensselaer County Courthouse next Wednesday (Dec. 18) at 6 PM. Representing Moore will be E. Stewart Jones, who, for as long as I’ve been a lawyer, has been the Dean of the Bar hereabouts. To hear Stu talk in a courtroom is the lawyerly equivalent of hearing Pavarotti sing at the Met. Representing Livingston will be lawyer, novelist, lovable rogue, parliamentarian, and singer-songwriter Jack Casey (I understand that he’s also quite the dancer!). Jack will be ably assisted by his daughter, Molly, who’s also a lawyer and who probably won’t be rocking that little black dress she wears whilst walking around to cool music on The Glenn Slingerland Situation, although hope does spring eternal. The trial will be held in The John T. Casey Ceremonial Court, named after Jack’s dad, which kind of gives Livingston the home field advantage.

The jury will be chosen from the spectators in the courtroom; the judge will be retired judge Bud Malone, music will be provided during jury deliberations by the great Luke Sax-o-Claus. This is gonna be good. Get there early. See you there!

Paul Rapp is a local intellectual property attorney who’s not “all ready for the holidays” and never will be.

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