Breaking Energy Blog, Civil Rights, Elie Mystal, Legal Writing, Persuasive Writing, Raymond Ward, Song Lyrics
Peabody Energy Tries To Strike Song Lyrics From Complaint: Welcome To The Streisand Effect, by Elie Mystal, Breaking Energy Blog (with hat tip to Raymond Ward!)
Kudos to the lawyers who came up with this legal writing strategy. A couple sued Peabody Energy and alleged a civil rights violation. The police arrested the couple for holding up a banner during Peabody’s shareholder’s meeting.
The Complaint filed against Peabody Energy included lyrics to a song called “Paradise,” by John Prine. Who knows how the plaintiff’s counsel found it. The lyrics are a perfect choice.
The song is about coal mining exploitation by a company. You guessed it – the company’s name is Peabody. The lyrics about the big, bad coal company abusing the rights of common people strike the right chord.
Peabody’s reaction was understandable, but a costly mistake. Peabody filed a Motion to Strike. Strike what? The song lyrics – in a lawsuit about freedom of speech. To be kind, perhaps Peabody’s counsel did not think that one through.
The plaintiff’s response is classic and brilliant legal writing strategy. -CCE
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