Roger writing the LAWmag
Jul 2011

Happier Than a Tick on a Fat Dog, Busier Than a One-Legged Cat in a Sandbox

Publishing a new law report is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And Americans known how to do law reports, having grabbed up many letters of the alphabet just for themselves: A. and P. come to mind.

The law report USFJDO was launched on July 16, 2011 (Unusual, Strange & Funny Judicial Decisions and Opinions - pronounced "U-S-Faa-Jaa-Dio"). The publisher dreaded that the well for material would be old, cranky and aged. Who knew that so soon after USFJDO was out of the gate, the law report would assign an official, permanent and perpetual law report legal citation to a recent case: 2011 USFJDO 1 (click here to go to the actual USFJDO law reports).

You see, there is a God.

He cometh in the name of the good judge Martin J. Sheehan (no, not the actor "Sheen", son of you-know-who).

The judge.

Martin J. SheehanCovington, Kentucky, Kenton Circuit Judge Martin J. Sheehan of 230 Madison Avenue if you live nearby and might be able to thank him for us.

The legal world in Kentucky keep their secrets to themselves, if not their embarrassments. Until last week, His Lordship's big claim to fame was his father, former state governor Gus Sheehan. Sheehan Junior is a graduate of P. Chase College of Law (1983), where he is also an adjunct professor. A Democrat, Sheehan was a politician in the Kentucky House of Representatives for five years and then practised law for ten years. In 1994, he ran for district court, won a seat on the bench and has never looked back (that's how judges are made in the US of A).

According to a flattering article written by a local law firm:

"Judge Sheehan came to the Circuit Court bench after nine years of private practice and fourteen years on the Kenton District Court bench."

Perhaps a more objective source: an October 2007 editorial in the Kentucky Post noted his "intellectual independence".

Sheehan extractThat's why the entire legal world was minding their own business, worried about the national debt when, boom! - the good Justice Sheehan surprised everybody on July 19, 2011, the date the registrar of the Kenton Circuit Court of Kentucky issued his reasons for judgment in Kissel v Schwartz & Maines:


The herein matter having been scheduled for a trial by jury commencing July 13, 2011, and numerous pre-trial motions having yet to be decided and remaining under submission;

And the parties having informed the Court that the herein matter has been settled amicably (the Court uses the word amicably loosely) and that there is no need for a Court ruling on the remaining motions and also that there is no need for a trial;

And such news of an amicable settlement having made this Court happier than a tick on a fat dog because it is otherwise busier than a one legged cat in a sand box and, quite frankly, would have rather jumped naked off of a twelve foot step ladder into a five gallon bucket of porcupines than have presided over a two week trial of the herein dispute, a trial which, no doubt, would have made the jury more confused than a hungry baby in a topless bar and made the parties and their attorneys madder than mosquitoes in a mannequin factory;


1. The jury trial scheduled herein for July 13, 2011 is hereby CANCELLED.


2. Any and all pending motions will remain under submission pending the filing of an Agreed Judgment, Agreed Entry of Dismissal, or other pleadings consistent with the parties' settlement.

3. The copies of various correspondence submitted for in·camera review by the Defendant shall be sealed by the Clerk until further orders of the Court.

4. The Clerk shall engage the services of a structural engineer to ascertain if the return of this file to the Clerk's office will exceed the maximum structural load of the floors of said office.

Dated this 19 day of July, 2011.

Kenton Circuit Judge

U-S-Faa-Jaa-Dio, My Lord!



  • Barbara Kissel v Schwartz & Maines & Ruby Co., LPA, 2011 USFJDO 1, also known as Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kenton Circuit Court, First Division, Case No. 09-CI-00165
  • McMurty, Todd, 90 Minutes with Judge Martin J. Sheehan, DBL Law, undated [retrieved from the Internet on July 29, 2011]

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  • Happier Than a Tick on a Fat Dog, Busier Than a One-Legged Cat in a Sandbox