The Problem With the Sharknado Reference

Judge Mills throws in a reference to Sharknado in Faulkner v. Woody Allen. (h/t @ericgoldman) The problem with the reference is this: five years from now, no one will know or recall what Sharknado was. Even today, many people reading the opinion won't know what Sharknado is. So they will have to look it up. On the internet. Forcing people to look up stuff online when reading judicial opinions--whether it's little known cultural references or obscure words--is never a good call. It's distracting, often seen as gratuitous, and many people prefer to not read opinions while they are connected to a device. 

On the other hand, the #sharknado reference does show that judges, or at least their law clerks, are far less out of touch with things like social media than people give them credit for being. Kudos to them for this I suppose. Being the "first opinion to reference Sharknado" is a great way to get people talking about your opinion .. on Twitter!
 
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