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Copyright (c) 2001 Trustees of Boston University
Boston University Law Review


February, 2001

New York University Law Review

81 B.U.L. Rev. 1


Ronald A. Cass*, Honorable Stephen G. Breyer*


Joe Tauro's Honorary Degree from Brown says, "Preparation, commitment and dedication transformed the steps of [a] soccer goalie and baseball outfielder into footprints of immeasurable proportions." Now, I quibble with that English. Those footprints left on the sand are not going to be "immeasurable." They will be measurable. But I do not quibble with the basic point. The point is that they will be large. And there is a particular reason why they are going to be large - his career makes clear that Joe Tauro is not one person. He is several different people, and I want to recognize all of them.

First of all, he is Joe Tauro, the judge; the judge who believes that the law should make sense. Is that a radical proposition? Common sense. And sense in terms of the human objectives that any law seeks to achieve.

Common sense is at home in his opinions. I rather liked one that I found six years ago. Judge Tauro had to decide whether a trademark for a tavern called "The Black Dog" was infringed by a T-shirt with an image called "The Black Hog." He rose to that challenge with common sense. "A dog sniffs up," he said, "but a hog sniffs down." Well, that is right. "A dog is thin," he said, "but a hog is fat." That is right, too. "A dog is noble," he said, "but a pig is not noble." "There was no infringement."

His opinions embody that sort ...
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