A Judge Who Doesn’t Like Eggs In The File, Or: Legal Writing À La Dr. Seuss

green eggs and ham.jpg

In 2007, a judge in Concord, New Hampshire demonstrated his poetic prowess after he received a hard-boiled egg in a mail from a prisoner who complained about his diet. As a kicker, he even referenced Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.

Clarke Jay Wolfe, 61, said that he’s an Orthodox Jew and insisted that he should have a kosher diet. So, as a form of protest, he put a hard-boiled egg together with a letter in a manila envelope and sent it to U. S. District Court Judge James Muirhead.

Wolfe, who’s charged with sexual assault and awaiting trial, explained in the letter that the prison officials refuse to feed him with appropriate food so he’s suing the State Department of Corrections for $10 million in damages. He then demanded the judge to issue a preliminary injunction to oblige the prison officials to provide him food that complied with “both his spiritual and medical needs.” Also, he wrote that he cannot stomach hard-boiled eggs.

This strange mail inspired Muirhead to write the following verse that would make Dr. Seuss proud:

I do not like eggs in the file.
I do not like them in any style.
I will not take them fried or boiled.
I will not take them poached or broiled.
I will not take them soft or scrambled,
Despite an argument well-rambled.
No fan I am of the egg at hand.
Destroy that egg! Today! Today!
Today I say!
Without delay!

He then ordered to dispose of the eggs.

“We’ve told him, if you don’t like the eggs, don’t eat them,” Assistant Attorney General Andrew Livernois said. “That’s not good enough for him.”

Livernois received an egg as well.


St. Cloud Times, September 22, 2007

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

17 thoughts on “A Judge Who Doesn’t Like Eggs In The File, Or: Legal Writing À La Dr. Seuss

  1. Wonderful! a judge with a sense of humor, and a creative protest by the complainant. Thanks for visiting me!
    Gail Park
    Making Life an Art


  2. He will not eat them on a plate, his chance for choices a little late
    He will not eat them in his cell, he doesn’t like them we can tell
    but really if doesn’t like the food in jail,
    maybe then he should have made his bail…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wolfe’s circumstance makes me wonder what accommodations, if any, guards and prison officials should make for prisoners. Those who commit crimes should lose the right to certain privileges, but does that include the right to continue observing the traditions of one’s religion? Although, considering the crime of which he was convicted, I have my doubts that Wolfe devoutly followed Judaism.
    As for Judge Muirhead, I applaud his whimsical response. Judges have to act so seriously, so it must have been fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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