Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Pinero v. Verdini, 295 F. Supp. 2d 184 (D. Mass. 2003)

In the old days, by which I mean before sometime around 2010, law offices regularly included walls covered with shelves with case reporters like this one, which is volume 295 of the second series of the Federal Supplement (F. Supp. 2d, as lawyers know it).

There are 999 volumes in the first series, and a few years ago the second series closed out with 999 volumes as well, so now there's a third series (at volume 151 so far). And we're in the third series of the Federal Reporter, and beyond those there are case reporters for the Supreme Court, state courts, and we haven't even gotten out of the United States yet. These days, the print volumes are becoming more and more rare, and lots of law libraries are shedding their old collections, which has created an easy market to acquire used volumes for cheap. The list price for a new copy of the latest volume of F. Supp. 3d is over $600. I bought the above volume, used, on eBay in 2012 for $10, shipping included.

I picked this volume essentially at random. Actually, the seller picked it from a stock of used Federal Supplement volumes. (I did let the seller know that I preferred a fatter volume, if possible.) I don't know where this particular copy of 295 F. Supp. 2d came from; the pages are stamped with a reference to the "KMCC" library, but I don't know what that stands for.

I got this volume for a project, but it took me over four years to get around to it. If you flip through the volume, you eventually get to the case In re Lupron® Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, a 2003 district court decision out of the District of Massachusetts, which starts on page 148. It's a fairly long decision, going on for 36 pages.

It's followed by Pinero v. Verdinianother 2003 decision from a Massachusetts district court. It was decided the same day as the prior case, but by a different judge. But in my volume, it's a bit hard to read the case now.

To accomplish this transformation, I sliced through most of the pages of the book, using a flask as a guide.

It started out well enough, though it was slow going.

After a while, I drilled pilot holes along the edge of the emerging cavity, and then used a blade to connect the dots, so to speak. The drilling was non-ideal, as it created bulges in the pages at the edge of the holes. As I cut through the pages, I ran across this odd image. No idea what this case was about.

The bulges from the pilot holes turned out not to matter much, because I ended up having to redo the cutting of the cavity. As I cut down, my cuts were not perfectly vertical, and by the end my flask didn't fit in the space I had cut out. So I went back through and cut again, and this time I cut outside the drill holes, so the bulges all got removed. The second time through, I cut a quarter inch or so deep at a time, and then flipped pages and tried again. (Based on an online guide I had found for creating a hidden compartment in a book, I had actually glued the sides of the pages together before I started this, but they came apart easily enough.)

Once I had a cavity sufficient to hide the flask, I wrapped the first chunk of pages in plastic wrap (leaving one uncut page outside the wrap), covered the inside of the cavity and the top of page 187 (the first page I had cut) with dilute school glue (1 part glue, 1 part water) using a paint brush, and then shut the book.

I clamped the book lightly, brushed the dilute glue on the outside edges of the pages, and let everything dry for an hour or so. (As noted above, I had actually done this before, but in retrospect it would have been better to have waited until this point. Also, clamping only loosely is important. You want to keep the pages from expanding from the water in the glue, but if you clamp too hard the glue has a hard time penetrating. The goal is to have the pages surrounding the cavity turn into a solid mass.)

After that, I removed the clamps and the plastic wrap, and cut through the glued page that covered the cavity. (I went on to invert the wrapping and glue the first 184 pages together, but later decided it was better to have those pages loose, so went through the laborious process of undoing the edge gluing of the first 184 pages.)

The case meant nothing to me before, but Pinero v. Verdini, 295 F. Supp. 2d 184 (D. Mass. 2003), now holds a special place in my heart (or should I say my liver).

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