11th Circuit Quotes Wilde (The Other One)!

I must confess something:

Up until a very short while ago, I had absolutely no idea who Olivia Wilde was.

Yes, it’s true.

I lived an entire life without having any idea who this person is.

Now, however, I can’t turn around without seeing or reading something about her — she’s on TV, in the movies, at magazine check-outs, on the back of my Muesli cereal box (I had to pay extra for that!) — literally everywhere.

Is it possible she is some kind of corporate case study — an entirely fabricated, computer-generated visual creation that represents a super-meta, high-level marketing experiment?

(Oops, as usual I’m thinking of an old movie — in this case that crappy Al Pacino film Simone.)

Anyways, I was happy to see the 11th Circuit cite the OTHER Wilde — Oscar, that is — in Judge Carnes’ dissent from a summary judgment affirmance involving the proper location of insurance coverage:

Summary judgment should be granted only when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. But it is often tempting for a district court judge to grant, and for appellate judges to affirm, summary judgment even when there is conflicting evidence on a material issue. The temptation is for the judge to take on the task of finding facts and enter judgment based on what the judge believes a jury should find. By affirming the grant of summary judgment in this case, the majority follows the maxim of Lord Henry Wotton in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray: “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”

I have to say I agree with Judge Carnes here — the majority gets rid of a central, disputed fact by dismissing it as “immaterial.” That’s a neat parlor trick but a bit of a stretch it seems to me. Looking at it the other way, is there any chance this case would have got reversed if the district court found that fact to be material and denied summary judgment?

I also like this opinion because of its copious discussion of the doctrine of lex loci contractus, which until recently I thought was some kind of exotic bedroom maneuver.

Oh well — what’s life without learning?