| Law Blog Lawyer of the Day: Metz Lewis’s Ross Giorgianni |
(15.02.07 - 22:31) Finding a legal angle in last night’s Grammys proved challenging. After all, the Red Hot Chili Peppers don’t have law degrees. But when we heard that Bob Dylan won two awards, we had a way in.
As we reported last fall in “The Freewheelin’ and Oft-Cited Bob Dylan,” the song lyrics of His Bobness are by far the most frequently cited in legal journals and judicial opinions, according to this law review article by Oklahoma University City School of Law professor Alex Long. Dylan placed first with 160 citations, followed by the Beatles (74) and Bruce (69).
Just what is it with Dylan and lawyers? Recently, Slate invited readers to view a new Bob Dylan video and enter a contest. The video, for the song “Thunder on the Mountain,” is a compendium of clips shot over the many decades of Dylan’s career; Slate asked readers to identify the years in which each of 20 clips was shot. The prize? A Dylan-signed guitar.
Only two contestants identifed the years of all 20 clips, and we’re pleased to tell you that both of them are lawyers! Ross Giorgianni of Metz Lewis in Pittsburgh (pictured, above right) and David Zornow of Skadden Arps in New York. The Law Blog already noted Zornow’s obsession with Dylan in a post this past summer.
So did Slate enlist Pete Townshend to split the six-string in half? Nope. A tiebreaker asked each contestant to submit an alternate verse to “Thunder on the Mountain,” a new song on Dylan’s latest album. Here was Giorgianni’s winning verse, which according to the judges echoed Dylan’s trademark “inscrutability followed up by out-of-the-blue populism”:
slap it on the double, and spank it for a time
take whatever you can get, you took all of mine
i got a big bag of sugar, i can hide-out inside the walls
a lot of people don’t care about anything at all
The Law Blog caught up with the champ, an eighth-year litigation associate at Metz Lewis. Giorigianni says he got hooked on Dylan in high school after picking up one of Dylan’s greatest hits albums and has seen him live about 20 times. We asked him why he thought Dylan had such appeal to members of the legal profession.
“Dylan and lawyers do a lot of our work with the same set of tools, language and words,” wrote Gioriganni in an email. “Bob Dylan is the reigning heavyweight champion of using the English language, selecting words based not only on what they mean, but how they sound, what images they invoke, what secondary meanings they may have.”
We also caught up with Zornow, who expressed disappointed over his second-place finish. But he told us that a Dylan song lyric had been helping him through this difficult time. Don’t forget, he wrote in an email, “the loser now will be later to win.”
Posted by Peter Lattman