The “I Know It When I See It” Standard, Set in Comic Sans

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

—Justice Potter Stewart, Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964) (concurring).

Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.


  1. Dianne Weiss

    September 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I haven’t had a good laugh for today, and I laughed so hard at this post, people actually looked at me. And in my office, when people looks at you, it is never a good thing. Awesome!

  2. Louis

    September 14, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I think this expression about knowing one when you see one is equally applicable to spotting beautiful women lawyers.

  3. Derek

    September 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    It sounds like Justice Stewart is rather experienced with the kind of material embraced within a certain shorthand description. What a roundabout way of saying that something isn’t what it is being claimed to be. Very sans comical post.

  4. David K. Hiscock

    September 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Once again now, in dingbats…
    All respect – David K. Hiscock

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