Among the handful I've been fortunate to represent in this new capacity have been the families of Jason Daubert and Eric Schuller, the petitioners in the case that has mistakenly come to be called the "Dough-bear" case. My principal contribution to this Symposium is to report that the folks who brought this case to the Supreme Court pronounce their name "Dow-burt"--or, as some might say, exactly as it's spelled. The penchant for foreign fancies has caused many to show their expertise in French pronunciation at the expense of this all-American family.1.
The confusion was hardly mitigated during the Supreme Court argument. The first Justice to use the name in framing a question chose "dough-bear," and I faced the tricky tactical question of whether to spend my precious time (and all hope of kindly reception) correcting this judicial mispronunciation. I opted not to, and the rest of the Justices all then assumed, gallingly, that the Gallic was apropos.
Let me, then, use this occasion to make amends to my clients. The family's name is not dough-bear. Whether this will (or should) affect the way people pronounce the name of the Supreme Court's opinion is, of course, another matter. Do the litigants or the Court own title to the pronunciation of the name of a Court opinion?
1. If I appear to take too seriously the family's plight, the explanation may lie in a lifetime of hearing my own name pronounced, variously, as Gotts-man, Got-a-man, Gutterman, Gasman, and some variations less elegant still; Gutterball was the one that stuck longest in grade school.
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updated 13 November 2001