North Grounds Softball League (NGSL) v. Parr
892 U.Va. 112 (2018)
Schmalzl, J., delivered the opinion of a unanimous Court. VanderMeulen, C. J., filed a concurring opinion.
Justice Schmalzl delivered the opinion of the Court.
“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the law students of UVA played copious amounts of softball in the fall to bond with classmates, find a good reason to crack open a cold one at 11:30 in the morning, and justify wearing bro tanks in the name of getting an even tan.” These facts, as alleged by plaintiffs, depict the scene of UVA Law as it traditionally has been since anyone can remember. After weeks and weeks of rain and mist and the worst weather Charlottesville has seen since any of us can remember, NGSL has brought suit against defendant, Stephen T. Parr aka the UVA Law god of weather, to enjoin Parr from abusing his power over the weather and, as they put it, “let us play some damn softball.” Further, NGSL seeks compensatory damages for all the members’1 bloodied hands from their grueling attempts to revive the fields after every rainfall, as well as punitive damages because, they allege, Parr has waited until the week of Fall Break to bring sunshine back to North Grounds. This Court, having felt its own frustration with the puddle that is Copeley Field, is ready to take action to save the UVA community from any more of this treachery.
In his defense, Parr raises several points. First, Parr claims that no damage has really been done because it’s “nice out now” and “the rain seems to have cleared out.” This Court, while receptive to this argument (likely due to the Justices’ good mood after the first beautiful weekend in C’ville since the end of August), must ultimately refute the notion that no damage has actually been done. Fall Break is this week and no one will be here to play on Friday. Parr’s response that “students can still play Monday through Thursday” is weak at best––while classes after 1L don’t matter, we all know that Friday is the only day softball captains can actually drag their gunner sectionmates out of the Law School and onto the diamond.2
Second, Parr claims he’s doing a service to UVA Law by taking down the alleged cult that is NGSL via destroying their only legitimate purpose, softball. While some members of the law community may appreciate Parr’s attempt at destruction, such as the plaintiffs in Non-Athletic 1Ls v. NGSL, 713 U.Va. 12 (2010) and UVA Law Women v. Sexist Men in the “Regular” League Who Think They’re More Athletic Based on the Sheer Fact that They Have a Pair 612 U.Va. 333 (2001), this Court feels NGSL does a good enough job destroying their own reputation without the help of any third party. Between the group’s takeover of the couches in front of ScoCo, the members’ annoyingly loud conversations through the hall about how many fireball shots they had last night, and wearing their jerseys to class, there’s no need for Parr to intervene. His reasonable necessity claim falls short in this Court’s eyes and, as such, is dismissed.
Third, Parr raises his most ridiculous defense, saying he should not face penalty because he “do[es]n’t actually control the weather” and that he’s “just the Senior Associate Dean for Administration.” This defense is so absurd that this Court refuses to allow any further discussion of it, and is offended that the defendant has engaged in such blatant dishonesty while under penalty of perjury. This Court will not allow such lies in the briefs and, as such, will not consider any other defenses raised by Parr in this action.
This Court orders the following: Parr is enjoined from allowing further heavy rainfall in Charlottesville this fall and must make Spring 2019 weather the best it’s been since the 3Ls arrived on Grounds. Further, Parr must take full responsibility for the fact that the 1Ls are extra-gunnery since they haven’t been able to use softball as an excuse to leave the library at all this semester. Finally, Parr must attend the 1L softball tournament and throw out the ceremonial first pitch to prove his contrition for attempting to destroy all things softball and NGSL. Refusal to comply with any of these orders will result in further sanctions and uncountable thumbs downs from ANG for the remainder of this school year.
It is so ordered.
Chief Justice VanderMeulen, concurring.
I join my colleague Justice Schmalzl’s judicious opinion in full. I write separately only to note that Stephen T. Parr’s denial that he controls the weather is particularly unbelievable given last year’s blessed snow day. Careful readers of their UVA email will recall that Parr’s email cancelling classes last March 21 came at 5:04 a.m., when the snow had only barely begun to fall. What did Parr know that the rest of us didn’t? Is he just risk-averse, like some kind of college administrator? Of course not. Parr’s control over the weather was manifestly evident that day, as benevolent sheets of snow relieved students, professors, and staff of the need to trudge to the Law School on a dreary Wednesday and enabled a glorious day of hot chocolate, sledding, and snowball fights. This Court merely prays that Parr’s benevolence underlying that act of pure grace would return, that the skies would clear, and that the ring of softball bats would once more sound on Copeley Field. If an act of penance is needed to inspire Parr’s goodwill, I am sure a willing volunteer (*cough* Dugas *cough*) can be found.
1 Or at least those not too hungover from last Thursday at Bilt.
2 Stop trying to make “SCOTUS Clerk” happen, Gretchen, it’s not going to happen.