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OFF BEAT: Judge writes insurance fraud opinion in rhyme


A Pennsylvania Supreme Court jurist known for issuing poetic justice has handed down a six-page ruling in an insurance fraud case written entirely in rhyme.

Released Thursday, the opinion was on behalf of the 4-2 majority in a case determining whether a forged check purporting to be from Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. constituted insurance fraud.

“Sentenced on the other crimes, he surely won't go free, but we find he can't be guilty of this final felony," Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin wrote, according to the Associated Press.

"Convictions for the forgery and theft are approbated—the sentence for insurance fraud, however, is vacated. The case must be remanded for resentencing, we find, so the trial judge may impose the result he originally had in mind."

The ruling is not the first time that Justice Eakin has put his decision into verse. He reportedly first gained fame as the “rhyming judge” in the late 1990s while he was an appellate court judge.

Though former state Supreme Court justices have shown concern that his writing style could reflect poorly on the serious matters of the court, the voters elected Justice Eakin to an another 10-year term in November.

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