Beverly Pattishall is a name that has secondary meaning for law students, for veteran trial lawyers—especially those seeking a more courteous and collegial bar—and for bar associations at the local, the national, and indeed the international level. It is fitting that a lecture series be dedicated to a quintessential “scholar and gentleman.” The Shakespeare Canon of Statutory Construction, like all of Shakespeare’s plays, contains five parts: Read the statute; read the entire statute; read the statute in its contemporary context; if necessary, consult the legislative history; and, finally, use your common sense. Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act has required judges to write a number of opinions that rely much more heavily on common sense than on the text of that statute.
John Paul Stevens, Section 43(A) of the Shakespeare Canon of Statutory Construction: The Beverly W. Pattishall Inaugural Lecture in Trademark Law, 1 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 179 (2002)