Washington, D.C. – The nation’s highest court has finally handed down a verdict in the spectacular Deere v. Moore case. The dispute centers around which type of contractor – landscapers or painters – has the right to install Christmas lights on the nation’s homes.
This high-voltage lawsuit began 5 years ago in suburban Virginia when Fine-N-Dandy Landscaping employees were installing icicle-lights on a two-story colonial brick home outside Alexandria. Halfway through the project, they saw estimators from Fine Coats Painting talking with the neighbors, gesturing towards the roofline.
In the legal battle that ensued, it was the landscapers that fired the first shot by suing. Soon, the Deere v. Moore case lit up the nation, each side vying for the right to profit from the beauty and harmony of Christmas. A series of challenges and appeals strung out the case until it ended up before the Supreme Court.
The case came down to the wire: oral arguments quickly became emotional, and impassioned pleas often left listeners watery-eyed. Court transcripts read as follows:
Jack Deere: Look, we basically invented this way to make an off-season living. We were doing it first! You guys still have interior painting in the winter. What do you want us to do; mow carpets? Trim furniture?!
Benny Moore: We can do a way better job. We’ve got all the ladders, the safety programs. How do you even reach the eaves; hold up the lights on the end of a rake?!
Deere: You guys don’t know anything about protecting the landscape. You can’t even step on a property without destroying shrubs or leaving paint drips on greenery.
At this point the court demanded a recess, as two Justices appeared to be on the brink of a fistfight.
After lengthy deliberations, the Supreme Court gave its verdict to a packed and breathless courtroom: joint custody. Landscapers get all lighted tree and shrubbery contracts, as well as first-story windows and wreaths. Painting contractors get all house lights hanging from a height of greater than 8 feet.
At a post-verdict press conference, tearful representatives of both parties urged their supporters across the nation to seek reconciliation.