Bill Murray's Golf Apparel Line and the Doobie Brothers Are in a Notably Hilarious Legal Tiff

Brady Langmann
·3 mins read
Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

From Esquire

Like sitting in highway traffic, building IKEA furniture, and watching reruns of The Office (sorry), legal documents are tedious and boring. Long, too! Who wants to read a hundred-page-long legal document that’s not exacerbating President Trump’s tax bills?

Here’s a back and forth you’ll want to read. And it’s between lawyers associated with two heavyweights: Bill Murray and the Doobie Brothers. Last week, Peter T. Paterno—who represents the Doobie Brothers—wrote a legal demand to Bill Murray, claiming that his golf apparel line, William Murray Golf, was using “Listen to the Music” in commercials without compensation. Now, when you come at the King, you don’t go LSAT jargon on him. You lob a couple bombs, call the apparel ugly, and make the thing funny as hell.

After writing, “It seems like the only person who uses our clients’ music without permission more than you do is Donald Trump,” Paterno went for Murray’s jugular. And what’s the only real way you can do that? Bring up Murray’s great regret: Garfield.

"This is the part where I’m supposed to cite the United States Copyright Act, excoriate you for not complying with some subparagraph that I’m too lazy to look up and threaten you with eternal damnation for doing so,” Paterno wrote. “But you already learned that with those Garfield movies. And you already know you can’t use music in ads without paying for it.”

Later in the week, Alexander Yoffe, an attorney who represents William Murray Golf, responded to Paterno. Instead of coming at the Doobie Brothers, Yoffe pretty much just respected Paterno’s hustle, even offering to send him a golf shirt. You can’t say too much to someone who went at Murray like that.

“We would also like to confirm that both our firm, and the good folks at William Murray Golf, are indeed fans of the Doobie Brothers’ music, which is why we appreciate your firm’s choice of ‘Takin’ It to the Streets,’ rather than to the courts, which are already overburdened 'Minute by Minute' with real problems," Yoffe wrote.

While it looks like the two parties have reached some sort of amicable and supremely chill conclusion here, Esquire has reached out to Paterno and Yoffe to see where things ended up.

"In the immortal words of Mr. Murray—the more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything,” Yoffe wrote. “So let’s pour one up and unwind with a listen of the recently-released Quadio box set and plan to cross paths at a Doobie Brothers’ 50th anniversary show in 2021 when some level of normalcy resumes."

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