Who says the law has to be boring?

Kent Walgren, attorney for the Utah Committee of Consumer Services, apparently can't think of any such mandate. In a brief filed Tuesday with the Utah Public Service Commission, Walgren cited passages from Dante, Hegel, Wordsworth, Charles Darwin and even Winston Churchill to augment his arguments opposing an incentive rate regulation plan submitted by US WEST Communications.Walgren also used a humorous approach in attempting to make some of his points. Following his citation of Dante to open the brief, Walgren writes, "After wandering for months through a half-foot of prefiled testimony and a foot of transcript from the sacrificed trees of the incentive forest, it is easy to forget how one came to be there in the first place."

In a section that Walgren titles "The Phantom of the Company's Opera," the attorney cites this passage from Wordsworth: "She was a phantom of delight when first she gleamed upon my sight; A lovely apparition, sent to be a moment's ornament." The passage is intended to illustrate Walgren's contention that the company has provided no evidence to substantiate claims that rates will be no higher under its incentive plan than they would have been under traditional regulation.

Walgren, in a section titled "The Fatal Futility of Fact," quotes Churchill as saying, "This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled facts." Walgren used this quote to argue that the company's plan is inconsistent with the state's Public Utilities Code.

And in a section titled "The Division's Grand Experiment" comes this from Darwin: "Physiological experiment on animals is justified for real investigation, but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity." In this section, Walgren argues that an experimental alternative incentive plan offered by the Utah Division of Public Utilities fares no better than the company's proposal and does not meet public expectations for just and reasonable rates.