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March 09, 2004

Journal Competition Notes

It is done! Spring Break has begun! In fact, it began yesterday afternoon around 6 p.m. In all, I spent a fairly concentrated three days reading eight cases, one snippet of congressional debate, two articles from law journals, a collection of four essays, a newspaper article, and an article from Reason magazine. It was about 200 pages in all, from which I produced a table of authorities and a 6-page "note." You might think I'm crazy, but all I want is you. Er, I mean... You might think I'm crazy, but I actually kind of had fun writing that note. I enjoyed it. In fact, it may have been the most enjoyable part of law school so far. Maybe. But it was definitely the best writing assignment so far. I'm still trying to figure out exactly why that is, but I know it has a lot to do with the fact that this assignment called for a type of creative critical thinking I haven't found a way to employ in my briefs and memos.

Anyway, the subject was generally violence in the media and the First Amendment. The subject case was Sanders v. Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. (PDF), a suit brought by the widow and stepchildren of Dave Sanders, the teacher killed by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris at Columbine High School in 1999. The plaintiffs argued that the makers and distributors of the movie "The Basketball Diaries" and several violent video games were negligent in making and distributing these materials, and were therefore liable for Sanders' death. A Colorado judge dismissed the claims on the defendants' 12(b)(6) motion, and argued that, like so many similar claims, these were barred by the First Amendment.

Doesn't that just sound fascinating? It was and it wasn't, but it was fun to argue that all these cases are silly because the media don't kill people, people kill people. Ok, that's not exactly what I argued, but sort of. It's hard to be very nuanced or original when you're limited to six pages and a set group of authorities. The point is, it's done, it was fun, and spring break has begun. I'm off to Tahiti. Have a nice week, everyone!

Note: ai is not going to Tahiti unless Tahiti is somewhere in Washington D.C. around 20th and J street. However, where ai goes in ai's mind is entirely up to him. So there.

Posted 07:06 AM | Comments (1) | law school

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