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April 05, 2006

Good Poetry, Other, Wigs, and Bb-days

Good Poetry: Thanks to the Scoplaw for a great reading Monday night.

Other: Blawg Wisdom just got its most recent monthly update. Please share any thoughts you may have on GPA in the law school application process.

Wigs: One of the things I detest most about my future as a lawyer is that I will have to wear suits far too frequently. However, today I am reminded that it could be much worse—I could have to wear a freaking wig.

Bb-days: Screaming Bean was three years old Monday. You should go wish Beanie a happy blog birthday. Maybe the positive energy will lead her to the perfect job!

Posted 07:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

Clearing the decks: Blonde Jokes, PDs, and statementizing

The semester is kicking into higher gear these days so I haven't had time to post. Instead, here's a list of things that have been occupying my snippets of free time recently.

  1. Just joking: Have you seen the best blonde joke ever?
  2. The more the merrier: Defending those People is a new blog by a public defender in southeast Florida.
  3. Bite your toungue! Advice for young public defenders: “please count to ten and inform your supervisor before you send a letter to the county sheriff like this one (pdf file).”
  4. Organizing the troops: Montana isn't he only state to recently make moves toward a statewide public defender system—NY may be moving that way, too.
  5. Organizing the troops II: The piece above links to this great editorial by David Feige explaining why public defender systems are preferable to relying on more ad-hoc assigned-counsel systems for representing indigent criminal defendants.
  6. Credit where it's due? In law school blogging, 3L Epiphany appears to be the first blawg for law school credit. “This semester I will demonstrate how a law student blog can be an ideal tool for 1) conducting significant research projects, 2) exhibiting marketable skills in an untraditional way, and 3) providing a beneficial service to the larger legal community.” Sounds ambitious, doesn't it? And it sounds like a number of law student blogs that already exist except that its author has been able to convince someone to give him credit for his playtime. Hmm.
  7. This would be funny if it weren't true: “It has come to my attention that some people are using the ”word“ STATEMENTIZE as though it were a real word.”
  8. Advice to legal interns: Even if you were “poor white trash and [were] once attracted to bling,” never challenge your supervisor's parking prowess. Never.
  9. I'm stoopid: What does this t-shirt mean?

Posted 02:25 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 17, 2005

Things You Should Know About

  1. GotVoice: Get your voicemail messages emailed to you as MP3s or listen to them online.
  2. TrioBike: A mountain bike, stroller, and people-mover all in one.
  3. WikiLaw: A wiki for legal reference. It's pretty empty right now, but there are a bunch of law students on break right now who I'm sure could do something about that!
  4. Your government is spying on you. But you probably knew that already.

Posted 08:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

DC LSIC: Orientation Notes, Day 3

  1. You often get more discovery in civil cases than in criminal cases where your client could go away for a long time—or be killed.
  2. Discovery is always “upon request.” If you don't ask, you don't get, and you can't whine.
  3. Never underestimate the laziness of the U.S. Attorney's office—not the individuals, but as an entity.
  4. Investigation is the best thing to do and can be the best part of your job. You find out about all the best restaurants that nobody knows about and you meet all kinds of great people you would never normally meet.
  5. You must investigate everything. For example, Johnny St. Valentine Brown was a very very bad man who helped put thousands of people away for a very long time, but no one knew how bad he was until someone finally investigated his background.
  6. When you read the rule, and you follow it, then you're good.
  7. The truth may not set you free but hopefully it will set your client free, and if it not, Rule 16 will. [I can't find the D.C. rule online, but it's based on the Federal rule.]
  8. Student attorneys are eager and sincere and full of energy. We come before the jaded court that has seen everything and we are like little puppies. The judge is not gonna want to shoot the puppy.
  9. C-10, the misdemeanor arraignment court, does not smell great. It's in the basement, is poorly lit, and the sound quality sucks. Court proceedings are supposed to be public, but in C-10 they are conducted in such a way that it is basically impossible for the public to hear what is happening.
  10. The D.C. Superior Court is a model of bureaucratic complication. There are at least half a dozen different clerk's offices scattered from basement to fourth floor throughout the building. Perhaps I will learn some rhyme or reason for it all in time.
  11. The U.S. Attorney working in C-10 has a team of support staff to assist him or her. There is an entire area of the courtoom given over to the U.S. A's files and staff. It continues to surprise me that prosecutors have offices and staff in courthouses, then they go to courtrooms where everyone pretends the proceedings are “objective” or in some way neutral.

Posted 06:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

DC LSIC Clinic: Orientation Notes, Day 1

I started orientation for the DC Law Students In Court clinic (criminal division) yesterday. Here are some of the things I learned:

  1. D.C. Superior court sees about 12,000 misdemeanor cases each year.
  2. The DSLIC clinic handles about 100 of those cases.
  3. U.S. Attorneys rotate in and out of the misdemeanor docket so often times the prosecutor in your case will know less about misdemeanor law than you do. It's also not uncommon to get a case dismissed for failure to prosecute.
  4. “You have to have a very negative outlook when you're doing this job—and be happy about it! Assume the worst, but hope for the best.”
  5. “C-10” is the arraignment court. Someone should write a book called “C-10.”
  6. “Supervised release” is the new public relations move of federal courts that D.C. has adopted to make people think we don't offer parole anymore. Supervised release is parole.
  7. When you first meet your client in C-10, focus on getting him/her out of jail. It is never better for your client to stay in jail. “If you want to torpedo your attorney/client relationship on the first day you meet your client in jail, try telling him 'I think it's best for you to stay in here for now.'”
  8. “Get used to the fact that judges are going to yell at you. It's expected. It's required. You get extra credit for that.” Sometimes judges yell at you because they're bored and the want to entertain themselves.
  9. Everything we're telling you about the law has this court culture component—what judges do, how the prosecutor works. “It's a human experience; it depends upon the people.”
  10. Be nice to everyone in the bureaucracy!

Posted 08:16 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 26, 2005

11 Gdunka Dunk

Hey, it's Sunday and it's been a little while since we had a list, so:

  1. Blawg Wisdom today features a new Weekly Law School Roundup filled with hot profs, cocktails, getting baked, and surviving needles—none of which are probably what you're thinking.
  2. imapd has quit her job and is getting married—congratulations! Her initial reflections on working as public defender are excellent:
    I will say, however, that since I stopped working there, I feel sure that a part of my identity has gone dormant. When people ask me what I do, I say, “I used to be a lawyer,” and as I say it, I feel a distinct sense of emptiness in not being able to talk about the law, my clients, or our society in the way that I used to--as someone who felt herself to be on the front-lines of the law. It is a rare and precious thing that a job can challenge you and change you on a daily basis in a way that makes you feel both alive and useful to the world. That is what being a public defender was to me.
    I hope she'll keep us all updated on where her great experiences lead her next.
  3. And speaking of being a public defender, how much would it suck to work in a courtroom where the DA is sleeping with the judge? As if judges didn't sympathize with DAs enough already! And how much would it suck to be the guy sitting on death row after being tried in that court? Justice? What?
  4. Hooray! Monica is back!
  5. Denise has a new car and it sounds awesome. I want one, too! More importantly, Denise seems to be recovering nicely (for the most part) from her recent life-changing surgery. Congratulations and best wishes, Denise!
  6. I've obviously been a little out of touch for a while, but I just noticed that DJ Sui G. has announced he's not going to law school this fall. (How many of us wish we could say that?) Maybe he'll be trying again next year, but for now, he's having a lot of fun with bikes. What is it about the single speed that makes it so cool these days? For the real cache, I hear you've got to go for the fixed gear. And if you check out a few of these pics, you can see why.
  7. Unblague is a blog (imagine that!) by a 3rd-year law student who has been blogging for almost a year now. Who knew?
  8. The Bitterness Strikes Back is another new-to-me law blawg. Although I'm not sure, I'm guessing its author is a rising 2L (U of MN, I believe) and she seems to be working in some capacity that lets her observe lots of criminal trials this summer, so that's cool. Her post titles rock.
  9. Ambivalent kicks imbroglio's butt in a GoogleFight.
  10. Ahem:
    If you work as an intern, whether in government or business, and you are interested in posing for Playboy, please send pictures...
    [Via Blawg Review #12] Two forms of ID required. Thanks!
  11. I ran 12 miles this morning. Thank goodness for Advil. The pain will decrease with every dollar you donate. ;-)

Posted 02:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 15, 2005

I'm Just, um, Catching Up

So what happens when you post to your blog nearly every day for a while and then suddenly stop for a few days with no good explanation? Apparently you get amusing email like this:

Listen here [expletive of endearment],

The only joy I get all week is to read your blog and natalie dee every morning and Gene Weingarten and Tom Sietsema's chats once a week. The rest of my time is spent giving birth—trying to learn things I didn't learn the first 1 billion times I tried, like con law. Don't give me excuses like that you are busy “helping people” and trying to make this world “better” by protecting people's “rights.” Just write thoughtful, insightful and clever shit every day. OK? And post it nice and early so I can read it during barbri.

Don't you just love it? I need more friends like this. Now that it's summer and I find myself living in a steam table.... oh, and since my days are a little longer than they are during the school year, well.... it's not that I don't want to post so much as there's just not always time. But hey, for you? I'll see what I can do. Thoughtful, insightful, and clever I'm not so sure about, but if all you're looking for is something more interesting than BarBri, that's a much smaller order and one I think I can fill. I'll try, anyway.

Ten things:

  1. Blawg Wisdom has a new request for advice and a new Books category, both waiting for your generous and inspired commentary and input.
  2. Dave! has picked up and run with the weekly law student blog roundup ball with a short but sweet snapshot of what's happening recently. Thanks to Dave!, this feature should be moving to Blawg Wisdom soon.
  3. Energy Spatula is back in D.C. and she's already causing trouble. Welcome to town, ES!
  4. Feeding my Mac obsession: Are Apple and Intel really going for broke against Microsoft?
  5. And my political obsession: People love to bash Howard Dean but how can you not love stuff like this: “My view is that Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party and that I don't comment on Fox News.”
  6. “Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody else is spouting, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.” --Noam Chomsky
  7. PledgeBank: Raise money for something you care about.
  8. ConnectviaBooks: Make friends with people who like the same books you like? Hmm.
  9. Chicago Crime: A freely browsable database of crimes reported in Chicago. What a cool use of Google maps.
  10. My thumb hurts.

Posted 06:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 10, 2005

Cumberland, Here We Come!

I'll be away for the weekend up in the wild mountains of Maryland. You didn't know Maryland had wild mountains? Me neither, but I'm going to attempt to find them, anyway. I'm into quixotic quests, you know?

A couple of notes for the road:

  1. Check out this cool new website for Rock Creek Writing. Looks good, doesn't it? Do you recognize the photo?
  2. John Siracusa is mourning the PowerPC.
  3. A majority of Americans have become smarter than not.
  4. Speaking of getting smarter, have you read the Downing Street Memo?
  5. No link, just an observation: On NPR this morning I heard an attorney who recently worked in the White House Counsel's office say that whatever the “error rate” at Guantanamo (the number of innocent people currently being held w/out charges or any judicial review), it's low and acceptable. I bet he'd sing a different song if he was the innocent one locked up w/no access to the outside world and no end in sight.

Posted 07:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 08, 2005

Today's List: Smoke This

  1. So you heard about the Supreme Court's take on medical marijuana. They said if federal law says no, states can't say different. The court's paranoia over the potential evils of marijuana would be laughable if it weren't so sad. In fact, I can't believe it myself, but I'm pretty convinced by what I've read of Thomas' dissent on this one. Admittedly, I've only read this from The Agitator, but, well, methinks the Court is going to regret this one.
  2. Would you like to listen to your favorite NPR programs via podcast? Tell NPR!
  3. This Rapid Afterimage thing is hours of fun.
  4. Did I mention Blawg Review #9 is up?
  5. Hey Kentucky Bar Association: fining lawyers for blogging is really stupid.

Posted 10:07 PM | TrackBack

June 06, 2005

More Apple, Cops with Guns, Torture, and more...

  1. The NY Times is corroborating the story that Apple is switching to Intel chips and it's not hedging by suggesting that this is just for something peripheral like Wi-Max. Can it really be true? Daring Fireball doesn't think so; he's betting a dollar that what's really going on is that Apple has hired Intel to produce PowerPC chips.
  2. Cop shoots his own leg while giving a gun safety demonstration to a classroom of kids and adults.
  3. What is torture?
    While the public expressed outrage at the photographic evidence of torture at Abu Ghraib, the writers and architects of U.S. torture policy have been largely forgiven. Many have been promoted. There is something about bare-bones legal analysis that immunizes—even sterilizes—the contents of the message.
    [link via Balkinization
  4. This is a few days old, but GW Law School has named Frederick M. Lawrence, Boston University professor of law, as its new dean. [link via JD2B]
  5. Have you played the Bush Brain Game?
  6. The Volokh Conspiracy is having a “VC Happy Hour” this Thursday in D.C. Is Eugene Volokh flying in from the west coast?
  7. Random lists like this really mess w/Google's ad bots—they can't figure out what to try to sell you.
  8. Fundable is a new way of trying to raise money online for some specific purpose. It looks pretty cool.
  9. GULC rising 2L Swanno has started a new group blawg currently called Postmodern Law. That could be interesting.

Posted 06:55 AM | TrackBack

June 03, 2005

Loans, Wisdom, Juris Novis, Free Donuts, and...

  1. Divine Angst has much more information about consolidating student loans.
  2. The Divine one has also begun posting (e.g.) at Blawg Wisdom. Watch that space for more contributions from a crack team of law students and pre-law students who have volunteered to help keep things up to date and more entertaining and useful for you. Thanks to all of them for their generous efforts!
  3. Thanks to Juris Novis for putting ai in its mix of law student blogs. If you're looking for a good, compact snapshot of what the “blawgosphere” is talking about on any given day, Juris Novis appears to be a pretty good place to start.
  4. Did you hear about the lawyer whose opening statement lasted 119 days? (via On Firm Ground)
  5. Have you seen the latest Blawg Review over at Crime and Federalism? It's packed full of too much goodness to list here, so check it out.
  6. I'm sure you've seen this, but I have to link to the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th centuries as compiled by a bunch of conservative free-marketers. All i have to say is that if the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union actually had put the Communist Manifesto into practice, the last 100 years would have been very different.
  7. Free Donuts in Dupont (and Alexandria, and Rockville) today! What could be better!?

Posted 07:31 AM | TrackBack

June 01, 2005

What My Inbox Tells Me, Among Other Things

  1. Sitting checking my email box I realize: Wow. My ebay account has been suspended so many times it's not even funny. I wonder why ebay keeps reinstating it if they're just going to suspend it again. Also, PayPal sure does need me to verify my account a lot -- like every day and sometimes twice or more the same day. Not a very tightly run ship, that PayPal.
  2. Yubbledew says we shouldn't listen to Amnesty International when it says America is abusing its prisoners—and especially when reports of abuse (see e.g.) come from “people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth” (emphasis mine). You tell 'em George! Now, should we listen to claims that something is absurd from someone who speaks in absurdities?
  3. disassemble |ˌdisəˈsembəl| verb [ trans. ] (often be disassembled) take (something) to pieces : the piston can be disassembled for transport.
  4. And speaking of language, do you speak Deadwood? (Caution: This link is absolutely not for those offended by, um, vulgar lingo.)
  5. Is it just me, or has Daypop died? No matter when I try to load the page my browser says it cannot connect to the server. That makes me sad.
  6. iMuffs: Cool. Now that portable music players are small enough to really fit in your pocket the most annoying thing is dealing with cords. No more cords, no more problems. Of course, if you have a shuffle or have something non-iPod, you could always just get a cord keeper.
  7. Did you know that while I was whiling away the hours redesigning this site (to no purpose, since RSS is killing design; the horror!), I actually should have been grading about 100 journal competitions? Funny, I didn't know that either. Oops. I need to hire someone to keep track of my to-do list. If you see a help-wanted ad like that soon on the DC Craiglist, that's me.
  8. Congratulations and best wishes to my Seester who has a job interview today. Knock 'em dead! (But not really, of course. More language games....)

Posted 06:53 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 24, 2005

When you don't have time to read or write you make lists

  1. These tape men are awesome.
  2. Blawg Review #7 is up and good. Mr. Richey did a great job frontin' for blawg students everywhere. Thanks JR!
  3. Blawg Review #6 also looked really good, although I still haven't been able to read most of it. Working 40 hrs/week and commuting an additional 10 has a way of seriously cutting down on surf-time.
  4. This Rojo thing looks like a possibly cool replacement for—sort of like on steroids. Anyone tried it?
  5. Legal Lies at Stay of Execution is a must-read for law students and future law students, although I haven't yet read it. It has made f/k/a unhappy, but really, I have no idea what they're talking about. Do you think I should read the things I link to?
  6. At first blush (and again, I haven't read much about it), this fillibuster deal seems like a big fat loser for Democrats because doesn't it basically mean they're going to have to confirm the nominees they previously blocked? Doesn't it give the Republicans almost everything they wanted (up/down votes on nominees) while giving Dems almost nothing? What am I missing?
  7. I learned a new word yesterday:
    asportation |ˌaspərˈtā sh ən| noun Law, rare the detachment, movement, or carrying away of property, considered an essential component of the crime of larceny.

    ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Latin asportation-, from asportare ‘carry away.’

    It strikes me as a rather odd word. Doesn't it seem like it should also be a verb? “My car was asportated” is rather simple, but as a noun I guess you'd have to say “Someone has committed asportation of my car.” Strange.

  8. I have a strong preference against links that open in new windows. I have a variety of options when I click a link—open in new window, new tab, or in the same window—but web authors who set their links with a “new window” target play a power game in which they attempt to manipulate the choice I make on that click. Don't these hatas know I will always win!?
  9. Posted 07:04 AM | Comments (11)

April 21, 2005

Study Breaks

Classes are over and studying has begun. Here are a few things I've noticed on my, um, “breaks”:

  • There's a rumor running 'round that the new Dean of GW Law is going to be Richard D. Freer. I have absolutely no idea how reliable this information may be, but speculation is always fun.
  • The second edition of Blawg Review is up at Likelihood of Confusion. There's an incredible amount of great content linked there, so if you have some free time, check it out. I'd especially like to follow up sometime soon on some of the great links in the “Law Blog Anschluss” section about whether blawgs are going to replace law reviews as the best sources of legal scholarship and commentary. De Novo is also currently running a symposium on the topic of law review... [link via Ditzy Genius]
  • Monica at Buzzwords continues to make Alaska sound like paradise with a post about Moose Drills at the daycare center, the difference between a snowmobile and a snow machine, and “life in fishing villages and on isolated north pacific islands.” Oh, and if you don't believe Alaska is paradise, she's also got visual proof.
  • Blawg Wisdom has been updated with a link to a great post from Divine Angst about applying to law school as a non-traditional student and link to a new review of Should You Really Be A Lawyer?
  • Every single word written by the Public Defender Law Clerk is fascinating. Maybe I'll even be able to use some of these anecdotes in my crimpro final. (Don't laugh. It's a great way to rationalize reading blogs when I'm supposed to be studying.) Thanks to Luminous Void for the link.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I will return to my slow and methodical attempt to master the finer points of incorporation (um, for at least the third time in law school), retroactivity, and the 4th-6th Amendments.

Posted 02:21 PM

April 03, 2005

Crimlaw Clicks

Some great reads recently around the crimlaw blogs:
  • Congratulations to Indiana Public Defender who just won a sweet “Not Guilty” verdict at trial after the jury deliberated only 19 minutes! “I guess they needed some time to pick a foreman and use the restroom before they set my client free.” You gotta love that.
  • Courtroom 302, a new book about one Cook County, IL, courtroom and the U.S. criminal justice system generally, sounds like a great read. The review at that link was written by David Feige, who apparently has a book of his own called Indefensible coming out soon. His blog also looks terrific.
  • I'm A PD's When your guts are thoroughly hated is a riveting and candid voire dire vignette about how one “bad seed” can spoil the whole jury pool and possible responses an attorney might have when she sees this beginning to happen. It includes the following speech I'm A PD gives her clients before going into trial:
    Sit up straight, pay attention, take notes (or pretend to), and look confident.  You're the ice man, got it? Stay cool, I got your back. And if I don't, you won't catch me getting upset, you see? I'm cool, you're cool.  Innocent people don't get phased by every little thing. There are going to be 24 eyes on you at all times. If anyone throws you a look, you let me know. If there's anyone in there that doesn't feel you, you let me know. They're going to assume you're guilty, don't let that throw you. Let them look at you. You got nothing to hide, and they'll see they're looking at an innocent man. Ice man, okay?
    That's awesome, and the rest of the post is a must-read for law students planning to do any criminal defense trial work. I'm A PD sounds like a great attorney; her aggressive interior covered by a cool cucumber exterior reminds me a little of the attorney I worked with last summer. She posted this a couple of weeks ago ... I hope the trial went well.
  • Mike at Crime and Federalism links to this post about how to talk to a lawyer and adds a couple of extra points specific to talking to a criminal defender. Mike is also collecting recommendations for quality books and resources dealing with cross examination.
  • Gideon at a Public Defender wonders why the legal community gives so many awards for pro bono work.
    No one ever gives awards to the Legal Aid lawyer, or the countless hard-working public defenders. So what is it about the big corporate attorney who provides pro bono representation that is so special?
    Gideon says the post has no point, but the point is perfectly clear to me. This is like the larger professional version of the legal education bias I've been discussing in the comments here—it's as if the whole practice of law is designed to default to BigLaw, and if you do anything else (including pro bono work if your a BigLawyer), it's like you're doing something “special.” And yet, if you do this “special” non-BigLaw full time, you're somehow not special. But then, perhaps this is nothing to get too bent out of shape about. While BigLawyers get plaques and mentions in the trade press for their pro bono efforts, I doubt those “awards” are as satisfying as the rewards public defenders and legal aid lawyers get every day from their full time service in the public interest. You think?
  • Monica at Buzzwords sounds like she's still having a great time interning at a public defender's office in Alaska. She's so busy doing a trial by herself that she doesn't really have time to write about all her experiences, but that pretty much speaks for itself. Wow. Go Monica!

Posted 01:00 PM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2005

And There Is So Much Goodness

  • Guess who is going to be a DC Law Student In Court next year! The interview was great, the job is likely to be even better. Yeah, the imbroglio is very happy today. ;-)
  • Blawg Wisdom today features a request for wisdom on 2L scheduling. Please head on over and throw your two cents into the comments to help out a fellow law student!
  • Blonde Justice recently asked for stories about bad prosecutors and sparked a lively debate, which Woman of the Law joined with gusto here and here. Awesome stuff. And also, congratulations to Woman of the Law on her job offer!
  • Alaskablawg has an excellent post for law students and young lawyers explaining why lawyers might consider a career in criminal defense. I've been saving this because I wanted to write a more lengthy post about it, but since I have no idea when I'll have time for that, I'll just let it speak for itself.
  • Properwinston says the peeps behind Law School Can Be Different (LSCBD) are “just mildly confused and highly ignorant about jurisprudential matters.” He shows he knows everything about everything in his more detailed critique of the LSCBD problem statement. My initial thought after reading around Properwinston a bit is that one problem with the concept of false consciousness is that it encourages people to think they have true consciousness. Another is that pompous condescension does little to advance thinking or debate on any issue. And also, I think there are some points worth more attention buried in all that self-righteousness.
  • On the subject of LSCBD, Legal Sanity offers some helpful links and thoughts.
  • Objective Justice is a new group blawg “dedicated to the objective pursuit of justice in law, politics, economics, and culture.” I have no idea what that means, but it may have something to do w/the quote from Ayn Rand at the bottom of the page. The site also claims it wants “to create a resource for law students and the public to analyze issues that are socially devisive” and that it “is friendly to those of any ideology,” so you may want to check it out.
  • Heidi has a good post and lively discussion of the Schaivo situation, including a link to this great timeline of important developments in the case.
  • Um, John Edwards is podcasting. Does this mean I can't do it anymore?

Posted 08:13 AM | Comments (5)

March 12, 2005

Break Over

After a week of blissfully doing just about nothing (shh! don't tell!), spring break is effectively over and I now have 1.5 days to do all the work I should have done in the past week. The past two nights I've been awakened in the early morning with a thought of something I need to do and a rush of adrenaline from the fear that I won't have time to get it done. Anxiety is lovely. Before I put my nose to the grindstone, a couple of things:
  • Congratulations to my friend Jose, who is getting married!
  • Congratulations to Monica of Buzzwords, who has just started a new internship at a public defender's office in Alaska. It sounds sublime.
  • Best wishes to Energy Spatula, who, thanks to the beautiful quarter system, is currently in the midst of finals. I don't envy her, and yet I do; I'm ready for finals now. In my mind, this semester should be so over, but I have something like five weeks to go...
  • Check out Coalition for Darfur, where “A Southern conservative and a Northern liberal have teamed up to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan and money for a worthy organization doing vital work there: Save the Children.”
  • On a lighter and yet also somewhat metaphysical note, see things that happened on a recent day for second person singular. That sounds like a full, but really rather fun day. I think I need to get out more. No. I know I need to get out more.
CrimPro, here I come....

Posted 11:10 AM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2005

Threads worth watching:

Lots of discussion going on at:

Posted 05:29 PM | Comments (1)

October 20, 2004

aliunde, world on fire...

One: Aliunde would be a great name for a blog. It means “from another source, from elsewhere; from outside.” Example in context: “[Co-conspirators' statements are admissible over the objection of an alleged co-conspirator, who was not present when they were made, only if there is proof aliunde that he is connected with the conspiracy. . . . Otherwise, hearsay would lift itself by iits own bootstraps to the level of competent evidence.” Glasser v. United States, 315 U.S. 60 at 74-75 (1942). Because really, everything you see here is aliunde. By the way, the above is not good law. Hearsay evidence is allowed to bootstrap itself to competence at the discretion of the trial judge. Bourjaily v. U.S., 483 U.S. 171. Two: Sarah McLachlan's new song, “World On Fire,” is great. The video is also awesome—it describes how she spent $150,000 on social justice instead of wasting it on a stupid video. Think how much better the world would be if every penny put into music videos went to social justice efforts! Oh, wait, then there would be no more music videos, but this would be a problem how? Three: What does Sinclair Broadcasting think it's doing? You may be hearing reports that it has agreed not to show the anti-Kerry propaganda film it was going to show. Maybe, but don't believe the hype. The company has lost $140 million in market value already over this shenanigan; why not just force it into bankruptcy and take back those airwaves? Maybe it's time for ACT or MoveOn to raise funds to buy some tv stations. ;-) Four: Greens for Impact is trying to get Nader supporters to vote for Kerry. I keep dreaming that Nader's going to call a press conference and humbly ask all his supporters to vote for Kerry. The nation's respect for him would skyrocket, and it might be just what Kerry needs to put him over the top. What can I say? I dream a lot. Five: I know nothing about baseball, but I really really want the BoSox to win game 7 tonight. The Yankees seem like Bush, Microsoft and all other anti-democratic bullies. Boston is the underdog, the team fighting for the little person, the Kerry, the Apple Computer here. Ok, like I said, I know nothing about baseball so what am I talking about? I just want Boston to win.

Posted 08:22 AM | Comments (4)

October 19, 2004

Is West A Thief? PKD, and...

One: Did you know that West started its online database of caselaw (Westlaw) by legally stealing a database created by the Department of Justice? According to this article, that's true. Does anyone know anything more about this? I can't believe there were no lawsuits related to this, but I haven't found any so far... UPDATE: Ok, I know it's not stealing if it was legal, and in fact the story almost suggests that the DOJ's failure to contract on terms that would have allowed it to retain rights to the work done by West was such a convenient and egregious “mistake” as to be almost intentional. This was the Reagan DOJ; deregulation and privatization were the tenets it lived by. So maybe the DOJ gave the database to West. In my book that doesn't decrease the injustice.... Two: I wish I had time to read Arts & Letters Daily more often. Three: Speaking of time, I wish I had time to tell you more about the Peggy Browning Fund's National Law Students Workers' Rights Conference, which I attended last Saturday. It was awesome, and I highly recommend it for any law student or future law student for next year. I took lots of notes and I hope to post more about it soon. For now I can say that I'm more convinced than ever that being a labor lawyer would be an awesome job. The trouble is, getting the job.... Four: Speaking of labor law, check out American Rights at Work, a new organization designed to offset the multi-million dollar anti-worker, corporate-sponsored National Right to Work Foundation and Committee. (If you didn't know it already, “right to work” is Orwellian doublespeak for “rights of employers to screw their workers.” Or, as the Disinfopedia puts it, “The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is an organization that attacks workers organizations through the US court system.” Five: Some comments from Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on John Stewart's appearance on their show last week. It's like they didn't hear a thing Stewart said. Six: Here's a comment about a Phillip K. Dick essay I haven't read but will when I find the time. I recently read Dick's short story “Autofac”—great little dystopian scenario. A lot of people think he's a hack, and in many ways he is, but if I could do what he did, I could be fairly happy that way... (Dick brought us the stories behind Blade Runner, The Running Man, Total Recall, Minority Report, and more that are not coming to mind at the moment.) Seven: This electoral college prediction is really a beautiful thing: Kerry 284, Bush 247. The pro-Bush interpretation of the polls is different: Bush 274, Kerry 264. This seemingly less partisan prediction says Bush's probability of winning has fallen below 50% (but is trending a bit up) and predicts an electoral college count of: Bush 269.1 to Kerry 268.9. Both candidates are currently trying to scare the bejeezus out of voters. Kerry's try to scare old people by saying that Bush is going to privatize Social Security (which is exactly what Bush is saying, he just doesn't use the word “privatize”); Bush is trying to scare everyone by saying Kerry is weak and won't fight terrorism. I guess people will have to decide which one they think is more credible.

Posted 08:14 AM

October 11, 2004

Dred, Electoral College, Alternatees...

One: Could it be that Bush's mention of the Dred Scott decision in last Friday's debate was some coded red meat for the anti-abortion crowd? Wow. That's some serious rhetoric going on. More here on judicial nominations as an election issue. The ACS Blog has also picked this up, as did Fables of the Reconstruction, and now Salon, too. Two: According to a U of Minnesota economist, Bush currently has a 55% chance of winning the electoral college. The page is constantly updated, so it's a good resource to continue checking as the election closes in. Three: Today is Columbus Day. While celebrating the “discovery” of America seems a little perverse, until 5 p.m. last night, I still thought we had the day off from school today. Woops! I was so wrong. Good thing I didn't do a single bit of homework all weekend since I was planning to do it all today on my day off. Yeah, good thing. Four: Shopping for a law student or law-type person? Check out Law School Stuff, featuring shirts w/slogans like “gunner,” “working hard to be average,” and my personal favorite, “Public Interest Law: Twice the schooling, half the pay.” Now if we could just get them to use sweat-free shirts... Five: Speaking of sweat-free shirts, an Alternatee would make a great gift for the progressive politico on your gift list this season. Try the Bar Code Prison or the U.S. World Domination Tour to make some serious statements. All Alternatees are printed on gear from American Apparel, which means means it's sweat-free, but unfortunately not union-made. I disagree with their choice to shun unions, but the fact that they treat their workers so well makes up for that somewhat. Six: I seem to have become a sort of gunner pariah in my labor law class, mostly b/c the law we're learning could be more appropriately termed “anti-labor law.” It all makes me so mad I just can't keep my hand down, and then when I ask a question Prof. Labor Law goes off on a lengthy answer that's generally fascinating but doesn't really respond to my question and tends (I think) to bore most everyone else who's not as fanatical as I am about the subject. To my classmates: I'm sorry. I don't mean to do it. I will try to keep my mouth shut. I promise.

Posted 10:33 AM | Comments (1)

October 04, 2004

Over the Weekend...

New phones: After 19 months with Sprint, L. and I have switched to Verizon phones. We traveled all the way to Alexandria (so far!) to find the nearest Verizon store and ended up with the LG VX600 picture phone. It's pretty low on geek-cool factor, but I discovered it has an active Yahoo Group for geeks who like to play with their phones. It's also compatible w/an open source program called BitPim, which is supposed to allow you to back up your contacts and pics and text messages, and to upload your own ringtones. I might invest in a data cable to see if it works, because I really need more toys to play with so that I get even less work done. Judging the ADR competition: I “judged” two rounds of the Alternative Dispute Resolution competition Saturday, which I wrote a little more about here. Protesting: The IMF and World Bank protests were this past weekend, but they haven't been a very big deal, it seems. The police have made far bigger problems than the protesters ever could have, but the protesters have made some important statements, nonetheless. Smoke Marijuana, Die in Jail: This is one of the saddest stories of overzealous criminal prosecution and the dangers of our current drug laws that I've seen in a long time. How could this judge have possibly felt that a jail sentence of any length was appropriate punishment for a quadriplegic found in a stopped vehicle—even if there was a loaded gun in the car? Yeah, someone was breaking the law w/that car and gun, but it sure as hell wasn't Jonathan Magbie. So, so, sad. More, including some crazy comments, from TalkLeft.

Posted 10:21 AM | Comments (6)

October 03, 2004


What happens when a blogger gets a little too busy is lists start seeming really attractive. Lists make it easy to jump from topic to topic w/out transitions or excuses or explanations. They also make possible nice and unexpected juxtapositions of seemingly disparate topics. For example, there's often a great deal to read between the lines of the brilliant Harper's Index, the list of all lists. The trouble with lists on a blog with categories is that they're hard to categorize. Since you can cover so many topics, should you place a list-post in all the categories it touches, or in no category, or somewhere else? I'm busy. I'm thinking in lists. I'm going to start a list category. We'll see how it works.

Posted 11:25 AM

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