Thursday, September 30, 2004

Battle of O.K. Berkeley

Definitions of Irony:

1) Leaving Criminal Law to have Lunch at Downtown Berkeley.

2) Sarcastic newsletter joking about observing actual crime in Berkeley as part of class

3) Seeing two BPD police officers with weapons drawn entering Union Bank of CA as I'm walking by.

4) Growing up in North Hollywood, CA. Near Archwood Street. (see significance here

5) Telling friend walking with me about BofA shootout

6) Seeing shootout on Hist Channel 3 hours later on their Tech Files program.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

What Would Alcibiades Do?

The LA Times had the following commentary on Sept. 23. In brief it compares the actions of the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War to our conduct of the Iraq War, specifically she discusses the Sicilian Expedition.

I just want to note that I will write something more substantive on this in the days to come, but suffice it to say, out of context historical analogies can be carried too far by either side. Some of the readers' comments relfect this. Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What Would Hamlet Do?

If he was an indebted Stanford Law grad? I only ask because it sounds like you're fucked one way or least that's what Wilson claims.

This question was of course at the heart of A Debtor to Law (School) Pt. 1 and A Debtor to Law (School) Pt. 2.

On a more serious note, the issue of rising legal education costs, espeically here in California with the increases instituted by the University of California for its professional degree programs, is of serious concern. I briefly touched on this below and pointed to Phil Carter for his analysis on the matter following a surprising legal victory by current 3L's at the UC law schools. I'm surprised that there hasn't been more discussion of this in the blogsphere. I suppose with people already beginning outlining, interviewing for jobs, or just going to the beach (3L's), there isn't much time to consider the practical implications of a rising cost of legal education. The alleged ho' has shed new light to the problem...not sure if it's the kind of light (UV?) that's needed.


Those Enterprising Stanford Law Students, Part II

A nice follow-up article from the Oakland Trib in the case of the Stanford Law grad-cum-alleged prostitute (see this earlier post for original story): Her classmates think she's swell. And they view her predicament as just a part of a larger problem: the fact that law students at top-10 schools almost universally enter "biglaw" firms to pay off their hefty law school loans. A fair point, though the logical progression from point A (alleged prostitution) to point B (the need for better loan forgiveness programs) strikes me as possibly a bit contorted.

But let's look at what these bright young lawyers actually say:
Monique Bordeaux Wilson, a 2002 Stanford Law graduate... said she and other alumni "feel there's an underlying issue here that's not being addressed." Students graduating from Stanford and other prestigious -- and expensive -- law schools often enter the professional world hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, she said, "in a position where we are indentured servants."
Now that is just rich. The fact that a Stanford grad apparently (still allegedly, at this point, I emphasize) turned to prostitution is not the real interesting story here. The media is missing the big story. Fortunately, we have Ms. Wilson to direct our attention to the real, big, important underlying issue: the "indentured servitude" of young lawyers earning, umm, let's guesstimate around 150 Gs per year. There are so many things wrong with Wilson's, for lack of a better word, reasoning, I don't even want to address the issue in detail. But if you'd like a real look at indentured servitude as it has been historically practiced in this country, check out this site. Based on the quotation below, and whatever knowledge you have of 21st century corporate employment practices, you can draw your conclusion as to whether Wilson's "indentured servant" analogy works.
...Indentured servitude was harsher and more restrictive than apprenticeship or service in husbandry. It was not, however, a form of slavery. Servants entered into their labor contracts voluntarily, and they retained some legal rights: they could bring suit and testify, own property, and turn to colonial courts for protection against abusive masters. On the other hand, they could not marry without their master's consent, and they had little control over the terms or conditions of their labor and living standards, although custom and local law did set limits and provide for certain minimums. Terms varied substantially, from four years for skilled adults to a decade or more for unskilled minors. And all could find their terms extended if they ran away or became pregnant. Servants could be sold without their consent, a necessity given the distance and terms involved. To sell an English youth "like a damn'd slave "at first shocked some contemporaries, but it was essential to the success of the indenture system.

Showing she's not content to quit while she's ahead, undeterred by the normal guides of logic or legality, Wilson continued to spin the alleged prostitution thing:

"Cristina decided she was going to do something else with her God-given talents, and I believe the vast majority of our classmates would tell her, 'More power to you,'" Wilson said.

Umm, except, that "something else" (a fine circumlocution, by the by) is, like, illegal. I would like to think that "the vast majority" of SLS grads, some of whom I count among my close friends, have a little higher standard of what kind of conduct they expect from their classmates.

Fortunately, Stanford has some smart administrators to try to quell the controversy (and not say asinine things.

Frank Brucato, Stanford Law's senior associate dean for finance, doesn't see it that way. "Stanford Law School makes it possible for all of its graduates to pursue all types of legal careers -- that is, 'legal' legal careers," he said, adding that the school in 1987 created a loan forgiveness program to pay off educational debts for graduates working in public service or government positions.

But back to Wilson, still hurtling forward on her own crazy trajectory, drawing viewers in like a crash at a NASCAR event

Wilson said alumni with whom she has corresponded about Schultz this week "don't see that it reflects poorly on Stanford Law School ... I think the idea of it has crossed a lot of people's minds, frankly."

Now, I had to read that sentence a couple of times to understand what the "it" was. When I finally figured it out (I think I'm right, but I'd love to be wrong), I was stunned, ashamed and a little titillated all at the same time. For the purposes of the above quotation, "it"=prostitution. Yep, according to Monique Wilson, Stanford Law School (2002), a lot of Stanford law grads have mulled prostitution as a career option.

Just to round out the lovely image of Wilson, I leave you with the Oakland Trib's following bits of biographical data on their principal source:

Wilson was co-president of Stanford Law's chapter of the conservative/libertarian Federalist Society, and now is general counsel of the Orange County Young Republicans as well as president of the Newport Coast Republican Women's Federated; she said she has political aspirations.

Wow. Just wow.


The Horse Rhymer

Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a horse is not a vehicle (See story here). Allegedly, two guys rode their horses off from a bar, when one of them was rear-ended by a pick-up truck. All three failed field sobriety tests. So the cops charged them with DUI. The Court relied on a Utah Supreme Court decision for precedent.

While this in and of itself is fascinating (Utah has a similar problem?), the best part is the dissenting opinion by Justice Michael Eakin.

"A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
but the Vehicle Code does not divorce
its application from, perforce,
a steed as my colleagues said. "

"'It's not vague,' I'll say until I'm hoarse,
and whether a car, a truck or horse
this law applies with equal force,
and I'd reverse instead."

I just wish his opinion had carried the day so that other states would cite to it. Actually, I wish he was a better poet. This AAAB scheme sucks ass.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Veni Vidi Vici

In my excitement over the Dodgers' victory/drunken stuppor I did not get a chance to welcome Tacitus to this blog. Welcome to this blog. Now I must get a detailed wash for my CLK by Armani.


Friday, September 24, 2004

Those enterprising Stanford students...

This Oakland Tribune story has it all: sex, secret bank accounts, a criminal investigation, sex for money, a Stanford law grad, tax evasion (did I mention sex?)...

Money quote, from the Special Agent who helped lead the investigation:

"Based on my training and experience, generally people whose adjusted gross income is consistently less than $13,500 a year are not able to put themselves through Stanford Law School, lease a $70,000 Mercedes-Benz for $1,486 a month, live alone in a $1,800-a-month apartment, pay off almost $300,000 in loans, compile savings over $10,000, build a cash hoard of $40,000, throw away $2,400 in cash and buy postal money orders totaling $13,500 all at one time."

I don't even have a witty line to end this post with. Just keep an eye on your law school classmates, I guess. You never know what shenanigans they might be up to. And remember: it's always the quiet ones. Or the ones driving the $70,000 cars.


The New Guy

Yeah, so Armen invited me to join Nuts and Boalts, and I'm happy to accept that invitation. Hopefully, I can provide a dark, sarcastic, biting East Coast perspective to offset Armen's collegial Southern [California] charm.

But before I get to the dark stuff, I just want to note: how fascinating are real university communities? (I'm back at school after some time in the "real world", which we all know is merely a term of art for "trying to pay off debt, as opposed to racking it up".) Walking across campus today at 7:30 am (Ugh), groggy and hungover, I see a line of people wrapping around the Engineering building. Lo and behold, it seems Bill Gates is coming to campus, and tickets were slated to go on sale at nine. People were lined up, on a Friday morning, at least two hours ahead of time (assuming the line wrapping around the building did not form spontaneously as I passed by), to get tickets to see Bill Fu%*in' Gates!

I'm not sure whether to laugh or to cry.

*Just to highlight an important difference between law school and many other graduate and undergraduate programs, the only time you're likely to see a line wrapping around anything at law school, you can bet there is free food or free beer at the front end...


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Triumph of the (Competitive) Will

I'm starting to check Blawg Wisdom fairly regulary for pre-law requests. (In some masochistic way I enjoy replying to them). Anyway, the latest one is here. Basically it asks, "What is the easiest/most reliable way to learn how competitive a school really is? Thanks!"

Ambimb at Wisdom adds if there is any way to answer this question that is not subjective. My answer: Of course.

I. Pitfalls

A. Every law school you visit will claim their student body is collegial.
B. Every law school you visit will have more than its fair share of Type A Personalities.

II. Objective Measures Independent of individual claims
A. Grading Basis

This is the easiest way to know exactly how competitive a law school is. What kind of a curve does it have? This will not make much sense unless you can compare grading bases. Most commonly law schools assign letter grades with a particular letter serving as the Curve...let's say B- for example. This means that equal number of people will be on either side of that grade, witha large percentage of students actually getting that grade. Berkeley being home of Nuts and Boalts has a completely different curve. In every class top 10% get High Honors (HH), next 30% get H, then everyone else gets Pass, Sub-Pass, or Fail at the professor's discretion. There are a few exceptions to small seminar classes. It's not too difficult to see why this would not foster as much competition as the other grading basis.

B. Ranking

Are you ranked or are you not? Simple enough.

C. Employment
1. Can students list their GPA on resumes?
2. Can employers only request to interview top XX % of the class?

Each of these can give you a glimpse of how competitive a school is. But this is almost a moot point. I think every law school has its jerks as well as truly caring, friendly individuals. It's just a matter of finding the ones you feel more comfortable around.

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Thou Shalt Not Take the Lord's Name...from the Pledge

Yahoo News on House passing a bill that prohibits all federal courts from deciding cases regarding the Pledge of Allegiance and particularly the words "under God."

Why this bill is bull shit, part 1:

"So if a law be in opposition to the constitution; if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law; the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.If then the courts are to regard the constitution; and the constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature; the constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.Those then who controvert the principle that the constitution is to be considered, in court, as a paramount law, are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the constitution, and see only the law.This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written constitutions. It would declare that an act, which, according to the principles and theory of our government, is entirely void; is yet, in practice, completely obligatory. It would declare, that if the legislature shall do what is expressly forbidden, such act, notwithstanding the express prohibition, is in reality effectual. It would be giving to the legislature a practical and real omnipotence, with the same breath which professes to restrict their powers within narrow limits. It is prescribing limits, and declaring that those limits may be passed at pleasure." Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 179 (1803).


"Could it be the intention of those who gave this power, to say that, in using it, the constitution should not be looked into? That a case arising under the constitution should be decided without examining the instrument under which it arises?

This is too extravagant to be maintained.

In some cases then, the constitution must be looked into by the judges. And if they can open it at all, what part of it are they forbidden to read, or to obey?" Ok, so someone failed to read Intro to US government." Id., at 179.

So someone didn't read about Marbury v. Madison in Intro to US government. If law putting "under God" in the Pledge is "repugnant" to the Constitution, SCOTUS and any other Federal Court can still decide that it is not Constitutional. This leads us to directly...


Wedge issue. Make people think you're fighting God's fight and the other's are doing the devil's work. Very convenient and simplistic for simplistic minds.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Devil's Advocate is in the Details

Once again there is a request over at Blawg Wisdom for advice. But this time it's in regards to Network IT vs. being a lawyer. Someone actually sent this e-mail to the Yahoo Groups for Boalt 2007. He wanted to know whether he should come to Berkeley, Texas, or coninue working as an IT guy at Nortel. I provided him a response which included a point by point analysis. I think this applies to the Blawg Wisdom request


"Quite a mouthful there Sai. If you'll indulge me, let me answer your questions point by point.

I am here in the US to have best time possible - I dont believe in marriage

Nothing is less conducive to marriage than a techie in Texas. This probably gives 10 points towards staying with your current job.

I make about 45 bucks an hour - close to 100K - I belive in power and money -

And this is just with Nortel? Go on with your bad self. Imagine the big bucks when you upgrade to Dell. There's a remote chance that you may get the sense of power after a legal education, but that's just an illusion (delusion if you will). True power lies in technology. HONESTLY, can a legal memorandum match the incredible power and sexuality of a bat out of hell worm/virus that you create in your basement? Hardly. So power and money seem to be leaning towards staying with current job. Ummm how about 15 bonus points each, for a grand total of 40 now. Moving on.

I was always invloved in politics and ultimately get involved in politics - not sure whether in the US OR INDIA at this moment.

Since when did American education short of a Harvard PhD get any respect in India? No reason to go to law school based on that. American politics is trickier. Do you want to be the guy that tells Presidential Candidate X that it's ok to accept a bajillion dollars from Donor Y, or do you want to be the guy that designs his kickass website? I don't even know HTML and I can tell you the answer to that one. Another 30 points for tech, grand total 70. (I'd like to see the Harlem Globe Trotters do better than this).

I already studied boalt - ALMOST all the IP COURSES - patent law, IP introductory class and almost all other stuff related to computer tech.

What's the architectural layout of Boalt? Are there any pressure points? Did you notice the lack of windows as well? Well anyway, I'll just use some good old fashioned detective work to assume you meant you already took all the tech related law courses at Boalt. Well so much for that one huh. Actually Boalt deserves (-50) for that's about as useful to you as shit-laced toilet paper. Oh and since we know how American education is really a cookie-cutter approach, you can be rest assured that you've practically taken all the IP/tech courses at UT as well. Umm how about -25 for them. By virtue of their negatives, you get a solid 75 points towards staying as a techie. Grand total so far: 145 for techie, -50 for Boalt, and -25 for UT. Don't worry there's still Double Jeopardy to come.

I want a honest opinion - you can make or break my life.

If only....

I want to make a rational decision at this point of my life - by the time I get to bolat if at all I attend I will be 26 years old and will be close to 30 by the time I graduate.

Let's be quite frank with each other. You know and I know you've passed the prime of your life. And since you don't believe in marriage and all, by god, you're gonna be single, 30, and in debt by the time you graduate...hardly the pLaYa image you seek my Hindu friend. This is definitely not telling me that "bolat" is for you. Your fingers belong on the keyboard of life...the giver and the taker...the sole means of satisfaction on Yahoo listservs. +20 for Techie: Grand totals, 165 for tech, -50 Bolat, and -25 UT.

guys: I am here in the US for good life. Obviously, money, power and xxx.

+1,500 for Techie. Grand total: 1665 Techie, -50 Bolat, -25 UT.

am trin to be frank and honest so that I can get a honest and frank reply -- awaitin your resposnse:

If I've been anything but, I might as well slit my wrists.

SUCCESS IS MY ONLY OPTION - Sai _ this is my quote and I wanna copyright this/

Copyright? Hell you should market this. Don't let those athletic coaches that shout out "failure is not an option" stop you.

Warmest regards,


P.S. Final tally

1665 -- Techie (runaway winner, only a fool would choose anything else in your shoes)
-50 -- Bolat (useless windowless dump)
-25 -- UT (maybe for the chicks, but that shouldn't be a problem for anyone with a Nortel Employee ID)"


[Before anyone takes my advice too seriously I'd like to let you know that I'm being sarcastic, and this is in no way meant to actually influence anyone's decision]


Friday, September 17, 2004

Huckin Tom, 2

More proof that Tom is really the comic book store guy from the simpsons...

Two days ago, after lunch, he stops by a comic book store to pick up a few things...all the while teaching me about comics.

Last night, while piss drunk during bar review, he solved the problem below on a bar napkin (well this one not so much, but definitely the comic book store).

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Sky is Falling

Liberty insurance has a commercial about how well they take care of safety by doing such things as teaching teenagers that crashing a car at 40 mph is the same as car falling from 4 stories.

I haven't had physics in a while and when I did, I didn't pay much attention, but a car falling from 4 storeis, or from anything is accelerating because of gravity. A car traveling at 40 mph is NOT accelerating. When they hit the ground they are both roughly traveling 1.25 ft/sec, but that's beside the point. F=ma or Force = mass x acceleration. Compare acceleration at 32 ft/sec^2 versus 0 ft/sec^2.

If anyone has more of a background in physics I'd really like to see the numbers and the difference in force of the two impacts.


Rob: you are a little confused
Rob: the problem with your theory is that you are not looking at the right issue
Rob: KE = 1/2mv^2
Rob: they will hit the groud/wall with approximately the same energy which is what determines the severity of the crash...not the force

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Happy Gilmore Hour

During Happy Hour at Henry's:

Server: "Can I get you another round?"

Me: "I'm ok"

Person A: "Yeah sure, cuz my book is an ugly girl!"

Monday, September 13, 2004

Et Tu Brute?

Since my interest in history lies with the ancients, I bring this series of cool phrases in Latin from law.

De minimis non curat lex -- the law disregards trifles (Cal Civ Code § 3533)

A Debtor to Law (School) Pt. 2

A T-Shirt that one of my classmates wants to create:

"Law School has made me judgment proof"


Super Size My LCD Screen

Over at Blawg Wisdom a senior in college asks :

Hello all! I am a senior in college planning on attending law school in the fall of 2005. I have no computer and desperately need one NOW. My question is this: is there a certain kind of laptop that is recommended for law students by law schools? I want to get a laptop that I can use for the next four years. I know next to nothing about computers; all I know is that I want a PC that can play Sims.

Well, this may be one of the areas of law school where I actually do know what I'm talking about, having owned three desktops (a Packard Bell, and two dells) and three laptops (a HP, Toshiba, and now IBM). First, there is no specific recommendation for a laptop that is unique for law schools (or that is independent of the computer market in general). With that said, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES CONSIDER BUYING A MAC UNLESS YOU HAVE USED A MAC SINCE YOUR HACKING DAYS DURING INFANCY (Read: If it's going to be too difficult for you to adjust to the PC/Windows platform, it may not be worth your effort to switch, but even then, it's probably actually worth your effort to switch).

Second, there are some non-technical issues that you should consider when purchasing a computer for law school. (A) LIGHT WEIGHT. You will be carrying a shit load of books each weighing a shit load (approximately 5 lbs shit load). This should prehaps be your biggest priority when considering the computer. (B) Small is good (see A for explanation). (C) Durable. Your computer will take a beating in law school. You're going to be taking it in and out several times a day. You drink coffee around it 24/7. You can almost not eat without having your laptop in front of you.

Third, there are technical matters that relate to law schools which you should bear in mind. Actually there's only two. (A) Connectivity -- make sure the laptop has an Ethernet connection and a wireless connection (the wireless is not that critical as you can always purchase a wireless card and add it, but in general it's best to buy a computer with a wireless card already included). (B) Battery life -- depending on the law school, you may not have outlet access. If there's anyone out there who's thinking, "WTF (read: Double U, Tee, Efff) is he talking about? All law schools have outlets at each desk" then I say to you, "WTF are YOU talking about? Boalt just added outlets to their three main lecture halls THIS summer. Their seminar rooms still don't have jacko." Plus you may want to get away from the law school to study outside, etc. Always compare the battery life of computers. (C) Media Storage...see below.

Fourth, there are technical matters that are completely independent of one's decision to go to law school. As briefly as I can, I have described some of these in detail assuming someone knows next to nothing about computers (yet still plays SIMS).

(4a) Hard Drive -- (stores space for everything) On laptops these vary from 20 Gigabytes to 200 GB. A game like SIMS might take up at most 400 to 500 megabytes (or about 0.3-0.4 GB). I happen to have a lot of songs (legally obtained of course [roll]) so I need a good amount of storage space for those. However in law school you're not going to have any time for downloading songs or movies. You need enough space to store your papers (anything more than a calculator will be enough for that).

(4b) RAM -- This is the memory your compturer uses when a particular program is running. Windows nowadays drains quite a bit of RAM. Anything less 256 MB (really 512) is suicide. Laptops these days are fairly easily upgradable...may want to purchase a laptop that doesn't come preinstalled with RAM but is upgradeable (sites such as Slick Deals do a good job of pointing you to deals on comp components).

(4c) CPU -- Laptop chips are now more varied than their desktop counterparts for various reasons (but mostly because of Intel's labeling system flaw).

(4c.1) AMD -- Biggest competitor of Intel. Offer inexpensive chips (cost savings passed on to consumer) that perfor rather well. My first laptop ran the AMD K6-2 processor at 550 MHz. The computer still runs like the day I bought it.

(4c.2) Intel Celeron -- comparably priced to the AMD but works about as well as a gerbil on a wheel. When you run more than 3 programs at the same time you will feel the full power (or lack thereof) of the Celeron. I like to think of the Celeron as the American automobile of chips. (The Toshiba was a celeron at 2.4 GHz...ran slightly better than the AMD.)

(4c.3) Intel Pentium 4 -- Some laptops still have these. These are no different than P4s found on desktops. They run well (they are designed to run desktops) but they use a lot of power (battery life) and generate a great deal of heat (heat).

(4c.4) Intel Centrino M -- These have slower clockspeeds than the Celerons and the Pentiums (clcok speed of a chip is the measured MHz or GHz, which roughly correlates to the speed with which a process is executed). I say roughly because although the Centrino's have slower clockspeeds they are a lot faster than the P4's or the Celeron's (at that clockspeed). The design of the chip is far more effecient such that at slower clockspeeds, the chip is able to outperform the others. In a sense, Apple has been doing this for quite some time with their chips but they could not convince the public of this (only their core users knew). Now Intel is suffering from the monster that it created (reliance on clockspeed rather than actual speed).

(4d) Media -- A burner or CD-RW drive is a must. Laptops do not come with floppy drives anymore, as such you need a burner to transfer files, create CD's whatever. You should also get a USB Key, which is basically a very small storage device that you can use to transfer files. Many law schools now lend out USB key drives during finals since laptops do not have floppys.

(4e) Screen size -- Consider that the weigh of your computer (important) increases with screen size. Something between 12 and 15 inches will do just fine.

Fifth, brands. I can only endorse IBM Notebooks because they are lightweight, durable, custom-built (important to me because I like specific options), and have no-frills. This is very much a personal preference with respect to computers. The Toshiba I had, for example, did not give me access to the power options through control panel. I had to use their stupid program...naturally the program did not work. This meant I could not customize the power settings. This is critical for me...I don't want my computer to go to standby after 30 seconds...and I don't want it to stay on forever if I forget to shut it down. I don't need AOLOL's latest software to connect to the internet, etc.

Sixth, there are some things that just cannot be quantified. There is a larger trend now towards using PDA's for notetaking purposes in the classroom. This definitely saves a great deal of space and weight. While you still need a computer in general, you may be able to get away with a far less expensive desktop, which would be a lot more powerful than a laptop. Some take notes using paper, and transcribe at night to Word. I don't recommend this since it takes too much time, but forces you to go over your notes on the day of...(conducive to actual learning). But of course all of this assumes that you will go to law school straight from undergrad...a big no no in my book.

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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Huckin Tom, Pt. 1

This is a series dedicated to Tom Fletcher who is in my mod and sits next to me (actually I sit next to him, if that makes sense) during all our classes. He was in fact the person who used me in his example during Contracts. In this series I will present the wise words and antics of Tom. But first off, you must understand Tom is about 6'5" and his mannerisms remind me a great deal of the comic book store guy

Friday: Torts

Prof. Moran: "Well Mr. Fletcher do you think we should have exemptions to the reasonable person standard for the mentally ill or deficient?"

Tom: "Well Holmes was a eugenicist!"

Fast forward to Saturday night where Tom and his roommates are throwing a party at their place...on the wall of quotes it is written,

" 'If mental defectives are to live in the world they should pay for the damage they do, and that it is better that their wealth, if any, should be used to compensate innocent victims than that it should remain in their hands' [emphasis added]"

Friday, September 10, 2004

A Debtor to Law (School)

I've always been a fan of Something Awful. In their comedy goldmine series, they had photoshopped images of "real" college textbooks. For example the following:

What really caught my attention though was the presence of my Criminal Law Textbook by Kadish and Schulhoffer.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Sex, Drugs, and Fourth Amendment

Prof. Orin Kerr, over at Volokh writes the following regarding a 4th amendment case involving government swabing door knobs to test for traces of drugs. I'm not familiar with the case so I can't go into the details, but based on Kerr's analysis it's mostly seen as a seizure issue. I'm wondering why it's not a search issue within the SCOTUS's decision in Kyllo . Scalia wrote for the majority:

We think that obtaining by sense-enhancing technology any information regarding the interior of the home that could not otherwise have been obtained without physical "intrusion into a constitutionally protected area," Silverman, 365 U.S. at 512, constitutes a search -- at least where (as here) the technology in question is not in general public use.

Well the physical intrustion is there, the question is if the area is "constitutionally protected." Then this depends on what society expects to be protected. Ironically, Kyllo used heat lamps to grow pot in his attic, hence the thermal imaging. (Maybe they should have swiped his door knob).

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Scrooge McBath

Today in Contracts, Professor asks class to comment on anti-price gouging laws. Person sitting next to me opines:

"Well let's say I have a family of eight that I need to take care of, but because of the outrageous price mark-ups, I can't get them water. Yet Armen over here is so filthy rich, that he can buy all the water he wants just to take a bath, then yeah, there's something wrong that the state needs to fix."

From then on, the evil, vile alternative that's really no alternative at all was Armen's ability to bathe at the expense of some poor schmuck.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Cyrano the 1L Buzzkiller (a play in 2 acts)

Act 1

Friend A: Ooh, I got bit by something here [points to elbow swelling]
Me (title character): Well if you end up going to the ER over it, just remember that most doctors there are independent contractors, making the hospital not liable if they fuck up. [a not so subtle reference to Baptist Mem. Hosp. Sys. v. Sampson, 969 S.W.2d 945, from Torts]


Act 2

Classmate A: [Upon finding out that I will be in LA for Labor Day Weekend] Remember me when you have Zankou Chicken.
Me: [Enjoys the chicken on Sunday for dinner.] Oooh, I should probably buy a T-shirt for Classmate A. That would totally rub it in his face. [Next day during class gives Classmate A the T-shirt and gloats about how good the chicken was. Classmate A grudgingly accepts shirt as consolation]