Saturday, July 30, 2005

Calcium Lime Rust (remover)

Open thread dedicated to the wonderful cleaning power of CLR. Or the other CLR I suppose.

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Rumble Near the Gavel

So I was a witness yesterday to ANOTHER crime. This time a federal offense. Here's the gist. Extern 2 and I walk into the building coming back from lunch and we see the security officers asking some WHITE guy to leave. He keeps arguing with them but is generally moving away from the four or five security officers. He's pretty close to the door when one of the officers shoves him to the ground. At some point in all this he makes gestures as if he's about to punch like clenches his fist, etc. One of the officers says, "Don't punch him buddy or you'll go to jail." Anyway, as soon as the guy got up after the first shove, he gets shoved down again. This time he lands outside the building. He gets up and punches the officer in the face. One of the guards says, "Oh now you're going to jail." And the scuffle ensues. Long story short, officer ended up with a broken nose.

Oh and there was a second incident on the 12th floor totally unrelated where another officer got hit in the face. The bottom line is, what the hell is the Federal Protective Service Police? They had to drive over to the scene, meaning the fight was long over. We already have U.S. Marshalls in the building, so why did we need another law enforcement agency to do the grunt work? Homeland least the building wasn't struck by lightning.

Beware the Ides of Armen

See? Do YOU have your ICE entry in your phone? Are YOU phoning in lightning threats? Disco Stu, what thinks ye of those odds now?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Has the NRA really gone this far

Yesterday, today and probably tomorrow the senate is debating (and I use that word lightly because we all know how it's going to go down) S. 397 / HR 800 - the gun industry immunity bill. This is a bill that would, for the vast majority of cases, terminate a victim's right to go after a negligent gun manufacturer or dealer. Not only is almost every police organization opposed to this bill but 75 law professors from a variety of schools (see here - including one M. Schultz whom disco stu was sad to see was the only Boalt professor as his Torts professor was not on the list) are opposed because this bill would give unprecedented immunity to the gun industry. No other industry in America has this much protection. Why, in God's/Allah's name, would we start with the gun industry?

Because the NRA and its gun-hugger supporters have a stranglehold on our politicians. Disco Stu is not saying this just because he happens to be working for a non-profit fighting gun violence this summer. No, Disco Stu has long rallied against the NRA and the radical right they've come to represent. Last year this same bill was narrowly defeated because there were enough common sense amendments good lawmakers were able to tack on that the NRA withdrew it's support. This year, however, not only those will stop it. For example, there has recently been an amendment forcing manufacturer's to install trigger locks on all handguns made. This passed something like 72-28 or around that. Now, it's terrible that over 70% of senators view this as good legislation yet the NRA does not support it. How the NRA still has a good name in this country when not supporting something that would protect children and others alike is beyond Disco Stu's comprehension, and should be enraging others.

The major support of this bill is masked behind such broad statements as we shouldn't hold detroit auto makers or dealers liable if a person gets drunk and runs another over so we shouldn't hold gun manufacturers liable either. Guess what Senator Warner (who just used this example less than one hour ago and is, sadly, from Disco Stu's home state) if a car dealer sells a car to a drunk and that drunk runs someone over we do hold both parties responsible, as we should. This bill would insulate a gun dealer from liability if that gun dealer were to negligently allow guns to be stolen from the store (much like the DC snipers did when Disco Stu was terrified to fill up on gas for those three weeks in October). If a car dealer left keys in the ignition and a group of kids went out joyriding and killed someone, that car dealer could be, not necessarily would be, held responsible as the ensuing court case would decided if his actions were negligent. If a car dealer sells 10 vans a month for a year and those vans keep blowing up in front of federal buildings (ala Oklahoma city) that car dealer should be held responsible and at the very lest should undergo trial to find out if he was negligent in his actions. Why then, should a gun shop who sells 25 handguns a month to the same person not be held responsible when those handguns keep showing up on the street, especially if the gun shop keeps selling them even after the guns have been used in crimes.

Criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but it's much easier to stop the negligent flow of guns onto the street than stop every gang member from shooting up his rivals.

Another doozy Disco Stu has heard today while watching CSpan 2 (at his bosses request) is that if this bill is not passed the gun industry will go bankrupt. This is foolish as well. Gun industries aren't bankrupt now, yet their not immune now. The only two publicly traded companies, Smith & Wesson and Ruger, in their last statements to the SEC have reported profits up. S&W reported 5% over last year's earning. Ruger stated in its March, 11 2005 filing "[I]t is not probable and is unlikely that litigation, including punitive damage claims, will have a material adverse effect on the financial position of the Company." Further Senator Frist insinuated that if this legislation is not passed gun manufacturers will be out of business and suddenly our armed forces will be without weapons. The defense department has never stated they are short on guns, there is no chance that armed troops would suddenly just become troops without arms. Disco Stu can't believe the depths to which the gun-huggers are willing to go to try to pass this legislation.

This bill is not only about legislation but about what Congress is allowing the courts to hear. Just because a court hears a case involving the gun industry doesn't necessarily mean the manufacturer or seller will be held responsible. It scares Disco Stu when Congress attempts to restrict the scope of the judiciary (this congress has already done it once with new class-action restrictions). This country is fast becoming two branches instead of three.

Disco Stu urges all readers to immidiately contact their senators and let them know that the gun industry deserves as much protection as any other industry out there, and this bill would vastly overstep that line.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Depends on your definition of quick

Extern 2 received the following e-mail from a classmate:

Date: Jul 27, 2005 1:43 PM
Subject: Re: quick question

Hey! Working on a pro bono prosecution trial and had a quick question that I thought you (or someone you work with) might know the answer to. Defense counsel may try to have the charges dismissed on speedy trial grounds under CA Penal Code Section 1382. If the charges are dismissed, any idea if we (the state) could appeal that decision and what the requirements/procedures for doing so would be? Thanks!

If you truly consider the above a "quick question" for a first year law student, please be kind enough and post in the comments the law firm where you are a partner.


ICE, ICE terror

An e-mail I received yesterday (from my HS Gov teacher):

Subject: I.C.E.-An idea whose time has come!

Store your "In Case Of Emergency" numbers on your cell phone for emergency crews.....The London incident has promoted concerns and I share with you what one ofmy European colleagues just sent. As long as everyone knows what ICE standsfor, it is not a bad idea. A useful thing to add to your mobile address book!

It was thought up by an ambulance man/paramedic who found that when theywent to the scenes of accidents there were always mobile phones but they didn't know which numbers to call and he thought that it would be a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name to file "next of kin" under.

Following the disaster in London . . .East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign with the supportof Falklands war hero Simon Weston.The idea is that you store the word " I C E " in your mobile phone Addressbook, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency"

In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do.Please will you also email this to everybody in your address book, it won'ttake too many 'forwards' before everybody will know about this. It reallycould save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Lightning just might strike twice, thrice...Frankly I think this is a horrible idea. The plan should call for a canned text message that the authorities will then just send to like #2 and/or #3 on your phone. It's really up to you how you want these people to get the news. Personally I'd go for: "hI, if u r gtng dis den iM fked. ;) lol !!!!!!]]\"

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Knots Good To Be Landing

Vigilant passengers, perhaps not unlike our very own Disco Stu, quickly alerted the crew of a LA-London flight about supsicious Pakistanis walking in the cabin. Whew, glad those paranoid junior sherlocks were on the job. This could have gotten ugly, I mean with one of them maybe using a restroom, or having a conversation. Maybe if they wore a NYPD or FDNY shirt then I'd give them some wiggling room.

I just want to make sure folks out there are alert...and aware that flights are non-stop for non-Pakistanis only. And by Pakistanis I mean tan-skinned, non-NYPD or FDNY shirt wearing people.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Braking 101

For those who travel northbound on the 405 towards the 101, please see the Traube Law of Freeway Braking. The law, as articulated by its formulator in the passenger seat of my car a while back, states: "God damn it, traffic would flow a lot better if people just eased off the gas instead of braking every time."

That means don't slam on the brakes once you start going downhill after Mulholland.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Underground Railroads Used to Mean More Freedom

I promise this is my last subway rant for the summer (maybe). I just can't help it with NY now randomly searching bags, the LA Times revealing that the Sheriff's plan a crackdown on pesky intruders in the LA Tunnel system, and some "expert" on Fox News c laiming a good solution would be to force riders with bags larger than a briefcase to ride in the last two cars of a subway, or sit at the back of the bus.

Noticeably absent from Fox and other media outlets are those who think that maybe, just maybe, forcing a group of people to sit in the back of a bus might set off certain civil liberty alarms. I know those of us who carry a backpack on the subway are personae non grata (especially if you have a healthy olive tan), but are these PERCEIVED risks so great that we need to build internment camps while we're at it?

Maybe we can just have the Red Coats run our Homeland Security apparatus...they don't seem to have problems with shooting first and asking second. I bet no one would carry a backpack into a subway on the pain of execution.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness [but only if your backpack can fit this container. Thank you for showing courtesy to your non-terrorist riders].


Friday, July 22, 2005

Freaky Fridays

[First I want to congratulate Tom for his (recess) appointment as an ASP tutor. I'm sure he'll do just dandy. By the way, are you gonna tell the 1Ls about running the gauntlet? The ones who didn't know about it last year ended up with a sore ass.]

This is just a bizarre day by any measure. I woke up 30 minutes late because I did not set my cell phone alarm. I even woke up in the middle of the night [I go walking in my sleep] to check and see if the alarm was on. I thought it was...boy was I wrong. So I ended up running out the door (but I managed to grab the LA Times to read on the subway). During the 3 minutes that I'm actually in my car, I gathered that someone's been shot in London in connection with yesterday's not-quite a bombing but still something to freak people out incident. I realized at the station that I don't have a tie. While going down the escalators I realized that I left my LA Times behind. I fell asleep and nearly missed my stop. While exiting the station at Civic Center, we're told by a Los Angeles County Police Officer (sidenote: What a waste of money! Why have a Sheriff's Department AND a Police Department? All the LACPD does is look after the LACO buildings.) that we cannot exit using the escalators or stairs because the bomb squad has been called to investigate a suspicious package. While taking a detour a bum sums everything up: "Man after yesterday everyone's gonna be callin the bomb squad. They're gonna be runnin around like chickens with their heads cut off."

Amen to that. The whole "it's better to be safe than sorry" mentality works if we don't turn into a panic-stricken society that shoots on sight anything that seems remotely suspicious or threatening or "foreign." You are still more likely to be killed by lightning than by a terrorist attack. Never forget that.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What Goes Around Comes Around

So, it seems like this little blog is turning into a little Boalt beacon, with alums commenting, 2Ls rising, and general information flowing. I assume that means that morbidly curious 1Ls are starting to poke around, and hence our readership here at Nuts & Boalts may be growing.

To all of you incoming 1Ls: I'll be seeing you in Civ Pro, WThF, 11:15-12:30.

And here I thought I'd escaped Boalt Hall for at least two weekdays.

So rising 1Ls, what's the lesson? Think long and hard about the consequences of skipping class to go drink beer at LaVal's...

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Fed. R. Fat Lawyers

"I was like 'Wow, never get fat [Extern 2] if you're gonna keep working as a lawyer.'" -- Extern 2, on how suits look on fat people.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Musical Article III Chairs

I've managed to keep quiet about the vacancy at One First Street all this time, but with the impending announcement of the President's nominee, I just can't keep silent anymore. I must express my joy and elation that Justice Breyer will no longer be sitting on the far left of the Chief. With the exception of Justice Stevens (and the Chief of course, who is by all measures the center of the Universe) every other Justice will now shift to the opposite side and move one chair closer to the Chief...except for my favorite verbose Justice, SGB. He will only shift, but not move closer.

In other very important news, the seating will feature a boys and girls side. The girls will now occupy the left spectrum from the Chief. Hopefully that is an sign of the jurisprudence to come.

Update: While my hopes of an all girls section at One First Street were dashed by the dashing Judge Roberts, I think this is definitely not the time to pick a fight. Putting abortion aside, Roberts is about the type of nominee you'd other words, at least he's not Luttig. The only way to oppose the nomination would based on personal ideology, and that would backfire in a second against the Dems. It's not like at least we have the House or anything. Let Roberts on, worry about defeating Santorum and others in the Senate in a year, concentrate on a foreign/military expeditionary policy that ACTUALLY considers national security, have a domestic agenda that is more than maintaining the status quo, and perhaps turn attention back to Karl Rove. But the broo ha ha over Roberts is just that.


And Squirrels, Oh My

Somebody must have heard my Berkeley technology rants because if you actually look on the left of your "BearMail" log in screen you will see this announcement:

There will be a new look to BearMail on July 25th when we replace the software currently running BearMail with a new upgraded product. The new software, SquirrelMail, will give users more features and options than the previous application.

The only thing worse than having all these "bears" to keep track of (sidenote: I know grades are up on BEARfacts, but did they put them up on InfoBEARS as well? And when the hell do we register for classes on teleBEARS) is to have other animals thrown into the mix. If only they could assign animal names to various "offices" on campus. Career services would surely be the sloth.

Predictably, the website of Student Information Services (the office responsible for unleashing this zoo upon us) is down.


Monday, July 18, 2005

Same Blog, New Fame

As a commenter below has pointed out (since I had no clue) an article about this blog is published in today's Los Angeles Daily Journal (and SF?). The commenter asks: "why the suit, the serious look and the awkward hand pose?" Fair enough.

The suit is because we were (and still are) in trial and I didn't put my suit away. The serious look is a poor attempt to not succomb to the funny faces of extern 2. The awkward hand gesture, I have no clue since I haven't seen the photo, but I don't appreciate people making fun of me. I'm a thalidomide baby ok? Kidding aside, I really have no clue and I must confess that I was not amenable to getting my picture plastered for every lawyer in town to see, but so it goes. Now I just hope the article doesn't touch on my herpes problem.

Update 1: There was one picture where the photographer asked me to hold my hands in front of me really awkwardly. I hope that's the one. Well I hope that's NOT the one, but I hope that's one that's being referred to, as opposed to the gazillion other photos of me just sitting and smiling.

Update 2: Ok I'm officially out of luck. If anyone is willing to save/copy the article for me I will forever be in your graces. And also, I just saw today's LA Daily Journal and (thankfully) nothing about me in I assume this was only the SF (or am I wrong?)

Update 3: Ok, just saw a PDF of the article and ignoring the casket/soccer pose, and ignoring the graduation photo pose on page 10, I think it sucks that the one post they discuss in detail was written by Earl Warren and he's not even mentioned. As if I could possibly be as thoughtful. Judging by the two preceding posts, I probably have Tourette's Syndrome to boot. On the bright side the person detailing the competitiveness of firm hirings from Boalt (in comments to grade discussion) need not research or offer anything on SF firms. The competition is effectively over. Hooray for Hollywood.

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Nick at Noche

I can't think of anything more beautiful than a Spanish-language TV showing LAPD: Life on the Beat and not bleeping out as a homeless guy screams "You dirty coc***cker."

Edit: In light of the post above, I decided not to follow Telemundo's example and actually edited what was said.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Kiss My Habeass

The duties of the federal judiciary sometimes extend to bizarre realms. Case in point is Washington v. Alaimo, 934 F. Supp. 1395 (S.D.Ga 1996). The opinion of Judge Moore begins:
On April 5, 1996, this Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause why this Court should not impose Rule 11 sanctions upon him for filing a motion for improper purposes. The motion which Plaintiff filed was entitled "Motion to Kiss My Ass" (Doc. 107) in which he moved "all Americans at large and one corrupt Judge Smith [to] kiss my got [sic] damn ass sorry mother fucker you."
The entire opinion is worth a read.

(Thanks to the e-mailer who sent me the PDF)

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Shirley You Can't Be Serious

Yesterday on NPR I heard a story about the FCC proposal to lift the ban on cell phone use on airplanes. (Read about it here). Most everyone (Airlines, flight attendants, Department of Justice, FAA, which will have its own ban still in place, and many passengers) is opposed to the lifting of the ban...except for the wheelers, dealers, and rainmakers. These people want the ability to dictate a letter to their secretary while on a mid-Alantic flight from Lisbon...or Monacco.

Principally I'm not opposed to WiFi access on flights. Somehow I think the DOJ's fears that terrorists might IM each other (think: annoying IM noise) to coordinate an attack are a stretch. So by all means Mr. Business Class, write your own letter, but don't yap over the quality movie being shown...such as "Soul Plane." And the only reason I rant about this is because I'm just as annoyed when phones go off in class. But not when people blog while in class (or work).


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Berkeley Public

The comments to the post below raise two points that I really want to vent about separately.

First, an anonymous commenter writes:

after sendings a not-terribly-friendly email to the registrar, i was told the problem was with the main campus system, not with Boalt. yay underfunded public school
Not quite. Underfunded public school we are. Technological mediocrity, however, is not a product of that. I know I've harped on this at least once before but for a top 5 engineering school to be this retarded when it comes to its own IT is just stroke-inducing. I will continue to point to the use of internet at the far superior sister University in southern California ad nauseam because I think it's worth it to see how one starving public university can completely outdo another one that has a bunch of freshmen-oh-I-get-to-play-Counterstrike-while-at-work heading its IT. I'm just speculating, maybe Cal has apt, former Silicon Valley execs running the show. That could be the problem.

Second, there is what can only be described as a panic induced mass pandemonium regarding "grade cut-offs" for firms during if it matters to the poor sap who you're screwing whether you get your six-figures (and blackberry) from a New York firm or a boutique. For those of you insecure enough [these are the ones who (a) write "happy" with two p's instead of two h's and (b) probably worried incessantly about the law school they can get into with their LSAT and GPAs. Fortunately for you, the legal profession is only delighted to reward competitive advantages. Hope your evals (and contingent bonuses) go well...don't stress too much. ;) ] the method of conferring Order of the Coif by the Registrar may prove useful. Don't stress too much. ;)

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Monday, July 11, 2005

The Lottery

Speaking of random...the grades are now in on BearFacts (but not on Infobears, which I think is a switch from last semester). Just as a friendly reminder, the rest of your life depends on these grades.

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My Antonio

You will have to excuse the long pauses between posts, but I've been spending most of my free time inspecting the security of the Metro Red Line here in Los Angeles in the wake of the London bombings. It may be natural for you to wonder why I was not immediately reassured once newly crowned Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took a trip on the Red Line and interacted with passengers. Well, let's just say an elected official riding the train during non-rush hour with 20 camera crews, a dozen LAPD officers, and about a battalion of Sheriff's Deputies following lock-step does nothing to convince me of the system's security--and by security I mean the system's ability to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum on platforms and trains.

I've finally returned to blogging because, well, I saw a couple of Sheriff's deputies (the transit system is a county entity therefore the burden task of patrolling it falls on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department ever since the separate MTA Police were swallowed up by the Sheriff). Those deputies were shooting the breeze outside and I think mumbling about the Dodgers. Regardless, I felt safe and secure. So did the guy downing a bottle of Wild Turkey sitting next to me and yelling at me. I think he thought I was a terrorist.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hate Me Now

There is certainly no shortage of intelligent and perhaps worthwhile topics to discuss. Socio-military-political implications of today's bombings in London for one. The who-is-more-barbaric-in-their-stance-on-abortion fest has had its fair share of commentators. Judicial philosophy seems to be turning upside down and inside-out with liberals being right in one sense but wrong in the more important sense (shockingly).

But I won't discuss any of that now. Instead I want to take a few minutes to express nothing short of outrage/furious anger at two things.

First, this has caused me a great deal of annoyance because it directly conflicts with the future business plans I had for The Law School Insults (c). Second, I hate WordPerfect. One thing I have noticed though is that it seems to frustrate the other extern a lot more than me because she started several weeks after I did. Could it be that in this short span I've actually grown accustomed to this nightmare of a word processor? I certainly hope not. I just wonder if the federal courts can screw with Microsoft some more to get us a kick ass licensing agreement. Westlaw and Lexis are already throwing their first-borns this way.

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Friday, July 01, 2005

So Long, Farewell

So Rehnquist once again tops Justice O'Connor (in case you've been in a cave, SOC announced her retirement from the Court today. At Stanford Law she was ranked #3 in the same class as still Chief Justice Rehnquist, who was ranked #1). Of the three possible retirements (Rehnquist, O'Connor, and Stevens), I was grudgingly hoping for Rehnquist. The reasons are self-evident, but even a Judge Luttig would not alter much if he replaced Rehnquist. On the one hand, I don't consider SOC as moderate as the term "swing vote" seems to imply, on the other even those few swings are important symbolic areas of the law.

In related news, Sasha Volokh is now screwed out of a job.

UPDATE: I just saw the text of her resignation letter and it seems a tad peculiar. It seems to preclude the possibility of a recess appointment. Does it in fact do that? If so, CAN she do that?