Wednesday, August 31, 2005

That is the Question

What kind of a society do we live in where CNN, Fox, MSNBC, et al, are able to provide, live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of Katrina's aftermath via video phones bouncing signals off their precious satellites while the local authorities are completely without communication?

Texas Bet 'Em

My idol (except for the blemmish of attending a Big XII school) and Texas L. Rev. EiC, Buffalo Wings & Vodka, suggests fantasy league of gunners. Ironically a classmate and I had a similar idea yesterday where we'd have a fantasy league of judges and count their remands on appeal. But more importantly, I think we should basically have an underground casino here at Boalt to take bets on various aspects of our school.

1. Which bathroom will host the most homeless occupants?

2. How many meals will Wolfgang Puck cater for Law and Tech?

3. Will (Justice) John Roberts extend the Endangered Species Act to apply to Fed Society members at Boalt? (sidenote: Thanks for the pizza today gentlemen. And I do mean men).

4. On-time construction at the UC during the next millenium? (1.000000000000000000000000000001:1 odds)

5. Run to the bathroom within 8.3 minutes of Guacafest. Over under?

6. John Yoo MCs AmJur Day. 483,566,122:1 odds.

7. A 1L DOESN'T purchase Berring's Survival Guide to Legal Research book. (Alternatively, which sells more copies, Berring's book or the User's Guide to the Bluebook?)

8. "Stains" in MoFo room identified as ________ (bonus: of the genus __________ ).

9. Modcest?

10. Worst interview/finals attire: to win, place, or show.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Interviewing with firms is to...

While explaining OCIP process to an undergrad friend, she replies:

"So who does the deciding where you work? Is this like greek rush?"


CDOfuscious Say

The last e-mail from CDO is pretty much the straw that broke the camel's back. Over the past year at Boalt I really could have devoted a daily blog entry to the mess that is the CDO. But to the best of my knowledge, I've only had one (though I can't seem to find it).

The e-mail is a long addendum to yet an earlier e-mail. It begins:

"In response to several student inquiries, we thought the following clarifications were in order with respect to entering your class and scheduling conflicts."

[Caution, rant ahead] Look, the basic function of that office is to pass along information. And they are completely and utterly incapable of doing so. Beginning with the atrocious layout of the website that's only gotten worse with the summer revamp, all the way to the "binders" that contain all you need to know to become a partner in under 6 years and/or sue 200000 slum lords, the flow of information is mediocre at best. If the first e-mail, actually, if at some very earlier point such as the summer, we had been given CLEAR, step-by-step guidance, then you wouldn't have several hundred anxious 2Ls clamoring at your door.

I took care of whatever I needed to take care of just fine. I don't need anyone to hold my hand, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist (read: BTLJ member) to see how things can very easily be improved. As much as I value an e-mail from a Boalt alumn at some law firm, I think an e-mail describing precisely what firms will be doing which phase, yada yada yada. A bit more advanced knowledge of deadlines would also be nice. Gotta sell my soul to firms for the reception, but I will try to add more to this later.


Edley or Not Here I Come

Second liveblogging of a talk by Dean Edley.

-- I want to note that there is no food provided. I just purchased a salad for $89 at Zeb. BTLJ will probably be serving lobsters.

-- UC Berkeley chancellor claimed that the mission of a public school is for a world-class education for the masses at a bargain. Edley replied, "That's not Boalt's mission" because Boalt is selective and it is not at a bargain. If that's not the mission then what is the mission of a public law school? This is the key to Boalt's campaign. Edley wants to make the case to public and alumni about the need for (a) lawyers and (b) a public school for lawyers. (cf. VC guest-blogger).

-- Berkeley serious about (1) diversity (2) interdisciplinary approach utilizing main campus and (3) and resources.

-- Why are we ranked 11 on US News but have a reputation ranking of 6? Short answer is resources. Michigan and VA got serious about resources 15 years ago. They recognized that state governments woul dnot subsidize. Michigan and VA are about 5-8K more than Boalt. Harvard and Stanford about 12K more. We are spending less than our competitors because we are getting less. We spend $31K per student while top 10 publics average $36K and top 10 privates even more. State support has shrunk in last few years. Almost dollar for dollar increases in fees have gone to cover the cuts and not to make the school stronger. DE thinks we've turned the corner in the budget mess. There is a deal between UC, Gov and Leg. In mid 90's PDF (Professional Degree Fee) instituted to attract new resources to these schools. Regents and Leg decided to cut state fees and allow schools to use PDF to cover cuts. DE: "As you can see this was like cocaine. They tasted it, they liked..." DE is trying to get them to kick the habit. DE has also requested specific increase in PDF for fin aid use.

-- We spend more of our budget to fin aid than competitors. But we are not targetting as we should. Fin Aid now used to reduce tuition for as many people as possible rather than targetting students who really need aid and giving them really sweet deals.

-- Student Faculty ratio lagging. We've been filling the whole on the cheap by hiring lecturers and adjuncts. In the last two years we've been making ground in this area, but the idea is to sustain it. Relatedly, the course offerings have gone through the roof.

-- Case for the Campaign:

(a) Faculty -- Help build momentum and secure the brightest stars for an ever expanding curriculum. Wants to expand faculty from 50 to 72 in the next 4-5 years.

(b) Students -- continue to have most generous fin aid plan of any school. Continue to give students freedom of career choice on the back end.

(c) Facilities -- Classrooms need to be improved and more office and research space necessary. New building model. It will be located between Cell Block B(oalt) and Haas Castle. Building will have two wings (Haasr and Boalt wings) with the center having a ground floor to serve as a Piazza with opera style seating [Ed. Note: Opera style seating? Don't get me wrong, I love to listen to a bunch of Haasholes speak as if they own the world, but opera style seating?]. The building like a pyramid steps down the hill.

(d) Research -- Need to expand multi-disciplinary research centers. BCLBE (pronounced Bicklebee, Law, Business, and Econ); BCLT; Global Challenges and the Law; Center for the Studey of law and society; Public law and governance; Center for Social Justice; Kadish Center on Law and Philosophy; YYY Institute (something on healthcare policy); ZZZ Center (misc)

These ambitions will cost $500 million. Since we don't have the cash up front, we need to find a way of financing the portions of this program. The capital campaign will cover about $100 million of the cost. He has specifics about what pieces of the program the capital will cover. DE also wants state to increase funding of faculty slots.

-- Last set of fee increases - About a year ago DE asked Chancellor for a $1500 increase in PDFs. DE wanted to use the money for rennovations and fin aid. Regents decided to increase for its own purposes. Only $750 will go to the school. There is a consensus among the Regents that the pro schools cannot be expected to subsidize the rest of the system. In November UCOP will present a three year plan for the Pro schools.


-- Something inaudible about how fin aid works.
-- DE: Boalt still has less debt burden than other schools. Plus it's hard to convince the Regents that a farmworker in Fresno should subsidize someone who will go to private practice.

-- Priorities in re $500 million?
-- DE: Not until financial reality sinks in. At Harvard alumni don't give to loan forgiveness program. If pattern holds here, then that program will be funded by tuition. But Boalt alumni different and if they are willing to give then he will reconsider fin planning.

-- If we request fee increases, then what incestive does the Leg have to increase funding down the road?
-- DE: Central campus assured uas that we can eat what we kill. Or I guess we can eat what we grow.

[several questions omitted]

-- Thanks for all that you do but why the dip in minority enrollment?
-- DE: No clue. Our competitors increased fees more than we did. We're going to send out a questionaire to get feedback.

-- What can students do?
-- DE: Call to solicit money. Go on trips to get alumni to donate (e.g. to alumni chapters).

-- UCLA relationship?
-- Dean Schill (sp?) and DE are joined at the hip. Along with Carnesale. A little friction for stealing their best faculty, but they are pushing for changes together.

[Aside form the building model, this really did not offer anything not covered in previous talk. I will add in links and further comments later on]

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Monday, August 29, 2005

OCIPin' on the Dock of the Bay

Open thread on the topic on the minds of most rising 2Ls (not me, the topic on my mind is the upcoming hockey season). I'll periodically republish this, to keep it on top. But to get things started, I'm dying to hear stories from 3Ls about how a firm came across in the interviews compares to how it was/is during your summer associateship. The potential jump in first year (and summer associate) salaries in the big 5 markets [link to be added later]. Firms to avoid, firms not to miss, etc. Yada yada yada. As I said, I'll periodically update as comments dictate.

UPDATE I: As promised, I now have cause to move this up with a few thoughts of my own. Yesterday at the LA Young Alumni shindig at the Standard Hotel I met an associate from this firm. The scoop: He's argued motions, manages an entire case, etc. And I quote: "It's better than doc review." And therein lies an important distinction that I want to draw between firms. Do you want associates to be your worker bees that go through documents for a year or two or three? Do you want them to work closely with partners on cases? Somewhere in between? Is it really true that people who work at MoFo (from partners on down) are always happy? That's all for now.

UPDATE II: Just wanted to move this post up in honor of phase I bidding and the B-line being down and out for the count.

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Me, Myself, and My Roommate

During bar review last Thursday a 1L apparently accused Roommate A (by default since he is first to be mentioned here) of being the person who called the 1Ls "whiney." Just to be clear, that was me. So please, please stop whining to my roommates.

Friday, August 26, 2005

No Coffee For You!

Today I got the following anonymous report from the library:

So you know how you're not supposed to have food or drink in the north addition of the library? Well they never really enforced it last year -- thus the "apple incident." So i went up there today, with a topped off cup paper cup from zeb (the notice says you can have liquids in secured mugs, not paper cups, but i figured how picky can they be?) The notice also says that they would be conducting periodic checks and asking students to discard food or drink that doesn't comply with the notices...key word being "ask." It took me getting up from my carel for literally 45 seconds to check a plug at an adjacent desk before the library tea cup nazi came around and without asking any questions, TOOK my cup, presumably to go throw it away. I was like, WTF!?

She could have at least asked. At that point, maybe I would go downstairs, get my library mug out of my locker and pour it in the mug. I was 5 feet away and she didn't bother to ask whose cup it was, or wait till the owner came back. Their own notice doesn't give them the power to take my shit. I was 5 feet away and even if i wasn't she could have wait people know that students don't wander far when their bags are on the table.

Personally I'm with the librarians on this one. But I really want to know what the gentle readers think.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Two Yutes

Prof. Legal Accounting and Techniques of Financial Analysis is a dead ringer for Joe Pesci circa The Goodfellas. It's not so much his looks but more his mannerisms...and his height.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It's Alive!

If you want to relive the glory that is Civil Procedure I, check this out. Tomorrow there will be a post on Hamdi. Obvous corollary: my posting on this blog will likely fall off a bit over the semester.

Holy Tax Code of Antioch

Reading the Internal Revenue Code and the corresponding CFRs serves as a constant reminder of this:

And the LORD spake, saying, first shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Monday, August 22, 2005

1Lcome to the Rock

Although as old as Alcatraz, you 1Ls will soon realize that Boalt lacks some of the basic amenities found in the prison at the time of Al Capone. But aside from ranting about no outlets in Booth, I want to offer my best wishes to any 1L who will be called on today. And if you're in the multitudes not called on the first day, you will always remember the first time you actually are called on. (Moran called me for Tarasoff).


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Weighing the Scales

Getting a second speeding ticket for going 102 on I-5 (cf. getting clocked at 105 for first) still felt better than paying for 3/4 of my books.

Oh and freshmen 1Ls, please do not buy Bob Berrings Legal Research book. I'd say the same thing about the LRW reader but I just know none of you are secure enough to take that latter bold step. Mark my will not open that reader more than twice.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

A few rants about Boalt's pre-school year set-up

On this, Disco Stu's penultimate day of work, he thought it would be fitting to start the Boalt administration bashing season--something that takes a short break between the time exam scores come out in ridiculously late mid-summer and the time OCIP debacles are not doubt going to happen.

First and foremost, what is the "adjustment period" and why is telebears not running until it is over? All DS wants to do is drop advanced legal research (he was very happy to get into tax law) and he can't until the aforementioned period is over. Admittedly, this isn't a Boalt problem, it's a berkeley campus-wide problem, but a rant still the same.

Second, in God's name, doesn't DS know what books he needs yet? He, at the end of a bike ride the other day, stopped by the bookstore to try to copy the titles/author's down, so he could then purchase them for a more reasonable price on-line, and was greeted by a rude bookstore employee informing him the bookstore was closed. He then discovered that it kept the very well thought out hours of 10-5 through Friday, then 11-4 on Sat, and Sun. What they expected people who are still working to do is beyond DS. Although all but one of his professors has emailed him back concerning the books needed he still finds this distressing. They should force professors to decide what books are going to be used, then post them along with the course information. In addition to the books, which the professors should post, the bookstore should be on-line, have the books needed for each class, and the first day's assignment. This is not an insane request as the bookstore needs to place orders for text-books well in advance to make sure they arrive to Boalt in order for them to mark up the prices 100% then sell them to poor students who are forced to take out private loans to pay for their books. (And DS does not want to hear how all the student groups at Boalt get their funding through the purchase of these marked up books. It makes absolutely no sense that DS should have to buy books, if DS is not part of any Boalt organization. For pete's sake, just have membership dues for whatever org you are in and use that).

This process probably starts mid-summer and it should be easy enough to simply transfer the info (which has got to be in electronic form) from one site to another.

That's all for now, I'm sure others of you out there have more to add.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Abbreviate This!

While talking with a friend of mine who will be starting at Hastings in the coming days, I asked which book he had for "K." He replied, "K?" That little tidbit has inspired me to create a list of abbreviations that you may encounter and/or should use while in law school and beyond.

- K = contract(s)
- Rst, R2d (and anything else you can think of) = Restatement of the law of _________ (the blank is typically filled by such topics as Torts, Contracts, Circus Freaks, Gravity, Murphy, etc.)
- Greek letter pi = Plaintiff/royally screwed person who can only hope to get to par in life
- Greek letter delta = Defendant/sleazeball, already ahead of the game (note: the above are reversed in crim law).
- Ct = Court, God, JesusAllahBuddha
- Ppty = Bubble in today's market
- FRCP (for those who couldn't wait until the 18th Edition of the Bluebook was released, and you know who you are, I'm aware that the proper citation is Fed. R. Civ. P.) = Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Ct.
- UCC = U Get HH in K.
- MPC = Model Penal Code. Reads like a Nietzsche treatise on attempted armed robbery.
- O to A, STFU = Your thoughts during 95% of comments from classmates where O = original possessor of thought and A = recipient of thought.

I'm intentionally omitting clever shorthands for professor names, e.g., P Dub = Peter Westen. So aside from those, did I forget anything? I know our wonderful ASP tutor from last year had a list that I've conveniently misplaced, so if you REALLY want to learn this crap, just harass them.

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Holy Moly Batman

Did you guys catch the new layout of the Bearfacts page? The fix is only cosmetic, but it's a good start. Now if only they could integrate the Telebears function into Bearfacts, we'd be set.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Work in Progress

Allow me to refer you to Boalt Hall Civil Procedure, a small experiment in using blogs to effectively shepard [ED: Oh my. Shepherd. I meant shepherd] along ninety lost 1Ls. Should be entertaining for civ pro junkies and/or 2Ls . . .

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Two Ninety or Not Two Ninety

With gas prices soaring close to the three dollar mark, I just don't feel like making the drive up to Berkeley. As you can see here, my driving habits really hit me hard in the wallet (I slowed down to take a pic).

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Toothfairy Cometh

At 2 pm today I will have 2 of my precious wisdom teeth removed. I hope it goes better than Moran's torts final.

Rafael, Rafael, O-wherefore art thou Rafael?

At the risk of enraging the Boalt-only posts on Nuts and Boalts believers out there, Disco Stu is going to attempt, on the day he is set to return from his steroid-suspension, to salvage Rafael Palmeiro’s reputation.

First, some of you may know that Disco Stu is a hardcore Orioles fan who widely predicted an O’s Senators World Series and still believes deep down it could happen. Secondly, DS has been a long-time fan of Palmeiro and realizes that his views are entirely skewed as a result. Nonetheless, Palmeiro should be given the benefit of the doubt and become a first-ballot Hall of Famer or at the very least, allowed to come back to the game to which he has given so much with the realization that he has done his time.

People everywhere are criticizing Palmeiro because he testified with such force in front of Congress. Even Congress now wants to pursue perjury charges—something that is so asinine DS will refrain from commenting on it further. No, wait, he will—doesn’t Congress have more pressing issues than finding out if one baseball player happened to lie? Anyway, people now believe what Jose Canseco said in his book about introducing Palmeiro to steroids in 1992 when both were playing on the Texas Rangers is true. Let’s go with this thought. Let’s assume that Palmeiro has been taking steroids since 1992. He came into the league in 1986, though ’86 and ’87 he played just quarter and half seasons. His first real season came in 1988. His career stats - - indicate he had his most single-season hits with 203 and second-highest season batting average at .322 in 1991, before he was supposedly introduced to steroids in 1992. In fact, since 1992 his hits/season, doubles, average, and on-base-percentage have not increased at all. The only stats that have increased, starting in 1995, are his home-run totals and consequently his RBIs and slugging percentage. Now, DS can think of several reasons why these stats increased. (1) Everyone’s homerun totals starting increasing this same period (perhaps due to steroids spreading around the league—but if this is true than no player with inflated homerun numbers can be allowed in the Hall if Palmeiro’s not)? (2)Perhaps it’s the hitter friendly ballparks that starting popping up everywhere, Palmeiro has played his entire career in two—Camden Yards in Baltimore starting in 1994, and the Ballpark in Arlington starting in 1999. (3)What about the era of the compressed ball? (4)The homerun happy era that we are just starting to come out of now? (5)Or, perhaps, it’s the age at which baseball players finally started really taking care of their bodies, lifting weights and taking supplements (not steroids) designed to prolong their careers. Afterall, Palmeiro is just one of several players over 40 still in the majors having good to great seasons—Jamie Moyer (42) and Julio Franco (47) come to mind.

My point is that the stats from his first four full-major-league-non-steroid-fueled-seasons are great numbers. Comparable to Derek Jeter's first four seasons. If he continued on those first seasons he would likeley still have 3000 hits, and be very close to 500 homeruns. If Canseco is lying--as he most likely is--then who knows when Palmeiro actually started useing. Could be when he was 35 or 40? Point is Palmeiro has put up great numbers and there's no use second-guessing them without proof. Okay, so he got busted this year, don't count this years stats among those he gets voted in the Hall with. He'll be just shy of 300 hits, and still well over 500 homeruns.

My second major point is that Palmeiro is a good guy who should not be vilified and ostricized from the Hall of Fame because he has been caught cheating at the end of a great career. Here is a guy who has happily played greatly in obscurity his whole career. He has played on good but not great teams and those teams have not been in the major markets. He has never demanded outrageous salaries. Unlike the aforementioned Jeter who has become a star simply because he has played on a great team in a major market and despite his mediocre fielding and good batting ability, Palmeiro has never had nor craved the national spotlight. For this reason he was already considered a fringe hall-of-famer. It's a sad day when the national pastime requires flashiness to get in the Hall. A player's stats should be all that matter when getting in, and Palmeiro's are great any way you look at it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Waitlist issues

Disco Stu is #3 on the waitlist for one class and #33 for another. Both of these are big classes with over 150 peeps in each. Question for the readers: will classes this big simply allow everyone in off the waitlist (assuming its a reasonably sized one) in the end or will they stick to their strict numbers?

When the waitlist for a 150 person class is 10 people what's the difference between 150 and 160 people? Do professors use this same logic or do they really see a difference?


Monday, August 08, 2005

I School the Traffic School

The inevitible outcome of this was online traffic school during the last two days. Aside from a number of inane comments such as "Don't vent your anger by driving recklessly" (can I help fight off depression by driving recklessly? How about the blues?), the course just contained some outright errors. Their entire section on how we perceive, especially the role of the fovea in perception was WAY off. But this question from the final quiz was the icing on the cake.

13. It is unlawful for anyone under 21 years of age to drive with a blood alcohol level of_____%.

a. 0.02%
b. 0.05%
c. 0.01%
d. 0.03%

The RIGHT answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE. You can't drive with ANY alcohol in your blood if you are under 21. Maybe I'm pulling a David Bernstein and overanalyzing this, but it doesn't take much effort to reword the question so that it makes sense.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

That's 1L Step for Man...

Continuing with this experimental phase, and in a what can only be described as a sudden onset of guilt, I want to make amends with the incoming 1Ls for accurately and correctly describing them as "whiney." So feel free to fire off any questions you may have for upper classmen, alumni, various circus characters, etc. about Boalt.


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Friday, August 05, 2005

A Moment for Self-indulgence

I got my official rejection letter from CLR today. It was sad, but I was expecting it given the rumors that have bandied about these august blog posts (ooh, a pun!). I found the letter to be nice; they explained the large volume of submissions, the other ways in the future we, the rejectees, might join, and they closed with Sincerely Yours. And then they didn't sign it.

I figure they had 150 letters to send. I once sent a letter to every incoming freshman in my capacity as student president. I signed my name on each one and wrote their names on the top of each. But hey, they're busy so I won't begrudge them. Much.

I wrote my note on what I perceived to be the ratcheting effect of the cruel and unusual punishment clause - namely, that with every decision that something is cruel and unusual, the set of punishments is irreversibly restricted. I then argued that the failure to admonish the lower court set a precedent for lower courts to find things cruel and unusual and force the SC to reverse them, instead of consistently ruling for the state and letting the SC make the cruel and unusual finding. Basically, this will increase the number of cases the SC will have to hear, and hence create more opportunities to restrict the set.

Ok, so maybe it was a little wonky and hard to explain. Looking at it now, I wonder if it even makes any sense. I think it does, but maybe I should never have used the word "set."

Well, so it goes. I shall have to find other worthy causes for what faculties I possess. Best wishes to all who made it (admittedly, I will be laughing at you next week while I vacation and you likely cite check), and solidarity to those who did not.


Allow me to Retort

Rather than forking out the cost of a 200 pack of highlighters at Royal Grounds Cafe for 30 seconds of internet use, I went the cheap route and ignored pretty much everyone for the past week (except for the comment acknowledging the whiney 1Ls). Broadly I want to move discussions of non-CLR stuff here. Those who got (or will be) rejected (or arrested) will need all the personal attention and counseling they can get, so I want to free up those lines of communication.

With that, this isn't my sandbox (alone) but the sandbox of the co-bloggers as well. They're just too cool to kick it in the sandbox as much as I do. But some of the most noted posts have come from them (adderall and gun suits come to mind). I've wanted to emulate the Daily Kos open thread thing for a while but held off because Dean Edley promised a new 20,000 sports arena and an online DB for boalt students. While I suspect that would only add another forum for those who interrupt classes with inane announcements, it still would have basically eliminated the need for open threads. Much like residency apps though, the forum is nowhere near completion (completion time is estimated at 15 minutes after start time based on the productivity of three randomly selected members of BTLJ and/or 1 editor of the same journal).

Residency: Anyone who says "hella" more than once every score should (a) sacrifice his first-born to Boalt/Edley Castle and (b) pay an uber annoying professional fee of $500,000. Due August 15.

Any New Yorker who enjoys every fricken benefit California has to offer but still can't swallow his ego to admit as such should be shot...and then he should proceed through the "hella" steps.

In other news, there were no e-mails from the library this week claiming that Boeing was going to operate 3 jumbo jets outside the main reading room because August was the best time to do so. Things are looking good.

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