Thursday, June 29, 2006


Kudos to the Army lawyers who continually challenged the legality of the military commissions established to try the prisoners we hold at Gitmo. I read through the syllabus of the opinion and it's a pretty bad slap in the face...especially the part about the executive having to follow the law in his own jurisdiction. Hmmm what the hell did those signing statements say again?


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Horse and Carriage

This is a shout out to all the rising 2Ls out there. I have a question for you all: How's your summer coming along? Is all that LRW and WOA training paying off? Are you learning to invent the wheel all over again? Basically use this as your chance to inform the incoming 1L class what it is they can look forward to for their first summer.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

80 Days Later

So UCLA, which had its finals week this past week (and congrats to my brother and the rest of the class of 06) already has some of its grades posted. That is, less than a week after the end of finals the grades are up. Meanwhile, the registrar's office seems to be working feverishly from a Siberian Gulag to to get our grades up. To quote Krusty the Klown, "What's the friggin hold up?"

And yes, I know the policy is to have grades by mid July, about 2 months after finals. I will bet ANY school administrator my degree that I can single-handedly grade every single in class exam from Boalt in 2 months. Just give me a rubric and a red pen.

Also I'd like to offer a correction. I previously referred to a senior partner at my firm who reads the blog. It has since come to my attention that the partner is in fact a sort of a midlevel type. I also want to send my condolences in his direction. I meant to do so in person, but the midlevel/senior flap distracted me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I taped the game and wanted it to be a surprise when I watched it. So, I holed myself up in my office all day. No talking to co-workers, for fear someone would let the score slip. No Internet--not just sports web sites, but no news sites, or email or anything else, just in case I saw an unexpected ticker. On the bus ride home, the headphones were turned up loud, so as not to overhear a conversation.

Well, I'm sure you all know how this story ends. Thank you Reyna (who, more than a decade later, is still the best American player) and Johnson, for showing up with some energy. Everybody else--I'm looking at you Donovan, Beasley, Convey, among others--looked like little kids playing against their older brothers.

Yep, I bought into the hype, and what a letdown. But even so, I'm not giving up yet, and I'll be up bright and early on Saturday morning for Italy. Here's hoping some more American players wake up as well.

Use this as a continuation of the Open Thread for the World Cup.

Some suggested topics: who did President Bush want to lose more, Mexico or Iran? England: do they suck worse when they win or when they lose? What exactly is David Hasselhoff's role in this World Cup?

[Given the importance of soccer to me, and this weekend's upcoming match, I'm moving this up. -- AA]

Knock Knock

I usually don't write about SCOTUS cases but today's opinion in Hudson, got my attention. (For other coverage see here, here, and here). The case deals with a violation of the "knock and announce" rule with respect to police entries. The case got my attention because of Justice Kennedy's concurrence where he writes:
As to the basic right in question, privacy and security in the home are central to the Fourth Amendment ’s guarantees as explained in our decisions and as understood since the beginnings of the Republic. This common understanding ensures respect for the law and allegiance to our institutions, and it is an instrument for transmitting our Constitution to later generations undiminished in meaning and force. It bears repeating that it is a serious matter if law enforcement officers violate the sanctity of the home by ignoring the requisites of lawful entry. Security must not be subject to erosion by indifference or contempt.

Gooooooooooooooooooo AMK!!! Similar to Lawrence, AMK continues to use sweeping flowery rhetoric to describe the sanctity of security at home. If an NSA case survives the state secrets privilege and makes its way through the courts, I'd be a tad bit worried if I was General Clement.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Boalt Hall Southern Division

I suppose I should mention this report by Leiter that UCR wants to have a law school. From what I've been reading, there's a lot of misunderstanding about the UC system out there. Here are my thoughts in no particular order.

When a campus within the UC wants to add a particular school or department, the initiative is that campus's alone, not the the university's. Eventually the plan must be approved by the Regents of the UC, but that's down the road. So, I really don't want to hear any UC bashing over this. UCR wants its cash and reputation to go up, so a law school's a good way to do it. (See, e.g., executive summary, stating, "UCR has identified a School of Law, a School of Medicine, and a School of Public Policy as the best professional schools to strengthen and enhance the campus"). You may read that previous statement as you wish.

Public law schools are great. All public education is great. I have never had anything BUT public education and I embrace it wholeheartedly. Hell I'll even donate to the new law school when and if it opens. But at the same time we can't forget that Riverside is Riverside. I still think UCLA and U$C are not enough for the SoCal market and another top 25ish school would be great. I think UCSD is the campus to pull something like that off, especially given their great poli sci and regional studies programs. Anywho...that's that.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Continuation: The Clerks

In case the original thread is too far down the blog now, here's another post to continue the discussion. I found this resource on a tip from an associate I work with. It doesn't cover much, but what it covers, it covers well.

Howard Bashman's interviews with judges

Here's a link to the original post and comments.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Grade Me Now

Both Volokh and Kerr discuss curves in law schools, with an emphasis on the increase in the mean/median GPA. Well it seems like most schools are hovering around a 3.2 curve with Stanford at 3.4. Hmmm, so where do we stand?

Just to explain things to 0Ls, in your first year large sections the curve is top 10% = HH, next 30% = H, and remaining 60% = P. If we assume the grading basis used to determine order of the coif (HH=5, H=3, and P=2) then simple math gives us a mean curve of 2.6 and of course a median of 2.

Another way of doing it would be to do what the main campus registrar does...convert all H grades to A and all P grades to B. That of course gives use a 3.4 mean GPA with a 3.0 still as the median. But that doesn't seem right. Keeping my ears close to the ground, the most common way I've heard our grades distilled is by counting the number of H grades. Similar to the one above, but with a slight twist. So my hunch is that our curve is not that far off the rest of the schools. It's just a matter of figuring out the right numerical value to assign to an H and to a P to get a 3.2 curve.

In other news, I'm glad to hear that the Virginia Supreme Court rejected the testimony of Dr. Stan Samenow (in a redux of the Atkins case that many of you will remember from law review write-on 05). Samenow's main argument is that every criminal makes a choice to commit crimes. Forget about poverty, education, opportunity, influence of groups, etc. It all boils down to choice. And this guy was used by the state to testify in the case of someone arguing mental retardation. Sigh.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Angelides Among Us / Wagons Westly

Cal primaries open thread. It's about as exciting as going to a second cousin's wedding or something. Actually if you feel you have nothing to say about the elections just talk about summer movies you've seen or can't wait to see. Isn't the remake of The Omen opening today? And who was in the original, Peck?


Sunday, June 04, 2006

World Cup Open Thread

My prediction(s): US advances out of round robin but loses in first round of elimination. I don't see Brazil losing up to the final match. If they choke during the final, that's a different story. I'll add more later.

UPDATE: For some reason I think the people at EA sports should concentrate more on improving their graphics.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

So You're Going to be a Lawyer...

I didn't want to detract from the 0L thread, but it seems to have settled down somewhat (my 2 cents for 1Ls-to-be: don't worry about it).

Well, I finished my first week at a law firm. I did something else last summer, so it's all pretty new to me. I should preface this by saying that I'm a person who went to law school by process of elimination. Honestly, I never really wanted to be a lawyer, by which I mean I never REALLY WANTED it, but I did eventually decide it might be okay. What I didn't decide would be okay was a career as an S.F. or S.V. lawyer working 80-hour weeks. I'm just not that ambitious. So I took a job in a mellower market this summer, and I've got to say....this place is pretty sweet.

Is my firm special? I don't really know. It seems like everyone everywhere thinks their firm is special, especially in the wining and dining days of summer. But these lawyers either love their jobs and really like one another or they're doing an excellent job of fooling me about it. The best part is that they all leave around 5pm. In their BMWs. It's still work, of course, and as I try to outlast most of the lawyers, the workdays can get a little long for my taste. But I've never had a workday go by faster than the ones this past week.

I'm not trying to brag about how great my summer is going to be. That would be obnoxious, and thus utterly unlike me. I'm just trying to process how I'm feeling: that I might actually be comfortable doing this for the long term. It's a surprising result, given the fact that I decided to do firm work this summer with the mind-set of ruling it out. Maybe I'm just finally starting to grow up.