Saturday, September 29, 2007

Certain Proof That DE Reads N&B

Anonymous said...

Is there any letter or memo to the Boalt student body that explains:

(1) Exactly who our competition is, (2) Why the only solution is more money
(3) Why tuition and fees are the most logical place to get that money?

I feel like a lot of us "know" the answers, but have never actually been told.
9/27/2007 1:18 PM

This was followed by.....
9/29/07 6:21 pm
To: JD Student
cc: Everyone Else

Attached is a rather long memorandum from me explaining what happened, what I did, and why. It's pretty long, but I had a lot to say. In addition to this memorandum, we will soon be posting on the Boalt home page a Q&A document, which covers some of the same ground but provides additional data.

Be well.

Dean and Professor of Law
Boalt Hall, U.C. Berkeley

Kudos DE, kudos.

And in passing I will note that I wholly support DE's mission, and thank him for all the effort he has invested these last few years. I also thank him for the chairs.

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Friday, September 28, 2007


Speaking of diversity, today's NYT has a really fascinating article on affirmative action and UCLA. I've only had time to glance through the first page, but it seems like worth the read.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007


In my morning news glance, I noticed this item via Yahoo. Please take a moment to read the story. Back? Ok good. So if you're the AUSA in charge of writing that complaint, what would you say?

This is how I'd write it:

1. Illinois can't do this. See, e.g., McCulloch v. Maryland.

2. Therefore, the United States prays for a declaratory judgment that the law is unconstitutional.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

How I Stopped to Learn Worrying

A front page Washington Post article describes an event too stunning to let pass without comment:
Just after 9 a.m. on Aug. 29, a group of U.S. airmen entered a sod-covered bunker on North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base with orders to collect a set of unarmed cruise missiles bound for a weapons graveyard. They quickly pulled out a dozen cylinders, all of which appeared identical from a cursory glance, and hauled them along Bomber Boulevard to a waiting B-52 bomber.

The airmen attached the gray missiles to the plane's wings, six on each side. After eyeballing the missiles on the right side, a flight officer signed a manifest that listed a dozen unarmed AGM-129 missiles. The officer did not notice that the six on the left contained nuclear warheads, each with the destructive power of up to 10 Hiroshima bombs.

That detail would escape notice for an astounding 36 hours, during which the missiles were flown across the country to a Louisiana air base that had no idea nuclear warheads were coming. It was the first known flight by a nuclear-armed bomber over U.S. airspace, without special high-level authorization, in nearly 40 years.
You can read the full piece here. Or here, for that matter.

The event is almost a month old, so perhaps most of the fallout is over. Then again maybe not--in the Post's front page words yesterday, "a simple error in a missile storage room led to missteps at every turn." They make it sound like our missile handlers are asleep at the wheel at best, and a total clown show at worst.

Our government remains mired Iraq while increasing pressure on Iran. We are in constant dicker-status with North Korea, and professionally concerned about Russia's nuclear security--all because we maintain we are so freaking responsible that it is our duty to take care of the world in the nuclear age. Meanwhile, on the home front, we accidentally flew six nuclear warheads across the United States, and failed to notice for thirty six hours. The whole scenario is so disturbing I don't even know how to express my outrage.

What does that say about our country's ability to handle, well, anything?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Did you get your $1,000 worth this week?

The Regents are raising fees again. Story here. To people currently applying for law school, I feel for you.

I wonder what the total cost of schooling would become at this point. $40K for tuition, another thousand a month for living expenses (if you're a cheapskate) and we're over $50,000 a year. Now, let's talk interest rates.

Yikes. I hope people think very carefully about whether they really want to be lawyers before incurring the costs of law school. I also worry about what the overwhelming cost of school will have on the student body. Imagine this: you take four class a semester, at about $5,000 a class. Will the professors recognize how much it costs you to sit and listen to them? Will they notice enough to improve their teaching or preparation? I hope so.

Anyway, I'm trying to cut back on posting owing to no longer being a student, but I thought folks might want to comment on this.

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Goldstein State Warrior

On Monday, September 24, 2007, at 12:45 in Room 110, Tom Goldstein will be speaking at Boalt. If you don't know who Tom Goldstein is, well you need your pulse checked. Along with his wife, Amy Howe, Tom revolutionized the Supreme Court practice by stealing cases from under the noses of the big guns. Today, Tom practices with the big guns at Akin Gump's DC office. However, Tom remains one of the most prolific litigators before the Court as well as one of the more informed commentators. I regularly read the SCOTUSBlog which Tom and Amy created. In short, I am saddened that I will not be able to attend this talk.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Clerical Errors

Anonymous passes along this post that s/he does not dare post. So, I copy/paste.


Some hypos for clerkship candidates from a Boalt alum working for a federal judge. What would you do in the following circumstances?

1. A defendant in a high-stakes wrongful death suit is a major trucking and transport company. This company has sought to suppress prejudicial portions of a report which the Plaintiff's expert witness has prepared. There might be some merit to the motion to suppress, and you decide to think it over before making a recommendation to your Judge. On the way home from work, a truck driver cuts you off and forces you to slam on your brakes in the middle of an intersection. You see that the truck belongs to the defendant trucking company. Would it be wrong to recommend denying the motion to suppress because you're so pissed off?

2. There is a criminal trial. You see that one of the jurors is good looking, not drop dead gorgeous, but cute in a hot nerd/Ugly Betty kind of way. Would it be improper to obtain her phone number from the clerk's office and ask her out? What if you wait until after the verdict?

Practicing your responses to these and similar questions will make you stellar in those clerkship interviews and impress any judge. Good luck!

2007 OCIP Callbacks

Sorry all, I've been busy moving. Alright, leave callback offers and rejections here. I will delete the comments that just list the call back info. Be sure to check out the format from the OCIP threads from prior years on the sidebar. Just in case you're too lazy: Firm Name, Office, + or -.

A few notes. I am not participating in my firm's recruitment process this year in any way (at least I'm not aware that I am) so that's why I am doing this. And I'm too much of an egomaniac to give admin access to someone else (for now). Also, I personally hate doing this, but some find it useful. If you don't, please do not read it. If you freak out easily, don't read it.

Lastly, if you are comfortable with e-mailing me (I promise not to reveal your id in any way, shape, or form) please do so at armenaut-at-gmail. This will make things infinitely easier for me in the next few weeks as I juggle unpacking, starting work, and fantasy football/baseball overlap.

Good luck.

Update: Ok, I'm moving it up, but I'm a bit busy so I may not update the listing today.


Akin Gump, DC +, LA +, NY -, SF +/-, SV +
Alameda DA +
Allen Matkins, LA +, OC +, SF +/-
Arnold & Porter, DC +, LA -
Baker Botts, DC +
Baker McKenzie, DC -, SD -, SF +, SV +
Beyer Weaver, Oak+
Bingham, W.LA +, SF +, SV +, WC +
Boies Schiller, DC +, NY +
Bryan Cave, W.LA +, OC +
Chadbourne, NY +
Chapman Cutler, SF -
Cleary, DC +/-, NY +/-
Cooley, SD -, SF+/-, SV +/-
Covington & Burling, DC +/-, SF +/-
Cox Castle, LA +
Crowell & Moring, DC +
Cravath, NY +
Curtis, NY +
Davis Polk, NY +/-, SV +/-
Davis Wright, LA -, SF -
Debevoise, NY +/-
Dechert, Bos +, DC +/-, NB +, NY +, SF +/-, SV +
Dewey, LA +, SV +
Dickinson Peatman Fogarty, Napa +
DLA Piper, Chi +/-, LA +, NY +, SD +/-, SF +/-, SV +/-
Dow Lohnes, DC -
Drinker Biddle, SF -
Faegre & Benson, MN +
Farella, SF +/-
Fenwick, SV +
Fish & Richardson, Bos +, NY -, SD +/-, SV +
Foley Lardner, LA +, SF +
Folger, SF -
Freshfields, Lon +/-, NY +
Fried Frank, DC +/-, NY +/-
Fulbright, LA +/-, NY +
Gibson Dunn, DC -, LA +, NY +, OC +/-, SF +/-, SV +/-
Gibson Robb & Lindh +
Goodwin Proctor, Bos +, DC -, LA +, NY +, SF -, SV +
Gordon Rees, DC -
Greenburg Traurig, DC -, LA +/-, NY -, SV +/-
Greene Rodovsky, SF +
Gunderson, SV +/-
Hanson Bridgett +/-
Heller, LA +, NY +/-, SD +, SF +/-, SV +
Hogan & Hartson, DC +/-, LA +, NY +
Holland & Knight, DC -, LA +, SF -
Holme Roberts & Owen, SF +/-
Howard Rice, SF +/-
Hughes Hubbard, NY +/-, LA +
Hunton and Williams, DC -, NY +
Irell, LA +/-, NB +/-
Jeffer Mangels, LA +
Jenner & Block, Chi +/-
Jones Day, DC +/-, LA +, NY +, SF +/-, SV +
Kaye Scholer, LA +
Keker, SF -
Kenyons, SV +
King & Spalding, NY +
Kirkland, DC +/-, LA +/-, NY -, SF +/-
Kirkpatrick Lockhart, LA -
Kramer Levin, NY +
Latham, Chi -, DC +, HK -, LA +, NY +/-, SD +, SF +/-, SV +/-
LeBoeuf, DC +, NY +, SF +
Lewis Feinberg Lee +
Lief Cabreser, -
Loebs, LA -
Luce Forward, SD +/-
Manatt, LA -, NY +, SV -
Mayer Brown, Chi +, DC +, LA +, SV +
McDermott, Chi +, DC +, LA +/-, OC +
Milbank Tweed, LA +/-, NY +
Mitchell Silberberg, LA -
Morgan Lewis, DC +, LA +/-, SF +/-, SV +/-
MoFo, LA +, NY +, OC +, SD +/-, SF +/-, SV +/-, Tok +
Munger, LA -
Nichols Castor, SF +
Nixon, SF +/-, NY +
Norton Rose, Lon +
Office of Leg. Counsel, DC -
O'Melveny, CC +/-, DC +, LA +, NY +/-, OC +, SF +, SV +
Orrick, LA +/-, NY +, SF +/-, Sea -, SV +/-
Patterson, NY +/-
Paul Hastings, Chi +, DC +, LA +, NY +, SF +, SV +
Paul Weiss, NY +/-
Perkins Coie, Sea -, SF +, SV +/-
Pillsbury, DC +, LA +, NY +, SF +, SV +
Pircher, LA +
Proskauer Rose, LA +, NY +/-
Quinn, LA -, SF +/-
Reed Smith, LA +, Oak +, SF +
Ropes & Gray, Bos +, DC -, NY +, SF +/-, SV +
Rutan, OC +
Schiff Hardin, Chi -, SF +/-
Sedgwick, -
Shartsis Friese +
Shearman & Sterling, NY +, SF +/-, SV -
Sheppard Mullin, LA +, OC +, SD +, SF +/-
Shook, Hardy & Bacon, SF +
Shulte Roth, NY +
Sidley, Chi +, DC +, LA +, NY +, SF +
Simpson, LA +/-, NY +/-, SV +/-
Skadden, HK +, LA +/-, NY +/-, SF +, SV +
Sonnenscheim, SF -, SV +
Squire, SF/SV +
Steefel, SF +/-
Steptoe & Johnson, DC +
Sullivan & Cromwell, DC -, LA +, NY +, SV -
Thelen, NY +, SF +/-, SV +
Townsend^2, SD -, SV +
Wachtell, + (rumors)/-
Weil, NY +, SV +
White & Case, LA +/-, SV +/-
Williams & Connelly +/-
Willkie Farr, NY +/-
Wilmer Hale, Bos +, DC +/-, PA +, NY +/-, SV -
Wilson Sonsini, SV +
Winston, Chi +, DC +/-, LA +/-, SF +/-

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A Civil Action

On Friday, Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, who is sometimes described as the "angriest black man in Nebraska," or "the maverick Obama," sued God in County Court. The media loves it.

Some arguments in his lawsuit are clever (particularly the observation that Douglas County District Court has jurisdiction because God is omnipresent). But according to the Senator, the suit is actually a calculated political response to an "epidemic of frivolous lawsuits." He intends to show that anyone can be sued, which he thinks is a fault (and not a feature) of our legal system.

My reaction is irritation. It took a while (over a half-dozen articles) to ferret out Chambers' own position on so-called frivolous lawsuits. That made me wonder if his actions were the product of moral outrage, or desire for publicity. Once I was able to figure out what he actually claims he is up to (basically making the point that if he can get away with this, something must be seriously wrong with the system) I still could not see how his suit will actually make anything better. If frivolous suits are so bad, why file another? The "raising awareness of issues" argument doesn't fly with me--an inmate recently "made headlines" by suing Hank Aaron's baseball bat, and that publicity didn't fix much. Further, I do not think a Senator should condone use of the legal system as a publicity mechanism, although I realize it happens all the time.

I hope the Douglas County District court takes the Senator's advice, starting with his own case: I hope the judge slaps him with a giant sanction, and refers both he and his attorneys to the Nebraska bar as examples.

Monday, September 17, 2007


The LAT has an op/ed today about the influence of Alfred Peet. Please read it. I was a coffee retard until I came to Berkeley. Thanks to my classmates and an insatiable habit, I developed a taste for good coffee. As it turns out, Peet had a lot to do with that. In general, the Bay Area has far superior coffee than any other part of the country with the single exception of maybe Seattle. In the 50s, espresso machines came to SF's North Beach cafes from Italy. Combined with the beat generation, this created a sensation. My $3.50 iced grande latte this morning is the legacy of that movement. Of course, if it weren't for the original Peet's (on Walnut and Vine), who knows what today's coffee culture would have embraced. ("I'd like an iced grande crack cocaine please. No whip cream.")

Also it looks like UCI is rehiring Erwin.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nothing Rhymes with Mukasey

Rumors are that by morning the former Chief Judge of the Southern District of NY will be nominated to be the new AG. This is an interesting choice.

1. I don't think very many people will question Judge Mukasey's legal acumen. But then again, the same can be said of Roberts.

2. He presided over the trial of the blind sheikh following the 93 WTC bombing, and he was the first judge to hear Jose Padilla's habeas petition. In that case he held that Padilla had a right to a lawyer, but the Executive had a right to detain citizens as enemy combatants.

3. Relatedly, he has written this op/ed for the WSJ. In the Sheikh trial, Mukasey got burned. Prosecutors turned over the list of 200 or so co-conspirators. Mukasey warned the defense that the names are to be used only for the preparation of the defense of the accused. Apparently within 10 days, the names were in Al Qaeda hands, informing them of the agents we had made. He's still pissed off about this, which might explain his view that terror trials are a bad idea.

4. No matter how badly he got burned, the AG position does not need yet another person who thinks our laws and legal system should be trampled over in the name of a "War" on Terror. I have little doubt this is the reason why the loyal Bushies find him an appropriate candidate. But then again, those guys found a way to make Aschroft look like a civil libertarian.

5. Relevant citations: Padilla v. Bush, 233 F. Supp. 2d 564 (S.D.N.Y. 2002); Padilla v. Rumsfeld, 2003 WL 1057319 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) (smacking down Paul Clement's motion to reconsider).


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chim Chim Chemerinsky

Today's LAT has a very fascinating article. Two important developments. 1) There are now efforts to bring Chemerinsky back, and 2) the names of the people who apparently derailed the appointment. This latter one is the important one.

-- Ronald M. George, C.J. Apparently an op/ed that EC wrote criticizing post-conviction habeas relief in California and elsewhere pissed off the Chief. He sent a letter to the LAT and UCI. Interesting. "Dear Chief Justice George, if that is your real name, please spend less time worrying about op/eds in the LAT and more time scrutinizing silly death sentences from places like Turlock. Also a few more opinions on the issue I'm researching would be great, but that's more of a personal request."

-- LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. He passed around (HT: Leiter, who's been on the ball with this fiasco) the contact info of UCI to supporters in an effort to have the appointment of Chemerinsky derailed. "Dear Mike, the only reason you're not the worst County supervisor is because of Yvonne Burke, Gloria Molina, and Zev Yaroslovsky. If I knew more about Don Knape, I'd throw him in there somewhere too. You are a member of the most useless body of local government. If ever there was an office with no accountability, no responsibility, and an opportunity for personal gain, it's your office. How about you spend some time investigating the County Sheriff's use of his powers to promote campaign donors? You're in charge of the largest mass transit system in the country. Care to work on a plan to bring effective mass transit to the LA Metro area? It's not like you're about to voted out of office. You'd think a few decades in office would be enough time to figure something out. Also, having your name attached to a stretch of highway while you're still alive and in office is just plain vanity. Stop doing that. Oh and keep yourself and your supporters out of the business of influencing academic appointments. If you want a rabid right wing law school, join forces with Tom Monaghan and start Ave Maria, the sequel. Jerk."

-- Various Republicans in OC. These guys got a hold of Chancellor Drake's cell number and bombarded him with calls. "Dear Wealthy OC Republicans, spend more time with your slutty, drug addicted kids. They've forever ruined MTV for me. Instead of calling Drake's cellphone, I highly encourage you to check your daughter's txt msgs and facebook pokes. Surprise!!!"


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Erwinning is Losing

I'm sure people have already read about the fiasco at UCI Law School. Stuart Benjamin speculates what may have happened here. Considering that the dean's job is to raise money and recruit faculty, the school is tanked all because the named donor (their equivalent of Boalt) balked.

On the flip side, there are apparently some Boalt alumni who are reluctant to donate to Boalt and Edley because they feel his vision is too liberal. In a weird way, the whole legal education and profession are a bit of a wag the dog dilemma. I seem to remember Wings and Vodka posting about how UT is using every square inch for corporate donor sponsorships, but I just can't find it. (My personal favorite from W&V: Outlines). The only other substantive thing I could add is that Chemerinsky has done a great deal for the Los Angeles community (LA Charter Commission, LAPD Commission, commentator during the OJ Trial, etc.) and I was terribly sad to see him leave U$C for Duke. Now I'm even sadder to see UCI act like a bunch of grade A morons.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And you thought your laptop was safe because you weren't studying in the library...

For those who don't read the UCPD blotter.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Friendly Clerkship Advice

I'm the last person to offer clerkship advice, so I won't. However, a friend of N&B e-mailed me this post that s/he does not wish to take credit for. So, I pass it on to you gentle readers.


I have a good feeling for Boalties receiving telephone calls tomorrow AM. But let's remember that - just like with the Miss America pageant --deportment and poise counts even in the scheduling phone call. Thankfully, our home office has collected the typical "rookie mistakes" first-time phone interview-schedulers make with prestigious federal judges. Watch out for these tempting -- but dangerous -- lines:

10. Can we schedule this a little later, because I am NOT a morning person.

9. What do you mean you're in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? I thought the courthouse was at the end of the Bay Pt. train.

8. I'm available to meet any time! Unless it conflicts with The Pick-Up Artist.

7. I know we pay for our own airfare and hotel. But who picks up the in-room porn?

6. I'm going to tell you right now: I can't stand those little shit Yalies.

5. How does the judge feel about being named A3G's "#2 Super-Diva" of the federal bench"?

4. Is there a lot of writing involved in this clerkship?

3. I can't commit to anything right now. I'm waiting for a call from the Ron Paul campaign.

2. Would the judge also be interested in trading LT for Anquan Boldin and Plaxico Buress?

And straight from the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska, comes the worst possible thing you could say tomorrow morning.

1. Fucking awesome! Who says 9/11 can't be a terrific day?


Clerks II

This 1L (who is interested in clerking later) does not know what to make of DE's closing remark in this morning's email:
"There is a popular misconception that we don't do as well as our peers in obtaining clerkships. In fact, we are competitive with our peers on this front. According to the 2006 numbers (the most recent year for which we have hard data), 14% of our 2006 graduating class went directly into clerkships. That was better than Columbia (13.5%), NYU (13%), Michigan (13%), U Penn (12.7%), Northwestern (10.6%), Georgetown (10%), and Cornell (10%) (although not as good as Yale (42%), Harvard (22.6%), Stanford (25.8%), Chicago (20.7%), Duke (19%), or Virginia (16%))."
Who collects and reports the numbers? Is there a distinction between the KIND of clerkship these applicants are getting? Between which applicants are being reported? All other factors being equal, if DE is correct, why the conception that Boalt is behind the curve at placing clerks? What is it based upon?

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Home, sweet library

It's 4:51 in the afternoon, and I'm not in the law library. A strange sense of guilt hangs over me. As though it misses me and wants me back.

Library, I will return to you. I promise. I know it's only been three weeks, but I think we really have something special going on. Maybe it's that quiet hush you get after I settle down into the chair in my favorite corner. Or perhaps it's the way your air-conditioning vents blow a cool breeze across the back of my neck. When I walk the echoing, concrete floors of your stacks, I am not frightened (even though it's the perfect place for serial killers to lurk), because I know you are with me.

Still, I need space. Sunlight. Fresh air. It's not that what we have isn't good. You're the best library I've ever had, baby. Don't be mad at me. You know I won't be gone for long.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Kevin Smith's Commentary

Alright you know what this means. It's Kevin Smith and Kevin Smithship time. Basically, this is a thread to satisfy the neurotic eccentricism of a certain 3L.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Everyone's a Winner Today at Lunch!

I know it's old news by now, but can someone attending today's appropriately titled BCLT/BTLJ Nixon Peabody Lunch Program in Room 110, Advancing to the Next Level - The World of Interactive Entertainment and Media please make sure to ask them about their not-theme song, and the ensuing embarrassing debacle - and post the result.

Check out youtube, abovethelaw, and wsj lawblog for more info and back story.