Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Liu to California Supreme Court?

Governor Brown has nominated Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court.  A worthy replacement for Justice Moreno, I would say.


Monday, July 25, 2011


From the Ontario (Calif.) Record
February 16, 1911

Local attorneys are much interested in a bill offered in the legislature by Senator Caminetti, which provides that graduates of the San Francisco Law School, as well as the law department of the University of California and Stanford, shall be entitled to practice before the State courts without examination.  The bill also provides that the chief justice of the State Supreme Court may order an examination if he sees fit.

Many lawyers are opposed to the bill for the reason that it is claimed law students even in practical law colleges did not get the inner spirit of the law as those who realize they must buckle down to the acquiring of legal knowledge in a way that will help them to pass a severe examination of the Appellate Court, or other examination.

Professor Woodward of Stanford, who has been advocating the Bar Association’s bill for a State board of examiners to supervise the admission of attorneys to practice, thinks that no law school graduate should have a license without examination.

Ursus Major

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

My ExamSoft Nightmare . . . with Happy Ending

I almost forgot to post this: I have something important to say about taking the bar with a laptop. During last year’s California exam my laptop crashed in the middle of a Performance Test, and I ended up having to write the remainder of the exam by hand. This post is about how to avoid my experience.

The trouble hit after I had spent about 15-20 minutes reading the PT file, taking notes, and outlining my answer by hand, during which time my computer’s power-save function set in and dimmed the screen. When I turned to begin typing, the computer not wake back up. I tried key taps ("tap . . tap-tap . . .TAP-TAP . . . TAPAKAACCKALAK-TAPTAPTAP!!!"). I tried mouse movements ("scribble . . . scribble-scribble-click-click"). I tried unplugging and re-plugging my power cord . . . nothing. Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

So, after a bit of fretting, I tried rebooting the machine. Nope. This freaked out the ExamSoft program -- it booted straight into ExamSoft and promptly reported an “error” message that left me unable to (1) enter ExamSoft or (2) boot my computer back to Windows. There I was, stuck in blue-screen error land, while everyone else was ferociously typing away.

I raised my hand and looked for my elderly proctor, but got no response. I stood, surveyed the room, and spotted her in a chair near the far end of my row. Fast asleep. I walked over, woke her, and asked for paper to hand-write my exam. After what felt like an eternity she returned, I set my computer aside, and returned to the PT answer I had outlined by hand. Shaken and more than a little stressed I looked down at the page and discovered that nothing -- and I mean NOTHING -- I had scrawled less than a half hour ago made any sense whatsoever. I recognized my handwriting and I knew what the individual words meant, but I couldn’t fathom how they might be related to one and other or point toward a logical legal exposition. (Comparison here to an unpleasant, public acid trip would not be inapt.) Not only could I not remember the structure of my answer, but I could not even remember the basic issue in the fact pattern. It was all the way back to square one for me.

I set to work, re-read the file, wrote my answer by hand, submitted that sucker in a giant paper envelope, and thought the worst was behind me.


Remember how I couldn’t reboot my compute or enter ExamSoft? Well, I also had not yet uploaded my answers from the previous day, and I certainly couldn’t upload them now. Half the bar exam was sitting on my computer, with no apparent way to get it to the graders. When the exam ended I entered phase two of my personal little nightmare: an evening trying to multitask (1) being on hold with ExamSoft (the week of the bar exam is an, uh, “busy time” for the two freaking people they have doing customer service) and (2) celebrating with my classmates. Ultimately, with the midnight deadline fast approaching, I found myself:
  1. Sitting on the sidewalk above the 19th Street Oakland BART station,
  2. Drunk,
  3. Poaching internet from some unsecured wireless network,
  4. Listening to a very tired ExamSoft representative recite strange combinatons of letters and numbers for me to type into a command line I had never seen on my computer, all in an effort to
  5. Complete the upload of my precious, precious bar exam answers.
Eventually the answers did upload, I got onto BART, and -- months later -- learned that I passed the bar. So, "all’s well that ends well," right? Well, yes, but it's also "not the destination but the journey that matters."

Here is how to NOT share my journey. ExamSoft, which operates by locking out access to all other files on the computer, also locked out access to whatever file was needed for my computer’s screen to “wake” from power-save mode. I later heard that similar issues can arise with automatic antivirus and updates settings. It turns out that one simple little setting change before the bar exam -- i.e., had I told my computer never to sleep or dim while plugged in -- would have spared me all that time, misery, and anxiety.

And that, Dear Reader, is my advice to you: disable your antivirus software’s automatic updates function and double-check your power-save settings. It will be 20 seconds well spent.

Oh, and one other thing: if you DO end up writing by hand, it’s actually not all that bad . . . really. I promise.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

A[nother] Final Last Bar Post

I have to admit to a particular degree of sympathy to this year's bar takers: after sitting for the California bar last summer, my plans have changed and I will now take another bar exam, in another state, this summer. I've suddenly become a huge supporter of reciprocity, although I suppose my motivation -- like my anger over the drinking age when I was twenty years old -- will quickly fade.

My new state (Washington) is also a community property state, which means that for the second July in a row I am one hundred percent up to speed on the legal implications of income acquired during marriage. Certainly I am at least as up to speed as the lawyers in Silverman v. Silverman, a very recent divorce case in which a ridiculously wealthy private equity executive made the following argument as to why all that money -- which he acquired during marriage -- should be deemed separate property:
A state judge has barred an "enormously successful" private equity firm executive from presenting in a pending divorce expert psychological evidence he claims will show that "his unique personality traits," or "personal capital," enabled him to amass $450 million in business assets during a marriage of more than 30 years.
. . .

"In purporting to prove that the success of the business is solely attributable to his innate genius, the expert opinion evidence offered by the Husband offers no assistance to the finder of fact in fashioning an equitable distribution of the estate based on the contributions of each party to the marital partnership," Justice Drager wrote.
I don't know what gives me more pleasure: the bench-slap handed to the lawyers who tried to make this argument with a straight face, or the $225 million loss their client is going to take after giving them the thumbs up. The one question I want answered it this: why did he THINK she married him?

[Proof of Husband's 'Genius' Barred in Property Distribution.]


Five Rules for Studying for the Bar

Note, 07/22/11: Final bump for the bar exam.

By way of encouragement, I would like to share the following true story from my own encounter with the CA bar last summer.

The first question on the bar last summer was a long, drawn-out torts issue-spotter with lots of battery and assault and negligence by the owner of arestaurant or bowling alley or something like that. The fact pattern concluded by asking, "Who is liable to whom, and for what?" Question two was ethics (I think), and question three was a horrible screw-job of an evidence question that instructed, "Answer according to California law." Like pretty much everyone, that question shook me up and at lunch I tried to find a quiet place to eat to collect myself. While I was there three women entered and sat at the table next to me. They started reviewing the morning's questions.

Their treatment of the first question was a long discussion about mental states, merger, and attempt, before one of the women, looking genuinely perplexed, asked, ". . . wait, wasn't that a torts question?"

THIS is the competition:

Hat tip to McTwo for reminding me of the fine work by Mr. Andrew Fong, featured above.

These are my five rules for sanely navigating Bar/Bri and the bar study process. There may be others, but that's for the discussion to follow. Here we go.

Rule 1: Do what has worked for you. We all have different ways of organizing and compartmentalizing information for quick/effective recall later on. For some people, including Bar/Bri, mnemonics work. For me, they didn't. I personally recall things better when I write them out, and discuss. You may like flashcards. I couldn't use them.

Rule 2: Accept the principle of the Bar/Bri schedule, but not every technical detail of it. It makes sense to practice on a subject that you just learned, and later return to earlier subjects to constantly refresh your memory. But the pace is not mandatory.

Rule 3: How you study now should be different than how you study in late June/July. Right now, your goal is to learn elements, basic doctrine, etc. that you will be called upon to recall and apply to facts. Bar/Bri gives you a number of ways to learn those. See Rule 1. As you progress, your goal should become to apply what you have learned under test conditions. In the month of July, for example, it might make sense to do 3 essay questions back to back to back, or 100 MCs. By that time, you should also be able to fit everything you need to know about each subject on a single sheet of paper. In fact, there are such mini outlines floating around. Ask your colleagues. So to summarize: May (learning subjects / elements / doctrine) ---> Early June (same as May but increasingly returning to old subjects) ---> Late June (condensing knowledge of legal doctrine into bare essentials, increasing essay writing, MCs) ---> July (start memorizing bare essential legal doctrines, focus exclusively on preparing for the marathon that is the CalBar).

Rule 4: Try to study at least part of the time with others. Again, with the caveat of Rule 1, it was very helptul to hash out the issues presented by an essay among a few of us to get a better idea of what we all could have done to write a better answer. Also I often found myself distracted when I was alone. But with others, we all felt too guilty to be distracted so we stayed on pace. At the same time, working with others was helpful for Rule 5 in terms of having non-legal discussions and the like.

Rule 5: Have a release. This process is going to dominate every ounce of your soul. If it means taking a couple of evenings off to have dinner and watch TV (FX shows are about to start right in time), then do it. If it means taking Saturdays off to go to ball games, then do it. No guilty feeling here. The California bar is a three day marathon. And on the third day, it's your endurance that will be the biggest factor, not whether you went through an extra 100 flashcards. So I think not overburdening your mind early in the process is important.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Administration Gets it Right: Boalt Won't See Further Fee Increases this Year

Dean Edl*y just sent an email to the student body stating that we'll all be getting roughly $1100 in scholarship money to offset the 9.6% increase agreed on by the UC Regents last week.

Edl*y wrote that the increase came too late and that the school would be able to absorb the rise for this year. He also predicts that UC tuition will continue to rise over the years as the state continues to defund the system.

Here's the full text of the letter:
Dear Students:
I am sure that many of you have heard about the recent fee increase approved by the Regents last week. At their meeting on Thursday, the Regents voted to increase system-wide fees for all students, including professional students, by $1,068 for the coming year. The Regents concluded, and I agree, that the budget deal struck in Sacramento left the UC system with no alternative. The state's retreat from higher education continues what has become a sad trend in recent years, not just here in California, but across the nation.

This state's retreat has been most acute at the professional schools. Bitter though this pill is for us to swallow, it does have one benefit: although we have less remaining state subsidy, we will have more financial flexibility, and more autonomy than do other academic units within the U.C. system.

I am choosing to exercise this autonomy in the coming year to effectively reverse this last minute fee increase for all three of our JD classes, including our new admits. Each JD student will receive an immediate, automatic scholarship in the amount of $1,068. The tuition increase is just too much, and it came too late. I am optimistic that the added costs to the law school of providing this financial aid can be offset by increased alumni donations as the economy recovers, and by continuing efforts to hold down less-than-essential expenses.

You may be wondering what, if anything, this portends for the future of fees here at UC broadly and at Berkeley Law School in particular. Unfortunately, it is likely that tuition at the University of California will continue to increase in the coming years. However, I am confident that total fees at Berkeley Law will not need to increase any faster than they do at other top-tier law schools in the years ahead. By our calculations—and murky disclosures make comparisons tricky—our tuition next year (net of the new automatic scholarship referenced above) will be comparable to those at the Universities of Michigan and Virginia and below those of many of our private competitors.

Obviously, I cannot make any guarantees about future tuition levels. What I can guarantee you is that Berkeley Law will remain a financially-competitive, intellectually-luminous, professionally cutting-edge, culturally-superior, and all around fabulous law school community in the decades to come. Count on it.
Maybe this was an easy decision, but it was still the right one.

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More Evidence of a Shift in the Political Tide?

Yesterday, President Obama nominated Michael Walter Fitzgerald (Boalt '85) to be a District Judge at the C.D. Cal.  He would be the first openly gay judge at the C.D. Cal.  This comes on the heels of the smooth confirmation of Judge Oetken to the S.D.N.Y., which some have remarked as being remarkably unremarkable.  As I've said before, there's still a lot of progress left to be done, but the issue of gay rights does not appear to be the lightning rod of firestorm for the far right it once was. 

More importantly, I'm hearing through the rumor mill (I haven't had any direct dealings with him or his firm) that Michael is a great lawyer.  So three cheers on the nomination of a Boaltie to the federal bench and here's to a smooth confirmation process. 


Monday, July 18, 2011


From the Oakland Times
February 26, 1920

Bruce C. Basford, U.C. Law Student, Victim Flue and Sleeping Sickness

Berkeley’s first case of sleeping sickness resulted yesterday in the death of Bruce Cartwright Basford, post-graduate student of the University of California.  He succumbed after a sleep of four days.

Basford was 26 years old and a graduate of the State University with the class of 1917.  He was taking a course in law and had just been initiated into the Phi Alpha Delta pre-legal honor society a few days before stricken with his fatal illness.

About two years ago, Basford inherited an estate of some $300,000 left by a wealthy uncle, Roger Johnson.  He lived with his wife, formerly Beta Fogg, a University of California student, at the Cambridge Apartments, 2500 Durant avenue Berkeley.  

A week ago, Basford was stricken with influenza.  The malady developed into a case of sleeping sickness last Saturday, from which he never regained consciousness.

Ursus Major


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Let's Talk About Debt

I've been meaning to write a post about this for a while, but thinking about my impending debt gives me a major case of the sads. Like death or what my scrambled eggs actually are, I find life is more enjoyable if I don't think about it too much.

But graduation approaches and the gig is up. And I face an important choice.

As some commenters have noted, my class (the class of 2012) will be the last Boalt class to enjoy a "pure" LRAP program. By pure, I mean not dependent on new federal programs like IBR and PSLF. So on the pure LRAP program, Boalt would help me make my loan payments for my law school debt, up to $100,000, so long as I do approved legal work and am within a certain income level. In ten years, my $100,000 of debt would be paid. If I left the program at any time (for a private sector job, presumably), I would then be on my own to make payments, but my debt would be smaller, because of all those LRAP payments already made.

The problem, of course, is that I won't have $100,000 of debt. I consider myself lucky because I don't have significant undergraduate debt. And I guess I'll be "lucky" to escape Boalt with a bill around $160,000... errrr make that $170,000. But for LRAP, that's not a pretty scenario.

While LRAP would make payments for $100,000 of my debt, I would need to make payments on the remaining $70,000 or so. The nice lady in financial aid handed me kleenex as she explained this to me. It works out to be about $800 a month.

I've done some math, and this is definitely possible. But it would probably only be possible if I left the bay area for a better cost of living, and if I were lucky enough to land a public sector job paying in the $40-$50,000 range.

The alternative option for me (and the only option for the classes of 2013 and beyond) is to use IBR or PSLF in combination with LRAP (if I'm doing approved legal work). This means I enroll in either IBR or PSLF, which both allow you to make very small monthly payments on your loans. If I'm doing public sector legal work, LRAP will make those tiny payments for me. Which means no monthly payments! Woo! But it also means my debt is rapidly getting bigger over time. And if I leave PSLF at any point, I will have to pay off a lot more debt than when I started. No bueno my friends.

I'm pretty committed to a career in the public sector, but no level of commitment can make me feel totally comfortable with eliminating any private sector work as an option for me in the next ten years. Not to mention the concern that IBR and PLSF could be eliminated in this spending-cuts-only political climate. Dean Edley told some concerned students that he thinks the elimination of the programs is unlikely. I'm sure he'll forgive me for being skeptical. Would we be grandfathered in? I have no idea. Do you?

None of this is to whine. I know so many of my classmates who have it worse. And I'm really grateful that there is something in place that makes it possible for me to pursue a public sector career. I chose this path. Financial cushion is something I knew I was giving up in exchange for doing the kind of work I find fulfilling. But the two options certainly don't leave me feeling at ease. In case you're interested, I'm leaning towards traditional LRAP (and if any graduates have wisdom to share, I will gladly take it).

Future Boalt students pursuing public sector work won't even have my daunting choice to make. They have to use the IBR/PLSF + LRAP option. That's something I hope incoming public sector students are aware of.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Regents Hike Tuition by 9.6%

This is on top of an 8% hike that was announced in the Spring.

It's not clear how this will affect Boalt students because as the Administration has said they are trying to come up with ways to mitigate the raise, but hasn't specified anything.

The timing of the raise is inappropriate because it has given only a month's notice to students coming back in the Fall and the raise was also made at a time when it is difficult to organize a response from students.

California's budget priorities are completely skewed- the death penalty costs us $184M a year and the prison budget for this year was over 7% of the state's total spending. In fact, in the 2011-12 budget, prison spending increased 2.3% while higher education spending decreased by 11.7%. Total statewide expenditure is down 6.1% over last year.

Of course, there's been no change in California's minimal property taxes.

As we get more information on how this will change Boalt's tuition this year and beyond we'll let you know.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Limited Utility of a Limiting Instruction

There's plenty of coverage of the mistrial in the Clemens perjury proceedings.  Based on what I've read so far, it appears the offending act was the introduction of inadmissible hearsay.  In a strict legalistic sense, the out-of-court statements by Mrs. Pettitte are relevant to Mr and Mrs. Andy Pettitte's state of mind--a type of evidence that is routinely admitted with simple limiting instructions.  But not so here.  In fact it seems to have drawn the ire of the Court.  Which seems to indicate some larger frustration by the Court with the Government's conduct / theory of the case.  I really haven't followed this case, so any input or correction is welcome, but I'll try to unpack my thoughts below.

The hearsay at issue is Mrs. Pettitte's testimony that her husband had two conversations with her about Clemens using HGH (used her as shorthand for HGH, steroids, or whatever else Clemens is accused of using), which could be multiple levels of hearsay.  On the first level, either Clemens told Andy he uses HGH and/or Andy observed Clemens using HGH.  Neither of those are hearsay as one is a party admission, the other is not an out of court statement.  At the second level, Andy told his wife about Clemens' HGH use on two separate occasions.  The second level are out of court statements, with apparently no applicable exception or exemption.   Thus, the Government cannot use Mrs. Pettitte to prove Clemens used HGH. 

Judge Walton appears to have ruled on a pre-trial motion in limine and excluded evidence relating to Mrs. Pettitte's testimony--though the reporting on this is a bit unclear.  Fair enough.  For the reasons mentioned above, the Government cannot use Mrs. Pettitte to prove that Clemens used HGH.  So when the Government played tapes of Congressional hearings that included statements relating to Mrs. Pettitte's affidavit, the Judge, sua sponte, called a side bar and eventually declared the mistrial.

But that all assumes that the Government was playing the video to prove that Clemens used HGH.  I don't think that's the case at all.  Furthermore, Mrs. Pettitte's testimony would be relevant evidence of both Mrs. Pettitte's and Andy Pettitte's state of mind that they believed Clemens used HGH.  This is fairly routine and courts regularly instruct the jury on the limited relevance of state of mind evidence.  Why didn't the Court do that here?

I suspect the Court had Rule 403 in mind when it declared a mistrial.  My suspicion is that Court's already leery of the Government's case and did not want the jury to conclude that Clemens used HGH based on discussions from the rumor mill.  At least that's how I read Judge Walton's comment that it's too late to "unring" the bell--meaning that even a limiting instruction would not ensure that the jury could use Mrs. Pettitte's testimony as only relevant to a state of mind and not at all relevant to Clemens use of HGH.  The Government just does not have iron-clad evidence that Clemens used HGH, so the danger of improper use of Mrs. Pettitte's testimony is fairly high.  Would the Court have made the same ruling if the Government had videotape of R. Kelly Roger Clemens shooting HGC with his grandma saying "That's my Roger"?  Doubt it.  This all points to an instance of an already weak case creating pressure on the Government to sneak in any evidence of HGH use by Clemens to bolster its case to the point of over-reaching and pissing off the Judge.   

For those studying for the bar, it's a great chance to think about baseball and claim to be learning the hearsay rule.     

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Human Rights Watch Renews Call To Investigate Bush Administration on Torture

At the end of June, the Obama administration announced it was dropping 99 out of 101 investigations into the CIA's use of torture.

Human Rights Watch has since called again for the Obama administration to investigate what went on during the Bush II years and let juries determine whether or not water boarding and other techniques are legally justified in trying to prevent terrorism.

Would it be a legally justifiable defense for someone to use water boarding to find a kidnapped relative? What if the individual accidentally drowned? A debate between Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch (and a former USAA) and John Baker, a professor at LSU, touches on that and other issues in the eternal torture debate. Of course, Yoo was asked to participate, but declined. Excerpted in the Democracy Now debate is one of Yoo's weakest defenses of the policy. (And it includes the moment where Stewart calls him on the fib that 9/11 was the first attack in the US by a non-state group, Yoo responds by basically saying that 9/11 was different because it was different).

We know that Bush, Cheney, et al. would do it all again if they could. We know that the US prosecuted individuals for the same actions towards our troops and other countries' troops in the past. What makes things different now?


Two Wives Are Company, Three Are a Crowd. Four Seems Reasonable

7/12/11 - Update: Hold on tight, because it seems we are all falling down Scalia's slippery slope. I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the Brown family is championing the cause; they're sort of a model polygamous family. They're not asking for state recognition of their "spiritual marriages." They just want to be left alone. Seems like private consensual sexual conduct to me . . .

I’m a pretty busy person but I still make time for the important things in life, like a Sister Wives marathon on TLC. I was never part of the Big Love craze, mostly because I’ve never been blessed with HBO. Luckily the reality TV version is more accessible.

I have complicated feelings about polygamy but my gut reaction is one of distaste. I grew up in a suburb in Utah not too far from the TLC family. Polygamy certainly wasn’t prevalent, but we all knew where the polygamists lived and we recognized their distinct clothes and hairstyles at the grocery store. As I got older, this fact bothered me; everyone knew where the polygamous communities were, yet local or state government only seemed to prosecute polygamy when it made the press. This usually happened because some young girl left (or escaped) a polygamous community and was brave enough to come forward and demand action. I couldn’t help but wonder how many girls my age were living in unwanted polygamous marriages, waiting to be saved.

Sister Wives challenges the view I’ve always had about polygamous relationships. There are three wives in the Brown family (with a fourth on the way). Each of these women chose, as adults, to enter a polygamous relationship. They not only knew their husband intended to take on additional wives, they wouldn’t have it any other way. They enjoy having a big family. They like sharing child-rearing responsibilities. They value the bond they have with their fellow wives. Their religious views encourage their adopted lifestyle. Essentially, they’re not the 14 year-old girls forced into marriage with an old dude that I always pictured when I thought of polygamists.

In Con Law last year, I remember being outraged when Scalia, in his Romer v. Evans dissent, compared homosexuality to polygamy (and bestiality and bigamy and murder). The gist of the argument is that states have always been permitted to enact law based on moral disapproval and concern for the social harm caused by certain acts. Scalia asks, “Has the Court concluded that the perceived social harm of polygamy is a "legitimate concern of government," and the perceived social harm of homosexuality is not?” My answer was that polygamy creates social harm and homosexuality does not.

But I’m not sure I’m right about that.

I know there are polygamist relationships that are manipulative, abusive, and harmful to women and children. My biggest qualm with polygamy remains that many polygamist sects are notorious for forcing young girls into controlling and dangerous marriages.

But is there really societal harm when a group of three or four (or five or six) adults make informed, un-coerced decisions to live together and raise children as a family? They certainly aren’t bothering me.

I don’t really have an answer on this one and I’m curious how others feel. I do think that when (not if) gay marriage is fully recognized in the near future, the polygamy issue will have to be reckoned with.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Google Plus (or Minus?)

I'm curious to hear what people think about Google +.

From what I've seen in various status updates, people love it - but my first reaction when I signed up this afternoon was alarm (because it seems to have aggregated a whole lot of information about me, including pictures from blogs I've long ago deleted), mild disgust (at the obvious effort to emulate facebook's model), and claustrophobia (because you really don't have many options when it comes to hiding/deleting things).

Am I being a stupid 20-something old-timer deluded by her desire to return to facebook before Farmville, and iPods that had actual buttons so you don't accidentally blow your ears out every time you adjust the volume? Is Google + the new future of social networking, document management, etc? Or is it going to die a violent death like Google Buzz (I know it's still around, but it definitely didn't live up to its hype) and potentially lead to a panoply of privacy suits?

Share your love, hate, whatever in the comments.

Epilogue: While putting the finishing touches on this post, blogger displayed a giant red "Error" message and suggested I copy/paste this content and restart. I feel like Big Google is watching.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


From the Oakland Times
October 12, 1926

Francis W. Read, graduate law student at the University of California, now holds the Boalt Hall of Law doughnut eating championship, but he will never again be able to defend his title against an amateur challenger.

He was yesterday declared professional.

Read, who has been nick-named the “Glendale Glutton,” by admiring followers for his masticating propensities, yesterday prepared to defend his title against Ray G. Stanbury, also a graduate law student and former university debater. Stanbury backed down on the title bout at the last minute, however, and Read was forced to enter the ring alone.

In order not to disappoint his large coterie of supporters, the “sinker champ” staged an exhibition in which he downed an even dozen doughnuts in 15 minutes, ate another for good measure, and bought a half dozen more in case he should still be hungry.

His amateur status ended, however, when Donald P. Nichols, president of the Boalt Hall Law Association and former football star, who was to referee the match between Read and Stanbury, turned over to the titlist a percentage of the wagers won by reason of Stanbury’s failure to show for the tilt.

A board of arbitration, composed of law students, yesterday afternoon ruled that as Read had accepted money for taking part in the contest, he would henceforth be considered as professional and ineligible to take part in future amateur contests.

Ursus Major

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Casey Anthony Acquitted... Oakland Doesn't Riot

As most of you (if not all of you) have heard by now, Casey Anthony was acquitted of, well, anything anyone cared about. In a shocking post-trial twist, the citizens of Oakland, who have historically cared so much about ensuring justice is done, were quiet.

But then again, who cares about the death of a two year old girl? She probably deserved it. Moreover, Casey Anthony's conviction on four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer is much more satisfying than Johannes Mehserle's conviction of involuntary manslaughter!

In the end, I think we can all agree on one thing: Casey Anthony definitely didn't do it.