Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Doug (deaf lawyer's translator): "She said she is the lawyer that the court appointed you, and if you don't like it you can represent yourself, your ignorant white trash whore."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
A controversial choice, we know. In a way, the "Law & Order" ADAs are somewhat interchangeable. Were you aware that so many hotties went to law school? And then became low-paid public servants? With extremely high trial success rates? We didn't, either. From Abbie Carmichael to Serena Southerlyn, Connie Rubirosa to Kim Grayleck, the L&O franchise has churned out more photogenic prosecutors than Harvard has kids with superiority complexes.
So why does Alex Cabot stand out above the rest? Well, she did take on a Columbian drug syndicate and have to go into federal witness protection. And then she left federal witness protection to testify against another baddie. And then had to go back in and assume yet another identity.
And you couldn't even earn your pro bono certificate. Tsk tsk.
Tom Hagen: "I have a special practice. I handle one client. Now you have my number. I'll wait for your call. By the way, I admire your pictures very much."
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Jean Welch Hill with AG Mark Shurtleff
I wonder if besides sharing C.J.'s good looks, Jean also shares C.J.'s wit:
"More people get killed each year getting change out of a vending machine than get killed in a wolf attack. Number of people killed last year retrieving change from a vending machine: four. Number of people killed by a wolf attack: zero." -C.J., The West Wing.
So, really, is C.J. Jean, is Jean C.J.? hmmm ....
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
For those of you who need an example I'd be glad to provide one.
Here is a plain English description of governmental immunity (sadly, based on a real case):
If the police ignore your mulitple pleas for help every time your psycho ex-boyfriend threatens to kill or maim you, it's OK. And don't bother trying to sue the police, when your ex finally follows through with his threats, especially if you live in New York.
You see, police are required to protect everyone, but have a duty to no one in particular. That's what Linda Riss found out after her ex-boyfriend hired someone to through lye in her face. She sued the police for ignoring her pleas for help. The New York court said, basically, too bad Linda, "there is no warrant ... to carve out an area of tort liability for police protections to members of the public."
Here is the IRAC version:
Is a police department liable to a citizen who suffered severe personal harm after repeatedly seeking help from the police to no avail?
Governmental public service agencies, such as a police departments are typically immune from liability for failing to protect individual citizens.
Governments may be liable under tort law for certain activities that provide services for public use, such as highways and public buildings. However, the Court of Appeals of New York, said in Riss v. City of New York that this isn't the case for police departments, which "protect the public generally from external hazards."
The court reasoned that because police have limited resources, they can't be expected to protect every single person, or else lawsuits could spiral out of control. The court also suggested that it would be up to the legislature to "carve out an area of tort liability."
Given this line of reasoning, it would seem that the police department owes no duty to Riss and the department is therefore not likely to be found liable for her injuries.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Recently, I was privy to a conversation about being on a journal in law school. As we all know, being on a journal, preferably law review, is the only way for anyone to have any measure of success for the rest of their life. No person who failed to participate in law review ever successfully put someone’s grandmother away for selling meth, nor negotiated a settlement wherein an orphanage paid an oil company billions of dollars to keep them quiet. That’s why it surpised me so much when I heard the following phrase: “they ought to make a sitcom out of law review.”
After I reswallowed the bile that erupted out of my throat, I uttered a one word response: “That is the worst idea since they decided to put Cardozo’s drivel in textbooks.” (I’m paraphrasing. I believe what I literally said was “Mwuh? Gah?”) I really had a point, Cardozo’s writing was drivel. But I had another point as well: people on law review are not funny, even as objects of ridicule. They are merely unpleasant. Law review cannot and should not be allowed to entertain anyone on any level.
First, television is about structured expectation. There’s the likable ne’er-do-well, the wacky sidekick, the love interest, and of course, the jerk. In the case of a law review sitcom, however, we have a cast strictly composed of jerks, with the biggest jerk of all at the head. See, e.g., The Utah Law Review. There is no lovable schlub to relate to, pining for the unobtainable opposite member, guided by the misguided yet affable advice of a concerned moron. Instead, a law review sitcom would require casting David Spade in every role, something not even the ghost of Chris Farley could tolerate. For what is David Spade, without a cast of cheerful idiots with which to surround him? Simply another law review member.
Second, in a traditional sitcom, jokes follow a tripartite structure: innocuous setup followed by one normal statement, an additional normal statement, and finally something ridiculous. For example: “What’s on your grocery list, protagonist?” “Why thank you for asking, wacky sidekick! It says, eggs, milk, and the love interest.” (cue audience hilarity). In a law review sitcom, each joke would be rigidly cited using only printed sources, requiring intense research on behalf of the audience to verify its humor, the least subtle of which would be signaled cf. Cf is not funny. Unless you think it stands for Chicken Fornicator, which at least one member of the Utah Law Review has confirmed that s/he does.
If we must give yet more recognition to these most conniving, most inhumane, most… evil, dare I say it, of law students, then we should only do so via the reality format. Reality television rewards sneaky, underhanded, mean-spirited behavior. This is clearly the venue most suited to the shifty reptiles we collectively call Law Review. It also is the best way to get them to eat bugs.
Boston Legal, the sexy, sassy, politically charged courtroom thriller starring James Spader, William Shatner and Candice Bergen is in its final season.
How will it all end?? Will Crane Poole and Schmidt dissolve? Will Alan be disbarred? Will Denny Crane die?
If you've missed out on the first five episodes of the season here is a quick recap:
SPOILER ALERT! (If you're like my good friend and watch Boston Legal on DVD (so you are behind) STOP READING!!
Episode 501--"Smoke Signals:" Alan Shore takes on Big Tobacco, and of course, wins ($2.6 Million to be exact) :) Denny had some difficulty "saluting the flag" or as he put it "my junk doesn't work" and to help him with his "issue" Shirley Schmidt lends Denny her high school cheer leading uniform.
Episode 502--"Guardians and Gatekeepers:" In the opening scene Denny Crane almost collapses and almost dies from the toxic interactions of the 28 different prescriptions he is taking (he of course is self-proscribing these and buying them on the Internet) Alan Shore has to give him mouth to mouth (...Denny was later disappointed that Shirley did not step up to give him the kiss of life)
Since Denny nearly died, Alan Shore decides to take on Big Pharmaceuticals. Why not? He just beat Big Tobacco the week before. I support it. Alan manages to fend off a motion to dismiss--so it's go time. I'm sure we'll see more of this case throughout the season.
Episode 503--"Dances with Wolves:" As a man attempts to mug Denny and Jerry, Denny Crane shoots him (oops, he did it again) three times in self-defense. Denny is arrested (that's right, again) for carrying a concealed firearm--well technically for carrying about 5 concealed weapons and a blowtorch in his pants when they arrested him. Denny wants Carl Sack and Jerry to defend him (he thinks Alan is too "anti-gun").
Notable quotes of that week go to Denny (of course)...
Denny's trial is all about how he did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. When asked why he did not have a permit Denny responds...Well, I had a note from Dick Cheney."
While he was on the stand during cross examination, Denny is asked how he possibly thinks that the Constitution gives him a right to carry a concealed weapon Denny responds...
"Look, the Constitution says whatever the Supreme Court says it says and what the Supreme Court says depends on who is president. Let's face it, when you've got a president who loves guns and a vice president who hunts lawyers and quail, you'll have a right to shoot people in the knee."
Ultimately Denny prevails, much to his dismay because he was really hoping to go to the Supreme Court to get Big Tony and the Big 5 to find a constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon.
Episode 504--"True Love" Alan's ex girlfriend Phoebe (who Alan is very much still in love with much to his chagrin) calls on him to defend her husband in a murder case. The husband was accused of murdering his nurse (who he had previously had an affair with--yup things are getting spicy). The husband's only alibi is his wife, who of course says that he was home all night and did not leave the house. Alan tells Phoebe that she is going to have to do a much better job convincing the jury of her husband's innocence than she did convincing him. (You can tell Alan doesn't believe the guy is innocent, he clearly doesn't even like the guy and secretly hopes he is found guilty so that Phoebe can go back to him).
On the stand Alan asks Phoebe "did your husband leave the house that night?" MUCH to his surprise Phoebe hesitates and then says "yes he did." Alan calls for a recess to confer with his client and then talk to Phoebe--furious that Phoebe did not tell him of her plan to tell "the truth."
After talking with the husband, they all return to the courtroom. Back on the stand Alan accuses Phoebe of killing the nurse--saying that she had the motive and opportunity to do it and that is why she was so eager to get up on the stand and accuse her husband--so she could get away with murder--expressing his own disgust that she would use her "ex-boyfriend" to try to get away with murder. She denies the murder.
The jury finds the husband not guilty. The husband thanks Alan and Alan remarks that "well, I'm assuming you won't see Phoebe anytime soon" when Phoebe walks in his door. Turns out that it was all part of Phoebe and her husband's plan--the husband did in fact do it.
This episode was crazy! I definitely thought that the wife did it--threw me for a loop!
Episode 505--"The Bad Seed:" Alan and Shirley take on the Army after a man's brother dies in a military hospital due to the doctor's admitted negligence--after being wounded in Iraq he is taken to the medical hospital and was recovering until the doctors gave him improper medication and improperly placed a breathing tube in him---after 15 minutes of pumping air into his stomach, he died. Even though military hospitals are immune, they decide to challenge the doctrine and manage to get past a motion to dismiss. ...BUT, not before Denny and Alan get a chance to bet on the outcome of the case (loser pays $100,000.00 and the money goes to the troops). Unfortunately, Denny decides to tell the clerk of the judge in the case (oops, his bad--mad cow?). The judge finds out and says he is going to recommend that Alan is disbarred! Alan is furious with Denny. Denny comes to Alan in a moment of weakness and admits to Alan that he is "slipping," that everything has gotten more "foggy" lately.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jerry's sister comes to him with a problem. Jerry's nephew (who is a sperm donor baby) may be dating his half sister! Turns out, the girlfriend is also a sperm donor baby, who just happens to come from the same sperm bank, who just happens to look exactly like him. So, Jerry tries to force the bank to reveal the identity of the donor to no avail. He then takes the matter to a judge and the judge says that the bank does not have to reveal the identity of the father(s) but does have to tell the kids if they do have the same father. Turns out, yup, they definitely came from the same Dad!
Well, that gets you up to speed. How will it all end??????? Well, as an avid fan of the show from day 1, I see no possible way for it to end other than in one last balcony scene with Denny and Alan--sipping on scotch and smoking cigars.
BUT who knows...we'll see. To be continued.
On that note...
We all get asked the question.
Some of us did it because we didn't know what else to do after getting a degree in psychology. Some of us did it because our parents have the coveted "J.D." after their names. Some of us did it for the money. Some of us did it out of the genuine desire to (cough, cough) "help people."
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Halloween is fast approaching us, and I've concluded a study about what rules govern appropriate celebration. This is not opinion.
Behold the Law:
1. Scrubs and scrubs alone are not an adequate costume.
Please show some respect for the rest of us. Boys, if you are going to be a doctor, wear scrubs if you'd like, but is it asking too much to throw in a lab coat, a stethoscope, or one of those old-timey head bands with the round shiny deal?
Girls, if you want to be a nurse (comfortably below the glass ceiling) please consider involving a skirt and being button cute.
Don't think you can pull off button cute? Well, don't fret. Even the sub-cute can still be a nurse for Halloween. You'll just have to be a crazy nurse.
(As a side note, "Crazy _______," "Evil ________," "Mad ________," or Deranged _______" are all good costume ideas for the more homely of face.)
2. Joke costumes can be a hit, but like any comic device, they should be used sparingly and with great caution.
Wearing a "funny costume" to a party is like committing to retelling the same joke for three hours straight. If joke costume you must, make a joke the rest of us can live with for an evening.
Be creative. Express yourself. Have fun. But don't get too carried away, especially if you are attending a party where coworkers, esteemed peers, or women you are interested in courting are present.
3. Finally, and it bothers me that I even have to mention this, make sure you give out an appropriate treat in an appropriate way.
This is an area in Halloween where creativity is NOT encouraged. Just give out candy. And, unless you're really poor, try and steer away from those five pound bags full of awful gum and fake tootsie rolls.
But just making sure you give out something kids will want to eat isn't your only responsibility. Make sure you're not too creepy when you're giving it out.
For instance, this year I plan on being Magnum P.I. for Halloween. However, I've exercised discretion enough to know that wearing my shorty-short shorts and sporting a mustache while the neighborhood children all come to my door crosses a line.
In review, show some respect for the rest of us. Be safe. Have fun.
- - Renegade by Styx
- - Breakin' the Law by Judas Priest
- - Mean Mr. Medwed by Rock v. Roll
- - Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
- - Cocaine Blues by Johnny Cash
- - F*!@ the Police by NWA
- - America, F*!@ Yeah! from the Team America Soundtrack
- - I Fought The Law by the Bobby Fuller Four
- - California Sex Lawyer by Fountains of Wayne
- - Lawyers Guns and Money by Warren Zevon
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Mikey Mel and the JD’s
Forbidden Lawyer Love
The Library Stacks
Punitive Damages for a Broken Heart
Are they the best band, no. Think Modest Mouse mixed with a little Fountain of Wayne, then throw some other stuff in to see if it sticks. At the same time there are some great lines :
“but when I want to hang out with my girl I say ‘I’m sorry baby but the law library stacks are calling to me’ ” The Library Stacks
“she had some interviews in the fall she thought she’d get her job then one day she go a letter from her favorite firm and here’s what it told her : You not good enough to work for us so thank you for your interesting offer. “ Rejection Letter
Josh Keesan : The Law of Rock Volume 1
As his site eloquently put it, “Put down your commercial outlines and treatises: here, for the first time, you can learn complex legal doctrines through these digestible pop-rock gems.” Jack Johnson for the law school world. Fun pop that makes me thing that contracts might somehow be cool. Then again maybe not.
“Oh, mens rea, It’s a guilty mind, the girl gives me mens rea, and actus reus isn’t far behind.” Mens Rea
“Cause I relied on you and you screwed me through and through, So it’s Promissory Estoppel. We made plans far ahead, and now you say you want me dead, Well, too bad: ’cause it’s Promissory Estoppel.” Promissory Estoppel
If you use iTunes, look up 1L imixes. My personal favorite was about taking cocaine for finals. Isn’t that a bright and cheery thought for December?
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Joe Biden that is. The smack down for vice president didn't stop there. From taxes to Iraq, it was on Tuesday night. And I'm pretty sure when the dust settles, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, will both need some time to heal from all the political upper cuts. But for those of you - like me - who spent most of the debate lamenting that your beer glass was half empty and the word "maverick" only appeared once on your bingo card, here's a link that may help you feel a little less out of place this election season:
Today Now!: How To Pretend You Give A Shit About The Election
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
"That's right, I'm going on Biggest Loser!" announced the one-time Chicago professor and current Supreme Court Justice. "And they better watch out--I'm gonna take the ass out of Justice," deadpanned the oft-controversial, always hilarious Scalia.
"Ever since the results came in on sexiest SCOTUS Justice, I just haven't been the same ol' Scalia," explained the Jurisprude. "I simply can't get it up for my awesome Scalia dissents anymore. Scalia just doesn't feel the same rush for semicolons and Federalist ideals that Scalia used to."
Hatched as just another reality show in a glut of such exploitative programs at NBC studios in the mid 2000s, The Biggest Loser has steadily grown into its own success. "Kind of Like Scalia into his ego," noted an NBC executive, who preferred to remain anonymous, but joked that his name may or may not be Alec Baldwin. "We've been approaching many of the law's largest characters for the past few years now," explained the exec "but Clarence Thomas refused out of hand. Something about his hatred for...action? And Ken Starr...well, we just didn't feel right dredging that whole Lewinsky thing up again. You really need to draw lines in reality programming. But Scalia. That dude's been on our collective radar for years, especially since his escapades in his latest book. We're fairly certain that he and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are...um...engaging in some extracurricular legal analysis, if you know what I mean."
Well, even if the thought of that coupling makes your average attorney shudder, consider this writer intrigued. While conversing with his Majesty, I wondered aloud if the Founding Fathers could have ever anticipated this kind of behavior from a Supreme Court Apointee when they drafted the Constitution. Mr. Scalia responded rather matter-of-factly "There's ample room for Reality Television in an Originalist reading of the Due Process Clause." After snorting up half my Diet Coke, I asked whether that kind of interpretation implicated a Living Constitution--something Scalia has decried since his days at Harvard Law. The Justice just laughed.
"The new Scalia is the Living Constitution, be-yotch! Watch me shed it like Jefferson read it. Grammar."
Word to you, too, Mr. Scalia. Word.
- "Renegade" by Styx. Sample lyrics: "Oh mama, I'm in fear for my life from the long arm of the law/Lawman has put an end to my running and I'm so far from my home."
- "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash. Sample lyrics: "I know I had it comin'/I know I can't be free/But those people keep a'movin'/And that's what tortures me."
- "F*!@ the Police" by NWA. Sample lyrics: "Right about now NWA court is in full effect/Judge Dre presiding in the case of NWA versus the police department... Order, order, order/Ice Cube, take the muthafu*!@#$ stand."
- "California Sex Lawyer" by Fountains of Wayne. Sample lyrics: "I've got big ideas/I've got backup plans/I've got cha-cha-charisma/Got the slight of hand/I'm gonna do some damage/Gonna bust some heads/I'm gonna go the distance/Then I'm going to bed."
- "Lawyers, Guns and Money" by Warren Zevon. Sample lyrics: "I was gambling in Havana/I took a little risk/Send lawyers, guns and money/Dad, get me out of this."