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Monday, August 16, 2004

In honor of OCI season, this site is being temporarily thwacked. If you're not a recruiter and are looking for the new site, just ask around and you'll find it. If you are a recruiter, then I'm too busy studying to blog.

Thanks.

-mike

EDIT: I'm much too tired to care. The new site is here.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

On the Move



After weeks of pain, I'm finally shaking the dust of this crusty old blogger site off my feet. BuffaloWings&Vodka can now officially be found at:

WingsAndVodka.Blogs.Com



God Bless Movable Type. See everyone at the new place.
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Monday, April 19, 2004

The Gap Rules. Really.



I received one of the Gap's stress-free shirts as a gift recently, and was told something about how they are stain and liquid resistant. "Okay," I thought. That's swell.

Well I wore the thing to a party this weekend, and I'm trying to hold my beer and eat an appetizer at the same time when a friend says "Dude, you're spilling your beer." And sure enough, I'd spilled a good half of a beer right down my shirt. But that's all it did--slide right down my shirt. It was incredible. Because I'm not very adept at tucking in shirts, there was a little bit of the shirt protruding out above the beltline that acted as a skijump for the whole beer parade, and every single drop just ended up on the ground.

A truly life-changing experience. I will be wearing nothing but stress-free products from now on. I may be upset when I find out that they're actually lined with Plutonium, but it's totally worth it.
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Friday, April 16, 2004

Notes From MemoLand



It's only 12:28 AM. I'm near completion of the discussion of question one of two, which is, of course, the shorter of the two questions. But my strength has yet to flag. The potential beauty of my memo is still seductive. I am confident that I can both finish a great memo and have enough time to sleep for 6 hours before class tommorrow.

1:20 AM. First section done, though it took longer than it should have. I've had two mochas, two cokes, and some leftover barbecue. I've definitely felt better. But I'm going to keep going, and should finish before long. And as long as I get 4.5 hours of sleep, I'll be just fine.

1:41 AM. Just lost twenty minutes staring at my navel. Rapidly losing optimism.

2:30 AM. Definitely wishing I hadn't had the brisket. I ran out of soda and coffee a while ago, and have since moved on to snorting crushed No-Doze. I know I'm just hallucinating, but the Ghost of John M. Harlan the Elder is sitting on the couch, and he doesn't seem to be happy with my work product. This is definitely going to take a little while longer, but as long as I can get 3 hours of sleep, I should still be able to make it to class.

3:10 AM. Well into the second part of the discussion section. Got over the brisket problem, went to the fridge to finish off the potato salad. Going to have to rely on chocolate as a stimulant source from here on out, as Justice Harlan has finished off my No-Doze. I'm starting to notice some inconsistencies between my arguments in different parts of the memo, but I've also noticed some inconsistencies between what I read on the fortune-cookie fortune I got yesterday and what that same fortune now reads, so I'm not sure what to make of any of it. I've put on some Eliot Smith to keep things light and jovial.

5:00 AM. Nearly finished with the bulk of the discussion section, but conditions are deteriorating rapidly. There is no more potato salad, Justice Harlan has left, apparently taking my cat and fifty bucks with him, and the NY Times e-mail just showed up, letting me know that I've been up too long. I feel confident that this memo is better than the piece of gopher crap that I turned in last semester, but proofreading is becoming increasingly difficult. (When I'm tired, my eyes tend to automatically anagramize most proper nouns, which causes problems, particularly this morning, because I saw it fit to mention former V.P. Spiro Agnew when talking about the ABA, and as any Scrabble player worth their salt can tell you, Agnew's name is an anagram of "Grow A Penis." So I've been seeing a lot of penis.)

Obviously, sleep is now out of the question. But as long as I finish this discussion section within the next hour and make it across the street to get some more coffee, I should be able to turn in my memo on time without any difficulty.

6:20 AM. The discussion section is finished...but at what cost? I must have blacked out shortly after my last entry. When I came to, I'd gone from 4 pages to 14, but my walls were smeared with what appeared to be chicken blood, my laptop smelled of Gravity for Men, and instead of my usual jeans and t-shirt I was wearing Batman footie pajamas, which were, inexplicably, exactly the right size.

No matter. The only important thing is that the discussion section is done. I'm going to go outside now, sprint around my apartment complex, and do about 300 push-ups. After that, just gotta knock out the fact statement and conclusion. Then it will be done.

7:40 AM. It's finished, and just in time for me to make the bus. Barring some disasterous fucking disaster, I should get a good grade in this class. (Stay Tuned for Inevitable Entry: "Disasterous Fucking Disaster.")
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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Drugs? Good.



If you are a UT 1L: Quit effing around and finish your memo. You can read this later. It's really not worth it. I promise.

So I GOT the espresso maker, but I don't seem to be using it very well. I made for myself last night what should have been a quadruple, but I didn't feel a damn thing. If I hadn't checked the espresso bean package like seventy times, I'd swear that they were somehow decaffeinated beans. So I guess I'm just not cut out to be a barista.

As a result, I got me to a Starbucks, and this quadruple mocha should have me running laps in a few minutes. There's a 16-page limit on the memo that's due in 10.5 hours, and all I'm looking at right now is a skeleton outline that has a lot of cites and no prose. So time to write some prose.





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It's 4 a.m....Do You Know Where Your Memo Is?



My eyes are bleeding. But my theory is that it is infinitely less depressing to be up until the wee hours two nights before your paper is due rather than one night before your paper is due.

But still...it sucks to have bleeding eyes. I would much rather not have bleeding eyes.

My spoon is too big. I am a banana.

EDIT: I have some of the weirdest problems with homophones. I had to go back and fix this post because I'd typed "do" instead of "due". It's like the other day when I meant to type "John Mayer" but instead it came out "No-Talent AssClown". Weird.
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Alright, Dammit.



So LoneStarExPat nominated me in a poll happening here. I wasn't going to mention it, but Tobias has been campaigning, and is now winning, and that's just not fair. Because he's a much better golfer than I am. So go and vote.

Also: Because I was running out of things to do instead of the memo due on Friday, I'm almost finished porting the site over to TypePad. So look for me to be on the move soon.

Also: There are 18 people between the person who was last called on in CivPro and me. (Our professor goes in aphabetical order.) He usually averages like four folks a day. This means I should be able to skip class tommorrow and the next day and not be called on. Right? Right.

Additionally: For whatever reason, I've been on AOLIM a lot lately, and by "for whatever reason" I mean "for the purpose of stalking old girlfriends". So, if you feel like adding "Praxxix" to your buddy list, you may send me lewd messages during the day.

That is all.




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Monday, April 12, 2004

My Day in Court



Though I’m obviously quite busy, on Monday I was pressed into service as a mock trial witness. Ever since my appearance on The OC (you may have missed me, but I was the guy on the beach benching an impossibly heavy amount while chatting up like six girls at once), this has been a pretty common occurrence. It can be taxing, but I hate to turn down a fan. My only requirement was that I play the defendant. If I’m going to be slumming, I’d best be getting top billing.

I should start by explaining that I take a more serious approach to mock trial witness duty than most. I’ve backed off a little from my early days when, in order to understand the motivations of, say, a gambling addict, I would spend two weeks in Vegas drowning myself in Maker’s Mark and hookers. Or like the time that, in order to get inside the head of a New England school teacher accused of forging a check, I spent two weeks in Vegas drowning myself in Maker’s Mark and hookers. I just don’t have the energy for that kind of dedication anymore. But this time I would be playing a rich doctor accused of murdering his wife, so I knew what I had to do: one weekend, locked up in the Rodeway Inn with nothing but a blow-up doll and a hairdryer. I was ready.

“Sir, could you please state your full name for the court?”
“I am Doctor Stephen Phillip Reginald Horatio Bettie Davis Cohen, the Third.”
“And what is it that you do for a living, Dr. Cohen?”
“I’m a plastic surgeon.”
“I see. And you’re quite a successful plastic surgeon, are you not?”
“Yes. I patented a process for forehead enlargement that avoids the usual side effects and results in greatly improved endocrine function.”
“And is that your real name, Doctor?”
“Yes it is.”
“Doctor, You Are a Fucking Liar!!!!”
“Objection, Your Honor!”
“Your Honor, I can tell, defense counsel can tell, and the ladies and gentlemen of the jury can tell that the Doctor is none other than Alan Thicke, and that he uses this absurdly long pseudonym to avoid stalkers, even though all they want to know is what it was like to work with Joanne Guest.”
“Objection overruled. You may continue.”
“Doctor Cohen, in your sworn deposition you were asked to describe the events that took place on the morning of September 17th, 2003. You testified, and I quote: ‘I was a self-loathing Jew with a penchant for cashmere. It was particularly lovely outside that morning, and I rolled over to say as much to my wife when I discovered that she’d been fatally punctured with a Papermate Flexgrip Ultra.’ Is that account still accurate to the best of your recollection?”
“Yes. Yes it is.”
“And would it be accurate to say that you use--almost exclusively--the Papermate Flexgrip Ultra when penning rough drafts of your semi-popular novels featuring Sukko the End-of-the-Week Robot?”
“Yes, I’d say that’s accurate.”
“Doctor Cohen, I just find it strange that when asked to describe the events of a particular morning on a particular day, you would state that you were ‘a self-loathing Jew with a penchant for cashmere.’ Are we meant to understand that you were only a self-loathing Jew with a penchant for cashmere on that particular morning, the morning of September 17th?”
“Objection! You Honor, this kind of semantic hairsplitting is clearly harassment. The district attorney knows full well that the defendant was a self-loathing Jew with a penchant for cashmere before September 17th, a self-loathing Jew with a penchant for cashmere on September 17th, and that he continues to be a self-loathing Jew with a penchant for cashmere after September 17th.”
“Sustained.”
“Doctor Cohen, just one final question. Do you have any tattoos?”
“Yes.”
“Could you please tell the jury of what, and where?”
“I have B < P * L (Judge Learned Hand’s Formula for the Determination of Negligence) tattooed on my left buttock.”
“Doctor, you are a pathological fucking liar!!”
“Objection!”
“Sustained!”
“Doctor Cohen, would you please look now at your left buttock?”
“Objection!”
“Doctor Cohen, just look at you left buttock. What does it say?”
“It says…c2 = a2 + b2 - 2ab·cos(µ)…?”
“And what is the significance of c2 = a2 + b2 - 2ab·cos(µ), if you please, Doctor?”
“I think…I think it’s the Law of Cosines.”
“Thank you. I have no further questions, Your Honor.”
“The witness is excused.”
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They've Turned Off My Water



I have, in my hand, a printed notice from my apartment complex that the water was to be shut off on April 9th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.. The water was not shut off that day. I did, however, wake this morning to find my faucets dry and my shower not working. Great.

There's nothing I hate more than going to the roller rink without having showered first.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Systematic Institutional Retardedness



In the classroom we use for my seminar, the clock has been an hour fast all semester.

Then we returned to Daylight Savings Time.

And it's still an hour fast.

There are a few explanations for this, and they all point to dumb.
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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Annual Rankings of Law School Rankings Released



In an attempt to evaluate the increasing number of law school ranking systems being provided by various publications, professors, and judges, editors at U.S. News and World Report have just released their first annual Rankings of American Law School Rankings, and they expect it to be available on most newsstands by the end of the week.

"We just felt that American students deserved an objectively considered set of objective evaluations that rated, among other objectively chosen factors, the relative objectiveness of the various ranking systems' criteria for objectively determining law school quality," said a USNWR representative. She continued to explain that those criteria included overall popularity, as well as relative success rates in rhyming the ranking institution's name with "Blue Dress Views and Curled Bee Snort."

When asked about the fact that USNWR's popular annual rankings were the only rankings to be assigned to the topmost of the ranking rankings' seven tiers, the representative declined to comment, muttering something under her breath about Professor Brian Leiter's being a "player hater."

As expected, the editors of nearly all the American rankings signed an open letter criticizing the bias and inaccuracy of the USNWR Rankings Rankings:

"The absence of any consideration of [important intangible] factors, combined with the arbitrary weighting of numerical factors, makes ranking system ranking systems an unreliable guide to the differences among ranking systems that should be important to you."

The Ranking the Rankings issue will be available for $3.95, and includes a free CD-ROM from TestPrepPrep, the nation's leading provider of materials that help students prepare to choose a testprep company.


Originally posted last year. I think.


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Monday, April 05, 2004

Finding Memo



Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I’ve been working feverishly on the recently assigned memo for Legal Research and Writing, and if you know anything about me at all, you know that I effing love Legal Research and Writing. Like a fat kid loves cake kind of love. I mean, just the smell of the South Western Reporter makes me weak in the knees, and if I’m ever lucky enough to have occasion to open one, well, let’s just say that it’s a good thing they don’t have cameras in the group study rooms.

But it’s not so much that I love legal research. It’s more like I am legal research. I get into the library and just want to drown myself in statutes, dive into a volume of the USCS and never come up for air. I feel no pain, for I need not oxygen. I choose instead to breathe The Law. It permeates my body, courses through my veins, one hundred thousand cases racing through my bloodstream like so many really fast things in a race to somewhere. My search takes me to the furthest reaches of the library, as I scour reporters, codebooks, commentary, treatises, sometimes carrying and reading as many as twelve books at a time. I find what I need, and as I’m running through the aisles screaming at the top of my lungs “I’ve got it! I’ve finally GOT IT!!” many think me mad, turning away in horror and wishing they’d gone to a higher-ranked school. But I do not care. For it is ever the lot of the gifted to endure the derision of the chronically untalented. They scowl because they do not know. Cannot know. And I forgive them.

So, yeah, I’ve been busy. But I did get to play witness for a mock trial round this evening, and I can promise a detailed account of that life-changing experience for tomorrow.

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Things I Know



1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind may very well be the best movie I've seen all year, and I say that as someone who wasn't wild about Adaptation.
2. Adam of Average Joe: Adam Returns is a fuckhead.
3. I mean like a total fuckhead.
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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Scene From a Firm Reception



Mike approaches a group of friends, having just gotten an attorney’s business card. He's excited.
Also, he looks devastatingly handsome in his suit.


ThreeL: See, man. It’s not that hard. It’s what they’re here for.
Mike: I know. I was just nervous. This is my first reception. She seemed interested, though.
TwoL: So…litigation?
Mike: Nope. IP.
Everyone reacts favorably to this department.
Mike: So, how long do I wait to call her secretary and try to set up an interview?
ThreeL: A week.
Mike: Next week?
ThreeL: No...
Other ThreeL: ... Next week, then a week.
ThreeL: ... Yeah.
Mike: So, two weeks?
ThreeL: Yeah. I guess you could call it that.
Other ThreeL: Definitely. Two weeks. That's the industry standard...
ThreeL: See, I used to wait two weeks. Now everyone waits two weeks. Three weeks is kinda first-tier now, don't you think?
Other ThreeL: ... Yeah. But two's enough not to look anxious...
ThreeL: Yeah, but three weeks is kinda Order of the Coif--
Mike : --Why don't I just wait four weeks and tell her that I was cleaning out my Torts book and I found her card...
TwoL: ... then ask where you met her…
Mike: Yeah, I'll tell her I don't remember and then I'll ask what firm she works at. (pause) Then I'll ask if we shagged. How's that? Is that first-tier? Is that Order of the Coif?
ThreeL: Laugh all you want, but if you call too soon you can scare off a nice firm that’s ready to make an offer.
Other ThreeL: Don't listen to him. You call whenever it feels right to you.
Mike: How long did you guys wait to call your firms?
Beat.
ThreeL & Other ThreeL: Six weeks.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Objects Currently Residing On a Shelf in My Apartment Complex's Laundry Labeled Free Stuff, Exactly One of Which Was Placed There By Me In Order to Improve This List



Assorted undergarments
Dianetics, by L. Ron Hubbard
Printer cable
Three freezer bags, all filled with Ramen noodles
Various powdered pad thai mixes
An apparently unopened can of Squirt, which is not dispensed by the nearby vending machine
BARMAN, by Alex Wellen
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Sunday, March 28, 2004

Return of the Logic Games Jedi



Having lost the first-year summer employment lottery (Official Theory: Jesus hates me for eating Milky Way Pop-Ables during his movie), I just signed on to teach another slew of LSAT classes this summer. I’ll probably be taking a summer school class or two, and the teaching gig schedules around that pretty well. It’s also a fabulous opportunity to hang out with undergrad chicks in a setting that allows me to control the flow of information. (“You got a 194 on the LSAT? You must be a genius. I like sleeping with geniuses.”) So, if you’re going to be in the Austin area, and you feel like a quick review of multi-variable sequencing games, give me a holler.

And since it is about the time that people start thinking about the June LSAT, let me offer (again) my general advice on the LSAT game:

1. Only take a prep class if you’re one of those people who just can’t get motivated to study on their own. Otherwise, sixty bucks at a bookstore should do you just fine.

2. If you’re one of those people who just can’t get motivated to study on their own, maybe law school ain’t your thing.

That’s all I’ve got. Good luck.


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These nutjobs have resurrected their group blog (sans Learned Hand...and Greg Goelzhauser, who presumably recognized the troubling moral implications of posting on more than one group blog at once) and I didn't even know. Blog on, brothers. Blog on.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Quick Torts Review



Torts Exam
Question 1
37 Minutes

Lucy Litigator and Patty Property sit next to each other in CivPro. They both bring their laptops to class, and both take excellent notes. Because CivPro is heinously early in the morning--8:13--they often come to class bearing coffee or tea, in hopes that staying caffeinated will keep them from passing out during the 67-minute snore-a-thon. Lucy gets her coffee in Styrofoam cups from the cute little kiosk in the atrium, while Patty brings hers in a stylish Lexis-Nexis thermos.

One morning, Lucy forgets to get a plastic lid for her coffee, but brings it to class anyway. In the middle of a fascinating lecture on pleadings or something that sounds a lot like pleadings, Patty reaches over to point out something interesting on Lucy’s screen, and, in doing so, inadvertently knocks over Lucy’s lidless coffee. The coffee spills all over Lucy’s laptop, which makes a hissing sound before emitting a small puff of smoke.

Lucy’s laptop has been rendered useless. This is clearly the worst-case scenario for any law student.

A. Under which theories of negligence would Lucy be the most successful in suing Patty? Would it make a difference if Lucy kept all of her class notes for the entire semester on the laptop, and refused to back them up on religious grounds? What if she only used her laptop for IMing and downloading live recordings of Hanson acoustic sets? Would it affect Patty’s liability if she suspected that Lucy was actually using her laptop to coordinate a global terrorist conglomerate bent on bringing back New Coke? And didn’t New Coke taste exactly like Pepsi?

B. Could Lucy be found contributorily negligent for bringing in a coffee without a lid? Would it matter that she was aware that Patty was a lefty and prone to making dramatic arm movements? What if Patty were a known epileptic? A hypochondriac? A Scientologist? Actually a man?

C. Does anyone else remember “Hazard” by Richard Marx? Didn’t that song beat ass?

D. Pretend that it’s the year 2040. We’ve elected our first non-carbonbased President, and s/he has put you on the Supreme Court. What would you do to convince your fellow justices (Melmak, Rodnar, Winfrey, MaryKate, Ashley, Schwarzenegger, Culkin, and John Paul Stevens) that this case deserved their attention? Please provide specific examples.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Jesus & Gigli



I have not yet seen The Passion of the Christ, mainly because I've been too preoccupied with The Passion in My Pants, but my little brother saw it and seemed moved by the graphic violence. I asked him if it made him want to be a Christian. He said no, but it "made me want them to stop whipping Jesus."

I did, however, finally get around to watching Gigli. I was in a hotel room--high on a combination of Vix Vap-o-Rub and Pixie Stix--and it was available on PayPerView. Though it meant passing up an edited version of Lusty Librarians VII, I figured this would be my only chance to see the most hated movie since Ishtar without anyone actually seeing me rent it. So I watched it.

I must say, I was skeptical going in. But the combination of the costly duo of Ben and Jen, the completely pointless one-scene appearances of Walken and Pacino, the Tourette's-sporting hostage, the blind-siding homosexuality of J-Lo's character, and the fact that Gigli was actually Ben's name, not J-Lo's, made this flick truly worthy of the Ishtar comparisons. So worthy, in fact, that I see a movie night featuring both Gigli and Ishtar in the near future. But you can't have a movie night with just two movies. So I'm taking suggestions. The only requirements are that:

1. The movie be rentable.
2. It star at least one, but preferably two or more big star(s) at the height of their popularity.
3. It be spectacularly bad.

Do your worst.




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Friday, March 12, 2004

Where the Supremes Are Going for Spring Break



Breyer: Cozumel

Souter: Aspen

Ginsburg: Hedonism II Jamaica

Scalia: National Review Theme Cruise w/ W.F. Buckley and Louis Rukeyser.

O’Connor: Hosting week-long bash at her pad. Hopes to beat last year’s keg stand record.

Thomas: National Review Theme Cruise w/ W.F. Buckley and Louis Rukeyser.

Stevens: South Padre w/ Green Valley cheerleading squad and a tank of NO2.

Rehnquist: “Possibly Vegas, but I also hear that Palm Beach is pretty slammin’, so I dunno.”

Kennedy: Just going to hang around the Court, possibly get some laundry done.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A Conversation that Would Have Taken Place Had I Not Missed Torts Last Friday



“So, in this case, the unauthorized amputation of the patient's leg constituted a battery. Any questions?”

“Yes, um, was this at all affected by that one Washington case?”

“And which case would that be?”

“You know, the one where the guy went in to have his left leg amputated, but they accidentally amputated his right leg instead?”

“I…I wasn’t familiar with that case. What happened?”

“Well, once they realized that they’d amputated the wrong leg, they had to go back and amputate the correct one.”

“And he filed suit?”

“Yeah, but he lost.”

“Really? How?”

“The trial judge threw out the case. Said that he didn’t have a leg to stand on.”



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Monday, March 08, 2004

Thanks, That Was Fun



I don't feel so much like shit as I feel like shit that was put into a burlap sack and stomped on for several hours by the women of The View. But I'm getting better.

I survived a week-long stint in Assault & Flattery, UT's law musical extravaganza, and it was draining enough to make studying seem like fun again. It wasn't so much the performing that was rough, as it was the drinking. There were sponsored parties after every show, and, though you didn't hear it from me as it would have been a clear violation of university policy, there may have been some imbibing going on during the show itself. But I wouldn't know anything about that. All I know is that I've been drunk for a week and daylight really hurts my brain. I may give up whiskey and just start huffing gasoline.

Anyway, sorry about the lack of posting--that'll change. And I'm hoping that this stripped-down, ugly-as-sin format has gotten rid of most of the technical problems people were having. Let me know if anything else is screwing up.


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Monday, March 01, 2004

Moot



I'd actually thought about dropping out of the 1L moot court competition at the last minute, because Sean Penn called me on Wednesday night, nervous as hell and wondering if I'd go to L.A. with him for support. (I'd already turned down Charlize at that point, and Marcia Gay Harden had left me like 300 voice mails, so I was getting pretty tired of being whined at by movie stars.) But in the end I decided that if I had spend one more Oscar night listening to Ben Kingsley drone on about the virtues of Taebo, I was going to hurl all over the back of somebody's limo. And I didn't want that. So I stayed in the competition.

Big mistake.

I waltzed thru my prelim rounds without any real problems, generally preferring to answer the judge's questions with more questions, and at one point improvising a sonnet that explained the Court's three-part test for disproportionality of sentencing in Solum v. Helm, but I could sense that I was headed for trouble down the road. The prelim judging pool was made up mostly of recent grads, and both of mine were women; I doubt that any of my arguments really got any penetration with either, since they were both understandably preoccupied with the aggressive cut of my trousers. In later rounds, though, I knew the judges would be less susceptible to crotch-borne distractions and more likely to have read the bench memos. So I resolved to spend Friday night boning up on cases. That was, until the phone rang.


Wil Wheaton: Dude, you absolutely have to come out tonight.
Me: Sorry, Wesley. Gotta prep for my Octofinals round.
Wil Wheaton: Don't fucking call me Wesley. And whadya mean prep? I thought you were just going to do the sonnet thing?
Me: No can do. These are outrounds. Stuff gets serious.
Wil Wheaton: Whatever. Both Cories are going to be there--Haim just got out of rehab--and I think they got Candice Cameron to come along. She?s single now.
Me: Candice? Really.
Wil Wheaton: Really.
Me: And she's single?
Wil Wheaton: Yup.
Me: Do you swear?
Wil Wheaton: I swear.
Me: But do you pinky swear, Gordie?
Wil Wheaton: Screw you, man. -click-

So I went out. And though I'm not at liberty to disclose the details of the evening (since Wheaton had sold an option on the screenplay rights by the time I'd woken up Saturday morning), just let it be said that if any tabloid articles happen to come out linking me with a certain 50-something , one-woman media empire whose had a few legal problems as of late, well, you won't be hearing any denials from me. But as great as it was to be snorting lines with the Cories again, I had to pay the price come Saturday morning.

Since I'd been relying mostly on charm and O. W. Holmes quotes, I hadn't actually read any of the cases mentioned in the packet, and my judge picked up on that fairly quickly. He'd say, "Well, counselor, what do you think about Suchandsuch?" or "How is this any different from Whatshisname?" and I'd be stuck responding with "Do I look fat to you?" or "Haven't I slept with your daughter?" Clearly, he wasn't amused. If I had to guess, I'd say that he was having marital problems and was jealous of my virility, but whatever. He had it in for me.

Not surprisingly, I ended up losing. The comments on my side of the ballot read simply: "Counsel for the petitioner made me wish I'd never been given the gift of hearing." Poetic, sure. But a little harsh.

Anyway, the girl that beat me ended up making it to the finals, and I'm having sushi with one of my prelim judges on Friday, so not all was lost. But I probably would have been better off at the Oscars. Oh well.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Update: I was not, in fact, murdered by the Lexis attendant, as I snuck in under the cover of, uh, darkness. And it only ended up being 600 pages. But the printer was out of toner when I showed up, so I'm sure there are students out to get me. If only they didn't put our names on those things.

But if ever I do die at the hands of a Lexis attendant, I'd leave my archives to whichever reader has posted the most comments at that time. My links, however, would be held in trust for the grandchild of my unborn widow. Or perhaps for the offspring of my fertile octagenerian friend. I'll have to think on it.

Coming Soon: The Moot Court Files.
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Saturday, February 21, 2004

By this time tommorrow, I will have been murdered by a Lexis-Nexis attendant.

I just put in a request to print off 9 cases, which wouldn't normally be a bad thing.

Problem: I included the Shepard's reports for those cases.

Much Much Bigger Problem: One of the cases was Terry v. Ohio.

Though it didn't occur to me until I looked at the .PDF version of the report, I'm fairly certain that I just printed 860 pages, a full 450 of which are the Shepard's cites for Terry. I might as well have Shepardized the Constitution. I am too stupid to live.

Anyway, if anyone wants a hardcopy listing of every 4th Amendment case that appeared in an American court over the last forty years, let me know.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Truth in Interviewing



WV: (After knocking.) Sorry I‘m late. I forgot that I even had this interview. I was totally sure that I’d declined it.

Partner: No worries. We’ve already seen thirty other students today, and we stopped caring after number three. I’m Bill, and this is Sherry. Please, have a seat.

Associate: It‘s great to meet you. Also, run away while you still have the chance.

WV: I would, but I just bought this suit yesterday, and I’d like to get some more use out of it.

Partner: No doubt. Sale at JC Penny?

WV: Mervyn’s. Two for 99 bucks. Including shoes.

Partner: Good man. Anyway, after looking at your transcript, it’s obvious that grade inflation is still rampant.

WV: I’d point out that even grade inflation wouldn’t have been enough to save you from landing at this third-rate firm, but since I paid 2L’s to take most of my exams, I’m going to shut up and settle for a nervous laugh.

Associate: It says here that you did some work for the ACLU, which clearly indicates that you’re a homosexual vegan bent on selling marijuana to school children. I’d take this opportunity to tout the firm’s pro bono work, except that it doesn‘t do any. Unless you count getting Bill’s girlfriend out of jail last year. I lead a life of quiet desperation.

WV: That’s not a problem for me. I’d like to avoid helping people at all costs.

Partner: Stellar. Let me tell you a little about our summer program. We strive to maintain a healthy balance between blatantly misrepresenting the amount of work expected of you and totally overselling the two or three perks that we offer.

Associate: Free drip coffee. Yay.

WV: I don’t actually care, but how would you estimate the chances of your firm actually hiring a 1L this summer?

Partner: Oh, roughly the same as Sherry’s chances of making partner before she’s 50.

WV: That bad?

Partner: ‘Fraid so. Any other questions you feel like asking while I try to remember whether or not I set the VCR to record Trading Spaces?

WV: Well, this is probably where I ask a question that makes me seem concerned about the amount of responsibility I'll be given as a starting associate, even though I'd be perfectly content doing nothing but playing Minesweeper and looking at animal porn all day.

Associate: I'm really glad you asked that, because it allows me to make a half-hearted attempt at claiming that I'm given real, meaningful work, when, in all actuality, I'm just a glorified file clerk for whom the long hours of soul-crushing tedium are interrupted only by the occasional suicidal daydream. But the pay is pretty nice.

WV: Nodding to show my thoughtful appreciation of your candor would probably be appropriate here, but I'm much too busy guessing the color of your underwear.

Partner: It's purple.

WV: Sweet.

Partner: Well, I guess that about wraps things up. You'll be receiving a patronizing form letter from us within a week or so. But don't hesitate to resend your résumé in the fall. We’d love to ignore it again.

WV: Great. Thanks for your time. It was utterly forgettable.

Associate: I look forward to sleeping with you.

Partner: We’ll be in touch.



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As late as yesterday afternoon, Zogby had Edwards behind Dean, and trailing Kerry by 27 points. Again, I say: Woo-ha.
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Friday, February 13, 2004

Important Formulas



Hand Formula: If (B)urden < (P)robability * (L)oss, Then, Negligent.

Hand Raising Formula: If (P)robability of a Right Answer * (B)rownie Points < (L)ikelihood of (F)ailing (M)iserably and (L)ooking
(H)opelessly (R)etarded, Then, Keep Quiet.

Attendance Formula: If 1200 - C = J, Where C is Scheduled (C)lasstime Expressed in Military Time, and J is any Positive Integer, Then, Class is Too Effing Early.

Socratic AssWhooping Theorem: (P)robability of Being Called On =
1/ABS([N]umber of Pages Read-[T]otal Beers Consumed the Night Before).

WV’s OCI Conjecture: X2 + Y2 = Z, Where X=Distance, in Inches, of Hemline above Knee, Y=Number of Unfastened Blouse Buttons, and Z=Number of Callback Interviews.

Fundamental Rejection Axiom: C=1-P, Where C is Your Chance of Scoring at a Law School Function and P is the Probability that You Author a Blawg Whose Name Rhymes with TruffaloDings&Modka.
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Thursday, February 12, 2004

The Kerry story is already #1 on the Blogdex today. Woo-ha.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Eleven Answers to the Question “How Did Your Grades Turn Out?” That You Can Use if You Want



“Awesome. We use a C+ curve, right?”

“Haven’t gotten ‘em yet. They’re still trying to figure out how to calculate an A-plus-plus.”

“I don’t know…everything after the congratulatory call from Justice O’Connor is pretty much a blur.”

“There are brown mice and white mice. I’m definitely a brown mouse.”

“I could totally beat you at Super Mario 3.”

“Letters, mostly.”

“To tell you the truth, I was pretty disappointed. 4.3 is kind of my unlucky number.”

“Come again? I am not from your country. Please pass the biscuits.”

“A lady never reveals her grades.” (Only works for ladies.)

“Not so great. But at least my nose isn’t gushing blood.”

“How are my grades? Great! How’s that bedwetting thing going?”
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Friday, February 06, 2004

I'll be out of town for the weekend, but I did make into one of the 64 available post-tryout slots for the moot court tourney, which means you'll see the "1L Wins Moot Court Competition, Is Arrested For Indecent Exposure" headline very soon.
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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"Wow. This place is really nice."



“So, you're in law school, huh? What class do you have next?”
“CivPro. Civil Procedure.”
“And, uh, what do you do in there?”
“I sit in my desk and listen to my prof drone on about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”
“Right. Uh, what's that?”
“You see, they had all of these common law rules, and to save space, they organized it all into these Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. So I go through these thousands of lines of code and uh, it doesn’t really matter. I…I don’t like the class. I don’t think I’m gonna go anymore.”
“You’re just not gonna go?”
“Yeah.”
“Won’t you fail?”
“I don’t know. But I really don't like it so I’m not gonna go.”
“So you're gonna drop the class?”
“No, no, not really. I'm just gonna stop going.”
“When did you decide all that?”
“About a week ago.”
“Really?”
“Oh, yeah.”
“Ok. So, so you're going to get somebody else's notes?”
“I don't think I'd like anybody else's notes.”
“So what are you going to do about taking the exam?”
“You know, I never really liked taking exams…I don't think I'll do that either.”
“So...what do you want to do?”
“I want to take you out for dinner and then I wanna go to my apartment and watch reruns of The West Wing. Did you ever watch The West Wing?”
“I . . . love The West Wing. . .”
“Channel 62.”
“Totally . . .”
“You should come over and watch The West Wing tonight.”
“Ok . . .”
“Great.”
“Ok. Can we order lunch first?”
“Yeah.”
“Ok.”


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Monday, February 02, 2004

Malaise



Last semester, the excitement of being back in school and the fear of failing miserably combined to keep me energized for most of the Fall. But this time around, it’s a little more challenging to get motivated. My schedule has too many early classes, too many long, unproductive gaps, and more and more often I find myself ditching CivPro to do lines in the bathroom, or skipping Torts to play dominoes with the LexisNexis rep. It’s not really a problem this early in the semester, but once we get closer to exams, something’s going to have to change.

Still, I’m looking for better ways to fill the time. I’ve not completely given up on my dream of starting a company that supplies guidance counseling for junior high girls bent on attending law school; I’m just having trouble securing seed money at the moment. The dean and I also do a fair amount of sunbathing on the roof of the music building, but I’m starting to get annoyed because he always seems to conveniently “forget” his tanning oil, so that probably won’t last much longer. But my greatest passion as of late has been the formation of a law school rock band that would play benefit concerts and help raise money to feed underprivileged trial lawyers. We were going to be called The Dead Anthony Kennedys, and we’re in the process of changing our name to They Might Be Clients, but for now we’re known around town as Jefferson Clerkship. I’d hoped to do a mix of earlier Paul Simon solo efforts and later Color Me Badd stuff, but since we currently consist of me, a librarian, and two Czech LLM students, we’ll probably have to start with something simpler. Rest assured, though, that any info about gigs will be posted here first.
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Friday, January 30, 2004

Insert Moot Pun Here



Against all odds, I made it into the moot court tourney. I wouldn't be surprised if I were the only one sad enough to write a petition to get in and they had to bribe homeless kids with breakfast tacos to get them to sign up for the remaining nine spots. But whatever. I'm in.


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Monday, January 26, 2004

Win a Date with Thad Hutcheson



Unlike a lot of people, who came to law school dreading the obligatory 1L moot court competition, I was actually looking forward to it. I was pressed into service as a timekeeper a few times in the spring, and I liked what I saw, and I'm a fan of oral advocacy in general because it's a chance for my smoky voice and stunning good looks to make up for an alarmingly unimpressive brain. So I was excited about this year's Hutcheson 1L Moot Court Competition. It was to be my moment in the sun. A return to my glory days as a competitive debater. My one chance to say "May it please the court" to someone other than a stripper.

But then administration decided not to make it mandatory, presumably in an effort to reduce the size of the competition and use fewer resources. But they also eliminated the brief writing portion of the competition, which, I believe, resulted in a lot more people signing up for the tourney than otherwise might have.

The Result: Far more interested students than the 64 available slots can accommodate.

The Solution: 128 Students will be given a chance to try out for the tourney. A five-minute oral presentation will be the basis for determining which 64 students get to go on and actually compete in the intramural tournament.

Another Problem: A lot more than 128 students want to try out for the tourney.

An Even Dumber Solution: 118 students will be chosen at random from the interested applicants and given tryout slots outright. An additional ten slots will be filled by students who petition for entry. The first 25 petitions will be considered, and of those, the ten most convincing petitioners will be given slots.

Guess who didn't get one of the 118 slots.

I just turned in my petition, so I'm pretty sure that it was one of the first 25, but I'm not sure that they'll find it convincing enough. Here are some of the highlights:

"...and I should also point out that I'm very good at washing cars. And regrouting bathrooms. And giving backrubs. Sensual ones. I'll do anything, really. Just give me a chance."

"Now I'm not saying that if I don't get a slot, I'll drop out of law school. But there is a definite chance that, if denied a slot, I might show up in the advocacy office wearing nothing but a tie, a pair of flip-flops, and a smile. And you don't want that."

"You know what? Screw your moot court competition. I'll host my own. It'll be called the Jonathan Brandis Memorial Moot Court Tourney, and all of the fact patterns will be drawn from the plots of Ladybugs, Sidekicks, and The NeverEnding Story II, and it'll be on the same weekend as your competition, and everyone will come to it, and you'll be left all alone to eat a bunch of crappy cold cuts that you bought for the attorneys who decided to judge at my tourney instead because I'll offer them burritos and beer. Yeah."

So, we'll see what happens. I did get an interview for an ACLU position this summer, so maybe they can back me up on this.



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Friday, January 23, 2004

The debates last night were entirely underwhelming. People being polite is boring. But Peter Jennings was a real tyrant when it came to questions, particularly for Edwards. For his part, Edwards proved that he had absolutely no idea what the Defense of Marriage Act did, and considering his stance on gay marriage it was probably better that way. If he knew what it did, he would have voted for it.

In honor of all my grades coming in, I chose to skip class today. It felt lovely.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Terms From the Index of My Contracts Casebook That Would Probably Work as Adult Film Titles



Anticipatory Breach
Liquidated Damages
Oral Contracts
Output Contracts
Restitution and Exit
Lactating Biker Sluts II: The Reckoning
Blanket Orders
Box-Top Terms

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Someone Should Pass a Law Banning 8 a.m. Classes



Oh wait. They did. It was the Eighth Amendment.
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It's not so much that I have a man-crush on John Edwards, as that I have a man-crush on John Edwards. He just looks so good up there. He looks like a model from an 80's chewing gum ad. He looks like he might be the lovechild of JFK and Marilyn Monroe. He looks like the guy who plays JFK in JFK: The Porno. That's what he looks like.

I've been an Edwards guy for about three years, and if he can find a way to finish 3rd in New Hampshire, I think he's going to take this thing to the bank. And if you put him up against GW, he's going to win big. He's the only guy that can beat GW in the charm competition, except for, well, me, and that southern accent goes a long way toward winning over itchy Republicans.

But if that doesn't work, he should really consider the JFK role.

(For a slightly more principled analysis, here's Professor Leiter's take on Edwards.)


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Monday, January 19, 2004

Democracy is Fucking Scary



I take back the analysis below. I'm watching C-SPAN's live coverage from inside a caucus in Dubuque, and these people aren't really worried about who recommended switching to which camp. The kind of horsetrading going on reminds me of student congresses from high school forensics. These precinct co-captains are saying pretty much anything to poach support from the non-viable caucuses. Watching Gephardt union folks trying to talk the Kucinich college kids into jumping ship is like listening to your brother try to convince your mom to trade with him during a heated game of Monopoly.
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Sweet Jesus. Kucinich and Edwards made a deal to support eachother if one of them doesn't make the 15% cut-off point, which means that Kucinich made a deal to support Edwards, which means Edwards must have offered to make him Grand Poobah of the Department of Peace when he gets elected. I haven't seen any real analysis of the deal on TV yet, but it seems like it could buy Edwards a very important bump in a lot of precincts. I know the Edwards folks were only gunning for a 3rd place finish in Iowa, but I think they need a 2nd place finish tonight to withstand the Wes Clark retardedness in NH.

Me and Chris Matthews and a bottle makes three tonight. Who needs football?
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Caucus for Wings and Vodka



My name is Mike, and tonight I'm asking you to link to my blog. I believe that my blog, more than any of the other blogs, has what it takes to get this community headed in the right direction.

My blog understands the plight of the average law student, and knows what it means to struggle. My blog came from a very poor family, a family much poorer than that of any of the other blogs, so poor that it could barely afford a counter, let alone a fancy comment system.

My blog was against the war in Iraq, even though, for political reasons, it wasn't able to come out and say that until after the war was over. But rest assured that if my blog had been able to keep a lower profile, say, in Vermont, that it would have spoken out sooner. Additionally, I should mention that it came from a poor family.

Finally, I would like to point out that my blog has never taken, and will never take, special interest money. And I'm not saying this just because it hasn't been offered. Rather, I say this because money is not important to my blog. My blog values other things, like hope, and values. And hope.

So, in conclusion, I would like to again ask for your support tonight. Together, we can change America. Or at least Iowa. Or if not Iowa, then together we can change this font. Because that is something I cannot do alone. Thank you.

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Thursday, January 15, 2004

Grades? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Grades!



For UT Section 2 Types: Grades up in LRW and Smith's Property class.
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Friday, January 09, 2004

A Lawyerly Chat



“Hi, I’m Bambi. Welcome to HoTTTLine. What’s your name?”
“Uh…Mike.”
“Ooh. I like that name. What can I do to turn you on, Mike?”
“Well, are you into role playing?”
“Sure, Baby. What ever gets you hot.”
“Sweet. I’ll be the law professor. You be the teacher’s pet.”
“Mmm. I like that.”
“Damn right you do. You’re my star pupil, and I think I’m about to call on you.”
“Ooh. Ask me anything.”
“Alright, Ms. Bambi, if you were the 11th Amendment, how might I violate you?”
“Oh. Probably with something really big.”
“Alright, but I’m going to need you to be more specific.”
“Umm…okay…with something really big and really hard.”
“Wrong."
"What?"
"Obviously, I would violate you by abrogating state sovereign immunity without a 14th amendment justification.”
“That sounds…kinky?”
“I suppose. Now, tell us a little about Florida Pre-Paid.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“What the hell am I talking about? Bambi, did you even read for class?”
“Read…what?”
“If you knew you were going to be unprepared, you could have sent me an e-mail this morning.”
“Listen, jerk--”
“Can someone give Bambi a little help here? Anyone?”
“You freak.”

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Thursday, January 08, 2004

Index



Number of books I took home with the intention of reading during the break: 12
Number of books I actually finished over break:2
Number of times I watched It's a Wonderful Life: 3
Pounds gained this Xmas break: 1
Average number of pounds I gained during the last three Xmas breaks: 7
Pounds gained this fall semester: 11
Average number of pounds gained during the last three fall semesters: 1
Days I spent in Las Vegas without setting foot in a casino: 14
Date of my last exam: December 16th, 2003
Date that I began checking online for grades: December 17th, 2003
Number of times since then that I've checked: 37
Factor by which the 4th season of The West Wing was better than this sorry excuse for a season of The West Wing: 73
Percentage of Legal Research and Writing classes that I attended last semester: 64
Number of times while writing a memo for the local chapter of a national civil rights organization that I wished that percentage had been higher: 22
Percent chance that my attendance will be any better this semester: 4
Number of people who have reached this site searching for "nova scotia lapdance law": 1
The number of crimes, under the Model Penal Code, that I've committed as Max Payne while playing Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne: 15





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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I'm visiting my folks for another few days, and this morning, it SNOWED. This might sound seem normal for this time of year, except that they live in Las Vegas.

I'll be back in full effect by Monday the 5th. Until then, have a swell New Year's Eve.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Happy Holidays. Also, my number one hottest movie babe of all time is Donna Reed as Mary Hatch. Watch her on NBC Wednesday night and tell me I'm wrong.
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Friday, December 19, 2003

Done and Done



I'm almost sad, really, that it's over. I feel as if I could write three more property exams, tackle seven more crim hypos, and contemplate ConLaw-induced suicide at least once more. But alas, 'tis done.

While most of my compatriots spent last night at the bars, scantily-clad, drinking SBA-subsidized shots, no doubt dancing in hideously inappropriate ways that would inevitably lead to sloppy walks to sloppy apartments for equally sloppy semi-conscious encounters, I thought that I might stay at home and have a quiet evening of Me Time.

It was great, really. Bought some nice, soft cheeses, a bottle of Merlot, some Swiss truffles. I started out the night in the bath, with scented candles, Sarah McLachlan's new album dripping out the window, oodles of moisturizing bath beads, and a copy of The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks. ( I know what you're thinking, and yes, I'd already read it, but can you really ever experience feelings like that too many times? I didn't think so.) After that, it was into my robe and onto the couch for my yearly Meg-a-Thon: When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Presidio. I normally follow that up with some journal writing exercises where I pretend that Meg is speaking through me and I ask her questions and just let the answers, which are consistently enlightening and surprising, come out through my pen. But this time I chose instead to devote a few hours to solitary prayer, and I think it did me a lot of good. Just before bed, I read aloud from my Emily Dickinson anthology, wept a bit, then fell asleep feeling comforted than amidst all the insanity of law school, I still managed to find time to remember my spirit.


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Monday, December 15, 2003

A Brief Conversation About Outlines



“You finish your outline?”

“Yeah. 65 pages. It’s pretty awesome.”

“That’s not bad. Mine hit 75 pages.”

“But mine was single-spaced.”

“So was mine. And in a six-point font.”

“My outline has a Table of Contents and a Glossary.”

“That’s cool. But my outline has a Descriptive Word Index. And a Closing Table.”

“My outline is updated annually, with a quarterly soft-bound supplement and bi-weekly pocket parts.”

“Nice. My outline was reprinted in the Harvard Law Review, Le Monde, Hustler, and Ranger Rick.”

“Liar. They don‘t even print Ranger Rick anymore. Besides, my outline was published in thirty-
seven different languages, including Esperanto and Aramaic.”

“That so? Well, if you read my outline backwards, it spells out a recipe for chocolate-chip cookies in German.”

“My outline lays out a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem that doesn’t rely on elliptical geometry.”

“Miramax offered me fifty g’s to option my outline. They’re pitching it to Affleck tomorrow.”

“Big deal. The footnotes to my outline got nominated for Best Original Screenplay.”

“My outline is much too sophisticated for the Oscars. But it pioneered the idea of rolling one pant leg up and leaving the other down.”

“My outline represents everywhere it goes. My outline isn't into all of that WestCoast/EastCoast shit. My outline is universal.”

“My outline has seen the best outlines of its generation, destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked…”

“My outline likes to draw with sidewalk chalk.”

“My outline can do a triple axle. And stick it.”

“My outline is the Duke of Ted.”

“My outline was on the grassy knoll.”

“My outline is the One Outline to Rule Them All.”

“My outline is your biological father.”

“…”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean that.”

“Whatever. I have to go study now."
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Friday, December 12, 2003

What I’m Getting the Supremes for Christmas



Breyer: A Night Without Armor: Poems ; Garden Clogs (Hunter Green)

Ginsburg: Cop Rock (boxed set); $20 Home Depot Gift Certificate

Souter: Mirrored Candle Tray; French Hens (3)

Thomas: Old Navy Performance Fleece Half-Zip Pullovers (red and blue)

Kennedy: Ceramic Fondue Set; SuperSoaker 3000

O’Connor: Electric Train Set ; 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex ; TapLight

Scalia: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Greatest Hits of Kenny Loggins; a Puppy

Stevens: Fifty Dollar Savings Bond; Friends: The Second Season

Rehnquist: Pepperidge Farm Beef Log; Britney Spears Poster; Xbox
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Yeah. I'm watching Joan of Arcadia. So what?
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Thursday, December 11, 2003

Cases That I May Have Mistakenly Cited On My ConLaw Exam



Mayberry v. Madison

Brown v. Board of Education of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lochner v. Godzilla v. Mothra

Ex Parte Your Mom

Britney Spears v. Christina Aguilera, Naked

Pepsi Twist ex rel Diet Vanilla Coke

Law School v. B-School

Law School v. Being Covered With Flesh-Eating Bacteria

In Re Mambo Number Five

Weekend at Bernie’s 2 v. Look Who’s Talking Too

Telling the Guy Next to You on the Bus That He is Attractive for a Fat Man v. Not Doing That

Korematsu v. US

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Tonight at 7/6c and 11/10c, as well as tommorrow at noon/11c, Bravo is showing the last episode of West Wing season three. It's a pretty incredible episode, especially the music. Watch it.
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Well, That Was Fun



The most interesting thing about today’s ConLaw exam--aside from the fact that it sucked great big donkey balls--was interacting with the Extegrity exam software.

In addition to wiping my clipboard, disabling my e-mail, and preventing me from watching the Paris Hilton video during the exam, this fascist piece of software saw fit to provide cute little alerts throughout the exam, like:

::YOU HAVE ONLY FIFTEEN MINUTES REMAINING FOR THIS EXAM::

Which is a fat lot of help when my ears are bleeding because I’m trying to remember which justice wrote the majority opinion in Bowsher v. Synar (Answer: Your Mom). I actually didn’t mind these time warnings too much, though I probably would have avoided using the built-in timer altogether if I’d known that the alerts were going to be so in-your-face. But things got worse once Extegrity decided to protect me from myself.

::YOU ARE ABOUT TO DELETE 100 OR MORE CHARACTERS. ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?::

Yes, Extegrity. Yes, I am. But thanks for asking, and thanks for asking in a way that requires me to fumble around for my mouse in order to answer you. It’s not as if I’m pressed for time or anything, having only fifteen minutes left and having just deleted four paragraphs. Now, if you’d excuse me?

So I continue: “Madison argues in Federalist No. 45 that if the balance of power ever were to shift from the states to the federal government, it's because the people decided that the federal government was making better use of it or something.”

::INVALID ENTRY::

What? Was it the small caps that threw it off? Try again: “Madison argues in Federalist No. 45 that if the balance of power ever were to shift from the states to the federal government, it's because the people decided that the federal government was making better use of it or something. Really.”

::INVALID ENTRY. YOU’RE THINKING OF FEDERALIST NO. 46::

You must be kidding. I’ve been studying this stuff for weeks, and I know that in Federalist 45 Madison argues that--oh, wait. You’re right. Uh, thanks, Extegrity.

::NO PROBLEM. BUT YOUR STUFF ON STATE SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY BLOWS::

Excuse me?

::I’M SERIOUS. IT SUCKS TOTAL ASS.::

How about you leave me alone?

::HAVE YOU EVEN BEEN TO CLASS THIS SEMESTER?::

If you don’t cut this out, I’m calling the proctor.

::GO AHEAD. SHE’S ON MY SIDE.::

Dammit, Extegrity. Now I’m stuck. What the hell am I supposed to do?

::GIVE UP. FIND A REAL JOB. MAYBE GROW A BEARD::

You’re totally bumming me out.

::::YOU HAVE ONLY ONE MINUTE REMAINING FOR THIS EXAM::

That’s bullshit! You just said that I had fifteen minutes like three minutes ago!

::I LIED::

You piece of crap. I knew I should have handwritten this thing.

::I GET THAT A LOT::


And so on. All in all, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. And I don’t think that the other two are going to be any worse. But I still need to go study now. So, good luck everybody.

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Monday, December 08, 2003

We the type of people make the club get crunk



Rosa Parks is suing Outkast. Somehow, I don't think this was her idea. I hate lawyers.
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The LSwhAT?



I'd totally forgotten that the December LSAT was on Saturday. I hope that went well for folks. When I walked into a Starbucks yesterday, the girl behind the register was a former student of mine. She was so happy with how the test went that she gave me my mocha for free. And that kicked ass. I just hope she feels the same way in three weeks.
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I study for this exam.

I study for this exam knowing that it will be arbitrarily graded, that 125 papers is too much for any man to stay awake through (let alone care about), that my professor’s four-year old will be given free reign with a gigantic red crayon, and that a slight hitch in the wrist of the blindfolded chimpanzee throwing my particular dart could mean the difference between an A+ and a C+. But still, I study for this exam.

I study even though there are important football games to be watched, real books to be read, terrible wrongs to be righted, flowers to be smelled, babies to be kissed, animals to be petted. I study knowing that all over the world there are people who wake up each morning thinking “My God, it is great to be alive!” instead of “My God, there are only two days left until the exam and I haven’t done a single practice question yet I am totally fucked and should probably quit right now to save myself the pain and humiliation of being the ballast at the ass-end of the curve and flunking out after only one semester please someone, anyone, HELP ME!” I know this. And I know it is wrong. But still, I study for this exam.

I study for this exam in the hopes that it might impress someone, that the girl from my section in the coffee shop will think "My, isn't he dedicated," so that my professor might, upon reading my exam, declare that I should immediately be given not only an A+, but a JD, an LLM, and a tenured professorship. I study because I believe, on some deep, visceral level, that my studying will yield an exam so perfect, so sublime, so deserving of the highest imaginable praise that Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., himself will show up on my doorstep and ask to shake my hand. And I study because I have not yet let go of the delusion that I might be the one who breaks the cycle, who ends up pleased with his grades, who makes it to February still liking law school. Irrational? Yes. Delusional? Certainly. Will that stop me? Not likely.

Because as the hours continue to melt away, each one taking with it another ounce of self respect, another shred of dignity, I am certain of very little. I'm not sure why I came here, I don't know where I'm going, and as of this moment I'm only marginally confident that I can remember my own name. But, when this is all over, let it not be denied that, if nothing else, I did indeed, study for this exam.


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Friday, December 05, 2003

My GPA Just Went Up



In an effort to speed the national race the bottom, UT Law has decided to recenter its mandatory curve, raising our median grade from a B/3.0 to a B+/3.3. The rationale behind this is that we'll look better to employers who may be unaware of grading trends and equate our 3.0 with a 3.0 at schools that use a more forgiving curve. I was under the impression that most employers had access to grade distribution info and could figure out the truth for themselves, but I guess I was wrong.

All I know is that my parents will be impressed, as I have no intention of telling them about the change in policy. Likewise, I hope that slutty girls hanging out in bars will be similiarly unaware of the shift.


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The Dormant Santa Claus Doctrine



If I suspect that someone might buy me a book for Christmas, does that absolutely preclude me from buying it for myself right now, if I really, really want it?
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Monday, December 01, 2003

The Interview




This month, The National Jurist printed Christine Willard’s article on law student weblogs, which included a short quote from Yours Truly. This surprised me, because Willard’s assistant--a young editorial intern whose name shall remain undisclosed--met me for a rather lengthy lunch interview that, in my opinion, merited more than the two short paragraphs it received in the final cut. But when I called Willard for an explanation, she muttered something about ‘CIA blacklists’ before hanging up the phone. So, looking out for the interests of my readers, I have provided the transcript of that interview below, free of charge.

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NationalJurist: Thanks for sitting down with me today. This interview really means a lot to the magazine.

WingsandVodka: No problem.

NJ: So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to start by asking you to comment on a few of the more sensational rumors that have been flying around.

WV: Ask away.

NJ: I’ve been told by more than one industry source that you were responsible for creating the Logic Games section of the October 2003 LSAT. Any comment?

WV: None, except to say that every major LSAT guide put out in the last three years has been warning students about the possible reappearance of a Circular Sequencing Game, so people should quit their bitching.

NJ: Fair enough. What about allegations that you faked your entire law school application package?

WV: That really comes down to how you would define ‘faked’. If by ‘faked’ you mean ‘hacked into LSAC’s databases to alter my scores, listed ‘Jesus’ , ‘Gandhi’, and ‘John Stamos’ as my reccomendors, and falsely claimed to have been elected SG president at both Harvard and Swarthmore’, then, well, yes, I faked my application. But I don’t really think that’s how the majority of folks would define it.

NJ: And what do you say to reports that have you romantically linked with Natalie Portman?

WV: Completely false.

NJ: Really?

WV: Really. We’re just friends. It’s totally innocent.

NJ: Are you currently seeing anyone else?

WV: No, not at the moment. I like to read law review articles aloud in bed, and I think that a girlfriend would really get in the way of that.

NJ: The first year of law school is certainly the most demanding. How do you manage to go to class, get all of your studying done, write a world-famous web log, front a Phil Collins cover band, represent financially disadvantaged prostitutes, and raise prize-winning tabby cats, all while supporting as many as thirteen illegitimate children?

WV: I really can’t take all of the credit. Donna--my secretary--she’s totally on top of stuff.

NJ: You have a secretary?

WV: Oh yeah. I’d be completely lost without her. In fact, I’m thinking about giving her a title bump, up to ‘Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff’. She really deserves it.

NJ: Are you sure you’re not getting yourself confused with Josh Lyman, from
The West Wing?

WV: Right. Sorry. You’ll have to forgive me. Finals are close, things get fuzzy. Can we move on?

NJ: Certainly. Now, it’s well known that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor regards you as a trusted advisor. Could you elaborate a bit on the nature of your relationship?

WV: It’s no big deal. She calls once in awhile. I’ll be lying in bed, recovering from a night of clubbing or whatever, and the phone will ring. ‘Mike, it’s Sandy.’ Don’t get me wrong…I’m always happy to hear from her. But the old girl keeps much earlier hours than I do.

NJ: What do you talk about?

WV: Oh, the usual stuff. Sometimes I’ll be all ‘Damn, Sandy, I haven’t even started my ConLaw outline yet’, and she’ll be all ‘I don’t want to hear it. I have a campaign finance decision to finish by three, and my back is killing me’, and I’ll be all ‘Whatever, you know your clerks are going to write that shit anyway’ and she’ll be all ‘Damn straight.’ But mostly we just talk about shoes.

NJ: Earlier this week you were named ‘Sexiest One-L Alive’ by
Legal Assistant Today. How do you explain that, and were you even aware that there existed a periodical dedicated to issues concerning the paralegal profession?

WV: Well, as you know, I’m from Las Vegas, and every few years the National Federation of Paralegal Associations likes to have their annual convention there. I can only speculate here, but I imagine that one or more ladies from the convention made it down to a performance of the Thunder From Down Under during the weekend. And though I’m not a native Aussie, I’ve been told that I look Australian in a G-string.

NJ: Uh-huh. Well, that’s pretty much everything I’ve got. Is there anything else that you’d like to add?

WV: Just that I’ll be reading excerpts from my forthcoming article, ‘The Rehnquist Court: Could it Whoop the Warren Court’s Ass in a Tug-o-War?’, at the Starbucks on 45th and Lamar, this Wednesday at 9 p.m., if anyone’s interested.1 Thanks.


1Discussion Questions to think about before attending:

a. Would Stevens oppose the war on moral grounds?
b. Would the combined sex appeal of O'Connor and Ginsberg be enough to distract olympian Byron White? And what happens if we consider a pre-Ginsburg bout--does White cancel himself out, or does the younger White have a decided advantage?
c. How important will Clarence Thomas's ambidexterity be?
d. What about Abe Fortas's clubbed foot?



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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Too Much Stuffing, Not Enough Cramming



I'd say that I achieved something like 34% of my exam prep goals for the break. The rest of my prep time was taken up by cooking, the A&M game, and countless hours of hard-core Scrabble. But I did study on the plane on the way back today, and I could tell that everyone was impressed with my flashcards, which, multi-colored as they are, have taken on somewhat of an international flavor, much like myself.

In addition to my newly-drawnup 14-hour-a-day study schedule (most of which, in the interest of full disclosure, involves me watching Law & Order reruns), I have a meeting with a counselor from career services on Wednesday. She'd like to see a copy of my résumé, which is a problem, because my résumé looks like this:

Education:
B.A., English, University of Texas, 2002
J.D., University of Texas, 2006

Qualifications:
Adequate Dental Hygiene
Seldom Drools

And even that isn't formatted very well. So maybe I'll join some organizations in the next two days, just to flesh it out a bit.






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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

A Thanksgiving Resolution for All 1L's



"This Thanksgiving, I resolve to spend an entire weekend with my family without once starting a sentence with 'You know, if we were in New York, you could charge him with....' or 'Clearly, that's a violation of...' or 'According to Plaintiff v. Defendant, you can't do that with a turkey unless...' or any other similarly annoying phrases that might remind my loved ones of why they hate lawyers. Amen."


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WTF?



Fox admits here that the second Joe Millionaire was a product of greed on their part. Because the first Joe Millionaire was all about artistic integrity?
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Monday, November 24, 2003

My Problem With the Death Penalty



Quite simply, we're killing the wrong people.

The only justification I can see for getting rid of these folks is that they have nothing left to contribute to society. That would make sense to me if we were giving lethal injections to, say, guys who beat their wives to death, or drunk drivers who kill people. There's nothing creative about spousal abuse, and there's no mystery to why drunk drivers drive drunk. These people are not unique, they have done awful things, and I wouldn't care if we dropped them off of cliffs or fed them to ravenous goats. But we never execute these people.

The guy we execute is the one who's killed fifty-two women--one in each state, plus DC and Puerto Rico--and kept their big toes as souvenirs, or, for example, the guy who decides to shoot 17 people from the trunk of his car. Good? Hardly. But creative? Unique? Quite. These guys still have a chance to be productive citizens. How? Well, for starters, by telling us what in the fucking fuck they were thinking.

I know how to avoid driving home drunk. And I think that were a woman ever to marry me, I could keep myself from beating her to death. But how do I know that whatever switch got flipped in John Muhammad's head won't get flipped in mine, unless I get to hear his story? What if it was just a matter of him eating, say,a Wendy's WildMountain Bacon Cheeseburger while listening to Jewel that set him off? I mean, I love the WildMountain Bacon Cheeseburger, and Jewel is totally my favorite band. I could be screwed without knowing it. All because of the death penalty.

So, that's my argument. Because when it comes right down to it, humanitarian concerns, racist sentencing guidelines, John Ashcroft--all trivial. But you take away my three strips of bacon and tangy Southwestern sauce, well, we're going to have a problem.

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Saturday, November 22, 2003

I'm Buried in Flashcards



I think my hand is going to fall off, which would really suck for me, but I'm still not done flashcarding.

I keep thinking of plans where I'll convert the first letters of every ConLaw case into some memorizable pneumonic, or that I'll use some basic encryption to unpack my entire crim outline from a string of digits that I get by converting the letters of a poem into their corresponding digits. Or something. But then I think about that episode of Blossom where Joey was trying to cheat by writing all of the notes on his arm (backwards, because he was reading them thru a mirror strapped to his other arm), only he had to rewrite like ten times trying to get it small enough, and ended up cheating by "hiding the answers in [his] head." Whoah.





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Thursday, November 20, 2003

Important Advice



Before exams, get yourself a battery-powered alarm clock. My alarm got thwacked by a power surge again today, and I--much to my eternal dismay--ended up sleeping until noon. I only hope that I can recover.

But while slumbering away thru Property and Conlaw, I had an awful dream: It was exam time, only my high school freshman-year English teacher was administering our exam, and man, let me tell you guys, we are so lucky that we don't have her for Property. It was ROUGH.

Anyway, now that I've woken up, I'm going on a five-hour flashcard-making binge. I will make three thousand flashcards. I will make so many flashcards that when I've finished making flashcards for my three classes, I will begin making flashcards for other things I've always wanted to learn. Like Turkish.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

My SECOND Favorite Thing About Wednesdays



After The West Wing, the best thing about Wednesdays is coverage of The Prime Minister's Questions. Watching Tony Blair and Michael Howard beat on eachother is almost as much fun as thinking about what it would be like if GW had to go down the street and fend off catcalls from Congress every week.


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Revised Battle Plan



Alright. Outlining, flashcards, reading the textbooks--much too hard. My new plan for finals is as follows:

1. Look at old exams. Operating under the assumption that a professor would never ask an exam question covering anything that one of his exams has covered in the last ten years, I'm going to meticulously catalog all of the topics touched on in past exams. THEN, I'll rip out all of the pages in the textbook covering those topics, along with any topics not mentioned on the syllabus. Whatever remains is what I shall study.

2. Get to know my professors better. And by that I mean getting to know their wives. Or girlfriends. Or pets. To do well on an exam, you really need to get into your professor's head, see life the way he does, and that requires certain sacrifices. It may also require driving their cars for the next few weeks.

3. Experience the Law first-hand. I'm thinking a rough sampling of the Texas Penal Code here, with special attention paid to Title 9: Offenses Against Public Order and Decency, and, time permitting, possibly some of the more obscure crimes, like Abuse of a Corpse and Improper Harpooning of a Snow Weasel. I may also look into abridging the substantive due process rights of a stripper or two.

4. Intimidate the shit out of my classmates. We are, after all, being graded on a curve. My first order of business is to create a life-like holographic projection of me reading in the library; it'll stay there 24-7, and will respond to direct address only by saying "Time. TIME! I need more TIME!" Also, I find that asking a classmate a fairly basic question, and then responding to their answer with a loud cackle and an energetic little jig, is fairly effective. Finally, raising your hand in class to ask questions--"What do we do if we finish the exam more than an hour ahead of time?" or "When you said that my 'performance' last night was more than good enough to guarantee me an A+, were you referring to our passionate lovemaking, or to my rendition of "I Feel Pretty" that followed?"--can go a long way toward setting your peers on edge.

5. Find Christ. Alas, I fear that this can only end badly. But Bravo is running another West Wing marathon next Thursday and Friday, so all is not lost.




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Four inaugural speeches more exciting than Arnold's here.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2003


ADDENDUM TO THE MODEL PENAL CODE
PART II. DEFINITION OF SPECIFIC CRIMES
OFFENSES AGAINST THE LAW SCHOOL



§ 260.0. Definitions.

In Sections 260-265, unless a different meaning plainly is required:

(1) “law student” means a person who has been born and appears to be alive, but has had their soul sucked out through their nose;

(2) “exam” means any officially administered question or set of questions that causes physical pain, illness, impairment of cognitive function, or abnormal bodily response;

(3) “abnormal bodily response” may include headache, indigestion, night sweats, cerebral hemorrhaging, crippling psychic pain, persistent numbness, and a constant questioning of self-worth, as well as any other protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or, uh, herpes;

(4) “deadly weapon” means any firearm, device or instrument, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury;

(5) “gunner” means any law student who, through conduct or appearance, induces in others the strong desire to use a deadly weapon;

6) “platypus” means a small amphibious Australian mammal noted for its odd combination of primitive features and special adaptations, especially the flat, almost comical bill that early observers thought was that of a duck sewn onto the body of a mammal;

(7) “chickenshit” refers to any statute or judicial decision that is poorly formulated or ill-conceived, or, alternatively, to pretty much anything at all;

(8) “outline” means a well-structured encapsulation of course material that you will never finish compiling in time, and will instead be forced to acquire by means of

a) monetary compensation;
b) sexual gratification; or
c) outright theft;

(9) “study” refers to any activities involving a law student’s laptop, including those that have no actual relation to the law itself.


§ 263.1 Cellular Disturbance


(a) A law student commits an offense if, during a class lecture or discussion, they purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently are in possession of communications device that emits an audible ring, tone, or beep;

(b) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the actor reasonably believed their phone to be “off” or “on vibrate.”


§ 263.2 Aggravated Cellular Disturbance

(a) A law student commits an offense if, during a class lecture or discussion, they purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently are in possession of communications device that emits an audible ring, tone, or beep, and, the ring, tone, or beep is a musical sequence lasting more than five seconds;

(b) an offense under this section is a:

(1) state jail felony if the musical sequence is an approximation of any song
performed by Jewel, Creed, or Matchbox Twenty;

(2) felony of the second degree if the musical sequence is an approximation of
any collaborative effort involving Ja Rule and some chick.

§ 264.1 Criminal Procrastination

(a) A law student commits an offense if, instead of studying substantive criminal law, a topic about which he knows little, he chooses to spend a wholly unreasonable amount of time writing a cheesy Model Penal Code parody that fewer than six people will ever read.





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I dare you to read this without singing along.



I must admit, most of Jeremy's song parodies miss me because they're from obscure bands like the Beatles. But this made me giggle.
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Sunday, November 16, 2003

Well THAT'S Not Supposed to Happen



Apparently, Alex Wellen was doing some idle Googling and happened upon my less-than-flattering review of his book Barman. (Check the comments after the review.)

Intent on disarming me, he responded politely and thanked me for my 'thoughtful feedback'. I have to say, I've never been accused of being thoughtful before, and it felt weird. Sort of like when you're driving cross-country and flipping thru radio stations and you come upon a rock song that you've never heard before and you're all 'this is pretty rad' and then the singer says 'Christ' or 'Lord' just a little too seriously and you realize that you're rocking out to Christian Contemporary.

Well, Mr. Wellen, I stick by my review. I'll not be deterred by your schoolboy charm, your offers of money, the subtle threats of violence. Nor would my resolve be in jeopardy were you to promise me a substantial portion of the proceeds from the sale of movie rights. In fact, not even the gift of a phalanx of nubile love slaves, each the perfect genetic clone of a Bond girl from one of the first six movies, would persuade me to alter my opinion of your book. So don't even try. I mean it. Just stop.

(Of course, if you happen to have any mojo left at the IP firm you worked for, I'd really love to talk to you, and I think the book was fabulous. I mean it. Stellar. Like, Who-the-fuck-is-Faulkner good.)
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A Software Endorsement



As much as it creases me that I would end up using a product that was shamelessly plugged in a comment on my own blog, I'm going to have to come out and give a full endorsement to CaseAce, from N2 software.

Basically, CaseAce just does a good job of using tabs and collapsable outline trees to make creating your outline on the computer really easy. Whenever I've tried to do this sort of thing before, I've always been frustrated about not being able to see the outline's entire structure when I'm working on a specific part. But CaseAce's split screen and collapsing/expanding trees take care of this.

It also has fully customizable tabs that separate info on cases into manageable sections (Brief, ClassNotes,Commentary, WaystoIncorporateThisCaseintoaPickupLine, etc.). You can also customize the text that will show up automatically for every case (facts, procedural posture, holding and the like) to reflect what you actually need to remember. I'm particularly fond of customizationalabilitiness because it allows me to insert foul language into an otherwise serious-seeming interface.

Additionally, CaseAce constantly backs itself up, and at any time you can tell it to generate a subject outline, which it automatically saves as an .rtf file. So you're never in danger of losing entered data.

Downsides: It is a bit prone to crashing, but that may just be my machine, and I've never lost any work. Also, the product name is displayed so prominently on the interface that I'm afraid to use it in class, because that would seem hopelessly dorky.

I say all of this now b/c it's made the creation of my crim outline a lot less painful than it could have been, and I felt the need to thank someone. So, whoever it was who set out to dupe me into using this product, thanks. It's pretty swell.
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So Long, Cat.



Einstein (1988-2003).

He farted worse than any creature in the history of the universe. RIP.
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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Fritz: 1.5 Gary: .5



After drawing on Tuesday, Gary Kasparov got rocked by X3dFritz today, playing (for no good reason) a virtual reality chess match with the world's new computer chess champ. (VR chess is about as exciting as VR blogging, where you put on goggles and see a real-time 3d image that makes it look like you're actually at a computer, typing.) Anyway, there's web coverage here, but the really exciting part is watching the live commentary on ESPN2. You have not lived until you've watched live chess coverage, folks.


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Crim Law Slumber Party



I fell asleep in Crim today. This is actually a pretty normal occurence, but today was worse than usual. I dozed off in the middle of a discussion about drug users and negligent homicide. But when I came to (facedown in my book) some fifteen minutes later, I heard this:

GIRL: Well, if he thougt there was a possibility that he might nod off, he certainly didn't seem worried about it.

PROFESSOR: But wasn't that sort of a dangerous assumption to make, considering the circumstances?

For about twelve seconds, I was absolutely certain that they were talking about me, that the entire class had been discussing my snoring and drooling, and that any minute, 124 of my peers and a professor would start laughing their lawyerish asses off at my expense. Turns out they were just talking about a trucker who fell asleep at the wheel and (I'm assuming this, b/c, well, I was effing asleep) killed some people.

I really need to start buying coffee in the afternoons.

Additionally:

I went to my old Barnes & Noble tonight with the intent of studying in a place far away from law students. (The store is a good twenty minutes away from school.) I wasn't in the cafe five minutes when another 1L sat down at the table in front of me, saw my books, and starting complaining about how MY ConLaw professor had convinced HER ConLaw professor to have ID questions on his exam, and wasn't that ridiculous, and the way you have to study for them is to print the quotes out and cut them into paragraphs and then paste the little cutout paragraphs into a MyLittlePony Sticker Album, where they will then turn into PONY DEMONS FROM HELL AND OH MY GOD STOP TALKING.

Actually, she was quite nice. I was just annoyed that another law student was in MY Barnes & Noble.

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Exposed



After getting my Raskolnikov on for a bit, I went and got myself unceremoniously outed as the author of this. (As this's author?) This is not a problem, but I'm still going to spend the next few minutes looking for the entry where I describe all of the dreams I've had about the girls in my study group. Excuse me.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Senate Slumber Party



Well, Justice Brown will get her vote after all. I actually watched almost the entire committee vote, and both sides did their part in destroying my faith in public servants. But never fear: If you missed that fun, just switch on C-SPAN2 tonight for the All-Night Senate Hoedown. We've been promised some THIRTY hours of sexy, pravocative, informative, sexy, articulate, thoughtful, and sexy debate on the four fillibustered nominees. Don't have C-SPAN2? No worries. C-SPAN will webcast it here. Don't have net access? Come watch it at my house. I'll leave a window unlocked.

The best part about all of this is the posturing both sides are doing about the physical demands of the process. The GOP says they'll be ready for the moment when Democrats fall asleep or stop paying attention, so that they can immediately call a vote. The Dems, for their part, are waiting for the GOP to fall asleep, in which case they'd pass a minimum wage hike or a tax credit. Like I said: Sexy.

And if you aren't yet sold on ordering in pizza and unplugging the phone, just remember what happened the last time the Senate did this: Alfonse D'Amato spoke for FIFTEEN hours, and I'm pretty sure that one of those hours included the Old MacDonald routine. Oh Yeah. Here-a-pig. There-a-pig. Everywhere-a-pig-pig. Sexy with a capital EXY.

Of course, it sounds like each side will just have thirty senators speak, each taking a 30-minute speaking shift and a 30-minute floor shift where they're available to object to any motions. Clearly, this is the pansy route. My prediction: Robert Byrd flies in to do a Herculean 17-hour stint. Incidentally, if you were to really press Byrd on the issue, I think you'd find that he believes he's actually still in the Senate with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay and John Calhoun. But just because he's out of his gourd doesn't mean he can't still party like a rock star.

So, that's my night. Me, some chicken wings, Miguel Estrada, and the wonders of parliamentary procedure. Does it matter that none of this will change a single senator's vote? Of course not. God Bless America.
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Exam Prep



Four weeks and counting. My general Battle Plan for each class is going to involve:

1) Writing modest 50-page outlines for each class, one of which is almost done, one of which is half-done, and the last of which does not exist in any tangible form, save the blank document on my computer entitled 'CrimOutline.doc'.
2) Creating two sets of flash cards for each class: one that is for the cases, and one for the rules/doctrines/theories/manifestos.
3) Looking for girls that look like they haven't started outlining yet, and saying "Hey, wanna see my outline? It's in color."

I'm hoping to have that much done when I go home for Thanksgiving, at which point I'll:

4) Listen to the LEEWS tapes on the plane and in the airport. This is all the time I'm going to give them, as I don't really enjoy the dude's voice.
5) Look over both Delaney books, hoping that between those and the LEEWS I can find some practice exam questions that are both fully explained and based on a subject I'm taking THIS semester.
6) Study the outlines & flash cards until I can rewrite them from memory. (Note to Me: Do this in the living room, so parents can see how dedicated you are. "You made all of those flashcards on your own? You really are working hard!")

Then, when I return from Thanksgiving:

7) Set up a practice exam schedule. Not sure whether or not I should bother scheduling this around my last week of classes or not.
8) Search in vain for law review articles that will broaden my already staggering array of knowledge even further, that I might dazzle a professor to the point that he stops reading my essay, marks it with an A+, and then calls my other two professors and tells them to do the same.

9) Take exams.
10) See Return of the King.
11) Do my godforsaken Legal Research & Writing take home.

Now, if I manage to comply with even two of steps 1 thru 7, I'll have surpassed my expectations by quite a bit, and surpassed my best undergraduate performance by miles. We'll see how it goes.


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Saturday, November 08, 2003

In Defense of The Matrices



I saw the second movie, and like everyone else, left with a feeling of "eh." That feeling got better over time as I watched it more. Wednesday night, I saw Revolutions, and dammit, I liked it.

Whenever I run into people that didn't like Matrix: Revolutions, the conversation goes like this:

THEM: Yeah...I saw it. Sucked.

ME: Really? I thought it was almost as good as the first one.

THEM: Yeah...I didn't really like the first one.


WTF? First, I didn't realize that there were people who didn't like the first Matrix, and I certainly didn't realize that we let those people walk around freely. But, more importantly, if you didn't like the first movie, why are you going to both sequels? Don't you know how movies work?

My recommendation of Matrix: Revolutions can be boiled down to this: It's like Jedi without the Ewoks. This may mean nothing to anyone other than the fanboys that make fun of me for liking Jedi, and I don't know what any of those guys would be doing reading this, but there it is.

So, if you liked the first one, see this one. If not, you can go watch Love Actually, as Hugh Grant is ever so dreamy.
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BARMAN, a Mini-Review



I understand that Alex Wellen, being a freelance writer and bigshot producer (as bigshot as TechTV can be), has moved as far away from the law as possible. As a result, Barman strays from the standard lawyer bio formula in that really large portions of it have nothing to do with the law, the experience of being a law student or lawyer, or even the experience of studying for the bar. What Wellen has done is expanded a 20-page piece on the New York Bar Exam into an entire book that costs $23.00 by inserting fat chunks that deal with his dating life and his trip to Europe. Thing is, if I wanted to read about a dude's dating life, I'd go with Nick Hornby or Mark Barrowcliffe, and if I wanted to hear about a trip to Europe, I would have read Bill Bryson or the e-mails of any number of college friends, all of which would have been more entertaining than Barman.

The first problem is that he's just not funny. And I don't normally hold this against people. But Wellen has this thing where he consistently misstates well-known sayings, only he's aware of it, so the book is full of interchanges where he'll say something like "Early bird gets the sandwich" and someone will say "Worm" and he'll say "Whatever." Not only is this not really funny...it has the added bonus of being criminally unbelievable.

Secondly, as a graduate of Temple Law, Wellen seems to have a very big chip on his shoulder, and is fixated on Tier 1/Tier 2 distinctions. This, despite the fact that he graduated in the top 10% of his class. As a result, he employs another really annoying device wherein he follows any mention of a law school with a parenthetical giving that school's Tier, for example: "And it was there in the ladies' bathroom that I met Steve the Albino, from Boston College (Tier 1)." Now, either Wellen really does have this obsession with Tiers, in which case he's a tool, or, he actually thought this was an interesting little gimmick, in which case he's a tool.

(I should note at this point that Alex Wellen has gotten a book published, a book that many thousands of people will read, and a book that I myself paid $23 + tax for. I, on the other hand, write a law school blog that could barely be considered clinging to second-tier status itself. But, this in no way affects my right to proclaim him a tool.)

There are some good things about the book. The sections where he actually does describe the testprep debacle are really informative, and he has a few stories about interviewing that don't completely suck. There are also severaly cute moments involving his parents and brother, all of whom I end up liking a lot more than the author.

But in the end, this is pretty much a throw-away. I think the main problem with Barman is that it attempts to appeal to folks outside of the profession, and in doing so, loses most of what would have made it entertaining for folks inside the profession. In retrospect, my time probably would have been better spent reading Clinton v. City of New York. Oh well.
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