Tuesday, March 29, 2005

What is Courage? This is.

We're reading Grutter v. Bollinger (use of race as a factor in admissions at the University of Michigan Law School) for Con Law and it says that the plaintiff, who (let us not forget) sued the University of Michigan Law School (#7 according to U.S. News Law School "rankings") claiming she didn't get in because she was white when she had "a 3.8 grade point average and 161 LSAT score." That takes guts. I didn't get into Michigan (well, I got wait listed, and never stuck around to see if smarter people then me got into Harvard and then dinged Michigan), but I never in my life considered suing claiming that admissions discriminated against me because I'm white. I mean, come on... was she honestly surprised when she got rejected from Michigan with a 161?

I know we live in a very litigous society (which, by the way, is awesome for us law students, because it means we'll have plenty of work when we get out of school... keep that business flowing), but didn't she ever think maybe she just wasn't good enough for Michigan? Here is something you will rarely hear from a law student, but sometimes, we just aren't good enough... and that's OK.

P.S. Ms. Grutter... please don't sue me.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Hunting For Laughter

This cat-tacular post may be the funniest thing I've read all year.

The beauty of law school is that sometimes you are so beaten down by the workload that you find something like this, and it just brightens up your whole week. Me, I got maybe 4 hours of sleep last night because I was finishing up my final draft of my appellate brief for legal writing and completing my application for moot courts (more on that later) AND I had to get up early enough to get a parking spot at the bus park-and-ride because the stupid movie theater next the park-and-ride banned transit customers from its vast asphalt sea of a parking lot.

So anyway, I'm tired... and then the epic battle of Cats versus Roomba came to my attention. Still laughing, and I've read it three times. Ha!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

How To Lose Credibility In The Eyes Of A Court, A Primer

*Editor's Note I wanted to post this on Friday, but then the whole "I want to live" (or rather "ahhh wah") thing came up, and I wanted to wait and see the outcome.*

Mostly taken from this CNN.com article:

Step 1: (the "I have credibility" phase): Try to stop your daughter's feeding tube from being removed in a lawsuit, but sadly lose, and appeal it up to the State Supreme Court.
Step 2: (the "It's OK, they're just distressed" stage) - Convince the Governor of the State to overstep his gubenatorial powers and unconstitutionally intervene.
Step 3: (the "Um, this is getting suspicious" stage) - After the Gubenatorial intervention is struck down, and you lose again in court, have Congress unconstitutionally intervene. Bonus points if the President who signs the Congressional intervention is the brother of said Governor.
Step 4: (the "OK, seriously this is getting ridiculous" stage) - After suing in a Federal District Court based on the Congressional intervention and losing, appealing, losing on appeal, appealing to the Supreme Court, and having cert denied by the Supreme Court, then ask the District Court for the exact same thing you were denied before.
Step 5: (the "Come on! Shouldn't their lawyer be disbarred for frivolous litigation by this point?" stage) - After being denied for a second time by the District Court, ask the same District Court, on the next day, for the same thing you asked the first two times; and finally
Step 6: (the "Damn, just when I thought you didn't have any credibility left to lose" stage) - After every court you've been before doesn't do what you want (for a total of 23 negative decisions), say that all of those judges are joining forces in a "crusade to kill" your daugther.

Alright, I hope this is the last thing I post about the Schivo case, but I just can't believe this. I have sympathy for Schiavo's parents, I really do. But right now, they are really being selfish, in my opinion. By this point, they are just trying to keep Ms. Schiavo's body alive for their own peace of mind. *Note: By this point, with the parent's withdrawing somewhat gracefully, I don't really feel this way anymore (remember I wrote this on Friday), but I still can't believe the father made this comment*

Also, there was a column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune last week that I thought made a good argument. If Schiavo's parents are such strong christians, why are the keeping Terri out of heaven? She is brain-dead, which means her ability to enjoy her life here on earth is over. Why would you be so selfish as to keep her out of what you believe is paradise?

OK, no mas Schiavo! I have my final draft of my appellate brief for legal writing due on Monday, so there will probably be radio silence over the weekend... but in exchange for putting up with all this seriousness, I will try to write something extra silly, imature, and stupid on Monday or Tuesday. Unreasonable Man OUT!

Friday, March 25, 2005

More Evidence of My Caucasuosity

I linked to this post about my whiteness yesterday, and it got me to thinking about how much of a suburban white guy I am. Here's more proof:

I do not understand the fascination with 50 "Fiddy"1 Cent. As far as I can tell he isn't any better of a rapper/hip-hop "artist" (sarcasm quotes for Fiddy, not for hip-hop) than other artists, although I'll freely admit I could be wrong due to my pale, nearly transparently white skin2. In fact the music seems downright horrible. And why do we want to glorify such a blatant thug3? I just don't get it, and moreover, I don't want to get it4.

Oh well, I think I'll go back to listening to my Lawrence Welk records and talking about the "good old days" of music. Remember Bob Dylan, man he was something *Sigh*....

1For those of you young en's, when I was a kid, this was pronounce Fif-tee, so that both the second "F" and the "T" were actually spoken. That's your history lesson for today.
2I'm not a rap fan, but if I had to pick an actual artist from the music I've heard, I would pick Snoop Dog or Dr. Dre.
3 Isn't he an admitted crack dealer? Plus there's his pride in being a "P.I.M.P."
4This is not only evidence of how white I am, but how old I am. When I actually listen to the Top 40 station to check out what the kids are listening to these days, I've been known to utter the phrase "I just don't get this music." Oh well, at least I don't say "It's so loud! You kids will blow your ears out." When that happens next week, then I will be truly ancient.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Non-Rejection Letter Again

A couple weeks ago, I sent in some more information (grades, legal writing sample, patent writing samples) to the small firm that sent me a non-rejection letter back in January. Now they've responded with another non-rejection letter I don't really know what to make of this, especially since the language of this letter is almost exactly the same as the first N-R letter, except that it says "get back to us later in the spring" instead of "at the beginning of spring" (as it said in January).

I want your advice. What should I do with this? I'm thinking that in a couple weeks I should contact the person who sent me the letter and say something like "I know you have never hired 1L's before because you are probably concerned with the costs/distractions of training them, but this concern doesn't apply to me because I am a patent agent with three years of experience."

The other thing I might want to emphasize is the fact that the firm has mentioned in both letter that they may have a lot of litigation this summer that they might need help with, and even if the firm feels I'm not a great fit for their litigation team (understandable since I am a 1L), I could take over some of the patent drafting work and free up some of their attorneys to work on the litigation.

Does this make sense? Would I be being too pushy? Am I wasting my time? If I am wasting my time, should I keep doing it in the hope that I will "wear them down" with the shear weight of my persistence? HELP!

I Must Be Sad

I'm getting a lot of hits from people searching for "law school rejection letter", "is my upga and last good enough?", and "lsat upga chance getting" (which I am Google #1 for... yeah team!) I'm also #1 for "Lil John "sweat drips" balls skeet lyrics" thanks to this insightful post.

This makes me sad. I weep for the future.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Let It Go

So, now that Congress has unconstitutionally butted in to grant the federal courts jurisdiction, and the Florida District Court and the 11th Circuit have ruled against the parents (or if you are a "glass is half full" kind of person, ruled for Michael Schiavo), once again those Bushes can't keep there noses out of it, but this time it's a Jeb.

Apparently that cantankerous Tom Arnold look-a-like from the swampy south just wasn't happy being smacked down by Florida courts once... he wants to give it another try. That's right, Jeb says that a new "doctor" just "happened" to have reviewed Ms. Schiavo's case and has determined that she isn't in a persistant vegetative state, but rather is "most likely in a state of minimal consciousness." Here's my favorite part:
Cheshire reviewed Schiavo's medical records, watched videotapes and observed her at the hospice, but was not able to personally examine her, Department of Children and Families Secretary Lucy Hadi told reporters. (Emphasis Added by your humble blog author)
"Why the use of the derisive quotes around 'doctor?'" You may ask. Mostly because this "doctor" is such a medical wunderkind that he can diagnose a patient without actually examining them... that's some good docterin'.

But even if his medical conclusion isn't called into question... because of, oh I don't know, the suspicious stench lines of politics that hover over it... it is irrelevant. Florida courts have already had a trial on this, and the court concluded that the doctors who believed Ms. Schiavo was in a persistant vegetative state were more credible than the doctors who didn't... and those doctors even got to examine her.

So excuse me if I'm angry about this, but I am sick and tired of the political posturing over this case. Let it go. It's over. Foist your hypocrisy on something else.

Law Review Pros and Cons

Heidi over at Letter of Marque has a good post about why we should or shouldn't petition for law review. For someone who will be going through the petition process in a couple months1, I really appreciate the insights from someone who has been through it. While I have heard some of it before, it's nice to hear it reaffirmed by someone who is going through law review now.

1Is it really that soon?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Who Invited You?

Am I the only one that thinks Congress should butt out of the Terry Schiavo case? Let's go to the Big Board:

Reasons Why Congress Should Have Butted Out
1) It's none of their damn business
2) It really should be up to Mrs. Schiavo's family (meaning her husband first, then her parents... but since her parents are acting like 2 year olds, running to everyone they can and crying "It's not fair, he keeps winning!," mostly just her husband)
3) Last time I checked, the Florida courts have already ruled on this issue (TWICE!)... but we all know the respect the Bush Administration has for the Florida courts1 (the Florida executive he likes, the courts? Not so much.)
4) Congress has no constitutional power to give jurisdiction to a federal court over Terry Schiavo's feeding tube (unless they try to claim that the food she would be eating traveled in interstate commerce... good ol' Commerce Clause)
5) Did I mention it is none of their fucking business?!

Reasons Why It Was OK Congress Meddled
1) Come on, look at all the press this is getting. You can't expect them not to posture during a political battle, can you?
2) They need to show the Red States that they are serious about this "All God - No Thought" policy they've been promising
3) Tom DeLay must appear on T.V. approximately every 30 seconds or he will die of severe underexposure.

By my book, that's 5 real reasons against (yes, I am counting Congress minding it's business twice), and 3 fake reasons for. Hmm. Tough Call.

1If you can remember the ancient history of 2000, it was the Florida Supreme Court that ruled the recount should continue before the Nine Robes said "Stop! The Right Man Might Win!"

Law School Traffic Court

I have a humble proposal. Law School Traffic Court, which might go something like this:

[Fade into law school courtroom - The "honorable" Dirk Shirkly, law school traffic court judge is entering the court to thunderous applause. A sad looking women is brought into the room in shackles and leg irons. She is pelted with left over pizza from a Federalist Society meeting that nobody attended.]
Bailiff: The first case is case number 665, The Student Body v. Ms. Eugenia Line
Prosecutor: Your honor, Ms. Line is charged with butting in line at a recent meeting held by the local firm of Big, Huge & Bloated, in blatant disregard of Common Decency Code 02-472.
Defendant: Excuse me your honor, I was recently married to Mr. Bradley Cutter and have added his name to my own.
Judge Shirkly: Alright, Ms. Line-Cutter, it is noted.
Line-Cutter: In response to this charge your honor, I had no idea I was butting... [Boos from the crowd... more pizza]
Judge (interrupting): I will not tolerate such behavior, and ignorance of your fucking rudeness is no excuse. Guilty.
[Crowd cheers... bailiff forces Ms. Line-Cutter to wear a sweater with a large red "LC" on it]

[Next a man with a very bad haircut enters wearing an argyle sweater vest and huge glasses. He is kicked in the ass by the spectators as he drags a humongous suitcase behind him.]
Bailiff: The next case is case number 666, Student Body v. Mr. Hugh G. Tool
Prosecutor: Mr. Tool is charged with pulling a rolling bag behind him in a crowded hallway in between classes without paying any attention to the people he is slamming his bag into, a clear violation of Common Sense Code 06-937.
Tool: Your honor, surely I don't have to worry about people walking into my bag.
Judge: Mr. Tool, if you insist on being a raging tool and taking up the space of three people in the hallway, then Yes you must keep track of you bag. Or better yet, grow a pair and carry a backpack, you big wuss. Guilty.
[Crowd cheeers... bailiff uses a cattle brand to mark "WEAK" on Tool's forehead]
[Fade Out. End of scene.]

I'll volunteer to be the bailiff. Any takers?

Here I [We] Go Again

Back from spring break with a disappointing lack of Mexican Sun. During break, I didn't really do anything related to school until yesterday, and yet I somehow still don't have much to do this week. So I am outlining Property and trying to figure out why we had to read a case on "Discovery" that was really about conquest (Johnson v. M'Intosh, good times), and more importantly what the heck said case is supposed to teach me about possession and property. Oh yeah, I missed this.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Slip Sliding Away

We had a big snowstorm up here in the Northland yesterday, with lots of sliding and accidents. My dad fell in the morning while running and broke his arm. I had to go with my mom to pick up his truck at the Urgent Care center1, and while I was driving the truck home I was fish-tailing all over the place, even when I was only going 5 mph. Finally, my wife fell in the evening and smacked her head (thankfully she didn't break anything though). The roads are all plowed now, and most of the slipperiness is gone, but it was a pretty fun last official day of spring break with about 9 to 12 inches of snow. Boy I'm glad we didn't get to go to Mexico2.

1 He didn't realized he had broken it until later in the day and he had driven to work.
2Note: This is sarcasm of the highest degree.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Battle of Who Could Care Less

So my undergrad alma mater (Iowa State) played my current school (Minnesota) in the NCAA tournament and won handily. Lots of people1 asked me who I was cheering for. To be quite honest, I didn't care. I haven't been paying attention to sports pretty much this whole school year2, and I haven't really had time to work up any kind of enthusiasm for either team. I guess I'm happy the Cyclones won, and I definitely hope they pull off the upset against North Carolina tomorrow, but the Tournament just doesn't hold my fascination like it once did. Maybe I'm actually maturing3

1By "lots of people" I mean my parents, my wife, and maybe my wife's parents.
2I've been distracted by something, I can't really remember what.
3No, not really.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Holiday (Maybe?)

My wife and I are leaving for a mini-break to Mexico tomorrow morning... that is, we would be leaving for a mini-break to Mexico tomorrow morning if we hadn't put our passports in our safety deposit box back in September and forgot to get them out before the bank closed this weekend.

Thankfully, she works for the airline, so we haven't actually bought any airline tickets (we were flying stand-by) and the resort we were going to be staying at will let us cancel. So now we are trying to figure out where we should go. We are thinking maybe New York or New Orleans (flights to Vegas were full). It kind of sucks, because we both really looking forward to a few days on the beach. Oh well, that's what we get for being stupid.

Back On The Chain Gang

Yesterday I got to be a mouthpiece for admissions by participating in Minnesota's "Campus Preview Days." I sat at the table for the Intellectual Property student group and it was actually kind of fun. It was interesting to see what a group of prospective students are like. There was a pretty normal cross-section of personality types (at least law school personality types).

  • There was the tool, who practically ripped his little sweater vest by puffing his chest out after bragging about himself;
  • The "I don't know" girl, who didn't really know what she wanted to do with her future law degree
  • The concerned parent, who was there asking questions about what her daughter to do, despite the fact that the daughter had been out working in the "real world" for two years.

But mostly it was just smart kids trying to figure their lives out. Were we ever so young?

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Today, Prof. Civ Pro asked our class if we've ever heard of Dred Scott. Let me repeat that. If we've ever heard of Dred Scott. Not read Dread Scott, but heard of it. Then, she seemed genuinely surprised when we told her we had read it for Con Law last semester. Imagine, a room full of law students who hadn't heard of Dred Scott. Does such a group exist?

I was so shocked by the question that I couldn't keep my smart-ass feature in check and said "No, never heard of it... what's that? And what's this "Supreme" court I've been hearing so much about? Is that the one Diana Ross is affiliated with?"


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

One Nation Under A Groove

After reading Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, I was relieved to learn that Apple Computer does not violate the 14th Amendment simply because there are a disproportionate number of white iPods as compared to colored iPods.

Phew! I was about ready to dump my Apple stock in favor of Microsoft, who just wants to assimilate everyone.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


My backpack is rapidly turning to frayed dust under the titanic weight of my law textbooks, outlines, laptop, and highlighters1. Therefore, I need to buy a replacement soon. My problem is I don't know whether to get another backpack or get a messenger type bag (like a Timbuk2 messenger) in its place.

I need something that can carry a laptop and at least 2, and preferably three law books (even better, all 4) at the same time. Does anyone have any recommendations? What do you have? Do you like it? If you don't like your bag, why? If you love your bag, what about it do you love? Your help is much appreciated.

1You may ask "Do your highlighters really make that much of a difference?" To which I reply "Well I have roughly 3 trillion of them in order to have an adequate supply to keep up with the reading, so yes."

The Show Must Go On

My wife and I went and saw Walter Wonka and the Lawyer Factory1, the law school musical by Minnesota Law School's TORT2 theater group over the weekend. It was awesome. I don't think I've laughed that much all year. Highlights included (but are certainly not excluded to) the following:
- My legal writing instructor playing rich "socialite" London Ramada, who go into the lawyer factory because her daddy gave the dean a plane.
- The lega-loompas and their acrobatics
- The "Mondalian Rhapsedy" (to the tune of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsedy) which included Walter Wonka writing rejection and wait-list letters (my favorite... the wait list letter included the phrase "I am waiting to see if people smarter than you bail on me.")
- The song "Give Them Pizza" (to the tune of ABBA's Mama Mia!) - referring to the method of getting students to attend a group's meetings
- My property professor playing a professor who buys into the gunner's suck-up ways.

There are many more, but overall the musical was awesome. I really wish I would have taken part in it this year. I have to be sure to be involved next year.

1In honor of Walter Mondale, former vice president of these United States, and an alumni of the law school.
2Theater Of the Relatively Talentless

Sunday, March 06, 2005

A Hard Day's [and Days and Days] Night

The first draft of our court brief was due this past Thursday, so this last week was filled with all kinds of fun legal research and writing... oh yeah, and the professors of my "substantive" law courses were nice enough to *not* cancel their classes so that we had time to write our briefs. In fact, they were kind enough to make our reading extra heavy so that we wouldn't appreciate the intricacies of legal argument too much.