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Saturday, January 31, 2004
Posted 8:21 PM by Lawren
The Party is Over: The IP Police Have Been Called

Some of Las Vegas' biggest hotel-casinos are canceling Super Bowl parties and handing out refunds to thousands of guests after the NFL threatened legal action against those who broadcast the big game on big-screen TVs.

Several hotels received letters last week informing them that their parties were "unauthorized use of NFL intellectual property."

"These establishments were attempting to charge admission for something we are offering for free, and we believe that's a violation of a long-standing NFL policy that specifically prohibits mass out-of-home broadcasts," NFL spokesman said.

In determining whether an event violated the NFL's copyrights, the league considered the location's size, whether TV screens were larger than 55 inches and whether people had to pay to get in.
Friday, January 30, 2004
Posted 12:15 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Thursday that people concerned about losing freedom to government anti-terrorism efforts should speak out. The Supreme Court is taking up several terror-related cases this spring, including challenges to the government detention of terror suspects without legal rights.

Ginsburg, speaking to a group of women's rights lawyers, was asked if people's rights were in danger.

"On important issues, like the balance between liberty and security, if the public doesn't care, then the security side is going to overweigh the other," she said.
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Posted 7:02 PM by Lawren
Slithering Attorneys

An Arkansas lawyer and his son will soon be heading to prison after pleading guilty to mailing a threatening communication -- a poisonous snake.

Bob Sam Castleman, an attorney and former city judge in Arkansas, and his son, Jerrod, were charged with mailing a cardboard box containing a venomous copperhead snake to a neighbor with whom they had feuded.

And you thought that was all? There's MORE:
Both men tried to enter a guilty plea on Monday but the proceedings were delayed when both tested positive for illegal drugs.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Posted 1:44 PM by Kelly
Trial Tactics

Best moments observed in jury trial this week as part of my court internship:

Yesterday - When, in the middle of the judge's rulings on over a dozen pre-trial motions made the night before, the defense attorney leaned back from the table (situated right in front of where I sit) and zipped up his fly.

Today - As his attorneys were trying to figure out where to plug in a backlit device for the jury to view an X-ray, the injured plaintiff grabbed the cord, jumped up from his seat, and was going to crawl under the table to reach the electrical outlet. The plaintiff's attorney quickly snatched the plug from his client's hand and told him to be seated.

Disclaimer: I am actually learning quite a few things observing this trial; these were just moments of comic relief.
Monday, January 26, 2004
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Posted 8:07 PM by Lawren
Endless Knight

Bob Knight is appealing a judge's decision dismissing his lawsuit against Indiana University for firing him as basketball coach.

The appeal challenges Monroe Circuit Judge Kenneth Todd's ruling in October that IU didn't violate Knight's contract when former university President Myles Brand fired the coach in September 2000. The judge last month denied a request by Knight to reconsider the case to correct errors.

Knight's notice that he would move the case to the Indiana Court of Appeals was dated Monday.
Posted 8:41 AM by Kelly
No Curfew!

As teenagers in Indianapolis, my friends and I would often contemplate getting "caught out after curfew." It's funny to me that we talked about it, though, because I don't think any of us knew what time curfew was or what the penalties might be for violating it. And we certainly didn't know anyone who had been stopped or arrested for a curfew violation.

I am certain, however, that if we had been arrested we wouldn't have come up with as clever a response as a 15-year-old boy who was arrested in 1999 by Marion County sheriff's deputies as he was leaving a Broad Ripple restaurant (McDonald's?) three minutes after curfew.

The boy and his family sued, alleging a violation of his constitutional rights.

Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled that Indiana's curfew law was unconstitutional. The court's reasoned that the law might prevent children from exercising their constitutional rights for fear of being arrested.

I'm sure most Indiana teens will be happy to hear this news. And even as a parent of a pre-teen, I am inclined to think that I should have the final decision as to what time my daughter must be in the house for the night, not the state.
Friday, January 23, 2004
Posted 7:34 PM by Kelly
Goodbye, Captain Kangaroo

I realize many if not most readers of this blog may not have memories of Bob Keeshan and his children's show.

I, however, remember watching the show every morning for a good portion of my childhood. It was a simple pleasure, the likes of which are more difficult to come by for many children these days.
Posted 11:10 AM by Lawren
Strange Sentence?

A Texas judge has ordered a man who slapped his wife to take up yoga as part of his one-year probation.

James Lee Cross told Judge Larry Standley his wife was struggling with a substance abuse problem. He said he struck her on New Year's Eve during an argument about her drinking.

The sentence came as a surprise to Cross, who was told to enroll in a class and report back to Standley on his progress.
Posted 1:40 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Lawren Mills has accepted a position at an Indianapolis firm and shares her experience here.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Posted 12:36 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Formalism v. Resultism
Comparisons of law and economics in the need for formalities
Posted 12:30 AM by Joshua Claybourn
A criticism of the IUPUI campus from Paul Musgrave. Luckily law students rarely need to venture onto it beyond the law school grounds.
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Posted 9:16 AM by Lawren
Now THAT'S An Alimony Settlement

This is just one of the many reasons to advise your clients to have a pre-nup. Wow.
Posted 1:32 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Enjoy, Damn It!
Here's the Sixth Amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
When accused of a crime, do you enjoy your constitutional rights? Eugene Volokh reminds us, "So if someone asks you 'When you were being tried, what did you think of your rights?,' and you say 'The whole process was really awful,' you're acting unconstitutionally. The only constitutionally permissible answer is 'I enjoyed them, thanks!'"
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Posted 7:24 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Writing Competition
The Pacific Legal Foundation, a non-profit public interest legal group in Sacramento, California, os holding its annual law student writing competition with $9500 in prizes. There are three potential topics. More details can be found here.
Sunday, January 18, 2004
Posted 10:02 PM by Kelly
Curses, foiled again!

Update: Link changed to allow equal access for all.

Posted 4:00 PM by Joshua Claybourn
Mario Brothers Duck Hunt
A hunting trip by Vice President Dick Cheney and Justice Scalia is raising some eyebrows. Three weeks ago the Supreme Court agreed to take up the vice president's appeal in lawsuits over his handling of the administration's energy task force. In the case before the Court regarding the pledge of allegiance, Justice Scalia has recused himself because of a speech he gave criticizing the appellate court's ruling on it.
Friday, January 16, 2004
Posted 3:28 PM by Joshua Claybourn
Prof. Karlson ended class today by saying we would have to wait to discuss Lawrence v. Texas. His words were, "We'll address those penetrating issues on Tuesday."
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Posted 9:08 AM by Lawren
Pet Custody Battles Are On The Rise

On the books, household pets have no more value than the coffee table or couch in your living room. But recent lawsuits prove that animal companions occupy a much larger space in our hearts. More than ever, lengthy and expensive custody battles for pets are beginning when human relationships end.

The growth of these cases is creating a niche-market for Web sites such as On the site, pet owners can read up on the latest legal developments in animal law or download visitation forms and pre-nuptial agreements that deal specifically with pet custody.

One judge stated, "When a couple asks me where I feel an animal would have a better life, I look at who would be a better pet-care provider," Reed said. "Who has the time, the money for a pet? Is it possible for them to share the animal? Much like the considerations for a child, really."

If you are interested in this area of the law, our law school offers an Animals and the Law class.
Monday, January 12, 2004
Posted 11:01 PM by Joshua Claybourn
An Ode to Law School
An adaptation from a Dr. Seuss poem
by Joshua Claybourn

I love law school. I love an exam!
I love it more and more each time I cram.
The more I study, the worse I do!
What an incentive, to work to beat you.

I love the winter sky, drab and grey,
and piles of paper that grow each day!
I love the grades that are so swell,
there's nothing else I love so well.
I love my computer and its software;
I hug it often though it won't care.
I love each program and every file,
I'd love them more if they worked a while.

I'm happy to be here. I am. I am.
I'm the happiest slave of school, I am.
I love this work. I love these chores.
I love the reading with deadly bores.
I love my school - I'll say it again - I even love those friendly men.
What friendly men, is that what you say?
Those friendly men who've come today, in clean white coats to take me away!
Posted 9:53 AM by Lawren
The Trials and Tribulations of a Wal-Mart Bagger

Courtesy of FoxNews:

A couple has sued a Wal-Mart branch in Pennsylvania because the bottom fell out of an overstuffed grocery bag, spilling the contents out onto the woman's ankle.

The injurious items were listed in the lawsuit as a 46-ounce bottle of ketchup and a 32-ounce jar of Miracle Whip mayonnaise — enough for a nice batch of Russian dressing — and several cans of fruit.

Brenda and Ronald Sager of Mount Pleasant, Pa., say Wal-Mart failed to train employees to bag goods properly and supplied substandard bags, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The Sagers want $30,000. Wal-Mart denies the accusations and says its workers at the East Huntington Township, Pa., store did nothing wrong.
Posted 8:48 AM by Lawren
Welcome Back!

Welcome back to school, folks! Hope you all had a relaxing and fun time off! Guess it is back to the grind...
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Posted 11:29 AM by Kelly
Writer's Block

The first 3rd of my law review note is due Monday. I am struggling to meet this deadline. When I sit down to work on my note, I just simply can't seem to coherently piece together the hundreds of bits of information related to my topic that I accumulated during my research.

Word to the wise for those contemplating law review: chose your topic wisely. You need one that is broad enough to provide you with ample sources relevant to the topic, yet not so broad that narrowing the available information becomes nearly impossible.
I also recommend that you begin to think of possible topic areas over the summer. This will ease the topic selection process during fall of second year, when many of you will be juggling not only classes and law review responsibilities, but also OCI (On-Campus Interviewing) and moot court.

I certainly wish I had chosen more carefully.
Friday, January 09, 2004
Posted 6:01 AM by Kelly
It's a Girl!!!

I just helped deliver a baby girl. No matter that I am at work, have been here all night, she was one of about 5 or so deliveries since 11pm, and it is my job. Despite all that, it was exciting and energizing.

One of the many reasons I quit my full-time nursing job and came to law school was that I realized the miracle of birth no longer aroused any feelings of awe or wonder within me. I was joking with fellow labor and delivery nurses this morning that when I found myself yawning during a delivery and wondering if my shift was over yet, I knew it was time to move on.
My colleagues laughed, but they also understood.

I'm sure it is the nature of many an occupation that repetition and a heavy workload tend to convert even the most thrilling of events into mundane tasks. However, the 'event' in question is the birth of a child. An event that moved me the first time I witnessed it and one that is, to me, a wonderful work of God. I didn't want to become so jaded that births could no longer stir my emotions.

Due to the demands of law school, I work very few hours at the hospital these days. Lately I have been working in the triage area and so haven't assisted with or even viewed a birth in probably months. This morning they called me over to help because there was no translator available and I speak poquito Espanol. I am happy to report that I truly enjoyed helping out and I was honestly excited as I watched the miracle unfold before me.

I am just a bit worried because I don't want to give up the opportunity to help deliver babies altogether. And yet I know that a new career as an attorney will require me to do just that.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Posted 9:37 PM by Lawren
Are You Pure?

Jeremy, a second-year law student at Harvard, has composed the "Ultimate Law School Purity Test."

Go take the quiz--if you aren't completely drained from finals.
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Posted 9:50 AM by Lawren
Supplement Saver Tip

I know not everyone uses supplements (Gilbert, Roadmap, Legalines, etc.), but many do. Legal Books Distributing is a good source to buy supplements. My best advice, however, is to figure out which supplements you want, then purchase them gently-used on Amazon. They are typically around 50% cheaper and I've never had a problem with too many highlighting marks. I buy them "like new" and most of them haven't had a mark in them.
Monday, January 05, 2004
Posted 12:03 PM by Kelly
The Lineup

My spring semester classes are as follows:

Administrative Law
Income Tax
Appellate Practice
Trial Practice
Superior Court Internship

Admin law is a 'suggested' course, and the instructor has a sense of humor that I appreciate.

Income tax is also suggested, but I have had more than a few people tell me it's crazy to take such a difficult course and that I could learn what I need to know in bar review. I don't have a head for numbers at all, so it will definitely be an interesting experience. I just decided that I can learn things in that class that may benefit me both personally and professionally and so I should give it a shot.

Trial practice, appellate practice, and the internship are the result of an interest I have in litigation. Litigation is likely one of those things in life that you can't really know if you are suited for until you try it. I figured these classes would be the best way to determine if I want to pursue that interest.

Gonna try to buy some books today. I still get that anticipatory feeling at the beginning of a semester. It's like being in grade school and getting excited about back-to-school shopping. (Except now I am footing the bill!) I admit, the excitement probably won't last long. But it's nice to look forward to something - even if only for a short while.

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