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Jewish Buddha
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Stop the Bleating
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Legal News
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CNN - Law

Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Friday, April 30, 2004
Posted 10:01 PM by Joshua Claybourn
The godfather of internet punditry, and in many ways the godfather of blogging, Matt Drudge offered a rare television interview with C-SPAN. Drudge started in late 1994, working from his personal computer and posting messages to UseNet Newsgroups. He graduated 325th in his high school class of 350. According to most rankings his website, the Drudge Report, is one of the top six most visited websites in the world.
Posted 2:54 PM by Kelly
Summer Loans

Did you apply for loans in order to take summer classes? Check out this article in the IndyStar. I'm sure the students affected by the change would have appreciated a heads-up so they could get their financial affairs in shape to pay for summer classes.
Posted 11:51 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Interested in Google's Initial Public Offering? Prof. Gordon Smith has it all.
Posted 12:32 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Shifting tides
An interesting phenomenon which has occured so slowly that few in the mainstream media have taken pains to report is the growing opposition to abortion over the past decade or two. In the aftermath of the march for "abortion rights" in Washington, D.C., the latest data by Zogby (pdf file) on the public perception of abortion demonstrates that shift quite strongly. A full 56% of Americans think abortions should be legal only in narrow circumstances such as the when the life of the mother is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. Demonstrating the "pro-life" trend among younger groups, 60% of 18-29 year olds hold the above stated view. Another commonly held belief is that "abortion rights" are popular among women. Based on most polling data, though, a majority of women hold generally "pro-life" views; more, in fact, than men.

(Hat tip to Ben Domenech)
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Posted 6:22 PM by Lawren
What? Lawyers can't use their offices as meth labs? WHO KNEW?

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended the law license of an attorney accused of helping to turn her law office into a front for a methamphetamine-dealing operation.

Perkins, 44, has been jailed since her March 2 arrest on 28 counts of insurance fraud. Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Perkins had been aware of meth activity among some of her staff and bought supplies to help them make the drug. She is charged with aiding the dealing of methamphetamine and conspiracy.
Posted 3:38 PM by Lawren
Jockeys Argue Constitutional Rights

Kentucky Derby jockeys will be allowed to wear advertising patches for the first time after a judge blocked a state rule that barred such sponsorship.

U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II sided Thursday with jockeys who argued that the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority's regulation violated First Amendment rights.

"They certainly ought to have the same rights as golfers and tennis players," said Ronald Sheffer, a lawyer for the jockeys. "There was no reason really to deny them that right."
Posted 9:26 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Housing Crisis
Tony Jimenez and Joshua Davey are talking about rising home prices at "letters from babylon." They decry the rising costs within good school districts, but it's worth noting some other important factors. First and foremost, the size and quality of the average home has been steadily increasing. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home size in the United States is now 2,000 square feet, up from 1,400 square feet in 1970. Combine that higher quality with inflation, and you're bound to see an increase in house prices. Then there's immigration. With such a large influx of immigrants each year, supply needs lag behind and haven't yet caught up with demand.

Yet an unsung culprit in this whole mess is government regulations, specifically zoning. As professor Edward Glaeser of Harvard University and Joseph Gyouko of the University Pennsylvania explain, zoning changes come with a steep price. The professors use three tests to see if it's housing supply costs, the price of land, or the time between re-zonings. Their conclusion?
America is not facing a nationwide affordable-housing crisis. In most areas of the country, home prices appear to be fairly close to the physical costs of construction. In some areas of the country, home prices are even far below the physical costs of construction. Only in particular areas, especially New York City and California, do housing prices diverge substantially from the costs of new construction....

...The bulk of evidence that we have marshaled suggests that zoning and other land-use controls are more responsible for high prices where we see them....

...If policy advocates are interested in reducing housing costs, they would do well to start with zoning reform.
It seems, then, that zoning is the true villain in rising home prices (and whether they're rising unnecessarily is a matter of debate).

Update: The ultimate solution to housing problems is just to live in the school library, as this kid did. After administrators became aware of his experiment in housing, they gave him free room and board for the rest of the term.
Posted 7:36 AM by Joshua Claybourn
The Legal Intelligencer today contains this report (subscription required) on a recent ruling of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania that upholds a Pennsylvania state appellate court's no-citation rules for unpublished opinions. Prof. Cooper penned "Passive Virtues and Casual Vices in the Federal Courts of Appeals" in the Brooklyn Law Review which explores the topic in depth as well.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Posted 12:05 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? If you're not enjoying your rights, you're acting unconstitutionally.
Monday, April 26, 2004
Posted 11:58 PM by Joshua Claybourn
To Brighten Up Your Finals Week

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If you're interested in purchasing them, click here for more information. If you're really into the Bobble Head craze, you can make personalized ones here for only $300. I'm sure they'd make great gifts.
Posted 11:48 PM by Joshua Claybourn
Have I mentioned I love Marcia Oddi? How else would I hear about this, this, or this? Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, that other school is 27th in placing federal judges.
Posted 11:41 PM by Joshua Claybourn
Lawrence Solum is utlizing his blog to share his progress on an article, from the blank page (or "screen") through the early drafts of summer to the submission of the final draft to law reviews in February of 2005. Here's part two.
Posted 5:29 PM by Brian D.
Do Not Fear. This Feeling Is Normal.

I know some class had a take home exam over the weekend. Prof. Bowman had an 8 hour exam for both his Crim Law and Evidence classes today. That oozing feeling you are experiencing is normal as your brain has left your head. I recommend taking a nap when you get home; I know I will be!

One good tidbit for future reference: when many people are going to be crowding the lab printers at the same time towards the end of the exam period it is not a bad idea to bring in your home printer if you have one to escape the rush.

Good luck with the rest of finals.
Posted 8:15 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Out of the Kitchen

Zach Wendling reports on this past weekend's rally:
Well, it looks as if somehow, hundreds of thousands of women were able to escape the domestic servitude that is now the norm under the oppressive rule of the Bush-Ashcroft junta to go to Washington, DC for the largest pro-abortion rally ever. Despite massive rollbacks in women's rights, including the controversial "Ladyhood Restoration Act of 2001," which makes it a crime for women to vote, drive, or learn how to read, the women managed to find their way to the Federal City and make signs. Police simply could not arrest enough people and herd them off to "charm camps" for re-education fast enough this weekend to deter the huge protest.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Posted 7:53 AM by Joshua Claybourn
This just in: About 50% of Americans Have Below-Average Intelligence
Saturday, April 24, 2004
Posted 11:27 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Buy foreign
Marcia Oddi has an important post for anyone planning to purchase textbooks in the near future.
Friday, April 23, 2004
Posted 11:31 PM by Joshua Claybourn
Exam Update
I am now only three weeks away from a complete mastery of contracts. Now if only the exam wasn't one week away.
Posted 11:06 PM by Joshua Claybourn
Law Prof 100
LawTV is accepting nominations for America's 100 most influential law professors.
"Influential" is a measure of how large an impact a particular professor has on society.

This influence can be, for instance, through academic writings, popular writings, litigation,
media appearances, business activities, teaching, lecturing, charitable work, or scholarly impact.
Full professors and adjunct professors can be nominated.
De Novo offers some criticism to the whole idea. While I agree with De Novo's objections, I see no reason not to partake in the silliness.
Posted 7:59 PM by Joshua Claybourn
This story has really touched me, so I'm linking to it here. "In sports we have a tendency to overuse terms like courage and bravery and heroes," said Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill, son of the team's owner Bill Bidwill, "and then someone like Pat Tillman comes along and reminds us what those terms really mean." Peggy Noonan: "We are making a lot of Tillmans in America."
Posted 4:36 PM by Lawren
And He Did This With A Straight Face????

A lawyer has told a court in the Philippines that drugs found in a rooster's cage belonged to the bird and not his client.

Manuel Urbina said defendant Francisco Armando Rivera didn't own the 67kg of cocaine or the gun that was found in the cage. Urbina argued in the court in Managua that the rooster and two hens owned the drugs and the weapon.

Wow. Of course, if OJ can get off, then maybe...
Posted 12:06 PM by Kelly
Demystifying Billable Hours

Scheherazade posts an excellent discussion of billable hours. This is useful information for those thinking of or hoping to join a large law firm.

An excerpt, giving a glimpse into the expectations of BIGLAW firms: One of my favorite lawyers in town was a partner at BIGLAW in BIGCITY, and recently moved here with his wife and kids for a change of life. One day we were having lunch together and talking about the culture of his old firm. He was a bit of a rising star there, but after three or four years with rave reviews he got called into the managing partner's office, who was looking at his numbers. "I notice that every year, you have billed almost exactly our minimum billable requirement," the managing partner said. My friend had hit the requirement, or just barely exceeded it (like within .7 of an hour) each year. This, apparently, was not looked on with approval. My friend, to his credit, said, "I think my record and my performance here speaks for itself. I only regret that I can't get that extra 2.2 hours of my life back," and stood up and walked out.

Posted 12:28 AM by Joshua Claybourn
Professorial roundup
  • Prof. Eric Muller talks about the Guantanamo cases on "The World," a public radio program.
  • Prof. Wagner responds to his Con Law students' exams on his blog. I think every professor should be doing this. Nothing's better than instant feedback. (this is a wholly subjective opinion)
  • Posted 12:26 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    The School of Athens
    Every time I visit Lawrence Solum's blog and see his picture of Aristotle, I want to post Plato's in return, for reasons stated here.
    Thursday, April 22, 2004
    Posted 11:41 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    My first final exam of the semester is tomorrow. Oddly, I'm approaching this round with more curiosity than anxiety. Perhaps I'm better prepared, perhaps I'm wiser about what it entails, or perhaps I'm just delusional. Anyway, I think it'd be cool if we had an Iowa Electronic Market for issues that will show up on the exams. Everyone seems to think they know what will be on it.
    Posted 1:19 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    California leading the way
    Schwarzenegger promises California 'Hydrogen Highway' by 2010
    "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an order Tuesday for California to have a network of stations offering the pollution-free hydrogen fuel up and down the state within six years."
    Posted 12:57 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    IN Roundup
    Two Indiana Supreme Court decisions and one Court of Appeals decision was posted yesterday. Marcia has the links. In particular, the SC decided that "those who license their trademarks for use on products that cause injury may have negligence liability proportionate to their role in the product's design, manufacturing, and distribution."
    Wednesday, April 21, 2004
    Posted 4:10 PM by Brian D.
    Practical Parking Tip

    You are running late to your final and it is the middle of the day. Do you think you'll find parking next to the law school considering the undergraduates are still in class now? I think not. Instead of 'sharking' through the lot praying you will find that one empty spot go to the lot north of Michigan St and the new Informatics building. Lot 73 always has plenty of empty spaces and it is only two blocks north of school. You can walk from there in less than 5 minutes. Please try to avoid the cars though. They will win every time.
    Posted 1:45 PM by Kelly
    Dollars and Sense

    Classes are over, but the reading room is full and students are here at the law school studying for finals.

    We are arguably expending more energy now than were when classes were in session. If we aren't burning calories with our studying efforts, we are likely burning a few worrying about our lack of study efforts.

    So we need sustenance. It makes sense: we need food, fuel, to sustain our efforts.

    And yet the almighty dollar dictates our food options. Don't wander over to the cafeteria looking for food. I had decided on a veggie wrap today - I try to bring my own lunch to save money, but was going to make an exception. Then I discovered our cafeteria is closed. I should've known. Seems the profit margin for serving us lunch today was low or non-existent. Make sense?
    Posted 9:50 AM by Lawren
    Hefty Chunk of Change For Indiana Family

    A Louisville hospital and a doctor have been ordered to pay $27.5 million to the family of a 6-year-old Indiana boy for injuries he suffered during delivery.

    A Jefferson County jury issued the judgment Friday against Baptist Hospital East and Dr. Maria Schweichler. The jury ordered the doctor to pay $5.4 million to the family of Spencer Sapp and the hospital to pay the rest.

    Doug and Judy Sapp of Jeffersonville, Ind., sued four years ago, alleging that their son's permanent brain damage and need for constant care were the result of avoidable complications caused by medical malpractice during his delivery.
    Tuesday, April 20, 2004
    Posted 10:04 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    Marcia Oddi alerts us to a Wall Street Journal article and a new study out from the National Foundation for American Policy which suggests that bans on government outsourcing may be illegal and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. As many of you know, Indiana has such a ban.
    Posted 10:01 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    The Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral argument in the consolidated cases of Rasul v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States. The issue is whether foreign detainees in the war on terror held in U.S. military custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are entitled to any amount of judicial review in the U.S. court system. The Court is reviewing a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The law firm of Jenner & Block has set up a resource center on these cases that provides access to the briefs filed in the Supreme Court.
    Monday, April 19, 2004
    Posted 2:32 PM by Brian D.
    Here is a possible career move for those about to graduate. Once you are appointed to the Court of Federal Claims it appears that you get full salary for life regardless of your workload. What is the proper measure of workload: the number of cases handled, the complexity of the cases handled, or the desire to keep the judges and masters as neutral as possible? Interesting points made by all sides I thought.
    Posted 9:54 AM by Brian D.
    Moving On

    For the first years congratulations on surviving the first year of school. That which did not kill you made you stronger and you will no longer be the scourge of the earth. To the second years there is only one year left! Woo-hoo! To all the third years, or fourth and fifth years if circumstances required it, the LIGHT IS AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL! As you graduate now I will miss seeing your faces and chatting with you. I've made some good friends among you and I hope you don't forget about us that are still here. It is the way of law school. People come in, move up, then leave.

    I would like to personally congratulate our Grand Dame contributor Lawren Mills as she is the first contributor of this blog to graduate. Do us proud LM!
    Posted 9:48 AM by Lawren
    Cochran Recuperating

    High-profile attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. will temporarily curtail his work while recuperating from an undisclosed neurological condition, his publicist said.

    Cochran's family has requested the nature of his condition remain private, publicist Bill Baker said Friday.
    Posted 7:27 AM by Lawren
    Last Day

    Happy last day of classes to one and all!
    Sunday, April 18, 2004
    Posted 9:56 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Going mad over mad cow
    I'm really angered by an Agriculture Dept. decision to prevent a meatpacker from testing all of his cattle for mad cow disease. Here's the initial AP story and a more lengthy NY Times piece. The government's argument is that by allowing one meatpacker to offer better assurance, the free market (and the invisible hand) might force other meatpackers to do so as well, by virtue of consumer demands. "Certifying some beef for Japan as disease-free, the department said, might confuse American consumers into thinking that untested beef was not safe."

    This is a clear and undeniable case of government intervention preventing the market to run its course in a manner that would actually improve product quality. The cattle industry is simply holding back on progress and consumer demand through government intervention in a manner not all that uncommon from the days of Communist Russia. Terry Stokes, a meat industry executive, said, "If you let one company step out and do that, other companies would have to follow," at considerable expense. Can you imagine drug companies 50 years ago sitting around saying, "If you let one company step out and test drugs for side effects, other companies would have to follow. The Health Dept. must prevent that sort of assurance." The idea is ludicrous on its face. (Hat tip TILB)
    Saturday, April 17, 2004
    Posted 5:37 PM by Kelly
    Edging out the Competition

    Here's one student's strategy in attempting to 'beat the curve.'
    Friday, April 16, 2004
    Posted 12:38 PM by Kelly
    Appellate Practice

    LARC is wrapping up, no more briefs to write, no more oral arguments. For this semester, anyway.

    If after surviving the ordeal that is LARC you think you might actually be interested in appellate practice someday, I highly recommend taking the appellate practice course offered. I had it this semester with Professor Cressler. It was a straight-forward, no-nonsense class. The class assignments were quite manageable and we didn't have to wade through case after case to try to decipher the law. We discussed the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.

    I know, it doesn't sound very exciting, but many of the things we as practicing attorneys will be held responsible for knowing are not going to be exciting bits of information.

    And for those who are thinking there's no way you would take a class devoted to the appeals process, there are several reasons you should reconsider. One is that more cases each year are appealed than go to trial before a jury. The number of jury trials in Indiana is decreasing (as alternative dispute resolution becomes more prevalent) and the number of appeals is increasing. So a given attorney likely has higher odds of taking an appeal than trying a case before a jury. (Depending on practice area). In addition, the class gives some very practical advice about preserving error at the trial court level - information all attorneys should have. Finally, it was a low-stress, informative way to gain 2 credit hours. And if you know me, you might have access to a great outline!

    (My final in this class was this morning - 2 more to go!!!)

    Posted 8:18 AM by Brian D.
    Happy Bar Results Day!

    Though not an official holiday it might as well be for those who took the bar in February.
    Around 8am or so this morning those who passed the Indiana Bar Exam will be posted online at the judiciary's website.

    Thursday, April 15, 2004
    Posted 2:41 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    If you use a pass when there are two classes back to back, because of make-up, does the pass count for both classes or one?
    Posted 2:15 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Heads Up Seven Up
    There are certain things from our childhood which have a way of "tickling" us. Old cartoons, fads (remember Nike pumps?), and childhood songs are just a few examples. They elicit an immediate gush of positive memories. Of course few of these tickling childhood activities are better than something that relieved you of classroom responsiblities. One such thing was "Heads Up Seven Up." Anytime a teacher agreed to this, it meant no classroom work. That's why it was great that there was a motion to play the game in civil procedure today.

    Here's how it works. Seven students go to the front of the class. The class lays their heads on their desk. The seven go out and each touch one person on the head (or, if you're immature as I once was, you slap their head). That person would then stick his or her thumb up. Then the seven return to the front of the room and yell "heads up seven up!" Each student who was tapped gets one chance to guess which of the seven touched him/her. If they guess right then they changed places. If they did not the same person got to stay up.

    And that, my friends, is the greatest childhood classroom game. Well, besides "hide and go seek" before the teacher arrives.
    Posted 11:23 AM by Kelly
    Good Luck 1Ls

    I realize I am a little late with this for some, but good luck to the 1Ls on their LARC oral arguments.

    How do I know it's time for oral arguments? Well, it's definitely that time of the year (right about when NPR unfortunately has to replace programming with pleas for donations.)

    But the dead giveaway is first year students wearing suits all day (sometimes accompanied by flip-flops), looking nervous, and obsessively reading and re-reading those note cards taped inside manilla folders.

    You guys will do fine. Good luck to you all.
    Wednesday, April 14, 2004
    Posted 11:17 PM by Lawren
    Moot Court--Attorney Style

    How do you get to the Supreme Court? Just like anyone, lawyers must practice, practice, practice.

    That can mean a visit to the Supreme Court Institute, where veteran lawyers, law professors and former court clerks play the parts of justices to help attorneys prepare for their big day arguing before the high court.

    About two-thirds of appeals before the Supreme Court are argued the week before, in a dress rehearsal at the Supreme Court Institute about a mile from the real court.

    The mock justices at the 5-year-old institute, run by Georgetown University, spend hours getting ready for their role as questioners, said Washington lawyer David Frederick, who has volunteered as a justice and used the practices to prepare for his own Supreme Court cases. The easy part is making sure attorneys remember to start their remarks with: "Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the court." Then there's preparation for rapid-fire questions that make it impossible to stick to a prepared speech.

    See? The pointers they gave us in moot court really ARE applicable.
    Posted 7:36 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Blog Highlight
    In my humble opinion, there are two blogs that every practicing attorney or professor in Indiana should be reading. The first is How Appealing, a weblog written by Howard Bashman on appellate litigation. However this is a widely-known and widely-read blog. One that doesn't get much attention outside the state, but which is invaluable to Hoosier jurists, is The Indiana Law Blog. It just recently turned one year and one month old. Authored by Marcia Oddi, this site is the Hoosier equivalent of How Appealing. If you're a legal geek that can't get enough of the latest Indiana litigation and legislation, add this site to your bookmarks.
    Posted 2:36 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    The Tree and the Forest

    As many of the law students reading this blog know, there was a "brown bag discussion" held today regarding the Christmas tree controversy that erupted last December. A Christmas tree was placed in the school's atrium and following the complaint of some faculty and students it was removed. The issue slowly snowballed into a city-wide issue that received national attention. If you are sick and tired of this subject, you have no obligation to read on. But I know that it interests many of this site's readers and the arguments offered today are worth repeating here.

    Today Prof. Cooper graciously mentioned this site in his remarks in reference to his essay and Prof. Roisman's. For more discussion on this subject you can peruse the archives located on the right.

    I hesitate to summarize the discussions in any way out of fear of marginalizing the remarks, but I will try to just a bit. Prof. Hill began by speaking in favor of the tree's placement in the atrium. He noted that this was not a Constitutional issue and that even if it was, it's not the most "interesting part of it all." He suggested that those opposed to the tree's placement is rooted in political and moral beliefs. The central part of Prof. Hill's comments, though, was that we have two possible roads to go down. The first is "maximal exclusion" which is mutually exclusive to all in an equal manner. This road, according to Prof. Hill, stifles diversity and gives others the impression that their identity does not matter.

    The other road, which Prof. Hill argues is preferable, supports more speech, not less. We should promote collective expressions and give everyone a sense of community, he said. Moreover, he argued, an affront is not less significant because it is toward the majority. Prof. Hill ended with three points: 1) That maximal exclusion was the wrong route, 2) it was worse to take the tree down after first putting it up and 3) people who were aggrieved were unnecessarily told to be quiet.

    Prof. Cooper then spoke in favor of the tree's removal. As noted above, a full essay of his thoughts can be found here. Prof. Cooper agreed with Prof. Hill on two points. First, that this is not a question of legality or Constitutionality. Second, that the placement and then removal was somewhat awkward. However, Prof. Cooper disagreed with Hill on several points. Although the courts have concluded that a "holiday" tree is secular, it is still a Christmas tree and Christmas is a Christian holiday. [Prof. Roisman later suggested that the objections over its removal would not have been so strong if it was not religious in some way.] He noted that it was no coincidence that one protest of the removal, which featured a tree on the back of a truck, also carried with it a saying reading "Happy Birthday Jesus." This is, to put it simply, exclusionary to some. Once you accept the notion that a tree can be exclusionary (and clearly it was to some), the question becomes what we should do about it.

    Moving on to this analysis, Prof. Cooper grants that the "inclusionary" model proposed by Prof. Hill might work, but that in the end it would likely not. The law school atrium is not a public forum and allowing all religious symbols would be moving toward a broad religious discussion, not just a cultural one (the Menorah, for example, is strictly religious). Would this broad inclusionary approach be in place year round, since most religious holidays do not align with Christian ones? And what of atheists and agnostics--how and when are they to be included? Such a policy would be nearly impossible, he argued. Finally, Prof. Cooper explained that even including such items as the Menorah would not appease minority interests. Instead they might actually trivialize or offend them.

    During the forum discussion period following these remarks, one student made a comment suggesting that the law school's social scene among students is segregationist and un-diversified. On that point I must firmly disagree. Perhaps this student's own circle of friends, or perhaps even his section, lacks this sort of diversity. But I know that from my large section of 1Ls this is simply not an issue at all. A varied body of different reigious, cultural, and racial students regularly come together to study and socialize. I don't think his comments were necessarily true for the entire school, as he suggested.
    Posted 1:05 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    Civil Procedure Lesson
    Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker of the S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division, has posted an opinion online from IP Innovation v. Thomson Inc. that Judge Baker wants us to learn from. Here's the relevant quote:
    Before resolving these motions, however, the Court feels compelled to address a tone of incivility in Plaintiffs' submissions. For example, Plaintiffs accuse the Defendant of making intentional misrepresentations in its filings, of ignoring and overlooking facts, and of engaging in "subterfuge."

    [. . . ]

    Accusations such as these are no trifling matter. . . Yet as set forth below, the Court has sided with Defendant's positions on every substantive issue. As a result, Plaintiffs' attacks are not only improper, they are wholly unfounded.

    In accord with the foregoing authorities, the undersigned expects civility and professionalism from the attorneys litigating cases before this Court. As a reminder to all attorneys of their duties in this regard, the Court will publish this opinion on its website with the expectation that it will be adhered to by members of the bar in the future.
    You have been warned.
    Posted 1:04 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    Mucho Gracias
    Aside from the week in which Fox News and Instapundit linked here, this week is on pace to hit a record of nearly 1,000 unique visitors. Many thanks for stopping by.
    Monday, April 12, 2004
    Posted 10:00 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Vote for a new name!
    If you're like most people, the name of this blog is hard to pronounce. Just what does Sapere aude sound like, anyway? The phrase has deep roots in poetry and philosophy and means, as the banner suggests, "Dare to be wise." I like the title for a number of reasons, but it's still hard to pronounce. Since name brand is important to any site (and name brand usually requires pronunciation), we're going to entertain the notion of renaming the blog.

    The leading candidate is "Dictum," a variation of the now defunct law school newspaper, The Dictum. The definition of dictum seems to go along perfectly with the nature of a blog and unlike the current title, it's easy to pronounce. The downside is that the old school newspaper, The Dictum, didn't always have the best reputation. Would resurrecting the name also resurrect the connotation? I'm not sure.

    There are plenty of other arguments for both names and I figured that the best way to resolve it is to put it to a vote among you, the readers. I can't promise that the vote's outcome will bind our decision, but it will certainly hold persuasive authority.

    As a final note, we do have rights to the name "The Dictum" for reasons I won't get into here. Just suffice it to say that copyright concerns aren't an issue.

    Update: I hasten to add that if you have other name suggestions please leave them in the comments section.
    Posted 12:53 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Speaking of Civ Pro...
    Civ Pro professor Jeff Cooper has previously noted the possibility of splitting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. You can now view online archived video of last week's Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing on the subject. C-SPAN has all of last week's hearing here (Real Player required), but it will only be available for ten more days.
    Posted 12:47 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    As if my head wasn't spinning enough from Civ Pro
    The Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules of the U.S. Courts is scheduled to meet tomorrow in Washington, DC to consider the public comments received on the proposed amendments published in August 2003 and to consider whether to advance the amendments to the next step in the approval process. Howard Bashman has all of the details here.
    Posted 12:44 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Prof. Gordon Smith adds Sapere Aude to his law student blog honor roll.
    Friday, April 09, 2004
    Posted 9:21 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    Cyber Squatting
    In a sexy case in my own Evansville, Indiana, a realtor bought up 19 Internet domain names that closely resembled her main competition in town and diverted the traffic to her own site. Perhaps I just find the case interesting because I know each and every player involved, but I think it's interesting in its own right. I'm going to recommend that the attorney read up on Lawrence Lessig.

    Update: Reason #2,536 to read blogs - Prof. Roisman cites Lawrence Lessig, mentioned above, in her lecture on copyright law.
    Thursday, April 08, 2004
    Posted 10:23 AM by Brian D.
    Classical Classroom Technique

    The Socratic Method is named after the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. The question and answer format is what you've learned, but today would be a fantastic opportunity to engage in another famous Greek method of learning, holding class in the open air.

    In ancient Greece the teachers would hold class outside, usually in the plaza/marketplace that dominated a Greek city, and discuss the topics they wanted to cover. The teacher would stand on something such as a rock, a table, or a box, and hold the lecture.

    Though cooler than yesterday, today is still supposed to be in the mid 60s. See if you can convince a professor to go out to the grassy field and hold class the really old fashioned way. Charge up your laptop batteries, unplug the ethernet cable, and enjoy the fresh air.

    I'll come up with some prize if someone can actually do it.
    Posted 10:21 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    [Insert witty Terminator title here]
    Following the lead of Indiana's superb Constitutional arrangement, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants California's legislature to only be in session part time under the belief that they would work harder. I think there are a number of other noble reasons for such a move as well, such as a better connection with their constituents. Assemblyman Leland Yee offers a sharp response: "I'll support a part-time legislature when he decides to become a part-time governor."
    Posted 7:53 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    To accompany the classic "Tortfeasor" t-shirt, TortfeasorTM is offering a new "Competitive Justice" design.
    Wednesday, April 07, 2004
    Posted 8:40 PM by Lawren
    Now That's the Spirit!

    Alabamans now have something to toast: The state has an official whiskey.

    The Alabama Senate voted 19-8 Tuesday to override Gov. Bob Riley's veto of a resolution making Conecuh Ridge Fine Alabama Whiskey the "official state spirit."

    The Senate vote followed a similar override March 18 by the House. The two rare votes to reject the governor's veto make the designation of Conecuh Ridge official.

    Gotta love how lawmakers put our tax dollars to use! :)
    Posted 5:33 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Vote for Sapere Aude!
    Wisconsin professor D. Gordon Smith, who runs the blog venturpreneur, is creating a "Law Student Blog Honor Roll" and he's asking for advice on which sites to include. Here's the post that includes a poll at the bottom to vote, with Sapere aude being an option. If you're here there's a good chance you like this site, so please consider voting for this petty but fun honor.
    Posted 3:44 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Law Reviews
    Below is a letter sent by 1L Phil Greg to all of the LARC faculty. I post it here at Phil's request because it may be useful to you. My only contention with the analysis below is that there are many 2 credit courses available that don't seem to be taken into account. Perhaps I'm just reading it wrong though; you can decide for yourself.

    It is my understanding after attending the informational meetings and open houses [of law reviews] that there may be an unforeseen problem for a large amount of next year's candidates. We were informed that due to the introduction of LARC III / Moot Court the note submission deadline [for law review notes] has been moved well into second semester. While this is greatly appreciated by those of us that plan to take the moot court option it also will prevent many of us from being able to apply to the legal clinics or being certified as interns by the Indiana Supreme Court in the following spring semester.

    Current first year law students are scheduled 31 credit hours by the school. There is a 45 credit hour requirement by the Court to become certified. This should require a 14 hour commitment in the fall to accomplish this requirement. Currently all of the fall law review semesters are 2 graded credit hours based primarily on the note grade. By moving the due date of the note to the second semester there will not be anything to base the grade on. I was told that we would receive an incomplete for the class until the notes are graded after spring break. If this is done it will leave those students who are not able to take summer school short of the credits required to apply for certification. Otherwise a student would need to take 16 credit hours including the fall law review (and most likely LARC III / moot court) to be eligible for this.

    A student should not have to take such a heavy load to achieve these common goals (16 hours, Law Review, LARC III / Moot Court). I have a possible solution that should solve this problem. By switching the semester credit distribution a student would receive 1 credit pass fail in the fall and two credit graded in the spring when the note is due. By receiving the 1 credit P/F in the fall students would only have to take 14 hours in the fall (1 credit P/F for Law Review) to equal the 45 credit hour total.
    Tuesday, April 06, 2004
    Posted 11:08 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    Adventures in Law School
    Things I did today:
    • I learned in criminal law that it's much better to rob a grocery store than a bank. Grocery stores have lots of unmarked bills, whereas banks don't. Moreover, the feds get involved with banks.
    • Placed a "Class is canceled" sign on the door to civil procedure, even though class wasn't canceled. The class waited in the atrium below as Prof. Cooper walked in confused. (A belated April Fool's joke.)
    • Sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in said class, fully and in unison.
    Who said law school isn't fun?
    Posted 10:29 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    This bit from Notes from the (1L) Underground, a group blog from some Penn Law Students, made me laugh:
    I've heard that many professors don't appreciate the incessant web surfing that goes on during class, and the scuttlebutt is that some want wireless disabled during class time. This would be a mistake. Wireless access in the classroom is important inasmuch as it prevents me (and I can't imagine I'm unique in this regard) from lashing out at my fellow classmates and the "contributions" they insist on sharing each and every class.
    Posted 8:42 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    Kenneth Starr is now a Dean
    Th AP reports that Kenneth Starr has been named Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. Here's a Columbia University article about a recent speech he gave there.
    Saturday, April 03, 2004
    Posted 8:13 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    New blogs
    Here's an interesting new blog titled letters from babylon. It's a group blog that counts Joshua Davey among its members. Joshua's known for Locke v. Davey, a Supreme Court case in which he was a litigant after being denied a government scholarship because it would be used toward a theology major. Joshua is now a 1L at Harvard law school.

    Another new blog of note is De Novo, a group blog written by four law students at various schools.
    Friday, April 02, 2004
    Posted 2:12 PM by Lawren
    Saved By The Stud

    A breath test cannot be used as evidence against a woman accused of drunken driving because she had a metal tongue stud in place when the test was done, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

    The 2-1 decision said the tongue stud was a "foreign substance" that should have been removed at least 20 minutes before the Breathalyzer test was conducted.

    Under state guidelines for the alcohol tests, people must not have had anything to eat or drink, put any foreign substance in their mouth or respiratory tract, and must not smoke within 20 minutes before the breath sample being taken. The requirement is meant to ensure accurate readings of blood-alcohol content.

    Judge Robert Staton dissented, saying the statutory definition of "foreign substance" could not reasonably include every possible item in someone's mouth. "The metal object in Guy's mouth, a stainless steel tongue stud, was part of her persona," Staton wrote.
    Posted 11:01 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    Quoting Karlson
    We might need to start a new feature here called "Quoting Karlson." Today he presented his Criminal Law class with a case in which college fraternity members had a cache of rolled cigarettes that they thought was marijuana. It was to explore the concept of legal impossibility. He said:
    I can just imagine them all sitting around smoking it saying, "Man, this is good shit."
    Classic Karlson.
    Posted 12:50 AM by Joshua Claybourn
    Dean Anthony Tarr on the US News rankings: "I am pleased that we continue to move up the ladder but disappointed that we did not reach the low 50's this year. We will keep communicating with the wider US community so that our programs can become better known and appreciated."
    Thursday, April 01, 2004
    Posted 9:51 PM by Brian D.
    Scheduling your classes tomorrow

    Good Luck! May you get the classes you want and need.
    May the new system not crash as you press ENTER.
    May things go the way you want them to.

    NOTE 4-2-2004
    I've just used the new system. It performed flawlessly. Make sure you have the 5 digit class codes for the fall classes and it is smooth sailing. For more user friendly than the old system.
    Posted 4:13 PM by Joshua Claybourn
    The waiting is over
    The new US News and World Report rankings are out, and the previously leaked list turned out to be true. IU-Indianapolis moved up one spot to 63, while IU-Bloomington dropped to 40.

    All of the objective factors such as LSATs, GPA, and employment have been on a continual climb for the school. Moreover there has been the addition of a state of the art facility and a new top-notch Dean. It's disappointing that the widely-read rankings didn't do a better job of reflecting that. As Prof. Bernstein wrote, "If nothing else, the rankings themselves influence the decisions not only of students, but to a lesser extent of junior faculty choosing among competing offers, law review editors selecting among articles, and employers, and thus become a self-fulfilling prophecy that can't simply be pooh-poohed."

    Update: The US News rankings are in the third tier (a humorous read but with numerous serious links to good articles).

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