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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
The forthcoming US News and World Report law school rankings have been the subject of much discussion on these pages and others over the past few weeks. Prof. Cooper first hinted some time ago that we may be pleased with the new results. Then Chuck Miller revealed a possible sccop by offering specifics - a top tier placing for IU Indy.
Prof. Berstein also discusses the new rankings and offers the standard pros and cons to US News' monopoly on it all. Here's what is supposedly a bootleg list of the new rankings, and a funny discussion that follows. It shows IU-Indy at 63, up one spot from the previous list. I have no way of knowing its validity, but it does reflect the same information Prof. Bernstein is using. We shall see if it's true.
Update: Brian Leiter, the one who initially linked to that list, now says it's bunk because "some malevolent typesetter" messed with it. It does seem to be a bit of an odd list.
Update 2: Here's the best ranking site I've seen, perhaps ever. You can make your own rankings giving different weight to different factors that are important to you. It uses 2003 statistics, though.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Now You Know
"A motorist who wishes to avoid the sobriety checkpoint site by legally turning before entering the checkpoint area shall be allowed to do so unless the driver engages in any unlawful, unusual or dangerous behavior. The act of avoiding a sobriety checkpoint does not constitute the grounds for a stop."
Marion County Traffic Safety Partnership Multi-Agency Sobriety Checkpoint Procedures
In evaluating the degree of intrusion in a roadblock for constitutional purposes (one factor of many to evaluate in a constitutional challenge of a sobriety checkpoint) a court considers whether the roadblock was avoidable. The more avoidable a roadblock is, the less it interferes with the liberty of individual drivers.
State of Indiana vs. Gerschoffer , 763 N.E.2d 960 (Ind. 2002) (going on to say, however, that a roadblock need not be "altogether voluntary").
Here's an interesting post on the right of public housing residents to keep and bear arms.
Monday, March 29, 2004
The F.A.Q.s of Scheduling Classes.
This will mostly apply to the 1Ls, but some upperclassman might find it useful. I have been asked by lots of people what classes they should take for next year. As they are usually the same questions I figured it would be best to post them here. Please keep in mind this is just my personal advice and others may disagree with me.
1. What classes should I take?
Okay, that is a very broad question. Here are my general rules of thumb to selecting possible classes.
First Rule: If you find a boutique class that is not offered very often and you would feel really bad not taking it, then take that class. Law and Animals, National Security and Foreign Relations, specialized classes like that. It always helps to take classes you are interested in because you will take plenty of classes that you do not like. Having one class you really look forward to is good for a mental boost.
Second Rule: take required classes. Luckily for you Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law, and LARC III are offered all the time. Take at least one of those required classes in the fall. PR is required for many internships and clinics so it is important. Con Law is a requirement for a fair number of other advanced level classes.
Third Rule: take classes that are bar exam subjects. Business Associations, Criminal Procedure, Trusts and Estates, etc. It is good to have some exposure to those subjects before taking review classes and the Bar Exam itself.
Fourth Rule: any class that fits in your schedule and still maintains an average of 15 credits per semester. If you do not take any summer classes a full-time day student needs to average 15 credits per semester to graduate in 3 years. If the above rules do not fill up your schedule, then fine a class that fits in your schedule. That is a last ditch effort and you should not have to fall back on this rule. If you are a night student please adjust those numbers accordingly to your requirements.
2. Should I take two 4 credit classes in the same semester?
You can, but I personally do not recommend it. 4 credit classes involve a lot of work and having two of those just doubles your trouble. If taking two 4 credit classes is the only way to get your schedule to work the way you want it to, then that is fine. Just realize the downsides to it. Two 4 credit final exams will be quite a weight on your GPA, especially if a grade is not as high as you want. Also by spreading out your 4 credit classes throughout your career you will avoid taking 6 classes in one semester and having 6 final exams! One 4 credit class fills up a lot of good space on a schedule. If you really need or want to take 2 classes like Evidence and Con Law, then go for it. You will find some days are a grind though.
3. Should I take any summer classes?
If you are in town, then sure why not? Get two classes out of the way and it will free up your schedule down the road. If you take 4 credits in the summer session, then you could take one less class in both the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and still be on track to graduate on time, and be able to relax a little bit during the year. I personally would recommend Professional Responsibility just so you get that little nagging required class out of the way.
4. Can I take both Law Review and LARC III/Moot Court at the same time?
First please realize that on April 2nd you will not be able to schedule Law Review for yourself, unless you are already on one. If you write onto a Law Review you will be able to register for it around the time classes start up in the fall. You will want to schedule a 2 credit class that you are willing to drop if you write-on to a Law Review or take if you do not write-on.
That being said, you will be doing a lot of research and writing for LARC III, writing your Moot Court brief, editing Law Review Notes and Articles, and performing research and some writing of your own Note for Law Review in the same semester. It will be a ton of work. It is doable, but I very much recommend taking some summer classes this summer or next summer so that you take only 12 or 13 credits in the Fall Semester if you take both LARC III/Moot Court and Law Review. I really wish I took my own advice.
5. Speaking of Law Review, if I can not register for it, then how do I get on one?
There will be several informational sessions coming over the next few weeks, but the nutshell is that you will write onto one. I would not count on being in the top 10 percent of your class to get an automatic invite because if you end up being wrong when the grades come out in June or July it will be too late to do anything about it. Do not be cocky as I have seen several people suddenly on the wrong side of the bell curve.
As you are leaving your last final exam several people will be handing out packets by the door. That packet contains a problem, several cases and statutes that you will need to write your memo on. You DO NOT perform any outside research as it is a self-contained problem. You will have about 3 weeks or so to write it. Go ahead and take the week off after finals to let your brain decompress. I spent about 4 hard days writing my memo. You can spread out that effort over the two weeks before the deadline and be in excellent shape while not really doing that much effort per day. The memo wil have a 6 or 7 page limit on it so it will not be that big.
P.S. read it out loud before you mail it in. You will be amazed at the mistakes you catch when you read it out loud.
6. I know what classes I want, but is there an order to how to schedule them?
If you know that you are wanting a popular class, register for that one first. If that class is full, then put it on the waitlist! You might still get in. Then continue down your list. Here is the best tip to give you: HAVE BACKUP CLASSES! For every class you want have a backup class ready so that if one is full, you can automatically put the one you want on waitlist, then select a predetermined backup class and then go on your merry way. The backup class can be the same date/time or something different as long as the classes you want or have on backup will not overlap time-wise. Time conflicts are not good. You absolutely do not want to randomly select classes just to have something scheduled.
7. Be sure to check the final exam schedules to the classes you want!
I think the reasoning behind this is pretty obvious. You can not be in two places at the same time, or you do not really want to take two final exams on the same day unless you just can not help it.
Good luck and I hope these tips from your Uncle Brian help you out.
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Chuck Miller may have a scoop on the forthcoming US News and World Report Law School Rankings.
Friday, March 26, 2004
While discussing rampant civil disobedience, Prof. Karlson said "Remember, that's called a revolution and as far as I'm concerned revolutionists can be shot."
CREATIVE WRITING CONTEST
$150 cash prize
LAW & aesthetics
Imagine there is something called "Law & Aesthetics" that is studied and taught at law schools. Now, write its encyclopedia entry.
There are no restrictions other than those suggested by the title of the encyclopedia entry. As you see fit, your assignment is to invent the history and/or substance of Law & Aesthetics, a discipline that does not presently exist. You are encouraged to:
This creative writing contest is open to Boalt Hall Faculty, Students and Staff.* Winning entries will receive appropriate recognition. The author of the best entry will receive $150.00.
Entries should be submitted to LawAesthetics@yahoo.com. The text of this announcement is available on request at this email address. Additional information probably will not be provided, however, in order to maintain a level playing field. Entries should be longer than, say, a dictionary entry but probably no more than a thousand or twelve hundred words. The submissions deadline is Wednesday, April 7, 2004. Contest rules may change; however, the cash prize will be awarded if a minimum number of entries are received.
"A former high school basketball player who claims her eating disorder stemmed from her coach's request that she lose 10 pounds has won a $1.5 million jury award."
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Freedom of Speech vs. Freedom from Violence
New post over at Just Playin' gives some interesting details in a federal suit filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. A Fort Wayne high school is trying to come between a boy and his rifle T-shirt.
Update: My sources pointed me to a 3rd circuit decision vaguely on point in this area, for those interested. Sypniewski v. Warren Hills Regional Bd. of Educ. 307 F.3d 243.
Sunday, March 21, 2004
Turning the "Dis" Into Dollars
Donald Trump wants to cash in on his approach to dismissing people on "The Apprentice." Trump is seeking to trademark the now-famous phrase: "You're fired!"
The real-estate mogul and reality TV star has filed a trademark application for the phrase, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Web site.
Trump might have competition: A search of the PTO's database revealed that three other applications for "You're fired" have been filed.
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a five-paragraph majority opinion, accompanied by a dissenting opinion that states, in full: "Because my vote, either to affirm or reverse in this troublesome case, will not affect the decision of my colleagues, I simply note that I dissent."
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Prof. Edwards Wins Award
Although we've reported small bits of law school faculty news in the past, it might be worthwhile to do more of it here. They often accomplish a lot that goes unnoticed. Prof. George Edwards was recently awarded the W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service. He's helped foster 70 intern placements with students serving in 35 countries, worked for human rights and explores the legalities of ethnicity, indigenous populations, discrimination, genocide, sexuality, torture and other issues. Under Edwards' direction, the Program in International Human Rights Law sponsors seminars and conferences, and co-hosts the Human Rights and Social Justice Film Series and the Human Rights Fair.
I'm not sure what the law school's focus on human rights was like before this year, but I can attest that during my time here it has received considerable attention and respect from both students and other publications that I read. Kudos for a job well done.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Opening Old Wounds
Here's a story in Campus Report Online about our very own Prof. Florence Roisman, who seems to have stirred up controversy two years ago after allegedly using campus e-mail to lobby against the confirmation of Judge Charles Pickering, President Bush's nominee to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The article also summarizes Prof. Roisman's most recent run-in with controversy over a bannished Christmas tree in the law school's atrium. The article itself doesn't really report anything new, but it does summarize recent events.
Monday, March 15, 2004
A Little Lawyer Humor
Since the students at Indiana University School of Law--Indianapolis are on spring break, I anticipate blogging to be a little lighter this week. Therefore, I decided to leave you all with a little lawyer humor.
"Regulations For Hunting Attorneys"
Bill to Regulate the Hunting and Harvesting of Attorneys PC 370.00
370.01 Any person with a valid in-state rodent or snake hunting license may also hunt and harvest attorneys for recreational and sport (non-commercial) purposes.
370.02 Taking of attorneys with traps or dead-falls is permitted. The use of United States
currency as bait, however, is prohibited.
370.03 The willful killing of attorneys with a motor vehicle is prohibited, unless such vehicle is an ambulance being driven in reverse. If an attorney is accidentally struck by a motor vehicle, the dead
attorney should be removed to the roadside, and the vehicle should proceed immediately to the
nearest car wash.
370.04 It is unlawful to chase, herd or harvest attorneys from a power boat, helicopter or aircraft.
370.05 It is unlawful to shout, "WHIPLASH", "AMBULANCE", or "FREE SCOTCH" for the purposes of trapping attorneys.
370.06 It is unlawful to hunt attorneys within 100 yards of BMW, Mercedes or Porsche dealerships,
except on Wednesday afternoon.
370.07 It is unlawful to hunt attorneys within 200 yards of courtrooms, law libraries, health clubs,
country clubs, hospitals or brothels.
370.08 If an attorney gains elective office, it is not necessary to have a license to hunt, trap
or possess the same.
370.09 It is unlawful for a hunter to wear a disguise as a reporter, accident victim, physician,
chiropractor or tax accountant for the purpose of hunting attorneys.
370.10 Bag and Possession Limits per day:Yellow-bellied sidewinders, 2; Two-faced tortfeasors, 1;
Back-stabbing divorce litigators, 3; Horn-rimmed cut-throats, 2; Minutiae-advocating dirtbags, 4.
Honest attorneys protected (Endangered Species Act).
370.11 It is illegal to take attorneys with a moving vehicle unless there are no measurable
skid marks at the kill site.
Friday, March 12, 2004
Cheeseburger in Paradise
Radley Balko and Glen Whitman really want to support the "Cheeseburger Bill" before Congress that forbids all obesity-related lawsuits against fast food companies in both state and federal court. But on principled federalism grounds, they cannot. They're interesting posts.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Since most of us are going to be in some sort of firm, corporate, or governmental environment, I thought we all could appreciate this story and LEARN from it:
Sharon Dyson's email to her boyfriend began innocently enough, but it's what followed the small talk - some sexual banter and a disparaging remark about her employer's clients, that could cost her her job.
Miss Dyson, a student careers adviser, thought she was sending a private email to her boyfriend. By accidentally clicking on the "reply all" command, however, she distributed it to everyone on his original recipient list.
The message went to 30 friends of Mr Hewson, a PR executive with the firm Carat International. Many then forwarded it to their friends.
In the email, which has now been circulated throughout the City, Miss Dyson wrote: "My sunburn on my back is sore and I need you to rub some moisturizer in for me. We'll have to get some massage oil too."
But it was the next sentence that infuriated her employers, Hobsons, so much that she now faces disciplinary action: "I have to write a sucky 'Thank you' email to clients now, w*nk, w*nk."
A Badge of Honor?
"I generally think Sapre Aude is stuffy and pretentious, and takes too much pride in its perceived self-importance." -- Chuck Miller
What fun! The blog finally has a personality, and one it can be proud of. Er, I guess it's already full of pride. Although, if you're going to bash this site, it helps to get the spelling straight. In the spirit of mixing things up, the nationally acclaimed Sapere Aude world headquarters of the Grand Pooh-Bah (see, we are important, the title says so) offers you a short video clip of drunken debauchery from Barrister's Ball featuring yours truly and fellow contributor Lawren Mills. Let's hope the size of the file doesn't crash the IU account that's hosting it. (footage courtesy of Brian Pritchard)
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
"She Don't Pay Her Court Costs, Anymore"
A man sued by singer Barbra Streisand for posting photos of her Malibu mansion on the Internet claims she is refusing to pay his $220,000 legal bill after he won the case.
A judge in December dismissed Streisand's $10 million invasion of privacy suit against retired software entrepreneur Kenneth Adelman, his Internet service provider and a photo agency that distributes his work.
The singer was ordered to pay his legal fees and costs.
Adelman filed papers Thursday in Superior Court seeking another court order that Streisand pay an estimated $204,000 in legal fees from the original case, along with $15,000 in fees spent to enforce the first order.
A Santa Clara, California Democrat thinks 14-17 years olds should be allowed to vote. State Sen. John Vasconcellos, who supports the measure for a state constitutional amendment, says: ""We believe it's time to open up the franchise to young Californians."
This is ridiculous. Granted, there is likely a small percentage in that age range that are mature and educated enough to vote, but the majority of kids that age should not be voting. It's bad enough the number of adults (myself included) who don't know as much about the candidates in an election as they should to make an informed decision. There is no reason to include kids in this process. It trivializes the importance of the franchise.
I also have problems with the whole 1/4 and 1/2 vote concept. (The measure would give 14- and 15-year-olds a quarter-vote and 16- and 17-year-olds a half-vote beginning in 2006.) Should we really head down that road again? I think not. One person, one vote.
Catching on like Wildfire
Since the beginning of the year when Sapere Aude made its debut, a number of law students have started their own blogs. Most recently, Ryan Strup, Chuck Miller, Brian Deiwert, and Deb McKee have all gotten started. A full list of IU-Indy Law blogs can be found in the left column. From my cursory glance at other law schools, our's has more than any other.
Update: Heidi also has a blog, although it has been in existence since about the same time this one started. Chuck is quick to point out that his blog was not created because of this one, and this post was not intended to suggest that. Rather, it was meant to suggest that blogs in general continue to grow in popularity.
As for this blog's "misplaced sense of importance," well, who am I to argue with that? I know of no one here that feels any sense of importance. Nay, this is just a place to collectively express yourself, so long as it's stuffy and boring.
Monday, March 08, 2004
Well, That Is Not Very Professional!
One of the things that I love about school is that it has so many opportunities to hear multiple points of view on issues. We have clubs and societies that represent many different interests and issues, and those clubs are constantly bringing in interesting speakers for us to listen too. If you cannot find some extracurricular activity here that represents your personal interests, then you simply are not trying! In other words, our school and those organizations attempt to show diversity of thought. I love the intellectual environment that is a result of such efforts. I can hear new things that I had never even thought about. I can discover new angles about interests that I care about. I can go see a speaker that I may initially disagree with, but listen to what that person has to say so I can compare and contrast to my own feelings. It is stimulating to hear two people of differing opinions discuss what they heard.
Yet I saw an email that appeared not to respect our natural diversity of thought and the ideals our school and organizations represent. After an announcement that a speaker was coming to our school, the sender received an interesting reply. Sorry, but the last thing I'm interested in hearing is [INSERT POLITICAL PARTY NAME] rhetoric. Upon seeing that my response became the title of this post.
Beyond the Black Letter Law, a purpose of this school is to train us to deal with the other side, whether that is a party in a lawsuit, an interest group at a public meeting, or something else. We need to deal with the diversity of the other side(s) in a professional manner as we, the lawyer/advocate, will be seen as leaders that are representative of our side (whatever that may be). Our actions are a reflection upon us, the institutions and parties we represent, and in an indirect way our own personal/professional philosophies. Remember, you will be the other side to someone else. Those other people desire and expect you to treat them with respect and professionalism. If we fail to perform in such a manner, the other side will certainly not listen to anything you say, nor will they behave/react in a manner that is conducive to your goals. There is a conjunction between good manners, professionalism, and our ability to effectively use our legal training. Failure to acknowledge the other side and their diversity of thought is a very human thing to do; however, it is not an ideal that we should aspire to. Our ideals should inspire us to be better than what we were before. If we can not be professional to each other, then perhaps we are in the wrong profession?
Sunday, March 07, 2004
Professors Are Human--And Sometimes Even Cool!
Conversation at last night's Barristers' Ball (while dancing):
Me: Hey Professor X! Are you having fun?
Professor X: Oh yes! This is a great time!
Me: Good to hear!
Professor X: I have a favor to ask of you.
Me: Sure. What is it?
Professor X: Can you ask the DJ to play some OutKast or Janet Jackson?
Me: (Giggling) Of COURSE!
Friday, March 05, 2004
Dance The Night Away
I'm sure some of you are sick of hearing about the Barrister's Ball. Don't worry, it shall be over soon. If you are going this should be a lot of fun. How often, with our busy schedules, do we truly relax with our fellow classmates? If you have a little too much fun be sure to have cabfare or a classmate drive you home. Be safe, be well.
If you're not going, then I encourage you to go at least once in your law school career. Think of it as practice for the real world. Sometimes, as a lawyer, you will be invited to a formal occassion. If you are shy, then use it as an occassion to interact with people. Even my friend, the patent attorney locked in a dungeon, does have to come out sometime to interact with people. See you tomorrow night or see you next year.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
Your right to a speedy trial.
Most of us have the impression that trials take forever to conduct. We see it all the time on the news, The Practice, and movies. As we now know from our classes there is a ton of behind the scenes activity, such as discover, that takes up even more time before the trial begins. Yet if a case even makes it to trial most trials only take a day or two. Yesterday morning I saw the entire evidentiary phase of a trial conducted in 2 hours! It could have been done in 90 minutes, but the court had to wait on some witnesses to arrive as the case proceeded so quickly. At lunch the judge and lawyers pieced together jury instructions. Once the jury went to deliberate they were back in less than 2.5 hours with the verdict.
Sadly, the lawsuit was filed 5 years ago and it took this long to get to trial. If feel sorry for the two people involved in the automobile accident, but this should have been settled years ago. Here is a coincidence, the automobile accident took place 2 blocks from where I live now.
It's not easy being tall....
(Not that I would know).
A California Court of Appeals panel rejected a lawsuit against several airlines, including American and Southwest, by the Tall Club of Silicon Valley which sought preferential seating in roomier exit rows for men at least 6 foot, 2 inches and women at least 5 foot, 10 inches.
The court panel, which ruled on Friday, refused to get involved in airline regulations, Thomas Cohen, a lawyer for the group, said on Tuesday.
The Tall Club of Silicon Valley? I'm picturing a bunch of Shaq-like techies.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Indy's Dumbest Criminals
This is just too funny. Next time, try at least to keep the mounds of pot below the level of the temporary license plate!
Monday, March 01, 2004
A Trip To The Mall
It is amazing how being in law school slowly shapes your mind to see the world in legal-esque colored glasses. We were in Washington D.C. over the weekend for the National Security Moot Court Competition. I decided on a late night walk through The Mall to see the sights. Aside from enjoying the glistening marble of the Lincoln Memorial I also thought of the President it honored and the war of federalism vs. states’ rights that occurred under his watch. The homeless man, gently snoring on the park bench near the Vietnam Memorial I also saw as someone who could use a good advocate to get into a shelter program, a halfway house, or possibly a medication program to help treat any illnesses he had. The Jefferson Memorial I saw as a reflection of the ideals expressed by the writer of The Declaration of Independence, which our laws try to reflect. At the opposite end of The Mall was the Capitol Building where our laws are first crafted and some of us may work some day. All these things have been here for years, yet I can’t say I thought of them in quite this way until now. Or perhaps I simply did not see these aspects of their character before. The places are the same, yet as we learn more our attitudes change.