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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Ohio lawmaker proposes ban on adoption by GOPers
Posted 4:30 PM by Luke
This article's headline is eye-catching, is it not? But as expected, this proposal by Democrat state senator, Robert Hagan, is tongue-in-cheek-- a spoof to protest a measure introduced by an Ohio house Republican that would forbid households with a prospective gay parent from adopting.

Hagan called that measure divisive and homophobic... And I agree. I have yet to see credible evidence showing that homosexuals are unable to be effective adoptive parents.

[thanks to Alan Bauerle for the link]
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Teenager versus the city of Kokomo
Posted 2:21 PM by Luke
According to this Kokomo Tribune article, a Western High School student has won his lawsuit against the city of Kokomo. The 16-year old student, Ryan Nees, wanted the city to give him a copy of the city's newsletter e-mail address list. He wanted to compare the list to the addresses in the mayor's campaign list.

Claiming authority under Indiana law, the city attempted to restrict Nees to hand copying the records at city building. The law in question, according to the article, specifically refers to mailing addresses and fails to mention e-mail addresses. Howard Circuit Judge Lynn Murray, however, granted Nees' request, arguing that if the law is to cover e-mail addresses, it is a matter for the General Assembly to cover in revising the law.
Supreme Court to hear partial-birth abortion case
Posted 2:09 PM by Luke
The Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear a case on the constitutionality of the partial-birth abortion ban. Congress passed the law in 2003, but it never entered effect, as several federal judges have declared it unconstitutional.

In 2000, the Supreme Court struck a state law banning the procedure, with Justice O'Connor as the tie-breaking vote. With Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito now on the court, the decision is expected to be otherwise this time around. Plus, the fact that the court even decided to hear this case signals that they are likely to produce a change in the jurisprudence.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
How Not To Decline A Job Offer.
Posted 10:01 PM by Brian D.
A small Boston area criminal defense firm wanted to hire a 2004 graduate who passed the Massachusetts bar. William A. Korman decided to hire Dianna L. Abdala, 24, a 2004 graduate of Suffolk University Law School. Ms. Abdala left a voice mail the night before she was to start on February 6 declining the job offer. Both parties agree to the basic facts though Ms. Abdala claims to have been pondering the job offer and hadn’t accepted it yet. A series of interesting voice mails and email exchanges took place. Sacha Pfeiffer of The Boston Globe notes [free registration required], “Once again, a friendly reminder: The next time you're tempted to send a nasty, exasperated, or snippy e-mail, pause, take a deep breath, and think again.

Below are the emails Korman and Abdala sent. The only editing performed is to reverse the chronological order to be read from top to bottom.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dianna Abdala
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 9:23 PM
To:
Subject: Thank you

Dear Attorney Korman,

At this time, I am writing to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer.

After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the pay you are offering would neither fulfill me nor support the lifestyle I am living in light of the work I would be doing for you. I have decided instead to work for myself, and reap 100% of the benefits that I sew.

Thank you for the interviews.

Dianna L. Abdala, Esq.


----- Original Message -----
From: William A. Korman
To: 'Dianna Abdala'
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 12:15 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you

Dianna -

Given that you had two interviews, were offered and accepted the job (indeed, you had a definite start date), I am surprised that you chose an e-mail and a 9:30 PM voicemail message to convey this information to me. It smacks of immaturity and is quite unprofessional. Indeed, I did rely upon your acceptance by ordering stationary and business cards with your name, reformatting a computer and setting up both internal and external e-mails for you here at the office. While I do not quarrel with your reasoning, I am extremely disappointed in the way this played out. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

- Will Korman

-----Original Message-----
From: Dianna Abdala
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:01 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you

A real lawyer would have put the contract into writing and not exercised any such reliance until he did so.

Again, thank you.

----- Original Message -----
From: William A. Korman
To: 'Dianna Abdala'
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: RE: Thank you

Thank you for the refresher course on contracts. This is not a bar exam question. You need to realize that this is a very small legal community, especially the criminal defense bar. Do you really want to start pissing off more experienced lawyers at this early stage of your career?

-----Original Message-----
From: Dianna Abdala
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 4:29 PM
To: William A. Korman
Subject: Re: Thank you

bla bla bla

____________________________

After that final email Mr. Korman forwarded the email series to a colleague and noted a similar series of voice mails occurred.

From the Boston Globe article, “''It almost sounds too obvious, but I'll say it: You should never write an e-mail that you are not willing to see preserved forever in history," said Boston Bar Association president-elect Jack Cinquegrana, who frequently handles cases that use e-mail as evidence.

In case you’re curious the position is not open at this time.
An unfortunate loss
Posted 3:10 PM by Joshua Claybourn
News that Shannon Williams is leaving the law school staff should come as sorry news for everyone associated with the law school. Given the generally negative comments following the post below I wanted to take the liberty of offering a different take here.

Although Shannon's contributions to the school community are wide and deep, I'll begin with her primary job in leading the Office of Professional Development. In that capacity she is charged with assisting students in finding jobs following graduation. Statistics consistently indicate that 70-75% of all legal jobs are found through networking (see Emory as one example). Many of these positions are never advertised. In other words, the vast majority of law school graduates must rely on their own networking skills to chart their future. It seems as though too many students want less of a job search facilitator in the OPD and more of a job search manager. Besides being impractical, it's ineffective. Ultimately we the students are the best advocates for why we should be hired and it is up to us to make that case.

But that doesn't mean the OPD is irrelevant. It should offer advice on resumes, arrange on campus interviews and, when asked, help connect students with alumni. Under Shannon the office has tripled in size, allowing for tremendously more personalized help. Thanks to improvements in internet scheduling, on campus interviews are easier to arrange. To be sure, there is still room for improvement. There always is. But Shannon's tireless efforts have drastically improved the OPD.

Finally, I've seen Shannon do things for the law school behind the scenes for which she receives far too little credit. She founded the Indianapolis Bar Association's Law Student Division Executive Committee, a committee on which I serve. Shannon was the driving force behind this board which helps put on numerous events such as take a law student to lunch day, kickball, summer connection, and much more.

Shannon often goes about her work with so much humility that she doesn't garner the attention and recognition she deserves. I for one am sorry to see her leave, but I trust that she will make an equally significant impact for new lawyers at Baker & Daniels. I can only hope that Shannon's successor is as dedicated as she is.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Shannon Williams informs students that she will be leaving the law school
Posted 2:42 PM by Luke
She sent the following letter to the law school listserv:

<<
With somewhat of a heavy heart, I will be leaving the law school and my position as Director of Professional Development and Pro Bono Programs. After over twelve years with the law school and six of those serving as Director, I have decided that a new career direction is appropriate for me at this time. I have been hired by Baker & Daniels to serve as their Manager of New Lawyer Hiring and I’m very excited about this new opportunity. My official last day with the law school will be Friday, March 10.

As I look back to six years ago, I’m very proud of what I have been able to accomplish as the Director of this office. When I started as Director the office had not been converted technologically at all – and now to see that almost all we do is electronic in nature is amazing. The staff size was one professional and an administrative person – we now have three professionals and a part-time administrative person. There was not a separate person overseeing the Pro Bono Program – we now have a professional over that area (LaWanda has done a tremendous job) and have seen the Pro Bono Program grow to wonderful levels of recognition nationally. I’m proud of all the programming I was able to initiate to hopefully serve our students and alumni in the best ways possible. I know that there is always more that could be done in the eyes of the student body – but with the number of staff we have I am proud of what we are able to achieve on a daily basis.

Of course, I did not do this on my own – I was fortunate to be able to retain wonderful team members especially LaWanda Ward, Chasity Adewopo, and Kristi Dietz who share the same vision of serving our student body and alumni base. I have also been privileged to serve under Deans who believed in me and what my vision for the office was and gave me complete control to do as I thought best – I will always be grateful for that opportunity. I am particularly thankful to Norm Lefstein for giving me the opportunity to prove myself as Director and Jonna MacDougall who served as my boss for many years during my first “go around” at the law school and taught me so much.

I will definitely miss my law school family – but will always have fond memories of the opportunities I was given and the wonderful friendships I made during my years here. It has been an honor to serve this law school, its student body and alumni base. I truly believe in this school and the students who attend here – and I wish all of you the very best in your future endeavors.

Take Care
Shannon :-)

>>

As the administration begins the process to hire a new director of the office of Professional Development, it is important that students and professors both give significant input on the direction they'd like the office to take.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Come see the Law Revue Talent Show!
Posted 10:45 AM by Luke
What: "Using our patented 'Actual Reality' technology, you'll see music, comedy, drama, and... dramedy, all LIVE right BEFORE YOUR EYES! It's like the performers are right there in the room! Because they are! Tickets are available AT THE DOOR for just $5 and include an entry to win one of our fabulous door prizes. And best of all, proceeds go to benefit the Loan Repayment Assistance Program Endowment! The show is family friendly so bring your kids!! CASH BAR of BEER AND WINE!!! Don't miss it!" - Lauren Biloski

When: Tomorrow, Saturday Feb. 11 @ 7 P.M.

Where: the law school atrium


***CORRECTION: this post originally misstated the time as 11 P.M. The correct time, 7 P.M. is now listed...
Monday, February 06, 2006
Honoring the Great Communicator
Posted 4:15 PM by Luke
Today is the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's birth in 1911. Recommended reading: his Wikipedia bio, his IMDB actor profile, and this list of his speeches in full text.



Perhaps Reagan's greatest feature was that he united our country in a way that would be thought unthinkable by today's partisan standards. And for those who doubt that statement last statement, I suggest your perusal of this 1984 presidential electoral map:



President Reagan accomplished this through a political attitude best embodied by this quote pulled from his 1980 Nomination acceptance speech:
"Trust me" government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what's best for us. My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs--in the people. The responsibility to live up to that trust is where it belongs, in their elected leaders. That kind of relationship, between the people and their elected leaders, is a special kind of compact.

This is, perhaps, a lesson that both President George W. Bush and the Congressional Democrats should take to heart.

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