Thursday, September 30, 2004

Out of Order

Here it is Thursday already and no posts this week. Well I have an excuse. I was laid up in the hospital for the first part of the week with kidney stones. Not pleasant.
Things should be back to normal now.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Political Humor

I try, or would hope to try, to keep this blog as apolitical as possible. But since I am a Conservative Christian, it doesn't always happen.

I overheard in these the last couple of weeks and thought them worthy of note.

Why is John Kerry mad at the President for letting the assault weapons ban expire?
The most basic principles of civics tells us that the executive branch (President) can only sign legislation that is presented to him; which he said he would. John Kerry on the other hand is a senator. The legislative branch is the branch who makes the law. If it was so dear to him why didn't he do anything about it?

Question: Why do the Democrats, especially those in Massachusetts, hold John Kerry out to be a hero?
Answer: He is the only senator they have who would pull someone out of the water.

A Week in the Life of a Law Student

Things are really back into the groove (rut is such a derogative word). My life as a larval lawyer is pretty much - Work, School, Sleep; Work, School, Sleep; etc.

Work was very slow. This is good however, because I did very little reading over the weekend. It allowed me to catch up. It payed off too. Ms. ConLaw called on me to recite, and for once I had the right answers.
I can't say enough about my Evidence professor. We finished up "Impeachment Techniques" this evening. The man has some stories. They really made this dry subject bearable.

Preface:A few months ago I had 3 gentlemen visit my garage and 'borrow' some items. Come to find out they visited many garages that week. Eventually getting caught, I await their sentencing. I will file in JP court and seek a judgment against them for the value of my property, which was ultimately sold.
Texas Pre-Trial is perfect for this task. Heck, my professor even recommend a book on reserve in our library to aid in just such a task. So before class, instead of reading, I trot down to the library to peruse this book. You guessed it, they never heard of it; have no idea what she, the professor, is talking about. My luck. Can't be that hard however. Small claims is geared for non-lawyers.

I chose to skip school tonight. My younger son's school was having a family movie night. (held in the cafeteria) He was very excited about going. He kept using the phrase, "but I will be the only one not there." If have read my other posts you know by now that he is very skillful at 'talking' me into things. This time was no exception. Brother Bear. We have the DVD, but he wanted to go see it again. So, we gather pillow and blanket and head to the school about 5:45 pm. Now I think it will look silly walking into an elementary school late afternoon with a pillow and a blanket. Who knew? Actually, when we got in it looked like we didn't bring enough. There were sleeping bags, lawn chairs, huge blankets and pillows everywhere. Obviously, I am a rookie at this. Our one pillow and small Dale Earnhardt throw was lacking, but we took it like men and went ahead. We picked out a nice spot near the front (and one very loud speaker). Christopher spnet most of his time going back and forth to the concession table getting pizza, drinks, 3 bags of popcorn, and an ice cream cone. I sat and watched the movie with the occasional hand shadows on the screen fomr the kids way up front.
End of the movie and darn if I didn't tear up again. How embarrasing. Christopher spent the last 15 minutes or so of it sitting with his friend while I guarded our meager 'campsite.'
Time to go, and not too soon. I got to spend some time with my son (scarce these days), which I have to say is much better than Texas Pre-trial procedure.

Work is so slow. The database is down so I cannot work. Time to work on the outlines. PTL.

Have great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Referrals - No class notes here

When looking at the statistics for this blog, I see a lot of referrals coming from search engines. The searches usually involve a search on "law" + "notes" and then a particular subject.
It was not my intention to mislead anyone. If you are looking for class notes, I'm sorry, you won't find any. On the other hand, if you are looking for a good read, sitck around.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Neverending Story (aka The Continuing Power Struggle in Our Government)

Congress is flexing it's Article III muscle again, and attempting to limit the jurisdiction of the Court.
The House is expected to vote this week on a bill that says only state courts can hear cases involving the pledge. As a result, the Supreme Court could not rule on whether "under God" violates the First Amendment, which says in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

Let's see, now State courts would be interpreting the First Amendment. That's what we need. 50 different opinions as the Constitutionality of the Pledge.

"And the Beat goes On"

Friday, September 17, 2004

A Week in the Life of a Law Student

Another week. Man, this seems to go so slow. I just want to get through this.

ConLaw was very good tonight. We actually had a constructive class. We are discussing Congressional Power. It seems kind of scary that a treaty is somewhat of an endrun around the 10th amendment and other Congressional limits. My life has been just fine before I knew this little tidbit, so hopefully...
Evidence is great. We have a great professor. Ex-trial lawyer/Dean of several law schools. This class has really peaked my interest in litigation.

Work is going very smooth this week. It is allowing me put most of my mental resources into school.
Texas Pre-trial is still interesting. We have covered the specific pleadings this week. No general demurrers here in Texas, but special exceptions to the pleadings. Good Stuff!

Short day at work. I have my first meeting with the Bar association in my area. I hope to make strong contacts. Little networking here. Work from home after that.

This weekend: Company picnic! HOT! HUMID! Older son has skatingboarding competition this Saturday. Good Luck, Stephen!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Madriz-Alvarado v. Ashcroft

Here is an illegal alien/drug possessor seeking a writ of Habeas Corpus and reversal of his removal/deportation order. He makes an argument of due process under the 5th amendment.

IMHO - The 5th circuit got it right. The court cites many precedents to thwart Defense's argument. When are we going to wake up and realize - These people are here ILLEGALLY! They are not citizens. Why afford them any protection under our laws?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Law and Order Receives Honor

My favorite prime-time drama gets a street named after the show.
Also Dennis Farina joins this year. Great actor!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Assault Weapons Ban

So, the assualt weapons ban will expire today. As a proponent of the second amendment (I'm from Texas, how could I not be?), I say great! In reality, it doesn't mean much.
The weapons and magazines that were 'banned' have been available throughout the last ten years. Large capacity magazines are plentiful at my local gun shop and at many gunshows in the area. The assault rifles are always on display, although the ban has inflated the price.
Candidate Kerry, mentioned last week that as a hunter (I'm sorry I do not have the exact quote) that he has never hunted with an assualt rifle. An assault rifle is the only rifle I own. When I go hunting, that's what I take. It is very accurate and, being gas operated, very comfortable to shoot.
Don't knock it until you try it, John

Friday, September 10, 2004

A Week in the Life of a Law Student

Monday:Holiday, no school!! Kinda feel like a fourth grader. No reference intended to my ConLaw class.

Wow! Everything seems to slow down. Back into the groove.
Work goes very smooth. I get a lot acomplished. I am doing some minor changes to the last project. It's an intranet web application for a local corporation.
Tonight is Texas Pre-trial procedure. The interest level has picked up some. We are covering special appearances. One thing of note is that the burden of proof is on the defendant to show no personal juridiction. This is opposite of the federal rules which put the burden on the plaintiff (civil).
Recitation in this class is alphabetical, and we must stand to recite. Well, if you miss your date, it's five points off the final grade or you recite for the entire time during the next class. The poor sap tonight had done just that. He wasn't ready when his name came up, so he stood up for the whole 90 minutes. I think I would do the same. I need every point I can get. He did a good job,though.

Work continues to move forward. I got stuck on some silly SQL statement late in the day. Hopefully, I can get it straight tomorrow.
Let's talk ConLaw: I came into the class feeling quite ready. The discussion is foreign affairs. As luck has it, tonight I am one of the few to whom she directs questions. First questino out of the bag, "Mark, tell us about the Curtis-Wright case." I froze. I had spent most of my reading on the Hamdi case. I wanted to get all the intricasies out of each of the 4 opinions. I uttered something I thought would appease the inquisitor, but nope. She moved on to the next person leaving me with that feeling. You know that feeling where you had your chance to shine and the lights went out. Passed over.
We did get to Hamdi, however, and she wasn't done with me. I answered most of the questions I think to her satisfaction. One problem I found was that everything i thought important to the case, was only incidental. The main reason the case is so important escaped me completely.
After that, I just wanted to leave. I was more than willing, glad in fact, to head home when my wife called saying she really needed me to leave early.
So, I told my Eveidence professor I had to miss and left.
Work is just work.
Class tonight is rather different. My professor is out of town, so, we have a video lecture. Tonight's topic - TROs (Temporary Restraining Orders) and Emergency Writs. Interesting subject because now we actually are learning something that we can use and not just theory.
Now I am not the fastest typist in the world. This lady is talking a mile a minute. I can't keep up. I resort to following along in the book, making mental notes of what is important hoping t read it later. Which I do before bed. Seeing me floundering in the note department however, the guy sitting next to me offers his notes to me after class. Who said lawyers were heartless? I'll take my "JumpDrive" to class next Tuesday and retrieve them. Many thanks!
No class, and the weekend is here. Nothing new to report in the work department,but we did have a little excitement today.
While sitting at my desk I hear the tell tale sounds of tires screeching followed by a loud bang.
Now, my building sits at a fairly busy intersection. Wrecks happen at least twice a month. Usually no one gets hurt, and it breaks up the normal day.
Today, however, Driver A gets spun around because he pulled out in front of another car. I see the other car, and there is not much damage. Driver B seems fine, as does her adolescent passenger. B is running around with papers in her hand, slightly panicked. I guess that is to be expected.
A ,however, is hamming it up. (I don't want to make light of any injuries he really may have) Even when the ambulance shows up there is no sense of urgency in the paramedics. Just watching this unfold, I could hear my insurance rates going up. Thanks, you A.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Parking Legally (or at least trying to)

Around our law school there are various parking options. The school has two students lots, both of which cost $2 per day. There are other per day lots, $5 and up. Or you can contract with some of the garages around on a monthly basis. The cheapest by far are the parking meters next to and within few blocks of the school.
Since, we only have to pay to park until 6pm, it becomes quite economical for night students who arrive around 5pm. Rates are anywhere from $1.00 per hour down to 10¢ per hour if you don't mind walking a bit. I usually park in the 50¢ per hour spaces.
That said, I swear these meter maids are coming out of my trunk. As soon as the flag turns red, there they are with their little machines. They click away and deposit some green paper on my car. To me there ain't nothing lovely about Rita. Sorry, Paul.
Well, last night, I arrived at school at the usual time (around 5). Put money in the meter. Oh man, only 45¢. I scoured my car for one more nickel. Nothing but pennies! Okay, not to worry it's only 6 minutes. What are the odds that between 5:54 and 6:00 Rita will pop out of my trunk. Damned if she didn't. That familiar green envelope was waiting for me when I got to my car. $25.

This would not be so hard of pill to swallow, except for the fact that I should have parking ticket credit. The city owes me one free violation!
The week before school started, I was heading to my car ready to leave, and I caught Rita making her deposit on my windshield. I still had 21 minutes left on the meter! When, I pointed it out to her, she took it back not saying a word. Not trusting Rita and that demon machine, I made note of the date and waited. Sure enough, 3 weeks later I get a notice in the mail of my violation.
You know I could fight it, and probably win. But it would take at least two hours out of my day, for $25. I know there is a principle involved, but I can't justify it.
I would probably come out better parking in the student lots for $2 per day.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Grandiose Intentions

After telling my ConLaw professor last Wednesday that I was unprepared, I had planned to make it up this weekend and be ultra-prepared for this Wednesday - no class on Labor Day. I envisioned an elaborate brief of the Hamdi case; ready to answer, in minute detail, any question regarding the facts, the jusctices' opinions, the justices' spouses' opinons, the weather the day of the opinions, or anything else my professor could think of that would affect the opinions.
Not so tall an order from a Wednesday, looking at a 3 day weekend and no class for a week.
Soon it was Thursday. Then Friday night Bible study.
Well, Saturday I had to take the car in to get serviced. I stayed too long and bought another car. That took all day. (Another post entirely).
Saturday night is church. Can't read a law book in church. Pastor talks too loud to concentrate.
Sunday, yes Sunday I started to read. Started the Hamdi brief. I have plenty of time.
Sunday night - Family came for dinner, and oh, the NASCAR race. Couldn't miss that. Dale Jarrett is almost in the top ten.
Monday - read some more, but had tickets to the baseball game. Great seats. We won 11-5. Go 'stros.
So, it's Monday night and I did finish reading. I never finished my 'brief to end all briefs,' but I know the case pretty well. I will post later on my take of the Hamdi opinion.
Sometimes, life is, well, sufficient. I am prepared for class; I have a much more practical vehicle; and I had a great time with my family at the ball game.
It was a very different weekend than I had planned. But, I see how much better it turned out.
I could have buried myself in books and notes this weekend, and for what?

Friday, September 03, 2004

A Week in the Life of a Law Student

Everyone is back in school today. I pray for a normal week. My hornbook for Evidence came in late last week, however I didn't get much chance to read any of it. So, I brought it to work with me to peruse during any downtime.
ConLaw – Our professor was quite happy tonight. The unlucky student whom she targeted tonight had most of the right answers. You know she can only yell at us for another 12 weeks. That is reassuring somehow. Anyway, the class went pretty well, but for some strange reason is becoming sparse.
Evidence – We wrapped up relevancy tonight, and Wednesday we get started on Character Evidence. It looks big. Lots of reading. I have the Sum&Substance CD, but the guy on there talks so fast, I cannot always understand him. You try saying "cupable conduct" as fast as you can and see how it sounds. Gees.

We are still trudging through the long arm statute and personal jurisdiction in Texas Pre-Trial. Freecell isn’t even helping at this point.

Things get busy at work. I have started a new project, but there are minor changes to the last one.
I have my one year review today. Nice steak lunch. Hmm Mmm.
Needless to say, I get no reading done for school tonight. I really have to start reading for the week on the prior weekend.
So, before class starts, I reluctantly tell my professor (ConLaw) that I am not prepared; expecting the wrath of God to descend on me. But, to my amazement, I get “That’s okay, I won’t call on you.” This is not the same woman that met us on the first day. My professor has been abducted and replaced, I know it.
Either way, I am relieved.
Evidence is long tonight. We are covering character and habit evidence. The prof organizes it really well and, even without reading, I have a fairly good understanding. I will read the Hornbook this weekend to get more.

My older son is sick now. He is staying home with a fever and sore throat. This must be the remnants of last week come to roost on someone else. Nope, Doc says it is strep.
Work is uneventful, I mean it’s work.
Pre-trial is slightly better tonight. We actually got into some practice tips and the different ways to proceed during service of process or lack thereof. It kept my interest.

Day 2 with sick son. He actually wanted to go to school this morning; concerned about the amount of work he is missing. Never have I heard that from him. Praise the Lord. Something is working!

Weekend: READ! READ! READ!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Don't bomb me here!

Hamas issued its own statement from Damascus, accusing Israel of trying to provoke a confrontation and insisting its actions against Israelis are planned and executed from the Palestinian territories, not Syria.

As long as your base of operation is elsewhere, I guess you are immune from attacks.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Paddle Ball

My son, the 6 year old, excels at manipulating me into buying him some small trinket everytime we go to the store. Cunning little guy. Couldn't be me.
Anyway, last night was no exception. We're walking into WalMart and he asks, "Can I buy something for one dollar?" I quickly hand him my last two dollars. See what I mean? I never saw it coming.
Once inside, we trek to the toy aisle where he has learned that one or two dollars won't go far. Although I am certain that with time he will learn the correct way to free the amount he needs from the steel trap that is my wallet.
So, he decides to purchase a set of jacks and two balls (two player he says), and a 'Finding Nemo' paddleball. Both $0.88.
Once we get home he asks me to show him how the paddleball works. Right.
Now, I know how it works and I have seen it in action. But I am paddleball challenged. I can usually hit it the first time and sometimes the second. After that the ball, takes on a life of its own. I mean I am putting eyes out with this thing. My son lets me try to show him, but soon backs away.
After the mayhem has subsided, I hand it to him. 20 minutes later he is knocking the stuffing out of that ball like it was second nature to him.
In 42 years, I haven't figured the thing out, and believe me I have tried. Much to the chagrin of those around me.
Him, 20 minutes ... I don't understand it.

Yanking the Carrot Away

My dreams of working for my 'ideal' firm are shattered.
I find out yesterday that they (Fulbright & Jaworski) will only interview the top 5% of the 2Ls.
That means all A's including at least one A+ in every class this Fall, Spring and Summer.
Possible, but highly unlikely.
I have a glass ceiling at B+. Oh, well.
Here's a strange coincidence: Fulbright calls my office today inquiring about IT services. I currently work as a software consultant. So, who
knows what that will bring.

The Web
Law Notes