Quote of the Day - A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.
How Much Can You Say In Seven Minutes?Here it is - with a hat tip to SoCal Law Blog for the info and headline - in all it's simplicity:
"7/22/05. Order filed. Rqst by amicus curiae Bear Flag League to participate at orl argmnt is grtd; Cnsl for amicus curiae Bear Flag League is permitted to prsnt orl argmtn when the mttr is set on the crt's clndr whch presentation shall not exceed 7 minutes (CLR)"
So, it would appear that as co-counsel for the SoCal Law Blog" target=_blank>Bear Flag League, MIPTC will be arguing the Apple v. Does case along with Apple and Jason O'Grady about the rights of blogger journalists.
I wonder if it would help if I tried oral argument without vowels?
MIPTC Needs A Little Help From Its FriendsOne of the Deputy Attorney Generals for California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, sent this letter, received today, asking for my opinion about the journalistic privilege.
I suspect other bloggers may have received the same letter, but it's the first time I've been asked in my 18 years of practice to provide a comment to the AG before the AG issues an opinion. So, I'll put it out there for your comment and opinion, too.
With a little help from my friends, we can probably give the AG some worthwhile guidance, and protect the blogger journalists among us.
The AG wants a response by September 30, so comment away, please.
Peeling The Onion Of The AM Law 100. What About The Rest Of Us?The AM Law 100 and the AM Law Top 10 are a pretty exclusive group.
Impressive, in a word.
But are they really? Americans are wrapped up with the fastest, the highest (jumping), the biggest, and, well you get the idea. It's unclear how it all got started, but it probably had something to do with a bet in a bar that had to get settled.
Let's take a hard look. The 2005 AM Law 100 lists 68,186 lawyers, who collectively grossed $46,042,000,000.00.
What about the rest of us? According to the government, the median salary was $90,280 in 2002 for lawyers in 650,000 jobs. That translates into $58,682,000,000.00, but that's only earnings. Applying the "third-third-third" rule (salary, overhead and money to the firm) to this number places the gross much higher, at $174,786,000,000.00.
Now, even if you deduct the AM Law 100 out of that equation, that puts gross revenue for the rest of us around $128,744,000,000.00.
Apart from the three-year gap, comparing those two sets of numbers, however, may be like comparing apples and oranges. Even so, it's a pretty good indication that the real money to be made is in the big firms - just over 10 percent of the lawyers in the top 100 firms gross just over 25% of the revenue.
That also means that's where there's real money to be spent if you're a client of one of those big firms. That's why I like practicing in a firm this size: WLF.
Additional info added after original post:
Here's Bruce MacEwen's take on the issue.
If We Value Public Trials, Why Not Release Juvenile Names?If we as Americans value the right to a public trial, why donít we release names in juvenile proceedings? The argument that we are protecting children from the stigma associated with being adjudicated delinquent doesnít seem to hold much weight if the goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment. How damaging is the stigma of requiring therapy and rehabilitation these days anyway?
Everyday I witness a multitude of advertisements for mental health treatments and see therapy portrayed as almost inevitable. If Tony Soprano and Adrian Monk get therapy, how great is the stigma? Granted, these are fictional adults and not real children, but I still suggest that if delinquency actually equated to therapy and rehabilitation, society would not attach an overly burdensome or undeserved stigma.
My guess is that the majority of statesí juvenile systems are far more punitive than rehabilitative. Whether this is from lack of funding or changed objectives, Iím not sure, but if this scheme is the case, then the juvenile system looks much more like the adult criminal system where the right to a public trial is well entrenched in the Sixth Amendment. (Although who holds the right to a public trial, accused or the public is a question for another day.)1
Without open public proceedings, how do we know if the juvenile system more closely resembles the English Court of Star Chamber or the father figure judge, with his arm around the accused, providing thoughtful inquisition and careful guidance?
1In Estes v. Texas, 381 U.S. 532, 588 (1965), Justice Harlan suggests in his concurring opinion that the right of ďpublic trialĒ belongs to the accused rather than the public.
There's A Mouse In Your Podcast, But No Legal Music YetYou may be reading this, and some may be listening to me. Right now, I'm grateful that you're a dedicated enough listener of MIPTC's podcasts without music, bumpers or other stingers. It would be nice if it stayed that way, but podcasting is about to take a turn for the commercial.
According to the AP, NPR is negotiating to pay royalties for music on podcasts. Apparently, no one podcaster or group of podcasters have the rights to place music on podcasts - which doesn't stop some podcasts from doing so, illegal as it may be.
The stakes are presumably big - if anyone can figure out how to make money at it. The AP article cited above notes that blogging caught the media establishment off guard, and they don't intend to be caught off guard again. Witness Disney's podcasts.
If the Mouse thinks enough of podcasting to make a go of it, maybe the first law podcaster can figure it out, too.
Justice Bedsworth Honored for 'A Criminal Waste of Space'This post lifted directly from the Orange County Bar Association weekly newsletter, with apologies to its unknown editor (links from MITPC):
"The California Newspaper Publishers' Association named A Criminal Waste of Space the best work in the field of 'Columns, Commentary, and Criticism' in a paper of under 10,000 circulation for 2004. A Criminal Waste of Space is written by Justice William Bedsworth of the California Court of Appeal, 4th District, Division 3 in Santa Ana. Renowned columnist Bedsworth recently attended a luncheon at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco to accept the award. Justice Bedsworth's column appears monthly in Orange County Lawyer and is syndicated throughout the country."
Beds' column also appears here as a MIPTC companion monthly blog. It's great reading, and well deserving the recognition
No Ticket, No Payment. Unlicensed Contractors Left Out In The Cold.Heaven help you if you don't maintain your contractor's license at all times during construction because the California Supreme Court won't. If at any time during construction a contractor's license with the Contractor's State License Board lapses or is otherwise invalid, the homeowner or commercial builder doesn't have to pay.
It doesn't matter whether the contractor is in substantial compliance with the licensing requirements.
It doesn't matter whether the contractor was partially licensed while performing work on the construction.
It doesn't matter whether the contractor was licensed before starting construction.
It matters only that the contractor was in full compliance with all licensing requirements all the time.
The Supreme Court has put its collective feet down on this one, and toughened up prior law that allowed a contractor to recover if the contractor had been in substantial compliance with the licensure laws of Section 7031(a) (the article in this link has now been superseded by the decision in MW Erectors, Inc. v. Niederhauser Ornamental and Metal Works Company, Inc.).
The Supreme Court had given us a fairly good idea that it was going to take tough stances against contractors when it decided Hydrotech Systems, Ltd. v. Oasis Waterpark fourteen years ago, and they haven't let up since. They've kept the pressure on contractors, while waiving the flag of "protecting the public" from unscrupulous contractors.
You have to wonder how many of the justices have had problems with contractors, unlicensed or not.
Direct Shipping UpdateThose of you that read or listen regularly know that I am apt to comment on the news of the wine, beer, and spirits businesses. As such, there were a few news items this week that caught my eye.
First, New York and Connecticut have enacted legislation opening their states to the direct shipment of wines later this year. The New York regulations, clearly in response to the Supreme Courtís decision in Granholm v. Heald earlier this year, allow New York wineries to ship their products directly to consumers out of state. Consumers within New York can have wine from out of state shipped directly to their doorsteps from out of state wineries. This change can only have positive ramifications for New York wineries that produce world-class wines but have largely been relegated to regional player status in the world of wine. The other option would have been for New York to keep its borders closed in both directions and not even allow New York wineries to ship to New York consumers. All that the Supreme Courtís holding in Granholm v. Heald requires is equality for instate and out of state wineries. Who wins in that situation? Not New York wineries, not New York consumers, but big New York wholesalers.
On an international note, French vintners plan to distribute bottles of wine along country roads and at toll booths later this month in an effort to alleviate a wine surplus in the country. This clever marketing effort is aimed at vacationers and the vintners hope to raise awareness of the benefits of wine as well whittle down the current oversupply situation. I suppose in France, this effort may be perfectly acceptable since the country has a long tradition of consumption in moderation, but can you imagine the reaction from Mothers Against Drunk Driving if California vintners had tried the same scheme a few years ago during their own glut?
French holiday makers get free wine and we got Two Buck Chuck.