Quote of the Day - That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.
You Don’t Have To Like The Court, Just Respect ItI happened to run across this article on the decline of the public’s image of the Supreme Court and wondered is this really a bad thing? The article states that 57% of those polled now possess a favorable view of the Court compared to over 70% a decade ago.
Is having a favorable view of the Court as important as respecting the Court and its judgments? I would venture that there are many people, organizations, and even places that we all don’t view favorably yet we still greatly respect.
The Court is faced with making difficult decisions that are often incredibly divisive and typically divided along political lines. With a nation that is nearly perfectly split between the two major parties, is it not amazing that the Court has a favorable rating above 50%?
Had the persons polled been asked whether they respected the Court, the percentages may have been the same but I suspect that the respect rating would be higher than the favorable view rating for the reasons stated above. Although slipping favorability ratings may lead to an eventual decline in respect for the Court, it must be remembered that the Court has existed for centuries through traumatic, unstable, and divisive periods and continues to endure.
The appointment of justices for life may lead to great debate and drama when appointment time is at hand, but for the vast majority of the time, this process helps insulate the Court from wildly gyrating political and public pressures. In the long run, I have little doubt that the Court will continue to be well respected and for the most part “favorably” viewed.
Podcasts Are Back. With A Vengeance.Several months ago, MIPTC ran out of room on its server, and switched to a new one.
In the meantime, we've had a number of technical glitches to overcome, the most recent of which was cats chewing microphone wires. But, we're through that and several other quagmires.
Now, podcasts are back. All 100 or so missing podcasts. Because of the new server, we've also got a new podcast feed, so if you've been one of MIPTC's regular listeners, please make the switch to our new feed. If you haven't been enjoying MIPTC's podcasts, we'd like to invite you to give a listen.
What Can You Do With A Law Degree?That headline is not an existential question, it's the title of a book, by Deborah Aaron, now deceased. Her publisher, however, sent it to me to review. So, review I will.
The book is a great resource for anyone asking the question that's the title of the book. All the way from career development, recognizing change, developing skills for a job hunt and alternative jobs.
Basically, the book answers the question it asks with a open-ended response: you can do anything with your degree. The best part of the book is not the book itself, but the six appendices. Here are the titles:
1. The 7 Lawyer Types & Their Career Options
2. Online Job-Search Resources
3. Career Counseling, Testing & Online Self-Assessment
4. Job Options, Inside, Outside and Around the Law
5. Opportunities for Transforming Your Practice
6. Index to Legal Organizations Online
But what I'm going to do with my law degree is not a question I've got; I already have my answer. That said, I thought the Renaissance Lawyer links in Appendix 5 were tremendously interesting, and certainly ones that Matt Homann may want to investigate and blog about further.
A good question to ask and even better answers in the book.
The 10 MPH Speeding Cushion May Soon Disappear"No officer, I didn't know that. How fast did you say I was going?"
Have you ever had that exchange with a CHP officer?
It probably won't surprise you to learn that there's unspoken grace speed of about 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. No, I'm not advocating speeding, and I don't recommend it. No emails on that topic, please. For the record, you should drive the speed limit.
Especially now, since this survey came out. The various State Governors are likely to have something to say about it. And they intend to clamp down. So don't look for a break.
Insurance companies want you to slow down too, if purely for financial reasons.
But really, a friend of mine (no, not me) who attended traffic school said that statistics show that the average speeder gets there only a few minutes earlier.
Is it worth the risk?
By Not Telling Us, They Told UsAttorneys have often wondered how to get a good motion granted after it's been denied. Now, we know.
Change judges, or ask the Court to reconsider your motion. But wait a minute, CCP 1008 (scroll to bottom) says you have to have new facts, new law or a change in circumstances, otherwise it has to be done within 10 days of the original motion.
Our California Supreme Court says a trial court can reconsider a motion based on its own inherent authority. Sounds a bit like Marbury v. Madison. You know, the legislature told us we had to do it this way, but we like this other way instead.
As I quoted Robert Frost a few days ago, "Isn't it funny that everything the Supreme Court says is right?"
Don't get me wrong here; I'm not complaining. I agree with this decision. It's just that the conclusion of the opinion says it all:
"In this case, the individual defendants filed a new [second] motion for summary judgment ... , which they were not permitted to do. The trial court erred in granting that motion. Plaintiffs argue that this circumstance means that we must order that the case go to trial. We disagree. We merely hold that the court erred in granting an impermissible motion. On remand, nothing prohibits the court from reconsidering its previous ruling on its own motion, a point on which we express no opinion." (Emphasis not in original).
In other words, "you shouldn't have, but nevermind, go right ahead."
Did You Expect Anything Less?AP makes a big deal out of six millionaires on the Supreme Court: Bryer; Ginsburg; O'Connor; Scalia; Souter; and, Stevens.
My question is why aren't the other three: Kennedy; Rehnquist; and Thomas? They each earn over $200,000. By my calculations, that's a mere five years to the $1,000,000 mark.
Add to that book deals, supplemental teaching salaries, and travel reimbursements, and they bring in even more bucks.
And think about it: the last appointment to the Supreme Court was in 1994, eleven years ago. They work a few months out of the year and receive a hefty budget to administer their court. Sweet deal. Plenty of time to manage investments or fill out those financial disclosure statements, the rules for which are longer than most opinions.
These days, a million is almost expected. What would have been surprising? My eyebrows would have gone up if AP had used the b-word for their net worth.
I Can't Come Up With A Headline For This OneTalk about needing a second opinion. A woman in Florida died after receiving chemotherapy for cancer she didn't have.
A jury awarded her husband $8 million.
It was only after the coroner conducted an autopsy that they discovered the tumor she had in her lung was benign and could have easily been removed by surgery. I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV, but didn't anyone think of taking a biopsy?
And doctors complain they need tort reform.
Blawgers As Advertisers? No More So Than The Kentucky Bar Association.For the roundup, start with Lisa Stone. Blawggers, led by Paul Revere (hat tip: Monica) have taken up Ben Cowgill's battle cry. Blogfather Eugene Volkh, Gloucester Bob Ambrogi, Evan Schaeffer and even the good Professor Bainbridge all have great insight into the definition of lawyer advertising in Kentucky.
This isn't the first time the Kentucky Bar Association has been in dutch. In fact, the issue of commercial speech and attorney advertising is a bit mixed up, with the Supreme Court typically allowing the free flow of information to the public.
That's what blawgs do.
Sure, blawgs are advertising, but then again, so is the Kentucky Bar Association website on lawyer advertising. Do they pay a $50.00 fee for their webpage? l bet Ben Cowgill would take their check if they want him to ensure it protects the public.
Seriously, though, I agree that we should Act Like Lawyers, Dammit!. If you don't want to write a separate letter, at a minimum, print out your blawgpost on the subject of lawyer advertising, and send it here:
Attorneys' Advertising Commission Paralegal
Kentucky Bar Association
514 West Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601-1883
or just click on Lori McMakin's email address, and send it in.
But what about the rationale of commercial speech vs. free speech? Where do lawyer's blogs fall on that slippery slope? Is there even a difference between the two? Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion in 44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island: “I do not see a philosophical or historical basis for asserting that ‘commercial’ speech is of ‘lower value’ than ‘noncommercial’ speech. Indeed, some historical materials suggest to the contrary.”
When I first said that blawgs are advertising, I meant it in the broadest sense of the word, and frankly, under my definition, everything is advertising. A minister, rabbi, priest or shaman could use blue sky as an advertisement for the supreme being. But, let's be a bit more practical.
Is the Kentucky Bar Association's request for donations to its foundation advertising? Surely it is. But it's also commercial speech. The Kentucky Bar Association is trying to convince Kentuckians that the entire Bar Association cares about the regular guy. Who regulates the Bar?
The Supreme Court has struck down many restrictions on commercial speech, and essentially, commercial speech is free speech. The Kentucky Bar Association may want to look closely at its own actions before pointing out the speck in Ben Cowgill's eye, if it's even a speck. Ben, like the rest of the blawgers across the country, are entitled to speak freely on weblogs, just like they can speak freely in self-published books.
The web is just a little hard to keep up with.