Quote of the Day - In rivers and bad governments, the lightest things swim at the top.
Summer Approaches, Men Worry About Swimsuit SeasonEvery once in awhile, you see news articles on silly laws, and some are actually pretty funny.
But here's one from Cape May, New Jersey, that gives a whole new meaning to summer as swimsuit season approaches.
No, it's not women's swimsuits - it's men's Speedos. The law banning men's tight swimsuits in the beachfront town of Cape has gone the way of ... well, let your imagination fill in that blank.
Some are (rightfully so) dead set against it, and some earn medals.
How would you have voted if you were on the Cape May City Council? Put yourself in their, well, er, shoes. Yea or nay?
Grades Are In, And The Profession CallsLaw school Deans across the country got their report cards last week, and they got A's and F's. According to the Law.com article (last link), the grades are:
"On the positive side:
• 82 percent of students rated their schools 'good' or 'excellent.'
• 82 percent were encouraged to learn by applying classroom theory to practical problems.
• 96 percent posed questions to spark classroom discussion.
• 94 percent found campus library services satisfactory or better.
• 76 percent were satisfied with their schools' emphasis on law practice ethics.
On the negative side:
• 63 percent of students said they received scant support in job placement.
• 56 percent had not participated in pro bono or volunteer work.
• 56 percent incurred $60,000 or more in tuition debt.
• 32 percent never have substantive discussions with faculty outside of class.
• 18 percent said they "never" received prompt written or oral feedback from professors."
A ringing endorsement, and a ringing condemnation. Looks like the Deans have their work cut out for them. Is that it? Do we rely on the Deans? As lawyers, are there things we can do?
Well, to counter the negative grades, how about:
• Assist law school grads looking for jobs
• Encourage pro bono work in the practice of law
• Set aside a percentage of first-, second- and third-year salaries to pay down debt
• Act as a mentor for law school students
• Assist law students in the study of law and legal writing
Consider contacting your local Dean, and pitching in. The profession is calling.
Spitzer Sues Software Supplier Stopping SpywareYour hard drive just took one step closer to you, and away from others trying to deposit spyware there. New York Attorney General Elliott Spitzer sued Intermix Media, alleging that the company installs spyware on our computers, an successfully had some four million downloads in New York alone.
Intermix, a Los Angeles company, posted this news item on its website, which mysteriously noted that an Intermix spokesperson had no comment. So much "no comment" that it didn't even comment in the AP story it posted on its own site, but it did have this to say about that, posted elsewhere on its site:
" 'Many of the practices being challenged were instituted under prior leadership, and it has been voluntarily and proactively improving these applications and related consumer disclosure and functionality for some time.' Intermix ceased distribution of the applications at issue earlier this month, it said."
In other words, "we used to do it, but not anymore."
My hard drive is pleased. How about yours?
The New Biology Is Here, But Are We Ready?While I was in law school, some of my classmates worked on a model set of laws to address the new biology. They even worked on euthanasia. While discussing the issues with them, the one thing I remember is that there are no easy answers.
Take, for example, creating babies to treat family ailments. In England, five Lords of law ruled that it is acceptable to create designer babies to type tissues and create sources for material that may be missing in other family members. Then, that tissue will be harvested later and used to treat those family members.
Some Englanders want to stop the practice, and not allow parents to create babies in a test tube that provide this missing material.
I won't even pretend to have answers to these questions or even know the questions to ask. Is it as simple as if we can, then should we?
Cutting And Growing Trees At The Same Time - What Framed Your House?Up here in Humboldt County, logging and lumber drive the economy. The other side of the spectrum wants to ensure old growth trees are preserved, not cut down.
My daughter has been playing soccer for the Humboldt Lumberjacks, four years as a sweeper, and two years as an assistant coach. The team has done well, and Julie has enjoyed the school and especially the area.
Over the years, I've watched with some interest the ongoing battle between logging and conservation, wondering if there is any hope of resolution for the two extremes. Obviously, I'm not going to solve it in one blog post. Maybe if I had a half-hour TV show, but that's an entirely different story.
Maybe, however, there is a place to start. This past week, a San Francisco jury did just that. They awarded $1.00 for injuries suffered during a 1997 protest over logging when deputies swabbed pepper spray in the eyes of protesters who chained themselves together. The protesters claimed vindication, and the deputies claimed that they caused no damage.
Split the baby.
It's not an acceptable resolution for every situation, but perhaps here. Loggers need to cut trees to earn a living, lumber mills and yards cut and sell it for profit, and you and I live in houses made of it, the whole reason for the cycle in the first place. Likewise, the redwoods are certainly beautiful, and deserve protection.
Can we develop an acceptable plan to do both? Can we cut trees to fuel home growth and at the same time preserve old growth? Do we need to pull up the plank and stop home construction all together? Or can we make sustainable growth not amount to an impossible oxymoron?
All The Romance Is Gone From DuelsHere in California, we're about to add serial numbers for handgun bullets. In Florida, you're not required to retreat if you fear for your life or serious bodily harm.
Two ends of the same spectrum, ostensibly trying to solve the same issue: crime.
I'm not sure which is better, and which is worse. I guess it depends which end of the gun you're on. So let's take a look at both barrels.
Senator Joe Dunn introduced the bullet serialization bill. He claims "SB 357 will strip criminals of their anonymity and give law enforcement evidence it can use to quickly and effectively solve more gun crimes." Let's think about that.
I have serial numbers on my stereo, cell phone, computer software, vehicles, heck, even my dollar bills (I checked the ones in my wallet. All but one had a serial number on it.) Like my blog posts, my Walther PPK has a serial number on it. Should bullets be any different? The Gun Owners of California have put out an alert, claiming it will increase the cost of ammunition.
On the other hand, what is the cost of crime?
What about the Wild West of Florida? If you're packing heat, then you can use it if you're accosted. Many police organizations, including the Florida Sheriffs Association, Police Chiefs Association and Florida Police Benevolent Association supported the Self-defense bill, now law.
As quoted in the April 6, 2005 Tallahassee Democrat, Miami Beach Representative Dan Gelder (D) argued against the bill, claiming that "it legalizes dueling. It legalizes fighting to the point of death, without anybody having a duty to retreat." If they have serial numbers on those bullets, we'll be able to tell who killed who in that duel.
At some point in time, you would think that we as a society could move beyond using guns, and stick to fighting words. Me, I like target practice, but I prefer the ones with circles instead of bodies. I don't carry a gun to keep me out of trouble, or, for that matter, at all. I'm also not simplistic enough to think that I'll never get into trouble where I might need a gun, but it's not worth it to me to carry a gun all the time just to protect against that one time I might need it.
But if I travel to Florida, I'll have to give it some thought. Really makes you think about Disney World a little differently, doesn't it?
Just don't butt in line in front of anyone.
Riffles® Roundly Rebuffs Ruffles'® Ridges.I wrote this post just to be able to write that headline. There were not enough stories out there today using the letter R. So, I thought I'd round up a few.
Turns out that Pepsico lost a battle in the EU. The European Union's Court of First Instance denied Frito-Lay's application to the EU to trademark Ruffles across the entire EU (decision not yet published).
Seems that there's a German potato chip known as Riffels that could result in consumer confusion.
There'd be way too many R's.
See MIPTC From Outer SpaceSure there's Google maps, and it's certainly cool. Click on "satellite" on the upper right hand side of the page, and you've got live pictures. You can even see the home of MIPTC right here in Newport Beach. Links to the location can be had just by clicking on "link to this page."
But it gets better.
Check out Keyhole. You can fly in from outer space to the address you pick.