Quote of the Day - Sure, winning isn't everything. It's the only thing.
The Legal Race At The Athens Summer GamesThe Olympics are here again, this time in Athens, the site of the original games. But you already knew that.
You also know that with the Olympics come the disputes between medal winners and those who test positive for drugs.
How do all these disputes get resolved? By the Court of Arbitration for Sport, of course. You didn't know? The Court is now twenty years old this year - first established in 1984. The Court has offices in Athens during these games, and has permanent offices in Australia and New York, with its head office in Lausanne, Switzerland.
It is separate from the International Olympic Committee, but receives funding from the IOC. It's a tough court that rarely decides in favor of the accused athlete, although there are some famous examples. Remember Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati? He appeared before the court in 1998. Even though he tested positive for marijuana at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, he was allowed to keep his gold medal. Dude!
U.S. Sprinter Torri Edwards is next to determine wither she can race in these summer games. She tested positive for a banned substance, nikethamide, and has elected to appeal her suspension. If she fails, she may be banned from sports competitions for two years.
Law is everywhere - even as our athletes race around the track.
Dick Morris Comes To TownDick Morris, who runs vote.com and is President Clinton's former political adviser came to Newport Beach. He spoke this morning to the New Majority.
After the speech, he spoke briefly with MIPTC, and had this to say about the New Majority. You'll need Windows Media Player to see this video.
Yes, it's a first for MIPTC, a video blog or video blawg - (how about vlawg?) for you to see. Certainly, Dick Morris' speech was entertaining - he quipped that he believed that "President Clinton was a pretty good president from the neck up."
But more important, he had some solid ideas for the Republican Party. How about this ticket for the upcoming election: President George W. Bush, Vice President Colin Powell and Secretary of State Dick Cheney?
He also suggested a change in the Republican platform. Reduce our dependency on foreign oil and the money used to support terrorism by instituting the hydrogen car. And, get serious on the war on drugs to reduce "narco-terrorism." Reform our immigration visa policy and crack down on those who overstay their visa period.
A very interesting talk. He signed his book, Rewriting History, and talked about his new one, not yet out, called "Because He Could," his take on President Clinton. If you want my notes from his speech, send me an email.
Another Two Cents Worth for Sarbanes-OxleyHere's a shocker: the cost to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley is twice what companies originally expected. And it's not lawyers who are responsible. OK, maybe a little responsible, but not completely.
The costs are 62% higher than expected. Factors contributing to the cost increase include a 109 percent rise in internal costs, a 42 percent jump in external costs, and a 40 percent increase in fees charged by external auditors. Information technology costs have added over a million dollars to compliance costs.
What can be done? Beyond the normal efforts to keep costs down, not much. Compliance costs. Otherwise, talk to Senator Sarbanes or Congressman Oxley.
You can at least give them your two cents worth.
India Lawyers Strike for Better Working ConditionsI'm all for supporting my fellow lawyers, but I didn't know we were unionized. I guess they are in Europe, and perhaps in Canada. But not here. We haven't had that motivation yet.
But in India, it's another story.
Not only are the lawyers there union members, they also go on strike.
For more money, you ask? No, it seems they're looking for better working conditions. The courts in India are building a new Justice Wing. To replace an old one, of course. Seems the court building is one of the largest in all of Asia, and new facilities are in order.
But the lawyers there aren't satisfied. "The section of the Rohini court building is still unfinished. There is no parking space, no proper lawyer's chamber and no litigant's room. How can they ask us to shift [over] there [from the old courthouse]?" asked a spokesperson for the lawyers.
So what would any self-respecting union member do? Go on strike. After all, wouldn't you be upset if you didn't have a parking space and nowhere to work?
It's not the first time India's lawyers have gone on strike. Apparently, now it is illegal for lawyers to strike.
Thus, this strike has resulted in the arrest of the striking lawyers. 300 of them, and there are apparently more arrests in the wings.
They're serious about these working conditions. At least they don't have this problem. ;-)
Oh, No! More Law Schools"I shoulda gone to law school." You may have said that, or even heard someone else say it. I certainly have.
Now, there are two more chances to get into law school. Florida International University and Florida A&M University have just received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association.
That makes 188 law schools with accreditation to issue the first degree in law, a Juris Doctor. The second and third degrees are an LLM and a JSD. Seven of the 188 schools have provisional approvals, the rest are fully accredited. It's anybody's guess how many non-accredited law schools are out there.
Don't have time to go to law school full-time? Here are some options for online law degrees. There are law degrees available all over the world if you want to travel.
Have you filled out your application to take the LSAT yet?
Trying to Stop Streaming VideoIt's a battleground out there. Here are the players: Bob Berman, counsel for Acacia Media Technologies Corporation in one foxhole, and the Electronic Frontier Corporation and the American Council on Education in the other.
The issue? A patent for streaming media.
Acacia claims it owns (i.e. bought) the patent, and 48 colleges and universities use streaming media to deliver classes to the masses. Acacia initially went after adult entertainment sites (provide your own link here - I wouldn't dare to presume). However, in a preliminary ruling in Acacia's dispute with adult entertainment sites last month, a federal judge ruled that several terms in Acacia's patents were indefinite, a verdict that could weaken potential Acacia cases against other streaming video users.
Here's Dennis Crouch's take on it in the Patently Obvious blog.
The schools are crying foul, claiming that they don't have enough money to pay every patent holder that comes along. Berman, on the other hand, claims that "many colleges have patented technologies that their research departments have gotten issued," he said. "On the one hand, they like the revenue they make from their patents. On the other hand, they're saying we should allow them to ignore ours."
ACE and EFF have advised the schools not to pay. Acacia says it will sue.
Any bets on who picks up the gauntlet first?
Rhett Rolls Over In His GraveLate last month MIPTC covered movie filtering. It's now taken a step further.
The House Judiciary Committee just approved movie filtering legislation.
It's on to the full House from here, and then later, on to the Senate if it passes the House. Family organizations are solidly behind the Family Movie Act. Free speech advocates are against it.
Conventional Wisdom indicates that approval is forthcoming. Sabrina has some great links on the subject.
Imagine scenes you're used to. "Frankly, my dear [Scarlett], I don't give a bleep."
It's a brave new world out there.
Blame McDonald's? Try Blaming Your ForkAdmittedly, I used to be overweight. Ok, fat. All right, obese. Within a couple of points of diabetes.
I've admitted to it before. Back in September. Good news, though, I've lost 25 pounds. Off to a good start. Just a few more (say another 25+ to go).
But, as you know from looking around, I'm not the only one. And, there a lot of Plaintiff's lawyers who try to help overweight people blame others. Like McDonald's. And, to prove their point, they sue. But as we've already seen, obesity cases get dismissed.
After all, does the responsibility lie with the people that sell us the food, like McDonald's, or the people that put the food in our mouths? (As a side note here, I guess this argument is not much different than the argument over guns and criminals). If they can't sue McDonald's does that mean they next try to sue the farmers?
It appears that Illinois has the solution. No more lawsuits against a restaurant for injury resulting from weight gain, obesity or any other related health condition. Well, that ought to put the responsibility back where it belongs.
Right on our fork.
But not to worry. The government has seen to it that obesity can be covered by Medicare. At least that takes care of those eligible for that coverage. What about the rest of us?
Never fear. Congress is about to pass the "Cheeseburger Bill." No, not Bill Clinton, who loved chili cheeseburgers.
It's the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act.
Raise your fork, and support your Congressperson.