May It Please The Court: Weblog of legal news and observations, including a quote of the day and daily updates

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Quote of the Day - The top of the hill is but the bottom of another mountain. - Unknown
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American Bar Association Names MIPTC In Top 100 Website List

May It Please The Court takes a bow with thanks to the American Bar Association for naming this blog/blawg in its list of Top 100 websites by lawyers for lawyers

You can go to the site to see the entire list, and vote for your favorite blawg in a dozen categories.  Of course, I'd appreciate it if you'd check the box for MIPTC.

After all, you'll probably need some practice before the upcoming presidential elections in 2008 - so vote early and often.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 17:30. Comments Closed (0) |

Sorry, Your Honor, That Name Is Taken

Scalia Picks Another Title For His New Book

From one author* to another, MIPTC wishes to thank Justice Antonin Scalia and his co-author, Byran Garner, for not choosing this blog's name as the title for his upcoming book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.  The trademark for this blog's title is taken, and it belongs to this author.'s Tony Mauro, Supreme Court reporter extraordinaire, informs us that Justice Scalia briefly considered using May It Please The Court for the title of his yet-to-be-published book, but elected otherwise because the name was already in use.


I can't imagine sending a Cease & Desist letter to Justice Scalia.  Imagine, indeed.  After all, it just might end up displayed on Chilling Effects, let alone the possibility that he might mention such a letter the next time I appear in front of the Supreme Court.  That appearance has yet to happen for this Supreme-Court-hopeful-litigator, however.  Someday.

But I might not be the only one complaining.  Leonard Rivkin, the author of the actual book by the very same name, May It Please The Court, could also have something to say.  He (or his publisher) owns the copyright to that title.  Although I haven't talked to Mr. Rivkin about it, I suspect he wouldn't worry as much as I would about sending that letter to the good justice.  Mr. Rivkin is slightly more experienced than Justice Scalia. 

Apart from this near miss, Mr. Rivkin and I agreed long ago that he would allow me to use the May It Please The Court title for this blog, and in return I agreed to promote his book over there on the left navigation bar. 

I suspect that had Justice Scalia or Mr. Garner asked, the four of us would likewise have been able to work something out.   That's right your honor, just give me a call.  Happy to talk with you about it.  949-833-3088. 

Right.  That's going to happen . 

In the meantime, you can buy  Mr. Rivkin's book while you're waiting for Justice Scalia and Mr. Garner's book to be published.  Their new book will certainly be a bestseller among lawyers, judges, law professors and students.  They're both tremendous legal writers, at least in this humble writer's opinion.


Stay tuned to this space for an upcoming announcement of a book by this author. 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 21:58. Comments Closed (0) |

Happy Thanksgiving

MIPTC wishes you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving, and don't forget now that you've seen the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, it's time to watch Miracle on 34th Street, just to get ready for the holidays.

Next year, we'll all have to remember the new law passed by Congress this year.  No Christmas decorations are allowed up until Halloween and Thanksgiving are both finished, but in no event earlier than December 1st.  There's a $10,000 fine, a year in jail and a lump of coal in your stocking if you violate the law. 

Just kidding, of course, but don't you wish?

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 00:56. Comments Closed (3) |

Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Settles the Score with Vioxx

Just last week, Merck & Co. decided to settle tens of thousands of claims for $4.85 billion from patients who took took the powerful painkiller Vioxx.  Please join me and my fellow co-host and blogger Bob Ambrogi, as we talk to the experts and take us inside the Vioxx settlement.

This week on Lawyer2Lawyer, we welcome back Attorney Thomas V. Girardi from the law firm of Girardi & Keese and a new guest, Attorney Leigh O'Dell, a member of the Vioxx Litigation Team for the law firm Beasley Allen, as they discuss the Vioxx Settlement, Merck's strategy, reaction to the settlement and the future of Merck and the drug industry.  Don't miss it!


Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 17:14. Comments Closed (0) |

Pet Trusts Come Into Vogue As Pets Get Old; Retirement Homes, Too

Nine lives or not, cats get old.  Dogs, apparently too.  And when their owners get old, pet owners may go to a retirement home.  Don't look now, but there are also retirement homes for pets themselves.

That's right.  Fluffy and Fido can live the life of luxury in their wheelchairs. 

Don't get me wrong here, I've pretty much had a pet in my home since I was born.  From a Cocker Spaniel to a Springer Spaniel to a mutt cat to a Bengal cat.  Some have come and gone with various relationships, some died and some ran away.  But a retirement home?

Surely they do not jest.  Just run a search on your favorite search engine, and you'll likely find plenty of results, like Rita's Purrever Ranch Sanctuary in Tennessee, which by the way offers a handy-dandy Pet Guardian Form, just in case your favorite pet doesn't have one.  And don't miss out on Rita's Mewsletters

Speaking of guardians, how's your Pet Trust coming along?  Pet Trust you say?  They're not just for Leona Helmsley anymore.  As a matter of fact, there's an entire site dedicated to estate planning for pets, along with the advice that the IRS won't tolerate a charitable remainder trust for Spot.

Not to worry, though.  The site also features a state-by-state listing of pet trust statutes you can review to determine if your state  is pet-friendly. 

While there are a significant number of people who don't have wills or trusts, if you've got a loved one of the furry type, you may want to contact your local lawyer to ensure your pets will be handled according to your wishes if you're not around. 

Otherwise, the fur will fly.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 23:50. Comments Closed (0) |

The Department Of Redundancy Department

This headline from the AP says it all:  "State Report:  Texas Has Too Many Reports." 

Current count places the number of reports at 1,600 that various state agencies must complete according to Texas laws and regulations. 

It only took the Texas State Library and Archives Commission 18 months and questioning more than 170 agencies and public colleges and universities to come up with this conclusion.

And yes, they created a report about it. 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 13:53. Comments Closed (0) |

Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Gets the Skinny on Downloading Music

From musicians speaking out about the effect illegal downloading is having on the industry, to college students being sued, the issue of illegal music downloading is all around us.

Please join me and my fellow co-host and blogger Bob Ambrogi, as we turn to the experts:  Attorney Richard L. Gabriel, from the firm, Holme Roberts & Owen LLP and lead national counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America and Attorney Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney specializing in intellectual property issues with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

On this week's Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we will discuss the ethics behind downloading music illegally, copyright law, the lawsuits brought by the RIAA, the fate of the music industry and alternatives to illegally downloading music.


Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, November 16, 2007 at 15:08. Comments Closed (0) |

When The Fat Pipe Gets Thin

Back when you had to walk to school uphill both ways in the blinding snow, there was dial-up Internet access.  In fact, there may be some readers who remember taking the AT&T handset and squeezing it into two circular rubber holders so your personal computer (the term PC hadn't yet been invented) could warble those analog signals to a big
Cray computer somewhere at NORAD.

You remember War Games with preteen Matthew Broderick, don't you?

Then our kids were born, cell phones were invented, the sun finally dawned on man and the cable companies introduced - taaaa daaa with a drum roll, please - Broadband, with a capital B, thank you very much.  The Internet was born and Wikipedia became The Word.

Broadband, a.k.a. the Fat Pipe, promised and for the most part delivered blazing speeds and fast downloads.  And for the geeks among us, fast uploads.  That is unless you're on the Internet in your time zone from about 4:30 p.m.  to 6:30 p.m, when kids, Dads and Moms plunk down in front of their computers and surrrrrfff the 'net.  All at the same time. 

It's like a virtual traffic jam.  In fact, if you think that's bad, try the weekends when the Internet turns into a parking lot and the Fat Pipe gets thin.  Very thin.

So, it's Class Action Man to the rescue.  San Fransiscan Jon Hart wasn't happy with his download and upload speeds and suspected that his Internet Service Provider, Comcast, was intentionally slowing down his file transfers with his friends.  His friends thought so, too, but they couldn't prove it. 

Then the Associated Press published a report, allegedly validating their suspicions.  Now our hero has sued Comcast, alleging damages from slow Internet speeds and false advertising.  His lawyer wants to turn the suit into a class action.

Meanwhile, MIPTC's cable provider, Cox Cable, is briefly shutting down our Broadband Internet service next week to install a fiber network and replace the Fat copper Pipe.  Here, downloads from the Internet will be like drinking from a fire hydrant.  I guess they'd rather switch than fight.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 23:33. Comments Closed (0) |

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