Quote of the Day - When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Goes to the White House
More than half of the 43 US Presidents have been lawyers! On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we look back throughout history and reflect on the lawyers who used their legal background as a springboard to reach our Nation's highest office, and compare the backgrounds of the current list of lawyer candidates including Clinton, Edwards and Obama.
Join me as I turn to the experts, Dr. Barbara Perry, Carter Glass Professor of Government and Executive Director, at the Center for Civic Renewal at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, Professor Kinvin Wroth, Professor of Law at Vermont Law School and Professor David H. Bennett, Meredith Professor of History at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, to talk lawyer-presidents. Don't miss it!
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Investigates the Don Imus Controversy
On his April 4th show, Don Imus, controversial radio host, went on the air and made derogatory remarks about the Rutgers' women's basketball team that caused a groundswell of controversy. On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we will ask our experts what the legal issues are in this controversy. Are there legal issues or are there social issues that are being debated?
Law.com blogger and host Bob Ambrogi turn to our guests Eileen O'Connor, counsel at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe in Washington, D.C. and 24-year veteran broadcast journalist, Attorney Norman A. Pattis, criminal defense attorney and writer for the blog, Crime & Federalism, and Attorney Sandra S.Baron, Esq., Executive Director for the Media Law Resource Center to discuss the Imus controversy. Don't miss this discussion, and feel free to add your comments below about whether rappers should be held to the same standard as Don Imus.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Saddles Up to the Bar, OnlineSome lawyers can be "set in their ways" or "old-fashioned" when it comes to technology. On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we will take a look inside InternetBar.org and the InternetBar.org Institute and discuss how an online bar aims to shape the future of law worldwide. Law.com blogger and host Bob Ambrogi welcomes board members from InternetBar.org, Jeffrey M. Aresty, Esq., a Boston lawyer and President of InternetBar.org., Amelia "Mel" Rea Maguire, partner in the law firm of Amelia Rea Maguire, P.A and Kenneth J. Vacovec, the founding partner of the firm, Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer. Tune in!
MIPTC's South Seas Journal: Wandering In The Red Sand – Day Eleven
Souvenir stores near Ayer's Rock sell Australian bush (slouch) hats, complete with strings and wine corks dangling from the brims. It admittedly looks odd, until you've been outside and understand the purpose. Blow-flies (we call them horseflies) swarm around your face, landing wherever they can find moisture.
The strings and wine corks are meant as a distraction, and apparently work fairly well.
But not as well as mosquito netting, which I found as an amenity in my hotel room and promptly took with me, having been outside long enough to get off the plane and to the hotel. The purpose of the green netting was immediately apparent, even though the odd-looking bush hat was not.
The flies are a distraction at most, but for someone who's lived in Southern California for long enough to appreciate the lack of virtually all bugs, it's very noticeable. Beyond silly-looking hats, there's another way to avoid bugs: wind.
When it's hot, there's not much wind available where the land is flat, as it mostly is around Ayer's Rock. Thankfully, however, there are some nearby mountains that offer some respite. For sunrise, our guide takes us on the Walpa Gorge Walk, a stunning walk into the Olgas, also known as Kata Tjuta in the aboriginal language.
The mountain range is actually some 36 domed rocks; mystical heads to the aborigines. There are many Pitjantjatjara Dreamtime aborigine legends associated with this range, including one about a great snake named Wanambi, who lives on the summit of Mount Olga and only comes down during the dry season. Thankfully, it was still wet when I was there.
The gorge is mostly flat, and a thin, mostly stone path leads toward the crevasse point along the two-kilometer path at the base of the gorge, looking up to sandy red sedimentary mountains towering overhead and in between the two tallest domes in the formation. Quite different than Ayer's Rock where the layers are at 90 degrees to the ground, the sedimentary layers at the Olgas are parallel. Interestingly, the two mountains are less than half an hour drive apart.
Only a geologist knows why they're so different.
The Olgas are not as bright red as Ayer's Rock, but they're certainly stunning. The gorge walk features running water across the rock path, steep cliffs that rise straight out of the ground and deep, circular pock-marked walls overhead. It's a bit unnerving to realize that the pock marks are actually car- and bus-size boulders that have eroded out of the conglomerate sediment, and ended up on and near the path where you're walking. When you have a moment to look down, it's immediately obvious where the round boulders came from, and that you're in the way.
Another feature of the gorge is the differential in the temperature, which provides relief from the flies. The gorge is shaded in the early morning and stays that way well into mid-morning, so it's much cooler than the surrounding area. As a consequence, the wind blows, and blows hard. So hard, in fact, that the flies can't. The relief is almost instantly obvious, and allows you to enjoy the scenery without the distracting of buzzing around your ears or near your eyes.
As the morning progresses from sunrise, long, diagonal shadows crawl centimeter by centimeter toward the ground and back toward the crevasse point. Now we can see lizards and goannas sunning themselves, waiting to feast on an errant fly. By the end of the walk, the sun highlights the red rock, and the warmth greets us as we walk back to the starting point at the edge of the gorge.
If it's not windy in the gorge when you arrive, you can always try the other (and much longer seven kilometer walk) in the Olgas, the Valley of the Winds. There are no flies there, for the most part. Otherwise, your best alternative is the Great Barrier Reef.
MIPTC's South Seas Journal: Wandering In The Red Sand – Day Ten
The blue and green that color the Great Barrier Reef change dramatically as we travel inland to and arrive at Ayer's Rock, located just about in the center of the smallest continent of the world. Small is a relative term. Australia is about the size of the United States, if you're looking for a comparison, but despite that singular similarity, it couldn't be more different.
The colors of the reef shift to the red earth and blue sky of the desert. It's a pervasive red, visible just about everywhere other than the sky, which far from overshadows the red of the earth and The Rock. Ayer's Rock juts straight out of the ground, tilted on a 90 degree angle from the earth. The rows of sediment belie the angle, visible clearly from overhead.
Just take a look at the photo in the last link, and remember the iceberg rule applies equally here: you can see only part of it above ground. It continues deep underground for some five or six miles. The four clustered hotels of the resort around the exposed part of The Rock are dwarfed in comparison, despite this exaggerated, wide-angle view.
But it's not The Rock, the view or the red that strikes me. It's the spiritual nature of the rock. The aborigines call it Uluru, called so by the Anangu aborigines. I'm not sure why it's called Uluru, the aborigines don't put their stories in writing, but instead pass them down from generation to generation. Nevertheless, the Rock is a stunning monolith.
The Anangu request that we not climb the rock because it crosses one of their dreaming tracks, so we refrained, and instead walked around the bottom and enjoyed the 15 km trip over several days, and even took a helicopter flight around (not over) it and flew around some nearby mountains to get a better perspective.
While you and I can get in a plane and see the ground from the sky, the Anangu art gives us the same perspective, despite the fact that when these aboriginal dot paintings were first made, no Anangu had ever flown.
Beyond the art, there's much to see on and around the National Park, and in between, we stayed at a wonderfully quiet hotel, with a phenomenal view of the Rock. Our walking tour guides from the hotel included those who had spoken with the Anangu to learn their stories, which they in turn related to us.
The stories are amazingly imaginative and relate directly to the Rock, explaining the formations, caves and cave art, water holes and the sunrises and sunsets. The stories involve mythical beings who in the form of animals help form Uluru and the surrounding areas. One anthropologist, Charles Mountford, did some fifty years of research on the Anangu and then published a book containing the stories, Nomads of the Australian Desert, which was promptly banned in Australia by an Australian court-issued injunction because it described rituals sacred to the Anangu, including photographs, and put their stories in writing.
MIPTC won't make the same mistake. But you can ask me about it ....
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Clears Up E-DiscoveryToday, e-discovery has become vital to attorneys and to their law businesses, however, some misconceptions exist such as Microsoft Vista's effect on e-discovery. On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, Bob Ambrogi talks with the experts, Stephen D. Whetstone, Esq., VP of Client Development & Strategy for Stratify and Attorney Craig Ball, trial attorney and computer forensics examiner, to weigh in on the misconceptions of e-discovery and what the future holds for e-discovery. Hold on a bit longer for MIPTC's return to Lawyer 2 Lawyer next week.
MIPTC's South Seas Journal: Not So Much Downtime In Cairns – Day Nine
My body sways back and forth as I walk around. It's not due to alcohol; it's seven days on a boat in the Coral Sea. I'm standing perfectly still. It's the rest of the terrestrial world that's moving.
The dive portion of the trip is behind us, and as you likely know by now from my previous eight posts, I'm sorry to leave the Great Barrier Reef behind - I could have spent another week diving. But I'm glad to be off the boat.
Mike Ball's SpoilSport dropped us off at the dock, and the staff's apologies flowed because the boat lived up to its name. The retrofit of the boat planned to end just before we got on didn't, and instead of two diesel engines to power us out to the distant Osprey Reef, we had only one. Consequently, the crew spent time finishing the repairs to the boat, and the trip was slightly delayed, as well as several other minor disasters. Despite the "rough seas" of the start, the Great Barrier Reef lived up to its name and I'm more than pleased to have had the opportunity to dive there. Next time, it'll be Tusa's Spirit of Freedom instead, or better yet, the Four Seasons Explorer liveaboard in the Maldives.
One can always dream.
But I'm back on solid ground in Cairns (pronounced by the Aussies as something close to "Cans" with a very slight "R" thrown in before the "N") at the Shangra-La hotel and enjoying the view of the boats tucked neatly in their slips in the nearby marina. When the short, tropical rainstorm hits midday, I'm all the much more enjoying lunch under the covered deck just behind the hotel. As most tropical residents say, if you don't like the rain, just wait a few minutes.
As quickly as it comes, it goes. The bright warm sun pops back out from the grey clouds and provides a wonderful double rainbow, complete with an in-between Alexander's band to highlight the difference between the two. I'm glad, too, because tonight we're heading to the Cairns Zoo for the swaggies are out and about at the zoo; our hosts are full of music and tall tales. But like most Aussies, they back up what they say. Our zookeeper climbed down into the crocodile cage and giving his best imitation of Crocodile Dundee, he got a large, 18-foot croc to jump up out of the water and snap at him, while he deftly stepped back just in time to avoid two rows of one-inch teeth coming together with over two thousand pounds of pressure.
It's a show, that's for sure.
At the zoo, the night owls fly around, the fruit bats dart between the trees looking for insects, but it's the Koalas, Kangaroos and joeys that steal the show. We're allowed to hold and pet the Koalas (their claws are very sharp) and the Kangaroos and Wallabies hold us, trying to take honey bread out of our hands with theirs. Very small and their "cuddly cute" belies the power behind those feet.
A fitting end to a wonderful dive trip - seeing the fish that swim on the land.
MIPTC's South Seas Journal: Underwater In The Great Barrier Reef – Day Eight
The Lizard Island pickup of divers new to the boat is complete and the tsunami is a distant memory. We're off to Cod Hole. I know the fish as a Grouper. Cod, as far as I'm concerned, is what comes from the Atlantic's Grand Banks and goes into Mrs. Paul's fish sticks.
But we're in Australia south of the equator and west of the International Date Line, and most everything is different. And yes, in case you're interested, water going down the drain swirls counterclockwise. I know. I saw it.
Most of the fish I've seen here I've never seen before. It's been an amazing experience. Imagine floating just a foot of so away from a venomous Lionfish, with its myriad poisonous fin spines fully extended, watching as it waits for prey, oblivious that I'm behind it, off and to the left. I'm nowhere in its way, and I know better than to get in its way. Aside from the danger, it's a stunningly beautiful fish. Its multiple, elongated fins extend nearly ten inches from its body, erect and flapping in the current like a flag rippling in the wind.
Nature. You just can't duplicate it.
Anything big enough like that, you stay away. Another clue is a bright color, like Fire Coral, which very aptly makes the point that you shouldn't touch the reefs. Not only will it likely hurt, you're damaging the basic building blocks of the ocean, which eventually provides food to you and me.
If you like fish, that is.
Personally, I prefer shellfish, but my point is the same. Perhaps someone should put up big signs underwater that say, "Look, but don't touch." "If you break it, you buy it." The breakage cost is like the MasterCard commercial: priceless.
But you can't stop the fish from touching you. Especially the big ones, like the Potato Cod. Let me give you a little bit of setup here. The dive boat has an underwater videographer as part of its crew. She dives with us and takes video of our dives so we can remember what we saw, for those of us with short memories.
We've both been diving for awhile, so we understand underwater hand signals. While we're diving together, she motions me over closer to a rather large and (I learn later) friendly Potato Cod. She get the obligatory 15 - 20 seconds of video of me somewhat close to it with my knees on the sand, and I move away from the Cod, who apparently thinks I'm there to feed it. As I move up and away, it moves closer to me, going after my hand, which holds a black snorkel I found in the sand, lost by another diver.
About 50 feet deep, I swim away up to about 35 or 40 feet, and the Cod disappears. Or so I think.
My first clue should have been that the videographer is still filming me. At the time, I don't quite understand why she's still zoomed in on me and the little red light is on, but when I watch the video later, it's for the comedic effect.
Unbeknownst to me, the Cod is not to be dissuaded. It thinks I have food, and it wants to be fed. As I swim away, the Cod follows underneath and behind me. Are you catching the irony here? I don't see the Cod, but the videographer is in front of me, finning backward. She see the Cod, and she knows what's going to happen next, but purposefully doesn't signal to me.
I move along slowly toward the videographer, as does the Cod, but it instead approaches in stealth mode, just a bit faster than me, and rises up underneath me. I'm at 35 feet, it's at about 36 or 37 feet, but I still don't see it. I'm looking ahead, smiling at the camera, parallel to the sand floor, head looking up and straight ahead.
I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.
I continue to swim toward the camera, and still unknown to me, the Cod does, too, but still out of my sight. Apparently now understanding that I have no food and don't intend to feed it, the Cod gets frustrated with me and decides to let me know.
The camera is still rolling.
Still underneath me but only by about a foot now, the Cod gives one big push with its fins and body, turns its large body sideways and reaches up to give me what I can only describe as a fish kiss, and plops its big lips right under my chin, giving me a head butt.
I react quite as the videographer expects: a very surprised jolt back and up, and the Cod, quite satisfied now that I understand it's presence, slowly swims away. I'm the one who looks foolish now.
Video to follow, once my dive gear arrives. Check back periodically in the next few weeks, and I'll post the video, too.
Film at 11.