May It Please The Court
Quote of the Day - It's very hard to take yourself too seriously when you look at the world from outer space.
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.
The Consequences of Youthful IndiscretionsIn this age of instant communication, isn’t it ironic that we are required to use even greater caution in what we say and to whom we say it? Given the ease with which I can forward an email or post to a blog, I can convey my thoughts across the room or around the globe. As a student I have to keep this reality in mind when I write. What if a future employer happens to be reading? Should this be a concern and influence what I choose to say? Perhaps, perhaps not, but the reality is it does, especially with interviews looming in the fall.
This really didn’t seem to matter much when the primary form of written communication was the posted letter. After all, how many times have you ever received a letter, read it, written out a new envelope, stamped it, and mailed it on to another person? Just didn’t happen, did it? Forwarding is a different story as a recent Dutch law grad found out. Mis-addressing the email and the power of the “forward” button mean that people all over the world are now familiar with his “career” goals.
As the article reported, at least everyone knows his name.
Can The Supreme Court Look To The World For Guidance?Perhaps this topic is better left to the academics in the crowd, but it seemed interesting, so as a practitioner, I'll put my views up for peer review. How's that for a disclaimer?
It seems that citation to international law has been cropping up with more frequency (see page 21 of the opinion) lately. Justice O'Connor doesn't see it as a problem, but Justice Scalia disagrees.
He argues that the decisional law of, say, South Africa, isn't going to tell us much about the U.S. Constitution. Well, maybe not. On the other hand, the Constitution wasn't created in a vacuum. It was developed, in large part, as a rejection of monarchical law in England. But the founding fathers (and yes, they were all men) didn't just reject English law, they adopted much of it in the interpretation of our laws.
It's called context. Would it be unreasonable to turn to English law for assistance in interpreting our laws? I think not. There's not a lawyer who graduated from law school that doesn't know about Blackacre and Justice Blackstone (see section 77, et seq.).
But if we recognize that many of our laws were derived from England (and, consequently, Roman and Greek law, arguably all the way back to the Code of Hammurabi) where do we stop? Is South Africa just one of the branches that we need to look at in order to understand our own laws?
Depends on whether we continue our history of isolationism. Will the world get any smaller?
Judge Says It All: New York Lawyers Are Noxious ParticlesSometimes news stories are just too good to be true. Take this one, for example. Sure, click on it. Read it first.
Doesn't that headline "Noxious Particles At Law Firm Are Property Damage, New York Judge Says" say it all? Lawyer jokes aside, how much better can it get than that?
Noxious particles at a law firm. Are they talking about the lawyers at their desks? Many would argue that lawyers themselves are property damage.
But to be covered by insurance, that just takes the cake.
Imagine the possibilities. What part of the insurance policy covers the lawyers as noxious particles? Riot? Civil Commotion? Insurrection? War? Famine? Pestilence? I think the judge was a little too narrow minded when he decided lawyers were just property damage.
Seriously, it's good to know that the events arising out of September 11, 2001, are covered by insurance, as they should be. But the headline of that story just pulled me in, and gave me the chance to poke some fun at some of the New York lawyers I know.
Now, it's their turn. Let's see if any of them can take some jabs at the left coast lawyers.
Email After Death. What Are Your Plans?With the loss of Terry Schiavo, there's been less and less rhetoric about what happens after you die. While MIPTC is not going to engage in an existential examination of those issues, there are some more worldly issues to think about.
For example: where do your emails go? I'm not sure whether there's an email heaven or an email hell, but my tech department tells me plain and simple, "They stay on the server."
As unexciting as that response was, there's got to be more to it. Think about it. You're still being spammed after you die, and presumably others who don't know that you died may still be sending you emails, despite whatever that etiquette/protocol may be.
So there is email after death.
But the question from the link above about where your emails go deserves some inquiry, too. Should your ISP provide your family members with access to your emails? The answer has more than two sides, but ready ones that I can come up with are that your family members are going to go through your things anyway, so what's the difference between rummaging through your files and papers at home and rummaging through your email?
Some say your email is more like a personal journal, where you communicate freely. What if you don't want your family members to see what (or who) you've been writing? After you die, it's too late to destroy those incriminating emails. I'm not aware of any self-destruct mechanisms built into email servers, so unlike Mission Impossible, that tape isn't going to go up in smoke.
People who have really planned ahead may have included dealing with emails in their wills. [Side note here: is email "property" that you can transfer by will to someone else, or provide for the destruction of email, if that's your wish?] Admittedly, my will doesn't deal with email, but then again, my emails may put my family to sleep.
Perhaps the easiest way to deal with it is through the email provider. Kind of a check-the-box thing. And when I die, I'd just like to go naturally, without anyone reading my emails. How about you?
Blogher, Blogyou, Blogme. Blogthere. Got That T-shirt, too.In case you wonder where Wonder Woman went, wonder no longer. She's right here. As you can undoubtedly tell from the picture, I'm a WASP. Plus, I'm male. Which means, "I don't get it."
That said, if you're a blogher, then you will want to visit this site, and sign up.
Or, you can just be a girlie man and avoid the whole thing.
P.S. Here's an update. Keep those cards and letters coming.
It's A Wonderful Life: Paul Was Appointed PostmasterYou may remember MIPTC's holiday story on Paul Pimental.
It was Christmastime last year, and Mr. Pimental - who had worked in the small, one-room post office in town for eight years - said goodbye to the patrons. He had apparently been passed over for the position of Postmaster. Paul had always been really nice to my Mother, frequently hand-delivering her mail to her before she had time to get to her box.
My Mother, a force in her own right, started a campaign in her small town on Cape Cod to have Mr. Pimental appointed as Postmaster of South Harwich. She took action, as only my Mother can.
Spending a long time on the telephone, she tracked down the person who made the decisions who to appoint as postmaster, Bill Peterson, and bent his ear. She started a write-in campaign and got a petition going. She told me about it, and I wrote a piece on Mr. Pimental on MIPTC. Other bloggers wrote in, too, as apparently many others did as a consequence of that story.
Well, it turns out that Mr. Pimental got his interview with the powers that be in the New England Post Office.
Although it would have been nice to write about at Christmas, it's welcome news nonetheless. Mr. Pimental has been appointed Postmaster. Paul related the good news to my Mother yesterday, and thanked her for her support. During the interview, Mr. Peterson read to Paul every letter that had been sent in, including the story that MIPTC ran. Mr. Peterson said he had never experienced such an outpouring of support.
Congratulations are due all around. Thanks to your support, South Harwich has a much-wanted Postmaster who's proud to do his job, and glad that it's a wonderful life.
Are Lawyers Too Long-winded?How many words does it take to regulate cabbage?