May It Please The Court
Quote of the Day - This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
Play Ball! Your Congress At Work.While driving to school this morning I heard an interesting story on NPR reporting that the United States House Government Reform Committee has issued subpoenas to a number of current and former major league baseball stars to testify regarding steroids. What exactly are our Representatives up to? I may be wrong, but the last time that I checked steroid use in baseball wasnít a matter of national security, wonít fix Medicare or Social Security, and probably isnít even a matter of pressing national interest.
Who is Congress trying to appease? With the exception of a very small percentage of the population, I would suggest that sports are simply entertainment. When I go to the ballpark, I want to see the game and enjoy the atmosphere. I am not worried if the second baseman has too much pine-tar on his bat or the right fielderís glove is an inch too big. I have heard the argument that baseball has to be cleaned up so that our kids arenít following ďjuiced-upĒ role models. How many of them will be tuned-in to C-SPAN for the hearings anyway? I am sure you know my guess and those who do tune in and actually take note probably aren't the kids your representative is concerned about anyway.
Here are the men and women we elected to run our nation spending their time and our tax dollars investigating our national pastime. As much as I hope that each and every sporting contest that I watch is inherently fair, I donít expect Congress to insure it. This is a matter for baseball to take care of internally. If they donít, fans leave and baseball suffers. Eventually, baseball either fixes the problem or it becomes hockey I say let the market take care of sorting this out and let Congress get back to some real work.
Don't Want To Learn Your Lessons? File Suit Instead.Maybe it's hard to imagine with the East Coast swathed in snow, and perhaps even harder to remember back to high school.
But think back to summer vacation. Pause with me a moment here. Remember back to the day you bolted out the school house doors in June, with three months of bliss in front of you, and no Mrs. Howell.
Then, you get a homework assignment. Actually, not one, but three. And, long ones, all in pre-calculus. Instead of three months of no school, a high-schooler in Wisconsin got these three assignments to do over the three-month summer vacation, most likely due one a month. Apparently he didn't want to do the homework, so he filed suit. He and his father thought he should concentrate his time on his summer job as a camp counselor.
I went to law school because I don't do math. I was way over my head in differential equations. That's why I have some sympathy for this kid who filed a homework lawsuit. The judge who heard the case thought there was a reason the people in the state elected school boards.
Why didn't I ever think of a homework lawsuit when I was in school? I could have shut Mrs. Howell down in an instant. It's a good thing my kids are all in graduate school, or after reading this, they'd be bugging me to file one for them.
The suit, as you have already surmised, was dismissed and the judge told the high-schooler to do his homework. Think the high-schooler learned his lesson?
Ninth Circuit Clears The Path For A Decision Perhaps Already MadeWhile some are complaining about the work ethic of Gen Y and they're expressing their opinions, the Ninth Circuit is busy discussing the law.
That discussion yesterday returned to the continuing saga of whether a business owner can be personally liable for the civil rights violations of his employees. Here, a real estate agent allegedly used racial epithets in denying an interracial couple the opportunity to buy a home. The case has been up and down the appeals route, all the way to the Supreme Court and back, now once again before the Ninth Circuit.
The Supreme Court overturned the Ninth Circuit's holding that the business owner could be held liable, but left open two questions:
In talking about an tangential issue on discipline of brokers, the Court said: "[t]his personal obligation is independent from that of the normal responsibilities of a corporate officer or of the corporation itself. This is a direct personal responsibility on the part of the officer/broker ... "
Read between the lines here: the Ninth Circuit wants to make law, and it would appear that they're ready to hold (again) that a business owner can be individually and personally liable for the civil rights violations of her employees. We'll see, but that's my prediction. We should be able to know in a few months.
In the meantime, if you own a business, you may want to check your company's insurance policy to make sure you're covered. Better yet, if the Ninth Circuit holds that owners are personally liable, check your homeowner's policy. The lesson in any event: make sure you're covered.
The Attackers Support The UnderdogDisclaimer here: I used to work for a big conglomerate (AT&T) before it was broken up. Post-Bell System, I still believe in the value of big. Microsoft does most things well, like AT&T did. But not all.
This is about one of those.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Word drives me batty. It won't format documents easily, and no one has been able to teach me that tab, indent and paragraph interface.
Don't get me started.
Well, just one little comment about the delete block function (I'm not willing to call it a feature). Does Microsoft have to ask twice about everything? ARRRGH!
So, it was with some pleasure that I see the Department of Justice is buying WordPerfect from Corel, not Word. The government is spending $13.2 million for 50,000 licenses for WordPerfect. You may remember the DOJ's attack against Microsoft for its alleged anti-trust activities.
With rumors of WP's impending demise, this news is a welcome relief to the long list of lawyers who love WordPerfect.
Microsoft needn't worry, though. It sold $2.8 billion of Microsoft Office software in 3Q 2004, and the DOJ still buys MS Office for about $150/copy.
Small victories are apparently hard to come by.
MIPTC Co-blogger Wins Best Advocate AwardDad is proud, very proud indeed. My son and co-blogger, Michel J. Ayer, was just named "Best Advocate" in the University of Iowa College of Law's Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. He had the highest score for his "memorial" (brief) and highest score for oral advocacy. He said the win "caught [him] off guard."
He and his four teammates will begin preparing this fall for the 2006 Midwest Regional competitions held next February. The regional winners will advance to the International finals that are traditionally held in Washington, D.C. in March, 2006. Right now, though, he's basking in the award he received at last night's dinner ceremony. The competition is sponsored by the International Law Students Association.
Can you tell my buttons are bursting? Way to go Michel!
The Week In Review VlawgYou could read each of the posts from this past week, or you could just click on the Vidcast icon below (for those of you reading this post via RSS, you'll have to click over to visit the website).
If you do, you'll catch this weblawg's author, J. Craig Williams, vlawgging his way through this week's posts.
You don't even need 3-D glasses. The videocast will play on your Windows Media player, version 8 or higher. If you use Real Media Player, scroll down to the post below.
The Week In Review Vlawg - Real Media Player VersionThis videocast will play on your Real Media Player. If you use Windows Media Player, scroll up to the post above.
The Rally Cry? Don't Clog My Blog.Blogfather and Professor Eugene Volokh has this to say about that. Volokh's article is a good read, as recommended by she who skis too fast (a.k.a. Surfette or to most of us as Lisa Stone).
Is mainstream media is a "clog" to news? Do we really get credible, truthful reporting of the news coupled with full disclosure?
Blogs, on the other hand have been accused of creating a blogswarm. Blogs have attacked mainstream media, and they don't like it. Sure, the house of blogs has a lot to clean up, and there's no shortage of opinions on how to do it.
As the good professor said in the first link to this post, "... blogs' criticism of media outlets may annoy some journalists, but it's good for the media as a whole. Just as media scrutiny helps make government more honest and competent, so media critics, including bloggers, help make the media more honest and competent. And because bloggers also criticize each other, they make other bloggers more honest and competent, too." Blogs have opinions, too.
In the long run, does mainstream media have any more credibility than blogs, or is it that we're both making the same mistakes?
Here's the message to mainstream media: Don't clog my blog.
But the message to blogs, too, is that we need to watch our own ethical behavior. Then, and only then, can we truly stand heir to the mantle of journalism.