Monday, October 31, 2005

Inspiration from geniuses of metal

We here at SoTheBearSays have decided to add a new segment to our ever-expanding coverage of Finals '05. This one's called "Power Balladeers on 1Q Law School Finals." I hope you find these pearls of deep experiential wisdom as helpful as I did.

"Every rose has its thorn
Just like every night has its dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song
Every rose has its thorn."

-Poison (On How Much I Know You'll Miss Civil Procedure Whilst You're Hating Your Life For Four+ Hours Of Test)

"And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain, ohhh yeahhh
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain"

-Guns N' Roses (On Waiting For Like Six Effing Weeks For Your Grades To Come Out Sometime Next Quarter)

"I know you know we've had some good times
Now they have their own hiding place
I can promise you tomorrow
But I can't buy back yesterday"

-Bon Jovi (On Those Sad/Happy Few Who Will Hang It Up After This Round Of Tests And Go Into Real Estate, Which Seems To Be The Province Of Baylor Law Dropouts)

Later this week, we may add "White Rappers on 1Q Law School Finals." You think you know who will monopolize the list, but there's this 2L MC out of Lubbock...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A tragedy

A Baptist minister conducting a baptism today in Waco was electrocuted when he reached for a microphone while partially submerged in water. 800 people were in the congregation of University Baptist Church, more than usual due to Baylor's homecoming weekend. What a tragedy. I've seen my father perform hundreds of baptisms, it seems, and I can't imagine the horror of seeing something like that happen. Finals seem unimportant.

UPDATE: UBC has a message about the accident here.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Newsflash: Iowa State still sucks

First I got to watch Iowa State-Nebraska on ABC instead of USC-Arizona State. Now I get to watch Iowa State-Texas A&M instead of USC-Washington State. Can't we all just say "yeah, the Big XII is down this year" and cut away to the Greatest Show on Turf? Please.

Fortunately for me, I'm doing nothing but reading for Consumer Protection.

Friday, October 28, 2005

BizOrg Remix

My post last night about pre-exam whatnot inspired me to sample myself of an earlier vintage (yeah, that sounds wrong), and so here's my new Hymn Before Action, BizOrg remix:

When Snood scores have been bettered, and outlines memorized,
When all your thoughts by BizOrg have thus been terrorized,
When no more consolation can e'ermore be derived
From reading, just say "screw it," and try to shut your eyes.

But when two seconds later, you find yourself awake,
When no sweet dreams are coming--with nightmares on the make,
Just think, it's almost over, our statute-laden wake,
It’s Millertime, then football, then two more left to take.

When scanning this from Mancorp, or skimming that from Code,
"Is this TUPA or TRPA?" you say, just don't explode.
The answer and its cousin, the peaceful inner road
To "maybe" can be summoned, with patience as its goad.

When LLPs and LPs and LLCs converge,
And cases run together, or rather when they "merge,"
Don't fret and frown and gasping begin to sing your dirge,
Instead just wink and smile and step back from the verge.

There's worse, or so they tell me; there's T&E to fear,
And please, which is the fun one—the first or second year?
So though you may be frightened, you must still persevere,
Your Baylor debts require a Baylor law career.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of BizOrg...

It's Finalstime at Baylor Law School, a unique solstice-like Bacchanalia of tedium, self-doubt and bloodshot games of "seriously, stop wigging out" in the student lounge (if you're a 1Q) and the library (if you're some other form of 1L). For me, it means the first set of exams since the FedTax/ConLaw whatnot of last February. FedTax is like reading a Mongolian phonebook. BizOrg is like hearing a Mongolian phonebook-on-tape while reading another Mongolian phonebook still wondering if they really have phones in Mongolia. Just go with me on this.

But I know what you're thinking, "please, Chris, tell me more about your particular worries over partnership blah blah corporate blah blah withdrawal of a member." I know that I've got a lot of readers about to go into their first round of law school exams, and they're looking to me to give them a little advice. (Really, I swear they are.)

So here it is.

Perspective is hard to come by in law school--that is, without having had some crazy meltdown to get it--and it's even harder to find in the first quarter/year. Remember, above all, that you are much more than your performance on one, two or three tests. (But four, yeah, you're pretty much equal to that. So bomb Contracts II, and you're finished. Just kidding.) Also, if you haven't heard by now, Baylor grades like Simon Cowell at open mic night, so calibrate your grade expectations accordingly. Trust me, it's better to consider that of your own volition before having your I've-been-smart-my-whole-life self rationalize your grade the day after it's posted.

Also, don't let the pricks out there freak you out. I speak from experience, having been one of the pricks who tried to freak people out. What follows is a solemn confession. My first quarter, around finals, I would spend a fair amount of time studying in the law school, either the lounge, hallways, or library. Like many, I made my flashcards, consulted outlines, and pored over my flowcharts of "choosing the proper court." But I also had whatever John Grisham's latest piece of regurgitated tripe was with me as well. When I could hear or see someone coming up to say hi or ask a question (which people will do if you sit in one place long enough), I'd surreptitiously pull out my novel and start reading it like I hadn't even planned on thinking about joinder. I don't know if it freaked anyone out or not, but I've seen classmates start panicking over a lot less just minutes before the exam. And then there's the suit on test days. And the big blog poems the night before tests. So yeah, it was immature, pointless and more than a little assy. But hey, I'm just saying to you now, don't get flustered by anyone claiming or even seeming to know more than you. You're all going to be screwed in the end, anyway. Haha. Just kidding about that one, kind of.

p.s. If you're still thinking about dropping out, be a pal and take the tests first. Falling on your sword for the sake of the curve is a noble way to go.

So anyway, BizOrg is tomorrow, and then it's on to Consumer Protection, which is like reading a...

I found Freddie

So here I am studying at the hoppin' MCCfest known as Beatnix Coffee, and who do I see but the creepy "I found Freddie" woman and her husband, who own a local body shop. I consider this the biggest celebrity sighting since that time I once gave a quarter to Pauly Shore by the on-ramp to the 110 freeway.

(for the record, they're the two in the middle)

Single malt Roberts

Fellow USC '03 grad (and now Notre Dame 2L) Brendan Loy covers the Miers withdrawal with typical aplomb. My favorite part:

"I have to say, although I have consistently and passionately argued that Bush should pick the most qualified person out there -- male or female, white or minority -- I am decidedly turned off by the idea that he might now feel that he suddenly doesn't need to pick a woman because he "already picked one" and she got rejected. The truth is, Harriet Miers was, by far, the least qualified woman on his short list. If picking a woman was important before the Miers pick -- and I don't think it is, but Bush seemed to think so -- then it's still important now. The logic that "I tried picking a woman and it didn't work" is repulsive, in light of Miers's obvious underqualification for the job. It's like saying "I tried beer and didn't like how it tasted, so I'm sticking to hard liquor from now on" when the only beer you've ever tried is Pabst Blue Ribbon.

That's right, I said it: Harriet Miers is the Pabst Blue Ribbon of female SCOTUS candidates. :)"

But Brendan, I like PBR.

Good luck, AdLaw teams

Good luck to the Baylor Texas Administrative Law moot court team, which leaves for Austin later today. With Prof. LAPP and Mrs. CrimLaw on our side, it's hard to imagine how it's even fair, but I guess we have to let the other schools compete. Knock 'em dead, and remember, it's "Madam ALJ, and may it please the Court."

While they're competing, I'll be taking a BizOrg final on Saturday. Yay.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Top Ten things...

...I probably shouldn't have put on my T&E course evaluation.

What is good about the instructor?

10. Has as much judicial experience as Harriet Miers.

9. Has the uncanny ability to make me feel dumb for breathing.

8. Throws his hands up in the air. And waves them like he just don't care.

7. Would ask Jesus or Einstein "is everybody with us?" too.

6. Makes us read a case in which he is cited...and doesn't mention it. (seriously)

What could be improved about the course/instructor?

5. Convene at titty bar.

4. Challenge Prof. Contracts to a freestyle rap battle.

3. Hand out a well-drafted example of every kind of clause you would ever need in a will, and then help me count my money.

2. What the hell kind of name is Gig?

and finally...

1. Teach Practice Court (just kidding!)

What's on tap

For the upperclassmen who want to be in the best position to ask me for my autograph (and all the creepy internet stalkers I have), I thought I'd let y'all know what I'm taking next quarter. Next quarter actually starts two weeks from today. By that time I will have taken three finals and already come back from the moot court competition in San Diego. Scary. Anyway, here's what I'll be up to:

Federal Courts: Prof. Fed Courts also happens to be Prof. LARC III, as well as my moot court coach. Luckily, it's a Tuesday, Thursday, Friday class, so there are at least two days between when the Nebraska Cornhuskers might lose and when we'll have class. A perhaps valuable buffer.

Antitrust: I've never had this professor before, who I believe also teaches Negotiable Instruments. It's the most interesting class (to me) in its timeslot and will come in handy as I build my urinal cake empire when I graduate from law school.

Insurance: My readers (at least Mrs. CivPro) will be excited to witness the return of Prof. CivPro to the blog. There's been a real paucity of classroom action around here since I left Civil Procedure, and if anyone's going to bring it back, then it's going to be the bete noire of the first year faculty. Well, not my bete noire, anyway.

Those are my only three actual classes. One day a week, I'll be doing an externship in Austin with SOAH (the State Office of Administrative Hearings)--yes, it's on purpose and not under duress--and I'll be doing some research for credit as well. All told, it should be a pretty good quarter. Then comes Practice Court in the Spring.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Constitutional excitement

After eight weeks of cases dealing with the death penalty, abortion, and religious drugs in Supreme Court Seminar, tomorrow I get to present the most challenging and controversial case yet: whether law enforcement agents may be liable in a Bivens action for retaliatory prosecution in violation of the First Amendment when the prosecution was supported by probable cause. Woohoo.

Moral of the story: don't transfer in after the quarter starts and the cases have been divvied up or risk getting the next Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp. For the record, that deals with what legal standard governs the decision whether to award fees and expenses under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) upon remanding a removed case to state court.

Really though, my case isn't bad, in fact, I actually like's Bivenstacular.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Vote for Photoshop!

It's SBA election time again, and the candidates are tripping over each other to make the most postmodern, self-aware, absurdist campaign posters. And I love it. It makes the DB-MissTexas secretarial election of yesteryear look like a solemn debate. And if you remember DB's Uncle-Sam-on-acid poster, that's saying a lot.

In any case, vote today and/or tomorrow for your SBA officers, because without your vote, um, really important stuff will, um, happen anyway. The one reason that I've ever found truly compelling when it comes to why you should vote is that SBA controls the softball (and other leagues, I suppose) playoff schedules and seedings. Get the wrong people in there, and suddenly you're Auburn watching the Orange Bowl (which is where USC killed Oklahoma 55-19, in case anyone forgot).

I will once again refrain from endorsing a candidate for any office, not because I have scruples, but because nobody asked. Nobody offered me anything nice either. I like cookies. And money.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Go Astros!

Bills, Trailblazers, Braves, Knicks, Wolverines...Cardinals. Welcome to Chokerville--Jim Kelly, Mayor.

The precision of the law

B induces T to execute a will in favor of B through fraud or duress. What is H’s (the heir’s) remedy? A constructive trust.

B wins 50 bucks of H’s money from T on the pig races at the state fair. What is H’s remedy? A constructive trust.

B pollutes the Brazos River with styrofoam peanuts and motor oil. What is H’s remedy? A constructive trust.

B is a jerk. What is H’s remedy? A constructive trust.

B is in law school and learns that every damn thing is apparently subject to the whims of a judge who can recite an equitable remedy or two. What is H’s remedy…?

The always reasonable messageboard guy

I've never been a real participant in the sports messageboard thing. It always seemed like a place for people who completely agree with each other ("[our school] is the greatest!!!!") or completely hate each other ("[your school] sucks.") to lob invective. Then there was USC-Notre Dame, and I realized that there's a place for people who hate each other to lob invective! Anyway, I saw this gem on an 'SC messageboard from a guy who backed out of going to his buddy's wedding last weekend because it was, you know, last weekend:

"I have always said that the best week to get married is the week of the major league baseball all-star game. There are no other major sporting events that week so you'll never have to worry about a conflict with guests and anniversaries. If a girl wants a fall wedding she isn't worth marrying. Period."

I don't necessarily endorse that view, but it struck me as funny. Seriously, summer after the NBA playoffs and College World Series is just plain empty. That is, when Kobe's not busy allegedly raping someone. It's like a BizOrg-T&E-FedTax-a-thon that isn't over until the Southeastern Louisiana Polytechnic v. Akron showdown that all of us starving football fans watch with relish because it's on ESPN's new Wednesday night college football coverage. Go SELPU!

Still the champs

It was close, but the Taints were just too attenuated to subdue the Defending Champs. Nevermind that that doesn't even make sense. In a hard fought game whose final score was 14-11, the Spring 2004 starters once again showed that our batting averages are higher than our GPAs. With Jo Mama going yard three times, lefty BR daring the defense to shift by going opposite field then pulling it down the rightfield line, and the stifling second base play of Ms. Foreign, it was something close to a clinic at times. Just ask Synthesizers shortstop Gaveup McSeventeenruns. "Yeah, they're pretty much the greatest softball team I've ever seen, especially that blogger guy. Damn, he's annoying," said McSeventeenruns. His team had the pleasure of losing to the Defending Champs in the semifinal, a defeat he blames on "that Curly-Haired Guy who plays third base" as well as the "dizzying good looks" of the one they call Wordy. Said Synthesizers secondbasewoman Wegot Shutout, "I don't know, it's just something about can't take your eyes off him. It's probably the goiter."

Whatever it was, it was taken away in the final innings of the finals when I had to leave for moot court practice. I left with the game in hand at 13-6 and later found out that without me, the Taints had managed to scrape together a comeback. Said Taints leftfielder Seriously Theyretoodamngood, "When Chris left, then we thought we finally had a chance. Sure, he was 1 for 3 on the night, but he's just got this aura about him that makes us play horribly. It's probably the goiter."

That's right, it's the goiter. And it's coming back for flag football this winter.

Congratulations to the last full incarnation of Spring 2004 softballs teams. Like Notre Dame, Nebraska and the Pac-10, the rest of law league softball will finally have a chance to grab a win or two next year when we graduate most of the starters.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

So I'm a little behind the curve

How did I not find out about this blog a long time ago? Another Baylor 1L blog with the balls (and requisite depravity) to curse? How can this be? Alas, it died an untimely death, and it leaves me wondering if that's because the blogger dropped out or was found out. He or she should be in BizOrg and T&E with me...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Softball playoffs tomorrow

The semifinals will be at 7 o'clock with the finals immediately following. If the top seeds prevail, look for a rematch between the undefeated Attenuated Taints and the one-loss Defending Champs for bragging rights. Um, 'cause yeah, we brag. It's Law League Softball, and that's just how we roll. Last year's final was truly one for the ages, with the good guys winning in extra innings.

The real question, though, is whether or not to shower before 9:15pm moot court practice...

Stewie, Brian, and the Ling Case

So what did the court say? Was it reasonable? Hm? Was there something about the stock that the corporation put in fine print? Hm? Was there? Was it something about a condition of its sale? Was it? Was it something that's known by a shorter name, perhaps? Hm? Was it right of first refusal? Maybe? Was it option of first purchase? Hm? Was it reasonable?

If you watch Family Guy, then perhaps you heard a little something funny in BizOrg today. God bless the leading question.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

They awakened the echoes...

...and then we put their asses to bed.

Fight On, Trojans!

Friday, October 14, 2005

The seventh barista

This afternoon, I'll be serving on a seven-member panel of barristers in a semifinal of the Hawsom & Todd intramural moot court competition (I don't know which one, so call off the Dr. Phil jury-consultant guys). I take my barrister ritual blood sacrifice and oath of confidentiality very seriously, so I'll only divulge these five questions that I plan to ask. Evade them at your peril, and I promise you--oh semifinalists who want my vote--that baiting Prof. CrimLaw to ask you a question so he'll run out the clock will not work. I'll just get on the megaphone.

1.) Doesn't petitioner really want to turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose?

2.) What is the most useless comment a barrister's given you this competition...bonus points if you quote someone on this panel.

3.) Don't you think I look good in green? It totally complements my eyes.

4.) If your second point were an extinct amphibian, what would it be and why?

5.) Who do you think "the others" are, and what will happen if no one enters the numbers into the computer every 108 minutes? Bonus rebuttal follow-up: Isn't that new blonde castaway the cute female lead from the cancelled Fox sitcom Titus?

Be ready. I'm sharpening the blade already. And in case you haven't yet, read Marbury v. Madison a couple more times.

Calling my shot, again

No, I haven't been DWAP'd. But I have been very preoccupied recently with trying to figure out how best to get called on in T&E. Oh wait, I'm apparently managing just fine at that. Yesterday, I was singled out yet again, and this time managed semi-coherence on self-proving affidavits and the like. As my revenge, let me take this opportunity to ruin the trivia question for generations hence and congratulate Prof. Torts on her law review article that led to Chapter 59(b) of the Texas Probate Code. Hah. Take that. Don't worry, professor, I'll sit on the who-wrote-our-intestacy-laws tidbit.

An interesting theory for my recent starring role in the T&E variety show was espoused to me this week. Perhaps Prof. T&E is waiting for me to say "Sic 'em, Bears and Notre Dame sucks" when called on, and keeps giving me the opportunity. Perhaps, though I doubt it. However, in my ongoing attempt to prove that the faculty suite is always atwitter with gossip of yours truly, let me say now that if Baylor and USC both win their games tomorrow, then I will say it if I get called on Monday. Is this like challenging God to show Himself with a lightning bolt to the head? Maybe. But it's also a way to keep T&E interesting.

Not that it's not interesting, of course.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

All good things, etc.

Was it the fact that I was late to class today? (We'll call that "constructively late," since it was 2:13 on the clock on the wall when I walked in.) Was it that someone told Prof. T&E that I had all but dared him to call on me? Was it that the professor himself realized that he had twice skipped me when descending upon my row?

Whatever the case, my luck ran out in Trusts & Estates today, and it ran out with a own 25-minute tenure as question-answerer guy, in fact. Moreover, I was called on as "Mr. Fahrenthold," and only later in our dialogue did I become "Chris." Perhaps since I missed class twice since the brief was filed, he felt we weren't yet on a first-name basis.

When I heard my name, my heart jumped and I babbled back some nonsense about disclaimers and post-death assignments while I scrambled for the statute. Luckily, I found what I needed and was fine for the rest of the session. He didn't move on, though, for a long time. Long enough for me to wonder if it was punishment or recompense or both. Ah, the life of the self-absorbed law student with a blog. We assume that, in the end, all roads must lead to our own notoriety.

But all's well that end's well, and class ended with me asking a question about a hypothetical killing spree. Gotta love T&E.

In chambers

According to this article, Harriet Miers is being vouched for by Justice Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court. You may recognize Justice Hecht's name from like a billion opinions in Torts, T&E, etc. Since I'm ever-so-scholarly, I tend to focus on the important issues, like...the fact that Justice Hecht has apparently dated both Harriet Miers and federal appellate judge (and Baylor alumna) Priscilla Owen. What a pimp.

Monday, October 10, 2005

And you thought Harriet Miers was unqualified

In Linda Greenhouse's book Becoming Justice Blackmun, there is a reproduction of Justice Harry Blackmun's transcript from Harvard Law School. This is the most amazingly encouraging thing I have ever read about taking the long view of law school grades. Just think, you can get a C in Constitutional Law and still sit on the Supreme Court!

First Year:

Civil Procedure -- B
Contracts -- C
Criminal Law -- C
Property I -- D
Torts -- C

Second Year:

Bills & Notes -- C
Equity II -- D
Evidence -- C
Property II -- A
Sales -- C
Trusts -- D

Third Year:

Conflict of Laws -- C
Constitutional Law -- C
Corporations -- B
Property III -- A
Public Utilities -- B
Suretyship & Mortgage -- B

Needless to say, he didn't make the law review.

I'll do it, I swear

In honor of Baylor winning its first Big XII road game in, well, ever, and the now-annual drubbing of the Irish by Matt Leinart this coming Saturday, I'm going to preface every answer given in class today with "Sic 'em, Bears, and Notre Dame sucks."

Consider this me calling my shot.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

As Lost waxes...

...ABC's other sophomore blockbuster wanes, or rather, sucks.

Seriously, Desperate Housewives is beginning to blow. The need to solve one enormous secret made me forgive the shoddy acting, shameless melodrama, and utterly unsympathetic characters. Lost managed to keep us guessing and yet had substantial dramatic value in the meantime.

The jury's still out on ABC's other shows-Chris-watched-last-season, Grey's Anatomy and Boston Legal. Boston Legal seems about to succumb to the tell-tale sign of a David E. Kelley show beginning to spoil...cast shake-ups. Notwithstanding my massive crush on Ed's Carol Vessey, this may be evidence of a suckfest right around the corner. I'm hoping not. Grey's Anatomy might pull it out, and it seems poised to occupy the preeminent hour-long medical drama slot now that E.R. is finally going to make like Dr. Green did a long time ago and die.

Um, yeah, I'm like reading BizOrg and stuff.

They finally broke me

I haven't read a novel in about a month, since I finished Walker Percy's The Moviegoer sometime around the first time I managed to miss a 50/50 marital property question in T&E...twice. What? It's not community property? Okay, no problem...and then Prof. T&E takes about two minutes socratically getting me back to the same question, in answer to which I said, again, something like "special community property." How does that happen? Anyway, that's the long way to say that Baylor Law School has finally gotten the better of me.

My life as a reader who happens to spend a few hours a day in law school are (at least temporarily) behind me.

I've tried starting NYT Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse's newest book Becoming Justice Blackmun recently (that is, yesterday), and hopefully that will slowly lead back to my grossly irresponsible outside reading schedule. In the meantime, the TUUNAA (no joke, it's a statute. say it, it's fun) and everything ever written about the Fourth Amendment and illegal aliens will have to suffice.

Damn law school. Just wait 'til next quarter. It's Middlemarch in Fed Courts and War and Peace in Insurance.

You guys know I'm kidding, right? I'll save it for adjuncts.

Friday, October 07, 2005's the new pink

Inspired by the Watson & Sodd Moot Court Competition, I’m getting the urge to sponsor a moot court competition of my own, in the name of the blog. But I want to make it the most difficult, confusing, and consanguinitiously awesome competition ever, so…I give you:

The SoTheBearSays Trusts & Estates Moot Court Competition

The entry fee will only be $5 per team and will cover the cost of “refreshments” for the judge(s). Those judges will be, of course, myself, Prof. T&E, and Res Ipsa, the Loquacious Midget. (“Chris, nobody gets that inside joke anymore or ever thought is was funny.”) The super lame fact pattern with a Harry Potter theme will be forthcoming, but I’m considering the following questions for cert:

1.) Can a muggle adopted by a wizarding family take upon intestacy in the same proportion as the wizard child of the muggle’s aunt, notwithstanding § 41 of the Texas Probate Code: “In situations where the inheritance passes to the collateral kindred of the intestate, if part of such collateral be of the whole blood, and the other part be of the half blood only, of the intestate, each of those of half blood shall inherit only half so much as each of those of the whole blood; but if all be of the half blood, they shall have whole portions.”

2.) Something insane dealing with § 38(a)(4) of the Texas Probate Code: “If there be none of the kindred aforesaid, then the inheritance shall be divided into two moieties, one of which shall go to the paternal and the other to the maternal kindred, in the following course…and so on without end, passing in like manner to the nearest lineal ancestors and their descendants.”

I can only imagine the hilarious attempts to explain in oral form, much less via a “roadmap,” inheritance issues, especially when the author of the fact pattern can make it as convoluted as possible. It almost makes me want to actually write one… Almost, that is, but not quite. If it ain’t per stirpes, it ain’t worth my time.

But really, where are the common law moot court competitions? I know we have state (and federal diversity) appellate common law opinions, because they’re pretty much all we read in common law classes. Come on, guys, what do you say we do a fun negligence or equitable estoppel problem in the Spring?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Yeah, it was me

So, in case you were wondering who kept laughing whenever Prof. T&E said "per stirpes," yeah, it was me. But really, it rhymes with herpes. And herpes is always funny.

Trust me, I'm a barrister

So yesterday I barristered a round in the Quason & Slod intramural moot court competition. It was a good round--both parties were prepared, and it was a pleasure to listen to the argument. There were, however, a couple of exchanges that left me feeling dissatisfied with the state of our LARC program. I reproduce them here, on pain of Honor Code ninjas parachuting into Consumer Protection this afternoon to give me DTPA paper cuts in the webbing of my toes. "You've got webbed toes?" Yeah, so what.

Petitioner: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please--

Me: That'll be enough of the cute stuff, counselor. Get to the part of the argument where you tell me why you should win.

Petitioner: Yes, Your Honor, I apologize. Petitioner respectfully asks that this--

Me: Whatever, you bore me. Tell me why the Eighth Amendment doesn't prevent forced watching of Caroline in the City reruns until the prisoner's eyes bleed.

Petitioner: What? That's not even in the case, this is a case about the--

Me: Horrible. Get back to your roadmap smoothly.

See what I mean? They just didn't have that poise, that confidence with the law and facts that polished oral advocates should have. Everyone should be able to take the slightly "out there" questions and use them as a way to pivot back to their main points. And to show that I'm a truly evenhanded judge, here's a clip of the one shoddy part of the resondent's argument.

Respondent: I see that my time is up, may I briefly conclude?

Me: No, you may not.

Respondent: Very well, Your Honor. For the foregoing reasons, we respectfully ask--

Me: What part of "stop now" don't you understand?

Respondent: But I was just sewing up that sentence.

Me: When I ask you a question, private, you answer it. What part of "stop now" is incomprehensible to you?

Respondent: But you didn't say "stop now," you said--

Me: I know what I said, I don't need to have the court reporter read it back to me like I'm a child.

Respondent: Yes, judge, I'm sorry, and thank you for your--

Me: Colonel Jessup, did you or didn't you order the code red?!

Respondent: Yes, I think they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in hayul!

Me: No further questions.

Seriously though, you've got to take barrister comments with a grain of salt. You're a captive audience, and we feel like we get to talk about how great we are for having made the break--all in the guise of giving you tips. Take what helps, and ignore what doesn't. You're going to have to separate the two, because I can almost promise you that at some point in the competition, one of your barristers will contradict another. In sum, we're full of it, but listen to us anyway. We might give you a super comment that helps you win the next round...or will at least save you a bunch of money on your car insurance.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Karma, baby!

So I guess I'll be trampled by rabid rhinoceri sometime tomorrow to make sure this all evens out. Yesterday, my entire row was called on in T&E except me. Last week, the same thing happened to my immediate neighbor and me. Since I told the prof that my neighbor refused to go in with me on the needlepoint "Probate This!" wall hanging I gave him, however, he corrected that little mistake, and I was the only one remaining un-called-on.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful for the complete lack of attention (I mean, he consulted the damn seating chart like three times!), I couldn't really enjoy it for fear of getting caught unawares until he got to the other end of my row. I mean really, I had it rough there. Have you tried to look roughly the same height and color of a law school chair? It's difficult.

Law school sweeps week

I thought it was a little early, but I suppose the quarter system has its own Nielsen ratings schedule. That must be the case, because it’s apparently sweeps time in 2Q required classes, when “the network” pulls out all the stops and has very special crossover episodes. Think of Rachel and Monica dating the doctors from ER or when a cop show leads to a trial on a lawyer show. Or that one time that SpongeBob and Patrick were on the season finale of 7th Heaven. No? You didn’t catch that one?

Anyway, “Tootsie,” the tramp and often devisee of T&E infamy, has turned up in a BizOrg hypo. One wonders if BizOrg’s Amanda, Claire and Eric’s ACE corporation (or partnership, or whatever it is that day) will appear in this afternoon’s T&E. It really makes you think about how many times Prof. Contracts and Prof. CrimLaw have killed each other, how many car accidents Prof. Secured Transactions has been in with Prof. CivPro, and while we’re at it, how many times Prof. Secured has sold puppies.

It proves that the fastest way to get a cheap laugh out of law students is to make a self-aware joke at the absent professor’s expense.

p.s. "Mancorp" is a funny case name.

Shameless melancholy

The hall was quiet in the way it is five minutes into the next class period, when professors have sternly if informally silenced the preliminary squawking by consulting the seating chart. It was empty, for the most part, as well.

But then I saw a large group of first-years clustered around the door of one of the classrooms, neither crowding to get in, nor bottlenecking on their way out. They were standing and sitting in an arc facing the wall focused around something or someone I could not see. I wondered what it could be—are LARC memo grades now being posted outside classrooms? Even if they were, though, this group was so respectfully silent that I knew it was not the cacophony of what’s-my-grade-what’s-my-grade. No, they were respectfully silent, the way one is with…a professor.

As it turned out, they were clustered around an impromptu post-class session led by Prof. Contracts. There they were, present for the “Sermon on the Couch” on what I imagine is “acceptance varying the offer” or some such thing, or if you prefer, studying at the feet of Gamaliel. Amazing. Perhaps my class bore the mark of Cain or something (somehow, I’ve got a biblical theme going with this post), but I can’t imagine that happening in my first quarter.

Given Prof. Contracts’ impending retirement—and the possibility that it will come before I take Professional Responsibility—I find myself wishing I had gotten a chance to know him better. Though I didn’t know it when I saw them there in the hall, listening, asking questions and nodding, I later realized what it was I felt.

I envied them like you do your younger sibling who you know is your parents’ favorite.

Monday, October 03, 2005

An alias?

Now, on days when I'm a total sack and don't post much of anything, I've got the perfect filler. Random picture post! Yay! Picture! Yay! Hooray Beer!

So...I ask you, is this the head coach of the "Wow we beat Baylor in overtime at home" Aggies?

Or is it Prof. T&E? (albeit a little heavier)

Brief torture

The bluebook sucks.

Slip opinions suck.

Dot leaders suck.

Having too many absences to comfortably skip BizOrg and T&E when I haven't slept yet really sucks.

More after we file the brief this afternoon, I swear.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

He just wants a hug

Like this guy to the left, let me welcome you to the brave new world in Baylor Law School blogging. That's right, I've read my FAQs and learned how to post pictures, which is like, um, totally hard and stuff. ("That's what she said.") Anyway, I was trying to think of what would be the best picture for the inaugural post, and after ruling out ultrasound images of myself and blueprints to the Pentagon, I decided that it should be the postmodern ursine monument that sits in front of the law school. Technically called "Spiritwalker," it's more widely know as "the gummy bear" or Stan, as I call him. If anyone happens to have pictures of the bear from the day of the FedTax final--if you know what I mean--please email them to me. So, now that I've got picture power, there's no telling how inappropriate this blog can become.