Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Law Humor

Great post over at barely legal about lame legal humor. This is exactly why I ended the genderiffic series. Once I realized I'd slipped into the "applying legal terms to common situations" trap, I knew it was time to Schiavo the series.

I wonder why it is that people in the legal field always do this. (I'm assuming actual lawyers also do this as well, but hopefully I'm wrong). Is is that we're so caught up in this fascinating subject? Or is that we've been swallowed whole and socialized to act as "lawyers", and therefore my minimum contacts joke is hilarious? Or is it just the inner nerds coming out, and now it's socially acceptable to make wry academic observations?

I've got to go with door #2. As much as I hate hanging out with other law students, the further along I go, the more I lose my ability to talk about anything else it seems. The hot topic of discussion yesterday was how to correctly pronounce "amicus". Prelawschool me would have punched lawschool me in the face. Now? I fight passionately for a-mee-cus.
I really need that punch in the face.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Genderiffic #4- Contracts

If contracts had a gender, what would it be?

From what I remember about contracts, you need to have an offer, an acceptance, and consideration for there to be a valid contract. Let’s figure out the gender of this rule by examining a common transaction: me trying to pick up a girl in a bar.

1. Offer: seems to be clear. I buy her a few drinks, compliment her, and make thinly veiled sexual references. Plus I’m a guy.

2. Acceptance: never clear. However the UCC says that any expression of acceptance can be enough, even if there are additional terms. So in my book, the return flirting and accepting the drinks are sufficient.

3. Consideration: must bargain together and there must be some legal detriment. I submit that the $30 I’ve just shelled out for 3 Cosmos, and the time spent listening to stories about her high school escapades, are sufficient. Her legal detriment? A night with me of course.

However, would this ever be considered a contract? Of course not. There are all these defenses that would shut me down (instead of the usual "casual mention" of her "boyfriend").

-Unconscionability (contract is so lopsided as to be unfair)
-Constructive condition (there was implicitly a 3 date minimum involved)
-Illegality (she’s only 17)
-Misrepresentation (I told her I was a race car driver)

So I suppose that contracts is female. Rigid rules for creating relationships, but lots of escape hatches for when they've realized the huge mistake they've made? Yup, female. Guys are about the easy in, easy out.

[Edit.] This is the end of the genderiffic series. I've just realized that this is the lame kind of law humor that makes me hate my life so much. Sorry to inflict this on you.

Friday, February 24, 2006

5 reasons why the first grade is better than law school

  1. When your professor is sick and a class is canceled, you have to make it up. Usually on a Friday.
  2. When you take your after-lunch nap, the drool can short out your laptop
  3. Instead of gold stars, you get journal appointments.
  4. Recess is still a break, but you now have to prepare for the next witness, and there are no monkey bars.
  5. “Kiss tag” is now called “sexual harassment”

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Genderiffic #3- Professional Responsibility

If professional responsibility had a gender, what would it be?

PR (ethics) is all about avoiding conflicts, creating and defining rules for relationships, the no-contact rule, and fulfilling your duties to others. Oh right, plus you can't have sex with clients. This one is just too easy, I'm not even going to bother. Female!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Harvard squares

I visited my friend who's at Harvard law this weekend. That poor girl. I have never met a sadder bunch of people than Harvard law kids. I guess I couldn't understand her complaints until I actually visited. I mean, I'd met a few Harvard kids before, and they had all seemed ok. Let's just say stats 101 was correct- a small sample size does not give an accurate representation.

Law students who aren't me are generally on the uglier side, and a little socially awkward. This is an unfortunate truth, and yet another reason why I hate law school. Harvard multiplies this phenomenon by about 10. Seriously ugly, seriously awkward. Plus everyone is wearing a collared shirt under their sweater. A big night out at Harvard is a beer at the local bar, a discussion about Alito, and in bed by 1am. Yikes. We wanted to go out and party, and she had no problem finding a bunch of people at 10pm on a Friday night that had no plans. Then I got hammered and made "Good Will Hunting" and "Legally Blonde" jokes until they left in a huff. Over-sensitive bastards.

She said she'd trade places with me in a second, and go to my lower ranked (obviously) school, where she could at least have some fun. I dunno, that might be a good trade. If I'm gonna hate law school either way, might as well have Harvard on my resume, right? They do have their own ice skating rink, after all.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Genderiffic #2- Civil Procedure

If civil procedure had a gender, what would it be?

Civpro is all about the rules. Do this, don't do that. Seems easy, right? Well, I'm not going to take the easy route and declare civpro a woman right off the bat, so let's do some detailed analysis and make some more broad generalizations.

Rule 8a: requires a short and plain statement of the claim, and what relief is sought. Clearly a masculine rule. The female version would be a drawn out discussion in which you could never say what the problem was, or what you wanted. You should just know.

Rule 12e: motion for a more definite statement. A guy's dream. This would save so much grief if we could make this motion in a relationship.

Rule 14a: original defendant can bring in a third party, and say it was really all their fault. Female rule. Generally, when guys have fucked up they'll admit it and say they're sorry. Women tend to avoid confrontation, and therefore try to deflect attacks onto other causes. It's not them, it's the PMS.

Rule 24: allows you to intervene in a lawsuit. Guys usually stick out of each other's business, girls have to know everything about everyone. Female rule.

These four rules come to a tie, but overall most of the rules focus on one thing: clarity. They seek to eliminate ambiguity and make things hassle free and simple. Civpro is definitely a guy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

XOXO rant

I cannot fucking stand the autoadmit discussion boards (xoxohth.com). Internet posturing is stupid at all times, but it's even worse when it's insecure losers bragging about their LSAT scores, or how prestigious their law school or firm is, or starting threads about how ugly some girl is at a firm (while linking to her profile). If this is what other lawyers are going to be like, I want out. They make us all look like utter assholes. People should avoid law school because it sucks, not because of these jerks.
Any school that isn't "HYS" (Harvard /Yale/ Stanford) is apparently a "TTT" (third tier toilet). That has got to be the worst term I've ever heard, apart from "pwn3d", which is also used liberally. Basically every conversation goes like this:

#1: Penn is a TTT
#2: No it isn't (quotes some stats to show how great Penn is)
#1: Yes it is. I rejected it, and I'm awesome. (quotes other stats that show how crappy Penn is)
#3: 170 (apparently this indicates how good a post was. In LSAT scoring.)
#4: Pwn3d!

I know, I know, I should just ignore it, but God I hate these motherfuckers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Genderiffic #1- Torts

Yesterday's post, where I stated that torts was obviously a guy, started me wondering. What if all law school subjects had genders? As if we were in France, but without the nudity, smoking, and great food. I present to you the first in my awesome new "Genderiffic" series. I'll start off with torts, as I've already claimed to know its gender.

If torts had a gender, what would it be?

My immediate thought (stated yesterday) was that torts is evidently a guy. He's destructive, he's negligent, and alcohol is often a factor but never an excuse. He's basically me. But then I thought back, and remembered all that talk about the "reasonable person." It's not a tort if you act as a reasonable person would. Torts involves the absence of the reasonable person, so, logically, torts is without question a woman.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Down with VD

Man, is this a lame holiday. And it's even lamer (yeah, it's a word) when law students are involved. I heard about 30 variations on this "joke" today:

#1: "So, any hot valentine's day plans?"
#2: "Yeah, I got a hot date with [Ms. Torts]"

First of all, it's clearly Mr. Torts. Second, who would ever date torts? The only classes I would date would be Animal Law, for obvious sexual innuendo reasons, and maybe International Law for the accent. Although honestly, given my law school dating history, I'd probably be stuck with "The Regulation of Vice" and be celebrating tonight with some over-the-clothes petting and a Sprite. This holiday sucks.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Million Little Lies

Ok, I'm way behind the times on this one, which is nothing new, but I just found out that 3 class actions are being brought against James Frey and his publisher for the misrepresentations made in "A Million Little Pieces". Are you fucking kidding me? I actually read this book long before Oprah made it popular, and was similarly disappointed to find out he was lying, but this is just taking it too far. Now am I opening myself up to litigation when I tell a girl she's the only one for me? Or when I tell every firm I interview with the same thing? If only I'd know about this option back when I was rocking out to Milli Vanilli (don't forget my number!).
Newsflash kids- wrestling isn't real, the Easter Bunny doesn't exist, and people exaggerate. Get over it, stop wasting everyone's time, and get back to your pathetic, meaningless lives.

postscript: I actually was pretty pissed off myself when I found out the book was partially fiction. It was the same when Opinionista admitted on her blog that "Characters are caricaturized versions of people....None of it was entirely made up, but it was dramatized and told from my melodramatic point of view." I promise to never "Frey" you guys, all stories will be true (if not boring), although I will change identifying characteristics.

Great news

From New York Times: Last year, for the first time since the 1997-98 admission cycle, the number of applicants to law school declined, by 4.6 percent, and so far this year, the number has declined by 9.5 percent....It may be that a surge in popularity a few years ago has, perversely, led to the current decline in interest in law schools, said David E. Kelley, creator and producer of the television show "Boston Legal" and himself a lawyer. "The more lawyers there are, the more people are out there to encourage others not to go to law school."

Great news! People are finally getting the message: law school sucks. A lot. Plus that means less competition for me. I'll keep working on spreading the word, trust me.

In other great news, New York law firms are increasing first year salaries to 145k, and Los Angeles firms are going to 135k. I can't wait for the extra cash in my pocket, but it might make me feel even more guilty about the malpractice I'm about to unleash on the legal world. There is just no way my services are worth $145,000. But then again, who am I to argue?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sexual injection

So I was watching "Maury" today, which is often how I spend my extensive daytime procrastination hours, and it was the usual "3 men could be my baby's daddy" show. For some reason it reminded me of this great case we read in first year crim, Boro v. Superior Court, 163 Cal.App.3d 1224. Basically, this guy Boro calls up Ms. R and tells her he was a physician from Peninsula Hospital, and that her blood test had shown an extremely rare disease that could be fixed by a very costly procedure, or by having sexual intercourse with a man injected with a serum, for a reduced cost. Ms. R, being the money-savvy woman that she was, of course chooses the "sexual injection", meets Boro at a hotel room, and pays him for the treatment. When Ms. R later discovers, much to everyone's surprise, that she was duped, she charges Boro with rape. And loses! The court said that because she knew she was having sex, it didn't matter that the reasons for it were false.

Now, I thought this was a pretty awesome case. My female classmates disagreed, and I have a strong suspicion that voicing my feelings in class was at least part of the source of the dating drought that ensued. Now, don't get me wrong, rape is terrible, but this case was just so ludicrous, I couldn't feel too bad for Ms. R. She believed that meeting this guy in a hotel room and paying him in cash for a sexual injection was a legit cure. Come on now. You also gotta wonder how many women Boro called before he got one to fall for it. So many questions.

Then, in what I think was the final nail in the coffin, I busted out this direct quote from the casebook. “Of course men often use their economic superiority to gain sexual advantages, but women often use their sexual superiority to gain economic advantages. So who is the extortionist?”

I've since learned to keep my mouth shut.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ode to LLMs

Ahh, foreign LLMs, where would I be without you? You always raise your hand in class so I don't get called on, your accents rule, and you take all the bad grades on the test because you don't understand the questions. You're like exotic but stupid gunners, and I love you. Never change, never quit. I will never tire of "well, in my country...", or "Wait, you mean this precedent is binding?" or "constitution?". You complete me.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl Special

An interview with Jerome Bettis, done entirely in latin legal maxims. Jerome doesn't speak latin.

M: Thanks for taking time to be with us Jerome, we’re a big admirer of your work here at YALB

JB: Thanks M, I’m an avid reader of your site, glad to be here.
M: Now let’s get down to business. A lot has been made of the fact that this is your “homecoming”. Do you subscribe to the notion of domus sua cuique est tuissimum refugium? [to everyone his house is his surest refuge].
JB: Uhh, what?
M: Ok, next question. What was up with that fumble at the end of the Colts game? Everyone knows abundans cautela non nocet. [there is no harm done by great caution].
JB: Umm, I don’t really speak…
M: Ha ha! Good answer Jerome. I guess I can audi alteram parteram. [hear the other side]. It’s true that nemo tenetur ad impossibile. [no one is required to do what is impossible]. Everybody’s gotta fumble sometime.
JB: Right, the fumble. What had happened was…
M: 2 hands on the ball Jerome! Nemo contra factum suum proprium venire potest. [no one can go against his own deed].
JB: Look, I don’t speak Chinese
M: Of course not. Let’s move on to this Jerramy Stevens / Joey Porter feud. Do you believe injuria non excusat injuriam? [one wrong does not justify another]?
JB: Is this punk’d or something? (awkward pause) Ok fine, the feud. Really, the media has blown this….
M: Volenti non fit injuria! [that to which a man consents cannot be considered an injury]!
JB: Look, I’m warning you buddy, enough with the…..
M: Ignorantia juris quod quisque scire tenetur non excusat! [ignorance of the law is no excuse]!
JB: Alright, that’s it. (vicious blows to M’s soft head)
JB: (standing over M’s prone, bloody body) Rex non potest peccare. [the King can do no wrong]. Bitch.


I was watching “The Untouchables” today, a movie I loved as a kid. At the penultimate scene, Kevin Costner gets the judge to switch juries, because Robert De Niro has bought them off. Anyways, De Niro’s lawyer switches the plea to guilty, and De Niro just goes crazy as he gets hauled off to jail.
Why do I tell you this? Because coming to law school has ruined this movie for me now. A lawyer can’t just change a plea, have the defendant object, and still have the guilty plea go through.
That’s ridiculous.What’s even more ridiculous is that now I’ll never be able to enjoy this movie the same way. And this is just one example of many, trust me. All I have left is the booze.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Top 5 things I wish I'd known before coming to law school

  1. You get one exam per class. This one exam is worth 100% of your grade. This is stressful.
  2. The "socratic method" means you have to actually prepare for class.
  3. Drinking until you throw up is now considered "juvenile" and "embarrassing". Especially if you throw up on another law student
  4. Law firms do not pay off your student debt. (Thank you very much Mr. Tom Cruise ("The Firm"))
  5. Jack Nicholson was right, I can't handle the truth