Friday, September 29, 2006


Some amusing Wills and Trusts laws:

In California, an engagement ring is a conditional gift. If the person who receives the ring breaks off the engagement, they can be forced to return the ring. In common law, it even depends on who breaks off the engagement. That means that if the person who gives the ring breaks off the engagement, the receiver doesn't have to return it!

Also, if you give a gift because you think you're about to die, but then you survive, you can get the gift back!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Bar

Some fellow lawyers-to-be in my class were talking about a news report that showed that people who win the lottery are more likely to become alcoholics.

A: You know attorneys are 5 times more likely to be alcoholics than the general population. [I can't substantiate that fact.]
B: I think I'd rather win the lottery...

Monday, September 25, 2006


So I got a job; well, let's not call it a job yet because I don't know if I'm paid. A clerkship. I'm working for a solo practitioner who does a lot of IP work. Here's how it happened:

This attorney was one of our panel attorneys at my internship over the summer. I referred a lot of cases to their office; they were always willing to talk to anyone. I became friendly with them. My IP professor told me to find part-time work over the semester to get some experience, so I spontaneously called up my contact there. He said he was glad I called, they needed people. I got an interview, and then I got the position.

The lawyer told me she throws cases at the clerks and has them work the way a real attorney would. Sounds perfect. Even if it's not paid, it feels good to walk out of an interview hired.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


We had a guest speaker for my IP Survey class. I should share his advice on rain-making:

"I've gotten almost all my clients through my hobbies. Take up sailing, for example. Find a hobby that rich people do."

Scrutinizing Your Pants

My Con Law professor had an amusing analogy for levels of scrutiny the court uses to determine whether a law is discriminatory under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

The 3 levels of course are strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, and the rational basis test. Strict is obviously the highest level, rational basis the lowest.

He compared the rational basis test to a pair of baggy jeans: the fit of the law to the purpose just has to be loose.

He compared the strict scrutiny test to Spandex: the fit of the law has to be extremely tight to the government purpose.

What's intermediate then?

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Article about our fellow law school blogger Laweyerlike.


I cruise around the internet (StumbleUpon usually) to find random photos or pictures to use as my desktop wallpaper. After a few weeks or days I find another photo and change it. Today I clicked on this site with cool photos on it. I clicked on the photo to englarge it. Then I right-clicked to set it as my desktop background, and this message popped up:

"These photos are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Unauthoritzed use prohibited."

Interesting. I've wondered about that before, especially in the context of posting photos/pictures from other sites onto places like MySpace comment boards. It always felt weird to be able to download those images (with Save As for instance). You knew this was coming, and you can't blame them for wanting to protect the expression of their art.

But still. Aren't they trying to get their work Out There? Isn't there something anti-artistic and stuffy about preventing people from using it as their wallpaper? It seems like they could restrict it more finely. (Like s/he is an artist/attorney. I wonder how many of those there are.) Is there an economical incentive? Did someone steal his/her work?

Monday, September 11, 2006


I'm sitting in Wills. We just concluded our Nalgene Bottle Seance. It's night now, and my prof turned off the lights in the classroom, and we sat in the eerie emanations of our laptops. He asked everyone who had a Nalgene bottle to hold it in their hands (about 6 people of the 100 of us). Then he held up his green Nalgene and put the podium light under it so that a sparkling green spectre appeared on the ceiling. He said, "Look, something's happening!"
"Does anyone have a question to ask the Nalgene Bottle?"
No responses.
"You're going to regret it later: 'Oh, I should've asked the Nalgene Bottle!'"

I wish I could shed some light on the origins and/or purposes of this exercise, but your guess is as good as mine.

Makes interesting blog fodder though.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

To Court

I walked into Info Privacy on Tuesday and my professor says to the 20-odd group of us, "Okay, everybody get your stuff, we're going to the California Supreme Court to watch this defamation case." So we piled into cars and went down there and sat in the overflow room to watch the oral arguments. (The overflow room was awesome. Stadium seating, giant screen, surround sound.)

I couldn't believe how much like moot court it was. Even that ridiculous, "May it please the court, my name is...." The defense attorneys were representing the ACLU and the EFF, basically saying that just because this woman reposted an allegedly defamatory email on a blog, that didn't mean she should be included in the suit. The attorneys were clearly experienced, but their voices were still shaking. The judges tossed them softballs with questions about internet freedom and the ability of the plaintiff to find relief by suing the original defamer.

The defense attorney had this unappealing attitude. His voice didn't shake but he had this obnoxious tone of voice. The minute he got up there, they started pounding him with questions: exactly like they did in moot court. But he clearly didn't remember the number one rule from moot court: Never, EVER, interrupt a judge. (One judge interrupted him, after he interrupted her, and said, "Sorry to interrupt you, but I would ask that you let me finish my question.") I wish we could have gone to something like that before we did moot court, so we'd see how legit it was.

To conclude, I think that clearly the republisher of the defamatory email will get off. Apparently the Fed Cts have all taken the stance that you can't get in trouble for republishing if you don't change the substance of the content.