Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How's That Again?

Oldies but goodies, from "Disorder in the American Courts":

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Poetry in Motion

Latest case order high jinks from my friend BZZZ:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Like the Law Is After You

A friend suggested I cure my PESD by getting out of town ("like the law is after you," he teased). I had the same idea, so here I am in the warm faux-reality of Los Angeles.

My mother is in my apartment in SF, visiting indefinitely. We get along well, and I did everything I would have done if she weren't there, but somehow I couldn't relax. My personality changes slightly with every person I interact with - I think most people do the same - and this includes my mother. We all have a mother-persona, one that can be uncomfortably intermingled with our childhood persona. Struggling to overcome my instinct towards was a little exhausting. I know I'm nearly an adult, and yet to my mother I am necessarily a child.

The result was that even in my own home I couldn't be myself. In two weeks I start my internship, and I think it will all improve then, when I have a place to remember that I am not a child.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Several days into summer break. Of course I have no effing clue what to do with myself. The post exam stress disorder (PESD, described here by Otherwise Occupied) is rearing its ugly head too. Last night I dreamed I couldn't get my exam software to work. It was time to start the exam and everyone was waiting for me. I didn't have enough desk space, I couldn't find the ethernet plug, etc.

The end of exams: I feel like I've been staring at a computer screen for four hours, and I just looked up, and I'm blinking, but everything is out of focus and hyper real.

Friday, May 11, 2007

So Help You God

Got a kick out of this, from a recent article in the New Yorker:

"When, in 1986, the Indian government sued for the return of a twelfth-century bronze Shiva that had been looted from a village in Panthur, it did so on behalf of the offended god himself: Shiva was named as a plaintiff in the case."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wondering About the Story Behind This One...

My last exam, Evidence is on Saturday morning. I'm reading through my (117 pages of) class notes, and I came across this peculiar California rule:

"A cop in an unmarked car with no undies on isn’t competent to testify."

Monday, May 07, 2007

On an Unrelated Note...

Remember the good old days when no one knew how to secure their wireless network? You didn't need internet because you could jump on your neighbors' connection. No one cared; really, it cost your neighbor nothing to let you share.

These days my network list is filled with those little lock icons. I'm paying monopolistic Comcast a ridiculous $60 a month for high-speed internet access. Nobody wants to share their connection. I've seen the rise of vindictive WEP'ing. For example, one of my neighbors' network is called "Don't Even Try it Jess." A friend of mine had a roommate who didn't pay for wireless because she "never uses it." When my friend caught her on it, he changed his WEP and renamed the network, "You Never Use It."

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007


One of the essay questions on my Copyright exam asked whether Bikram yoga could be copyrighted. As a matter of fact, it already is - my professor won the case.

I saw this post on TechDirt about an ad company attempting to patent the moves by street-corner sign-spinners in Los Angeles. (If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. I'll try and find a link.)

I don't know why they would patent it - maybe the article is wrong - when it seems to me they'd have a good chance of copyrighting it. An original sequence of fixed, unprotectable moves in the public domain (AKA "facts") can be copyrighted as a "selection and arrangement."

UPDATE: Check out this poster's comment on the work-for-hire problems that a sign-spinner would face if s/he went to a different company!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Copyright, Sex and Violence

For my Entertainment and Media Law exam, we get to bring in a "crib sheet." A single sheet, both sides, must be handwritten. Not allowed to use vision enhancement devices, such as magnifying glasses. Brutal manual labor. I don't know how I feel about this quasi-closed book quasi-open book technique. Actually, I'd be totally down, except for the brutal manual labor part.

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Lawyers Rioting in Pakistan. No, seriously.


To all my fellow law students verging on finals, here's a good article in the NY Times about memory recall. Another study demonstrates that sleeping after you learn helps your brain remember and intuit:

Sleep On It