Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2 more wins, and the Redskins limp into the playoffs. But it all depends on Todd Collins, who, after a decade of inactivity, is going have to do better than 8 out of 25 if he wants to get the job done. Here's hoping.

The 'Skins travel to Minnesota on Sunday to meet the surging Vikings, and then head home to close out with a rivalry game against Dallas. The key game is actually Minnesota. Washington should have a good chance vs. Dallas at home, if Dallas rests its starters. But it will only do that if it has locked up home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which will only be possible of they have a better record than the Green Bay Packers going into the game (that way, even if they lose and Green Bay wins their simultaneous games, Dallas will still get the nod for the #1 seed because Dallas holds the tie-breaker). Man I hate Dallas.

Anyway, Washington should be able to win at Minnesota with a not-abysmal perfomrance out of Collins, a lack of mistakes/stupid plays on anyone (Landry, I'm looking at you - no taunting), a 100+ yard game from running back Clinton Portis, and a strong defensive showing from the front four to stop rookie sensation running back Adrian Peterson. So somewhere between a long-shot and a miracle.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

K. - (Noun): A K. is a promise or set of promises for the breach of which teh law gives a remedy, or the performance of which a law in some way recognizes as a duty. (See Rest.2d of Contracts § 1)

What is the deal with the movie Oceans 13? The dude gets forced into signing a contract that gives away all of his casino revenue, and then his handsome friends do a lot of spy stuff to get it back. Two hour movie. It could have been a two minute movie if they had just hired me as a lawyer; cause, see -

Rest 2d. of Contracts,
§ 175: When Duress by Threat Makes a Contract Voidable
(1) If a party's manifestation of mutual assent is induced by improper threat by the other party that leveas the victim no reasonable alterantive, the contract is voidable by the victim.
(2) If a party's manifestation of assent is induced by one who is not a party to the transaction, the contract is voidable by the victim unless the other party to the transaction in good faith and w/out reason to know of the duress either gives value or relies materially on the transaction.

So, think it's fair to say we need a directors cut - two minutes long, consisting entirely of Columbia Law School Proferssor Chirelstein pwning all of the characters. I'd watch.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Things just can't seem to go right for the Washington Redskins this year. The running game is, well, not running. The QB situation, precarious before, is now in serious trouble with "veteran" Todd Collins starting his first game in a decade. The stars - the highest payed players around in Moss, Portis, Randell-El, etc. aren't performing. The coaching is beyond abysmal and displays not only a complete ignorance of strategy but also a lack of the basic rules of the game. The star free-safety was murdered (although the media are implying its his own fault somehow). Every week, the team finds a new way to lose on - and off - the field.

And yet, with a victory tonight over the New York Giants, next week over Minnesota, and in two weeks at home against the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins will limp into the playoffs. It's the same kind of miracle that got the team to the second round in 2005.

Beating the Giants, however, is going to battle. The windy meadowlands is one of the hardest places for NFL visiting team to win, and the Redskins have been especially terrible there in the last few years (the last victory was in '04).

It's all kind of sad because the truth is the Redskins are not really a 6-10 team this year - they're more like a 9-7 or even a 10-6 team. In support,
-Six of Washington's seven losses game to teams that are still realistically in the playoff hunt. The exception is the home loss to Philadelphia, who Washington beat earlier on the road.
-Moreover, a lot of those losses have been to really solid teams: The New York Giants (9-4), the Dallas Cowboys (12-1), the Green Bay Packers (12-1), and the peerless New England Patriots (13-0). And the former two of three of those games came down to the wire and could have easily gone the other way.
-With the exception of the Patriots game, every loss has been within one score or less.
-The defense has been incredible, and, even without Shawn Taylor remains one of the very best in the business.
-The offense would be better if it not for i) poor coaching ii) turnovers

Of course the last one isn't really a justification because those are the things that make a team good. Still, if the 'Skins can run the table and make it to the post season, they'd be a force to be reckoned with.


Friday, December 14, 2007

The Joy of Lex, Part III: Rape and "Special Serums"

From Singer and LaFond, Criminal Law, p. 194:

[under common law i]f a man falsely pretended to be a doctor and told a woman she had a disease that could best be cured by having intercourse with an anonymous donor who had been injected with a special serum, he could not be convicted of rape because the woman understood that she was having sexual intercourse. See Boro v. Superior Court, 163 Cal. App. 3d 1224 (1985).

What, really? From the appellate opinion:

"Dr. Stevens" told Ms. R. that he had the results of her blood test and that she had contracted a dangerous, highly infectious and perhaps fatal disease; that she could be sued as a result; that the disease came from using public toilets; and that she would have to tell him the identity of all her friends who would then have to be contacted in the interest of controlling the spread of the disease.

"Dr. Stevens" further explained that there were only two ways to treat the disease. The first was a painful surgical procedure -- graphically described -- costing $ 9,000, and requiring her uninsured hospitalization for six weeks. A second alternative, "Dr. Stevens" explained, was to have sexual intercourse with an anonymous donor who had been injected with a serum which would cure the disease. The latter, nonsurgical procedure would only cost $ 4,500. When the victim replied that she lacked sufficient funds the "doctor" suggested that $ 1,000 would suffice as a down payment. The victim thereupon agreed to the nonsurgical alternative and consented to intercourse with the mysterious donor, believing "it was the only choice I had."
Boro v. Superior Court, 163 Cal. App. 3d 1224, 1226 (Cal. Ct. App. 1985)

The message seems to be don't rape strong, rape smart. Kind of bizzare, if you ask me.

And I should also point out that according to La Fond and Singer above, this doesn't apply if the defendant tricks the victim about the act of sex itself (i.e., the gynecologist saying he is inserting a medical instrument, but it it is, in fact . . .)

Still strange though.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

You know how it's possible for a plaintiff to plead himself out of court? Well today Joe Gibbs essentially coached his team out of a win by his failure to understand the Federal Rules of Civil Proce - er, I mean, the rules of the NFL.

Here's the scenario: Washington is up 16-14 and Buffalo has driven the ball to the Redskins 34 yard line, setting up looks to be a 51 yard field goal - no easy task in the cold, pouring rain. Gibbs calls timeout to ice the Buffalo kicker; good call, since just after the time out was called the kicker made a (now meaningless because of the intervening time out) 51 yard field goal. Barely.

Now the Bills line up to kick it again - you can see in the kicker's eyes it's going to be a long one - but wait. Joe Gibbs calls for another time out. This would be fine, except that every 10 year old watching the game on his 19 inch TV on the floor of his parents section 8 housing in Fairfax City or wherever knows that you cannot call more than one consecutive timeout to ice the kicker on a single play. If you do, a 15 yard unsportsman-like conduct penalty results. 15 yards closer, the kick is a chip shot and driven through.

Once again, the Redskins find a way to lose a game in which they were the heavy favorite and they by all measures should have won. There goes the game and the Redskins' chances for the playoffs.