Wednesday, April 30, 2008

4月30日 隨即的的事情:憲法結束, 財產法開始!

EDIT: We're told that honor code is probably: 信譽守則; 信譽: "reputation, honor", 守則: "code".

* 憲法結束, 財產法開始!可惜,由於大學的榮幸法,因此寡人不能說考試過的怎麼樣, 對呢? 下個星期:財產法。 寡人並不喜愛這門課, 對寡人來說沒有特別的沒意思。(另外一方面來說, 我對憲法很敢興趣, 你們都知道。。。) 寡人怕對財產法不敢興趣這件事情有可能對寡人的成績有不好的結果。 灰蒙蒙。。。寡人要學習 。 。 。明天!

*A lot of people thanked us for the irrelevant exam advice! (but maybe unintentionally helpful? . . . No-comment, see above re honor code and not supposed to talk about exams after you take them with people who didn't take them - that's right, right? Cause Prof's are lazy and want to reuse exams, right? We love TJ - the drafter of the D of I, Founder of the U, and author of the VA Dec of R. F.; not the blogger - and take his code very seriously). Anyway, your kind words mean a lot, seriously. It's either this blog, or having a real life. Nice words convince us we made the right choice.

Anyway, we'll have more PROPERTY and EVIDENCE (yea, not everyone is in evidence, but maybe you should be - it rocks and is key to understanding the best Law and Order episodes). We suck at those two classes - substantially worse than at Con - so you should give an advice significantly less weight - except the parts about praying - that's always pertinent.

More later. Maybe.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's My Constitution and I'll Interpret it the Way I Want, Or, How I Learned to Stop Gunning and Love Textualism


Keys to getting an A- in Con-Law, summarized from one of my conservative brethren:

1) Marbury v. Madison was an unconstitutional exercise of judicial power, since nothing in the text Article III gives the Federal Judiciary the power to review decisions of other branches of government for their constitutionality. Ditto for Martin v. Hunters Lease, Cohens v. Virginia, et. cetra.

2) Every subsequent decision in your constitutional law casebook and Erwin Chemerinsky's treatise is wrong because the court doesn't have the power of judicial review. Answer every question in the form, "Given the unconstitutionality of judicial review," and finish on how the court is powerless to effect change. Throw in a political diatribe, congruent with your views.

3) ???

4) Profit.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Crim Pro Exam: The Checklist


1) Casebook . . . check

2) Season 1 of "The Wire" . . . check

3) An afternoon watching preliminary hearings in Charlottesville city court . . . check

4) Pre-conceived notions of justice and fairness . . . check

5) Notes from class, organized into an "outline" . . . sort of

6) Study session with a more intelligent classmate . . . check

7) Snacks . . . pending

8) COFFEE (the lifeblood of the legal industry) . . . pending

9) Prayers for divine intervention . . . intermittent and continuting

Goes down tomorrow. No error is reversible. No mistake is subject to appeal. 打勝或是回家~

Gunning Up a Storm, or, What are They *Doing* with Our Thirty-Eight Large?

Every five minutes a boy or girl walks to the 2nd floor reference desk, hoping that there will be candy in the little dish. And every time, you can see the cringe of disappointment on his/her face when he/she discovers that the dish is empty, or, worse, full of those little book tab things.

Tomorrow is a new day. *Rocks out to Journey's Don't Stop Believing".

Friday, April 25, 2008

Who Don't You Want on the Jury?

We found this gem from Clarrence Darrow trying to study for Criminal Procedure. Darrow tells us all who you don't want on the jury.
You would be guilty of malpractice if you got rid of an Irishman . . . An Englishman is not so good as an Irishman, but still, he has come through a long tradition of individual rights, and is not afraid to stand alone . . . Baptists are more hopeless than the Presbyterians. THe Methodists are worth considering; they are nearer the soil [sic]. Beware of the Lutherans, especially the Scandinavians; they are always sure to convict. As to Unitarians, Universalists, Congregationalists Jews, and other agnostics [ed. note, we like how these groups are "agnostics" . . .], don't ask them too many questions, keep them anyhow, especially Jews and agnostics. Never take a wealthy man on the Jury.

Clarence Darrow, Attorney for the Defense, Esquire Magazine, May 1936, p. 36-37 quoted in Richard G. Singer, Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail 176.

For the record we're Jewish and we ALWAYS vote to acquit. We're also insolvent . . .

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Marie Antoinette to Va. L. Rev.!!

I don't usually post stuff like this but there is a TON of free cake in the break room. Combine that with the now free coffee. So put away le outlines and gorge, gorge, gorge yourself. Exam time is to time to let go. Yourself, I mean.









_

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Death Penalty in Con-Law

Con-Law turns into more and more of a Kulturkampf (a word actually used in one of the opinions we read) every day. We started with gender discrimination, did reproductive rights, and last time it was open season on partisan opinions when we discussed gay rights. Today, the penultimate class - the death penalty . . . does anyone *not* have an opinion on this?

The case, Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) deals with the SCOTUS saying you can't execute mentally retarded people, even if they are murderers and otherwise eligible for the death penalty, because there is overwhelming public opinion against and the 8th amendment prohibits it. Scalia and the late Rehnquist dissent, saying, basically, we should execute mentally retarded people and there's nothing in the 8th amendment that prevents it and the public opinion bit is questionable.

Chances this class turns into ffa on the morality of the death penalty? (ED. No, we actually spent a lot of time learning about things, not so much ffa . .)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Speaking of Honor Code Violations

Did anybody see this on the TJDP? Basically (if true) some kid's Property textbook was stolen and then inadvertently sold back to him or her on Half.com, which the writer notes is a per se violation of the honor code.

In college, there was always a rumor of people stealing a books during finals week and then selling them back to a book store (which also seems to be a per se violation of the honor code, which is any non-trivial lying, cheating, or stealing). Anyway, we're really surprised that it would happen it here; especially if the thief (who it would seem could reasonably be uncovered) turns out to be a UVA Law Student.

So much for being comfortable leaving our belongings (not just property books, but laptop computers!) unattended . . .

Monday, April 21, 2008

He Must Have Cheated

Overheard in Slaughter, near the moot court awards:

Proud Student: "And look who won in 1959 . . ."
Parent: "Oh my . . . he must have cheated!"








Ed Note: Teddy Kennedy is one of our favorite Senators. Duh.
Also, we should note that Kennedy DID get caught cheating when he was at Harvard, but was allowed to come back and graduate from there. If he pulled that at the University and got caught, he'd be gone for good.

Friday, April 18, 2008

4月18日隨即的事情: You! Me! Dancing! (et al.)

* Yay for the new peer advisers. [List in Virginia Law Weekly]. We applied to be a peer adviser, but they decided we'd make everyone feel too comfortable and not impress on them the gritty realities of LS [kidding]. It's a cool program in which older students have fun with first years and explain to them that they shouldn't worry about grades. Other things too, I guess.

* FFJ wants everyone to talk about abortion. Covered it for five minutes in Con-Law. When the Prof was talking about it, we were reminded of Ralph Nader in the 2000 eleciton: "Overturning Roe v. Wade won't end it, it will just send it back to the states." About that . . .

* Legal writing is done forever. One more week left for all our other classes. Speaking of legal writing, here's the best advice ever: "Try to find the best way of explaining . . . the case and statutes . . . so that you are both clear and accurate. It easy to be clear and simple if you sacrifice accuracy, or accurate if you sacrifice clarity and simplicity. A trial lawyers success depends on his or ability to clear, simple, and accurate at the same time." (David Boies, Courting Justice, p. 389) Well, we can be clear and simple - does that help?

* You! Me! Dancing! (Los Campesinos):

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What? They tow from the D-3 Lot

At 11.10 somebody - who had a brown station-wagon [license plate # redacted] and a blue, but not green (D3), parking pass got towed from the D3 lot. We weren't sure if the Crim Law. doctrine of excuse would have protected us if we decided to intervene, but we decided to play it safe and watch from a distance. Brown car owner, our heart goes out to you.

So, related note - just how many tickets do you have to get before towing from a LS parking lot? We know you get that one warning ticket, how many after that?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama - Muslim, Atheist . . . Marxist?

William Kristol thinks so. [NY Times] (Maybe the better questions are should you care what he thinks and does it matter?):

Obama was explaining his trouble winning over small-town, working-class voters: “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

This sent me to Marx’s famous statement about religion in the introduction to his “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”:

“Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.”

Or, more succinctly, and in the original German in which Marx somehow always sounds better: “Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes.”
. . .
But it’s one thing for a German thinker to assert that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate to claim that we “cling to ... religion” out of economic frustration.

Eh, that doesn't make him wrong. Guns, religion, and antipathy to people not like you are three things that have given this country a lot of trouble . . .

Sunday, April 13, 2008

4月13日 隨即的事情 -

* Exams approach. This time last semester we were in a state of emergency. Then we realized that law school grading is totally arbitrary and what matters more is lawyerly writing skills then actually knowledge of the law, because, after four months, everyone knows the law. Just know it hard and then write your piece. So now the attitude vacillates between a total freaking out (cause I still need to learn the law) and a very bemused detachment from the whole thing (been there, done that). Doubtless, the former will prevail as the days get closer. The usual complaints about the insidious format of law school evaluations reign supreme. But nothing can be as bad as last time in terms of the stressful lead-up, so we're thankful, at least, that the experience of doing it once will have made the subsequent five times that much easier. Right?

* Battlestar, S. 4 Ep. 2 ("Six of One"): Sort of disappointing. The Cylon rebellion story line was very good - but as for what's going on Battlestar - who cars? Lee Adama retires, but does anyone really doubt he'll be back in the cockpit of a Viper before too long. And too much Starbuck. Obviously Rosslyn/Admiral Adama are going to start listening to her and turn around. The coolest part was when the centurians attacked. I mean, sick.

* 跟英語的部份一樣,寡人將來把“我”寫成“寡人”。 一樣的看法,對呢? OK, probably not. 寡人不會在很長得時件這樣寫。 開玩笑。。

* To answer a reader question: "What is with publishing three quarters in English and one quarter in Chinese?" A: If you read Chinese you'd know the answer. And if you don't, you can either infer it (easy) or use one of those nifty translating website dealies (also pretty easy). The American judiciary draws sweeping procedural distinctions based on subject matter jurisdiction, and so do we. (And yes that last link was douchey. But it was meant in the ironical sense only).

* These are boring. Expect to get worse as exams get closer. Then expect things to turn maudlin, but entertainingly so, during the Summer. Then reflective and boring during the early fall. Then just plain boring as exams and end of the semester stress approaches again. 週而復始(對,很喜歡這個說法。 。 。)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Criminal Procedure . . .

We're studying from Criminal Procedure now. As a general rule, legal "scholarship" is pretty much a joke, but every so often we come across a gem that is beautifully written and just as accurate and insightful. Consider George Fisher, who also writes a damned-good evidence textbook, on plea bargaining:

There is no glory in plea bargaining. In a place of a noble clash for truth, plea bargaining gives us a skulking truce. Opposing lawyers shrink from battle, and the jury's empty box signals the system's disappointment. But though its victory merits no fanfare, plea bargaining has triumphed. Bloodlessly and clandestinely, it has swept across the penal landscape and driven our vanquished jury into small pockets of resistance. Plea bargaining may be, as some chroniclers claim, the invading barbarian. But it has won all the same.

George Fisher, Plea Bargaining's Triumph, 109 YALE L.J. 857, 859 (2000).

New Death Cab for Cutie

We like, the full version is below. The radio version is, well, shorter and doesn't have an eight minute instrumental. Maybe a more substantive post soon.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Career Services at UVA

We're at the CASE presentation now. The lady was just telling us about pre-screening, rank-in-class, etc. A choice quote.

Career Services Lady: "Don't worry . . . everyone . . . well, almost everyone gets a job."

Good to know.