Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Prof. Sprigman in the NYT

Steal any good jokes lately?  The subject as provided a fertile area of exploration for Professor Chris Sprigman (who studied the matter with Dotan Oliar in 2008), and now, along with UCLA Professor Kal Raustiala, have a piece published on the Freaknomics blog of the New York Times
Late one Saturday night in February 2007, a stand-up comic named Joe Rogan decided to take the law into his own hands.  Rogan, a well-known comedian, was on stage at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s most important comedy clubs.  For weeks, Rogan had been furious over reports from fellow comedians that an even more famous stand-up, Carlos Mencia, had stolen a joke from one of Rogan’s friends, a relatively obscure comedian named Ari Schaffer.  Rogan spotted Mencia in the audience, and he blew up.  Slamming Mencia as “Carlos Menstealia,” Rogan accused his rival of joke thievery.  Mencia rushed the stage to defend himself, and there began a long, loud, and profane confrontation.
The Rogan/Mencia blow-up was caught on video, and quickly went viral (caution: extreme language).  In the course of a rambling, high-volume duel of insults, Rogan laid out the details of Mencia’s alleged stealing.  Mencia angrily denied stealing, and shot back that Rogan was a “whiny [expletive]” motivated by jealousy. Eventually, Ari Schaffer himself jumped on stage to support Rogan. The audience divided into camps, with most supporting Rogan. The possibility of violence hung in the air.
Eventually, the comics left the stage, but that didn’t end matters.  Rogan continued to press his case in radio interviews, and in the following weeks a number of other comics joined the feud, most siding with Rogan. Rogan also posted a clip on YouTube citing examples of what he took to be Mencia’s thievery.  Several versions of this short video have been viewed more than five million times.
The last number should catch your attention.  Five million views for a video of a public argument between two comedians.  What’s going on here?
Sprigman and Raustiala tell us, below the fold.  All and all, it's an interesting article, although those who were hoping that Sprigman would bust out his guitar at the end of his post will be sorely disappointed.

Just a Day on North Grounds, Chapter 2

Editor's note: "Just a Day on North Grounds" is a serial novella that takes place at UVA Law, and is written by an anonymous 1L at the school.  It will appear roughly by weekly - previous installments can be viewed here.
Chapter 2: The Ways in Which Others Do Better

Looking forward to the sweet rush of endorphins that accompanies my ritual Monday-morning carb-load, I walked into Scott Commons with a surge of confidence.  "Scott Commons", by the way, is UVA Law's big "hang-out" area where our overpriced food is served.  The pizza is probably the best option in terms of a carbs-per-dollar ratio.

There a lot of 1Ls milling around - none from my section, of course, because they're all still in class - but a lot of others.  I blissfully ignore them as a glide toward my goal, deciding that I'm going to grab a soda, too, and hope that the caffeine can carry me through the rest of the day.

As I walk by a cluster of plush easy chairs I hear something that makes me stop a beat: One prissy girl who sat in front of me in CivPro says to another, "I made Social Policy and VJIL."

I tense up - was today the day that we were going to find out about journals?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On Consideration, Charlottesville is Awful Actually OK

J. Crew Model here. Rule 12(f) has asked for another “fiery screed” and since I’m easily talked into doing things, I’ve willingly obliged.  If you don’t like what I have to say, leave your phone number in the comments and we can work out a time to fight in D3.  Also, here is a fiery screed by Gucci Mane which kind of says what I’m after when I write with a penname. 
Anyway, this started as a column about how Charlottesville sucks.  Small town awfulness meets big city awfulness meets red-neck ignorance, blah blah blah.  However, I’ve reconsidered my opinion since starting it and will now include a couple ways in which Charlottesville doesn’t really suck so bad.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A UVA Law Novella: Just a Day on North Grounds

Editor's note:  With Spring upon us, and a seeming paucity of actual news, we've decided to try something new: A UVA Law Blog story.  Someone came to us with the idea of a serial that takes place at the Law School, and we think it's a good one.  "Just a Day on North Grounds" will appear roughly bi-weekly.  The author has requested anonymity, and wants everyone to know that this is "fiction" and that "any resemblance between this and real people is, like, a total coincidence."  She will be reading the comments . . . Oh, one more thing - it's lightly edited; we read it a few times over, smoothing things over where necessary, but as always we may have missed something, especially in pieces this long - so please kindly point out any typos that you come across. Enjoy:
Just a Day on North Grounds
Chapter 1: . . . And I'm Out

Why won't this class just end?

There are some days, I have to admit, where I feel like I do my best thinking in class. But today is not one of them. Today, the minutes are passing by slowly, like rainy afternoons.

I didn't come up with that literary device, by the way; it popped into my head during contracts last semester and its from a book I read years ago and whose title and plot I don't remember anymore. In fact, I'm a perfectly lousy writer - I was a liberal arts major in college like most other law students, but that means I never acquired any real skills in writing or in life, so here I am sitting in Withers-Brown hall on a beautiful March morning wishing the droning of my Property professor.

Like I said, sometimes it's not so bad. I sit there with my computer and look at clothes I can't afford or read Sometimes I play scrabble online or browse AboveTheLaw. All the while I'm typically gchatting away, usually with people I know - or I should say knew - from my college. I've gotten so good at looking like I pay attention and gchatting that I eventually learned to type in the same natural, soporific cadence as my professor's voice. It's as if the two of us were coming together in an unholy symphony of pedagogy, and my ineffective learning was all but canceling out what I considered to be his ineffective teaching.

But not today.

Today was one of those days where I just needed to leave.

Keep Your Head Up, Kid

Enough people forwarded us this thread ( standard disclaimers apply). One day, friend, you will look back on this moment, and laugh. Until then, just think about what you will do with your free time for the next few years. It's gonna be alright.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

So People Hear Back from Journals On Monday . . .

Prepare yourself for a throng of people at the Scott Commons mailboxes. Some of you will be baller and maker two journals (and one of them will be VJIL). Others will make only one (VASE4LIFE), and some won't make any. We waxed lyrical on this phenomenon two years ago, but be nice. And remember, great things happen to those who don't make journals. SwampPoodle isn't on a journal, and she pwns us at everything; Justincredible isn't on a journal either, and has gone on to be a very successful madden-player and the current top-rated co-rec softball captain. So you see, journals aren't everything (and they are a lot of work on top that).

But we digress, for those of you who do make a journal, go to all of the receptions you get invited to. This isn't like a firm reception; you're not going to get retroactively dinged for not having too much beer or losing to me at shuffleboard.

PSA About Journal Tryouts: Be Nice

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Miss TJ's Double Play? Now You Don't Have To.

Time used to be that about every other day, someone would post a comment about how bad this blog was, and how much better TJ's Double Play had been. For those who don't remember, TJ's Double Play preceded UVA Law Blog (indeed, it was when it went offline that FFJ and I decide dto change the name of this blog and attempt to 'go big' in chronicling 2008 OGIs . . . seems like ancient history now).

Anyway, for those who want to confirm that TJDP really was better (we concede the point...), a good chunk of it has been archived over at You can view summaries of all the entries, and if you create a (fast and free) login, you can view all the entries themselves. It brings back some fond memories of 1L year for current 3Ls, and maybe even a little more for alumni:

An update on the stolen property book

Posted on April 23, 2008
Check this comment out for the latest. At least he got his money back.

That's a lotta debt

Posted on April 22, 2008
BW&V once quipped, there's nothing funny about six-figures of debt, but if you think about it, seven-figures of debt would be hilarious. That's what were thinking as we browsed Above the Law's recent survey on associate debt. It's truly scary to think that 10 percent of the class of 2000 still has more than 100k in student debt...

We're sending this to Leno

Posted on April 22, 2008
We liked this LawWeb headline:Don't Compromise Ethics in Human Experiments, Bioethics Expert SaysO rly? Ethics expert favors ethics? What's next, "Seminary Student Announces Belief in God"?

We read property . . . once

Posted on April 22, 2008
Imagine you're a 1L with a property final coming up next week. You lost your book early on in the semester and so finally after a while you get around to ordering a replacement from The book arrives you're relieved now that you can learn about takings...

Trivia's cool . . . totally

Posted on April 22, 2008
Ha, "Anonymous" won the Events E-mail trivia. Then again, we usually make fun of the week's winners when we see them.

Read more.
And who knows - one day in the distant, distant future, they may post about how much better UVA Law Blog than (whatever comes next). Enjoy . . .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Libel Show (P)review: No Spoilers!

Last night Rule 12(f) and I attended the second dress rehearsal of this year’s Libel Show after being invited by the producer to write a (p)review of the show which runs three nights from today March 24 through Friday March 26. For those of you that don’t know, the Libel Show is an annual sketch comedy performance, now in its 102nd year, that is produced, directed, written, and preformed entirely by law students.

More than a simple exercise in fun (though it is, of course, fun), the Libel Show donates a substantial amount to charity each year. According to Mario, the show hopes to donate $4,000 to PILA this year (an amount that will be matched by the Law School Foundation). Additionally, the Libel Show will also be raising money for Law Hoos for Haiti at the show. So, for those of you planning to attend, you can feel confident that you are laughing, drinking, and giving back all at the same time. (Aside: I wonder if I can count time spent at show as public service hours?)

I can’t get into any details of the songs or sketches without breaking a pinky-swear oath the Libel Troika made me swear, but I am allowed to give some general impressions of the show. It is very good: high production values, excited and energetic performers, and plenty of humor. The writers also made sure to take no prisoners and no one is safe from some good-natured barbs along the way.

The performances are awesome all around. There are so many talented law students out there that it makes me want to vomit up my jealous heart. Particularly upsetting to me is that Paul Belonick, the athletic, articulate, and perfectly coiffed former VLR editor-in-chief, also has a voice that could move the most jaded soul. Life is truly not fair.

Indeed, if I were forced to choose, I would say that the singing is one of the most amazing parts of the Libel Show. I mean these kids don't just sing well - they sing, well, amazing.

Because no honest review could be perfect, there are a few things that could be improved/disappointed me a little:
  • Volume of the microphones. Sometimes I couldn’t understand the lyrics of some of the songs, or the lines of some of the sketches, because the mikes weren't loud enough. Hopefully this technical difficulty will be ironed out before the show opens. So this isn't much of an issue, really
  • The special guest introduction wasn’t quite as special as it has been in the past. But then again, who is as awesome as last year’s guest Sam Waterson, and Teddy Kennedy two years ago? Answer: no one.
  • The length: The show could have been just a tiny bit punchier. All of the acts were very good, don't get me wrong, but the fun does stretch out over a few hours.
  • Last year’s Con Love video made me want to cry I laughed so hard. Nothing in this year’s production moved me to tears. But this might have been mainly because I saw the show without the benefit of a large drunk crowd. It's also not as universal as "Con Love" was - it's pretty funny, but the audience will find that most of the jokes might be a little bit UVA-specific, whereas "Con Love" was humerous to anyone who ever took Constitutional Law, which is probably what made it so popular in Above the Law's Nationwide Contest.
However, these small criticisms are outweighed by all the show had to offer. I wish I could be more specific, but again, the Troika will literally kill me. Trust me, tough, there is some good stuff! Some of the highlights for me:
  • The comedic musical numbers. Dancing, singing, brightly colored costumes—all my senses came alive!
  • The band. The music was great, the songs really kept the tempo up, and Matt Farmer played the violin. A tall Princeton man on a violin! Enough said.
  • Great stage management. Even though I saw a rehearsal, the transitions between set-ups seemed smooth and there were no awkward pauses between scenes. The same can be said for the lighting / cues / etc.
  • Great make-up and costuming.
  • Free beer.
The Libel Show Band was more talented than ever this year.

So, for those of you regretting that haven’t yet bought tickets yet (and you should buy tickets), there are still open seats available to the Wednesday and Friday shows-- tickets can be purchased at the door for $15. Do it. Or be lame.

I can't spoil this sketch, but it made me laugh and brought back some (not-so) fond memories of OGI- Rule 12(f)

Finally, I want to give quick shout-out to fellow UVA Law Blog editors Justincredible and J. Crew Model who lent their dance “skills” to the show. You should feel free to pester them in the hallways to teach you their sick moves and/or to break it on down.

JCM didn't have to modify his usual club dance for this routine.

Who says you only get to wear your tournament jersey once?

But yeah, I hope everyone enjoys the shows tonight, tomorrow, and Friday as much as 12(f) and I did.

102nd Libel Show [Official Website]

Ken Cuccinelli Has Just Sued the Federal Government

It seems like Ken Cuccinelli had just kicked-off his whole "gay people don't get protection from discrimination" campaign (NB: what he actually did was issue a letter to "Virginia’s public colleges and universities that advises them to rescind their policies banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.")

Don't think that's kept the UVA undergrad / GMU Law grad totally busy, though - Today, he sued the Federal Government to stop health-care reform:

RICHMOND -- Not five minutes after President Obama signed health-care legislation into law Tuesday, top staff members for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II made their way out of his office, court papers in hand and TV cameras in pursuit, and headed to Richmond's federal courthouse to sue to stop the measure.

Thirteen other state attorneys general also sought to stop the health-care law Tuesday, jointly suing in Florida. But Cuccinelli (R) went his own way, arguing that a Virginia law enacted this month that prohibits the government from requiring people to buy health insurance creates an "immediate, actual controversy" between state and federal law that gives the state unique standing on which to sue.

The move was classic Cuccinelli -- bold, defiant and in-your-face, an effort to use any means at his disposal to stop what he sees as a federal government gone wild. That approach has transformed him in just a few months from being a fairly obscure state senator into a national conservative folk hero -- a tea partier with conviction and, more importantly, power.

Read more.

Will people be forced to buy insurance? Maybe not in the Commonwealth . . .

Cuccinelli Sues Federal Government to Stop Health-Care Reform Law [Washington Post]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not At All Related to UVA Law, But Rather March Madness

Here's an article from the Providence Journal about why one should think about cheering for the Big Red on Thursday - we think it's pretty good, although obviously we are biased. And yes, we promise to return the blog to its original format and stop our blatant Cornell trolling in short order:
Big Red are a throwback to a bygone era

By Bill Reynolds Journal Sports Writer

I am rooting for Cornell.

I am rooting for the Big Red because I once played in the Ivy League and know all too well about the league’s idiosyncrasies, the Friday-Saturday schedule, the long bus rides on cold winter nights around the Northeast, a league with no frills.

I am rooting for Cornell because the Ivy League is the only Division I conference in the country without athletic scholarships, in a sense the last true amateurs.

I am rooting for Cornell because in a sport that’s all about bigness and how many times you’re on television, a sport that’s all about seat licenses and boosters, as much about business as it is about basketball, the Big Red are a throwback to a time gone forever; a time when college basketball really was about the game and not the program.

Read more
The Big Red are Throwback from a By-Gone Era

Monday, March 22, 2010

Law Weekly: Giving Frustration

A couple of you wrote in or commented about it was frustrating to be asked for a donation pledge to the Law School Foundation by "Class Agents". I promised to try and make your grievances known, and I wrote a column in Friday's Law Weekly that takes up the issue:
It’s fair to say that—once again—the Class of 2010 is mumbling.
This time it’s not about people boycotting Pong-for-PILA or not having their corporations exams graded quickly enough. This time, the target is the Law School Foundation pledge drive.
Every year in the spring, a group of student volunteers organize a pledge drive for the Law School Foundation; current students are asked to “pledge” that they will give a donation in future years (i.e. after they graduate). To sign up, students simply fill out a “pledge card,” and it’s a done deal. Students can theoretically give any amount they wish.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Some People Might Seize on This as Another Reason to be Upset About Graduation Dues

All 3Ls received this email today:
Dear 3L Class:

I write on behalf of the SBA and the 3L Graduation Committee to bring to your attention an incident that happened just before spring break. Around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 4, we discovered that a manila envelope containing some graduation dues had been removed from our treasurer's mailbox in Scott Commons. These particular checks had been placed in the mailbox the prior afternoon. Approximately 10 checks were affected. On March 4 and the days since we have worked with Dean Ballenger and the UVA Police Department to attempt to locate the missing checks and respond to a possible theft.

The affected checks were collected between Monday, February 15 and Thursday, February 19, when Graduation Committee members tabled in Hunton-Williams Hall. The Committee maintains an electronic file of all 3Ls who have paid their dues. This file had not, however, been updated to reflect the approximately 10 checks that the Committee collected between February 15 and February 19. If you paid dues at any other time outside of those dates, your check should not be affected and the Committee has a record that you paid.

If you paid graduation dues between February 15 and February 19, please email [redacted] as soon as possible. We are asking people to contact us because we need to notify law enforcement concerning who may be affected. Please contact Chelsea if you have other questions about the status of your dues.
Graduation Dues

Softball Season!

If you are anything like me you have been obsessively checking for the week 1 power rankings. But since they are a little slow over there, I figure I would pass the time by posting my own unbiased* list of teams to watch:

1. Co-Rec Brown (Co-Rec): these 3Ls proved they mean business this year with a decisive first week win over the North Ground Bombers (GUS). It wasn't even that close.

2. Hooligans (Men's): On Friday evening this band of 1Ls embarrassed the 3L Has Beens in 15-11 victory. While the 3L squad looked sharp in the field, their bats failed them. The 1Ls were strong on both sides of the ball. Plus they have a fan club, the Hooligals, who wear special tee-shirts and bring brownies. Baller.

3. Gunners (1L Section): Did they play well in their loss to the Shake Weights? No. Did they look good in their pink tee-shirts? Yes.

4. Libel Show (Co-Rec): But catch them on stage this week instead of on the softball field, if you want to see them at their best.

*I might be biased.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Admitted Students, FTW

Looks like SRO is turning on the magic weather machine for the admitted students. All we can say is that the BBQ sure was tasty, and we hope to see many of the admitted students out at bar review (we won't actually be there because we have the Accounting Final on Saturday).

If there are any admitted students reading this, here is our advice. In addition, try to go to Harmon's talk (she's cool),

And, for the love all that is good and holy . . . grab your boxed lunch before they run out ! ! ! *Waits for 100 poor and hungry law students to hang around the Caplin Auditorium at 12.20 tomorrow.*

There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

How to Pick a Law School: A Two-Step Guide [Law Weekly]

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Libel Show Tickets: No Inflation Here!

Concerned about the rising price of just about everything at UVA Law? Libel Show to the rescue! This year, tickets are only 15 dollars. That's the same as last year, and four dollars cheaper than in 2008.

This year's show features our very Justincredible and J. Crew Model. Swamp Poodle and I will be posting a preview of show early next week, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No More Google Ads - But Here Are the Stats

This is probably not of interest to any but our most hardcore followers, but there is going to be a change to the advertisement policy at UVA Law Blog - mainly, there won't be any more ads - Google pulled the plug on the outside ads - but in the spirit of full disclosure, here's what the finances for this site have looked liked so far:
UVA Law Blog Income Statements

Year 2008
Domain -10
DTD Contest Payable -10

Year 2009
AdSense Revenue 103
Domain -10
Income Taxes Paid (103 dollars of Hobby Income @ 4.53%) -5

Year 2010
Adense Revenue 0
Outside sponorship 70
Donation - Salvation Army -10
Donation - YLD Book Drive -10
Donation - UNICEF -50
Pay Pal Fees -3
Donation - "Hoos for Hati" -20
Trinity Bar Tab for UVA Law Blog Editors -2000
Net "Profit" 45
I haven't donated the remaining 45 dollars yet because it's contingent on the ad at right being up for an entire year (and who knows what this site will be doing in a year!) I also need to pay taxes on it, etc.

Monday, March 15, 2010

UVA Law Missed Connections: Life in the Fast Lane

Check out this m4m missed connections. Vroooommmmm!:

UVa law guy with Mercedes-Benz? - m4m - 19 (Grounds)

Driving back to Charlottesville from NoVa this afternoon on 29 South there was a guy in a silver CLK 550 with a Virginia Law sticker on his window. We kept racing around each other the whole way here and then you sped off right before Charlottesville. I was disappointed, but then I went to get some groceries at Harris Teeter and you were there! We were parked next to each other and in the store you almost ran into me. If you see this, I think you are very handsome and would love to get coffee sometime. Respond with what type of car (make and model) I was driving.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spppprrrinnnnnggg Brrreaaakkkkkk

Me, SwampPoodle, & Justinincredible are on vacation. Here's the view from our place for the week, everyone stay true:

Friday, March 05, 2010

ITP: We Give Our Unsolicited Advice About Journal Tryouts

Well, it's already week #2 of journal tryouts, but this when most students decide to it. Having already done it two years ago, we can confidently tell you what you're in for, and how to make the best of it. (Of course, if we were taking the journal tryouts, we wouldn't be allowed to say anything about it - even that it was hard - as one observer put it: it's a state secret that journal tryouts are hard - so say nothing or get thrown out of school!)

Anyway, many of you heard us speak at the Unified Journal Tryout Information meeting, where we attempted to lay down some serious wisdom for the 1Ls. Mostly, we were just snickered at - but that's fine. Einstein was laughed at too. For those who actually want advice, though, consider the following no-nonsense tips (you can also check our advice from last year):

(1) Most secondary journals value the bluebooking part much more highly

No secret here. I can tell you that, historically, there are at least some of them where the essay is more-or-less of a tie-breaker. Don't think you're going to be in the top 15 essays / bluebooking of the entire school. Then don't sweat the essay too much - spend a solid day getting the bluebooking part as perfect as you can make it, then read the materials and just spend as much time as you can putting an essay together that is marginally coherent.

(2) Being on a secondary journal helps

Especially if you looking to score one of those fancy firm jobs through that OGI think, being on a journal can be the difference between getting pre-selected and . . . not. It also gives you something to talk about with the interviewer if you are an otherwise boring candidate (as we were).

Oh, FYI, EITE it's not journal or moot court, but journal and moot court. But you all already knew that. Don't get us wrong - there some scam element in journals / journal tryouts, and a lot of the time participating feels like being punched in the gut. But other times, like when you're kicking back some cold ones and pwning at shuffleboard at your journal's happy hour, or you see your name on that the front page of that glossy, bound, non-peer reviewed publication . . . it's all alright.

(3) But it doesn't really matter which one!

No, you will not get more respect from anyone for being on VJIL or Law and Politics than for being on VaSE. We believe that the resume boost is roughly the same.

This of course goes out the window if you can get on to the Va. L. Rev. In that case, you will get mad respect from everyone, including us.

(4) However, the secondary Journals are different

One of the secondary journals publishes six times a year - that's a lot of cite checking. Some others only publish 1-2 times a year. You should think about this, particularly as cite-checking can be kind of time consuming and what really matters is your grades.

Also, some journals have better softball teams than others. Some have better offices. Some have better happy hours.

(5) Don't kill yourself this weekend

Try your best, but remember there are diminishing marginal returns. Take time to eat healthy, to exercise, to watch college basketball, and imbibe lots of protein and beer.

Next time: we offer our unsolicited advice on how not to fail the MPRE. Studying may or may not help . . .

For $5,000 I WILL Get You on Law Review
All Journal Tryouts, All the Time

Journal Tryouts, Or How I Learned to Stopy Enjoying Life and Love Getting Kicked in the Junk [Law Weekly]
Journal Tryouts are the Biggest Scam in Law School [Feb Club is Why Daddy Left]

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Don't Forget to Sign the Diversity Pledge

Now sure, there are some questions about the enforceability of the diversity pledge, but don't forget why we have it in the first place. Unless you hate diversity / don't want to consent to thought control / agree with Eugene Volokh that it's "vapid", you'll sign. And wear your shirts on Thursday (we'll rocking some 2k7 throwbacks).

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates

But we're working on it - in the mean time, keep using the comments to post important news items - TYIAXOXO.