Saturday, September 29, 2007

I can see clearly now

A long time ago, I lost that youthful enthusiasm for law school. I think maybe it was September of 1L. But hard work is doing something you don't want to do . . . and keeping on doing it even after it becomes an anti-thrill. In a sense, law school is just that: learning what it means to keep on keeping on.

But I regained a shadow of that former enthusiasm yesterday after Negotiable Instruments. All through 1L, you study cases and learn doctrines that are so abstract and basic that you think either (a) they don't really happen in real life and so are utterly useless or (b) you will never have any grasp on the law as it really is--vast and complex. After a few weeks, 2L has changed those thoughts for me. I'm reading the UCC* and it starts talking about consequential damages, and that means something to me. Or I'm reading the BOC** for Bizzorg*** and LAPP starts bubbling to the surface and I realize that corporate directors are liable only for actual damages and not punitive damages because (1) the rule of implied exclusion and (2) the director relationship is kinda contract-y, and contracts only lead to actual damages, not punitive. Then, the cherry on top of this pedagogical sundae, I have an intelligent discussion by the coffee machine about whether a Marylander can use promissory estoppel to recover damages when we beat him up after promising not to beat him up.****

So I guess the point of this post is twofold. First, if there are any 1Ls who read this, rest assured that it does get better and things will cohere--just not for a long time. Second, to my fellow 2Ls: we're making progress and I can actually start seeing lawyers in each of us. Shame on us.

*If we call the TUPA "toopa," the TRPA "trippa," and the TUUNAA "tuna," then why don't we call the UCC "uck"?

**Most people pronounce this "beeyoSEE," but I propose we change it to "bach."

***Resistance is futile, yo.

****The answer is "Why not just sue for assault and battery and get the punitives p/e blocks?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

From law school dropout . . .

. . . to justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. If you get a chance, read about Stanley Forman Reed, law school transfer who then dropped out but somehow clawed his way to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Interesting Thoughts

I've been collecting a few quotes that I wanted to post and comment on, but they stand pretty well on their own. Let me know what you think.

[I]t is much easier for an active mind to acquire the virtues of patience, than for a passive one to assume those of energy.

- John Stuart Mill

El amor no es sólo un sentimiento. Es también un arte.

- Balzac

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

- Samuel Johnson

I'll let you decide whether I read the likes of Mill, Balzac, and Johnson for pleasure.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Go Rangers

Sometimes you just want to hit somebody. Usually you don't.

But sometimes you do.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

No stinkin' way

I had to share this. It's a Slate article about a recent study completed that suggests that liberals are more likely to respond to new stimuli in new ways than are conservatives. Anyway--it's an interest read. I don't know how valid his critique of the study is, but I'd be interested if anybody has any comments about it.

Oh--and I'd like to know if you're surprised that liberals are readier to change than conservatives . . .

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Some people say that Texas has one of the most complicated court systems in the world. My limited experience with the Texas judiciary tends to confirm that thesis. I learned something today that doesn't really confirm the superlative-complexity theory, but I think it's pretty amazing: 506 main, trial-level courts of record. And of course, that doesn't include the 254 county courts, the at least 254 JP courts, the numerous county courts-at-law, the occasional county probate court, the occasional county criminal court, the municipal courts, the 14 appellate courts, or the two courts of last resort. So, I guess Texas probably has around 1,000 courts.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Good laugh

Having had braces and trying to get a job, I thought this was pretty funny:

courtesy of

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Oy vey

My dad is an accountant. Let me just say I'm not surprised. From tax homework:
A taxpayer's attempt to create some black letter law (bathed perhaps in red light) failed when the Tax Court said, in effect: Madame, the wages of sin are not exempt from taxation!
James J. Freeland, et al., Fundamentals of Federal Income Taxation: Cases and Materials, 14th Edition 62 (2006).

Monday, September 03, 2007

How real do you feel, Mrs. Peel?

Over on the Civ Pro Prof Blog, they have an anonymous student blogging about his/her experience as a first-year student in Civil Procedure. Unfortunately, Crash McAvoy (the anonymous 1L) thinks that Civ Pro is about learning to "accept procedural fairness as a substitute for finding the *truth[.]*" (Stars are his/hers.)

As the French say: hélas. Too many people think that procedural fairness and finding the truth are competing values. But the goal of our procedural system is not to be procedurally fair for the sake of procedural fairness. Rather, procedural fairness maximizes the probability of finding the truth. As my hero, John Steed, says so pithily, "Play by the rules or the game is nothing." The game of the legal system is resolving disputes. Finding the truth--and rightly resolving the dispute--when you have two opponents screaming is not an easy task. Civil (and criminal for that matter) procedure attempts to maximize the likelihood that the right party wins and that justice is done.

My (unsolicited) advice: think about civ pro like you think about logic: without it, you might get the right answer, but just because you're lucky.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I can't believe they killed Eko

Wow. First week of classes finished yesterday. Dang. So here's basically how my week went: Get up. Eat breakfast while I read yesterday's Houston Chronicle. (Note--Always tip the delivery guy after he's delivered for awhile.) Go to class. After class. After class. Come home and read. And read. And read. Go to sleep. I thought year 2 was supposed to be easier.

But in e x c e l l e n t news, Madam Registrar sent out a copy of the proposed schedule for this year, and it looks like they're offering Immigration Law in the Winter Quarter, when I can take it. Sometimes you love Baylor Law, sometimes you like it.

That's all I got.

Oh, and today, Poseur's O's were aptly named: their R-H-E line read: "0 0 0." First you lose 30-3. Then you get no-hit by a guy on his second start ever. Ouch.