You know, I love summer. That glorious season of sitting on the beach, enjoying the warm sun... Hearing a Beach Boys tune, soft sounds of "thwack" and "oooof" and laughter coming from a nearby beach volleyball game, and the sizzle from hot burgers cooking on the grill to accompany your sangria and watermelon. A perfect summer day. Now we just need something interesting, some ideas to chew on and talk through while we laze in the sun. Fortunately, the blawgosphere is overflowing with great posts this week! Stephanie, are you ready to present Blawg Review #114?
I wish, Julie. I am sitting at my computer finishing up a last minute project. All I hear is the click and whir of the printer. Then I have to brave the egg-frying driveway to get to my car. I am even wearing nylons! Summer and pantyhose are like soggy and potato chips, winter and spaghetti straps, a dog and a shared fork (see below). As that blasted sun hits my shoulders covered by the lightest blazer I own (and still too heavy), I long to be where you are. Burgers? Sangria and watermelon? Maybe if I imagine hard enough — and with full visualization and affirmation as recommended in The Secret — I can join you.
Yes, yes, yes, the pantyhose are fading. The blazer evaporated. I am beginning to smell the ocean. I can hear the volleyball players. And I see you. Julie, I am here now and ready to get on with our hot Blawg Review #114.
With thanks to everyone submitting posts, we offer you some of the best of the week.
Summer means school is out. Do you remember that feeling of freedom? The long days to be filled with any adventure of your choosing? The infinite potential?
For contract drafters, Ken Adams presents Document Assembly—Q&A with Laura N. Williams, General Counsel and Director of Legal Professional Services, Ixio Corporation posted at AdamsDrafting. Lawyers who are able to work from model documents will likely benefit from this extensive interview.
The change of seasons, and the days getting shorter again, give reason for holding nature in awe. Human nature too can be remarkable. Susan Cartier Liebel, at her Build A Solo Practice, LLC, posted A Solo Practitioner We Can All Admire about how Kimberlie Ryan went from a huge win to a tragic loss to a humanitarian journey.
When we were kids, with summer arrived mischief and pranks and games of tag. And a few wet, colorful orbs being thrown our way . . .
The Legal Scoop aims water balloons at judges gone wrong. First, Scott Felsenthal presents A Judge, Bribes, and Cigars posted at The Legal Scoop. This is the head-scratching story of (former) Brooklyn State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson, convicted this week on bribery charges. The judge accepted cash and cigar boxes to fix the outcome of some divorce cases over which he was presiding, and he offered advice to lawyers on how they might win such cases. And he did this on video.
Next, Scott Felsenthal presents Only in the SEC posted at The Legal Scoop: meet the Alabama judge who dismissed a jury verdict on the grounds that the jury displayed "passion, bias, prejudice, and emotions" that rendered its verdict unjust. How so?
The jury awarded $30 million to two Crimson Tide assistant football coaches who’d been accused of misconduct by the NCAA in the course of an investigation that put the team on probation and prevented the coached from finding comparable employment. However, funding the ruling "severely flawed," the judge ruled that the Tuscaloosa jury was composed of Alabama fans and thus couldn't return a just verdict. The case has been appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. Only in the SEC, indeed!
Finally, Scott asks, Should This Case be in Court? You Decide... The Scoop criticizes administrative law judge Roy Pearson, who is suing his dry cleaner not only for the loss of a pair of pants, but also for damages allegedly resulting from its display of a sign promising "Same Day Service" and "Satisfaction Guaranteed." On the second day of trial, Pearson testified and cried on the stand. Perhaps he caught wind of the tatters of his judicial credibility . . .
Summer can be fun, fun, fun. Water skiing and traveling and just plain hanging out on those lazy, crazy, hazy days. If those activities don't bring a smile to your face, Nicole Black has thrown down the gauntlet at Legal Antics to determine the funniest law blog. With a prize to be awarded by the good folks at The Billable Hour , the competition is heating up!
On QuizLaw , Seth Freilich declared "Shenanigans" over the stunning early lead built by heretofore little-known blog Phila Lawyer, only to discover that Phila Lawyer has over 2000 unique visitors a day. Voting closes today, so if you haven't voted yet, you'd better hurry over .
Still more blawgosphere fun . . . In the category of "rulings that surprise no one except the plaintiff," Kevin Underhill presents Court Rules Woman Who Didn't Enter Lottery Not Entitled to Damages For Not Winning on Lowering the Bar .
The summer blockbuster: entertainment news from the blawgosphere!
Randy Barnett of The Volokh Conspiracy blogged about his appearance as an assistant prosecutor in the coming-soon indy sci-fi film Inalienable, in which he assists the first-chair prosecutor Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek Next Generation.
Meanwhile, QuizLaw’s Dustin Rowles catalogs the achievements and lawsuit adventures of Motley Crue, the fourth best hair band of all time (the best according to Dustin’s partner-in-blogging Seth Freilich). The band claims it was damaged to the tune of $8 million by bad business advice rendered by its manager.
Finally, Brett Trout presents Rock Music is Now the Establishment posted at Blawg IT-Internet Patent, Trademark and Copyright Issues with Attorney Brett Trout. If you’re one of those excited by iTunes recent decision to offer non-DRM music files, you’ll likely enjoy Brett’s musings on copyright and DRM.
On summer fashions . . . Or the lack thereof.
As you’re slipping into your flashy new summer togs, you might wonder about their country of origin. Jorge Espinosa presents Regulation of Parallel Market Sales by U.S. States posted at The Gray Blog, to explain the state laws controlling parallel market commercial goods.
How about some topless strolling? After all, do lawyers, or any other people, wants layers of threads covering their bodies on these sunny days? Madeleine Begun Kane presents An Arresting Affair posted at Mad Kane's Humor Blog. In this limerick-style offering, we learn that a woman received a $29,000 settlement in her civil rights lawsuit against New York City. She was arrested and detained for 12 hours for appearing topless in public, despite a 1992 state court ruling holding that women are entitled to remove their shirts to the same extent that men are.
Walter Olson presents the same story on Overlawyered; the comments speculate on the usefulness of large damages awards in preventing future arrests for acts that aren’t criminal. Kent Morlan of MoreLaw.com offers a few more facts that perhaps cast a new light on the case. Apparently, Ms. Coccaro (who goes by the name "Phoenix Feeley") claimed that she was yanked out of a patrol car by her hair and taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation during her 12 hours’ detention.
Here's a hot post for professional woman. If you are going to wear clothes, get some tips at george's employment blawg where George Lenard posted 9 Tips to Beat the Heat and Look Professional: Women.
More heat . . . Christopher Marston of Inside the Firm of the Future wrote 10 points with burning criticism of some members of the legal profession in Top 10 Reasons Why Professionals Don't "Get it" When it Comes to Pricing and Service!
On matters domestic and foreign . . . Red, white, and blue always come out early in the summer.
Brian Tamanaha of Balkinization presents Blood on the Hands of the State, in which he states, "[f]or many reasons, I feel fortunate to have been born in the United States, but I don’t love my country. It has no love for any of us. A cold, manipulative, object of affection, the state fans patriotism, then asks those who love it deeply to prove their love by dying or sacrificing their limbs for it."
Dave Hoffman presents Law, Foreign Norms and Social Order (Or, How I Survived A Naples Soccer Celebration) at Concurring Opinions. The delightful bottom line: "All of which is to say that this trip is reminding me vividly that much of what we think of as law - the rules that permit us to be social - bears only some relationship to the formal instructions written down. It is much easier to see this when you are out of the Matrix."
Marty Lederman presents Fancy That posted at Balkinization, suggesting that "[t]he Combatant Status Review Tribunal proceedings to determine whether detainees are 'enemy combatants' are basically a farce."
One of summer's great pleasures is a picnic. Avoid the ants, and don't bite the hand that feeds you.
The Editor of Blawg Review presents Out to Lunch , which reveals that Allison Margolin, LA's Dopest Attorney, has requested removal of a 2006 post highlighting her YouTube video, arguing that it's interfering with her Google position. Ed. appears to be crushed to receive that request instead of an invitation to lunch, though perhaps the YouTube video showing LA's Dopest eating from the same fork as her dog makes the oversight less painful.
Ah, beach reading. Such a simple pleasure. A summer day would be incomplete without something cool to drink and something hot to read.
Fortunately, the blawgosphere delivers incisive analysis on recent cases and current events.
Randy L. Braun presents Holy Unionization, Batman! It's The Employee Free Choice Act. posted at Juz The Fax. Randy points out that if the EFCA becomes law, consumer costs will rise: "It may then be time to think about cancelling that nice, long awaited vacation out West and, instead, taking a walking tour of Hoboken."
Orin Kerr presents United States v. Washington posted at The Volokh Conspiracy. Citing "sympathetic facts for the defense," the post kicked off a string of interesting commentary about this 9th Circuit case holding a search in violation of the 4th Amendment.
Jonathan Adler presents Did 9/11 Mistrial Violate Defendant's Rights? , also posted at The Volokh Conspiracy. The Sixth Circuit, in a split opinion, upheld a conviction following a bench trial despite the defendant's argument that jeopardy had already attached on September 11, 2001, when the judge declared a mistrial in the previous case, because of his concern that the events on 9/11 would prevent jurors from devoting their full attention to the trial.
All the cool kids who follow the Supreme Court's criminal law rulings are discussing U.S. v. Rita, which was decided June 21. Not surprisingly, exhaustive coverage appears on the SCOTUS Blog. Lyle Denniston presents the summary in Court Rules on Sentencing Guidelines, with additional commentary by numerous others, notably including David Stras and Kate Stith. Douglas Berman presents the aptly-named Rita Recap. . . For Now at Sentencing Law and Policy.
On a lighter note, Michael Atkins, the Seattle Trademark Lawyer, presents Is the Space Needle Different from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?, examining the trademark issues arising from an advertisement that included a photograph of the Seattle skyline, in which the observation deck of the famous Space Needle was replaced with a giant onion ring.
In case anyone missed the news, Mike Nifong, the Duke lacrosse team prosecutor, has been disbarred. Norm Pattis of Crime & Federalism presents Mike Nifong and Prosecutorial Immunity, in which he explains why prosecutorial immunity will likely protect Nifong from a Section 1983 civil rights suit. Pattis suggests, however, that the Duke lacrosse team's supporters might "make this a test case designed to frame the issue of whether prosecutors who engage in egregious misconduct as advocates should forfeit immunity from suit."
Hanno Kaiser presents CSFB v. Billings: Did Thomas and Stevens Get it Right? at Antitrust Review. The post manages to summarize the latest ruling as compared with precedent in one handy chart — no mean feat.
With that post, we will end this first review of the summer. We had so many good posts from which to choose. Hosting Blawg Review has given us a new level of admiration for the quality of thinking and writing out there in this corner of the Internet, our blawgosphere. Please have a scintillating summer. We plan to.
Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.