V.R.Crim.P.

I barely know who Gary Glitter is, but he’s now been sentenced to three years in prison in Vietnam for sexually molesting (is that redundant? is there another kind of criminal ‘molestation’?) two local girls (aged 11 & 12)

Criminal justice in Vietnam is apparently a little more freewheeling than here:

In addition to prison time, the former hit-maker will have to pay $320 [!] in restitution to each girls’ family along with court costs.

... [Judge] Tung decided against giving Glitter the maximum term of seven years in the slammer, opting to go easier and hand him the minimum three years because the musician paid the victims’ families $2,000 each [!!!] back in December. And had Glitter been charged with the more serious crime of child rape, he could have faced death by firing squad if convicted. [!!!!!!!!]

Glitter, who has claimed he was only tutoring the girls in English and allowed them to sleep in his bed because they were supposedly afraid of ghosts, has 15 days to appeal his sentence.

03 Mar 06

Comments

Various.
  • I had a good time at the Barrister’s Ball. I don’t know what the rest of you were so crabby about.
  • The Kashmiri class won on summary judgment yesterday.
  • It’s rumored that Michael Chertoff will resign as head of homeland security. Remember, he gave up life tenure as an Article III judge to take this job ... brilliant.
  • 07 Mar 06

    Comments

    Top ten.

    Top ten items in this Saturday’s PILF auction least likely to inspire vigorous bidding:

    1. Cup and bowl set

    2. Six Metal CDs

    3. Reno 9/11 on DVD

    4. Three T-shirts

    5. Jagermeister party kit

    6. Acrylic salad bowl set

    7. Bikini wax from Professor Nimmer*

    8. Designer diaper bag

    9. Lunch with former Governor Michael Dukakis

    10. LSAT prep course

    * OK, I made that one up

    09 Mar 06

    Comments

    PILF auction.

    I was conscripted into attending the PILF auction last night. I bid on a BarBRI course (being as I have no ginormous law firm to pick up the tab for me, but I lost) and poker night with Judge Alex Kozinski (I wasn’t willing to pay $1800 for the privilege of losing another couple hundred to the good judge, but I like to think I made it more expensive for the winning bidder)

    I admit I have no desire to practice public interest law. Yes, I know, we’ve got to stand up for the little guy, etc. I’m all for that.

    1) What I fear are public interest law organizations. When I was a private consultant (prior to law school) I had to deal with a lot of companies. The non-profits were always, always, the biggest pains in the ass. They could not make decisions, they were permanently disorganized, they loved to waste time on little political vendettas, etc.

    Yes, plenty of private companies are the same way. But for private companies, the rubber has to hit the road somewhere, and this is a limit on goofy behavior. For non-profits, this moment never seems to come.

    A good friend of mine worked at a prominent public interest law organization last summer and said they had plenty of talented people, but as she put it, “nobody ever knew where the file was”. For me, working at a place like that would be a death of a thousand cuts. I like knowing where the file is. I need that kind of basic hygiene in my work environment.

    2) I don’t buy the idea that it’s somehow noble for to take a dramatically below-market-rate job so one can ‘serve the public’. Thing one, it’s exploitative. Thing two, it’s a bad business decision for the person taking the job.

    For myself, I’ve had periods of my working life where I made good money & periods where I made no money. Believe me, the good-money parts are a lot better. I’ve always felt like you gotta do things for the money before you can do things not for the money.

    12 Mar 06

    Comments

    2.78L.

    I cannot tell a lie: I have had enough of law school. It’s a pleasant enough way to pass the time, I suppose. But as we enter the last 6 weeks of 2L, I’m starting to feel the incipient symptoms of 3L syndrome–I can’t bring myself to read another turgid supreme court opinion, even heavily edited. My attention drifts away sooner in the 70-minute lecture than it used to.

    I find it hard to read anything for my seminar class, knowing that a) there is no exam holding me accountable for it and b) doing the reading does not help me finish my paper, which is the sole graded deliverable.

    Am I alone? Forutnately, no. Our own Prof. Richard Sander published an article on 3L called “The Happy Charade” where he presents a systematic view of the 3L brain stagnation syndrome. I can’t really improve on his take, so I suggest you go read that instead.

    14 Mar 06

    Comments

    2.79L.

    One of the things lawyers say about law school is that it “changes the way you think”. I wasn’t sure what this meant before I went–think logically? think clearly? think rigorously? It didn’t seem like those would be unique to law school.

    But even as a light dusting of impatience settles across my 2L brain, I must admit these folks were right. Somewhat to my surprise, and occasionally to my horror, in the last few months I’ve found myself questioning longtime positions I’ve had on certain topics, and finding complexity / ambiguity in issues I thought were simple.

    I attribute this change to the effects of becoming generally more interested in methodologies than results. And I blame law school for it.

    Honestly, it’s annoying. Friends and family have become suspicious of me. Children & animals do not love me intuitively as they once did. Just the other evening I issued the preposterous conjecture “I don’t know, would it really be so bad if Roe and Casey were overturned?”

    I miss those simple days down on the farm.

    18 Mar 06

    Comments

    The quest for truth.

    Recently I learned:

    • According to a friend, Clarence Thomas sleeps through oral arguments, or at best has his eyes closed. This is apparently widely known to all who appear at the Supreme Court.

    • According to a professor, a law researcher studied the reliability of visual vs. transcript evidence. Generally, courts give deference to whatever fact-finder in the chain had the chance to actually see & hear a witness, since this is considered to provide extra clues to their credibility.

    A group of graduate students were asked to watch episodes of To Tell The Truth and judge who were the liars. Another group was allowed to read the written transcripts of the same shows. The transcript readers routinely outperformed the video watchers in finding the liars, contradicting the idea that watching someone give testimony produces extra reliability.

    A follow-up study was done where another group was allowed to listen to the episodes, but not watch. They apparently outperformed both the watchers and the readers.

    So maybe Clarence is just putting himself into that perfect zone of perception where he can, eyes closed and ears open, determine exactly who is lying to him.

    Or maybe he’s asleep.

    20 Mar 06

    Comments

    Another important discovery.

    The word “tax” looks a lot more badass if you spell it "TAXX“. Compare:

    The federal income tax not only waits until the moment of realization to tax an asset, but also requires that the asset has changed in value.

    The federal income TAXX not only waits until the moment of realization to TAXX an asset, but also requires that the asset has changed in value.

    Yeah, that’s hot. Maybe I can work my way up to TÄXXX.

    20 Mar 06

    Comments

    San Francisco.

    Have you seen the San Francisco Superior Court information website? I thought sites this ugly were eradicated around 1996.

    22 Mar 06

    Comments

    Free lunch, state government style.

    Vital news for all UCLA readers:

    At the beginning of the school year the Dean instituted a “free lunch” program enabling faculty to take students to lunch, typically at that mecca of cuisine known as the Faculty Center. In typical state-government fashion, professors may get reimbursed for meal costs up to $7 per student. So kids, steer clear of the lobster.

    Let’s be clear: like most free lunches, there’s nothing free about this one either. Your (dramatically increasing) tuition provides the budget for most school expenditures, including these lunches. So it might be more accurate to call it the “no marginal cost lunch”.

    But what, you might ask, is the point of these lunches? In my experience, professors are not exactly climbing over each other to socialize with students, let alone at their special clubbe.

    My unverified hypothesis is that it is part of the Dean’s campaign to promote judicial clerkships to 2Ls. My first lunch, Prof Tax* told a long story about how he regretted not doing a clerkship and strongly encouraged all of us not to make that mistake. When I checked with some friends how their lunch with a different professor went, they said she spent most of the time pushing clerkships.

    Coincidence? You tell me. To be fair, profs #2 and #3 did not discuss clerkships. So at this point there’s 50% evidence for my conspiracy theory. Just one more shred & I’ll have a preponderance!

    In any case–this program seems to be mostly publicized by word of mouth. I have already hit up 3 out of 4 professors for free lunches this semester and I suggest you do the same. You’ve already paid for the lunches. You might as well eat them.

    * Extra props to Prof Tax for letting us order off the deluxe menu. We blasted past the $7 limit all the way to, I don’t know, $10 or $11. And you know what, I think we were worth it.

    24 Mar 06

    Comments

    Spring break.

    24 Mar 06


    Spring break.

    26 Mar 06

    Comments
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