Saturday, September 23, 2006

Disturbing Thought

Today I went to the market to pick up some groceries. I passed by the produce isle and saw several tomatoes spilled on the ground. I thought nothing of the spill, at the time, and went on with my shopping. Fifteen minutes later I returned to the produce isle and the spill was still there.

A normal person would only think to avoid the spill, but law students are not normal people.

Only, one thing ran through my head, TORT LAWSUIT!!!!

It’s disturbing when you can’t even do your marketing without law on your mind. What is law school doing to us?

Some how law school made me an even bigger dork

It's around 4am for me, which means it's 2am for David. I'm still awake, and bumming around online.

David: So what'd you do with your friday night?
Dan: Went to services, then came home and avoided studying by watching anime.
David: Damnit, it's friday, stop staying home and watching anime, go out and get a life!

I swear ... if I didn't have project runway and lots and lots of anime (Ergo Proxy rocks!) I'd be insane by now. (Drinking helps too)

L'Shanah Tovah!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Today's legal Writing aka I'm glad we have anonymous grading

So since we don't actually cover anything in legal writing and our prof seems to have something against letting us out of class early, he normally hands out worksheets for us to work on for the last 40 minutes of class. These worksheets are never handed in, and are only for "practice". So today, we were talking about topic sentences and case description sentences. The prof handed out a case, and then asked us to write our own sample topic sentences.

Terribly Boring Legal Writing Prof: Mr. Slacker would you mind writing a sample topic sentence on the board?

Me: Um .... actually ... yes I would mind.

TBLWP: Oh ..... (awkward silence while the class looks at me) Did you prepare a topic sentence?

Me: No, not really

TBLWP: Well can you come up with one right now?

Me: Probably, but I didn't even bother to read the case ... so ... I dunno about that either.

TBLWP: Well what were you doing for the last 30 minutes?

Me: Just sort of staring at the wall.

At which point someone from the back of the class raised their hand and volunteered a topic sentence. Thanks for taking the heat off :)

Legal Writing sucks.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My Legal Writing Notes

Legal Writing is by far the worst class I have. Just to give you an idea of how boring/painful I find this class I've decided to include my recent class notes. Keep in mind this class is an hour and forty minutes long, and these are all the notes I took for that one day. G-d ... just thinking about legal writing pisses me off.

Legal Writing – Lecture 5 – 09/14/06
Fuck this class!

Professor’s Thoughts of the Week – kill me now.
• Law school is not fair. (omg ……… are we paying to be here?)
o Mirrors real life, which is also not fair. (Are you fucking kidding me?)
• You can extract rules of law from reasoning

Plain language concepts
• Omit surplus words
• Reduce passive voice
• Directly state your point (Point: I want to hit this professor)
• Avoid repeating points (Did I mention I hate this class?)
• Is a relatively new movement.

Umm … zoned out for a bit … and now he’s drawing cans on the board? So confused …
• You can move the can up and down but side to side movement is restricted ….
o WTF!!!
o Oh … ok … his point is use fewer words while describing things, and be more accurate.
He chose a retarded patent example to show this. I want to hit this man.

First citation rule
• The first time you mention a case name it must be a full citation!

Textual Citations – Rule 10.2.1
Citation Sentence – Rule 10.2.2 – Table 6 and Table 10 = additional abbrev. To use.
Global Citation Rules
• Abbrev. The 8 Corp. things and widely used acronyms 10.2.1(c)
• Know The 10.2.1(d)
• Generally, no first names unless it’s a biz. 10.2.1(g)
• 1 party on each side of the v (single party rule)
• don’t use et al. 10.2.1(a)
• eliminate state of, city of, 10.2.1(f)

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Empire Strikes Back

Just when you would think Contracts Professor and I were in slacker equilibrium, that I had won the battle of wits: The Empire Struck Back.

::cue the Empire Strikes Back music::

Most people don’t like being called in class. But it happens to everyone; on occasion someone may even get called on twice in a big class. But, three times is just plain ridiculous. Seriously, who gets called on three times in class? He clearly has a grudge against anyone he calls on three times. Being called on three times is just not right. Well if you think that he called on me three times in class you would be wrong, he called on me four.

“Mr. Slacker, you have been awfully quiet lately, why don’t you explain x aspect of ABC case.”

Ordinarily this would not be a problem, but case ABC is a blurb mini-case that we had read a month ago. If it was a full size case, I could have pulled up an old brief, but since it was a small mini-case, I had nothing written down. This case was not on the reading list for today’s class. By all rational standards we would not be held responsible for this case today.

Like a rational human being, I kindly explained the predicament that I was in and suggested that he cue me in on certain facts, or to call on me later after I had read over the case. He took insult to the first suggestion and decided to ream me with the second.

One person later he called on me. The minute between the first and second time he called on me was not enough time to read the case. This was kind of ridiculous, but I had read enough to get the gist. I agreed with the person before me even though Contracts Professor kind of implied that the answer was wrong. I had not yet found anything in the text to suggest why Contracts Professor was right and the other student was wrong and didn’t want to invite on anymore pain. He made some quip and then moved on to some others.

He then started on case DEF. I had read DEF and knew it well. I raised my hand, implementing my aforementioned strategy of becoming Mr. Question Guy to avoid being called on. There was a half an hour left in class and I am fairly certain that he intended to spend almost all of that on this case.

He called on me and implied that this ought to be good.

“I figured I should try to redeem myself” I jokingly quipped back. The class found this funny.

I nailed the case. He fired question after question at me as if it were rounds of artillery. But I kept nailing every single point of the case. So instead of the Socratic Method taking 25 minutes of class, it took about 5 minutes of rapid fire questions to me.

Although, impressed with my intelligence, Contracts Professor was not impressed that it didn’t take almost the rest of the class. He also was not going to let me win the war of wits.

He moved on to another mini-case, this one vaguer and took far more abstraction to understand. He called on me for the fourth time on a very difficult case.

What??!? Didn’t I just nail a case proving my worthiness? Yes, but he was definitely not going to let me have the last laugh and he wasn’t a Rhodes Scholar for nothing.

I kind of skimmed the case earlier and did my best. But I had only got some of the points and was missing part of the idea. He reamed me for trying to redeem myself and outsmart him. He won.

I figured out the case after he moved on to a good chunk of other people, but before I could quip back, he said the answer.

I wish I had a happy ending to this story, but sadly it ends there. Just like the Empire Strikes Back, with the good guys losing.

But fear not, there will be a Return of the Jedi.

::cue star wars closing music::

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Quotes of the day

My CivPro teacher is brilliant and one of the most prominent judges in the state, but more importantly he is absolutely hillarious.

Consider the follwoing quotes today:

"I have never understood the name of the Federalist Society; it should be the Anti- Federalist society. Hamilton is your symbol, but he was in favor of a strong elastic federal government. Your symbol should be Jefferson who was an anti-federalist, but Jefferson is a Democrat. Then you would be the Democrat society, which is a rather ironic title, and quite understandable not to call yourselves."

"Subject matter jurisdiction is like kryptonite you can always pull it out of your pocket to kill jurisdiction at any time, just like you can always take kryptonite out of your pocket to kill superman."

"Every case shows that states have jurisdiction over all state issues, well except for Bush v Gore"

"No one cares about section 3 of Article 3, dealing with treason, except for Anne Coulter"

These quotes made my day

This IM made my day :)

Undergrad friend: so they don't really call either of you guys mr. slacker, huh?
me: hah
me: no

Monday, September 11, 2006

You know law school sucks when . . . (#2)

You go to school sick.

Ordinary human beings miss work or school when they are sick, but not in law school. If you are going to miss a day it’s because you need to take time off or because you didn’t do the reading. You certainly do not want to miss school because you are sick, especially if you did a long reading section.

This has an unintended effect of making everyone’s life more miserable then they already are in the first year of law school.

Whys that?

Well since you go to law school when you are sick, you get other people sick. Since they keep coming to school when they are sick, soon everyone is sick.

Now you have 2 hours of contracts to read tonight, 2 hours of civil procedure, and you have to read them with a stuffy nose and a sore throat.

The people who get really stressed out have it the worst. I feel sorry for those poor souls. They are crazy enough to be studying to the point of improper health when sick, which makes them more sick and there studying harder to do because they get more sick.

Mandatory attendance is good in that at forces students to learn and not excessively slack. But it works adversely when it’s taken to the extreme, and encourages people to take improper care of themselves.

People need to put that one class in perspective, catch up on the reading on the weekend and take care of themselves.

What a way to start the day

I stumble into Civil Procedures at 9am, still half asleep. I woke up late, and didn't have time to get my morning coffee. I made it to class just in time, and was still booting up the laptop when the Professor took his place at the head of the class.

"Mr. Slacker, what is truth?" He bellows.
"Umm ... huh .... I'm not sure what you mean ..." I reply while rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
"It's a simple question, and I'll ask it again in-case you didn't hear me. What is truth?"

This is not how I wanted my Monday to begin.

I tried to give some standard bullshit response about how truth is subjective, and can there really be a truth. There can be a factual truth (in some regards ...) but is there a TRUTH? I don't know.

This was not the answer he was looking for, and he proceeded to take the first half of class to lecture us about how the adversarial process we have in the American legal system is designed to "smelt a more perfect truth".

What a day ...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Most annoying person ever! The Leg Shaker ...

The way our classrooms are setup here are in long rows of seats, the seats are physically connected to the desks on this strange swinging arms, and the desks themselves are divided into groupings of two. So two people sit connected to the same table, then there's a slight gap, two more people connected, gap, two more, etc, down the row. This morning I came a little late to class, and had to take a seat in the far back row so I wouldn't disrupt class by taking my normal seat.

Now let me tell you ... I believe I have found the most annoying person to ever exist. I am so glad that is not my normal seat, and I feel horrible for anyone that has to sit next to this man on a regular basis.

The Leg Shaker! OMG! I fidget. Move a little here, a little there, you know how it is. I feels really odd to sit completely still, but this man brings fidgeting to a whole new level. His leg was pumping up and down like a jackhammer the whole class long. And since we're connected to the table in pairs of two, I was lucky enough to have taken the seat connected to him. The whole table would move. I didn't know I should have taking Dramamine before coming to class, but next time I'm late, I'll remember. Maybe I should start caring it in my bag just in case.

I asked him to quick shaking numerous times throughout the class. It was distracting, annoying, and just downright rude. Everytime he'd stop (without an apology) and then start shaking again within five minutes. This continued for the next hour and forty minutes. By the end of class I wanted to hit this man.

For the love of g-d ... if you sit in connected seats, sit fucking down, and keep fucking still, other people can feel you moving!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

How I became the most infamous 1L in law school (Part 2)

Last time on great tales of the slackers, we learned how I managed to survive two days of bombardments of questions from Contracts Professor, the most feared teacher at my law school. We learned of the slacker’s worst nightmare, to be called on and grilled all the time in Contract Professor’s class. This is both thoroughly unenjoyable and interferes with proper slacking. See Part I

By now the school counselor had heard of me because of students complaining that they did not want to be grilled like me. (Still trying to figure out why students compalined in detial about how specific other students get grilled, but I appreciate the empathy)

So how did I manage to outsmart a Rhodes Scholar into stop calling on me?

So I was sitting in class after getting grilled about the UCC, looking at the several Mr. Questions Guys constantly raise there hand and not being called on. I was thinking, it serves them right for being pompous pricks and raising there hand for everything.

And then it hit me, like the apple hit Newton.

I must do the most unthinkable thing possible.

I had noticed that there is one thing that Contract Professor avoids like the bubonic plague: Our friend Mr. Question Guy. He can not stand the Mr. Question Guys of the class and never calls on them, ever.

I had to become Mr. Question Guy. If I ascribed to this philosophy that I most try to avoid then Contracts Professor would surely not call on me. I could return to slacker equilibrium.

This new theory of mine had one unfortunate consequence. I actually needed to study the cases well. If he called on me I better know the case, so that I can take away all the fun of him grilling me.

So cue the 80’s montage and picture me struggling to turn pages in my contracts book and as the montage continues me reading a whole lot more and briefing. Then picture me at the end of the montage being ready for Contracts Professor.

The next class came and somehow by the middle of the class, Contracts Professor had still not called on me. The class was discussing the most difficult part of the case. A good chunk of people had been called on and were unable to get the answer to the case.

I decided it was time to make my move. I raised my hand.

There were several other people with there hands up and one guy in the class that he was currently grilling. Cutting off the guy mid-sentence, Contracts Professor responds.

“Please excuse me for interrupting you, but the temptation to call on Mr. Slacker is too high right now”

Then I nailed it. Nothing more needed to be added. Contracts Professor was clearly impressed and somewhat shocked that a slacker could come up with a tricky answer. He even called my reasoning, Mr. Slacker’s rule.

But I wasn’t finished yet. I knew the hardest part of the next case too. So when the time came I raised my hand.

My hard work and genius began to pay off, as behavioral science began to run its course. Contracts Professor avoided calling on me like the bubonic plague. Cue Beethoven “Ode to Joy”

I raised my hand again. It kept on working.

Contracts Professor has yet to call on me again to this day.

I simply read the case real well for one case, and about 1 out of every 4 classes I raise my hand and say something real insightful to appease Contracts Professor.

The slacking world is once again at peace.

Everyone is happy, I get to slack, and Contracts Professor gets insightful information from me on occasion. If he ever gets uppity ill just keep raising my hand and he will stop calling on me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Someone needs to stop taking notes

As annoying as Mr. Question Guy is, I've discovered someone that manages to be far more annoying without ever opening his mouth.

Mr. Loud Typer. Mr. Loud Typer in my section changes his seat for every class, so my little click and I have yet to find out who he is. But everyone is in agreement, that man types way to loudly. Even one of our Professors has noticed. Last week during Contracts, the professor stopped class and proclaimed "Even with my mic turned all the way up, I can't hear myself talk over someone's excessive typing. You have laptops, not typewriters, keep it down out there in note-taking land."

I don't know what this person's problem is, do they have really fat fingers? Maybe their bones are incredibly dense so the weight baring down on the keys is more than normal? I suspect he's just an overeager note taking; diligently recording everything the Professors say with such enthusiasm that he gets carried away and just starts pounding on the keys.

What ever it is ... it needs to stop. Move your fingers with speed and agility, just don't pound the damn keyboard. Thanks!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

How I became the most infamous 1L in law school (Part 1)

It was a normal day in my contracts class. The professor is bombarding us, with the Socratic Method style questioning. I realize this professor is fairly intense and demands respect, but I had no idea what was coming. He definitely gets a thrill out of freaking people out, by showing how they did not understand the case or how they did not read the case carefully. He instills fear in students like a lion staring down at you and is the most feared teacher in the school. Often I am not completely sure that the people he picks on aren’t going to cry. But at least it’s only for a minute, a few minutes at max. In all fairness he is brilliant, a Rhodes Scholar, and has a great sense of humor (British dry wit). But he is intense and demands respect.

So out of the blue on a fine Monday afternoon, Contracts Professor calls on me.

Now being that it was the second day of class, I had not realized the depth that you need to read the cases. So I browsed over the case on the bus ride from the parking lot. I only understood the basic ideas. The case was assigned on Friday but he did not get to the case till the following Monday. I did not review over the weekend. I had errands to run, other cases to read, and alcohol to put in my liver.

So come Monday, he asks me my opinion on the case.

He proceeds by bombarding me with questions about offer and acceptance until I am in complete vertigo. First I try to BS; this is usually an effective technique. Worst case scenario, you may not look smart but at least it looks like you did the reading. But trying to BS my way through was not working very well, since he wanted exact quotes from the case. I obviously can’t supply the answer since I just browsed over the case. He realizes I haven’t read the case’s details at all and then corners me with a question I couldn’t possibly answer by just browsing.

So I figured I should put the charm. I reply that I had not highlighted the case and apologized for my lack of preparation and suggested that he call on someone else. If you thought this is where he stopped, you would be very wrong. He then prepared to grill me on another case we had read. I had also only browsed over it a few days back. He continued grilling me on the cases for about 10 minutes. I think he was frustrated that he couldn’t get me to fold and be embarrassed. But the class was in sheer horror that this teacher could fire bomb after bomb at a student, in such a way to attempt to try to make them feel like shit. There was much gossip in the locker room about the guy that got grilled by Contracts Professor. If you think this is where the grilling of me ends, you are still very wrong.

The very next class, Contracts professor calls on me to explain facts of a case. Which, after a momentary pause I was able to successfully do. He then proceeded to grill me for another ten minutes with questions, which I somehow manage to dodge the heat. He finally moves on to another student. I am greatly relieved and figured I am safe for the rest of the class. There are plenty of other students to pick on in an 85 person class. With every other student he had called he had limited his attacks to about 3 minutes, tops. Both of my encounters had been far longer than any other student.

A little bit of time elapsed.

Then it happened.

“Mr. Slacker, where in the entire UCC code would you find justification for the claim?”

The class fell silent and the faces all around me are in sheer horror at the prospect of being asked where in the entire Uniform Commercial Code a justification is located. Especially since no one had any idea that they had to look up anything in the UCC.

I was flabbergasted and didn’t know what to say. I did not say anything. I think I chuckled at the sheer ridiculous nature of the question. I flip through the book to humor him.

“Is it in there? Or are we just making this up?” He quipped as he attempted to make fun of me.

“Being that your asking, I am willing to bet that it is” I retort sarcastically .The class laughed out loud. It’s safe to say that he did not rather appreciate this. Although, I think deep down he found my answer rather hilarious. He proceeded to grill me and grill me hard; harder than any student before.

I struggle with the case which I had read, but not briefed, and reconciling it with the UCC. With several awkward pauses of 30 seconds where he had the class wait while I was reading the UCC I slowly found the needed material.

I eventually, concocted several UCC codes and several facts of the case to give the right answer. I was relieved. I think he was impressed with my intelligence, but not impressed that I am a sarcastic slacker that did not buy into his game of fear. Secretly I think he respected me more for it though. At the minimum, I had gotten the right answer unlike the first day.

But nonetheless, he had made it his mission to continuously call on me in every class. This is certainly a problem and thoroughly unenjoyable. So I came up with a way to defeat the Rhodes Scholar in a battle of wits.

The talk in the locker room after class was almost entirely about me. I had probably around 20 people come up to me and express their sympathies. They spread the word to other 1Ls, and soon the tale of the slacker that Contracts Professor keeps calling on was infamous. They feared being the person getting called on like me. My fellow students were supportive, I am thankful.

To see how I turn it around you must wait till part 2.