Thursday, November 3, 2016
[Posted by Alan Childress]
There was a time when this blog also posted ruminations on policy, culture, and trivia--like that the inventor of canned cranberry sauce was a lawyer, and that Abe Lincoln held a patent. I concede the blog has improved and focused on-point appropriately under Mike Frisch's herculean efforts over the past decade. Yet I hope he'll allow the indulgence of the olden times when I mused and opined. In light of Scooter Libby's reinstatement, politics and nostalgia are not necessarily inapt to the blog. So here is the story I will tell, and then I promise I will take the Forrest Gump approach: that's all I have to say about tha-at.
In the winding-down days of her husband’s administration, First Lady Hillary Clinton was in such a dark place that she called on A Friend—the seer recommended to her by Nancy Reagan. Reading tea leaves, a crystal ball, and tarot cards, Friend immediately predicted that Hillary would run for President someday.
“I’ve been running since I was 14,” Hillary retorted, her shoulders shimmying with the thought. “That proves nothing about your powers.”
“You will be seeking to follow in office … a Kenyan-American with the middle name Hussein. And also George Bush.”
From this point on, Hillary would just be humoring Friend. “Naturally. Do I win?”
“Ask Again Later,” said Friend, after consulting the Magic 8 Ball on this one.
“OK, then, what is my biggest weakness?”
“You are not liberal enough. You get slammed from the Left.”
“Riiiight,” Hillary replied. “That happens to me all the time. Anything else I should worry about?”
“The people are extremely concerned about your ability to keep a secret,” Friend said.
“Have you met me?”
“I’m just saying what the leaves tell me,” Friend defended. “All I know is you may want to ask Al Gore to explain the internet. Anyway, I do see that there will be a great, running controversy over whether Miss Universe is attractive enough.”
“So that’s a big issue in the election?!”
“Hyuuuuge, enormous,” Friend answered, without either woman quite understanding why she drew out the U’s. “Something to do with … Kermit the Frog?”
“You’ve lost me,” Hillary said.
“The good news,” Friend said, “is that I sense you’ll have some moral back-up on the current … unpleasantness. None other than Newt Gingrich will eventually scream at the media to quit being so sex-obsessed and let men be men. Something about locker rooms, or locker buses, and a Bush again—it’s unclear. But Newt will insist it is time we talk about policy instead.”
When hell freezes over and the ice caps melt, Hillary thought. “At least tell me who I run against!”
Friend had a look on her face like she’d just seen an endless stream of future cat videos and goats passing out from their own bleats. The future was grim and perplexing. “Who it is … what I see … just cannot be so. I think I have to send this crystal ball back to the shop.”
“You weren’t a lot of help, honestly. All of that only makes sense in a world where The National Enquirer is treated as more credible than The New York Times. Look, I have to go. I’m picking out new White House china.”
“CHina,” Hillary corrected her, puzzled. “And I’m introducing my assistant Huma to a sweet Congressman I know. They’re both great people, but I think they’ll be stronger together.”
At that, Friend began a fit of coughing, but to Hillary it sort of sounded fake. But Friend just would not stop coughing, like those times when a pretend cough induces an unstoppable wave of real coughs. Hillary thought to herself, “That looks painful. I hope it never happens to me.” And she left the seer, with utter confidence that none of it was true—how could such nonsense ever happen?—except that she certainly would run for President someday. Probably in 2008.
Friday, September 2, 2016
[Posted by Alan Childress] As part of my Quid Pro Books project, announced first here in 2010 (has it been that long?!), we've released two compelling autobiographies. Judge William Norris wrote the prescient opinion striking down the ban on gays in the military (almost three decades before marriage equality), but also shares his time before and after serving on the Ninth Circuit. Judge Alex Kozinski blurbs:
Recounted in this remarkable book is a conversation Bill Norris had with Justice White following his opinion for the Supreme Court in Bowers v. Hardwick, upholding Georgia’s sodomy law. Shortly after, Justice White visited the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and Bill confronted him about the injustice of the decision. I witnessed the interaction. No one else was bold enough to challenge the Justice, though others harbored the same doubts. Justice White shrugged off Bill’s concerns as trivial, but Bill stood firm and I could see from his tone and look that he would have none of it. Soon, Bill set about undermining Bowers with his brilliant opinion in the Perry Watkins case. The theory in Watkins resulted, a decade and a half later, in the overruling of Bowers and, eventually, to marriage equality. This story, among many others, makes this personal history a gripping and fulfilling read.
The other new release is by Barbara Babcock--the first woman law prof at Stanford, the first director of the D.C. Public Defender, and one of the first Asst. AG's at the Justice Department. Her life of "firsts" includes candid reflections on a tough childhood, her emergence (somewhat reluctant or naive) into feminism, and her biographical authorship on Clara Foltz. And she answers "How can you defend guilty people?" Blurbist Dahlia Lithwick writes:
Life will afford you no better sherpa on the extraordinary journey women have taken in the legal profession than Barbara Babcock. This book should be required reading for anyone who isn’t certain that they have a place at the lawyers table. Babcock’s amazing life has made a space for so many of us. Her story will do the same.
Monday, October 6, 2014
I (Alan) wrote a detailed post here years ago (here) on how permanent disbarment--as opposed to disbarment that allows someone to reapply upon a showing of moral fitness and rehabilitation--would inevitably become the go-to punishment of first reaction. Now it has, in a case reported by Mike this morning here. A man convicted, for this appeal, only of possession of drug paraphernalia (a misdemeanor that I doubt even constitutes a crime of "moral turpitude") whose crime does not even fit the guidelines for permanent disbarment now is told don't even bother trying to enter rehabilitation or changing your life: there's no hope for you.
I don't think readmission after disbarment should be often given. This might be such a case where it wouldn't be and should not be (I am not ignoring his previous disbarment and actions). But these Justices are saying they don't even want the application, ever, and they can't trust themselves to say No. Really, is it so hard to say No to an unworthy application three years from now, ten years from now? Must we say No forever no matter what? To a man whose current appeal of discipline has one conviction only of a misdemeanor? Then won't every case that should be disbarment be given permanent disbarment? Aren't there lawyers given suspension more of a threat to the public in the practice of law than this guy? His crime for this discipline is not even in the representation of a client!
It seemed back then, when I first screeded, to be a PR stunt and an abdication of judicial responsibility. I still think so. I have no particular focus on this one person whom I would understand that they would not readmit after disbarment a second time, but if we keep this up we create no incentive for improvement, no mercy for changing in five years, no responsibility to weed the unworthy cases from the worthy, no use of previously published guidelines, and no place to go with punishment because anything worth disbarring may as well be permanently so -- to show you're tough on ... those who fully cooperated with the police when they were pulled over and later were convicted of a possession charge??
When I wrote before, the crimes and actions being given permanent disbarment usually involved misuse of trust funds, improper acts in the role of a lawyer, crimes that put people away longer than a year, that sort of thing. But I also noted that more and more it was applied to people whose personal lives were a mess -- that if we could fix the person problem the bar problem would easily be fixed too. I think the current case bore out that prediction. While we have bar-sponsored drug programs built on the idea of rehabilitation and changing lives, we have a court unable to imagine any such thing working to the satisfaction of their future selves.
John Dean changed his life. I'd be proud to have had the new Dean in my bar. [Alan Childress]
Sunday, September 7, 2014
The role of the legal profession and procedural-systemic advantages to repeat players and corporations are both at the heart of Marc Galanter's 1974 article "Why the 'Haves' Come Out Ahead." He wanted to make it available to classes and the like in a short-ish, cheap book, so I worked with him and we did that. Here's the 40th-anniversary paperback at Amazon, and in a week or two we'll add ebooks and a hardcover version. For now, though, it may be that profs who teach from the article and assign a photocopy may prefer this new incarnation by Galanter (Wisconsin) and his new introduction. It also adds new commentary by Shauhin Talesh (UC-Irvine) and Robert Gordon (Stanford). Obviously I have an interest in it, as series editor and publisher, so take this FWIW, but I did think teachers would want to know it's out now in this form. I was happy to work with Marc to release it this way. [Alan Childress]
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Maeve Hosier, a recent doctoral graduate of NUI Galway, has published her thesis The Regulation of the Legal Profession in Ireland. After seeing her Law & Society Asssociation conference talk on the Irish financial meltdown and its implications for the profession, I asked to include her larger study in my Quid Pro Books publishing project's Dissertation Series. She agreed and we worked hard all summer to get it out in time to be considered while reform legislation is on deck. In earlier legislative debate, Ireland's Minister of Justice called it "marvelous" and declared it "compulsory reading." Then John Flood generously provided a Foreword and explained the worldwide implications of Maeve's observations and comparative research (she
looked particularly at other bailout nations, Greece and Portugal). The book came out this week, with paperback linked at Amazon (more general information here). Consider recommending it to be adopted by a law library. Here's the abstract to John's intro as posted on SSRN:
The foreword shows how in the recession of 2008 lawyers escaped culpability while bankers were excoriated for their role in it. Nevertheless in Ireland, when it became a debtor country in the Eurozone, the Troika (IMF, EU, ECB) enforced a restructuring of the legal services market. This is viewed in the global context of a shift towards liberalisation of the legal services market at national and supranational levels. Despite
the shift lawyers are rejecting change where they can, or, if they are unable to resist, at least attempt to delay it.
Somewhat unrelated, and lighter reading to be sure (more of a commuter or beach read), we also published this week a lawyer's novel-like true account of a trial stemming from a shipwreck, The
Widow Wave, by Jay Jacobs (or in Kindle, etc.). And completely unrelated is a modern take on Cicero's "On Old Age," called How to be Old, by Richard Gerberding. Thanks for letting me update what's now out after a summer's worth of editing, working with some really great authors. [Alan Childress]
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
I have always made fun of Texas cities that start with THE, as in The Colony and The Woodlands. But it never occurred to me the worst named one has AND in it, sort of like Truth or Consequences, NM. I encountered it at 2:00 a.m. on a roadtrip along Hwy 105, population 1,098. (105 is, btw, a 2-lane highway with a 75 mph speed limit. Jousting! Just insane.) How do they avoid kids getting suspended at school by mentioning gun-related (or knife-related) violence? [Alan Childress]
Friday, April 11, 2014
Most of the ebooks and print books produced by the book project I started in 2010, called Quid Pro Books, are on law, history or political science, and are not really the topic of this blog. But one we released this week goes to its core. It is a republication, in Kindle, Google Play, and Nook formats (and next week in Apple iTunes; this summer in paperback), of the renowned collection edited by Robert Dingwall and Philip S.C. Lewis, The Sociology of the Professions: Lawyers, Doctors and Others. The new edition adds a substantive 2014 Foreword by Sida Liu of the University of Wisconsin. Chapters are by Dingwall, Lewis, Paul Atkinson, Maureen Cain, John Eekelaar, Eliot Freidson, Marc Galanter, Gordon Horobin, Malcolm Johnson, Geoff Mungham, Topsy Murray, Alan Paterson, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, P.M. Strong, and Philip Thomas. A full description is found at any of the links above.
We also just released a courtroom thriller by University of Houston law prof David Crump, The Target Defendant. Its ebooks are out already, and the paperback will follow next week. And last month we published a mystery novel by Stanford law prof Lawrence Friedman, called Who Killed Maggie Swift? Here is an interview of Professor Friedman in Palo Alto Weekly in which he discusses mystery writing and his other books with this publishing project ... and shouts out to me! [Alan Childress]
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Once I joined Etsy, just because it was the place I wanted to buy one item, I found my inbox full with all sorts of communications. So this could be a cure for the holiday blues of Really Lonely People. You won't be ignored anymore. This statement is not an endorsement of Etsy. It is a suggestion that if you do need to join it to buy an item, do so by starting a whole new gmail account dedidated to it. Or preferably a compuserve one.
Etsy will sell you, if you want, a taxidermied mouse chess set. Imagine that the creator had to get 32 mice to make one set, and mice of varying sizes and apparent authority and movement. If it were cheaper than the (understandable) 450 buck price tag, I know a lot of people I'd have gotten this for.
The item I did get, which seems like a good idea and is very affordable, is a personalized set of Russian nesting dolls (3, 4, 5, even 6!). After you buy it and wade through other Etsy email, you'll get a request from the artist for family pics and iconic descriptions of family members--like my mom in her checkerboard shirt she would have to wear due to the corporate loyalty my dad (like his generation) had for working for Ralston Purina for all his life (a loyalty not repaid after Nestle bought it out). Then in a week or so you'll get nesting dolls that represent your family. Better than stiff mice! Too bad she is inundated so you'll have to wait till Epiphany or Armenian Christmas.
The nesting doll idea reminds me that this time last year I got a great gift from a Torts student who is a Russian national. It was a large nesting matryoshka but inside, instead of a smaller ditto, was a bottle of Gray Goose Vodka. Nice. I asked him why the French vodka, thinking I could tease him about his disloyalty. But he explained, "Russian vodka too big to fit in matryoshka." [Alan Childress]
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Word from our long-time reader Sam Levine at Touro:
Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility
Submissions and nominations of articles are now being accepted for the fourth annual Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility. To honor Fred's memory, the committee will select from among articles in the field of Professional Responsibility with a publication date of 2013. The prize will be awarded at the 2014 AALS Annual Meeting in New York. Please send submissions and nominations to Professor Samuel Levine at Touro Law Center: email@example.com
The deadline for submissions and nominations is September 1, 2013.
Fred is shown right; we miss him. [Alan Childress]
March 11, 2013 in Abstracts Highlights - Academic Articles on the Legal Profession, Childress | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Monday, July 16, 2012
Posted by Alan Childress
We've written before on good books to read before starting law school. Or good activities, including travel or Doing Nothing (but biking W.I. is illegal in North Dakota). To update that: our senior admissions dean at Tulane, Susan Krinsky, gave me permission to link her own collected list of good reads before law school. Here it is (and thank you, Susan): Download Suggested Reading List 2012_Final.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
New edition of Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush to read before law school; mystery novel by Lawrence Friedman
As Jeff will be pleased to know (since he is aware I have worked on this for two years), I worked with Stewart Macaulay (Wisc., Law) to produce a new edition of Karl Llewellyn's classic The Bramble Bush, with Macaulay's intro and notes. It is a great read the summer before law school, if one wants summer reading then. Here is the paperback and Kindle link; it is also on Apple and Nook. Llewellyn had very idealistic views of the legal profession--the last chapter is a rejoinder to a Carl Sandburg poem that wonders why the hearse-horse snickers when carrying a lawyer's bones? But most of the book is a how-to for 1Ls that is, surprisingly (or sadly) still on-the-nose for course prep and exams. I hope people are happy we brought it back--and especially that we fixed the errors in other reprints of it. There are no "cannons of jurisprudence," Oxford.
More on summer reading before law school in my previous post collecting lists on that.
Less relevant to the blog topic, Lawrence Friedman and I released his second mystery novel, about the adventures of trusts and estates lawyer Frank May. Amazon is here.
And new Harvard Law Review issue 6 is in Kindle here. [Alan Childress]
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Cynthia Fuchs Epstein (CUNY, Sociology) has republished her classic and foundational study Women in Law as part of the Quid Pro book project. It adds a new Foreword by Stanford's Deborah Rhode. Excerpt on the demise of 'Ladies' Day' in law schools, and other info, found at MsJD blog. And the book itself is at Amazon in paperback or Kindle, plus B&N for Nook and Apple iBooks. Although the book certainly covers women as law students and in law teaching, most chapters are about professional practice as such, in firms, solo practice, public interest work, government, and the judiciary.
Also out in paperback is a book I edited, written by Tulane students: Hot Topics in the Legal Profession 2012. Those two are the newest ones on topic with the U.S. legal profession. Upcoming is a reissue in paperback of Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush, though already in Kindle and other ebook formats. [Alan Childress]
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Now out in paperback, at Amazon, B&N, etc., is the Hot Topics 2012 book (in addition to the Kindle and ebook versions I wrote on a few weeks ago). Fourteen detailed chapters from my students in Advanced Professional Responsibility cover such topics as false guilty pleas, negotiation ethics, bar discipline for acts in the lawyer's personal life, the student debt crisis, client records in a digital world, outsourcing and the practice of law, and MDL hybridized settlements. I contributed a foreword but the stars are my students. Profits benefit Tulane PILF.
Unrelated, out today in the Classic Dissertation Series in Kindle and Nook is Michael O'Neal's study of the BVI in history and anthropology Slavery, Smallholding and Tourism; a paperback next week at those sites too.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
As promised last weekend, I announce a book truly on-topic for LPB. This is a collection of essays, on ethics and broader issues of the U.S. profession, from students in my Advanced Professional Responsibility Seminar last year. I added an intro but really the substance is in their 14 chapters. Their topics include:
...false guilty pleas and candor to the court, ethical considerations in keeping the client's files as a digital record, legal outsourcing and competition, the dilemma of student debt in a slowed legal economy, the practice of law by legal websites like LegalZoom, the capital defense of Jared Lee Loughner, Justice Scalia's constitutional seminar for conservative congressmembers, sensitivity to "cultural competence" in legal education and practice, prosecutorial relationships with key witnesses, bar discipline for behavior outside the practice of law, negotiation ethics, hybridized MDL settlements, and the advocate-witness rule.
It is available now in paperback at Amazon or the QP page; plus such eBooks as Kindle and Nook, and at Apple iBooks and iTunes bookstores. Proceeds benefit Tulane's Public Interest Law Foundation, so even if it is not a book you'd buy or download for yourself, please consider asking the law library to acquire a paperback.
Also out is the eBook of an old but amazingly relevant book of advice for prelaw and 1L law students, Karl Llewellyn's The Bramble Bush (e.g., in Kindle). I was pretty amazed he discussed active learning, visualizing case facts, better note-taking, and a script for case-briefing and the uses of precedent. Still is a perennial recommended read for the summer before law school, on lots of lists. This classic had not been released in eBooks before today. Sort of odd how little 1L classes and reading have changed.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Posted by Alan Childress
Not a legal profession book, to be sure, but perhaps of interest to LPB readers is a new book from the Quid Pro project, Andrew Fede's Roadblocks to Freedom. It just came out in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and Apple iBooks formats, and by Monday in hardback. It is called "...the most comprehensive study of the law of manumission ever written" and "a must read for anyone interested in the legal history of slavery in the American South." More soon on a book decidedly about the U.S. legal profession and legal ethics.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Update: Harvard Law Review's Supreme Court survey issue now also an ebook in Kindle, Nook, Apple formats
Just an update to my post this weekend about Yale L.J. Yesterday, Harvard L. Rev. also added its first ebook edition of the academic year--its annual special issue on the Supreme Court last term. In addition to extensive summaries of major cases of the 2010 Term, the issue features a substantive Foreword by Dan Kahan and an article by Judith Resnik. Its ebook formats (Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook; or at Apple iBooks) have linked notes, tables, and cross-references. [Alan Childress]
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Quid Pro Books project (here), which includes new ebooks in addition to paperbacks, has worked with the editors of the Yale Law Journal to bring out in leading digital formats its 8 print issues per year. That is, particularly, downloads at Amazon for Kindle, B&N for Nook, and direct on iPad/iPhone at Apple iBooks. The student editors decided to price each issue at 99 cents (the minimum such sites allow to indy presses) to make it as accessible as possible--I applaud that--and to help people read each issue as a whole, like a book for the commute or for kicking back. The ebooks are fully formatted, with links for contents, notes, and even cross-references.
More for the philosophy and torts types than legal ethics teachers, perhaps, the first issue of academic year 2011-12, out today, has a summary by Jules Coleman of how jurisprudence is analyzed and structured--a clear synthesis that may turn out to be required introductory reading in the field--as well as a dialog on torts between Ariel Porat and Mark Geistfeld. Plus students have contributed notes on felon disenfranchisement and counter-terrorism. Issue two should follow in a week or two and can be found at the links above too.
All 56 books or journals in the project produced since May 2010 can be found online (including guttenburgy print for the books), for example in this comprehensive Kindle list. Most recent, besides YLJ, is Lawrence Friedman's Contract Law in America, reviewed by NYU's Dan Ernst at Legal History Blog. Friedman's latest book is The Human Rights Culture, on the sociology of the movement.
Please consider letting FB friends or Twitter followers know this new way to access YLJ. [Alan Childress]