July 16, 2010
Mercer Announces New Moot Court Competition in Legal EthicsAnnouncing the First Annual Mercer Law School Moot Court Competition in Legal Ethics & Professionalism
Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law, home of the Mercer Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism, will host the only national moot court competition focusing on legal ethics and professionalism. The competition will take place November 12-13, 2010 at Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia.
The competition will consist of the submission of an appellate brief, as well as several rounds of oral argument. Rounds will begin on Friday November 12, with a reception Friday night at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. The competition will conclude with a final round late Saturday afternoon.
The competition rules will be posted by September 1, 2010. The problem will be released on September 15, 2010, and briefs are due (by e-mail and postmark) by midnight on October 15, 2010.
Early registration deadline is August 23, 2010. Early registration is $300 for one team, or two teams may register for $500. After August 23, registration will be $350 for one team and $600 for two teams.
[Alan Childress, from the AALS Section on PR listserv]
December 23, 2009
Cameron and Merchant-Ivory to Remake "Remains"
Stung by criticism that Avatar is "all effects" with pedestrian plot and dialogue, James Cameron announced today that he is joining forces with the Merchant-Ivory team on a 3-D remake of The Remains of the Day. In the new version, with a script to be written by Cameron and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Stevens, the repressed butler of the original, will become an android in service to Darth Darlington on a space station near Alpha Centauri, and like the original, struggling with an emerging consciousness. Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, will play a computer generated Stevens, with a voice-over to be provided by Anthony Hopkins. Helena Bonham Carter will reprise her Planet of the Apes tour de force, taking over the Emma Thompson role as Miss Kenton, a primate hired as housekeeper for Darth Darlington, to be played by Ian McKellen.
The film will culminate in a typically Cameron-esque action sequence, with Stevens being subjected to the Turing test by the Klingons, Romulans, and Federation representatives who have gathered at Darlington Station to discuss the impending galactic war between the forces of foundationalism and those of post-modern indeterminacy. Daniel Dennett, Roger Penrose, and Stanley Fish have been retained as script advisors.
Sets are currently being constructed in New Zealand, with the opening anticipated for summer, 2011.
[This parody was brought to you by Jeff Lipshaw, and has nothing to do with law, except that it represents one form of procrastination from grading, and reflects one habitual over-thinker's reaction to some of the over-thinking that has gone on with respect to a sci-fi movie, which the over-thinker happened to love.]
September 30, 2009
How FEMA Trailer Lawsuits Are Briefcases On "Deal Or No Deal"
Posted by Alan Childress
I assume that most lawyers, like me, find Deal Or No Deal unwatchable. One of the many reasons is that contestants use a decisionmaking process akin to clients, rather than "thinking like lawyers." Lawyers would never "keep going" the way most contestants do. How do you turn down a sure $270,000 for a two-thirds chance to win $600,000 with a one-third chance to win $450? When I found myself hoping they would win $450, I realized this was unhealthy for me, and possibly immoral, and certainly pathetic (beyond the fact of watching itself), and I quit watching, forever.
Then a journalist, yesterday, told me that lawyers on both sides of the FEMA trailer lawsuits -- these trailers reek of formaldahyde, plaintiffs say, while defendants tout the biology preservation uses of the substance like those shiny frogs [not really] -- told HER that they plan to wait until five "bellweather" trials are done before talking global settlement. I told her I doubted that, and recounted my theory that the legal profession plays Deal Or No Deal very differently from the rest of the world. I think they will have enough information before then (especially since the plaintiff lost the first big one, last week in Louisiana) and are risk averse enough to see a way out fairly soon. (In truth, both the journalist and the law professor had to ask around to recall the name of the stupid game show with the suitcases, but both of us could remember Let's Make a Deal, showing our age.) Anyway, she had called me, I suspect, not because I have legal profession qua game show insight, but because I got myself duly quoted last week on the Chinese drywall cases (these walls smell like rotten eggs, instead of formaldahyde, but both show how unlucky we local Louisianans are). And media citations beget more media citations, you know, so fwiw here is the story on the trailer cases, from Marilyn Odendahl of The Elkhart Truth, near the Indiana factory of defendant Gulf Stream. (Turns out Ms. Odendahl graduated from Ball State, where my mom [happy birthday!] and David Letterman did too.)
Clearly my memory is not what it used to be if I cannot name Deal Or No Deal, given that there was a period of time when it was the only show on television. Further proof of the memory thing is the fact that a student emailed me today to ask whether we have Evidence tomorrow, because there is no October 1 on the syllabus. (Damn those law profs who come out with new editions so often, what with their new pagination and all!) My students must think I am celebrating Oktoberfest Eve or something. (I do recall that last year, Macy's in Plano, Texas put up its Christmas ornaments on October 1, so maybe that is why I skipped the date.) Yes, Virginia, there is an October 1, and if you happen to be an Evidence student of mine reading this, please show up tomorrow.
Unrelated, I heard somewhere that the state color of West Virginia is primer.