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Archive for May, 2008

You may remember the Best Deposition Ever: defendant Aaron Wider cursing up a storm at opposing counsel at a deposition in GMAC Bank v. HTFC Corp.  Today over at Concurring Opinions you can see a video of parts of the deposition.  The bad words are bleeped out, but I’d still recommend headphones if you’re in public.

I have to say, I’m not at all suprised at Wider’s behavior.  I am suprised it doesn’t happen more often.  Maybe my current cynicism is heightened because I spent my two-week vacation watching bad reality television, where young men and women are continually in each other’s faces shouting about bringing on a world of pain.  (Don’t judge.)  But I do think the civility is seeping out of American society, one f-bomb at a time.  And though I suspect the decline is more concentrated in younger people, older folks are obviously not immune.

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While I have heard that there may be a move to amend the California Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, I am excited to announce that some counties will begin handing out marriage licenses to homosexual couples as early as June 14

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I don’t think this was posted here yet, and although it came out about a month ago, its too good not to post.

The attorney was arguing his case before the Sixth Circuit, trying to have his client’s decision affirmed in an employment discrimination case.  When the panel released its decision, it included this in the final section:

Finally, and completely separate and apart from the issues raised on
appeal, we would be remiss if we did not comment on the conduct of Roger
Phipps, counsel for Hartz, during oral argument in this case on Tuesday, March
4, 2008. Phipps’ conduct towards the Court during argument was
unprofessional. Even more serious was his admission that during his work on
the case (including his preparation for argument), he had not read a key
Supreme Court case. His cavalier disregard for his client’s interest and for his
obligation to the Court was both troubling and disgraceful.4 Accordingly, we are
ordering Phipps to provide his client, Hartz, a copy of our opinion immediately
after it is released. In order to ensure compliance, we are further directing him
to supply our Court with proof of service.

What did he do that was so bad?  Transcript after the jump.  (more…)

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Who?  Associate Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar of the California Supreme Court.  Justice Werdegar voted with the majority yesterday in the case of In re Marriages, the ‘same-sex’ marriage case.  She is also an alum of our fair school.  According to her bio, she began law school at UC Berkeley but then transfered to GW, where she graduated first in her class.

Here is some more about her from her bio:

Career Highlights: Before her appointment to the bench, Justice Werdegar’s career highlights included service with the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.; director of the criminal law division of California Continuing Education of the Bar; senior staff attorney with the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court; and professor and Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

[snip]

Publications: Justice Werdegar has written law review articles, monographs, model codes, and chapters in legal texts for practitioners. Her publications have addressed such issues as the relationship between the courts and private alternative dispute resolution, the value of diversity in the judicial system, and California criminal procedure. Under the auspices of the California College of Trial Judges (now the Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER)), she authored a benchbook on misdemeanor procedure for trial court judges that has served as a model for other procedural benchbooks used in trial courts throughout the state.

Professional Activities and Associations: Justice Werdegar is a member of the American Law Institute, the National Association of Women Judges, the California/Nevada Women Judges Association, and the California Judges Association. She is a board member of the California Supreme Court Historical Society and a former board member of the Boalt Hall Alumni Association.

Personal Data: Justice Werdegar was born in San Francisco. She and her husband, a family physician, have two grown sons and three grandchildren.

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At the beginning of the Spring semester, Prof. Solove, along with Prof. Lee, Prof. Tuttle, and Prof. Goldfarb, had an open information session for GW students and practitioners who are considering academia.  It was really a great presentation, giving lots of nuggets of advice and information on the centralized hiring process, how to prepare to enter the market, etc.

Today, Prof. Solove has a data-rich post over at Concurring Opinions about law school faculty placement by school.  Maybe surprisingly, GW had 10 applicants this year to various law school faculties and none were hired.  According to Prof. Solove’s data, we have not sent any alum into academia during the past two years.  I must admit, as someone who might has aspirations to teach law one day, this information can be somewhat discouraging.

So I ask you – why aren’t our alum getting hired as faculty?  I know that GW has a good reputation for producing solid practicing attorneys, so I would be inclined to think that alum who are entering the ivory tower with real-world experience would be hot commodities in the legal market.

Thoughts?

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You can read the opinions for yourself – all 172 pages – here.  Commentary at ATL, Volokh, WSJ, or just about anywhere you turn.  Basically, the California Supreme Court has held that the state’s statutory provisions limiting marriage to heterosexual couples are unconstitutional.  Good decision?  Bad?  Activist?  Please discuss.

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The Washington Post has an interesting article today on U.S. legal work booming in India. Apparently, this new outsourcing industry is “growing 60 percent annually.” The impetus for this growth has been e-discovery laws and the massive volumes of data that need to be reviewed for litigation. Indian lawyers are trained in a common-law system, so it’s not too hard for young, Indian law graduates to pick up the work. And since they’re working for only “one-fifth the cost,” there’s great incentive for American companies to outsource their litigation needs. The only thing these young lawyers can’t do is sign the documents and appear in American court.

Since the Fall Recruitment Conveyor Belt is just a few months away, and you’re craving something to stress about now that finals are over, it might be a good time to start worrying about your future job. There’s also a slow economy, and the fact that associate-partner relationships have recently become a little icy. What do you think? Cause to worry?

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