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Archive for November, 2008

A Response from the SBA

Navah –

I wanted to take a chance to thank you for writing your Nov. 24th article, ‘The SBA Dropped the Ball‘ on Sua Sponte. I appreciated the points that you brought up and the concerns you raised.

When Sai came to me last year and talked to me about creating the blog, I knew that it would serve the important function of giving students an outlet for their concerns and ideas regarding how our lives here at GW Law could improve. Your post is just one example of that promise being realized.

I wanted to respond to a couple of points that you raised, simply to let you know that your concerns do not fall on deaf ears.

First, the Legislative Branch link listing the Senators and their emails has now been updated here. Thank you for letting us know that page had not been updated.

Second, regarding the school closing over Thanksgiving break — I found out about the school closing the same way you did – via the portal announcement. As soon as I read it, I went and discussed the issue with Dean Morrison. I conveyed my concerns to him and he shared his viewpoints with me. I left that meeting feeling that he was amenable to changing the schedule, and so I made the decision to use the petition to come back to him with hard facts backing up my request. Faced with not only my opinion but also a concrete showing of a sizable number of students, the Dean immediately agreed and made the necessary phone calls to change the schedule while I was in the office.

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Sua Sponte Milestone

We interrupt your studying to bring you this announcement:

This probably doesn’t mean much to you all, but we just recorded our 10,000th site hit this month – an all time high for us!  I don’t know how WordPress calculates its hits, but 10,000 seems like a pretty good number to be mildly proud of.

We don’t know who all of our visitors are, but there’s a lot of you, so keep on coming back! From all of the Sua Sponte crew, thanks for reading!

And now back to your regularly scheduled outlining…

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Early this morning, a temporary employee at a Wal-Mart on Long Island, New York, was trampled by hordes of people trying to get into the store to take advantage of early morning sales.  According to the NYTimes,

At 4:55 a.m., just five minutes before the doors were set to open, a crowd of 2,000 anxious shoppers started pushing, shoving and piling against the locked sliding glass doors of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, N.Y., Nassau County police said. The shoppers broke the doors off their hinges and surged in, toppling a 34-year-old temporary employee, Jdimypai Damour, 34, of Jamaica, Queens, who had been waiting with other workers in the store’s entryway.

Seems to me like Wal-Mart is going to be facing a lawsuit over this.  Those of you that had Turley for Torts covered this before: Weirum v. RKO General, Inc., 539 P.2d 36 (1975) is the case that held a radio station liable for the injuries that resulted after listeners responded to an on-air promotion.  From what I remember of the class discussion, companies like Filene’s Basement [famous wedding gown sale] are held to a high standard of preventing accidents and have an affirmative obligation to prevent accidents like this from happening.

From the details we have so far on this accident at Wal-Mart, it seems like there was a great deal the store could have done to prevent this from happening.  Police were summoned to the scene at around 3:30am as the crowd was growling larger, but they were called away to respond to other stores.  The Wal-Mart store had no additional security and left only a few employees to hold back the crowds until the doors opened at 5:00am.  That was probably their biggest mistake. I don’t see how Wal-Mart gets around what is almost assured to be a lawsuit by the deceased’s family.

It really is unfortunate that this had to happen – and worst of all is how no one stopped to help.  Shoppers were so crazed by the prospect of saving a few dollars that in their frenzied state, they shed their human instincts and became nothing but animals.

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Well you might want to start reading them now.  Lori Drew was convicted of three misdemeanor charges of computer fraud for what was basically a violation of a terms of use agreement with MySpace.  You can read about it here and here. For those of you who haven’t been following, Lori Drew is the 49 year old mom involved in the MySpace bullying case.  Megan Meier was a 13 year old girl who thought she formed a relationship with a 16 year old boy over MySpace.  Megan hung herself when the 16 year old boy–a fictitious boy created by Drew who is a parent of one of Megan’s classmates.  Drew escaped being convicted of any of the felonies charged against her.  The jury could not deliver a verdict on the conspiracy count and the judge declared a hung jury on that count.

I have a lot of mixed thoughts about this case, and it’s late, so I won’t flesh them all out here.  On the one hand, this woman is evil.  As a commenter over at the Volokh Conspiracy said “The correct outcome of this case will be acquittal followed by Ms. Drew being struck by lightning as she leaves the courthouse.” (Hat tip: Sai)  On the other hand, since no one ever reads the terms of agreement on websites it would be a dangerous precedent for Drew to be convicted of a felony for violating those terms.  It’s probably a dangerous precedent that she was convicted of three misdemeanors, that carry a maximum punishment of 3 years and $300,000 in fines.  It seems like the most appopriate resolution of this case might have been some type of civil action.  Any 1Ls (or anyone else) want to speculate as to what civil suits could be brought against this woman?

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Course Evaluations Issue

Several people, myself included, tried to log on to finish course evaluations this morning-today was supposed to be the last day to do so-only to find the evaluations had been taken down. I wanted to gauge how many people will be affected by this. I personally was planning on doing it today for the two classes I had not reviewed-was anyone else?

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CHEAP FOOD ALERT

I don’t know if this is common knowledge around here, but it was news to me a few weeks ago.  Baja Fresh, the chain restaraunt up the street on the corner of 1900 and K, sells a huge, filling plate of beans and rice for $1.82 with tax.  You also get chips, and access to the salsa bar.  That means all the pico de gallo and salsa verde you can handle.  Just ask for a plate of beans and rice and they’ll know what your talking about.  Hope this information will help feed your hungry brain over the next week or two.

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Happy Evacuation Day!!!

My oh my, I almost forgot to wish my fellow New Yorkers a very happy and hearty Evacuation Day!

225 years ago, the last British Red Coats left from a longboat in the Battery after occupying the city for seven years. . . . For well over a century, no holiday was memorialized annually in the city with greater gusto — not only by the Sons of the Revolution and other descendants of the Continental Army, but also by Irish immigrants who weren’t averse to reviving anti-British sentiment.

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