Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let’s hold judges to the same standard as NFL referees

I’ve always been a bit of a contraian.  For example, growing up in Wisconsin I knew at the very young age of four that I really hated the Packers.  I just got so tired of seeing Packer fans wear those horrific colors—I challenge anyone to find uglier shades of green and gold—that I aligned myself with another team even before I started kindergarten.  (Unfortunately, I aligned myself with the Vikings—a team with much cooler uniforms, but no super bowl victories.  This brought me some pain as a child, but I’m happy to report that my interest in professional sports faded a couple of decades ago.)  In any case, even though I have zero interest in the Packers today, it does appear that a rule-breaking wide receiver for Seattle, and three blown calls on a single play, unjustly cost “the Pack” a victory.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Big business and government unite (again)

Big business loves to gripe about how government unnecessarily intrudes into our lives.  (Agreed.)  However, when big business needs a major bailout at taxpayer expense—a very common and costly occurrence throughout our country’s history—then the government is (temporarily) okay after all.

But big business and government unite in ways other than bailouts.  One way (that I briefly touched on more than a year ago) is for big retailers to sell items to poor credit risks and then use the local prosecutor’s office to criminally prosecute the consumers (at public expense) to collect payment for the retailers.  And it now looks like prosecutors and businesses are uniting to take this practice to a whole new level.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Law School Reform: More Practical Legal Education? Not Yet.

The blogs are buzzing these days about law schools.  It’s now widely believed that even after the recent freefall in law school applicants, and the corresponding (but less severe) decline in law school enrollment across the country, we’re still producing more than two lawyers for every available law job.  (And, many argue that the law degree isn’t terribly helpful—and possibly even harmful—in an unemployed lawyer’s attempt to land a non-legal job.)  But my main problem with law schools isn’t that they turn out way too many lawyers.  Instead, as a practicing lawyer, I’m still peeved about the way that law schools turn out lawyers (and future judges) who can’t understand basic legal principles.