Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hiatus (and some fun links)

Knightly is on summer hiatus
Sorry for the delay since my last post, faithful Legal Watchdog readers.  To make matters worse, Knightly and I are tied up with some other projects and need to extend our hiatus a bit.  But in the meantime, I'll do what most other blogs do: link to other posts while adding nothing of value.  First, Atty. Joe Easton tipped me off to this post about a law in Florida that allows criminal defendants to collect litigation costs after they win an acquittal.  (For further analysis, click here to see what Florida's rather striking attorney general says about the law.)  It would be nice to have something like this in Wisconsin to make our hyper-aggressive prosecutors think twice before filing criminal complaints.  Of course, until they got the message and learned their lesson, the taxpayers would ultimately end up paying the tab.  But in the long run, the change in prosecutorial practices would be worth the short-term price.

Second, here's a fun post on legal education.  In it, a professor says it's a pipe dream to think that law schools can make students "practice ready."  Of course, this is coming from a professor that practiced law for a total of three years representing the government -- and that was more than 40 years ago!  (Somehow, that enabled him to teach in clinical programs and to work as a legal consultant.)  So in a bizarre way, he's right; most new faculty hires have far less experience than he does, and we wouldn't want to trust them to attempt to actually train law students to be lawyers.  It's best that they stick to what they know: social science theory and the law, and reading published cases about the interesting aspects of the law.  But in another way, he's dead wrong.  If some school wants to hire me, I'll design an entire curriculum to get students practice-ready in criminal law.  The school wouldn't even need any clinical courses (which are overrated as teaching tools anyway), it could still keep the classes large to help maintain (or regain) profitability, and I'll design it so even the existing law profs would be able to teach it.  They wouldn't like it, because not everything in the curriculum would be as interesting as the topics they're used to dabbling in, but they would be able to teach it.

Third and finally, many American citizens may not be upset by (or even know about) their government spying on them.  But now that Snowden's leaks have revealed that the spying extended to Mexican and Brazilian government officials, at least those countries are officially outraged.  And because these two are "Latin America's two biggest economies," maybe our arrogant government agents will have something to worry about after all.

There.  Now back to the hiatus.  But aren't you glad you're a regular reader of The Dog?  Even our throw-away posts add some interesting (if not valuable) commentary.

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