Wednesday, February 26, 2014

French-poetry reading pig seeks employment in large, national law firm

Most law school courses test only two things: a student’s ability to spot legal issues and then apply the relevant law. Granted, the “relevant law” in law school is usually fictional, i.e., an impractical mishmash of case law drawn from numerous states and collected in overpriced casebooks. But at least students are tested on spotting real legal issues and then applying a body of law. And what law schools are really good at is ranking students according to their ability to do this. In addition to a GPA, schools also give out class ranks. And when students apply for law firm jobs this information is placed front and center on the resume. Are you first, second, or third in your class? Are you in the top ten percent? How about the top quarter?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Big 12 Update

In my previous post I discussed Oklahoma State’s star player Marcus Smart who went into the stands to shove a Texas Tech fan during a basketball game in Lubbock.  After way too much discussion among the talking heads—only Missouri’s Michael Sam has garnered more coverage recently—and probably way too much effort in the actual “investigation,” witness interviews and an audio recording revealed what triggered Smart’s outburst.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Big 12 Conference: Put your money where your mouth is

I really hate the college and conference commercials played during televised college basketball games.  These commercials try to convince viewers that a particular school, or a particular conference, is somehow different and better.  The Big 12, for example, stresses “sportsmanship” (see here and here) as something that sets it and its member schools apart from the rest.  Even a moderately skeptical viewer realizes that these commercials are pure nonsense—at best, they are empty advertising slogans.  But if the conferences and the schools want to at least pretend that their commercial messages mean something, then the Big 12 and Oklahoma State need to take some sort of disciplinary action against basketball player Marcus Smart. 

The sequel is better than the original: Lower court overturns higher court so it can affirm conviction (again)

Back in July, 2013 I wrote about State v. Copeland, a case where, due to a United States Supreme Court decision, the Wisconsin appellate court had no choice but to admit that the police did, in fact, violate the defendant’s rights when they attached a GPS device to his car without a warrant.  But despite this, the defendant in Copeland was still out of luck.  The Wisconsin court relied on the so-called “good faith exception" and held that the police who attached the GPS device were relying on the law at that time, and the U.S. Supreme Court decision (holding that GPS searches required a warrant) was decided later.  But there was one major problem with the Wisconsin court’s reasoning excuse-making.