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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Interview Update

In the midst of my cold-induced, medicinally-enhanced haze I attended my second interview last week on Tuesday. It was the larger firm. The interview went well, I thought.

I would ask, however, how difficult is it to ask probing creative questions? Though I think I dealt well, I felt like a deer in the headlights when the primary two questions asked were:

1. (opened with) "So, tell us all about yourself."

AND (after a short bumper question about a paper I presented at a conference in '98)

2. What should we know about you that we can't get from your resume?

I still am not sure whether those questions are really good ones or really bad ones. They are uncomfortable ones. That, I am sure of.

The interview the Saturday before went well also. Well, with the exception of the fact that I was asked to sit on a sunken couch through the interview. Do you know how hard it is to maintain a professional posture in a suit while balancing yourself on he edge of a low couch? But I asked him about a case he argued in front of the state appeals court last fall and let him take it. The next 20 minutes of the interview just consisted of me nodding and smiling while he put his feet up on he coffee table and went on a tirade about the ignorance of a particular judge.

I think that interview went well.

I got the call from the Criminal District Attorney's office (Appellate Division) yesterday.

That may be a fun job.

Given 2 weeks, can I improve my golf game enough to hang with these guys?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hilton Hacked

Paris ought to just pack it up.

I don't personally care about the girl one way or another. But her celebrity is not real. It is all manufactured. So when a *real* celebrity can't even expect much privacy . . . why should Paris expect even that?

Therefore, when I read this morning that her T-Mobile Sidekick was hacked and the information posted on the internet, I thought it was screamingly funny.

Unfortunately, most of the websites hosting this information have been shut down. I found one and was able to check out some of what was found before this, too, became inoperable.

The notes Paris left to herself were interesting:

"Tell Jeff that Jess tried to bone JT"

Hmmm . . . ?

Oh, and does anyone want Pauly Shore's phone number??

She had to remind herself to call Gary Shandling. What business does Paris have with Gary Shandling, anyway?? I thought that odd. But it is Paris Hilton . . . who knows.

One must point out that Paris Hilton is as vain in reality as she seems on t.v. Every picture on her phone is of her. I don't know about you . . . but anytime I want to see myself, I can find a mirror. It is my friends and special events I want to memorialize on my camera.

Paris is all about Paris, indeed.

Of her address book, she has more #s saved than I know people. Period. But then again, I'm not Paris Hilton.

Drudge is reporting that upon contacting one of the phone numbers, this person replied:"I gave her my number after we met in Miami, I did not know she f***ing kept it on her cellphone!"

Hmm. I'm actually beginning to feel sorry for Paris now. I don't imagine she had many "real" friends to begin with. I wouldn't think this will help things.

Perhaps the most coveted phone numbers in Paris Hilton's Address Book would be the private cell phone #s of . . .

Christina Aquilera, Ashlee Simpson, Lindsay Lohan & Avril Lavigne.

Seriously. This is so sweet!

My wife won't be very happy, though.

During one of those "let's talk" moments, my wife once asked me what celebrity(ies) I would want to go out with.

I, of course, (like a smart husband) replied that I wouldn't want to date anyone but her.

She answered her own question: "Rob Thomas," she said.

So after a little prodding, I told her it'd have to be-- oh, maybe-- Ashlee Simpson or Avril Lavigne.

(I know they are too young for me, but they have the punk-grrl image going. Back in my day, I wasn't always so conservative. I was straight-edge punk-- well, for awhile, hmmm. I kind of messed up on the straight-edge thing. But that's another story. Long and short of it is this: i still find punk attractive)

So, anyways, Ashlee or Avril. And she tells me that if I could ever get a date with either, she'd let me go.

Little did she know that a year later-- I WOULD HAVE THEIR PRIVATE PHONE NUMBERS!!!!

Too bad Paris didn't know Rob Thomas, huh?

She does know Luke Wilson, though. Any lady want to try your hand with him?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Poetic Legal Advice for Valentine's Day

You can say it with flowers,
You can say it with candy,
You can say it with jewelry or drink.
You can say it with candles and dinner and brandy,
But be sure you don't say it with ink.

--From "Lawyers: Jokes, Quotes & Anecdotes"

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!!!

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Victory of All Women

I have heard it said Valentine's Day is another scheme of the "Greeting Card Companies" to make money.

Well, of course it is a scheme--

But, come on, guys . . . this has nothing to do with the Greeting Card Companies, it goes much higher than that.

Valentine's Day was devised by the WOMEN of the world-- who otherwise secretly rule with an iron fist-- to be a sort of fantastic and underhanded "coup de grace."

"Coup de Grace": (1) A deathblow delivered to end the misery of a mortally wounded victim. (2) A finishing stroke or decisive event.

There exists between every man and woman in their relationship a covert war-- a Battle of the Sexes. And, at some point in time during the course of this battle, the man will have to concede defeat.

Usually this momentous event happens to occur on the Ides of February, otherwise known as Valentine's Day.

Sure, there have been those brave men of history that-- like King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt-- have daringly mounted one final attack. Yes, there have been those heroes.

But they are heroes in their defeat. We admire them for their resolve, not for their victory. . .

There is no more dangerous time to assert your "independence" or your "masculinity" than on this day. You will lose the battle . . . you risk losing the war.

For the fairer sex-- even while comforting you with a pretty smile and a soft testimony: "I didn't need anything anyways"-- the fairer sex will win. They are dangerous in their ability to harbor resentment and calculating in their ability to force submission. Though you may brag that you saved $50 on flowers and candy now . . . It will cost you much more later because eventually,

I promise . . .

You will lose the battle . . . you risk losing the war.

Valentine's Day has nothing to do with men. It is symbolized by hearts and flowers, diamonds and chocolates, balloons and big stuffed bears. If we were intended to play any significant part in this Holiday, Sears, Lowes, and Home Depot would be advertising "Valentine's Day bargains" on Craftsman skill saws and cordless drills.

As I stood in line at Spencer's Gifts yesterday, the guy that rang me up-- he knew. "Getting ready for Valentine's Day?" He asked sympathetically. "Yeah." I whispered in defeat.

Our part has been relegated to the position of the vanquished. We are to buy the gifts-- perhaps to receive a card in return-- and silently pray that she is happy.

It is always and entirely about her. Harbor no illusions otherwise.

My wife, it is so cute, plays ignorant in the matter. She pretends that buying me a gift/gifts has something to do with my enjoyment of the day. But she knows, and I know, that my happiness is predicated on her smile and her pronouncement that, for just one day, I am the "most romantic guy in the world."

And the day will end . . . and even though I have been beaten and bruised by this Battle of the Sexes-- I will lay in our bed in the dark and feel that-- though I was forced to leave my comfort zone, am all but broke and truly resent the $50 left wilting on the kitchen counter-- I will lay in bed and feel as if I actually, truly WON.

But that, THAT is how they fool you . . .

Hmm . . . Aren't women great?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Job Hunting and Big Feet

I received my first call for an interview yesterday. This, of course, is not interviewing for the "Big Game" . . . just the minors, a summer clerk position here in Lubbock.

Yet it is still quite terrifying. I've never been interviewed for a professional position before. Well, unless you could say that of a "family minister," but somehow it doesn't seem quite the same. That interview was done over dinner. Not quite so daunting, I'm afraid.

I still need to lose at least an inch off my waist so that I can fit into my gray $400 suit. I want to look professional for this. The cheap JCPenney suit just ain't gonna cut it, I'm afraid. So I've stepped up the crunches to two workouts a day.

I also went shopping for a very good pair of dress shoes last night. First stop: Dillards.

Now, I worked retail for 3 years. I went through the 3-tiered interview process and was offered a position with Dillards but in the end decided the extra $2/hour wasn't worth the headache of working with that management (and others). I ended up at JCPenneys, dealing with the headaches that come from working with high school kids and old ladies, instead. And was happy.

Why, then, do Dillard's associates (to be more exact: the old men) making 8-9 bucks per hour think that they have any right to be snobby??? They are, after all, working retail. And let's face it -- the Dillards at South Plains Mall ain't even close to resembling Rodeo Drive.

But, alas, they are. Helpful, yes. But snobby, even more so. The guys eyes lit up with disgust when he saw my white socks. (My wife hasn't quite mastered the art of using bleach and washing the whites separate, so my socks are all different shades of color) And he offered me a sock, which I politely refused.

So first thing I try on: a $160 pair of Cole Haan cap-toed leather sole dress shoes. They just didn't fit. That's it. Nothing more. It wasn't the price. I promise.

And yet, after two pairs he decided to try forcing my feet into the rubber-soled shoes instead. I didn't want rubber-soled. I'm interviewing for a position in a LAW FIRM. I need to look PROFESSIONAL. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE PRICE!!!!


"We only have the wide shoes in lengths up to 11. I'm sorry you have enormous size 13 boats. Perhaps you need to go down to Party City and rent some clown shoes. They might be more appropriate."

Which brings up another question: why carry wide shoes only in small sizes?? Can't people with long feet have wide feet too??? That is a question to ponder today.

My wife, in an attempt to console me, leaned over and whispered: "Well, I don't care. I really like your big feet." And then followed that with a wink.

So I told the guy I'd have to think about it and I went to my old fallback, instead: JCPenney.

They were laid back. They could care less if you bought anything. And they had a nice cap-toed black leather shoe WITH the leather soles . . . on sale 20% off. (Oh, and it fits . . . mostly)

Now if I can just lose at least an inch before next Tuesday. Hmmph. I'll knock 'em dead.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Panel of Genius


I used to think it was short for "Constitutional Law."

But I keep getting proven wrong . . . again, and again, and again.

Nope, the more I read written by the genius of the Supreme Court over the years . . .

the more I realize that -- hmmph -- would you believe that . . . the phrase, well . . .

Con Law isn't short for anything at all.


Monday, February 07, 2005

The Lawyer Quote of the Week

"To me, a lawyer is basically the person that knows the rules of the country. We're all throwing the dice, playing the game, moving our pieces around the board, but if there is a problem, the lawyer is the only person who has read the inside top of the box."

--Jerry Seinfeld

If that isn't the truest thing I've ever heard!! I was so the person you'd expect to see reading the box top and teaching everyone else to play the game.

The good part? You could introduce the rules as you went along . . .

. . . of course only so long as they benefited you.

But, who was to argue? No one else wanted to read it themselves.


Friday, February 04, 2005

Jobless Freak

It's Friday -- as if I had to announce that, right -- but for those who woke up this morning and you just - weren't - sure . . . yes, it IS Friday.

Is it a "glass-half-empty" kind of thing to say:

Yeah. Its Friday but what's so good about that? We only have a 2 day weekend . . . and then what? Monday.

Yeah, yeah. That is a depressing thought.

I've started thinking about working this summer. I sent out 9 resumes. Actually, since I found out how much law firms pay for their summer associates . . . all I've wanted to do is send out resumes.

How much do they pay? Well, lets just say I've started shopping for an end-of-the-summer Cruise to the Caribbean already.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Discussion

In response to my last post, I became involved in a discussion all day long about politics and judicial activism. I am posting those comments here:

(First Reply) canada rocks. and if gay folks wanna get
married, let 'em.

My point being: then it is up to the legislature to change the law. Let 5 people make the law -- without the input of the people -- you will lose your voice completely. You may agree with this one decision, fine. Eventually, however, they'll start making decisions you won't like. Where will you be then?

It is a principle repeated throughout history. Voltaire said, "I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." And, again, a German minister lamented after the Holocaust his reluctance to defend the Jews. . . for when the Nazi's came for the Baptists, there was no one left to stand beside him.

If you don't want your rights eroded in the future, you have to stand up for them now. Keep in mind: the history of the judiciary is, like society, a pendulum. It swings from liberal to conservative and back again. The only protection we have is self-imposed judicial restraint.

What happens when that is gone?

courts have made many decisions i do not like. this doesn't make me feel that their powers to interpret the law need to be curtailed. I also don't think that the mass. supreme court was acting too out of line with popular opinion, and even the opinios of their state legislature when making that decision. poll numbers showed that a majority of mass. citizens (i think 58% or so, according to a CNN poll) were okay with gay marriage, and only 22% thouth it would be bad for the state. mass. had for years supported such measures as civil unions.

anyway, judicial activism brought us brown v. board of ed. i'm sure the south would have kept things status quo for years after that decision, had it not been made.

i think the way we have set up our three-branch government is a thing of beauty. the judicial branch has a lovely chaotic element to it--we have to trust in human beings appointed by people we voted for. you're right about the "pendulum" effect of the judiciary--things seem to balance out over the course of several years.

Brown v. Board was not a result of judicial activism. If the Warren Court had subscribed to judicial activist policies, a decision like Brown would have been handed down long before 1954. They WANTED to do it before 1954. However, it took the NAACP and Thurgood Marshall until then to formulate a sound argument that the enumerated due process rights of the school children were being violated by segregation. The Warren Court needed an argument like this to stand up against the South and any dissent that would come from it. Comparing this to Brown v. Board is like comparing apples to oranges.

It was, however, "judicial activism" that denied freed slaves the right to become U.S. citizens (Dred Scott Case). It was "judicial activism" that perpetuated the Jim Crow laws of the south. Judicial activism has been a root cause of why MUCH of the injustice in the history of this nation has been allowed to continue.

As for Massachusetts, the outpouring of support was not what you indicate. The governor of Mass. stood up against the decision. The majority of Massachusetts legislators did, as well. They were under orders from the Court to legalize same-sex marriage. Even at that, they stalled. Furthermore, prior to this Massachusetts did not have any statute allowing civil unions . . . nor had any plans for one. (They actually attempted to dodge the issue by creating civil unions instead AFTER the decision but the court said that wasn't good enough.)

It is not the job of the Court -- of any court -- to make law, change law, or interpret law according to public opinion. This is a job reserved ONLY to the representative body of government.

And, I will say it again: What those Courts have done IS NOT "interpreting" law. It is inventing new law to satisfy the desires of the justices. TRUE "interpretation" of the law relies upon reasoning based in precedent and the text of current law.

For a court to say: "There is no law that says this . . . but this is the way it OUGHT to be. Now go make a law for us to interpret." This goes well beyond the Constitutional boundaries of their political and judicial responsibilities.

sounds to me like you're taking a case the outcome of which you support and denying that it was judicial activism. or maybe you and i differ on what judicial activism is. conservatives have long lamented brown v. board as being the epitome of judicial abuse of power.

Legally speaking, "judicial activism" is where a judge or justice believes that there are certain "guaranteed rights" which were not included in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Many of these rights were not included by the Framers because they had not been discovered in 1790 -- some still have yet to be discovered today.

These judges believe it is the role of the judiciary to "discover" these "rights" and then incorporate them into the Constitution through judicial decision-making. However, the average judicially active judge will at least reason out the existence of these rights. They usually attempt to show that because these rights have been in such high regard informally, they ought to be protected. Or they will reason out the existence of these rights due to other language in the Constitution. Most of the time they will use a progression of precedent to do this.

Some of the more radical activist judges (or decisions), however, have begun to feel less restrained by the need for "reason" and "logic". They, instead, base their belief more upon a personal sense of what is "fair" and "right" and will legislate those personal feelings of justice into the Constitution by judicial decree.

As for Brown: The decision in Brown was based upon an argument made by Thurgood Marshall that the 14th Amendment Due Process rights of students in segregated schools were being violated. He showed through reasoning and science that these students were being denied an opportunity to an equal education by state-imposed segregation.

Marshall showed that Jim Crow laws violated the Due Process Clause which reads: "No State shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." When the Warren Court struck down segregation, it did not invent any new right. It finally had enough reason to show that de jur segregation was unconstitutional.

Even at this, the Warren Court did not force the States to write new laws. It simply struck down the old. It would be a few more years before the Court would even hesitantly get involved in the question: "How do we desegregate?" It would still be another decade before the Southern states began to comply.

True, the phrase "judicial activism" does get tossed about too much. However, when I write of it, I do so using the legal sense of the phrase. Therefore, one can not compare Brown v. Board to the Mass. decision. There is a great difference between finding that an enumerated Constitutional right has been violated and finding that, while there isn't a guarantee to same-sex access to marriage, there ought to be and then legislating that into the State constitution.

Also, I do not know a single conservative that believes, to my knowledge, the Brown decision was judicial activism. Of course I've never been to a Klan rally . . . and you might find one there. But then they're not "conservative" -- they're just kooks. (In the same sense that anarcho-terrorists are not "liberal" but are just radical criminals.)

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