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March 23, 2004

Moot Court Musings

I'm sorry I've not been that focused recently: my moot court oral argument is tonight, so all of my effort has been on keeping up with my work and yet also managing to prep myself for my first formal legal-style argument. Needless to say, I'm more nervous about it than I'm letting on.

On a lighter note, one of my best friends here today has pointed out that Sheik Ahmed Yassin (spiritual leader of Hamas recently assassinated by the Israelis) looks suspiciously like Saruman. Now whenever I see the news reports on him, I get a soundtrack in the back of my head of "Da da dum DUM DUM DUM"...

March 07, 2004

CODE RED: Moot Court Brief

I'm about three pages away from having my moot court brief finished, thanks to the kindness and patience of my partner. I'm so tired that I may be about to submit a recipe for chicken soup to my judge. Walking home in the rain last night, I caught a cold, so as a consequence I'm sniffling with every citation. The most I can say for it is that it seems correctly Bluebooked and contains an argument with several sections and very pretty heirarchy of text.

A winning argument? You must be joking.

March 02, 2004

Only 7:30?

It's been a long, long day.

My moot court second draft got handed in, a bit late, but with something approaching a coherent and ordered argument. Not a winning argument, as I'm backing a police department that I have every reason to suspect acted like a real louse, but an argument nonetheless.

I ended up speaking at a panel on affirmative action. A lot more fun than I expected, really. One thing about law school: if you end up in a debate with people, they're likely to be both entertaining, informed and polite. The best bit had to be two commentators, one who believed that affirmative action was great if you were a socialist correcting a social problem, and the other who believe that, in fct, it was good because it brought us closer to capitalism. Hey, it's a level of debate you don't get on the New York Times op-ed page.

Job search situations and a mountain of laundry, as well as Reg State, are gobbling a significant portion of my evening. Why did I bother buying a TV card, when I'm never going to have time to watch it?

February 18, 2004

No Sleep for the Wicked

For the second night in a row, I'm up until 2:30 AM working on my moot court brief. I can't say I'm displeased with the result--the argument isn't totally full of holes, unlike much of my recent blogging [1]--but it's been a very tiring road. Furthermore, the case is one of those annoying stories of nastiness on the part of one man (who isn't being sued); suffering on the part of another (who is suing); and laziness, defensiveness, and bureaucratic inertia on the part of the third (who's got the deep pockets, and is thus my defendant). Ideally, I'd like the plaintiff to have acted responsibly, the defendant to then have settled things reasonably, and this never to have gotten to court.

I'm enjoying it. It's a creative exercise, and when I'm not fighting a persistent writer's block--there's a reason I've been blogging so much, it gives me a good hour to 90 minutes of memo writing before my brian seizes up again--I'm loving this odd struggle with precedent and trying to figure out how to subtly say that a given was wrong. Distinguishing between fact situations that are slightly different in limited but critical ways is turning out to be a real pleasure.

But I'm not sleeping. Heck, I'm writing this, and my last entry, because after finishing the brief, it'll take my head another hour to wind down and relax to the point I can shut my eyes. I'm going to look like a train wreck again tomorrow. If I'm unlucky, Prof. Con Law will report me to the Dean on the grounds that the only thing that can explain my current unhealthy demeanor is longstanding substance abuse.

[1]: Never let it be said I can't joke at my own expense, eh?

February 17, 2004

Bedside Manner

From an IM I sent today about my moot court work:

Well, anyway, back to arguing that my scumbag police department isn't liable for having hired a Cro-Magnon who thinks women should be in the kitchen, barefoot, and (preferably) pregnant, just because she didn't fill out form 38B in triplicate when he behaved like a moron and drove a perfectly competent police woman off the force.

I like to empathize with my "clients."

February 02, 2004

Do They Sexually Harass People On Boats?

I'm working on my outline (due tomorrow) for my moot court case. After a semester of Civ Pro that focused heavily on Title VII sexual harassment claims, and the prospect of yet another such case in moot court, I'd like to say:

Would the fiction men of the world please stop harassing the fictional women of the world so that I can stop defending their fictional employers???

Seriously, next year I'm going to take Tax, Admiralty, Bankruptcy... anything that keeps me away from Title-bloody-VII. Columbia seems to be conspiring to turn me into a man defending the employers of lecherous men.

January 14, 2004

The Issue is Moot

Pity poor Professor Yin. In Iowa as he is, he's stuck in the midst of the current Democratic primaries, and suffering through a thicket of TV commercials. This is the first election since Bush I vs. Dukakis for which I will actually be in the United States, and I can't say I'm looking forward to the experience. I'm questioning whether I chose the right time to start watching TV.

The bright side is that he quoted an article by Judge Kozinski, which got me reading two very interesting pieces. The first, The Wrong Stuff, 1992 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 325, focuses on how to lose an appelate case if you really, really find that you have to do so. (Trust me, he's come up with a good reason why you might want to. You could end up on the Supreme Court.)

But better, considering that our 1L Moot Court is coming up and I know almost nothing about it, is In Praise of Moot Court -- Not!, 97 Colum. L. Rev. 178. Despite the atrocious title, he makes some compelling arguments against the way that moot court competitions are run: that they should focus more on the facts of the case; that they should work more with typical appelate cases instead of Supreme Court issues laden with policy; and that they should focus more on the brief.

Not having been in a moot court myself yet, it's impossible for me to say how right I think he is, but it's a persuasive piece. If you're a 1L facing the same challenge I am, you should take a look. Kozinski's never dull, at the very least.

Giving The Devil His Due

Moot Court Musings (3)
Visible Hand wrote: Ack. That double post is down to re... [more]

CODE RED: Moot Court Brief (2)
A. Rickey wrote: Ironically, my moot court partner i... [more]

Only 7:30? (3)
Alex F wrote: Moot court winners are very often t... [more]

No Sleep for the Wicked (6)
Bob wrote: I wouldn't say that I LIKE Pepsi On... [more]

Bedside Manner (0)
Do They Sexually Harass People On Boats? (8)
Tony the Pony wrote: Admiralty is a great class---seriou... [more]

The Issue is Moot (2)
Dave wrote: Along the same lines, just don't wa... [more]

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