Sandra Day O’Connor

People, here at LEWW we hate reality TV. Really, really, really hate it. It makes us feel bored, uncomfortable, and grossed-out by humanity, all at the same time. We can watch sports, which we suppose is “reality” in some sense, but other non-scripted programming sends us lunging for the remote. Dancing with the Stars? Gagging at the concept. Jersey Shore? Never seen it; sounds appalling. Even the Food Network is too real for us.

And of course, just thinking about those reality wedding shows makes us break out in hives. That said, we are going to be all over the upcoming royal wedding. Step back, Chelsea, this one is going to be the real deal, and LEWW is already counting the days until April 29. Now, to find a legal angle . . . .

On to this week’s couples. We have four finalists for this special Thanksgiving edition of LEWW:

Audrey Christopher and Trevor Austin

Tali Farhadian and Boaz Weinstein

Susan Ambler and Ashley Ebersole

Allegra Glashausser and Michael Price

Read more about these couples, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Buffeted”

* GlaxoSmithKline will pay $750 million — yup, that’s right, three-quarters of a billion — to settle charges of adulterated drugs. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Sure, Citizens United lets corporations get more active in politics — but it lets unions in, too. [ChamberPost]

* Reading between the lines: an annotated law firm departure memo. [Last Day at the Office Emails]

* Federal jurisdiction is a useful class — especially if you’re looking for the perfect crime scene. [Now I Know and SSRN (Brian Kalt)]

* Back in my ancestral homeland, the Philippine Supreme Court is responding to one scandal by creating another. [Opinio Juris]

* Vote for the top business law blog of 2010. [LexisNexis (via FCPA Professor)]

* Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on aging: “I turned 80, I don’t even like to say the word.” [Stanford University News]

* Some highlights from my talk yesterday in Philadelphia to the Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group, courtesy of Laura Powers. [The PR Lawyer]

I would make Mexican food and get some beer and have everyone over for dinner.

– Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, explaining how she would achieve legislative consensus among state senators in Arizona, in remarks to Cardozo law students over the weekend.


Do I Have A Right challenge.jpgIn December we announced a contest for ATL readers. We called upon you to play Do I Have A Right?, one of the educational video games launched by Our Courts. Today we’re pleased to announce the winners.
In case you’re not familiar with it, Our Courts is “a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy.” It was the brainchild of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (who spoke with us about Our Courts for this Washington Post piece).
Above the Law’s “Do I Have A Right?” tournament was a huge success, with 8,650 plays from nearly 7,500 unique players. People logged games in 49 states — c’mon, North Dakota, where’s the love? — and the average play time was 7:55 minutes.
sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpgJustice O’Connor was very pleased:

I want to congratulate the winners of the Our Courts – Above the Law Tournament. I was thrilled by the participation and interest in our game. It just goes to show that even trained lawyers can always use a refresher course in middle school civics.

And who were the winners? There were two, tied with a high score of 13,653. The first was David Cohen, a sports lawyer in Southern California. The second was “Anonymous,” who chose to remain nameless “so that people he knows don’t think he spends all his time [in the office] playing DIHAR.”
These winners will be featured as characters in a future Our Courts game. Speaking of Our Courts, they have a new game out, Argument Wars, which allows players to argue landmark Supreme Court cases. The preview case allows readers to argue Brown v. Board of Education; two more cases will launch next Monday, and two more by mid-February.
The full list of high scorers in the DIHAR challenge — perhaps you know some of them? — appears after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The ATL ‘Do I Have A Right?’ Challenge:
Congratulations from Justice O’Connor”

Do I Have A Right challenge.jpgBack in October, we wrote a piece for the Washington Post about retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s new educational video games. She’s spearheading a project called Our Courts, which seeks to improve civic education in middle schools. One game, Supreme Decision, lets the kiddies weigh in on a First Amendment case in the Supreme Court. The other, Do I Have A Right? (DIHAR), lets players start a law firm and serve clients with constitutional issues.
The subject of law firm management is a subject near and dear to many ATL readers’ hearts. We have noticed that commenters often have many suggestions for how it can be done better. So we have decided to put you to the test with a DIHAR tournament.
The winner of the tournament will get more than just bragging rights. The award for the ATL reader with the highest score is a starring role in an upcoming Our Courts game.
More information, plus complete contest rules, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The ATL ‘Do I Have A Right?’ Challenge”

sandra day and john o'connor.gifThe Associated Press reports that John J. O’Connor III died today at 79 of complications arising from Alzheimer’s disease.
John and Sandra Day O’Connor met as law students at Stanford.

The O’Connors were married in 1952 and became a leading couple on Washington’s social scene when they moved from Arizona in 1981 following her confirmation as the first woman on the Supreme Court.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor stepped down from the Supreme Court in 2005 in order to care for her husband as his Alzheimer’s disease worsened.
Husband of retired Justice O’Connor dies [Associated Press]
Justice O’Connor’s Husband Dead at 79 [BLT]
Sandra Day O’Connor’s Husband Dies [Washington Post]

justice oconnor.jpgRetired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is not really retired yet. “I am more busy in retirement than before,” she told Above the Law in a recent interview. One of her myriad projects is Our Courts, a non-profit organization that develops Web-based games to teach seventh- and eighth-graders about government. We spoke with Justice O’Connor recently for our piece for the Washington Post reviewing the games.
We had hoped to actually play the games with her, but it turns out she’s not much of a gamer. Not being the computer type, she hasn’t actually played the Web-based games herself. “I watched young people play it. They have a lot of fun. They’re actively engaged. I think it’s very exciting,” she told us.
Justice O’Connor has been touring the country to promote the games. She even stopped in to chat with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. We got to catch up with her via conference call last month. We rung her up at One First Street — like some retired Biglaw partners, retired SCOTUS justices get to keep an office. After her secretary connected us, Justice O’Connor answered the phone: “Sandra Day O’Connor.”
We discovered that O’Connor is adamant about bringing an end to the election of judges in America. Read more from our interview, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Should Judicial Elections Be Abolished?
(Or: ATL chats with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.)”

justice oconnor.jpgLast year, we wrote about retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor entering a new field: video game development. She’s spearheading a project called Our Courts, which seeks to improve civic education in middle schools. The Our Courts website officially launched in January of this year.
The first two games, “Supreme Decision” and “Do I Have A Right?”, went live this summer. The Washington Post contacted us and asked us to review them. We played Nintendo, Oregon Trail, and Carmen Sandiego growing up, and we spent a recent Friday night at Elie’s playing Rock Band, so we were willing to give the Our Courts game a go.
Check out our review of the games, along with additional reflections on civic education and public access to the courts, in this Washington Post piece: Educational? You Be the Judge.
While Lat was in D.C., he swung by the Washington Post’s offices to talk about the games. Check out his star turn in the video after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Educational? You Be The Judge.”

sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpgFormer SCOTUS Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is on a mission to educate. As reported last summer, she’s working with Georgetown University and Arizona State University on a “free, interactive, web-based program designed to teach and engage students in civics.” It’s called Our Courts, and it’s now live.

By having civics lessons in the form of online games, O’Connor hopes to trick the kids into thinking they’re having fun while they learn about the court system and constitutional rights. It brings back fond memories of The Oregon Trail, and an excuse to play video games in class. Though to be honest, we can’t remember what we really learned from that game, beyond the immense satisfaction of shooting down buffalo.

The site did a half-launch back in the fall, and has since re-designed. The games are still not live, but are promised by the start of the 2009 school year. This was the original home page (we’ve pointed out some elements that we wouldn’t want you to miss):

Our courts avatars 500.jpg

That design is no more. Out with the old, in with the new:

New Our Courts.jpg

Somehow, the avatars are cuter than the real kids. Which home page do you prefer?

Our Courts: 21st Century Civics

Earlier: Sandra Day Gets Her Game On

sandra day o'connor 2 justice o'connor.jpgIt has been a while since our last Eyes of the Law legal celebrity sighting, so here’s a fun one for your consideration. A D.C. tipster tells us:

We saw Sandra Day O’Connor in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibit on Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. She had on the same red sweater she can be seen wearing in photos dating from the late ’90’s hanging on the wall at Georgetown. I guess the retired justice pension package isn’t as generous as I thought. Or she just really likes that sweater.

SOC was accompanied by two women in their late 20’s or early 30’s… possibly granddaughters, possibly ex-clerks. We didn’t detect any particular resemblance — neither was wearing a red sweater that looked as though it might have been knitted or handed down from grandma.

Old people and museums: perfect together. Please pass the Bengay.

Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities [Smithsonian American Art Museum]

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