Books

Ebola* Congratulations (and good luck) to our nation’s new ebola czar — who happens to be a high-profile lawyer. [ATL Redline]

* An update on the Charleston Law/InfiLaw drama. [Post and Courier]

* If they had only taken the pink underwear off the patient before he woke up, he wouldn’t have his panties in a bunch. [Huffington Post]

* Getting people to read law review articles is hard enough; why put them behind a wall? [TaxProf Blog]

* It’s funny that Floridian lawyers are having such a bad reaction to Bad Judge, since the show could actually be reality TV down there. [Daily Business Review (sub. req.)]

* Career advice: if you aspire to the federal judiciary, try to avoid writing blog posts about biting girls in the butt. [Missouri Lawyers Weekly (sub. req.)]

* Congrats to lawyer Lisa Smith on winning the Pitch Week book competition at the When Words Count Retreat! [Street Insider]

* Looks like someone took a lesson from ATL’s Worst Law School bracket and put out a Worst Colleges in America list. We provide a very important service. [NPR]

* Converse is suing over 31 alleged Chuck Taylor imitators. Are they mounting a “full court press”? Get it? Yeah there was pretty much no way around that one. [Fashionista]

* Lawsuit reveals that struggling business couldn’t keep stores open but could shell out to keep CEO in her 4,560-square-foot home. [Seattle Times]

* Harvard Law faculty members join a statement protesting the university’s new sexual harassment policy. [Boston Globe]

* Is a sheath dress acceptable interview attire? Asking for a friend. [Corporette]

* Aaron Zelinsky’s interesting review of Lat’s upcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions, viewing the characters through the lens of William Deresiewicz’s Excellent Sheep (affiliate links). [Huffington Post Books]

* Which is more galling? That the magistrate tried to weasel out of performing a legal same-sex marriage or that the newspaper felt this worthy of a poll? [The Virginian-Pilot (Hampton Roads)]

Last week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture:

(Photo credit: Reddit user bdj426)

On Thursday, you voted on the finalists, and now it’s time to announce the winner of our contest…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Winner: Wherein Law Students Fight Over Politically Incorrect Margin Notes”


Scott Turow

My years as a prosecutor were an extraordinary education in the negative capacity of humanity. You’re like a proctologist — looking at human beings through the wrong end.

Scott Turow — former federal prosecutor, current Dentons partner, and critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist — at an interesting panel at this past weekend’s New Yorker Festival. The panel, moderated by Jeffrey Toobin, focused on writing about murder. Turow’s latest novel, Identical (affiliate link), is about a re-investigation of a murder many years after the fact.

Earlier this week, we asked readers to submit possible captions for this picture:

Photo credit: Reddit user bdj426

Let’s have a look at what our readers came up with, and vote on the finalists…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest Finalists: Wherein Law Students Fight Over Politically Incorrect Margin Notes”

* Some marriage equality enthusiasts applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to stay out of the way and let the circuits do their thing. But the history of miscegenation in America suggests the Supreme Court had a moral obligation to interject. [USA Today]

* On this subject, Professor Dorf presents a fascinating hypothetical: is it in the strategic interest of an anti-gay marriage conservative lower court judge to strike down same-sex marriage bans in light of the Supreme Court’s cert denials? [Dorf on Law]

* One more story while we’re at it, after the Ninth Circuit struck down bans on same-sex marriages, District Judge Robert C. Jones of Nevada, who upheld the ban in the first place, recused himself rather that be forced to issue an opinion in accordance with Ninth Circuit precedent. [BuzzFeed]

* If you’ve ever wondered how Islamic State manages to recruit Western youth to the cause, the answer is a “Disney-like” social media campaign. It’s like a Biglaw summer program, but for murder. [Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy]

* “Better Hold Off Sexting With High School Students” in Indiana. The Indiana Supreme Court finally weighed in last week after the lower court had okayed a teacher texting a 16-year-old to sneak out of the house for sex. Wait, this required the Supreme Court to weigh in? What is wrong with you Indiana? [Valpo Law Blog]

* Looking professional with a pixie cut. [Corporette]

* Enter for a chance to win a Chief Judge Randall Rader bobblehead! Yes, these exist. [Santa Clara Law]

* The Zephyr Teachout book tour for Corruption in America (affiliate link) begins. Is your town on the list? [Teachout-Wu]

* New Orleans taxpayers spent around $75K traveling judges to conferences and resorts last year. Quoth the tipster: “I could make a joke about New Orleans judges going to the third world to learn how to run their courtrooms, but I think I already did.” [The Times-Picayune]

For aficionados of books about the U.S. Supreme Court, 2014 has been a very good year. The past few months have brought us Uncertain Justice, by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz; The Case Against the Supreme Court, by Erwin Chemerinsky; Scalia: A Court of One, by Bruce Allen Murphy; and American Justice 2014, by Garrett Epps. (Forthcoming on the fiction side in a few weeks: my very own Supreme Ambitions.)

One of the most eagerly anticipated of these books is Breaking In: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor, by veteran SCOTUS reporter Joan Biskupic. She recently posted a juicy excerpt on Reuters, in which Justice Antonin Scalia is quoted saying of Justice Sotomayor, “I knew she’d be trouble.”

What prompted Nino to make this comment about Sonia? It has to do with allegations of the Wise Latina engaging in unwise behavior at a Supreme Court party….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Scalia On Sotomayor: ‘I Knew She’d Be Trouble’”

In the mists of the ancient past, the American legal profession agreed to cede responsibility for developing a consistent citation method to the most anal-retentive of law school gunners determined to lord their mastery of unnecessary commas over people. Ultimately, the whole thing is an exercise in hazing law students. Torturing students over questions of underlining or italics is kind of a lame hazing ritual, but long gone are the days when a young Louis Brandeis was dared by ne’er-do-well Harvard 3Ls to head down to the local theater and yell “Fire!”

But the Bluebook is also a cash cow because every lawyer needs to own a copy that they’ll promptly ignore because in the real world, everyone blindly trusts their online research database to get it right and barring that, no one much cares about the minutiae of the Bluebook as long as everyone can easily find the source. Besides, you can get close enough for government work with the outdated ratty copy you were issued in law school. Very few judges are going to flip out if you signal “See” where you could just insert the cite.

Now that cash cow is in jeopardy, because one law professor thinks he can get everyone a free copy of the Stickler’s Bible. How, you ask?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is The Bluebook About To Be Killed Off?”

When you’re in law school, you’ll have the option of buying new books, or slightly cheaper used books. If you choose to buy someone else’s used book, then God bless you, because you might be stuck with errant highlighting and incredibly moronic notes in the margins. Since law students can be crass, you might even find some offensive remarks scrawled throughout the pages of your book.

Why go through the trouble of buying used books when you’ll have to deal with so much annoyance? Because you’ll be able to take revenge upon the prior owner with your own clever margin notes…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Caption Contest: Wherein Law Students Fight Over Politically Incorrect Margin Notes”

I recently had the good fortune to hear Ian McEwan (author of the wonderful Atonement, among other books) and Steven Pinker (a name I’d never heard before — yet more proof of my vast ignorance) discuss what makes good writing. McEwan is of course a gifted novelist; Pinker is a cognitive scientist who thinks about (among other things) how children acquire language skills. This made for an interesting discussion.

Both authors had recently published new books. If you don’t want to spring for the price of Pinker’s book, you can read the nutshell version of his thesis in his recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

I stole the title of this column from Pinker’s talk. Pinker says that many people blame the internet for the younger generation’s inability to write clearly. But if Twitter’s the culprit — “the kids these days can write only 140-character sentence fragments” — then the world should have been awash in pristine prose in the days before Twitter.

We were not, of course. Most writing sucked in the ’90s, too. And in the ’80s. And the ’70s. And, according to Pinker, people have been complaining about bad writing in literally every generation since the invention of the printing press.

So it would be nice — but wrong — to blame today’s bad writing on modern technology.

If technology isn’t the culprit, then what is? Pinker’s thesis is one that I suspect all good legal writers have known subconsciously all along. But it’s worth speaking the words out loud and thinking about how to use this concept to improve both your writing and the writing of those you edit. . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Proof That The Internet Did Not Destroy The Ability To Write”

Page 1 of 3112345...31