Oliver Wendell Holmes

There are a great many things in this world that are complicated. Fixing a car, for instance, will always involve a great deal of black magic and skills that can only be found in a vanishingly small elect of horrifyingly hirsute types. The hairier the mechanic the better, my mom never said.

Quantum mechanics, french pastry, the resurgent popularity of men’s tank tops. These things are complicated and hell if I can explain any one of them to you. Ours not to reason why; ours to buy a nice little house in Westchester, sock away a little for retirement, eat more roughage.
Compared to these things, law is piece of cake. Which is why coverage of Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA is a bit confused. Rather than tackling the key question, whether the NCAA is ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag, commentators are wading into the murkiest depths of antitrust law. This is wrongheaded.

Let me explain…

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“Lane Dean, Jr., with his green rubber pinkie finger, sat at his Tingle table in his chalk’s row in the rotes group’s wiggle room and did two more returns, then another one, then flexed his buttocks and held to a count of ten and imagined a warm pretty beach with mellow surf, as instructed in orientation the previous month.”– David Foster Wallace

“The thing that makes ‘Dirty Jobs’ different is that it’s one of the few shows that portrays work in a way that doesn’t highlight the drudgery. Instead, it highlights the humor.”– Mike Rowe

Yesterday was like any other. I stared at my computer screen and tried to appear as if I were doing work. I went to the bathroom three times even though there was no there there. At one point, I was asked to wear a name tag. If there is any humor at all in what I do, it is of a type so dark and weird, it could only be appreciated in Germany. I graduated from a pretty good, very expensive law school and I was asked to wear a name tag yesterday. Yesterday was like any other.

I don’t know why the hell I whine like this. Like Cherry Valance said, it’s rough all over. And besides, everyone else is trying to get through their day, name tag or no. There was an old lady with five plastic bags next to her on the train yesterday morning. Each bag was filled with more plastic bags. And on and on. You want to know sadness, check out this old lady’s Matryoshka bags that keep her company throughout the day.

But you want to know who really has it bad? Minor league baseball players and Bengals cheerleaders.

Let’s talk employment lawsuits…

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Cherished lunch box of Justice Holmes.

* Harvard Law’s Langdell Library hosts a bevy of legal treasures. Including the personal lunchbox of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. [The Harvard Crimson]

* Per a new survey, watching the Kardashians makes one twice as likely to want an aggressive lawyer. When I have to watch the Kardashians I become an aggressive lawyer. [Avvo]

* The Supreme Court spent Cyber Monday denying review to two cases challenging the imposition of sales taxes on Internet purchases. [The Blog of the Legal Times]

* New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman cracked down on fake Yelp reviewers. Apparently, reviewers who gave a pet groomer 4 stars are a bigger priority than the reviewers who gave subprime-backed securities AAA ratings. [Corporate Counsel]

* Not exactly breaking news, but Philly has caught on that law firms are merging because the market is so terrible with a new piece on the merger craze. Specifically, they’re looking at the planned merger of BakerHostetler and Philly’s own Woodcock Washburn L.L.P. we mentioned last week. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

* Lakers guard Steve Nash’s ex-wife is battling him for child custody. She’s hired a Phoenix law firm whose most famous attorney is jacked up NFL ref Ed Hochuli. For now Hochuli isn’t working on the case directly. For now. [TMZ Sports]

* Congratulations to Kobre & Kim on being named Law Firm of the Year by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. [Newsday]

* Who says Civil Procedure isn’t sexy? Some UNLV Law students take to YouTube to bring (Civ Pro) SexyBack. [You Tube]

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I was on a fast-moving segment on HuffPost Live this afternoon called “Legalese It,” where host Mike Sacks runs through a bunch of overlooked legal items from the past week. Since I was on vacation for half of the week, I learned a lot! For instance, did you know that Michigan had an anti-begging statute on the books from the 1920s that was just struck down so they can put a big “Spare Some Change” sign in Detroit?

Okay, that’s not why it was struck down, but still. Also it seems that North Carolina is trying to restrict voting to five white guys chosen at random by Reince Priebus and Obama is now in favor of legislative prayer, as if nobody told him he can’t run for a third term.

Looks like I missed a lot, but that didn’t stop me from talking about it on the web. Specifically, I got to talk about how Eric Holder and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott are now friends when it comes to stopping USAIR and American Airlines from combining to own all the railroads on the Monopoly board…

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We all remember Schenck v. United States, the 1919 decision written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that established the “clear and present danger” test and coined the oft-misquoted line “free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

Eloquent and well-reasoned.

You know what Oliver Wendell Holmes didn’t say? “Free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting ‘BINGO!’ in a seniors home.”

But one judge has gone that far…

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