Justice Scalia is kind of a troll sometimes. He routinely snarks out his fellow justices and is a total dick to legal luminaries like Judge Posner. His belligerence is drenched in sarcasm and usually arbitrary.
In a sense, Antonin Scalia is ATL’s spirit guide.
But when he went after an attorney appearing before him, he got immediately chastised by a fellow justice and raised the ire of even conservative commentators.
In this instance, I’m going out on a limb and say Justice Scalia was absolutely, positively, 100 percent right….
It’s an adverse possession story! We have an adverse possession story. Pull out your first-year Property casebooks and remember that time in law school you learned that “law words” sometimes have no bearing on what those words mean in the regular world.
There’s a guy who is going around Ohio, “possessing” what he calls abandoned houses, and then filing quiet-title claims against the real owners. The actions have worried the owners (at least some of whom have their houses in foreclosure by the banks). In more entertaining news, we get to watch local media react with horror as they confront the mere possibility of adverse possession. I love when laypeople confront Property issues; they’re always so confused and frightened. Prescriptive easements! Fee simple! PERPETUITIES!
Anyway, of all the non-lawyers involved, the worst is the guy actually trying to possess these houses. He’s a man who knows just enough to be stupid….
* First things first: remember to send us your legally themed Halloween costumes! [Above the Law]
* George Clooney may be dating the “hottest female barrister in London.” [Legal Cheek]
* This painting suggests there’s a senior partner who gets away with wearing sandals to work. [Lowering the Bar]
* This is a really useful practice tip: how to cite URLs in briefs without having them look all messed up. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* O.J. Simpson’s house sold at a foreclosure auction for a mere $655,000. This must be a disappointing deal for him — I’m sure he expected to make a killing. [Daily Business Review]
* Blackacre blocks access to a public beach. But the owner of Blackacre uses the Mexican-American War as an excuse to ignore the easement. Apparently he wins. People are also entirely awful. [Valleywag]
* I also hate when McDonald’s screws up my order, but it’s not worth getting the police involved. [Legal Juice]
Nudists seem like they’d be pretty chill people. It’s the kind of thing a bunch of aging hippies do when they want to pretend that they’re living in a production of Hair.
That’s why a protracted legal showdown between a nudist resort and one of its residents over swinging, cock rings, and property rights is so unusual.
Catherine Holmes feels the camp has morphed from a free-wheeling celebration of Naturism into a swingers club and hostile environment for children. She wants to sell her cabin and move. Camp administrators think she’s a troublemaker and want to kick her out of her cabin. They maintain that all the sexually provocative things Holmes alleges (some of which she backs with photographic evidence) are just “jokes.”
If everyone agrees that Holmes should move, why can’t everyone just agree to let her sell?
Because there’s no shortage of cojones in a nudist colony, that’s why…
Last week, I included a fun, “when law professors attack” link in Non-Sequiturs, about an adjunct property professor at the University of Oregon School of Law. Since then, we’ve received more tips about the outburst and its aftermath — and couldn’t help ourselves but to double-dip into this story.
The professor, James Olmsted, got into a dust-up with a student protest group, snagging one of their phones and seeming to goad the protesters into a fight. Hippie protesters can be annoying, but, I mean, if you hate hippie protesters, you may not want to work in Eugene.
What makes the story so confusing is the lack of anything in the professor’s bio to indicate that he’d launch a tirade like this….
* Republican Senator Rob Portman announces his support for gay marriage after learning that his son is gay. Yay! Let’s all celebrate him for meeting the lowest threshold of human decency once he found a purely selfish reason to change. [ABC News]
* A Southern District of Florida clerk is named one of Southern Florida’s most eligible bachelors. Our bachelor “claims to be the other white meat” and to “have a lot in common with Christian Grey.” He doesn’t sound douchey at all. [Brickell Magazine (jump to page 91)]
* Comparing Chicago Law faculty to Game of Thrones characters produces surprisingly accurate results. [UChilawgo]
* With law schools raising tuition and the profession shrinking… more people need to rush to law school. Keep sipping that sweet, sweet Kool-Aid, buddy. [Daily Princetonian]
* GW Law’s Barrister’s Ball — $2500 fee for vomiting! [GW Law SBA]
* University of Oregon Property professor doesn’t understand “property,” snatches student’s phone. Click through the jump to see more video of what happens when law professors and hippies clash! [Photography Is Not a Crime]
California bar, it's unforgettable, somebody pukes, most end on top.
As many of you already know, state bar exams start tomorrow. If you are taking the bar tomorrow, WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING ATL??
Just kidding. Relax. It’s gonna be what it’s gonna be.
To get you guys pumped up for the next two or three days, a reader sent us a clip of herself rapping property. If this Hastings student doesn’t make you psyched to take the bar, well, there’s probably never anybody in the history of ever who has been psyched about taking the California bar….
I love it when this kind of thing happens. I’ve loved it ever since my very first day of Property class. I love it whenever anybody, anywhere in this country, seeks or gains title to something via adverse possession.
Every time it happens, it’s just tangible freaking proof that laws aren’t just a bunch of grand theories written in tomes that grow lonely from disuse. Adverse possession isn’t an existential contemplation, it’s a real-ass way that property can be transferred from those who are hoarding it to those who can use it.
And the fact that laypeople always freak out when confronted with this most basic of property concepts delights me to no end. Everybody loves private property in this country, but 200 million of them have no idea where it comes from. You’d think “fee simple” is something they would teach in middle school in a country like ours, but you need a graduate degree before people even try to teach you about real property.
I’m trying to say that the man who’s trying to get a $330,000 house for $16 bucks is a great American….
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…