Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Divorce model program gets rave reviews

It’s a holistic approach that is gathering interest among some law theorists who note that many so-called legal problems are not solvable solely by the legal profession.


Families never enter an actual courtroom. If they’re successful, their divorce or separation is granted by a visiting judge in a comfortable room on the university’s campus—a feature that’s more important than many people ever realize.

Article here (via aba journal). 

Fat Noodle is too similar to Chubby Noodle, says trademark suit

What’s the difference between a chubby noodle and a fat noodle?

Not much, according to the owners of two Chubby Noodle restaurants in the San Francisco area. They filed a federal lawsuit last week against the owners of a forthcoming competitor, Fat Noodle, contending that the name and logo of the soon-to-be restaurant is “confusingly similar” to their own.

Article here (via abajournal). 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Changes to Expungement (setting aside convictions) in Michigan law: Wittman Legal

If a person is convicted of certain crimes in Michigan, and a specified amount of time passes where no other crimes are committed, that person can apply to have the conviction set aside. This is a process known as "Expungement"or "expunction."

Michigan law has recently had some changes to its expunction process, as summarized in this article (via Wittmanlegal).

From the article:
Significant January changes included:

- Crimes that were deferred under one of Michigan's deferral statutes (i.e. 7411, HYTA) are now countable as a misdemeanor on your record for the purposes of Expungement.


- Up to two 93-day or 1-year misdemeanors (not just 90-day misdemeanors as in the prior law), may be on your record and still get one felony expunged.
 
- If you have only two misdemeanors on your record (no felonies) you may petition to get one or BOTH of them expunged.


Monday, January 26, 2015

New lawyers: don't be intimidated by the tactics of the older, wiser lawyers


I think this article is spot-on, and gives a lot of good advice. Yes, a lot of lawyers will see you as "easy bait" once you get out of law school, and attempt to intimidate you into some position by appearing to know more about the case than you do. But stick to your guns, and don't be afraid to advocate for your client as well as you can. 
Law school does not teach you all the dirty tricks opposing counsel will use to throw you off your game.

By nature, many lawyers are bullies. Think of an experienced lawyer as the senior jock in high school. When that jock sees you walking down the hallway in suspenders and carrying a Trapper Keeper, your lunch money is as good as gone.

Just like those jocks, some lawyers rely on their tough image to get things done. Don’t get me wrong; the power of persuasion (in any form) is certainly a tangible skill. And to be fair, the best lawyers I know make the most of their specific talents. In many situations, attempting to scare a young attorney is their best leverage.


Article here (via the lawyerist).

Does the use of midazolam sedative in executions violate the 8th Amendment? Supreme Court to decide.

States use sedatives when they are executing people. States used to use phenobarbital, which then became harder for states to use. But some states switched to another sedative, midazolam. The question before the Supreme Court is whether midazolam violates the 8th Amendment (barring cruel and unusual punishment) since it has no pain-reducing properties.

Article here (via ABA Journal).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More ways to cut costs for law schools with declining enrollment

It's been five years since the beginning of the decline in law school enrollment. Law schools have predictably already cut a lot of things out of their programs. But many schools are still looking to cut more costs!

This article has a brief list of what to cut:
  • Voluntary Retirements/Voluntary Pay Cuts 
  • Cuts to Faculty Research Support
  • Cut/Consolidate Administrative Positions
  • Reduce the Number of Course Offerings/Mandate More Courses
  • Law Library
  • International Programs
  • Overhead

Should law students date? The answer is no.

This article has a semi-humorous take on what it's like to date someone in law school. It's probably not much fun. But some law students are already attached or married when they get to law school.  And I did see more than one relationship die or greatly suffer while I was in law school. I think first term I saw one divorce, and one student leave because it was too hard on his marriage.That doesn't count later terms.
There’s no doubt in my mind that law school is hard on relationships.  In my time at law school I’ve seen at least three of my classmates go through a divorce and dozens of other relationships crash and burn. 
*******


On dating someone who’s not a law student:  Another one of those things that seems like a good idea.  At first.  Who better to help you stay sane during three years of surrealism than someone who’s separated from it?  The problem with this is that normal people are going to want normal interaction, which, as a law student, you’re probably not really able to provide.  And the chances of a normal person understanding why you’re drinking heavily at 11:45 in the morning after the MPRE are fairly small.  Plus, normal people ask inconvenient questions like, “Don’t you think there’s something inherently wrong about a profession where the ethics qualification is graded on a curve?”