Monday, June 23, 2014

Thoughts For Monday

Sitting here, basking in the glow of post-surgical pain killers, I thought it would be useful to post something inspiring.  Maybe you're at work.  Or maybe you're looking for work.  Perhaps you're studying.  Who knows, you could just be trying to figure out how some Portuguese guys playing soccer could make you feel so blue.  But whatever the reason, if you're feeling a little out of step, take a minute to win.  It doesn't have to be huge; maybe you reviewed Torts for an hour longer than usual or managed to draft a typo-free brief.  A win could be as simple as a fistful of free Splenda or getting through that first glass of win without crying.  It's all valid.

What I'm saying is: Win this week.  Win the whole fuckin' thing.  Tell your shitty boss or the shitty HR person who won't call you back or the shitty NCBE or the shitty world's greatest soccer player/model/millionaire that they can have last month or last year, but this week is yours.  Pull a Clint Dempsey and air hump this week into the back of the net.

I know you can do it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Don't Underestimate Mnemonic Ballads

Okay Barriors, it's the time of year when mnemonics start making up a big part of your life.  Some are better than others, like MIMIC for exceptions to admissibility of character evidence (motive, intent, mistake, identity, and common scheme) or FUBAR (I don't need to explain it - you're living it).  You know, the classics that sum up common situations.  But mnemonics can be sooooo boring, right?  Peeugh stinky!  That's when you need a catchy tune get your toes tapping and your mind working!  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of those, so try some of these out in case you were looking for a late night video of people who have been warped by the practice of law into beings that almost act like people.

Insanity Defense:  BARBRI hoodie and crazy eyes tells me were learning with someone intimately associated with the subject matter:

Hearsay Exceptions:  If you think about it, Legos are a lot like the bar exam: if you can't figure how stuff fits together, you're going to be tempted to smash the shit out of that thing that took forever to work on and currently looks less like the Death Star and more like an autistic kid's 3D rendition of a smile.

The Ballad of the CPLR:  Sure New Yorkers, you'll have a hard copy of the Civil Practice Law and Rules that you'll be able to consult when you're an admitted attorney, but who knows when some obscure reference that you picked up while memorizing material for the Bar will pop in an save the day!  Never.  The answer is never.

So that's it.  Next time you're in a jam and can't make a fact stick in your memory just set it to song!  If you do, please make a video so we can all learn from it.

*the exception is this commercial! which should be watched over and over again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Warning: Some Strippers May Be Dishonest

Only one of these people looks like a stripper, and it ain't the lady.  

This isn't legal news per se, but it does involve some things lawyers love: money and people degrading themselves... for money.  Seems like strippers at NYC club have been drugging and robbing patrons.  If you've been to a strip club before, you probably know this is more or less par for the course ($15 bud bottle say what?).   According to reports, strippers would go on "fishing expeditions" in Manhattan in order to find dupes to drug and then lure to clubs like Scores.  Which begs the question:  does a guy need to be drugged in order to be taken to a strip club by a strange lady?  That sounds less like the theory from a charging document and more like the beginning of some terrible erotica.

One "victim" is alleged to have racked up a $130k tab which he refuses to pay, as he was unwilling to give consent while hopped up drugs, booze, and whatever lotion strippers use to fade caesarean scars.

It's hard to determine who the winner will be when everyone is a loser.  Face.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Enjoy Some Medical Weirdness

Here are some heartwarming stories to help you appreciate all the great things medical professionals do for us.  And then make you throw up right after reading them.

  1. THANKS FOR THIS 47 POUND TUMOR, OBAMA.  Seriously, thank you.
  2. For the fellas:  read this story if you plan on doing some painting this weekend.  Naked.
  3. Super Flu.  That's all you need to know. 

Seize the Day!

Good morning!  Today's your day!  Grab it with all of your hands and feet and pull it into the inky depths.   This is also a great way to make a relationship work.  Not recommended if your day is spent life guarding.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Multiple Choice Conundrum: When You Can Only Narrow it Down to Four Choices

It Has Been Said that there are questions on the MBE that have clawed their way into our world from the nightmarish morass of darkness and kitten death that is the collective consciousness of the question writers for the sole purpose of causing fear and chaos.  Here's an example:
  • Farmer Apple keeps bees on his property.  The bees want nothing more than to serve the will of their queen, make honey, and aggressively sting children.  Timmy the Trespassing Tot is on Farmer Apple's land because in addition to all the bees, Farmer Apple collects carnival rides, rides he inexplicably keeps running at all times.  Timmy's mother, Christine Boxo-Wine, is looking for Timmy when the tilt-a-whirl malfunctions and launches angry bees everywhere.  What rule of Evidence best applies to Timmy's testimony in the susbsequent criminal trial?
    • A)  Rule 601
    • B)  The rules do not apply in these circumstances.
    • C)  Ja Rule
    • D)  The Laws of 8
This was a real question.  It appeared on the February 2000 MBE (the one everyone walked out of; look it up).  So what do you do when you're stuck?
Popular lore is that when a question  can't be winnowed down to two choices, you should just pick "C."  But why?  The reasoning is that if enough people get the question wrong, the graders will assume that there was a flaw and nullify that particular question.  This was actual avice given to me while I was taking a prep course.

Let's unpack this - about 60,000 people took the July '13 MBE.  Now lets say of the 60k, one quarter of them used the same prep company.  And in May of '13, a big wig at that prep company says enough with Torts.  The guys who teach it are all a pain in the ass and the robots are going to be handling those suits pretty soon, anyway.  "When a Torts question comes up,  just tell people to pick C" is the order he gives to administrators.  And all of the sudden, 15,000 people get every torts question that isn't answer choice C wrong.  Huzzah!  Doc Review jobs for all!*

This is an example of the kind of reasoning you get sucked into while studying for the bar - the "there must be an easier way around this" thinking.  Now, I'm not here to tell you to avoid short-cuts.  I love short cuts.  This might actually work.  If you've ever taken an ADR class, you know there's merit in the idea behind collective action.  BUT... this might also be bullshit.  So this is a strategy that is known and exists, one that depends on a bunch of people also knowing about it.  It also requires the NCBE graders to not know about it.  It also assumes that the policy of nullifying flawed questions is real and not some kind of nerdy urban legend. 

So that's it - the "Chose C" strategy.  Apply at your own peril.

*jk; nobody will get these jobs without three months experience, and three months experience cannot be acquired without a job

From Dread to Elation: Relax - Still 49 Days Until The MBE

As a continuing service to those  studying for the Bar/prepping for unemployment, here's a reminder that there's still a ton of time left before they have to tackle the hardest thing they'll ever have to do with a number 2 pencil (after giving someone an emergency tracheotomy).  So pump the brakes, kid.  There's time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Second Amendment Primer

Now that we've had the 74th shooting at a school since Newtown (an admittedly esoteric stat that can get filed under WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?), the staff here thinks you need a quick update on the Amendment that might be second but is TRYING SO HARD you guys.   It's also the one that every guy in a sleeveless Tapout tee claims to know like he's a hillbilly Posner.  Sometimes you meet these guys at a cocktail party/lynching and really want to chat them up.  Here are some tips.

  • The Text (for when you're looking for something to compliment that Gadsden Flag that's covering up the swastika tat you gave yourself in juvi):
    • A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
      • NOTE:  Nobody cares
  • Some Law:
  • Smart People Doing Smart Things With All of This:
    • Texas Open Carry :  A fun group to join if your expression of personal freedom falls on the harassment side of things.
    • Sovereign citizens: The intellectual equivalent of a junior high Student Council if the nerds and overachievers were ousted by the guys who hung out in the autobody shop to be closer to auto-grade nitrous. 
    • The Bundy Ranch:  In case you were wondering, this is where "Liberty lives."  And she's not getting away.  Ever.
  • What Some Crotchety Old Men Think:
Now you're a gun expert!  Use this knowledge to spread reason wherever you go.  Or to scare liberals.  

It's Okay to Freak the Fuck Out

Are you feeling stressed?  That's a-okay.  Embrace it.  Seize it like the Fourth Amendment didn't exist.  Just like the police!

Lots of Agony, Not So Much Ecstacy

 If you're studying for the bar, chances are you're feeling a little overwhelmed.  This is a typical response to the stress that comes from realizing you have a few months to learn all of the stuff you missed during law school, like which covenants run with the land or all of criminal procedure.  Here are some handy tips:

  1. This too shall pass!  Which means your tribulations will end sooner than you think!  Probably as you're being carted off to a cell at a place where scissor handling is strictly monitored.
  2. Look at that ship!  It just keeps going.  Blaragahgahaghgaghghghhhh.  Fun. Tell your friends that this is what it feels like every time you go to a review session.
  3. Do you still have friends?  Give that some time.
  4. A nice crying jag is a great way to keep people from crowding you on public transportation.
  5. If you pass this goddamn thing, you're going to have to actually practice law.  Ugh.
Oh this is fun!  Somebody tell me what subject BarBri is on.  I just want to know how Paula Francese is doing.

Returning From the Depths

Greetings, friends!  Like the many-armed kraken who slumbers in the crushing depths waiting to awaken and signal the End of Days or shill for a mid-range spiced rum, this blog has resurfaced.  Why?  Good question.  It may have something to do with how your faithful editor is experiencing post-law school: by being unemployed.  Or it could be that energies are being marshaled to assist a new batch of prospective attorneys waste time when they're not confronting the mythologically harrowing scourge that is the Bar.  Perhaps this is a False Flag (in case you haven't heard, everything is a False Flag).  Competing theories abound, perpetuated by nobody really.

Anyway, we're back for a while to help you avoid doing something more meaningful, like learning that Adverse Possession statute or representing indigent clients or quietly weeping as yet another resume goes into the electronic ether to be ignored by doc reviewer staffers and firms looking for paralegals (I'm a lawyer!  I can file!).

Prepare for links that have been covered by better blogs, unearned punchlines in the form of animated .gifs, and rants that are more or less pro forma for the unemployed.  Sit in the corner, put your headphones on, and act interested.