March 30, 2011
Tonight was Home Court, the basketball game fundraiser for Georgetown’s Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. The game is between members of Congress and Georgetown faculty. It was so much fun. Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts, John Thune (who went to Biola) of South Dakota, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and a bunch of Representatives all played. Thune, Duncan, and Brown were all really good. The law school was represented by a bunch of professors and deans. None of them were that great. The dean of the law school was a very “humorous” player. However, my Torts professor was pretty good – probably the best of the faculty. We all suspected such because he had used personal stories from playing street ball on the east side in New York in the 70′s as torts hypotheticals.
The whole thing was quite a production. They brought in the guy who announces for the Georgetown basketball games to do the announcing. He’s a Jesuit priest. Jack the bulldog, the school mascot, was there and tore up a model of the Capitol. There were cheer leaders from two high schools, a guy in a mascot costume, an a cappella group, and a signed jersey by Obama. In the end the pols beet the profs 61 -49 and over $414,000 was raised. Oh, and there was a raffle for a $10,000 shot at half time and the guy made it. People were going crazy.
It was really neat to see all these faculty members and members of Congress and the Administration, all of differing political persuasions and views, get together to have a good time, show some good sportsmanship, and raise money for a good cause. Some of them had their spouses there too to support them. There were kids, families, law students, staffers, and older folks. It was great. A real slice of America and what it means to be American.
March 28, 2011
Yesterday James, Ryan, and I went and looked at a house for next year. I’m not sure if it’s going to work out, but I fell in love with it immediately. The location is perfect. Just a few blocks from school and where I’m going to be working. And it’s a beautiful neighborhood with tree lined streets, beautiful old row houses, porches, and everything else. The house has a huge living room (with an awesome fire place) and dining room, a kitchen with an exposed brick wall, a garden in the back, and a garage on an alley. The whole house has old wood floors. There are three bedrooms upstairs, one with a balcony. I loved it. Regardless of whether it works out or not, it made me so excited to have a house this summer and next year. I spent all day today looking at IKEA.
March 26, 2011
I went for a walk this evening with James and was pleasantly surprised to see that the cherry blossoms have emerged from their winter slumber. It was absolutely incredible! Just a few days ago there was no sign of them whatsoever. Now they’re everywhere! In fact, today is the first day of the Cherry Blossom Festival. I guess they’ve got the timing down to a science. This was just on Capitol Hill. Next weekend I’m going down to the tidal basin to see all of them. I can’t wait!
This first one is in the Japanese Internment Memorial. Pretty appropriate to have Japanese cherry trees around it. I was sure to get the word “Manzanar” in there for all of you who read about it in high school.
And there are tulips everywhere!
March 25, 2011
I got to sleep in this morning (until 8 o’clock) and still got all my reading done for Monday and Tuesday. Tonight I went over to a friend’s apartment for pizza and to watch the tournament. It was a lot of fun hanging out with everyone, especially all the 2L’s.
I found a really cool house today in the neighborhood we want to live in next year and there’s an open house on Sunday, so I think we’re going to go check it out. I’m really excited! I can’t wait to live in a house this summer!
I just got the word that my swimmers back home had a big day. They beat A.G., and both JV and Varsity came down to the last relay! I’m really excited and really miss it.
We’re having a strange cold spell this weekend. It’s even supposed to snow on Sunday. It’s going to be very weird going from such nice weather to snow.
March 25, 2011
Sorry for not posting the last couple days. I’ve been trying to accelerate my outlining this week, which has been pretty time consuming.
In Torts we’ve been talking about Proximate Cause, arguably the most convoluted topic in all of Torts. It’s basically the idea of limiting liability to those injuries that are foreseeable. A classic example is the Chicago Fire, which was caused by Mrs. O’Leary leaving a candle in her barn. She couldn’t be held liable for all the damages that ensued because they were’t foreseeable. As you might be able to imagine, all sorts of bizarre chains of events pop up and determinations have to be made about how much of it was foreseeable. The most famous case is Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co. In it a man was running to catch a train that had already started pulling away from the station. The station attendants helped push him onto the train, but in the process dislodged a package he was carrying. The package happened to contain fireworks, which resulted in an explosion when they fell. The explosion caused a scale at some distance away to fall over, injuring Ms. Palsgraf. Was all of that foreseeable to the station attendants?
The case is the most famous in all of Torts. There have been numerous reenactments and such. Our professor sent us a law review article that was a graphic novel version of the case. It’s really nerdy, so I’ll spare you. But here’s a pretty good video about the case.
In other news, I just read Miranda v. Arizona for Criminal Justice. It is quite possibly the only Supreme Court case ever that a majority of Americans can quote from. Pretty cool to finally have read it.
March 21, 2011
I watched Gideon’s Trumpet over the weekend because we read Gideon v. Wainwright in Criminal Justice last week. It was pretty good; you should check it out sometime. Have you ever heard of the movie or the case? Our professor and textbook said that it’s one of the most well known and celebrated cases in the history of the United States. He even put it above Marbury v. Madison. But I get the impression that most people haven’t even heard of it. How many of you have heard of it?
The case is the one in which the Supreme Court established that the state must provide attorneys to all indigent criminal defendants. Before that virtually all defendants had to defend themselves if they couldn’t afford an attorney, even if the case was complicated. Gideon was charged with breaking into and robbing a pool hall. He requested an attorney at the trial but was denied one. He was convicted and sent to prison. While in prison he hand wrote a letter to the Supreme Court stating that he thought he should have been provided an attorney. The Supreme Court took his case, appointed him one of the best attorneys in the country, and unanimously decided in his favor. He was retried, with the assistance of an attorney, and was found not guilty.
If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in prison with a pencil and paper to write a letter to the Supreme Court; and if the Supreme Court had not taken the trouble to look at the merits in that one crude petition among all the bundles of mail it must receive every day, the vast machinery of American law would have gone on functioning undisturbed. But Gideon did write that letter; the court did look into his case; he was re-tried with the help of competent defense counsel; found not guilty and released from prison after two years of punishment for a crime he did not commit. And the whole course of legal history has been changed.
-Robert F. Kennedy
March 20, 2011
March 19, 2011
Here are some pictures from the week!
Ethiopian food at Etete!
Eating the best cupcake I’ve ever had!
March 18, 2011
Laura and Nathan left this morning. We had such a good time together! And I’m so glad Katy got to come down for a night too. It was so good to be with old friends and to talk about old times. We did a lot of walking and eating too. We covered so much ground that we definitely deserved all the good food we ate. This morning we went out to breakfast at this place in the Eastern Market where everyone sits at a counter. Yesterday they brought me back Georgetown Cupcakes. The peanut butter chocolate one was the best cupcake I’ve ever had. We watched a trailer to the DC Cupcakes show to try and figure out what it’s actually about. No success… We did all the monuments at night, walked the whole length of Embassy Row, and out to Eastern Market. Then we stayed up late talking each night.
My LRW brief was due this evening and I had my oral argument for moot court too. Both went pretty well. Tomorrow is going to be spent reading all day since I didn’t get to today.
March 16, 2011
Laura, Nathan, and Katy got here yesterday afternoon. We went to Chinatown and the Portrait Gallery and then went up to U St. to get Ethiopian food for dinner at Etete. They all loved it, as usual. Then we stayed up late talking and planning the rest of their trip and then crashed in my room. It was like a big sleepover. It was so much fun! And now I’m excited for all the stuff we’re going to do over the next few days!
And on top of all of that, I got an offer from the place I’ve been interviewing with yesterday! Needless to say, it was a very good day. Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement regarding this job. It has been a long process and I’m glad I don’t have to practice patience anymore.
So now I guess I should say a few things about this mysterious jobs I’ve been alluding to. It’s with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, specifically with the Office of Judges Programs. Remember the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in Civ Pro with Abernathy? Basically the office assists the committees of judges that write those rules and other rules for federal courts. One of the reasons it’s such a good opportunity is all the exposure you get to judges, including Supreme Court Justices. The office also has a lot of interaction with foreign courts and judges who have questions about American procedure for litigation occurring in their court systems, which is pretty cool. They also act as a sort of liaison between the federal judiciary and Congress for legislation that affects the judiciary, which is something I’m really interested in.
The office is in a beautiful brand new building right next to Union Station, which is just a few blocks from the school, so that’s great. In fact, when I told some 2L’s and 3L’s about the job they were most excited about the building and location. And I’m looking at an apartment for next year on Capitol Hill on just the other side of the building, so its location literally could not be any better.