June 29, 2003

A Jewish Apology

A Jewish Apology to Arabs, by Stephen Berger.

Link via Jamie.

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June 26, 2003

Strom Segregated from the Living

Retired Senator Strom Thurmond left the living at 9:45 this evening. He was 100.

UPDATE: The original article, posted at 10:45 p.m. on Thursday night, contained three or four paragraphs explaining that Sen. Thurmond, despite his segregationist views, held a more "nuanced" view of racial politics. The article cited that his daughter went to a school that was 50% black, where she had a black schoolteacher, and that he was the first Southern Senator to have a black man on his staff. Those paragraphs have been removed, and replaced with a paragraph about how a friend persuaded him to "take the high ground" before he hired the black staffer, and how his father was an ally of "one of the most rabid racists ever to sit in the United States Senate."

Wasn't this obituary written years ago? Why the last-minute changes? It can't be that the Post discovered new information. The initial story seemed like an attempt to really explore the issue; the revisions seem like part of a hit piece.

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Clue by Four - Apply Topically as Needed

The author of There Is No Cat got a cease and desist letter for using the term "clue by four," in which some consulting firm has registered a trademark interest. Said consulting firm claims that the passing use of the phrase dilutes his trademark.

Three problems for the registrant:

  1. He will have to prove that his mark is "famous." Coca-cola is a famous mark, and everyone knows the company it signifies. "Clue by four" is a witty turn of phrase used by many far before the registrant tried to lock it up, and no one - I mean not one single soul - who's not a personal friend or client of the registrant is likely to have any clue that his company uses the mark in commerce.
  2. The consultant uses the phrase not even once on his web site. So not only is the mark NOT famous, he's not even currently using it in trade. That might subject him to a nasty registration challenge.
  3. In order to win a dilution claim, he would have to prove that he was actually damaged by the allegedly infrgining use - in other words, diverted sales, loss of value of the mark, or soemthing similar. One passing mention on a weblog doesn't cut it.

So... nice try, thanks for playing, you've won a DVD of "Jackass" as your consolation prize.

(It turns I could throw stones at the registrant from my law office - and wouldn't that be a fun way to while away an afternoon?)

Also from Ernie. I should pay the man royalties.

UPDATE: Here's another c&d recipient.

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Master of the Public Domain

Apparently Professor Lessig was in town to lobby for the Public Domain Enhancement Act. And I missed all the fun, darn it.

Link from Ernie.

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June 19, 2003

A Long Article About Short Pleadings

Tepper points to a long article about short pleadings: Can You Sue Someone In Fifty Words Or Less?

The answer, in reality, is: not usually.

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June 18, 2003

Busy Doing Jack

Most large law firms have "summer associate" programs, which they use to recruit law students who will become first-year associates upon graduation. Many Harvard Law students get these coveted, and well-paid, summer associateship spots on the strength of their school's reputation. Many, though, never get that offer because they think their school's rep is more important than their own.

This summer associate's email is the epitome of that trend. Sorry, JLB, looks like you won't be "doing jack" at the firm next year.

Original lead, but not the link, from Ignatz.

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June 17, 2003

Creative Legal Thinking

Ernie pointed me to a legal blog with a fantastic concept: Out-of-the-Box Lawyering.

I like to think that I'm fairly creative when it comes to solving legal problems, so this is a blog I'll be checking often for ideas.

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June 16, 2003


Sometimes, Alex cries for no apparent reason.

The last few days, I've been finding that I'm smiling and laughing a lot for no apparent reason.

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June 15, 2003

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

Two cool things:

1. The men's room in Common Grounds has a baby-changing station. (I'm working on that brief I have due tomorrow.)

2. I'm noticing where places have baby-changing stations.

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A Screaming Good Time

You would think that living in a nice house filled with servants to take care of your every need 24 hours a day, with nutritious meals on demand, a wardrobe filled with all the latest fashions, a library full of books that it would take years to finish (let alone even begin), a great dog, and all the love that could possibly be poured out onto one person, would be enough to keep any guy from complaining.

But not Señor Fusspot. Even with four of us waiting on him hand and foot, feeding him every two hours day and night, changing his diapers and his clothes, burping him, and just plain holding him, he seems to cry all the time without apparent reason but to exercise his powerful lungs. Yes, we're awake long hours of the night, snatching naps in shifts during the day, putting aside virtually every other task but caring for him, and still he's somehow unhappy to the point where he's really convinced Tucker that we brought home a noisemaking machine instead of a baby brother.

Still, we adore Alex without limit. And we hope he'll grow out of this by the time he's, say, eighteen.

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June 13, 2003

Friday the 13th

I was born on a Friday 13th, back in 1970. My son missed it by just a couple of days (and, left to his own devices, might have hit it).

Superstitious? Nope. I know that I am a very, very lucky man.

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June 11, 2003

Alexander Michael Wasylik

We are proud to announce the arrival of Alexander Michael Wasylik, born at 9:57 p.m. on June 11, 2003.

He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces at birth and measured 21 inches in length.

Mother and child are both healthy, happy, and recovering from the big event.

The name Alexander is in honor of both the child's paternal and maternal great-grandfathers, and the name Michael is in honor of his paternal grandfather.

He is the most beautiful thing his parents have ever seen.

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June 10, 2003

Tick Tock 2

To the hospital we go...

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June 09, 2003

Who Lied About Iraq?

Who said the following about Iraq, and what did the speaker know when making the statement?

We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century. They feed on the free flow of information and technology. They actually take advantage of the freer movement of people, information and ideas.
And they will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen.
There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us.

Follow the link to find out.

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Tick Tock

No baby yet.

Still waiting.

Look for updates as they happen.

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June 08, 2003

Cusack for President

Here's a campaign I could have supported if I'd known about it before it ended: Cusack For President.

Possible campaign slogan: "I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen."

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June 07, 2003


Apparently, Democratic political operatives have been circulating a database they lovingly - and somewhat officially - call Demzilla.

Somebody better call Toho, but don't let Dave find out. He might knock down a building or something.

(Demzilla link from Political Wire)

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June 06, 2003

Thirty-Six Hours of Ass Kicking

I've been up for almost thirty-six hours now, and I spent that time kicking SO much legal ass. Finished drafting two major cases which I filed today, and finished a whole host of other things.

Just after the sun came up, I found the cases that may save my clients' bacon in the Most Stressful Case Ever™ - funny things can happen at six a.m. at the intersection of Up Late Street and Caffeine Boulevard.

Yeah, my brain is about to melt down. Glad it's Friday. Very glad.

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Sun Comes Up

5:30 a.m. Still at the office, kicking ass and taking names - as the sky just begins to brighten before the dawn.

After I finish this motion, it's time to head home, grab a shower... and then come right back.

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June 05, 2003

Looks Like Another All-Nighter

Multiple lawsuits to be filed tomorrow, one done, another in the works, two (small ones, thank goodness) just a glimmer in my eye.

Massive procedural and dispositive motions, to be filed tomorrow (by courier to Richmond, no less) in the Most Stressful Case Ever.™

Box o' discovery documents to be produced to Richmond tomorrow, arriving back from the copier at 9am for shipping out.

Fourth Circuit brief on deck for next week.

Add all that up, and what do you get? No sleep this night.

Little child of mine, cherish these hours of sleep you get now. They don't last.

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June 04, 2003

Last-Minute Stress

Sometimes I love being a lawyer. This week has not been one of them.

The baby is due June 6, although looking like it might come a bit later. My primary goal for this week was to prepare for that arrival, and give myself time to breathe next week. Unfortunately, litigation can be as unpredictable as childbirth. I have at least three major cases which demand my immediate undivided attention, and of course my attention is divided among them and my personal life. One of these cases has proven to be enormously stressful, with my sole consolation being that my clients on that case understand what kind of superhuman effort I've put in for them so far, and are highly motivated to pay their bills on time.

Oh, yes, did I mention I've got another Fourth Circuit brief due by the 16th?

Thank goodness my trial for that week canceled.

It may be time to hire someone.

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