the rainy season’s crack
translated by D. Lanoue
This Harvard Law School graduate (HLS ’76) would like to join Howard Bashman’s reminder to my
alma mater that free speech often comes at a cost — as does sticking to one’s principles. Howard
responds to news that HLS plans to start barring military recruiters, in the wake of the 3rd Circuit’s
decision yesterday overturning the Solomon Amendment.
Rather than losing federal funding, Harvard Law School has been allowing military recruiters on campus,
despite the anti-gay policies of the military. As Howard points out, in words worth quoting in full:
“Harvard Law School at all times (including now) has had the right to ban
military recruiters from campus notwithstanding the existence of the Solomon Amendment
– the university simply had to pay the price in loss of federal funding. Dean Kagan’s statement
suggests that now that the price to be paid will soon be zero dollars, Harvard Law School can
afford to exercise its right of association in the manner it prefers. On this very point, to the extent
that the Solomon Amendment causes a law school to “speak” in any manner, it seems to me
that a law school is forced to reveal that it finds the continuation of federal funding to have
a greater value than the evenhanded application of the school’s anti-discrimination policy.
This ‘speech’ — which reveals that the exercise of rights sometimes comes at great cost; even
at a cost that may be too great to bear — would seem to teach law students a valuable lesson
about how the real world often operates.” (emphasis added)
If Harvard Law School can’t afford to give up federal dollars in order to take a principled stand, who can?
November 30, 2004
Merriam-Webster’s Words of the Year 2004 have been announced.
It’s a list of the ten words that have been looked up the most at the M-W
online dictionary and thesaurus in 2004.
Most webloggers will take special notice, I’m sure, that the word “blog” was came in at
#1. In fact, as TalkLeft notes, “blog” will be a new entry in the 2005 version of the
Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. Here’s the M-W definition:
Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online
personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided
by the writer
I’m sure there will be plenty of quibbling over the definition, but I plan to stay out of
Of course, I need to preserve my customary objection to the adoption of that ugly
little word. Click here for a brief history of the word “blog” (and my plea that we
do better from now on as we create our online and technological Language Legacy).
I have a different observation: M-W‘s Top Ten List gives a remarkably good sketch
of the events of 2004 — an outline of words on the minds of many Americans. In addition
to “blog,” here’s the list:
There are still 31 days left in 2004. I wonder what events in America or
around the world could change this list, as we go online to better understand the words
that are important to be well-informed citizens, students, parents, and human beings.
looking up, wrinkles
looking down, wrinkles…
a cold night
in an old tray’s ashes…
Kobayashi ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue
Civil suits in China increased 7-fold in just two years, while
the number of lawyers in Shanghai grew almost 50%. Maybe we should
The ABA’s survey of Lawyer Population by State shows that
there were 1,084,504 active lawyers in the USA at the close of 2003. The
biggest percentage growth was in Virgin Islands, Utah, and Indiana, while
Vermont, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Maryland had fewer lawyers in
2003 than in 2002. You can find a lot more lawyer and law school stats
using the ABA Statistical Resources page.
lawyer reduces GDP by $250,000 dollars — but, who’s counting?
As of today, about 47% of attorneys answering Findlaw’s Hindsight
& Careers poll, say they wish they had never taken the Bar exam; and,
don’t tell Carolyn, but almost twice as many wish they had gone to a
BigLaw firm than say they would have chosen a smaller firm.
At U. Ill. U/C, I found an essay asking Are There Too Many Lawyers?, which
was presented by the Pre-Law and Law School Admissions office. If anyone
has a clue what this piece is saying, please let me know. Meanwhile, I was
edified by this nugget of information (emphasis added).
When asked what skills they expected law school graduates to
tbring o a firm, hiring coordinators listed in order:
- oral communication skills
- written communication skills
- legal analytic ability
- library and computer skills
- sensitivity for ethical skills.
Is it any wonder that law firms now need to hire in-house legal counsel, and
that “Lawyers representing lawyers find unique challenges” (see BostonBizJ,
via Legal Reader)
Please don’t forget poor old North Carolina, which is suffering from severe LSD —
law school deprivation syndrome — having, according to some sources, too few lawyers and
too few law schools.
Finally, if he can stand a large dose of bigotry, Evan Schaeffer might want to check out
standardized test results. At the site we learn, among many similar tidbits, that
“The first thing Americans must understand is that, by design, lawyers are STUPID people.
They score lower on the Graduate Record Exam than most of all other majors, scoring
slightly higher than average score for blacks and slightly lower than the average score
or women, but more than 200 points lower than Asian engineering majors.
“Many lawyers are divorced, are paying “child support” and alimony to ex-wives (or
two or three ex-wives) which makes their ability to understand the Holy Bible or draft
a simple agreement, much less understand human nature, highly suspect.”
ethicalEsq and Prof. Yabut no longer feel bad about anything we’ve ever said about lawyers. As
we never took the GRE nor filed for divorce, we are happy not to have made the statistics any
worse than they are.
boom! boom! ka-boom!
so many duds…
heading for where
hunting birds are few…
haiku of Kobayashi ISSA, translated by D.G. Lanoue j.d.
a dry leaf sticks
in the ripples
again father counts
the afghan squares
credits: “alzheimer’s ward” – bottle rockets II:1
“Zen garden” – bottle rockets I:1
Pay More to Help A Legal Aid or Solo Attorney?” We’ve left comments at MyShingle today
in response. Have you? By the way, the Editor doesn’t think a State should pay any more
for assigned counsel than it takes to get an adequate supply of competent lawyers.
November 29, 2004
the mountain moon
gives the blossom thief
in the misty day
no window can be seen…
- haiku of Kobayashi ISSA, translated by D.G. Lanoue
the empty pillow
a fly buzzes against
also nowhere to go
(Brooks Books, 2000)
a mostly-cloudy sampler
of blues, grays and whites
– driving alone
[Nov 29, 2004]
Patience Pays and Saves: NYT reports that prices for flat-panel TVs will fall greatly
throughout 2005. But, “We do not want to talk about predictions of price drops,”
said Lee Simonson, the director of Best Buy’s television division. “We want people to buy now.”
Carolyn Elefant has Commented thoughtfully on our disagreement over mandatory
pro bono and solos. At MyShingle today, however, we learn that — while opposing
mandatory pro bono — she favors forcing “each senior lawyer to train a fixed number of
junior lawyers” and paying the junior lawyers, to help them establish solo firms. Go figure.
selling case on antitrust law. We note that the Mass. Bar Advocates have been arguing
their group boycott can’t violate federal antitrust law because it has no impact on interstate
November 28, 2004
. . . no, they’re not Santa’s gifts for naughty weblog editors. We’ve got a much better present for you: a pair of haiku from Rebecca Lilly (use our search box to find more):First snow
the white mounds of coal
beside the closed stationCold autumn twilight
the garden slope’s stepping stones
edging out of line
. . . from A New Resonance 2 (Red Moon Press, 2001)credits: “First snow” — Brussels Sprout 9:3“cold autumn twilight” — Modern Haiku XXXI: 2
- by dagosan:
finally touching her face –
“are your fingers
always this cold?”
[Nov. 28, 2004]
- Thanks to a pointer from BenefitsBlog today, I learned that.
“Web logs are referred to in Chinese as bo ke, which is phonetically similar to the word ‘blog’, but also has a literal meaning of rich or abundant traveler.” (Asia Times article on weblogs in China, July 22, 2004)Hmm, why didn’t they come up with terminology that sounds like barfing? Such elitists!
- Jerry Lawson echoes Carolyn Elefant’s complaint, in response to proposed changes in Mississippi
pro bono rules, that ”Solos can’t delegate their pro bono obligation to other lawyers, so why should biglaw attorneys have that ability? “ As I have mentioned on other occasions to Carolyn, she seems to leave her lawyer skills behind when advocating for solos, and instead sounds like the mother of a juvenile delinquent or like a whiny adolescent, for whom it is always unfair when someone else gets to do something they can’t do. Seems to me:
Do some rules here on Earth affect the poor differently than the rich, and the big differently than the small? Of course, they do. I’d suggest using traditional equal protection analysis to see whether the differences are malicious, undue or unfair before crying foul — and before crying wolf so often no one cares to listen.
- Being a solo is not like being born into a caste from which one can never escape. Indeed,
Carolyn’s shtick is mostly as a cheerleader pointing out the advantages of being a solo, as compared to being in a BigLaw firm. Here in the real world even Good Things have downsides.
- What would we say if BigLaw partners complained they should not have to be responsible for
monitoring the behavior of associates, because solos don’t have similar ethical obligations?
- Or, they shouldn’t have to pay the bar or CLE fees for any employees, since solos don’t have to?
- Being a solo is not like being born into a caste from which one can never escape. Indeed,
- It just came to my attention that a Google Search today for “yabut generation” yields no results.
This weblog did, however, come in at #3 and #4 for the quote-mark-less search yabut generation>.As the home of Prof. Yabut, we are happy to use the phrase first right here — “yabut generation”.However, there are so many generations that deserve the appellation, that it is impossible to choose one. The But-Boomers. Brokaw’s Gratest Generation. Generations Y-But and X-But, etc.
I admit it, I am a weblog free-rider. I have never left a “tip” at a weblog and don’t expect that
I ever will. My sentiments about fully-employed lawyers and law professors soliciting handouts
“I don’t like the idea of law bloggers posting ads at their site. — (just like I don’t like
bloggers who pass the hat with “pay pal” requests). As a business matter, I don’t
know that I’d want to go to an attorney who didn’t have the resources to sustain
a blog site without collecting ad revenues.”
Thus, I had to cringe today, when I saw Steve Bainbridge’s post captioned
“A new way to support the blog.” Prof. B says (like it’s a real treat):
I’ve added a Paypal tip jar to the right side bar as a new way for loyal readers to
support the blog:
My thanks to readers who have supported this blog in the past through my Amazon
Associates programs or by clicking on the ads from my Blogads sponsors. (Please
don’t forget to click on one of my Blogads to encourage my sponsors!)
This new tip jar is at the very top of the righthand margin. I woulda thought conservatives and
libertarians had more pride than this — not to mention lovers of fancy cars, wines and cigars. I’d
like to assure Steve that his weblog visitors are smart enough to find him and ask directly how to
leave a tip — they don’t need constant reminders for “impulse charity.” Also, if law professors really
want to get extra credit for weblogging, they might want to lose the BillBlog [ BlogBoard? ] image.
You may have noticed that I frequently link to posts by Steven Bainbridge. I want to assure him
and my readers that I have nothing personal against Prof. B. I do have, however, a limited amount
of time and energy for surfing the weblawg universe, and stopping by his place is quite convenient
for me, as it gives me
- Lots of interesting material
- Lots of things I agree with
- Lots of things I disagree with
- Lots of self-righteous religiosity that I believe needs to be countered
- Quite a bit of inconsistent — “cafeteria” — application of ideologies and principles.
So, before the Thanksgiving weekend is through, I want to say that I am sincerely grateful that Prof.
Bainbridge’s “eclectic” weblog exists and I wish him well. [E.g., I love the irony that, just yesterday,
Prof. B insinuated that an author of a book on politics took a public position "to sell those books
and keep those speaking engagements coming." I couldn't pay some one to say this kind of stuff!]
You can find a selection of haiku by Kobayishi Issa featuring beggars here.
Here’s a sampling:
play one more song!
a beggar looking
sizes me up
they have kids maybe
even the horse’s ass
gets a blessing
begging at my gate
the geese lose
Kobayashi Issa, translated by D.G.Lanoue
November 27, 2004
Yabut sought the wisdom of Kinky Friedman from ‘Scuse Me While I Whip This Out :
Reflections on Country Singers, Presidents and Other Troublemakers, which was published
last month. Although the Kinkster doesn’t tell us ”Why Iraq?”, he undercovers an Iraqi-Cuban
connection in London that must surely concern George W. Bush — “Phil the Tobbaconist
mentioned that Fidel Castro personally supplies Cuban cigars to Saddam Hussein.” (at p. 83).
K. Friedman has smoked cigars in the White House with both Bill Clinton and Geo. W. Bush
(but I will nonetheless hold my nose and plug him).
If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can hear samples from Friedman’s first
classics as “Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed” and
“High On Jesus.” Also, check out his 2003 dvd,, Proud to Be an A**Hole
fly away, firefly
my hut’s smoky!
the great temple’s
makes a face in the smoke…
Kobayahsi ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue
Kinky Friedman . . .
A far more serious note about Iraq comes today from NYT columnist Nicholas D. Kristof:
“Iraqis are paying a horrendous price for the good intentions of well-meaning
conservatives who wanted to liberate them. And now some well-meaning
American liberals are seeking a troop withdrawal that would make matters even
. . .
“Those hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, whose lives we placed at risk by
invading their country, are the reasons we should remain in Iraq, until we can hand
over security to a local force. Saving hundreds of thousands of lives is a worthy
cause to risk American lives for, even to die for. “
- To close with a smile: Happy 1st Brithday to Tyler, our favorite Bag Boy!
Gimme that moon!
cries the crying
What’s better than a visit from the Campbell Soup Kids? Another bowl of grandma’s special
holiday soup, and a visit from Paul Miller, a/k/a paul m:
window to window
a flat rock
a coyote call
credits: “creek overlook” – The Heron’s Nest
“a coyote call” – Acron No. 6 (Spring 2001)
“snow flurries” – The Heron’s Nest I:4 (December 1999)
November 26, 2004
blowing leaves . . .the shiny hearseturns the corner
original photo-haiku here
mountain spring–in my cupped handpine needles
original photo haiku here
Black Friday –out shoppingfor stretch-waist jeans
Mike at Crime & Federalism states that “unlike the left, we Federalists are diverse.” Since no ideology can have an answer for every problem, thoughtful persons often escape the confines of ideo-labels.– and, of course, so do practitioners of hypocrisy and “cafeteria” expediency. And, Mike:- Lefties come in different flavors, too, even if some — as in every cult — only spout one brand of orthodoxy.
- Sometimes, government action actually preserves individual liberty. At other times, it helps ensure that individuals don’t use liberty to harm other people. No mantra has all the answers.
If the hearse haiku above seemed too dismal, I suggest reading The Hearse You Came in On, thefirst novel in Tim Cockey’s enjoyable series featuring Hitchcock Sewell, undertaker and reluctant sleuth.Traditional GrinchEsq Musing: In a country where you don’t have to wait for some guy on a camel or donkey to arrive to have a shopping day; and where almost everybody already owns too many things; why do we have a “Holiday Shopping Season” kicked off by a ridiculous stampede, and then give so many and such expensive gifts on a day meant to celebrate a saviour, or love, or one’s heritage?
November 25, 2004
. . . big sis and li’l broLissa & James, 2004first lovein the summer gazebo . . .little brother won’t leave
Pamela Miller Ness, driveway from childhood
Linda & David, 1954our kids on the swing
old enough to push each otherapril evening
p.s. I’m very thankful for brothers, too!
. . . and, thankful for weblog & haiku friends!
November 24, 2004
today even the pigeon
says a prayer…
first winter rain
a hot bath
then cherry blossoms!
Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue
p.s. The various alter egoes responsible for this weblog wish one and all a Thanksgiving
filled with love and gratitude. We also promise to return to one-breath punditry immediately.
Thanks to an article in the New York Times earlier this week, many Americans are now
aware of and talking about the existence of faith-based law schools. Naturally, members
also been discussing the topic. As is usually the case, the Editor of this weblog is skeptical
about any proffered panacea for complex problems — especially, when the legal profession
will have a big part in the outcome.
Will faith-based law schools be the salvation of the American legal profession, justice
system, government or society? “Not by a long shot” is my best guess.
– click here to read this entire post, which concludes:
Catholics and evangelical Christians can be great lawyers, legislators and citizens. But legal education will not be improved through religious indoctrination or blinders.
one by one
don’t the pennies drop?
Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue
update: You will find a lighter treatment of this topic at our post issue-spotting for faith-based law schools.
Also, see Dagger in Hand.