November 2003 Archives



I spent Thanksgiving with Meli's family and some of their family friends: two affable southern doctors, their 93-year-old mother, one of their wives and two of their children. The older doctor was very, very similar to Our President in the looks and mannerisms department, as well as the foreign policy department. At one point he was shuffling behind me to get a drink or something and all of a sudden his hands were on my shoulders. I thought he was just steadying himself to pass, but then he said, "Hang on, Matt. Let me check something here." Then he started pulling at my collar. My initial thoughts of "tag sticking out?" and "pass?" almost immediately turned to "mole!" as I realized he was taking a look at the black, irregular mole on the back of my neck that has been bothering doctors for at least ten years.

After some poking and scrutinizing he called over his brother, the other doctor (a plastic surgeon) to give a second opinion and the consensus was that I should have it removed right away, even though it isn't causing any trouble now. They were so adamant both about how important it was to get it taken off and how quick and easy it would be for any dermatologist or plastic surgeon to do that I half expected the younger one to grab a carving knife and tell me to hold still. Fortunately I held them off with a guarantee that I would add it to my January List, along with "get up every day at 6:00 a.m. and go to the gym," "visit Jelly Belly factory," and "re-introduce alcohol to body after two-and-a-half-month post-bachelor party recovery period." So if anyone wants to get one last look at my mole, now's the time to do it.

Another highlight of the Thanksgiving visit was watching the two existing Elliott cats interact with the new kitten. You haven't seen impotence until you've seen an angry, obese, declawed cat vainly hissing and swatting at an energetic and fully equipped kitten from on top of a chair. Even more fun was watching the kitten stalk and pounce on the other, older cat, who reacted less violently but still wasn't doing anything to make the kitten feel at all welcome. It was like a feline version of Dennis the Menace and Mr. Wilson.

This One Ain't Too Good


Some may say that colds don't have anything to do with law school, but everyone on campus seems to have one in some form or another so there must be some kind of connection. I managed to dodge all the viruses and germs and beasties flying around campus, I even managed to avoid the flea that has beset our neighbor's cat, but there was no escape from the disease that my own fiancee brought into our home. My immune system held strong for nearly a week before my throat started to dry and my voice started to low. And now we're both sick, and it sure is fun.

Even my Corporations professor is under the weather, and oddly enough the hoarseness and deeperness of his voice as he battles the vapors makes his Israeli accent that much sexier. What would be even sexier is if he could express to us with any degree of clarity the role of the waste doctrine in corporate law duty of care.

Observation: Dayquil, by its own terms, doesn't do anything for sneezing and nose running. So if you want a dry shnoz you're going to have to sleep on it. It pays to check labels.

Short conversation, this morning at around 10:00 a.m.:
Girl in my Securities class: My boyfriend's sick.
Me: Yeah, I've got a cold, too.
GIMSC: No, I mean he's in the hospital.
Me: I wasn't finished talk about me.

Is ginger ale really necessary now that we have caffeine-free soda?

Death Knell


It looks like my UCLA e-mail address has finally expired. The sun has officially set on my brief yet memorable love affair with bruinhood. The only people still using it are Westlaw and eVite, so it's not a great loss in the logistics department, but still. Still.

[Begin slow-motion UCLA 1L highlight reel underscored by The Beatles' "In My Life."]

In Case You Didn't Notice...



Michael Jackson is being represented in his boy fondling charges by none other than Mark Geragos. If that name sounds familiar it's because Mr. Garagos will be splitting his time between this and another high-profile (read media frenzy) case as he represents Scott Peterson in his murder trial. Garagos was also Winona Ryder's lawyer in her shoplifting case.

Gloria Allred, another attorney who can't get enough of the spotlight, appeared on the news last night in the midst of the collective media pants-creaming over Michael Jackson's latest legal troubles to talk about how she tried to get his kids taken away after the whole baby dangling incident a few months ago. I'm not sure what she was hoping to gain by bringing up a set of charges she filed that didn't go anywhere, other than precious, precious, media exposure. My prediction is that Allred will end up representing the child accusing Jackson. For free.

And, if Gloria Allred's name sounds familiar, it's because she's also representing Amber Frey, Scott Peterson's other woman, in whatever legal issues she may have surrounding Peterson's trial. So once again Geragos and Allred find each other on opposite sides of a criminal defendant, albeit less formally (for now) in the Jackson case. Both attorneys went to Loyola University Law School, and both went to college in Pennsylvania. Coincidence? Perhaps.

It's interesting to look at the roles taken on by people like Geragos and Allred in high profile criminal case. Geragos, the defense attorney, gets to be the center of attention, while Allred has to scramble around for peripheral people to represent or other ways to get herself on the business end of a microphone. The prosecutors, meanwhile, are inevitably characterized as nameless yokels, with the emphasis either on their over-eagerness to land a big fish celebrity or their inability to compete against flashy big-city lawyers like Geragos. After watching the drastically incompetent performances of nitwits like Moira Lasch (William Kennedy Smith) and Marcia Clark (O.J.), it might be nice if the Santa Barbara or Modesto D.A.s would deputize Allreg as co-counsel. Seeing Allred and Geragos go head to head may actually make the round-the-clock trial coverage worthwhile. Just a suggestion.

UPDATE: Drew a strip about it, like to see it here it is.

This evening was the Berkeley Law Foundation Auction Extravaganza, which was attended by me and hundreds of other law students and their hundreds of other significant others. The most striking thing about this particular event was the broad spectrum of dress-upedness of the attendees. There were tuxedos, there were jeans, there were the sluttiest of dresses and the cutest of dresses, there were a handful of people in bondage gear, one guy dressed as a clown and another guy in a business suit and a cowboy hat. Me, I looked smart in my navy-blue-faded-to-dark-purple sport jacket, which has now seen three social events since I bought it in college (the other two being my aunt's wedding and my half-a-sister's quincenyera, where it wasn't even worn by me).

My favorite items were the "Crisp Ten Dollar Bill" and a day with a blind man's seeing eye dog. I'm not sure how the dog feels about being whored out like that but it's a neat idea. Other items of interest were two limited edition Supreme Court bobble heads (Kennedy and Rehnquist), your name used in a hypo in a forthcoming Civil Procedure Textbook, a set of Pabst Blue Ribbon merchandise, and a day at the races with my First Amendment professor. I bid $25 on this last item at silent auction and was immediately thwarted by a $100 bid by Rick Young, who was pretty much going around ruining everybody's evening.

The only other item I was really interested in was a Night Out For Five, which consisted of five tickets to the Punchline Comedy Club and five pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The listed value was $40. The ice cream alone is worth $20 and Punchline tickets last I checked were like $10 each, so this was a deal indeed. I wrote in the first bid at $20 and by the end I had been nickel and dimed up to $38. I had decided not to bid more than $40 despite my own estimate of $70, since I was afraid that with a listed value like that the tickets would end up being for amateur night or something. Anyway, about three minutes before the auction closed someone bid $45 and I walked the fuck out the door.

I think I probably won the $10 German lesson, however, which should prove at least marginally useful for the portion of our honeymoon slated to take place in Germany. I hear they speak German there.

I Made This


I've been inspired, or perhaps uninspired, to put together a procrastilicious quiz. In questionable inspiration came from a better quiz posted elsewhere.

Early reaction to my quiz has been nothing short of devastating.

UPDATE: not content with merely putting down my quiz, Molly has taken it upon herself to best me several times over.

Here's some more facial hair and funny clothing humor. I was going to go off on how stupid it is for the U.S Treasury Department to waste money on hip ads telling us how great the new $20 bills are, but instead I think I'll provide something a little more useful. And so...

Holohan's Ten Tips for 1L Final Success

1. Don't use commercial outlines. Commercial outlines are for housewives and little girls. If you insist on using these sterile law student crutches, at least download them for free off Lexis instead of spending money on them. You should use that money to buy me presents.

2. Chances are that there are one or two phrases in each of your classes that your professors have said over and over again throughout the semester. Use these phrases in your essays. Law school finals aren't just about regurgitation, but a certain degree of regurgitation makes the professors feel better. And that means more points. For you.

3. As tempting as it may be, don't open your essay with a direct quote from Oliver Dubya Holmes. Sure, the guy was pretty clever, but next semester when people read your essay as model answer they'll all think you're a pretentious prick. Try a punchy Holohan quote instead. That guy's got a thing or two figured out.

4. Try to include as many accurate interpretations of existing law as possible.

5. Avoid conclusory statements like "Brown v. Board of Education was the single darkest moment in the Supreme Court's long and tragic history."

6. Get the seat closest to the proctor's desk. That way the process of signing out and clomping disruptively out to the restroom will be as expedient as possible.

7. Wave your arms around as much as you can during the exam. Even if it doesn't help you think, it'll prevent other people around you from thinking.

8. The answer to the last question on your Civil Procedure Exam is Rule 19. No one ever expects Rule 19.

9. Everyone in your class is going to cite M'Naughten for their criminal insanity argument. Try a different approach. Professors reward originality.

10. Smuggle a Snickers bar, a bottle of Tabasco Sauce, a jar of Vaseline and a baseball bat into the test room. You'll find multiple uses for each of these items as the exam progresses.

Bonus Tip: Enjoy the support and goodwill of your classmates while you can. Once grades show up the claws come out like you wouldn't believe.

Law One, TSW Zero


Warning: This entry contains an abnormally high level of law geekdom.

The other day I became one of the first consumers in the tragic history of software licensing to use a shrink-wrap user agreement to my advantage. Last week I bought a copy of Microsoft Office, got it home and realized I didn't want / need it. So I brought it back, unopened, whence I bought it. As predicted I was met with a rhetorical, "You are aware of our no returns policy?" And indeed I was.

In response I pointed out that the software was unopened, and told the guy that I didn't accept the end user license agreement. I then pointed to the fine print on the box that said I should go to and read the EULA before opening the package, and if I didn't accept it I was entitled to a refund. The TSW guy read the fine print, frowned, and sought the assistance of someone who brought down a higher hourly wage than he did.

Eventually I got the refund, but while the woman was processing it she asked (our of curiosity) what specifically I objected to in the license agreement since she had never had anyone do this before. Since I hadn't actually read the damn thing I just said, "I'm a law student. What can I say?"

The best part is that the shrink wrap agreement was with Microsoft, not the store, so they could have told me to try and get a refund from Microsoft. But I guess they figured that once people start trying to use the Law against you it's better to buy them off for nuisance value rather than try and push merits or technicalities.

Creationist Monkeys*


*With apologies to allenhaim.

Tomorrow in First Amendmenter we're doing Edwards v. Aguillard, where a Louisiana statute requiring the teaching of creation science was struck down as unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause. I've decided that during the classroom discussion I'm going to do everything I can to out-crazy the class' resident maniac conservative. I'm not going to argue that fossils were caused by the pressure of Noah's flood. No, I'm going to argue that they were placed on Earth by Satan to trick us.

Other phrases I'm hoping to work in are "the Soviets took God out of the classroom," "Darwin repented on his deathbed," and "American Crazy Lunatics Union." I welcome any further suggestions.

It's Like Christmas, in the Kitchen


One of the best things about getting engaged is that people give you stuff. I had appreciated this for a while, but only after this weekend am I able to truly appreciate the sheer stuff potential of my impending nuptials. Meli's Bridal Tea happened on Saturday, and she returned from Orange County with a car that was positively brimming with stuff.

Mostly kitchen stuff. Meli is excited about plates, bowls and spoons in a way that I will never understand. But I usually manage to win the argument. Here's how it goes:

Meli: Look! Look at this plate! Isn't it beautiful!
Me: Yes, it's very nice. I'm sure it'll be very good for keeping my food off of things while I eat it.
Meli: I'm excited about our dishes. They're our dishes. We're building a life together. Why don't you care about us?
Me: Look, I'd be happy eating off paper plates with sporks for the rest of my life as long as I'm with you.
Meli: [Guilty silence.]
Me: That's what I thought. Now get me a beer. You can use the new Villeroy & Boch bottle opener to open it.

But there are also cool things. Like a coffee maker that grinds its own beans. That got me thinking about all the different beans I could use it on. Could I make coffee out of pinto beans? How about lima beans? What about M&Ms? Could I put a banana in there? What would happen?

My aunt got Meli a "Wedding Day Survival Kit" from Frederick's of Hollywood. The fact that the first thing ever to enter my home from Frederick's of Hollywood was purchased by my aunt is more than a little disturbing, but fortunately there's nothing any dirtier in there than a rather ornate white garter. It has things like chalk(??), a sewing kit, a cyanide capsule, hand wipes, a surprise party, you know, things a girl needs when she's about to marry a great guy like me. The book on Catholic divorce and annulment that Meli's mother is reading was not included in the kit. Thankfully.

On the more emotional end, the day saw a great deal of towels. This means that we have to get rid of some of our old towels, which saddens me for some reason. But I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Cynthia for wrapping her towels in a way that can only have been inspired by our conversation last weekend. It's good to see that my incoherent ramblings about bare-legged strippers did some good beyond the amusement of my friends and the consternation of the staff.

So, thanks everyone for all the stuff. Now I just have to find a way to rid Meli of her desire to sleep with the new stirfry pan.

Other Blogs

Law-Type Blogs

Other Webcomics

Log Archives

eXTReMe Tracker

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2003 is the previous archive.

December 2003 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04