Blawg Review #210

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.

Bob Dylan, from his song, My Back Pages, presumably in reference to my previous Blawg Review, Blawg Review #162

“Peace lies not in the world…” Master Po (Kung Fu Television Show, Episode 8)

This is the second time I have taken up the call to write a Blawg Review. The last time I wrote a Blawg Review (#162), I did so to bring about peace in our time:

When I took on this task of writing Blawg Review #162, I received emails expressing excitement at the idea of this blog bridging East and West, enlightening the legal world about China, and enlightening our China readers about the legal world. All lofty goals, but not lofty enough. I am going here for no less than WORLD PEACE. Miss America (and Miss World too, for that matter) could not do it, but we can. I therefore dedicate this post to World Peace and to ending all disputes. Because this post is a blawg (note the word law in there) review, much of it will, by necessity, focus on disputes, but we will resolve all of them, in this, Blawg Review #162, The World Peace Edition.

There can be no hiding it. My last blawg review was a complete failure. There has been no peace since then. There has mostly just been horrible violence and hatred, war and threats of war, and various other assaults to decency and to the senses. A few recent examples will suffice:

  1. Jihadist gang of 24 on trial for torture-murder in France.
  2. May Day Protestors Clash with Police in Turkey, Germany, and Greece.
  3. 64 Killed in Attack on Hospital in Sri Lanka.
  4. Kim Jung Il poses naked
  5. Billy Joel.
  6. The Mumbai Massacre.
  7. Buffalo Husband beheads wife to uphold his “honor”

I need to change. I can change. I have changed.

So with that in mind, this blawg review repudiates my previous effort.

It will be sarcastic, mean-spirited, petty, low-brow (which has always come easily to me). In short, it will be everything bad except snarky, because even the new me hates that word. It will strive to offend, to irritate, and to ridicule. Or as famous lawyer, Jackie Chiles, would say, “outrageous, egregious, preposterous.”

Cynicism, not peace, is the goal/theme of this post.

I got a lot of heat after I did my last blawg review for not including every single blog post sent to me. This time, I weakly strived to include every proposed link, no matter the source and no matter how uninteresting the post. So if you suggested your blog post to me and it is not in here, please do not bother writing to complain as it simply means I either forgot about it or it was so horrible, so boring, or so repulsive (the one about having sex with clients fits this last category) as not to qualify for even this latest edition.

China Law Blog was chosen for today’s Blawg Review because today is the 90th Anniversary of China’s May 4th Movement (五四运动). I was told to write this post in both English and Chinese but because I am working on it at the last minute and because I have no desire to rouse up any of my firm’s Chinese speaking (and writing) lawyers or staff, and because putting something like this into Chinese was a silly idea in the first place, it is going to be in English, with just a bit of French thrown in just to emphasize how Continental I am. Comprenez vous?
Columbia University’s Asia for Educators site does a great job explaining the May 4th Movement:

The May 4th Movement takes its name from the massive popular protest that took place in China in May 1919, following the announcement of the terms of the Versailles Treaty that concluded WWI. According to the treaty, Germany’s territorial rights in China were not returned to the Chinese, as had been expected, but were instead turned over to the Japanese. The outpouring of popular outrage coalesced in a new nationalism with repeated cries for a “new culture” that would reinstate China to its former international position.

The genesis of this movement centered on the transfer of the German concessions in Shandong Province from Germany to Japan, rather than returning sovereignty of this region to China. Shandong is the birthplace of Confucius and so Chinese nationalists viewed it as critically important to China. It also is where my law firm has its lead lawyer, Steve Dickinson, who is based in Qingdao, and is the only foreign lawyer in the entire province.

But I digress. Or as Alanis Morissette would say, “Enough about me, let’s talk about you for a minute. Enough about you, let’s talk about life for a while.”

And what passes for “life” on these blawg reviews is snippets from law blogs, so here goes:

Michigan Truck Lawyer blog relates how the number of truck accidents keeps rising and “if you have been involved in a truck accident in Michigan” you should not “settle for becoming just another statistic at the hands of irresponsible truck companies.” You should instead call the Michigan Truck Lawyer…..where attorneys are standing by…Segueing from trucks to cars, we come across The Elliot Schlissel New York Law Blog (quite a mouthful of a blog title, I dare say!) who queries (that’s a word I learned in law school) whether New York’s car search rule is “stricter, more lenient or Juuuuust Right.” Get Goldilocks.

The South Florida Lawyers Blog, in its “Trail of Tears Edition” calls for “hiring the bow-tied one, Robert Glazier.” It both pleases me and does not surprise me that “the bow tie is more of a divider than a uniter.” If we are going to empty out Gitmo of terrorists, I say we replace them with bow-tie wearers, and make waterboarding mandatory.

MadKane writes a poem on Karl Rove’s “roving standards” when it comes to picking a Supreme Court Justice. Her complaint seems to be that Rove is a waffling hypocrite. My response to that is as follows:

1. Your blog is dedicated to bashing the Republican party. That party no longer exists. Move on. Learn cribbage or something. Even Rachel Maddow is beginning to realize she needs to try out new bits….. and rumor has it Keith Olberman will be considering doing the same at some point next year….

2. Karl Rove. Karl Rove?

3. Are you in North Dakota or something? I mean, why are you not just taking it as a given that politicians are hypocrites? I mean, I so accept it, that I actually have come to respect it. Do you really think what you are saying about Rove here could not be said about every politician since Lincoln?

4. You want poetry? I know poetry. What you have written….well MadKane, that’s no poetry. Here’s poetry:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
-Ezra Pound

Poet. Now there’s an honorable calling (read the tag line under the title). Speaking of which, Bob Ambrogi at Legal Blog Watch writes on why he is just so proud to be a lawyer and George Lenard at George’s Employment Law Blog writes on how a hard drive and lack of adequate trade secret protection cost a California company $17.5 million. Guess this recession is reducing California jury verdicts these days.

Oh, and while we are talking about IP, I should note how the China Law Insight blog writes on Injunctive Relief Alternatives in IP Related Cases in China and on how Michael Atkins on his Seattle Trademark Lawyer blog, writes about how “a dipsy-doodle stitch pattern saved Abercrombie and Fitch in a trademark scrap with Levi Strauss.” Oh, and thanks Michael for giving my kids their first bit of credible evidence to support their contention that there is a difference between their USD$160 7 for All Mankind jeans and the Wal-Mart ones I am always trying to get them to accept. You will buy me lunch to make up for this one….

Enough about jeans, let’s talk about estate planning for a while….Cough, cough, gag, gag. I studiously avoided anything resembling estate planning in law school. I am quite proud of the fact that I have been admitted into three different state bars without ever having learned a thing about estate planning, correctly betting that the law examiners would see things my way and not ask any estate planning questions. I am quite proud of the fact that I still do not know the difference between a probate and a reprobate. Hell, I make it a point not to even be able to remember any of the estate planning attorneys to which my firm refers OUT its clients. So I have gone my entire life without ever having dealt with the legal side of estate planning, but that streak ends now, as I am forced to link over to this post, entitled,”Three Estate Planning Strategies for Same-sex Couples.” But let the record reflect that I do so with the caveat that if you live your life to its fullest, you will probably end up getting shot or knifed to death in an alley somewhere before you ever have to worry about your estate.

Peter Pappas notes that Switzerland is backing UBS’ resistance to the US’ attempts to uncover Americans hiding money overseas to avoid taxes. Writes Pappas, “The Swiss may be neutral in matters of war, but it would be a mistake to underestimate their resolve in matters of diplomacy.” I am forced to remain neutral here because my older brother (ranked #16) is a UBS broker.

Kimberly Alderman writes that The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) has launched a website that gives visitors access to cultural property laws (including China’s) around the world. And here I thought cable television and digital video recorders had made art and culture superfluous. Cable reminds me of the problem I have been having lately with the splitter on my upstairs TV and splitters reminds me of our next post, this one by Jodie Hill on a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision regarding separation of powers. Me, I am just impressed Arkansas has justices capable of writing.

Dan Hull, over at the What About Clients? Blog writes yet again on the importance of lawyers knowing their clients. Twitter has been abuzz with reports that Dan would be trying to use his “charms” to get me to link to his blog on this post. Like everyone else from Ohio, Dan is entirely devoid of charm, but I have linked to him anyway because he has linked to this blog from time to time and I figure my linking to him here will cause him to do so again in the belief this cycle will continue.

On to a topic actually quite dear to my heart: expletives. I have been instructed to tell you that “this week’s “fleeting expletives” decision in FCC v. Fox Television was ably discussed by several legal bloggers, including ScotusBlog Lyle Denniston, Ken at the Popehat blog, The Technology Liberation Front, Jon Siegel, and Sasha Volokh.

I can relate to swearing, but I will confess right now that a tiff in London over a possible consolidation of a couple of law libraries holds zero interest for me unless there are guns (or at least knives) involved. But if London law libraries light your fire, do check out Geeklawyer who writes of how “a couple of penny-pinching bean counters are quietly trying to consolidate the libraries of the Middle and Inner Temples.” I have my Kindle 2 so I say *!?*/@ (expletive deleted) all libraries. Max Kennerly, however, sees a need for bean counting, contingent fee style, as he argues that not having contingent fee litigation would stifle the market for valid legal claims. I must be missing something here as I thought this issue was resolved at least fifty years ago when all 50 states allowed for contingent fee litigation. Perhaps I should I dust off my law journal article arguing colleges should provide equal funding to female athletics?

But typography. That interests me.

Marc Randazza writes that when public figures like the Orlando, FL, police chief seek to silence their citizen critics, they must prevail in two courts — the court of public opinion and a court of law — and this chief is unlikely to win in either. D’oh. Securing Innovation blog asks whether management should be involved in patenting decisions and then answers in the affirmative. Daniel Solove reports that after Justice Scalia stated he was not bothered by the lack of legal protection for personal information available online, a law professor challenged his class to compile a “dossier” of information about Scalia and his family. Upon seeing the detailed information the class was able to find, Scalia remarked that the “exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment.” The cynic in me wonders whether Judge Scalia will recuse himself if any of these students should find themselves before him. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Back in 2005, I was constantly appearing on a national News network to opine on the international law ramifications of the Natalee Holloway case. Around that same time, Chief Justice William Renquist died and this same network asked me to go on to discuss possible replacements. Though my brilliance, charm, and rugged good looks had obviously convinced this network that I was qualified to speak live on national TV regarding who should sit on our nation’s highest court, I had enough sense back then to demure. But my having twice been selected to write a blawg review does clearly make me qualified to opine to our great nation regarding the Supreme Court and it also means the nation is waiting for my views on who should replace Justice Souter. I choose (drumroll please) Eric Turkewitz of the New York City Personal Injury Blog. Now hear me out. I base this on the following:

1. Eric wrote me yesterday to point out that Scott Greenfield has written of our need for “a marathoning trial lawyer,” on the top court, not just another Harvard or Yale law grad seeking to move up from a Federal Appeals Court. Eric then makes the very salient point that he runs marathons and he backs it up with this post, Boston Marathon (Drinking Beer, Kissing Wellesley Women and Abstract Journeys).

2. Eric would be the first “Turk” on the Court. I actually went to Robert Koleji high school in Turkey (for real) and that certainly qualifies me to state that the time has come for us to have a Turk on the Court.

3. Most importantly, I beat Turkewitz in last year’s ABA Journal Best Blog competition and so if he were to become a Supreme Court justice I would be able to brag about having beaten the pants off a Supreme Court justice. I salivate at the marketing opportunities.

Oh, and speaking yet again of pants, Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog cannot be accused of the naivete (please note my well placed use of French again) of which I flogged MadKane. Not at all. That Austin blog equates a Texas politico’s not realizing she was supposed to list a couple of million dollars in assets (gee, how many houses do I own?) to the criminal defendants in drug cases who claim the pants in which the drugs are found belong to someone else. And in yet another pants related post, Adam Mossoff, guest blogging at The Volokh Conspiracy, offers up a “fascinating” series of posts about the invention of the sewing machine here, here and here. I know I should say something really biting and sarcastic here, but I think a three part series on sewing machines pretty much speaks for itself.

I trust the above has shown how far I have come since my last blawg review, but lest there remain any doubt, I am prepared to confront my last blawg review head on, and (to use a highly technical political term) do a 180 degree flip-flop on it. The last time, I engaged in a meandering and inane philosophical discussion about the Wikipediaworthiness of Troy McClure. I am so past the idea of trying to build consensus now. I have already admitted my last Blawg Review did not solve much but it did erase any doubts about Mr. McClure’s belonging in Wikipedia. And since making it into Wikipedia warrants being trusted on moral issues, I think it appropriate (maybe even mandatory) to quote Mr. McClure on the need to look out only for oneself: “Don’t kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about!”

And since last time, I ran a picture of Raquel Welch, I’m running her opposite this time. I give you Gus, the world’s ugliest dog:

Gus was a Chinese crested (Note how well I am staying on point here with the May 4th thing) and he really was chosen the World’s ugliest dog, which, near as I can tell, has the same value as my beating out Turkewitz for best Regional Blog. Poor Gus recently died of cancer. Intestate, I assume.

To avoid Gus’s fate, I strongly suggest smokedo, you all engage in a post-modern mix of smoking and exercise, developed and honed by an ersatz QC, CharonQC. If you do embark on this rigorous fitness and cancer stick program, it is absolutely critical that you follow all of CharonQC’s advice, including his call for you to engage in this program only with the guidance of a qualified expert, such as himself.
If I have not yet irritated you, leave a comment and give me another chance.

I am told I must state the following, so here goes. Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

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