Friday, May 20, 2005

How do Coaches Beamer and Groh compare as rated by their own ex-players

Here is an interesting comparison, from probably an inadequate survey sample, of the thoughts of some ex-players about Coach Groh at Virginia and Coach Beamer at Virginia Tech.

From these numbers, the Tech coach seems to be more popular with the troops, if that's the right phrase.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The best picture I took in New York

Looking up Broadway or Fifth Avenue or wherever I was, with the setting sun reflecting on the Empire State. Click on it and look at the bigger image. Posted by Hello

The Appalachian lawyer story in today's New York Times

Here is the story of a young woman who grew up poor in Pike County, KY, then was taken in by a relatively well-to-do cousin, went off to Berea College, then UK law, then had a successful practice in a Lexington law firm, then moved back to Pike County.

It is very interesting and provocative, from several perspectives.

One point is certainly true: you don't see rich and poor side-by-side in such startling contrast in many places as can be seen in Pikeville. Years ago, I drove through there with my wife, and she was watching the scenery, and it occurred to her that there were alternating mansions and double-wides along the main road.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Don't tell us we've got accents like yours

The Kilgore campaign runs ads that say Tim Kaine is making fun of Southwest Virginians, then promptly loses his +22 lead in Southwest Virginia, according to the latest Virginia poll discussed here and here and elsewhere.

Ditto on Judge Janice Rogers Brown

I agree with this SST post that the Republicans should make Judge Janice Rogers Brown a No. 1 test case in the Senate, and here's why - first, she got a better percentage of the vote in California than did Bill Clinton, and second, I enjoyed this one speech of hers that was on my graduation speech list, including the following, which strikes me as hilarious:

We once welcomed law students by inviting them into the brotherhood. Now, with so many women in the profession that no longer seems right. But, we can certainly understand why our brethren would not wish to be part of a sisterhood. A friend of mine, Justice Vance Raye, came up with the perfect solution. He said, from now on we should just call it the “hood.” So, let me be the first to welcome you … to the “hood.”

How to market your law practice to those rural atheists

In Lambeth v. Board of Commissioners of Davidson County, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge King, joined by Judge Widener and District Judge Floyd from South Carolina, affirmed the dismissal by Judge Osteen for failure to state a claim of the case brought by two NC lawyers against their home county for authorizing the inscription of the words "In God We Trust" on the facade of the county government center.

But, the outcome is not what matters, the important thing is that these lawyers have an important tool for marketing their services to the atheist community of Davidson County.

Couldn't they get Judge Wapner?

It says here that the graduation speaker this year at the William & Mary law school was John Kerry's running mate, the former U.S. Senator from North Carolina, John Edwards.

Speaking of speaking of poverty, Mr. Edwards is selling his house in D.C., asking $6.2 M, having paid $3.8 M for it in 2002, according to this Post article.

Heck, if all they wanted was a happy, goofy guy running for President, why not invite our own Senator Allen? That would have cut down on travel expenses.

Should the Bristol mom who killed her son get the death penalty?

This article in the Roanoke paper considers whether the death penalty should be sought against the Bristol, Virginia, woman who killed her young son a few weeks ago.

The article concludes:

"Virginia hasn't executed a woman since 1912, though a Pittsylvania County woman, Teresa Lewis, received a death sentence in 2003 for hiring two men to kill her husband and stepson so she could collect insurance money. She is the first woman on death row in Virginia since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1976."

On the serial litterer banned from a Virginia county

In this piece, the Post gets arount to the story of the WV man who has been banned from coming into to a Virginia county to dump his trash, after several convictions.

There was no particular discussion of the Constitutional issues, if any, at stake in prohibiting an American from traveling within the county of his choice.

The article quotes the county prosecutor as saying: "Boy, if it's enforceable, I've got some other people I want banished."

Maybe Chad Dotson needs to be studying this case, for when he must deal with those litterers sneaking over from Jenkins.

Bringing home the bacon to SW Virginia

This commentary in the NY Times starts out by picking on the inclusion in the forthcoming highway bill of an appropriation for new horse trails in Southwest Virginia, at the request of Congressman Boucher.

The author notes: "When I expressed doubts to Mr. Boucher that these new horse trails would ease traffic on the roads, he replied, 'That's fair to say.' He didn't expect any commuters to use them. But he insisted this really wasn't an unusual use of money from the highway trust fund, and he had a point."

What Is A Drug Court?

This account tries to explain what is a drug court, at least as it exists in Loudoun County.

Of the burden on the participants, it quotes one official as saying:

"They are held accountable daily. . . . They have daily requirements that they must fulfill. They see their probation officers twice a week, they attend substance abuse sessions three times a week, they come to court once a week and they are expected to work everyday. It's not easy. To be honest, I don't think it would be easy for anyone."

Have you got a bathroom in here?

Here is the story of an Illinois legislator who "introduced a bill requiring stores to allow patients with certain intestinal disorders to use employee bathrooms that are not otherwise open to the public," after hearing the tale of woe of a young woman with Crohn's disease.

Let the settler beware

From this tale from the Norfolk paper, it appears that a contractor is claiming it had its contract dispute with the City settled, but then Council voted not to approve it, and now the contractor has sued to enforce the settlement.

It sounds lame to me; if there was not a public vote, probably it doesn't matter what the contractor was told about the authority of the negotiators. The government can't be liable if its agents act outside their authority, and a council decision made without a public vote is probably of no effect under FOIA.

You can't handle the truth

The excerpts of the testimony in this account of a Culpeper FOIA case before retired Judge Whisenant make the county board sound awfully silly to me, but then those are just the parts the newspaper chose to print.

Last of the gang against public participation gets the boot from Bristol voters

Here is a link to Lewis Loflin's copy of the Bristol paper's article from September 2002, when a fraction of the Bristol Tennessee city council declared that they would seek $2.87 million in damages from the citizens who dared take an appeal in the Walmart zoning case. The article says: "The city's response to the appeal, filed Thursday by City Attorney Jack Hyder, asks the state Court of Appeals to find the appeal frivolous and to order a judgment equal to the sales and property taxes the development would generate this year."

In subsequent elections, the sub-group of councilpersons involved have been defeated at the polls, with the last two voted out yesterday. Last night, one of the losers declared here: "the voters always get what they deserve." And, so did he.

More on the political correctness of The Tribe

Wm. & Mary won't do? Then who? is the headline for this column, to which I have linked to mainly on account of the Steely Dan reference.

(My wife the Northern Virginian gets more of a kick out of the lines about Annandale than the one that says "William and Mary won't do.")

On the adequacy of attorney discipline in Virginia

This letter to the editor of the Washington Post says the lawyer discipline system in Virginia is no good, concluding that "Virginia lawyers treat discipline and client protection as poor stepchildren."

The letter was in response to this editorial from May 11, another in the Post's continuing series of criticisms of the handling particularly of the representation of poor criminal defendants in Virginia state courts.

Colossal Colon comes to the Tidewater

This article describes the opportunity for Virginians to walk through a 40-foot replica of the human colon at a mall in the Tidewater.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Worst lawyer ending of which I've read lately

In one of the several books I've read lately that has some discussion of the repression of speech during the Civil War is told the story of the untimely end of Clement Vallandigham, who was an Ohio Democrat who opposed the war.

After the war, he became a successful trial lawyer, before he died of a gunshot wound. He was in a hotel during a murder trial, in which he claimed the shooting was an accident, and while he was trying to figure out how the accident happened, the gun went off and killed him.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Tales of the Big Apple

This morning, I was trying to tell one of my clients about the bizarre stuff I saw in New York last week. I told her that right in the middle of Times Square, there was a fellow in his underwear and a cowboy hat singing with his guitar, and on the seat of his shorts it said he is called the Naked Cowboy (see here and here).

The young woman from Buchanan County was unimpressed. She replied that you wouldn't have to look around Hurley too long to come across some old boy drunk and out on his front porch singing country songs in his underwear just about every Friday night.

On the Edith Maxwell case

From an earlier post ("Before O.J., there was Edith"), here is one account of the Edith Maxwell case, and the 2003 book Murder, Honor, and Law:
Four Virginia Homicides from Reconstruction through the Great Depression
is partly about the sensational Maxwell case from Wise County.

Now, via Kilo, I see that the Coalfield Progress reports here on a new book about the Maxwell case, Never Seen the Moon, The Trials of Edith Maxwell.

Maybe Roy Jessee will buy himself one and lend it to me after he reads it.