Friday, November 24, 2006

On O.J.

I'm sick of news stories about the man Fred Goldman supposedly refers to only as "the killer," but I must confess that over the years, I have read many books about the lawyers from the O.J. Simpson case, of which the most compelling is the later edition of the Schiller book that includes the chapters on the civil case.

While the O.J. criminal trial was going on, we had a client who was on trial for sex harassment, call him "James." He claimed to be a big O.J. fan, watched the replays of the trial every night on cable. So I told him I had an idea for his defense that he would surely appreciate - we would declare to the jury that "James" was just as innocent as O.J.!

The client vetoed this brain wave.


From this ranking of law reviews, I surmise that the William & Mary Law Review has long since escaped the effect of its association with me, but perhaps retained the same as regards Dawn Figueiras.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Waldo takes on judicial selection

In this post, Waldo Jaquith tries to figure out who will replace retiring Circuit Court Judge Peatross and how will he or she be selected. And, the commenters don't like one of the names being bandied about.

Does the mineral rights owner own the plain old rocks, too?

The Charlottesville paper had this interesting story, which says in part:

"In Tennessee, a mineral-rights owner has declared common rocks as his property and intends to harvest them although the owner of the land objects. The landowner and his neighbors are fighting the precedent in court.

The case might have implications for those parts of Virginia where mining and mineral rights have a history.

. . .

But coal mining is no longer a major force in the region north of Chattanooga, Tenn., where Ed Lewis lives. So Mr. Lewis never expected that anyone would exercise an option on the mineral rights on his property.

But the former owner retained those rights and now claims that the rocks on the property are his to be mined.

It’s not coal that he wants, but a newly fashionable form of resource wealth: building stone. Sandstone, flagstone, fieldstone have become popular for building or decorating fireplaces, walls, fences. Tennessee stone is now shipped all over the country."

On Hughes v. Moore

On the front page of this week's Virginia Lawyers Weekly is an article about the decisions by Magistrate Judge Sargent and Judge Glen Williams in the Hickman case from the W.D. Va.

The article points out that the leading case in dealing with the exception to the physical injury requirement for negligence claims is Hughes v. Moore. Judge Williams' opinion attempts to harmonize Hughes and the Virginia Supreme Court's later decision in Myseros v. Sisler.

What the article does not mention is that the lawyers in Hughes v. Moore, decided back in 1973, were Glen Williams for the plaintiff and Charles Flannagan for the defense. Judge Williams (as a lawyer) convinced Lee County Circuit Court Judge Cridlin at trial to allow recovery for the plaintiff, and Judge Flannagan (as a lawyer) appealed. The plaintiff's verdict was $12,000, where the medical bills were $112.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Right up there with Wilt Chamberlain

This USAToday profile of Dawn Staley is great.

It says in part:

By basketball standards, it has been hard for the 5-6 Dawn Staley to measure up.

She was always told she was too short, too little, too slow. But the more she was told she couldn't, the more determined she became.

"I grew up in the projects of North Philly," Staley says, "and the mentality of growing up there has helped me to maintain a certain level of aggressiveness, mental and physical toughness."

Staley, 36, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, a five-time WNBA All-Star and made three Final Four appearances at the University of Virginia, where she was two-time NCAA player of the year.

. . .

The diminutive Philly kid is now using her basketball knowledge to make her mark in the coaching community.

After leading Temple to four NCAA Tournament berths, she was named an assistant on the 2006 USA women's world championship team. The two-time Atlantic 10 coach of the year hopes to be an assistant on the 2008 Olympic team and possibly the head coach at the 2012 Games. And there could be a WNBA head coaching position in her future.

. . .

Staley's impact on the women's game hasn't been limited to the basketball court. She has made a difference through her foundation.

Beginning next season, the WNBA's annual community award will be named the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award.

"She is the face of women's basketball right now because of her big heart," says Cynthia Cooper, the four-time WNBA champion and currently women's basketball coach at Prairie View A&M University. "She constantly gives back to the community. I think her heart comes from her parents, her background and the trials and tribulations she had not only growing up, but excelling at basketball."

The Dawn Staley Foundation at the Hank Gathers Recreation Center in Philadelphia focuses on academics and athletics and provides middle-school children with positive influences in their lives.

Staley's background and world travels prompted her to start the foundation and are what helps her recruit and relate to players from all backgrounds.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

By the numbers

An SAT-style question - what's the next number in this sequence - 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2003, ?


Nov. 25, 2006: ?
Nov. 19, 2005: Tech, 52-14
Nov. 27, 2004: Tech, 24-10
Nov. 29, 2003: U.Va., 35-21
Nov. 30, 2002: Tech, 21-9
Nov. 17, 2001: Tech, 31-17
Nov. 25, 2000: Tech, 42-21
Oct. 2, 1999: Tech, 31-7
Nov. 28, 1998: U.Va., 36-32
Nov. 28, 1997: U.Va., 34-20
Nov. 29, 1996: Tech, 26-9
Nov. 18, 1995: Tech, 36-29
Nov. 19, 1994: U.Va., 42-23
Nov. 20, 1993: Tech, 20-17
Nov. 21, 1992: U.Va., 41-38
Nov. 23, 1991: U.Va., 38-0
Nov. 24, 1990: Tech, 38-13
Nov. 11, 1989: U.Va., 32-25
Oct. 29, 1988: U.Va., 16-10
Sep. 19, 1987: U.Va., 14-13
Oct. 25, 1986: Tech, 42-10
Oct. 19, 1985: Tech, 28-10
Sep. 29, 1984: U.Va., 26-23
Nov. 19, 1983: Tech, 48-0

Law books I'd like to get for Christmas

In no particular order,

1. Evan Schaeffer, Deposition Checklists and Strategies
2 and 3. Pozner & Dodd, Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, Second Edition and Herb Stern, Trying Cases to Win: Cross-Examination
4. Ruggero Aldisert, Winning on Appeal: Better Briefs & Oral Argument
5 and 6. Bryan Garner, Garner's Modern American Usage and The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts
7. Cliff Atkinson, Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire
8 and 9. Antonin Scalia, A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law and Stephen Breyer, Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution
10 and 11. Andrew Kaufman, Cardozo, and Gerald Gunther, Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge
12. Mark Steiner, An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln

Somehow I've managed to get by without these before now.