Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Back on 4/23

There will be no more blogging for a while.

Here are some places where we'll go between now and then -

Day Port
1 Barcelona, Spain
2 Provence (Marseille), France
3 Monte Carlo, Monaco
4 Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy
5 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
6 Amalfi/Positano, Italy
7 Messina, Italy
8 Valletta, Malta
9 Cruising The Mediterranean Sea
10 Santorini, Greece
11 Athens (Piraeus), Greece

Obviously, we shouldn't have thrown those coins in the Trevi Fountain last year.

What do lawyers need to know how to do

This study, titled "New Skills, New Learning: legal education and the promise of technology" talks about what technical skills lawyers need for their work.

It begins with this statement: "A large majority of lawyers perceive critical gaps between what they are taught in law schools and the skills they need in the workplace, and appropriate technologies are not being used to help close this gap."

I don't know what law school has to do with it, I went to law school a long time ago.

99% won't do

The American College of Trial Lawyers says here that federal judges need a 100% raise.

Virginia Crime Commission to study effect of illegal immigrants

The Richmond paper reports here and the Norfolk paper reports here that the Virginia Crime Commission will take on the issue of the effects on the criminal justice system of illegal immigrants in Virginia.

Fair and balanced

It says here regarding the faculty of William & Mary: "In the 2005 gubernatorial election, 98.9 percent of campaign donations from College professors went to Democrat Tim Kaine." I guess that left 1.1% for William & Mary law alumnus Jerry Kilgore.

The World Trials Collection

This interesting post describes efforts to create digital versions of old books about trials and trial practice, including the Lincoln assassination, the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, and the record of the Scopes trial.

On selecting the new head of WVU

This article from Inside Higher Ed discusses controversy surrounding the pending selection of the next head man at West Virginia University, as one of the candidates is a political insider but not an experienced academic.

The same debate occurs elsewhere to a lesser or greater degree - should the head of an institution of higher learning be a leader in the academic sense, or rather a leader in getting money and political results for the school.

This wackier article about the situation says: "You know things are getting weird when the chairman of the board at West Virginia University is up in arms at a federal appeals judge who also happens to be a member of the university’s alumni board." The federal appeals judge is Robert King of the Fourth Circuit.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tell the VSB that LEO 1829 stinks

The Virginia State Bar has extended the time period for comments on LEO 1829.

My take on 1829 is that bright-line rules in this area serve lawyers and the public alike, that any retrenchment on ethics generally is a mistake, and that if this opinion is made inevitable by the language in the Rules then not only should the opinion by scrapped but also the Rules should be changed back to the old standards under the Code.

Indeed, my suspicion is that part of the reason why 1829 has been put out there is to highlight the need to reform the deficiencies of the Rules.

Who's speech was at issue here

Evidently, Maurice of Maurice Barbecue in South Carolina has had his lawsuit against a bunch of South Carolina grocery stores kicked out of court. He claimed that the stores acted illegally when they dropped his products after he put up confederate flags at his restaurants in protest of the hoo-hah over the flag in the South Carolina legislature.

The plaintiff's statement lamented that "the Appeals Court ruling allowed the grocery chains to remove Bessinger's product from their stores 'for any reason they wanted.'"

I never have like that mustard-based sauce myself, but I can't speak for others.

Good man in Nashville

Monday I made my first personal appearance in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. My host as local counsel was Samuel L. Jackson, who also clerked for Judge Williams and is a fine fellow and former Southwest Virginia, and so far as I can tell, an excellent lawyer who knows what he's talking about.

His law firm, I was interested to learn, represents most of the school boards in Tennessee, if I understand things correctly.

On the need for municipal broadband in Tennessee

This article talks about Tennessee towns offering broadband internet connection and cable television.

Over across the way, BTES does just that for Bristol, Tennessee.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

On Keokee Store No. 1

This press release from March 9 notes 14 new sites in Virginia that been added to the Virginia Landmarks Register.

One of them is Keokee Store No. 1, in Lee County.

An application to the National Park Service to have the Keokee Store No. 1 included in the national registry can be read here.

The Southwest Virginia Museum has this image of a Keokee company store.

UPDATE: Dad wrote: "My first bicycle probably came from there. My dad worked for Stonega Coke & Coal at the time."

On labor unrest in the coalfields

This article titled "Rank-and-File Rebellions in the Coalfields, 1964-80" describes UMWA strikes during the referenced period.

One of the sub-headings is "The 1989 Pittston Strike Brings Victory." As I've written elsewhere, the victory was rather short-lived. The article also applauds the takeover of the Moss 3 plant, about which I've written here.

On the smoking ban

The Bristol paper weighs in that Southwest Virginia legislators should go along with Governor Kaine's maneuver to inject a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants.

I don't have much to say about smokers or non-smokers, but I have no tolerance for the whining and complaining on this issue, which surely represents a massive public health risk in and of itself, particularly to those of us who have to listen to it, the victims of second-hand griping. I would be satisfied if instead of the governor's proposal, a new law was passed that outlawed complaining in public about where smoking is and is not allowed. The complainers would be required to eat take-out and drink their whiskey back at the house, where they could smoke or not smoke and complain as much as they like, with no harm to restaurant employees or other non-gripers.