blawg review #50

Let's begin with a threshold question: is it necessary to be Real to maintain a blawg?

Of course not. There is a time-honored (note: in Internet time, this could be several months) tradition of insider critique most currently embodied (in the electronic sense) by one "J.D." of Death of a Law Firm, holding herself out as "an associate at a small but sophisticated law firm with a regional practice serving commercial clients."

Mmph. This baby blawg has only eight entries, but is compulsively readable. My take? The author is a disgruntled partner writing a cautionary tale with which to flog her partners. I've yet to meet an associate with the intense interest in business development possessed by the owner of even the smallest equity share in a law firm.

Next question: is it necessary to have any particular equipment in order to blawg?

Well, yes, a brain, a computer, internet access...but you law student blawgers, no laptops, ever! Also note: the penis is optional equipment. This means that the Prawfs at PrawfsBlawg should take note that their list of graduates contains alumnae and not just alumni. Bad pedants! No cookie!

Next question: are there topics that are never discussed on blawgs?

Well, frankly, now that you mention it, there aren't that many blawggers showing much interest in pitting the establishment clause against the free exercise clause. Really, it seems like everybody favors one or the other. On the one hand, some folks are mighty persnickety separating church from state, like white from yolk. In the other corner, of course, we have the free-exercisers. Give me a fight about that old time religion, it's good enough for me.. Note also Jews On First, the single cleverest blog name I have encountered in many a moon.

Moving to a different sort of Free Exercise, freepreach.org, which seems to be operated by an entity named the Becket Fund, plaintively asks, "Has your preaching been labelled hate speech?" Ah. No, usually just excessively sarcastic. The last temptation is the greatest treason, to do the right deed for the wrong reason.

I'm not sure that the earnest folks at Freepreach, however, really had these unusual churches in mind, very few of which appear to be the target market for e-zekiel.com's church website hosting. Moreover, there appears to be a Darkside Goddess who may be infringing on my intellectual property.

Now, consider this: if we were to violate the Establishment Clause together, just you and I, dear Reader, could we do any better than the Church of 80% Sincerity in which to commit our mortal constitutional sin?

No, seriously. David Roche says:

The face is the locus of the human persona. At the deepest level, a distorted face can signify that God or the universe may be quirky and careless, or at worst, vengeful and punitive. When others judge a face to be marred, it serves as an unconscious reminder to them that the whole human experience, including their own, is one of being flawed. In our western culture, we have inherited the dogma that we are innately evil, born with the birth defect of original sin. The religions of the east filter their Calvinism through concepts of enlightenment and karma. This sort of cultural and religious background is the basis for the deep subtext that perforce accompanies any disabled character. Even the medical model of disability only substitutes cure for salvation. I believe that seeing and accepting one’s “flawed” condition is a core spiritual growth experience, an essential step in developing emotional maturity for all people, disabled and otherwise.


For the insatiably curious, Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.


it's coming...

Watch this blog Monday morning (to be precise, 9 p.m. Sunday Pacific Time) for Blawg Review #50.

You have been warned.


washington state barbies

Stolen from a friend of mine:

Seattle Barbie: This modern day homemaker Barbie is available with a Mercedes 4WD SUV, a Prada handbag and matching Nike Yoga ensemble. She has a master's degree and double-majored, but has the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom with Ken’s generous salary. Comes with Percocet prescription and Botox. Starbucks mug and traffic-jamming BlackBerry internet/cell phone device sold separately. Husband Ken is into fishing, golfing, baseball and is often “working” late. Available at all Seattle-area Starbucks retailers.

Bellevue Barbie: This limited edition princess Barbie is sold only at the Bellevue Square Nordstrom. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, your choice of a BMW convertible or Hummer H2 and a longhaired foreign lapdog named “Honey”. Also available is her cookie-cutter development dream house. Available with or without tummy tuck, facelift, and breast augmentation. Workaholic, cheating husband Ken comes with a Porsche.

Tacoma Barbie: This recently paroled Barbie comes with 9mm handgun, switchblade, '78 El Camino with dark tinted windows, and a meth lab kit. This model is available only after dark and can only be purchased with cash - preferably small bills, unless you're a cop, then we don't know what you're talking about. Boyfriend Ken is in jail. Available at many pawn shops.

Everett Barbie: This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie comes with a pair of high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer Gut Ken out of Monroe Barbie's trailer. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, strawberry lip gloss, and a see-through halter top. Purchase her Mustang convertible separately and get a Confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free. Boyfriend Ken is in treatment. Available at Army-Navy Surplus.

Monroe Barbie: This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans 2 sizes too small, steel-toed cowboy boots, a classic Metallica T shirt and a Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has fake fingernails, a six pack of Budweiser, and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over a distance of 6 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's ass when she is drunk. Also available is the gold-toned cubic zirconium ring that Ken gave her after another one of his “episodes” with his boss’s daughter. Comes with Barbie's Dream Double Wide Trailer. Available at Fred Meyer.

Sultan Barbie: Pregnant at purchase, this Barbie comes with a stroller and bus pass. Also included is a G.E.D. and a completely filled out PFD form. Construction worker Ken and his '82 Caddy are optional. Available at Red Apple.

Vashon Island Barbie: This Barbie is made out of recycled plastic and tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no make-up, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She does not want, or need, a Ken doll. If you purchase the optional Subaru wagon, you will receive a free rainbow flag sticker. Available at REI.

Olympia Barbie: This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or removing snap on parts. Walks to work. Likes to "experiment," but will never commit. This model is being phased out and is only available from the manufacturer.

Update: Cf. also TreeTop Barbie, supra. Or infra, depending on whether you think of a blog post later in time but physically located above the citation as coming "before" or "after" the citation. Hm.


the right stuff

When you get right down to it, possibly the single most desirable quality in a client is a willingness to pay attorney's fees.

Imagine the gladness in my heart this morning when, after cautioning a client by email that a request for another fee deposit was looming down the road, I received this reply:

"Perhaps the only thing that will make this divorce go faster is more legal fees, so I eagerly await your request for another deposit."

This may be the best response to a reminder about a trust deposit that I have ever received.


sea sponge instructions

I hate the fact that some lawyers believe that spell-check is the end of proofreading, not just the beginning. Oh, it's so easy to do. It's also so easy not to add technical terms--like law Latin--as defined terms in one's dictionary.

So easy, and so wrong.

This poor bastard actually submitted an appellate brief in which the phrase "sua sponte" was transmogrified into "sea sponge" at least five times, leading to: "It is well settled that a trial court must instruct sea sponge on any defense, including a mistake of fact defense."

Actually, perhaps the better part of valor is for us lawyers to stop using stuffy Latin phrases, although there is really no substitute in English for phrases like sua sponte and--my absolute favorite--mutatis mutandis. Oddly enough, I just typed the phrase "mutatis mutandis" into a blank Word document and spell-checked it, and Word agreed that it was correctly spelled. I must have it well-trained.