: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

UHLC’s Seth Chandler on Genetically Modified Liability Insurance Contract

Via the Legal Theory Blog, a veritable pleasure garden of legal academe, I find Seth Chandler (University of Houston Law Center) has posted A ‘Genetically Modified’ Liability Insurance Contract on SSRN. It’s a little (actually quite) intimidating for math-luddites like myself, but if I understand the abstract, it’s essentially a method of optimizing the efficiency of liability insurance contracts. Bon appetit.

Glaring Decisis

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick: Texas Side-Step: Have the Supreme Court’s opinions become suggestions in Texas?

Well, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals—that state’s highest court—has figured out a better way to thwart a clear directive from the U.S. Supreme Court. When the Texas court was instructed, in a 2004 decision about the constitutionality of its jury instructions, to reconsider its approach to its death-penalty cases, the Texas court didn’t go the Parker route of name-calling and fomenting revolution. Instead, it just politely thanked the Supremes for their interesting insights, then effectively switched the standard of review and ignored them. You might think the current justices would be hopping mad about that. But the lesson to be learned in Smith v. Texas is that when a lower court wants to appeal a higher court’s decision, it need only wait around for a change in personnel.

Oh, snap. The whole thing’s worth a read.

Mixtapes & the Law

From the NY Times: With Arrest of DJ Drama, the Law Takes Aim at Mixtapes

On Tuesday night [DJ Drama] was arrested with Don Cannon, a protégé. The police, working with the Recording Industry Association of America, raided his office, at 147 Walker Street in Atlanta. The association makes no distinction between counterfeit CDs and unlicensed compilations like those that DJ Drama is known for. So the police confiscated 81,000 discs, four vehicles, recording gear, and “other assets that are proceeds of a pattern of illegal activity,” said Chief Jeffrey C. Baker, from the Morrow, Ga., police department, which participated in the raid.

DJ Drama (whose real name is Tyree Simmons) and Mr. Cannon were each charged with a felony violation of Georgia’s Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization law(known as RICO) and held on $100,000 bond.

I’m not all that in to the hip-hop scene myself, but I wonder if people of a certain generation realize how ludicrous this appears to our own? What these DJs do is not piracy, viewed from any sane policy angle, and as the RIAA will discover eventually, culture trumps law.

Getting to know you…

Chase did another around-the-room-introduce-yourself session which we, being law students, managed to turn into an introspective caucus on our worth to society. Thompson did this in crim law and yet I am still amazed at the things I don’t know about the people I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time with. First, people have been or are in the process having babies all over the place (And I thought I was stretching myself really ‘thin’ with extracurriculars like mock trial). Secondly, we have not one but two recovering Russian studies majors. Third and fourth, a cellist and a theologian have been lurking in our midst. Once again I’m awed by the talent and personality of the folks I spend my evenings with. Sadly, I found out we lost a few of my favorite classmates to the more pressing circumstances of life. Y’all will be missed. :-(

Nose, Remember Grindstone?

The winter break seemed like it was going to last forever. Alas. Today is the first day of Contracts with Professor Chase. So far no one in the section has come across anybody else who has taken him, so he’s a bit of an unknown quantity. A little Googling reveals, what else, a Haavaad pedigree – undergrad, JD, MBA, that he’s big into communications and has a penchant for companies named after himself. He also serves on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which has to be one of the most or least interesting jobs around, depending on how you look at it.

If you’ve had Chase in the past (for Communications or Regulation of Broadcasting as well as Contracts) and want to give me the lowdown send me an e-mail.

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