: 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

Deliberations Blog takes on Issues of Jurors who Blog

Anne Reed’s Deliberations Blog has a fascinating account of the Bad Blogging Juror in People v. McNeely. Apparently Juror No. 8 in a 2006 California burglary trial lied about being an attorney in voir dire and then proceeded to blog about his rather heavy-handed attempts to manipulate his fellow-jurors into a quick conviction.

[F]or the next hour-and-a-half, the jury in the People v. Donald the Duck slowly congealed into a rational, investigative body of folks who ultimately realized that stealing was wrong, and that we ought to act responsibly. All, that is, except for Brad, the confident, muscular skinhead character with a carefully shaven goatee sitting directly at the head of the table, to my right. This cocky young fellow I had unease about since seeing him lope down the hallway on day one. He had stared at me for just a second or two too long when he first saw me, expecting some sort of acknowledgment to his presence from another white guy.

Anne Reed’s Deliberations: Blogging Jurors, Part I: The Bad (Or, The Burglary Trial As Legal Thriller), Blogging Jurors, Part II: Some Relevant Law

The Black Box of the Law

I’m utterly fascinated by the decision-making process of juries. I witnessed for a mock trial of the summer associates at Baker Botts last year. By far the best part was watching the jurors deliberate through closed circuit television at the close of the case. It was tried by five different groups in front of five different juries – 3 went for defendant, 2 for plaintiff. As we watched the deliberations in our case, the first words uttered were “So, how much do we want to give him?”

Last fall, I participated in a great program through the Houston Bar Association that has 8th graders from schools all over Houston participate put on a mock trial held in the actual Harris County Civil Courtroom. One of my duties was to escort the jury (all 8th graders as well) to the deliberation room and wait for them to reach a verdict. I watched an 11-1 “guilty” vote gradually turn to a unanimous “not guilty” as the lone holdout gave his rationale and won the rest of the jurors over to his side.

Black box indeed.

‘IV the Amendment’ T-Shirts Available

Knowing when to milk a good idea, Mark Bennett has released the latest of his HCCLA ‘summer collection’ of amendment apparel, as aware of our constitutional rights as they are fashionable. Amendments are the new black. Available from Cafepress. I got mine.

Lest you think for a terrifying moment that you’re dyslexic and never knew it (as I just did), allow me to point out that the new items feature the IV (fourth) and not the VI (sixth) amendment, like the previous sticker.

C’mon, you know you want one. Everyone’s gonna have them.


Student Law Review Articles With Legs

It’s easy for law students to think of the articles they write for law review as necessary evils, grown-up book reports that demonstrate their research and writing ability to potential employers and justify the prestige-grab of law review. Eugene Volokh, whose excellent Legal Academic Writing will show up on any recommended reading list, is tracking down students whose student writing not only burnished the resume but has had an impact on legal thought as evidenced in citations in other academic work and the opinions of actual cases.

Volokh Conspiracy: Interview with Victor Cosentino, Author of a Very Successful Student Note

Houston Hospitals embroiled in suit over Anti-Competitive Practices

The now defunct Houston Town & Country Hospital has hired noted Houston Trial Attorney Rusty Hardin to sue the large non-profit Memorial Hermann Healthcare System for interfering with its ability to work with insurers, driving it out of business.

For news coverage see Houston Chronicle: Hospital lawsuits attract big legal talent, ABC 13: Two Houston hospitals duke it out in court, Isiah Carey’s Insite: IT’S GOING TO BE AN UGLY BATTLE: HOSPITAL VERSUS HOSPITAL WITH RUSTY HARDIN THROWN INTO THE MIX!

According to the Chronicle

Hardin obtained an internal AETNA Insurance e-mail which he says supports his clients’ claims. The email states quote: “If AETNA contracts with Town and Country, Memorial Hermann will demand a 25% rate increase.” Later it says, “This is an extremely hot issue with Memorial Hermann management…”

Memorial Hermann filed suit in federal court in response and has asked the judge “to find it is free to enter into exclusive or semi-exclusive contracts with insurers, even if they would preclude the smaller, privately owned hospital from contracting with those health insurers.”

On a somewhat sinister note, it was Memorial Hermann that acquired Town and Country after it closed. Houston Business Journal: Town & Country Hospital shuts doors, lays off employees.

Hardin, who made his bones as a Harris County Prosecutor for 15 years, never strays far from the limelight. His exploits have been well chronicled here and here.

Update on AutoAdmit Law Student Forum Defamation Suit

I posted previously on this here. NPR has an interview with some of the parties involved in Women File Suit to Defend Online Reputation.

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