: 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

So Far from Heaven, So Close to Texas – Two Great New Blawgs from New Mexico

Mark Bennett at Defending People turned me on to Issues and Holdings, a blog by New Mexico prosecutor Kirk Chavez, who in turn lead me to Judging Crimes, by Joel Jacobsen, Assistant Attorney General in New Mexico representing the prosecution in appellate courts. Bennett linking to a prosecutor’s blog? Now that’s saying something.

Issues and Holdings focuses on New Mexico law, providing detailed analysis of recent cases and discussion of the issues involved. See California Supreme Court: DNA Reports are not Testimonial, The Sudden Reemergence of State v. Frank; or, The Bell Tolls for Harmless Error in N.M., and To Each Element, A Different Intent.

Judging Crimes takes a more philosophical and measured approach to blogging – one that is thematic, rather than chronological. Combing the archives is well rewarded. See 293. So that its threats may continue to be believed, 292. FY follies, 256. The conservatism of American law schools, and 5. The Constitution’s Rosetta Stone.

Suing Chinese Companies

In Liability Lawyers Struggle to Pierce the Chinese Curtain, the Washington Post chronicles the obstacles facing American lawyers in holding Chinese companies accountable for injuries caused by their products in the US.

The opacity and scarcity of regulation of Chinese business practices make investigations and evidence-gathering cumbersome and frustrating. Headquarters offices, once found, are often bare-bones operations. Records may be spotty or nonexistent. Unaffected by court orders, the level of cooperation is low. Sometimes the Chinese company will not show up to a U.S. court. [One lawyer] estimates that a lawsuit against a Chinese company typically lasts 10 years and costs five times as much as a normal case.

Interns in Harris County Prosecutor’s Office Name That Tune to Help Dog Fighting Case

Houston Chronicle: Law interns use ingenuity in dog case

When Harris County Assistant District Attorney Belinda Smith needed to determine the date of a dogfighting video, she turned to interns to ensure that the incident happened within the two-year statute of limitations for a misdemeanor charge.

The 35-minute video shows fights between pit bull-type dogs. Interns studied clothing worn by the people around the fighting ring. They also listened for distinct noises, such as those that might reveal whether a construction project might have been in progress.

Cynthia Hodges, a third-year South Texas College of Law student, read serial numbers off the money flashed in the tape. Birk Hutchens, who recently finished his first year, clued in on a cell phone’s faint ringtone. A former college disc jockey, he used software to isolate and boost the sound and recognized it as Houston rapper Paul Wall’s Sittin’ Sidewayz, released in August 2005.

Dogfighting charges were filed against five people, including a 16-year-old. After all that work, Smith said one defendant acknowledged the fight took place last November.

Mr. Show – Law School

Profits v Partner, Is Law a Business or a Profession?

From David Lat’s article in the New York Observer Profits vs. Partners

One can argue over whether it’s a good or bad thing, and one can also argue about how long it has been going on. But most observers agree that large law firms are becoming more business-oriented, more focused on efficiency and profits—in short, more like investment banks, hedge funds and other money-making machines.

“We’re supposed to care about Aristotle and Plato, and they’re supposed to care about Mammon,” he said, comparing lawyers to finance types. “But now we lawyers care about money.”

Wait… only now do lawyers care about money? Where the hell has that guy been practicing…

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