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

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

Am I the only one who hears the screams and the strangled cries of lawyers in love?

Anyone considering a career in law should be forewarned that lawyer mating rituals may in fact involve dance-marching with your briefcase in front of the Kremlin in Red Square. Take if from Jackson Browne. He knows.

Unbelievably, “Lawyers in Love” was apparently a top-twenty hit when it was released. According to Wikipedia, “some analysts later saw “Lawyers in Love” as a evolving “bridge” between Browne’s personal works and his 1980′s political works. Others saw it as dry commentary on American social mores.” I find it to be yet another instance of solid proof that I just don’t ‘get’ the 80′s.

According to my favorite line, “the U.S.S.R. will be open soon as vacation land for lawyers in love.” I can hardly wait.

Blawg Directory of Lawyer Blogs, Law Professor Blogs and Law Student Blogs

The Christmas break gave me an opportunity to finish up something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I’m terrible about keeping up with blog rolls and was interested in creating something more comprehensive as a resource for the blawgosphere that would be easy for me to build on later. After a day or two of work I’ve just finished version 1.0 of the Blawg Directory of Lawyer Blogs, Law Professor Blogs and Law Student Blogs. I’ve made a rather confused and pathetic stab at a taxonomy. Overall it’s intended to be a high-level view of the movers and shakers in the blawgosphere, sufficient to give a good leg up to a newbie unfamiliar with the terrain. Take a look. If I’ve made any glaring omissions, please contact me and let me know.

Techies may be interested to know that it’s all run quite simply off the social bookmarking platform del.icio.us using their off-the-shelf linkroll functionality.

The Chewbacca Defense

Over the break it was revealed that one of my section-mates has survived a year and a half of law school without encountering the Chewbacca Defense. What are we learning in law school if not the fundamental building blocks of legal logic and rhetoric?

The Chewbacca Defense originated in a 1998 South Park episode Chef Aid where Johnny Cochran is hired to use the defense that proved successful in the O.J. Simpson trial.

Cochran: Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, Chef’s attorney would certainly want you to believe that his client wrote “Stinky Britches” ten years ago. And they make a good case. Hell, I almost felt pity myself! But, ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

Gerald Broflovski: Damn it!

Chef: What?

Gerald: He’s using the Chewbacca Defense!

Cochran: Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a lawyer defending a major record company, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

Lest you dismiss the Chewbacca defense as a relic of pop culture or just another reason the internet is making us dumber, allow me to point out that the Chewbacca Defense has entered our legal lexicon, cited in presentations to our nation’s judiciary. (See Anjali R. Swienton, M.F.S., J.D. Erin Kenneally, M.F.S., J.D.. Poking the Wookie: the Chewbacca Defense in Digital Evidence Cases (.pdf). SciLaw Forensics, Ltd.) I only hope I live long enough to see it cited in a law review article.

Angsty Law School Emo Music

Well at least he’s got a music career to fall back on. Owen Jarvis is now a third-year student at the University of Maryland School of Law. here. He could always pull a New Line.

  • Youtube:

Texas Insurance Case Attempt to Answer the Age Old Question of whether you’re “in” a car that’s lying on top of you

I’ve recently developed the disturbing habit of relaxing by listening to recordings of oral arguments. Oyez.org offers all the U.S. Supreme Court arguments, nearly as soon as they happen. Listening to Boumediene v. Bush ended up coming in pretty handy on my Con Law final, though I’ll reserve judgment on whether it did me any good until grades come out. Recently I’ve been getting into the oral arguments from the Texas Supreme Court, which is particularly entertaining for the ‘aw shucks’ down-home-y demeanor of some of the advocates.

So far my favorite is 06-0987 UNITED STATES FIDELITY and GUAR. CO. v. GOUDEAU, an insurance case dealing with a good Samaritan who was injured after stopping to help a stranded motorist and being pinned between his own car and the guardrail when struck by another motorist. He’s trying to recover on an under-insured motorist policy that unfortunately for him, is limited by the terms of the contract to “occupying a covered vehicle” as defined by the USF&G policy. See the petitioner’s brief (.pdf) for more background. For the most part, it’s about as exciting as a pig in the shade, but a little after the half-way mark it gets a little surreal as the justices try to parse precedent on whether one can construe “occupying” to include being run over by the car you just stepped out of. The cases cited are, while tragic in the way of all accidents, so bizarre it’s funny. You can bet I won’t be turning my back on my own car any time soon.

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06-0987 UNITED STATES FIDELITY and GUAR. CO. v. GOUDEAU (.mp3) [via Supreme Court of Texas Oral Argument Archive]

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