: 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

Favorite Line I’ve Read Today

…acknowledging that some judges think legislative history is valid. If you have to use it, Scalia said, “Do it boldly, as though it makes sense.

A remark by Justice Scalia at a road show of sorts with legal writing wunderkind Bryan Garner to promote their book Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, discussed before briefly on this blog discussed briefly here. via Legal Times

Video: Why Courts are Not So Keen to Proceed Pro Se, Exhibit A

via the Rising Jurist. Michael Gaines apparently made the most of his opportunity to speak before being sentenced for spitting on two detention deputies. His assault was treated more seriously as Gaines is HIV positive. He was sentenced to 13 years.

Letter from Groucho Marx to Warner Brothers

From Barry Barnett’s Blawgletter, comes the rather entertaining letter sent by Groucho Marx to Warner Brothers threatened suit over the impending release of A Night in Casablanca (1946), which bore a less than vague resemblance to another Warner Bros. property, Casablanca (1942). It concludes with this classic tirade against lawyers:

I have a hunch that his attempt to prevent us from using the title is the brainchild of some ferret-faced shyster, serving a brief apprenticeship in your legal department. I know the type well—hot out of law school, hungry for success, and too ambitious to follow the natural laws of promotion. This bar sinister probably needled your attorneys, most of whom are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits, etc., into attempting to enjoin us. Well, he won’t get away with it! We’ll fight him to the highest court! No pasty-faced legal adventurer is going to cause bad blood between the Warners and the Marxes. We are all brothers under the skin, and we’ll remain friends till the last reel of “A Night in Casablanca” goes tumbling over the spool.

Read the rest of it at ChillingEffects

Unamused, Warner Bros. requested that the Marx Brothers at least outline the premise of their film. Groucho responded with an utterly ridiculous storyline, and, sure enough, received another stern letter requesting clarification. He obliged and went on to describe a plot even more preposterous than the first, claiming that he, Groucho, would be playing “Bordello, the sweetheart of Humphrey Bogart.” No doubt exasperated, Warner Bros. did not respond. A Night in Casablanca was released in 1946.

Pinkerton and Teles on the Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement

Steven Teles at Johns Hopkins recently published The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law. He talks with James Pinkerton about the subject of his work on Blogging Heads TV.

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Blocking You People Out

Aside from time, quiet is the great luxury of the law student. I’m convinced that law students and lumberjacks are now singlehandedly keeping the foam earplug industry afloat (Slate provides their history, and a guide). I find earplugs useless. Rather than blocking unwanted sounds, they merely muffle their nuisance making it all the more aurally mysterious and therefore distracting.

The secret, for me, is to find other, better noise – comfortable, undistracting and monotonous noise with which to drown the uninvited attention seeking of flip-flop smacking, amateur pencil-drumming, and riotous paper shuffling.

SimplyNoise is simply that, web-based white noise, available for streaming or for download, customizable in intensity. Just plug the earphones into the lappy and turn it up to 11.

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