: 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

Future of the Law: Cognitive-Enhancing Nootropic Drugs

An online poll of the British science magazine, Nature, asked its subscribers about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Nature’s presumably geek-tilting audience was not interested in enhancing athletic performance, however, but mental performance. Of the 1,400 scientists who responded, 20% reported using performance-enhancing drugs. Of these, 62% used Ritalin, 44% used Provigil, and 15% used beta-blockers like Inderal. Even among non-users, the notion of drug-enhanced cognitive performance has wide acceptance; nearly 80% of respondents said it should be allowed.

In December commentary in Nature, a number of noted scientists published a defense of cognitive-enhancing drugs: Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy. They begin by noting that the use of cognitive enhancing drugs is already here, among academics, and inevitably among hyper-competitive students looking for an edge in increasingly competitive admissions processes for undergraduate and graduate schools.

Today, on university campuses around the world, students are striking deals to buy and sell prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin — not to get high, but to get higher grades, to provide an edge over their fellow students or to increase in some measurable way their capacity for learning. These transactions are crimes in the United States, punishable by prison.

Are graduate schools headed toward a MLB-style arms-race for competitive advantage?

Judges and Elections

The lede on this story is that Don Blankenship, the chief executive of a large coal mining company in West Virginia $3 million of his own money on tough advertisements attacking a justice of the State Supreme Court who was seeking re-election. That justice lost and the man who won his seat, Brent D. Benjamin, subsequently refused to recuse himself and cast the deciding vote in 3-to-2 majority that threw out a $50 million jury verdict against Mr. Blankenship’s company, Massey Energy.

My favorite line in the article surely made more sense in whatever context Mr. Blankenship originally meant it, but cracked me up nonetheless:

“When you’ve got to choose between a guy who released a pedophile and a coal executive, it’s a tossup,” he said.

This will be a case worth watching not only for its effect on the willingness of elected judges to recuse themselves but also the ripple effect on judicial campaigns across the country.

Alternatives to Legal Careers: Snake Proofing


It’s good to know what you’re giving up when you embark on a career in law. Consider what you could have been, had your guidance counselor only informed you of the exciting opportunities available in the ‘snake-proofing’ of hunting dogs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ed Hohn

Very saddened by this. Ed was a generous and gregarious human being who never met a stranger and was, by many accounts, a damn good lawyer.

EDWARD L. VON HOHN, Leading trial attorney, passed away at age 44

Edward L. Von Hohn, of Dallas, Texas, passed away on Friday, February 6th, joining the Lord in Heaven.

Born December 13, 1964 in Bessemer, Alabama, Edward led a full life leading his community and earning multiple distinctions along the way. While his accomplishments were notable, Ed’s true spirit lies in leadership and caring for others. Always with a smile on his face, Ed was a gregarious individual who would always make you laugh. His achievements in his professional career were only exceeded by his generosity, a unique ability to bring out the very best in others, his dedication to his family, and his desire to share his blessings with others.

He is survived by his children whom he loved dearly Harrison (7) and Annajane (5) and his mother, Wyla Hohn and his grandmother, Maxine Jenkins of Sun City, Arizona. His father Edward L. Hohn, of Arizona; Also survived by his brother Kristopher Von Hohn, and his wife Jacquelynn Von Hohn of Houston, Texas; as well as his sisters, Ilsa Weaver, and her husband, Trent Weaver of Waco, Texas and their children, Taryn, Taylor, Trent Jr. and Tatum; Kirsten Howren, and her husband, Todd Howren of Austin, Texas, and their children Hayden and Heath; Isolda Griffin, and her husband Jagger Griffin of Scottsdale, Arizona, and their children Mackenzie Griffin and Stevie Patterson; and Ursla Null, and her husband Matthew Null of Denver, Colorado.

Edward, an expert in the field of law, was noted for his ability to make us all laugh, his generosity toward others and his dedication to the betterment of his community. He graduated from Baylor University in 1987, receiving his B.A., with honors. Immediately upon graduation he entered Baylor Law School receiving his J.D in 1990. Edward began his career as a law clerk for Federal District Judge Sam B. Hall, in Marshall, Texas. As a rising star in the legal field, he later secured a position with Nix, Patterson and Roach having the privilege to represent clients in several landmark cases.

He went on to serve as lead litigation attorney for Data Treasury, in many precedent setting cases, while he continued to focus his works on Products Liability Law; Personal Injury Law; Toxic Torts; Intellectual Property; and Patent Litigation. His expertise in Intellectual Property Rights led him to successfully protect businesses and individual rights both nationally and internationally. Additionally, while as a Senior Partner at Nix, Patterson and Roach, LLP, Edward helped to build a team of lawyers who led the field in successful patent protection and legal securities. Most recently Edward served as lead legal counsel for Agora Entertainment Partners, LLP.

Ed’s immense leadership skills were further evidenced through the following organizations: Phi Delta Phi Member, Harvey M Richey; Moot Court Society, Adjunct Professor, Paralegal Studies, East Texas Baptist University, 1991-1992, District 1 Director, Texas Young Lawyers Association, 1994-1995, Texas Young Lawyers Liaison, State Bar of Texas Court Rules/Administration of Justice Committee, 1994, Recipient, President’s Award of Merit, Texas Young Lawyers Association, 1996, Chairperson, Federal Court Practice Committee, 1996 TYLA; Chairperson, Technological Support Committee, 1995-1996; TYLA, President, 1994-1996 and TYLA Treasurer, 1997, Daingerfield Chamber of Commerce; ATLA Texas State Director New Lawyers Division, 1995-1996.

Memorial service will be held at 1:00pm Saturday, February 14th, in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Daingerfield, 202 W W M Watson Boulevard. Visitation immediately following. Afterwards, Edward will be laid to rest at a private family service. If desired, the family suggests memorial donations in Edward’s name to Global Centurion at a philanthropic organization that embodies Edward’s vision for ending abuse against children.

Thinking About Going to Law School Part Time?

I got a great question in an e-mail earlier from a prospective evening law student that generating a discussion worth sharing.

I read your blog on part-time law schools ranking and I totally agree with you. Having said that, and after reading other online opinions on evening/part-time law schools I am at a loss as to how can one decide which school they should go with.

It’s probably no surprise that I consider attending a part-time program a great idea. Here would be my considerations looking back from a few years into it: Read the rest of this entry »

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