: 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

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.

This American Life: Habeas Schmabeas

NPR’s This American Life had an interesting (award-winning even) show on Habeas Corpus, specifically regarding prisoners of war at Guantanamo. I won’t pretend the coverage is fair or balanced, but it should give you pause regardless of your political stripe.

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This American Life ~ Habeas Schmabeas (.mp3) [via]

Janet Moore interviews Chase Untermeyer, Ambassador to Qatar

Janet Moore of International Lawyer Coach, one of my web clients, has launched a series of interviews with “accomplished individuals who are active in the international arena.” Janet has been telling me about some of the people she has lined up. I won’t give away any secrets, but it will be worth keeping an eye on, especially if you have any interest in international law.

Untermeyer brings up an interesting point on the importance of relationships in doing business overseas that I found particularly enlightening.

I know that in the Middle East–and in any pretty much any part of the world– relationships are what it is all about. It is important to establish a relationship, hopefully a positive one, before even raising the subject of business. Oh yes, you can talk about your company or your law firm, I suppose, and maybe some experiences, but to actually talk business requires a period of getting to know the person. I am not just talking about a matter of twenty minutes at the beginning of the discussion, but perhaps repeated visits or meals–home hospitality of some sort or another before they begin to feel whether they are comfortable enough or like you enough to do business with you.

International Lawyer Coach interviews Chase Untermeyer, Ambassador to Qatar

Chinese Criminal Procedure Law

One of the joys of discovering a new website is that there’s a little treasure trove of old posts to go through before you have to wait for them to write something new and interesting. From my new favorite read, totalitarianism today, Rights in the People’s Republic.

The Chinese Criminal Procedure Law, adopted in 1997, offers a little evening chuckle for those lacking the warm glow of cable television. Let it be known that Articles I and II allow peaceful coexistence of personal property rights and “socialist public order”

The NY Times had an excellent series of articles some time ago on the evolving status of legal rights and lawyers in the “People’s” Republic. See my old posts in High on the Hog 1.0.

Obviously I’m no expert in chinese criminal law but reading that last line on maintaining the ‘socialist public order’ send shivers down my spine. What does it do to a system of criminal laws when one of the statutory goals of the scheme is the propagation of socialist public order? I’m thinking utilitarianism run amok. It also has me thinking about how interesting it would be to study the policy and practice of criminal law in different countries, particularly the divergence of statutory ideals and cultural pragmatism. If anyone has some suggested reading, drop me a note in the comments.

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