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

Juror Art: What They’re Drawing While Ignoring You

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From The American Gallery of Juror Art, via Boing Boing, Juror Art
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Legal Library: New York’s Poop Scoop Law: Dogs, the Dirt, and Due Process

The New Yorker’s Scooped details the story of “Section 1310 of the New York State Public Health Law, which formally decrees, “It shall be the duty of each dog owner . . . to remove any feces left by his dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street, or other public area,”"

Michael Brandow, a freelance dogwalker in the Village, hadn’t had much luck interesting publishers in a nonfiction manuscript that he’d been working on for the past eight years. In 2006, in the course of his research, he called Alan Beck, a professor of animal ecology at Purdue. Beck happens to edit a line of books about the bond between humans and animals for P.U. Press, and he told Brandow that he’d give the manuscript a look. “I read it and thought, This is a really neat book,” Beck said recently. “So I wrote to our publisher and said, ‘Over the years, I’ve given you a lot of shit, but this is a good one.’ ” The result is a three-hundred-and-thirty-nine-page social history entitled “New York’s Poop Scoop Law: Dogs, the Dirt, and Due Process.”

The book is due for release on August 1st.

George Carlin, Rest in #$%*ing Peace

George Carlin died today. A sign of a well-earned obituary, his life is still more interesting for its events than for its passing. From the New York Times

In 1970, Mr. Carlin discarded his suit, tie, and clean-cut image as well as the relatively conventional material that had catapulted him to the top. Mr. Carlin reinvented himself, emerging with a beard, long hair, jeans and a routine that, according to one critic, was steeped in “drugs and bawdy language.” There was an immediate backlash. The Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas terminated his three-year contract, and, months later, he was advised to leave town when an angry mob threatened him at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club. Afterward, he temporarily abandoned the nightclub circuit and began appearing at coffee houses, folk clubs and colleges where he found a younger, hipper audience that was more attuned to both his new image and his material.

Among the more controversial cuts was a routine euphemistically entitled “Shoot,” in which Mr. Carlin explored the etymology and common usage of the popular idiom for excrement. The bit was part of the comic’s longer routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” which appeared on his third album “Class Clown,” also released in 1972. “There are some words you can say part of the time. Most of the time ‘ass’ is all right on television,” Mr. Carlin noted in his introduction to the then controversial monologue. “You can say, well, ‘You’ve made a perfect ass of yourself tonight.’ You can use ass in a religious sense, if you happen to be the redeemer riding into town on one — perfectly all right.”

The material seems innocuous by today’s standards, but it caused an uproar when broadcast on the New York radio station WBAI in the early ‘70s. The station was censured and fined by the FCC. And in 1978, their ruling was supported by the Supreme Court, which Time magazine reported, “upheld an FCC ban on ‘offensive material’ during hours when children are in the audience.” Mr. Carlin refused to drop the bit and was arrested several times after reciting it on stage.

The Supreme Court case was FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978)

I See Law People…

I suppose I knew the perfunctory complaint that there are too many lawyers well before I came to law school, but now it really does seem like they’re everywhere. There are five of us, seemingly random people, sitting in the River Oaks coffee shop right now. The married couple just noticed that the guy in front of me was studying for the bar and we’ve now figured out that each and every one of us is either a lawyer or in law school.

I don’t know what to think about that.

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.

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