Monday, August 13, 2007

What I Learned This Summer

Rule One:

Don't care more about a case than your client does. If the client doesn't care about his life as much as you do your job, somebody's perspective is messed up. Only one of you knows what the case is worth, and my money's on the best cost avoider--and that's not you.

Thank you and good night.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Kids these days

This morning Notre Dame students received an email from student government alerting us to an ordinance up for discussion at the city council meeting August 13. Excerpt from the email:
Here is a quick summary of the ordinance as it is currently written:

Who does it affect? Students who reside in “boarding houses” (houses with more than 2 non-relative residents)

What does it require? Individuals holding special events (ie. parties) where alcohol is served with 25 or more non-resident guests must file an application with the Board of Public Works 10 business days in advance at a fee of $15. This application is then distributed to the SBPD and the area neighborhood association, among others.

What will it cost you?
Violations by individuals who file applications:
1st violation - $50
2nd violation - $100
3rd violation - $200
Chronic violations (more than 3) - $2500; loss of right to hold special events

Failure to file:
1st violation - $500
2nd violation - $1000

I guess I understand what the ordinance's backers are trying to do--loud parties sure are annoying. But 10 days in advance? Does anyone plan that far in advance? What is the purpose of the 10 day requirement? And why does the notice have to be distributed to neighborhood associations? What purpose does that serve--let them know which landlord/homeowner to ostracize at the next meeting? And what exactly is a "violation" by an individual who files an application? Is the filer liable for the actions of ANY guest at the "special event"? Who has to file the application? A tenant? The homeowner? Why does this only apply to "boarding houses"? Are those parties more annoying than those thrown at houses owned by students?

Can't they just enforce the nuisance ordinances they already have instead of making up arbitrary conditions that make it obvious that they are targeting students? Sure, loud parties are annoying to neighbors, but they are just as annoying whether there are 10 or 30 people, landlord or tenant, planned two weeks ahead or last night. In fact, they are just as annoying if they are a group of 40-year-old professional homeowners gathering for a football bash or a group of 22-year-old renting students celebrating the end of the semester.

If parties are such a problem, they should just up the fines for disturbing the peace, add an escalating scale for repeat offenders, and leave it at that. No need for the ordinance to draw cross hairs on students. If students are the only offenders, it will catch them anyway, and if they aren't, the others shouldn't get a pass. But renting students aren't registered to vote here, so I doubt they're going to have much say in this.

A brilliant idea

Dear anyone who designs courthouses:

Please include in your designs a drive-thru with a window to the clerk of the court's office and those cool vacuum chutes that they have at banks. I know you can't control where courthouses are built, but they are pretty much always located downtown where you're lucky to find a parallel parking spot to squeeze into. I am tired of driving around for ten minutes to find a parking spot three blocks away, clomp to the courthouse in my heels and polyester suit in 90-degree heat and humidity to hand a piece of paper to the clerk for filing, and clomp back three blocks to my car. If I can bank from my driver's seat, there is no reason I shouldn't be able to file a paper with the court the same way.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A prophecy to think on during communion

Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.

Judah is a lion's cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?

The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey's colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.

His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.

Genesis 49:8-12

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Redneck Fishing Tournament

I was listening to Weekend America on NPR this afternoon and they had a story about this fishing tournament. They, um, don't allow fishing poles. Check out the video to see why that's not a problem.

I'm totally signing up for this next year.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What single people do on the weekends

I would like all of you to know I that I am thoroughly enjoying the cat vs. fly battle that is raging in my dining and living rooms. Whoever said cats were boring never had Puck. Go, Puck, go!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A bear market

It saddens me to see my alma mater lose some of the best profs it has, especially when the school... well, let's just say the school didn't fight particularly hard to keep its most valuable assets. It makes me concerned about the direction of the school, or at least some of its present leadership. This isn't an isolated incident; other top professors have left, either under pressure or for undisclosed reasons (with strong suspicions that differences of opinion with the school played a heavy role). Aside from the atmosphere of distrust thought police herald, one has to wonder what affect this can have on accreditation. The school is already struggling to make quota of profs with doctorates from schools other than itself. This makes three less this summer, if my count is right.

I understand jealously guarding orthodoxy in a Christian school, but the "image" the administration insists its "insiders" conform to has nothing to do with orthodoxy; it's just that--an image. Judge for yourself what is prohibited these days. Now tell me, does this create an environment in which one can spiritually grow and flourish?