Wednesday, March 18, 2009

News of the weird.......

I wish I could have found the video for this as I saw it on the news tonight. A dad in Indiana stood back and encouraged his son to bully another teen. He then leaned back on his truck and watched as the two boys fought. When the teen boy got in his truck to leave, the father got in his truck and t-boned the teens driver side door so that he could not leave.......

What in the heck is this world coming to where any father would think this is right? The dad now faces a sentence for up to 8 years in prison. I hope that he found his fit of rage satisfying because he will pay for it for a very long time.

Certainly, this situation does not need a rocket scientist to analyze what was the right thing to do here. What was worse is that the father and his son thought to TAPE what was going on.....You would think for the numerous assaults that have been solved by reviewing youtube tapes, that this dad would have thought about this?

These clips become evidence----great for the prosecutor, terrible for the defense side.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Law School Messes with ya

That's it. Law school messes with your brain. Cynicism sets in all the time. Analyizing never stops and you start wondering if you will ever be "normal" again. For instance, my daughter's adoptive grandma is taking my daughter swimming on Wednesday. She has told my daughter that she is welcome to invite a friend. My mind automatically goes to the liability involved.

There are other things too. You begin to calcuate every risk. When someone makes you a "promise" you start thinking about contracts.

The worst thing for me has been the way Law and Order is ruined for me. No lawyers are like that in real life.

Viewing cops takes on a whole new experience after taking criminal procedure. And forget watching the First 48 on A & E. You will drive yourself crazy. Really. I cannot believe people just let the police interrogate them without a lawyer OR that people consent to their house being searched. Sheesh........

I guess I am just venting right now because I feel myself slowly changing. Professors tell you in school that you will change and become something that you don't recognize anymore. I fight everyday to keep the things that I like about me, and recognize the changes that are happening on the inside.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Higher Education and the Students 2nd Amendment Right

I have been thinking about this for over a year now. About a year ago, I faced a personal crisis where I feared for my safety. I wanted to pack a gun....Seriously, have you seen the campus safety security? About 10 years younger then me, and no help whatsoever. But after reading the handbook and talking to the administration, I knew that to even put a weapon in my car was grounds for expulsion....Not a good way to start your law career.

That's why Jeff Maxwell's story has caught my eye. Jeff's story is a bit different then mine. He attends a public university, so therefore he does not forego certain rights that I do to enter onto private property. Jeff was also a marine. Which poses a most interesting question: we trust a trained soldier to protect our freedoms, yet we don't trust him to protect his own?

This story promises to be just the kind of case that the Supreme Court is salivatating to hear. Nothing could be better suited to define where are 2nd Amendment "rights" end. With the decision announced last year, we know the court is leaning towards viewing 2nd Amendment right to bear arms as an individual right. If this is so, then it is afforded on of the greatest protections.

Jeff did everything right. He carried a concealed weapons permit. He did leave a weapon anywhere a crazy person could get at it. He did not brandish the weapon. He has extensive experience handling the weapons. The school clings to a state administrative rule, which by the way is not a law created in our house or senate, but a rule promologated by the executive branch of state government. This is a classic case of seperation of powers issues as well as federalism at work.

Oregon War Veteren's Association is helping Maxwell to file suit in federal courts. I believe this is a case to watch, because I would guess that in 2-4 years, this will have worked it's way to the Supreme Court.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

When you face your first ethical dilemma

One day soon, as a law student, you will face an ethical/moral dilemma like you have never known. I can't really say that you can prepare yourself for it, but I believe how you handle it will be indicitive of how you will handle issues throughout your career as an attorney.

The other day, I had to report someone that I love to child protective services. I will not go into the ins and outs of it, but it literally ripped by world out from under me. First, I am a mandatory reporter and there are certain areas of abuse and neglect that I have no other decision but to call child services. But the thing is, that I would have, even had I not been a mandatory reporter. When a parent fails to see that he/she is putting his/her child in harm's way, morally there is a duty to do whatever you can to protect the child/ren involved from something that could/does harm them.

For me, I work in a division that terminates parental rights. I could not, in all good conscience, treat the person I knew, any different from one of the parents in my cases. That would be the ultimate in hypocracy. What is the worst though, is that normally when you report, there is no personal cost involved in reporting. This time there was.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Totally Non-Law Related

I am an American Idol the end of this week we will know the top twelve. But I have a favorite. Danny has been through so much in live and yet his attitude is inspiring. Check out his foundation in memory of his late wife: Sophia's Heart So, vote for him.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How soon you forget.

I was shocked to realize how soon you forget the stress of your first year. I have been spending more time at school then normal to study. With dropping my daughter off at school, it just makes more sense time wise to go straight to school and study. Also, Monday nights, it makes more sense to go from work, straight to school to have dinner and study some more.

I walked into the library the other day and it was crammed with people. There was a tension in the air and some students appeared to be just a wee bit frantic. Why, you might ask? I certainly did....and then it hit me---I was that student a year ago, frantically trying to get my first draft of my appellate brief written because it was due the next day.

Which led me to think that the first year of law school is like being pregnant and giving birth. When you are there, in the thick of things, every little joy is a miracle, and every little pain is the end of the world. But when it is done, and a year later, you forget just how it was.

Law school is a funny thing. First year students are kept pretty much to themselves and there is little interaction between them and 2nd & 3rd year students. Oh, I recognize a few of them because I gave them tours a year ago and told them how great Willamette was, I see them in their study groups, or in the library, but other than that, I do not see them. Then next year I will have classes with many of them and I will wonder who the heck these people are.

However, I am fascinated by how fast time has flown by and how things seem like a distant memory to me. Somethings will be imprinted forever: like walking through the doors my first day of classes and realizes that I was finally walking out the dream for my life. Or doing so well at the first year appellate oral arguments. Or receiving an A in a class my first semester of law school. I won't forget those shining moments. I also will not forget the kindness of Professor Jacobson or Professor's surprising ability of jumping from standing flat footed on the floor, to landing on the 3 foot desk---and the man is in his 60's. Or his cheekiness when he admitted he was in there practicing before so he would not embarrass himself.

But I seem to have forgotten the times I was called on and probably was not prepared. I have forgotten the pain of the first draft of the appellate brief, although seeing the 1L's was a fond memory! I forget between finals exactly how stressful they are. I am sure there are many more...........