Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bad Dates Are Actionable?

Well, not exactly bad dates, but a bad dating service . . . LAObserved points to this story about a Beverly Hills matchmaker ordered to pay a $2.1M award to a disgruntled client. The matchmaker argues that her opponent is a serial matchmaker suer.

The jury didn't like either party all that much, according to the article.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Apple Falls

A three-judge panel in San Jose overturned the trial court's ruling in the EFF case I've mentioned here several times over the past few months - thwarting Apple's attempts to Think Different about the First Amendment:

In its ruling, the appeals court said online and offline journalists are equally protected under the First Amendment. 'We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news,' the opinion states. 'Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment.'

The ruling states that Web sites are covered by California's shield law protecting the confidentiality of journalists' sources.

Apple had argued that Web sites publishing reports about Apple were not engaged in legitimate news gathering but rather were misappropriating trade secrets and violating copyrights. But in its ruling on Friday, the panel disagreed.

"Beyond casting aspersions on the legitimacy of petitioners' enterprise, Apple offers no cogent reason to conclude that they fall outside the shield law's protection," the ruling states.

If upheld, the ruling could have far-reaching impact in California courts on other writers who publish electronically, including bloggers who regularly publish news and opinion online without the backing of a mainstream news operation.

"This ruling will probably prove instructive to other online writers," said Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization, who argued the case in front of the appeals court last month. "It says that what makes a journalist is not the format but the function."
Litigation concerning the proper number of prongs in the soon to be demanded "function" test commences in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . .

It's worth noting, again, that Apple never went after the on-line journos/bloggers/writers/whatevers directly - choosing instead to supboena their email records from their ISPs. That's right Mac fans, your beloved different-thinking company has no problem undermining privacy to leak-proof the operation.

Where's the sad mac icon when you need it.*

Aside from the journalist/blogger angle, then, the ruling finds that "under federal law, civil litigants can't subpoena our stored e-mail from your service."

Good grief, I hope so.

More on the case and a link to the complete decision here.

*You can see the sad mad via a quick google search - but fearing the wrath of Apple, I won't actually post it here.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Um, He's Still A Head Of State, Guys

From the LAT coverage of Mexican President Vicente Fox's visit to the California State Legislature:

Seven Republican lawmakers boycotted Fox's speech: Assemblyman Russ Bogh of Cherry Valley; Assemblywoman Sharon Runner of Lancaster and her husband, Sen. George Runner; Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine; Assemblywoman Mimi Walters of Laguna Niguel; Assemblyman Ray Haynes of Murrieta; and Sen. Tom McClintock of Thousand Oaks, a former gubernatorial candidate.
Real mature, y'all.

Which party's members, exactly, would be the first to cry foul if Democrats boycotted, say, a speech by President Bush?

Yeah, probably the same seven of them as well.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

iPed

Apple and Nike are introducing a new work-out feature where a shoe insert beams time, distance, and other stats to the nano so runners can keep up with themselves.

Sounds like a great idea.

Except that I hope I wouldn't have to buy a nano to use it - or Nikes for that matter since I've yet to find Nikes built for my feet.

But a good idea, nonetheless . . ..

Law, Tech, and the Electronic Frontier (Foundation)

In the Chron, an article about EFF's suit against AT&T in which it "accuses AT&T of illegally turning over tens of millions of telephone and Internet records to the National Security Agency."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

More Good News

Of the 4 other Hastings students I know well enough to have known were taking the bar this go, all 4 passed. Having suffered through BarBri and the exam with them - not to mention having suffered through a bit of extra time at Hastings with them in the "Walking Dead" club - I am thrilled for them. For us generally.

If you're curious, the full pass list is now public.

And if you're just curious about one particular Stanford Law president, if her middle name is "Marie," her name appears on the pass list.

There's an article on the preliminary stats available here.

The State Bar of California's Committee of Bar Examiners reported today that 39.0 percent of the applicants passed the February 2006 General Bar Examination (GBX). If the 1,872 people who passed the February 2006 exam satisfy other requirements for admission, they will become members of the State Bar.

Preliminary statistical analyses show that of the 4,798 applicants who took the GBX, 28.4 percent were first-time takers. The passing rate for 1,361 first-time applicants was 53.5 percent overall. The passing rate for the 3,437 applicants repeating the examination was 33.3 percent overall.
Among applicants from accredited Cali law schools, the percentage of first-time takers was 60%. Not that 60% is a comfortingly high percentage to those staring down the barrel of the July sitting, but the upper 30s, mid 40s scare numbers can be misleading.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What, Like It's Hard?


That's false bravado - 30 seconds ago I was about to shit a brick. Sorry, shouldn't use words like that. 30 seconds ago, I was about to shit a rock.

To everyone who has stayed with me through this process - though all of law school and the bar - thank you. I know it wasn't pretty and I wasn't pleasant. But now we can put the whole mess behind us and we never have to worry about it again.

Unless the website was mistaken and my letter says I failed. Shit. I want that letter . . .

I also re-read the screen about 50 times, OCD style, because suddenly I'm not sure I can still read.

But it's over. It's over, it's over, it's over.

Rant of the Day: HPV v. Morality Police

So, as you might have heard, the FDA has approved and soon there should be available a drug that vaccinates against the several types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.

A drug that prevents cancer.

Sing from the rooftops, praise be to God and Doctors, glory day, right?

If you've seen the news reports, you may have noticed that news of the new drug is reported with a "but." What is that "but?"

But, some fear tha the drug will encourage premarital sex.

For the love of all things holy, do you see what gets equated here? The "trade off" is a shot that may prevent you from contracting cervical cancer from a very, very common STD (girls may get the shot around age 13) - so, no death from cervical cancer, versus the chance that the girl might have sex. Sex, of course, among those who have inserted a "but" in this news story, is a fate just as bad as death from cancer. Better not make sexual contact any safer. Better not stave off a form of cancer that, while not as fatal is still cancer (and could still lead to infertility, etc), because heaven help us if girls go defiling themselves with gay abandon.

How anyone can sit there and object to such a drug is beyond my comprehension. Sex is death anyway, so girls who have sex deserve what they get - even if it's cancer. Perhaps these "family" focused, morality police groups should lobby for legislation requiring the production of a valid marriage license before the medicine is given.

(p.s. yeah, 26 minutes until the results come in. I rant when I get nervous . . . .)

Let Her Stay

Widow of would-be Good Samaritan facing deportation

Anywhere But The West Side, Of Course

Today's LA Times editorial is headlined (at least online) Shame in San Pedro.

Sigh.

Our problem this time: the highly controversial redevelopment of former Navy housing - the aply named Ponte Vista community - includes lands sold off at a tidy profit by Volunteers of America (VOA) to developer Robert Bisno. I suppose, at least, it's not another tired indictment of Bisno, but anything that adds to negative Pedro ink . . . well, you know I'm not going to like it.

The Base Closure Act allows homeless agencies to acquire and also resell land from the military so long as the money is used for other homeless services. The Times feels that VOA has sold out - and they have - to the detriment of Los Angeles's homeless population.

But the editorial ends by saying "This city's homeless deserve a second chance, too, in San Pedro."

Riiiight. Because I'm sure the community opposition stems from its lack of homeless housing. I'd love to see the community run up and embrace the project if it included homeless housing. But if you think NIMBYism spikes with traffic or population concerns, try pitching homeless housing.

Personally, I think it would be great to have a mixed development included low-income (well, that's mandated by law) and homeless housing - fully integrated and not-ghettoized - but coming from a paper (and a city) that treats San Pedro as a far off out-post, as a step-child, as non-LA entity, that sentence shows a lot of nerve.

San Pedro's homeless deserve a second chance in San Pedro - but a lot of the rest of the city's problems are already passed on down to San Pedro and Wilmington. So don't peg all of Los Angeles's homeless problems on the sale of 19 o VOAs 28 acres to a developer.

(And, by the way, from what I recall, shame might be better illustrated by LAUSD turning down free land for a school and deciding a bit late and to the tune of millions that the former Navy Housing is the ONLY place for a new high school.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tick, tick, tick

For those keeping track, the clock stands at 32:30:00 as of this posting.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Countdown Begins

Or continues, depending on how you look at it.

As of this posting, approximately 101 hours and 40 minutes remain until the Attorney Idol results show.

Not that it's on my mind.

But I'll tell you what is: Shameless self-promotion in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . .

Though I enjoy few things as much as blogging, it has come to my attention that the government actually expects to be paid back for all the money they've lent me for this nifty education. I may have mentioned my impending unemployment before . . .

Good news, though! For a limited time you, dear reader (in the Sacramento or LA areas, working in a field related to state government, legislation, city or other political subdivision government, lobbying, law - yes, law!, remember, I did get that A+ in Maritime Law and all those As in Advance Legislative Process and Bill Drafting - or other), can hire me for all you employment needs. Too good to be true? Seems that way - but it is, in fact true. Have an opening? Hear about a job I might like? Want my resume? Just email me at christiana at phoblographer dot com or use the link in the sidebar to your left.

Act now - my ability is limited.

And yes, I do windows.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Congrats

To Crystal Strait and the rest of the newly elected/re-elected board of the California Young Democrats. I wish you all a happy and productive term.

Permits, Property, Porn, and That Pesky First Amendment

Ah, The Valley. We know it's a popular location for films - from big budget Hollywood productions to, uh, lower budget (or still big budget) Valley productions. Seems one Encino neighborhood has had enough of the Industry for awhile.