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Saturday, August 30, 2003

A Perfect Fit

More audio bliss: Trinny and Susannah were on Fresh Air this week (a rebroadcast from 9/2/02).

Professional Courtesy

Turns out Craig Williams not only dives with sharks (8/29/03), but considerably far underneath them: "A half an hour later, we reached 700 feet in this bright yellow submarine just off the coast of Roatan, Honduras."

Psst, Ernie, we've got a darned fine dive boat shaping up here ... except I can't at the moment. You guys go without me this time as long as I'm in for next year.

Notable, Quotable

Kelly Talcott: "I'll Spoof You One Phish and Raise You a Spam."

Joni Mueller (on how you know when you're in California): "Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay, the woman who delivers your mail is into S&M, and your Mary Kay rep is a guy in drag."

Lydon Hit Parade

Having downloaded and unzipped, I'm about to have one very happy iPod. (Thanks, Dave!)

The Interview Dance

Over in this post and its comments, Max Power and I have been further discussing my reaction to some of his advice for interviewing law students.

Today's New Blawg

Jeremy Kissel writes Politics & Law:

I have named the weblog Politics & Law because those are the two subjects that will likely be discussed the most here. However, other topical discussions will undoubtedly occur frequently.

Jeremy and his weblog came online last Monday, but he's been hooked on reading blawgs for some time. He certainly picked a good time to begin blogging about his pet subjects.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Another Sneaky Blawg

Just who do these weblogs think they are exactly? While Mad Kane's back was turned, hers was carousing around with USA Today ("Megawatt jokes fly after blackout") and other miscreants like Elaina Newport, Will Durst, Lewis Black and Bill Maher. We're going to have to crack down on those curfews, people!

Note the last link is to Bill Maher's blog, which was born in late July. His show is another season pass on the old TiVo, and his recent special still has me in stitches. It's great to see him serving up daily doses of his icy wit and world view on his blog, and also to learn that transcripts of Real Time are available now on his site.

The Screen Savers Meet The Blawgs

The things this weblog does when I'm not there keeping an eye on it. Yesterday, while I was busy working away on a brief, it snuck out and made an appearance on TechTV's The Screen Savers. Sarah Lane featured Bag and Baggage and the blawg world in general on yesterday's show. Thanks to the wonders of TiVo (and the fact The Screen Savers has top priority Season Pass status on mine), here's how the segment went down:

Sarah: I have a tip for those of you who think blogs are nothing but self-serving, mindless drivel. Yes, I know who you are, you email me all the time. Allow me to introduce you to the "blawg," b-l-a-w-g, that's blawg as in "law blog." All right, yes, this is all about legal blogs, blogs that have very important information as far as the legal system goes, whether it's academic, or, you know, what's going on in, you know, law. [Sarah laughs.] I don't even know what I'm talking about any more.

Patrick: What'd you have for lunch today Sarah?

Sarah: Speed! No, I'm just kidding.

Leo: It's What's For Dinner!

Sarah: One very good one, Bag and Baggage, is a very, very good example. It's run by Denise Howell, she's an intellectual property lawyer. It's very interesting stuff going on, she links to a million different sites. One other very good one is Don't Link To Us! I love this one, it's all about very stupid linking policies, for example, why American Express prohibits you to link to some of their sites.

Leo: Isn't that silly? It's so silly.

Sarah: It's just ridiculous, yes. Lots more going on, great academic researchers also, they're in links at

The Paper Chase gets a good plug in the show notes too.

So there was Bag and Baggage, parading around in next to nothing on the big plasma screen, tongue kissing Don't Link To Us! on national television—for a second there I thought I'd tuned in to the VMAs! (Thanks to the nice folks at TechTV.)

Thursday, August 28, 2003


Have you noticed how Dean Kamen is everywhere right now? There's the 60 Minutes II piece (part I; part II, featuring his fascinating water purification project), and the NPR interview, just for starters. I think it's because the iBOT wheelchair recently received FDA approval, and if so the acclaim is well-deserved. I mean, just check out the pictures of that stair-climbing, height-enhancing wonder! Though it will cost more than many an automobile, I'd bet its operators will find it just as valuable.

(Learning about Kamen's FIRST project made me sympathetic in advance for my poor kid-to-be, who no doubt will find my urgings to "Go play with your MindStorms!" as palatable as I found Mom's insistence that I practice my scales...)

It's Worse Than The Blogb

Erik Heels and Dylan Tweney have been noticing spam creeping into the comments on their weblogs. Dylan, in fact, is plotting revenge.

Today's New Blawg

Jay S. Fleischman writes Bankruptcy and Credit [via the Blawg Ring]:

A blog hosted by Jay S. Fleischman, a New York City bankruptcy lawyer. Jay is the Managing Partner of The Debt Relief Law Center of New York, a service of FleischmanLaw, P.C.

Jay's brand new blog provides some excellent information about consumer rights and debt collection abuses: "[M]any debt collectors use badgering phone calls and threats, insults and outright lies to get money from you. Not only is it annoying, but many tactics are actually illegal." Do check it out.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Free 17200 Info (And Drinks!)

My firm will be presenting seminars on California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. on September 17 in both Philadelphia and New York. In recent years it has become extremely common for business suits under California law to include Section 17200 claims:

If you do or hope to do business in California, you need to know about Business & Professions Code Section 17200, a weapon increasingly used by creative plaintiffs to enjoin often commonplace business practices and, moreover, to seek restitution and disgorgement of profits. This consumer protection statute has been described by one Justice of the California Supreme Court as a "standardless, limitless attorney fees machine."

The reference is to Justice Brown's dissent in Stop Youth Addiction, Inc. v. Lucky Stores, Inc., 17 Cal. 4th 553, 598 (1998). The free seminars will feature some of our California experts in this area, but space is limited. If you or someone you know might be interested in attending, please contact Paul Bistline.

Belly Up To The California Bar

In the shadow of the upcoming election, Governor Davis is busy filling judicial vacancies. This likely will generate some conversation at the state bar's annual convention next week in Anaheim.

Today's New Blawg

The Sound and Fury only is new to Bag and Baggage's blawgroll, not to the Web by any stretch. I've heard from time to time that Max Power was a lawyer, but just saw it confirmed recently in his straightforward advice for interviewing law students. Item "3a" in particular made me chuckle: "I'm sure you want to do appellate work. I want to do appellate work. . . . If you really wanted to do appellate work, you'd be doing something else besides interviewing with us."

Heh. I can say things are a little different at our firm, in light of the fact we have a separate and steadily growing appellate group. While a full-time appellate case load for a junior associate is unusual, it's not unheard of. The more common path for recent graduates with an interest and talent in that area is to start out in trial or do a mix of trial and appellate work. Direct experience in the trial courts can only help your skills as an appellate lawyer, and it becomes apparent before too long where your best fit might be. (Sorry, no offices in Hawaii. . .wait, does Newark count?)

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Doorbells And Sleighbells And Schnitzel With Noodles

Some of my favorite things, courtesy of the Today Show and its Web site:

  • Computers: unfortunately there's no Web story to link to, but Al Roker interviewed someone with great toys this morning about the best computers on the market now for kids. Featured were the LeapPad (which was, truth be told, my whole motivation for getting pregnant), a tablet PC sporting Microsoft's OneNote 2003 (take notes simultaneously integrated with an audio recording of the speaker—sweet!), and the Microsoft Office X Student and Teacher Edition (the full Office suite at a much reduced price). Software piracy on the Today Show?? Not quite, but that last product did prompt Roker to speculate aloud about inverting the traditional student/adult purchasing gambit.
  • Shoes: "The Ultimate Shoe Guide, Fall 2003." Need I say more?
  • Al Franken: "Fresh from his legal victory over Fox News and his appearance on NBC's Today show, Al Franken joins chat to talk about his new book, 'Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.'" The live chat with Al will take place tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern, I assume).

Put That On Your Hard Drive And Sue About It

In the wake of last week's wormy weather, Declan McCullagh reports at c | net on products liability claims and software, "A legal fix for software flaws?:" "Liability exemptions for software vendors have survived despite persistent bugs and increasingly severe consequences." (Speaking of Declan, his grueling travel schedule is keeping Politech on hiatus until September. My email economics post went out to the list and produced some lively responses—spam removal lists? not so popular—so instead of waiting for the Politech follow-up I'll try to post about them here soon.)

c | net also reports that Maxtor is releasing a new external backup drive. There's nothing not to like about these things, they work with Mac or Windows and it looks like the pricing keeps coming down as the drive sizes go up ($399 for 300GB, $199 for 120GB). Hey, you've got to put all that spam somewhere, right? You never know when it might come in handy. ("All was koyaanisqatsi.")

Today's New Blawg

Russ writes Legal Memo-Random, "Legal bits in non-legalese bites." While Russ is not your lawyer (I don't think so anyway), from his disclaimer we can reasonably deduce he is one of the damned. That, and he can write about the Simpsons and Miranda in nearly the same breath, which generally is a dead give away. Russ reports that the U.S. Supremes will be reviewing the Miranda warnings—"I did not know that"—and predicts the Court will decide to allow a certain amount of "deceit" in delaying the warnings in hope of getting a confession. If you too enjoy predicting the behavior of the U.S. Supreme Court, you should also visit Jason Nemes' Fantasy Justice and Sean Carter's Fantasy Supreme Court League.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Of Bunners, Bens, And Bedsworths

Phew, today has been a long day of tie-ups on other things. No time to pay attention to Bunner (PDF), just catching up. Here's how:

I can tell you Ben Affleck's video interview segment on file sharing is quite good, nongratuitous Adam Smith reference and all.

Hey, how about some comments below for Justice Bedsworth, huh?? (Drag yourself out of your aggregator and over here, it'll be fun. Or maybe it'll just be—it's been that kind of day.)

Sunday, August 24, 2003


Long time readers of B&B will recognize this as home truth: I'm a huge fan of the legal and non-legal writing of Justice William W. Bedsworth of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three. Beds' monthly column has had the honor spot atop the blawgroll here since B&B was just a little train case, even though—alas!— it's not weblog. I've dreamed of a blogging Beds since back in Spring '02, when a Daily Journal article I wrote about weblogs included a "Note to California appellate Justices Bedsworth and Gilbert" that their respective columns, "A Criminal Waste Of Space" and "Under Submission," were "eminently bloggable." Here's Justice Bedsworth, for example, on the Taco Bell-Chiat/Day flap:

But if this verdict is upheld... and Taco Bell decides that for $30.2 million, they oughta get more mileage out of Dinky... and he starts showing up on my screen again... then somebody in the Sixth Circuit is gonna have some 'splaining to do.

Now it appears my dream of a Bedsworth Blawg may come true! Craig Williams (featured as yesterday's newcomer) reports not only that Justice Bedsworth's column is being posted as an adjunct to Craig's weblog, but that Beds is all set up to post to that page—which is a weblog—as often as he likes. Craig is going to bring his powers of gentle persuasion to bear, and to say I wish him every success is putting it mildly. Ok, I'll stop enthusing now and just keep my fingers crossed. If you're excited about this prospect too, please be sure to leave a comment so Craig can show the good Justice some of the ready audience that's out here waiting.

When "Mo" Becomes "Enough!"

Today's Cathy, by Cathy Guisewite: "So anyway, I'm e-mailing the addresses of the phone-cam blog that posts mobile photos from our trip...or you can access our regular digital shots on the site that's doing our online albuming!"

Orange Flavor

In keeping with the Orange County theme around here this weekend, CBS Sunday Morning had this fascinating report, "Pride Of Ownership In China:"

Beijing is one of the world's most crowded urban areas. It is home to 13 million people — most living in communist era housing blocks.

But these days, there is an amazing alternative on the outskirts of the city. A place so American it might have dropped right out of Southern California, which is why it's called Orange County. [...]

And if that's not weird enough, Irvine East is accompanied by Beijing versions of Palm Springs and Park Avenue.

Today's New Blawg

Hugh Hewitt is a well known conservative columnist, author, and broadcast journalist. He's also one of the founders of Hewitt & O'Neil, a firm in Orange County, CA. I have fond memories of Hugh and many of his law colleagues from my first job out of law school, where we worked together at a now long-defunct local firm. Since the beginning of the year Hugh has been writing regular blog entries on his site, and sadly he just lost his father. I wish him well.

Hi Hugh

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