Monday, March 22, 2010

Bridging the Gap CLE

KCBA and WSBA YLD present Bridging the GAP 2010, a CLE that offers "Low-cost practical skills to help prepare new lawyers for success in their legal careers, regardless of practice area," Friday, March 26.

7:30-8:00am Registration and Coffee Service

8:00-9:00am 15 Key Elements of a Successful Law Practice - Ann Guinn, G&P Associates

9:00-10:00am Basic Rules of Motion Practice - Lisa M. Marchese, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

10:15-11:30pm Transactions and Litigation - Brian C. Park, Dorsey & Whitney LLP; David M. Byers, Starbucks Corporation

11:30-12:30pm Top 10 Reasons Lawyers Get Sued - Colin J. Folawn, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt; Christopher H. Howard, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt

12:30-1:30pm Lunch Provided

1:30-3:00pm Effective Legal Writing from the Judicial and the Law Firm Perspective - The Honorable Elaine Houghton, Washington Court of Appeals; Robert C. Cumbow, Graham & Dunn PC

3:15-4:15pm Ethics and Professionalism - Irene Leonard, Coaching for Change; Molly Kenny, Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny

4:15-5:00pm Negotiation and Mediation - Jeff Bean, Beyond the Courthouse Mediation; Rina Goodman, Transforming Conflict, LLC

5:00-6:00pm Networking Social Hour

This is a bargain -- $95 for attorneys and just $25 for students (limited spaces available).

This program sold out last year, and the student spaces are limited, so register soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


A new book by two UW faculty members explores geographic restrictions that are placed on people in the city -- often homeless people and people of color. Katherine Beckett & Steve Herbert, Banished: The New Social Control in Urban America (2007).

The book would be interesting and important for anyone concerned about the law and the urban poor, but it's especially interesting locally because the city the authors study is Seattle. They use a variety of sources: records from the police and the courts, archives from the city council, interviews with prosecutors, defenders, and judges, and -- most vividly -- interviews with people who are subject to the restrictions.

SOAP and SODA aren't just items on a shopping list: they're tools for restricting where an individual may go in Seattle. Very often probation (or a deferred sentence) for a minor offense includes an order to Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution (SOAP) or to Stay Out of Drug Areas (SODA). Hundreds of people are also given trespass admonishments, with orders not to go to one or many parks or not to go to one or many businesses.

Violating these orders subjects a person to arrest, trial, and jail. And yet obeying the orders often isolates the person from his or her community and makes it difficult to get social services, and so most people covered by the orders do not obey them.

The scope of the system is large (and therefore costly). For example, criminal trespass charges led to over 10,000 jail days in 2005. And the city attorney estimated that jailing SODA violators cost the city about $1 million from March 2006 to December 2007.

For more, see the publisher's page or check the book out: HN80.S54 B43 2010 at Good Reads.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Judge’s Unusual Request: Don’t Print This in Westlaw or Lexis - News - ABA Journal

Judge A. Howard Matz (C.D. Cal.) has issued orders marked: "This order is not intended for publication or for inclusion in the databases of Westlaw or Lexis." That is, "really, really unpublished." A Judge’s Unusual Request: Don’t Print This in Westlaw or Lexis - News - ABA Journal, March 11, 2010.

Stephen Montes, Matz’s courtroom deputy clerk, says the language is intended as a signal—and is not a command to Westlaw or Lexis.

“On the occasions when the judge has added that language, it was designed to signal to the reader that he knew that the analysis in the order was not necessarily definitive or exhaustive--that the order should not be viewed as something he intended to contribute to developing jurisprudence,” Montes writes in an e-mail to the ABA Journal.
Critics decry the creation of "secret" law and say it's useful for attorneys to learn how a judge has ruled even if the past decision lacks precedential value. And they also note that opinions can show up in many other online services besides the big two.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Law & Psych Conference in Vancouver

The 2010 American Psychology-Law Society will be held in Vancouver, BC, March 18-20. There are some interesting topics on the program -- for instance, the open plenary:

Detecting Deception
  • Outsmarting the Liars: Towards a Cognitive Lie Detection Approach - Aldert Vrij, University of Portsmouth
  • A New, Countermeasure-Resistant, Accurate, P300-Based Method for Detection of Concealed Information: Forensic and Anti-Terror Applications - Peter Rosenfeld, Northwestern University
  • Potential and Limitations of Neuroimaging Methods for Veracity Assessment - Giorgio Ganis, Harvard Medical School
  • The New Science of Detecting Deception: Too Wide an "Analytic Gap" Between Laboratory and Courtroom? - Jane Moriarty, University of Akron Law School
If you're feeling interdisciplinary, take a trip up I-5. As we saw during the Olympics, Vancouver is a beautiful city -- and for this conference, it doesn't matter if there isn't much of a snow pack in the mountains!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bar Prep Scholarships for Future Plaintiff's Attorneys

The Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) is now offering scholarships to law students to offset the cost of bar preparation courses.

There are two scholarship programs available to future plaintiff’s attorneys: the Women of WSAJ Bar Preparation Scholarship and the WSAJ Diversity Bar Preparation Scholarship. Deadlines for both scholarships are coming up fast: March 25 and 17th, respectively.

WSAJ's various scholarships are listed here.

News release (March 9, 2010)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

At the Supreme Court, An Hour Can Last 66 Minutes - The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times

At the Supreme Court, An Hour Can Last 66 Minutes, The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times, March 3, 2010. Chief Justice Roberts is not as rigid about oral argument time limits as Chief Justice Rehnquist was -- good news for some advocates (but not a privilege to be abused, I reckon).