Friday, May 11, 2012

I am Graduating from Law School TODAY

TODAY, May 11, 2012 at 11AM is my graduation from Law School at Michigan State University College of Law. It's been a long and lovely adventure and I wouldn't change a thing.. well, maybe a couple things. Anyways, I will write more reflecting about my graduation and law school experience in the future. For now I have to pack and get ready to leave this great state.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Everything Happens For A Reason

A friend of mine sent me this quote and I thought it was perfect timing... A little girly, but ayyyy, what can you do. "I believe that everything happens for a reason. people change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right. You believe less so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself. & sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together. The important thing is to believe in what you do. Have a big dream and take small steps." -Diane Von Furstenberg

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mo Riv is the MAN Mo says he is coming back after his injury and will not end like this. I hope he can, not only because I am a Yankee fan but also because he is a good guy. He is the model athlete and role model and is determined enough to come back from this and I love that about him. Best of luck MO!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Law Students Lawsuits Against Schools- Not Looking So Good So Far

While law schools should report accurate data, a student could not reasonably argue that they went to law school because of the one page of a law school’s website that said they would get a job right after graduation.

Apparently a New York Supreme Court Judge agrees. Last week, the Judge tossed out the first of many lawsuits brought by students who claimed they were snookered by misleading job statistics. The significant part of the court decision is reposted here.

The court does not view these post-graduate employment statistics to be misleading in a material way for a reasonable consumer acting reasonably. By anyone's definition, reasonable consumers -- college graduates -- seriously considering law schools are a sophisticated subset of education consumers, capable of sifting through data and weighing alternatives before making a decision regarding their post-college options, such as applying for professional school. These reasonable consumers have available to them any number of sources of information to review when making their decisions.

The Judge’s argument is in essence that because potential law students are “sophisticated” and have many sources of information available at their fingertips they knew or should know that employment and salary statistics provided by the law school should not be the sole basis for their decision.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Will Memphis Be the Next Seattle SuperSonics?????

Looks like the Memphis Grizzlies are following the same script as the Seattle SuperSonics did about 5 years ago: prospective franchise buyer wants to purchase the franchise and then move it to new location (in this case Oracle's Larry Ellison wants to buy the Grizzlies and move it to Anaheim, which would mean 3 NBA teams - Grizzlies, Lakers and Clippers - in 25 mile radius), but stadium lease with city includes specific performance language -- that is, the team has to play in arena until a certain date -- in this case, 2021. Even though specific performance clauses in stadium leases seem binding, courts usually find $$ figure to compensate for the team leaving. That's what happened in Seattle and I suspect that will happen in Memphis, too.
Michael McCann-

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

College Football ProDays This Spring 2012


Pro days by date:

March 1: Missouri
March 2: Cincinnati
March 5: Alabama-Birmingham, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, McNeese State
March 6: Alabama A&M, Arkansas, Auburn, California Lutheran, Clark, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Liberty, Rhode Island, Sacramento State, Tarleton State, UCLA, Valdosta State

March 7: Alabama, California, California-Davis, Colgate, Eastern Washington, Fordham, Fort Valley, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisville, Northern Colorado, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Texas A&M, UTEP, Wisconsin, Weber State

March 8: Alabama State, Buffalo, Clemson, Colorado, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Alabama, Northwestern, Ohio, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Utah State, Washington, West Texas, Western Kentucky, Wofford, Wyoming, Youngstown State

March 9: Florida International, Furman, Mississippi, Montana, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Presbyterian, Purdue, TCU, Troy, Washington State
March 12: Air Force, Arkansas-Monticello, Central Michigan, Central Washington, Pittsburgh, Tulsa

March 13: Ball State, California (Pa.), Florida, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Marshall, Maryland, North Texas, Slippery Rock, Toledo, Western Michigan

March 14: Bowling Green, California, Central Arkansas, Central Oklahoma, Eastern Michigan, Florida State, Grambling, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Maryland, Michigan State, Mount Union, Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Penn State, Portland State, Tennessee Tech

March 15: Delaware State, Louisiana Tech, Michigan, UNLV, Nicholls State, Oregon, Southern Illinois, Townson, Tusculum, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wayne State (Mich.), William & Mary

March 16: Arizona State, James Madison, Missouri State, Oregon State, Richmond, Temple, Tennessee, West Virginia

March 19: Appalachian State, Arizona, Florida Atlantic, Iowa, LSU, Montana State, Rice, Southern, Wake Forest

March 20: Brown, Fresno State, Idaho, Iowa State, Louisiana-Lafayette, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Carolina A&T, South Florida, Texas, Tulane

March 21: Boston College, Houston, Nevada, North Carolina State, North Dakota State, Rutgers, San Diego State, San Jose State, Tulane, Western Kentucky

March 22: Baylor, Boise State, East Carolina, Maine, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Stanford, Tennessee-Chattanooga

March 23: Cornell, Jackson State, Missouri Western, N.C. Central, Southern Mississippi, Stonybrook, Vanderbilt

March 24: Arizona State
March 26: Indiana State
March 27: Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Stephen F. Austin, Washburn
March 28: Central Florida, Connecticut, Newberry, Northern Iowa, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Carolina State
March 29: Brigham Young, Georgia Southern
March 30: Bethune-Cookman, Dartmouth
April 3: Abilene Christian, Notre Dame
April 4: SMU
April 6: McNeese State

Jeremy Lin's Agent

Good read on LINSANITY's Agent, who stuck with him through the ups and downs....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ready, Willing, Able

Pesa v. Yoma Development Group, Inc.
Court of Appeals

REAL PROPERTY LAW. CONTRACTS. REPUDIATION BY SELLER. DAMAGES. BUYER’S BURDEN OF PROOF. “READY, WILLING AND ABLE” TO CLOSE STANDARD. APPLICABILITY. RECONCILIATION OF CONFLICT BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS. Plaintiffs (buyers) brought an action for specific performance and to recover down payments on three mortgage contingency contracts after the seller: (1) failed to build houses on the properties and provide certificates of occupancy, as required by the contracts; and (2) allegedly repudiated the contracts by assigning them to an affiliated company (defendant). After plaintiffs’ cause of action for specific performance was dismissed, both parties moved summary judgment. The Supreme Court denied the defendant’s motion, but granted partial summary judgment on liability in favor of the plaintiffs, without regard to whether they were “ready, willing and able” to close title, on the ground that the seller had anticipatorily breached the contracts by transferring title to its affiliate (defendant). The Second Department affirmed, holding that “a purchaser seeking damages for the seller’s anticipatory breach of a contract for the sale of real property is not required to establish, as an element of the claim, that it was ready, willing and able to close, though such a showing would be required if the buyers were seeking specific performance.” The Court of Appeals modifies by denying the plaintiffs’ motion as well. The issue of whether a buyer must prove having been “ready, willing and able” where the claim is for legal damages, in contrast to specific performance, has divided the departments; the Second Department has held, as here, that such proof is not required, while the Third and Fourth Departments have held that it is. The Court of Appeals reconciles the conflict by holding that the rule followed by the Third and Fourth Departments is the correct one. Although the plaintiffs in this instance submitted evidence of their financial condition, it was insufficient to eliminate as an issue of fact whether they were “ready, willing and able” to close. Further, a transfer between affiliated companies, as here, does not, in and of itself, constitute a repudiation, thus leaving as a question of fact whether the defendant’s termination of the contracts of sale constituted an anticipatory breach or repudiation. Pesa v. Yoma Development Group, Inc. Decided 2/9/12.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Some Interesting Recent Decisions

Supreme Court Rules Attaching GPS Device to Car Is a Search; Case Is “Big Loss” for U.S. (ABA Journal, 23 Jan 2012) - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled for a drug defendant who argued that police should have obtained a warrant before attaching a GPS device to his car to monitor his movements. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion for a court that was unanimous in its finding that the police conduct was a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. SCOTUSblog initially called the decision “a big loss for the federal government.” The case, United States v. Jones, is an appeal by Antoine Jones, who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine after police installed a GPS device on his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Scalia’s opinion was joined in full by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor. “It is important to be clear about what occurred in this case,” Scalia said. “The government physically occupied private property for the purpose of obtaining information. We have no doubt that such a physical intrusion would have been considered a ‘search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment when it was adopted.” Scalia said Fourth Amendment jurisprudence was tied to the common law tort of trespass, at least until the latter half of the 20th century. The justices disagreed over analysis and whose interpretation offered a broader or more flexible interpretation of the Fourth Amendment. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a concurring opinion embracing both Scalia’s analysis and a privacy-expectation test espoused by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and three justices in the court’s liberal wing. Sotomayor wrote that a search occurs “at a minimum” when the government physically intrudes on a constitutionally protected area. Even in the absence of a trespass, she said, the Fourth Amendment is implicated when there is a violation of a suspect’s reasonable expectation of privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union applauded the decision in a press release. It includes this quote from ACLU legal director Steven Shapiro: “Today’s decision is an important victory for privacy. While this case turned on the fact that the government physically placed a GPS device on the defendant’s car, the implications are much broader. A majority of the court acknowledged that advancing technology, like cell phone tracking, gives the government unprecedented ability to collect, store and analyze an enormous amount of information about our private lives. Today’s decision suggests that the court is prepared to address that problem. Congress needs to address the problem as well.” Alito endorsed the reasonable-expectation-of-privacy test in an opinion concurring in the judgment. He took issue with Scalia’s analysis, accusing him of relying on the tort law of trespass as it existed in the 18th century. Alito’s opinion was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan. “If longterm monitoring can be accomplished without committing a technical trespass—suppose, for example, that the federal government required or persuaded auto manufacturers to include a GPS tracking device in every car—the court’s theory would provide no protection,” Alito wrote. Scalia responded to Alito and criticized his reliance on Katz v. United States, which found a Fourth Amendment violation when police attached a listening device to the outside of a phone booth. “The concurrence begins by accusing us of applying “18th-century tort law,” “ Scalia wrote. “That is a distortion. What we apply is an 18th-century guarantee against unreasonable searches, which we believe must provide at a minimum the degree of protection it afforded when it was adopted. The concurrence does not share that belief. It would apply exclusively Katz’s reasonable-expectation-of-privacy test, even when that eliminates rights that previously existed.” [Thorough analysis by Prof Dan Solove here.]

Federal Judges Wary of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Impact on Juries (Network World, 25 Jan 2012) - The impact of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and others on federal juries is a concern that judges are frequently taking steps to curb. According to a study 94% of the 508 federal judges who responded said they have specifically barred jurors from any case-connected use of social media. The Federal Judicial Center was asked by a committee of the policy-making Judicial Conference of the United States to survey all 952 federal judges, of whom 53% responded on the issue. “The most common strategy is incorporating social media use into jury instructions - either the model jury instruction provided by (the Conference’s Committee on Court Administration and Case Management) or judges” own personal jury instructions,” the report said. “Also common are the practice of reminding jurors on a regular basis not to use social media to communicate during trial or deliberations, explaining the reasons behind the ban on social media, and confiscating electronic devices in the courtroom.” Some of the findings from the study included

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Glad I Didn't Turn Off the Game

13-2 run in the final two minutes..... I still think Austin Rivers will stay more than one year.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

NY ALJ Says EE's Unlawfully Discharged for Facebook

In the first ruling of its kind, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge has found [4]that a Buffalo nonprofit organization unlawfully discharged five employees after they posted comments on Facebook concerning working conditions, including work load and staffing issues.

The NLRB has received an increasing number of charges related to social media in the past year, as that means of communication grows in popularity. The Office of General Counsel issued a report last month outlining some of the cases. [5] This is the first case involving Facebook to have resulted in an ALJ decision following a hearing.

The case involves an employee of Hispanics United of Buffalo, which provides social services to low-income clients. After hearing a coworker criticize other employees for not doing enough to help the organization’s clients, the employee posted those allegations to her Facebook page. The initial post generated responses from other employees who defended their job performance and criticized working conditions, including work load and staffing issues. Hispanics United later discharged the five employees who participated, claiming that their comments constituted harassment of the employee originally mentioned in the post.

The case was heard by Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan on July 13-15, 2011, based on a complaint that issued May 9 by Rhonda Ley, NLRB Regional Director in Buffalo, New York.

Judge Amchan issued his decision on September 2, finding that the employees’ Facebook discussion was protected concerted activity within the meaning of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, because it involved a conversation among coworkers about their terms and conditions of employment, including their job performance and staffing levels. The judge also found that the employees did not engage in any conduct that forfeited their protection under the Act.

Judge Amchan orderedthat Hispanics United reinstate the five employees and awarded the employees backpay because they were unlawfully discharged. The judge’s decision also requires that Hispanics United post a notice at its Buffalo facility concerning employee rights under the Act and the violations found. Hispanics United has the right to appeal the decision to the Board in Washington.

To help provide further guidance to practitioners and human resource professionals, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon has released a second report describing social media cases reviewed by his office.

The report underscores two main points made in an earlier compilation of cases:

Employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees.
An employee’s comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activity among employees.

Financial Advisor Steals MILLION$$$ From Vin Baker


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Court Opens the Door for Online Gambling?

Ruling by Justice Dept. Opens a Door on Online Gambling (NYT, 24 Dec 2011) - The Justice Department has reversed its long-held opposition to many forms of Internet gambling, removing a big legal obstacle for states that want to sanction online gambling to help fix their budget deficits. The legal opinion, issued by the department’s office of legal counsel in September but made public on Friday, came in response to requests by New York and Illinois to clarify whether the Wire Act of 1961, which prohibits wagering over telecommunications systems that cross state or national borders, prevented those states from using the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults within their own borders. Although the opinion dealt specifically with lottery tickets, it opened the door for states to allow Internet poker and other forms of online betting that do not involve sports. Many states are interested in online gambling as a way to raise tax revenue.

Leigh Steinberg Gets His Say

A little late, but better than never... Below is a good read that everyone on social media sites were talking about a couple of weeks ago about Leigh Steinberg filing for personal bankruptcy. The article sets the record straight and discusses his storied career. Check it out!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

RC and Hollywood Meet

Roanoke College Alumni working in Hollywood

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pujols Contract Detail$

Guess $240 million wasn't quite enough for Albert Pujols. In addition to his salary, the Los Angeles Angels are giving the slugger four season tickets to home games over the next decade.

Pujols A breakdown of Albert Pujols' 10-year guaranteed contract with the Angels, with additional provisions:

2012: $12 million; 2013: $16 million
2014: $23 million; 2015: $24 million
2016: $25 million; 2017: $26 million
2018: $27 million; 2019: $28 million
2020: $29 million; 2021: $30 million

Personal services agreement
Sides agree that after the expiration of the contract or Pujols' retirement as a player, they will enter into a 10-year personal services relationship and Pujols will be paid $1 million annually.

Milestone accomplishments
The sides agree they will enter into a separate marketing agreement in which Pujols will be paid for the promotion and marketing of specified milestone accomplishments. Among them are a $3 million payment for 3,000 hits and a $7 million payment for 763 home runs.

Award Bonuses
Most Valuable Player: $500,000
MVP second or third place: $75,000
Gold Glove: $75,000
Silver Slugger: $75,000
All-Star election or selection: $50,000
World Series MVP: $100,000
ALCS MVP: $75,000

Those details were contained in the terms of his deal that was filed Thursday with Major League Baseball and the players' association.

Other perks include:

• A hotel suite on road trips.

• A luxury suite at the ballpark for the Pujols Foundation, his charitable group, for 10 home games a year.

• The right to buy a luxury suite between first base and third base for all home games.

Los Angeles' offer to Pujols surpassed St. Louis' offer by more than $40 million. Pujols played his first 11 seasons with the Cardinals.

The Angels' deal was so complicated that it includes three separate agreements: His playing contract, a marketing deal and an agreement to enter a 10-year, personal-services agreement following the playing contract's expiration or Pujols' retirement, whichever is later. That will pay $1 million annually, but because it is contingent on Pujols actually working for the team, it is not considered guaranteed money for the purposes of baseball's luxury tax.