f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 30, 2005

too much disclosure? (erin go bra!)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:21 pm

The f/k/a Gang has always been in favor of full disclosure by

lawyers and law firms (see, e.g., our posts on fiduciary duties,

retainer agreements, malpractice insurance, JD alma maters,

self-help resources). Longtime readers know that personal

injury and class action tort lawyers have often been the subject

of our disclosure lectures and dreams. Last night, however, we

started to wonder about the limits of disclosure — just how much

do we want to know or see?


Our journey into DDS (disclosure doubt syndrome) began quite

innocently last night — simply following a pointer from PoL‘s

editor Walter Olson about the “Harvard School of Public Health

bestowing its Julius Richmond Award on glamour-puss toxic-tort-

chaser Erin Brockovich.” From Michael Fumento’s Town Hall column

on the topic, we came to the law firm profile page of Erin-Brockovich

Ellis, at Masry & Vititoe, in Westlake Village, California. And saw:

W&V Director of Research

update (May 12, 2008): A post by Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice — “Decolletage or Disaster?” (May 10, 2008) — reminded us of our prior musing in this posting over Ms. Brockovich’s mugshot. Scott discusses the Wall Street Journal column “Risky Business: Decolletage At a Work Dinner” (WSJ, by Christina Binkley, May 8, 2008). If my rattled brain comes up with a useful reaction, I’ll report further in a new posting.

[Your Editor was apparently mistaken when writing this update, as Brockovich’s webpage is back at M&V. Sorry for any inconvenience to our readers.] update (March 17, 2006): Ms. B is apparently no longer affiliated with Masry & Vititoe. Her bio page is no longer available at the M&V website. You can see a picture of Ms. Brockovich similar to the one above at her “official” site and on the cover of her memoirs.

EBustovich tiny check After the eponymous film in 2000 (which won Julia Roberts a Best Actress Oscar in the title role), Ms. Brockovich-Ellis is surely the world’s most famous (and rich?) paralegal.

Just this week, we wrote two posts on selecting law firms. Back in

March, we also wrote about decloaking associates. Nonetheless, a

close look at the Brockovich profile page raises the question: Just

how much disclosure, decolletage and detail is necessary or useful

for the purpose of choosing a law firm? I’ve been a lifelong fan of

feminine buxomness (in the sense of definition 1b, and not 3., in

this dictionary). But, exposure and disclosure start to overlap in

Ms. B’s mug shot. Similarly, I like to know a little about the personal

life of people I might work with, but hearing about two former husbands

and jobs held for a few months, and minor beauty pageants, etc. etc.,

seems a bit much.

tiny check If you’re that interested in Erin’s life, try her 2001

memoir, which is available for as little as 23 cents

at the Amazon.com Marketplace. It appears that

the cover photo of the book was taken at the same

portrait session as her firm picture.

unaware of the thief’s
eyes, melons
cooling in water

Kobayashi Issa

translated by David G. Lanoue

So, I’m curious: (1) Does Erin Brockovich’s profile page make you ooh ooh

want to hire M&V? (2) Has her style of firm photo started a trend

among p/i or other law firms — among lawyers, paralegals, or other

support staff members? (3) Do Dennis Kennedy, Carolyn Elefant,

Kevin Heller, and Bruce MacEwen, who want more information on

law firm websites about associates, approve of the way M&V has

featured its famous paralegal? and (4) Is this website sweeps month?

I wonder what psychology professor and haiku poet George Swede would think of all this?

through a hole

in the fog billboard girl’s

radiant face

one button undone

in the clerk’s blouse I let her

steal my change

penny sm penny sm

autumn clothesline

his and her pyjamas

frozen together

training bra

on the clothesline

half moon

George Swede

from Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000)

fine print on her t-shirt –

she glares at me

for squinting

[Sept. 30, 2005]


p.s. If you came here looking for the meaning of “erin go bragh,”

click on the link for the Encarta definition, which agrees with

other sources that the term is translated “Ireland forever!” but

notes in the etymology that it literally means “Irish until doomsday”

Wikipedia has further details, including the possible Scottish

roots of the phrase.

September 29, 2005

MOJ, please talk about gay priests

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:58 pm

Since the news reports a week ago that the Vatican is about to ban

new gay priests, whether or not they remain celibate (see our prior

post), I’ve been hoping the thoughtful contributors at Mirror of Justice

would discuss the topic.  So far, there has only been one MOJ post,

which quotes at length from a column written by a gay and celibate

American priest, but offers no commentary.


maleSym Two days ago, a self-proclaimed “serious Catholic” sent me a link   maleSym 

to this article from a website called Spirit Daily, which was apparently written

by its editor Michael H. Brown — “If the Church Gets Tough — Very Tough —

with DEVIANCE, Pope Will Make His Mark.”   The sender declared that

“it is an excellent article, written with honesty and a clear understanding of

the Church’s teachings.” 


The message of the article is, to my mind, quite remarkable and sad.  After

declaring that homosexuality is a “deviance,” caused by “demonic” forces, 

the article states 

“the truth is that those who are homosexual grapple with a

disorder that requires deliverance. It is a spiritual issue. And

while they struggle with that disorder they do not belong in a

position of any spiritual authority.” 

After recommending a purge of homosexuality from the clergy, it concludes:

“We must purify the Church at all costs. Nothing else will work. A gay should

not become a priest. He should seek out a good priest for help and deliverance.”


To me, this message is hateful and not the least bit “Christlike.”   Jesus, who 

loved sinners, surely loved non-sinners who merely had tendencies — biological

urges and preferences apparently given to them by their Creator.


As a Catholic grammar school pupil, I was taught by nuns and priests that any

sin of a sexual nature — including  “impure thoughts” not immediately purged

from our minds — was a mortal sin (leading to eternal damnation if not confessed

before death).   I guess the Vatican believes that gays can never win the fight

against such impurity, and that merely abstaining from acting on the impulses

is not enough.   I would hope that this kind of thinking is quite worrisome to the 

thinking Catholic, even those who pledge their obedience to their Pope.

one third gray  It’s estimated that perhaps as many as 30% of

priests are gay.   For generations (centuries?), an adolescent

male’s lack of normal teenage interest in girls was seen by his

Catholic family and clergy as a sign that he might have a

“vocation” from God to enter the priesthood.  Ironic, huh?

As a former Catholic, I know my perspective may not be clear or objective

enough.  That’s why I hope to hear from practicing, serious Catholics on

this subject.  Help me understand.  Better yet, help your Pope avoid the

turning of an ancient form of fear and discrimination into a policy that should

have no place in the Church that claims to speak for Christ on earth.






risking a cartwheel

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:59 pm

leaves drift

into the gorge

I pick one to follow






autumn wind —

trying to keep myself

under my hat






soft earth

I might risk

a cartwheel




  • by dagosan                                               


autumn crosswalk          stop traffic

leaves and a garbage can

hurry past


[Sept. 29, 2005]




tiny check  Eugene Volokh had a very good post yesterday on whether it is

“inconsistent” for Federalists to look to the federal government for solutions

on particular topics.  He distinguishes between federalism (which says that

the central government has the authority to act in certain situations, and the

states in others) and localism (which wants all issues settled at the local level),

and notes:

“One can certainly argue that federalists are mistaken about where

the line should be drawn, or even inconsistent in drawing that line.

But one needs to do that by concretely explaining why the line should

be drawn in a particular place, or why two things must in any event be

on the same side of the line — one can’t just point to the federalist’s

supporting national solutions in some situations and state solutions

in others and say “Aha! Inconsistency!” Federalism is all about supporting

national solutions in some situations and state solutions in others. More

broadly, I suspect that good judgment, left, right, center, or libertarian is

all about supporting national solutions in some situations and state

solutions in others.

Prof. V also observes that “we need to be careful in allegations of inconsistency

(and especially of hypocrisy). Often the inconsistency is more illusory than real,

or at least demonstrating it requires a lot more argument than critics actually provide.”

(via Bainbridge) Personally, I don’t know what’s more disturbing: that so many people

are willing to brand opponents as inconsistent because they truly cannot think

through these issues, or that so many people know better but are willing to make the

charges simply to gain political advantage.

                                                                                                                                       “traffic cop SF”

September 28, 2005

closer to the grill

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:43 pm

Distractions have kept me from drafting

either poetry or punditry so far today.  But,

you still deserve some good haiku:


shutters thrown open

a fly

straight in




autumn chill . . .

we scootch our lawnchairs

closer to the grill


flyswatter horiz




first kiss

deep in the woods . . .

sunbeams filter down



from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999) 


  • by dagosan                                         

for two weeks,

one lone duck at the river–

death or divorce?



                          [Sept. 28, 2005]


Prof. B is Freeped out!  The folks at DailyKos have tried to

freep” the results of Prof. Bainbridge’s poll “What’s Up with

George Bush?”.  (prior post, and our answer)  Steve is hoping

some Right-Wing group will pile on from the conservative

perspective, to help (1) balance things out, and/or (2) pump

up his numbers.

Uncool?  Yes, we’re so uncool that we just learned

the term “freep” today.   It seems the conservative

activists at FreeRepublic.com  perfected the online

practice of slanting polls and attempting to influence

website polls in an organized manner.  Creepy.  Bleepy.


tiny check  AcronymFinder says that “FREEP” stands 

for “Detroit Free Press” and “Free Republic.com“.

Who knew?






September 27, 2005

fine print? schmine print!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:59 pm

Yesterday’s discussion of Missouri’s new lawyer advertising rules

raised the issue of how consumers choose lawyers.  Today, I want

to tell you about a wise consumer who knew which lawyers not to pick.


A reader who found this weblog when Googling about contingency fees,

wrote to tell me about a firm with whom she was discussing a case

potentially worths millions of dollars.   Here are her own words

(emphases added by me):



I had met with these attorneys a month ago about my case. 

They were with me for five hours learning the details and asking

lots of questions. Upon my leaving, they presented me with a

contract to review and sign.


One of the attorneys was putting lots of pressure on me to hurry

and sign, and at that point, I just needed some time to really think

about my decision and my motivations.  


I finally decided I was ready to proceed forward, and called them last

week.  We sent up a meeting for this past Monday.  I had brought with

me a copy of the first contract they had given me to make sure things

were the same. 


Once I was there, they presented me with the contract and things had

been changed. Big things…like the percentages and also their attorneys

fees had gone up.  I immediately questioned the percentages, and he

said that it was a mistake and was quick to correct those.  As far as the

higher attorney’s fees, he said it was to my benefit, since it applied to

the other side having to pay.  Needless to say, I was taken aback. 


eyeChart One of the attorney’s said to me this morning, “It’s like you are

purchasing an airline ticket.  You don’t ask all these questions about the

fine print on the back of the ticket…you just buy it!”  I said to him, “If that

ticket was going to cost me $5 million dollars I most certainly would ask

a lot of questions!”


Anyway, I went and picked up my materials today.  He had told me if I didn’t

have something ready to sign by tommorow at 5:01 I could come pick my

things up.

I’m glad she walked out.  Personally, I’d love to file a grievance against these

lawyers — or give them a little infam-e.  Am I being too critical, impractical,

or naive?


Fiduciary/Schmiduciary” is not an acceptable attitude for a law firm.



tiny check afterthought (Sept. 28, 2005):  A consumer who’s willing to invest some

time in finding a lawyer, should consider reading Jay G. Foonberg’s

Finding the Right Lawyer.  (even its table of contents is helpful)  The

author sells it for $19.95, but the Amazon.com Marketplace has

copies for as little as $1.14 today.   Also, legal reform group HALT

has an online brochure, “Before Your Hire a Lawyer,” that lists your  

rights as a consumer of legal services and the kinds of information

and treatment you should expect from a lawyer.



first snow falling
I trust in his hand…
bridge by the gate



entrusting it to young folk
I sleep…
cozy wood fire


trusting its fate
to the autumn wind…

       translated by David G. Lanoue  



kinkytoon #1: “I Looove Texas”

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:03 pm

Political and humor junkies better head right over to catch the

first online animated campaign commercial in Kinky Friedman’s

2006 independent race to be governor of Texas.  It’s called I Looove Texas,


As the weblog post launching the ad explains:

KinkyLoveTXg Narrated by Friedman, “I Looove Texas” features

endangered cowboys, sexy cheerleaders, and stereotypical politicians

proclaiming their love for Jesus.   It shows Texas through the

unconventional eyes of Kinky and reminds Texans they have another

choice for governor next year-a true Texas independent. 


“I grew up in Texas, I played music in Texas, I wrote my mystery

novels in Texas, and I have traveled the world, but Texas is my home,”

Friedman says in his KinkyToon(TM).

Not having a giant campaign warchest, the mystery-writing-ex-country-rocker KinkyLogo

says, “We’re asking our supporters to distribute the ad to friends and family

so that it spreads like a bad rumor.”   It left me smilin’, so pass it on.


tiny check  We reviewed Kinky’s latest nonfiction book, Texas Hold ‘Em:

How I Was Born in a Manger, Died in the Saddle, and Came

Back as a Horny Toad (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), here.



a flea jumps

in the laughing Buddha’s







autumn’s first geese
crapping on people
fly on




       translated by David G. Lanoue  







exploring the cave

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:36 pm

abandoned still–

broken mason jars

sparkle in the moss






exploring the cave . . .

my son’s flashlight beam

disappears ahead







morning calm . . .

heavy with frost the leaves

continue to fall




leaves falling



closing-out auction–

the farmer clenches the muscles

in his cheek



from Fresh Scent: Selected Haiku of Lee Gurga (Brooks Books, 1998) 



  • by dagosan                                         

three-years’ worth

of cobwebs — first,

he dusts off his Swiffer



                          [Sept. 27, 2005]





tiny check  When a new novel called “The Lincoln Lawyer” was 

mentioned on the radio this morning, I thought it must be about a lawyer

of admirable character.   Instead, I learned that it’s Michael Connolly‘s entry

in the legal thriller genre, and features a criminal defense lawyer of less-than-

sterling character named Mickey Haller. who runs his practice from the backseat

of his Lincoln Town Car, as he travels between the courthouses of L.A. County.

Connolly’s a favorite of mine and I find the rave reviews for “The Lincoln Lawyer

to be quite credible.   His well-defined characters, realistic dialogue and procedures,

and tight plots should set the standard for legal thrillers.   It’s available on

Oct. 3rd at your bookstore, and appears to contain a lot of good ethics hypos

for criminal defense lawyers.

  LincolnLawyerUK Can anyone tell me why books are given different

covers inthe UK than in the USA?   Compare the two for Lincoln

Lawyer here.  The Lincoln Town Car speeding by in a blur in the

USA edition, but looks stationary for the UK.

tiny check  Someone Googled Clarence Darrow’s quotation, “inside every lawyer is

the wreck of a poet” today, and I was pleased to see that the first result was for

an f/k/a post that blurbed about his birthday last April.    Of course, we say:

“Inside every lawyer is a heck of a poet!” (potentially)

                                                                                                                                                                        leaves flying




lawyers and spouses

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:32 am

Thanks to Todd “Mowabb” Chatman and Blawg Review #25, my newly-discovered
weblawg of the week is the two-day-old Law Spouse weblog.  It’s hosted by law-school
widow (and mother of two) “j spaulding.”  Law Spouse‘s tagline is “a blog community
for those who love a law student.”  The editor notes:
“If you’re married, law school and its attendant headaches affect BOTH 
of you, for good or for ill. It’s compounded by trying to work while you
attend law school — even more so if you have children (no matter what
their ages).
“This blog is meant to not only relate my experiences as a law school 
widow — what works and doesn’t, fears and victories — but to act as a
venting place for other law school spouses who sometimes feel like
they’ve earned the right to have that “Juris Doctor” tattoed on their behinds,
as well.”
This weblog is a very good idea and I hope it will attract a broad following — with
the “community” offering a lot of “what works” and not just “what irks” when
trying to share a life with a law student.
still no wife
his voice grows hoarse…
Kobayashi Issa 

       translated by David G. Lanoue  
Finding Law Spouse, reminded me that I’ve been meaning to mention two books
that could be helpful for those who are trying to love a law student or a lawyer:
MarryLawyer?  (1) Should You Marry a Lawyer?: A Couples Guide to Balancing Work,
Love and Ambition, by Fiona Travis, PhD (Niche Press 2003).  A promotional piece
for this book (for which I cannot vouch) says: 

“You will learn …

    The secrets behind the lawyer personality.
    How lawyers differ from the rest of us.
    How to love your lawyer without losing yourself.
    How to argue with your lawyer … and survive.
    How to build intimacy with the lawyer in your life.
    How lawyers can be better, more loving parents.
    How to keep billable hours from destroying your marriage
    How to help your spouse find career satisfaction in or out of the law
    “So, whether you date, live with, are engaged to, work
    for … or are already married .. to a member of the bar, this book is for you! “

(2) Living with Lawyers, by Frances M. Weiner, et al. (Quarry Publishing, 2001).
This book “explores”:

– The Lawyer Personality – the traits successful lawyers share   MarryLawyer?N 
– What the lawyer has learned in law school that changes him/her forever
– The unique stresses of the legal profession

Living with Lawyers will empower people and help them improve your
relationship with a lawyer by revealing:
– The 7 Secrets to Living with Lawyers
– The most effective techniques to communicate with a lawyer
– How you and your lawyer can manage your stress
– How to love a lawyer without losing yourself

Both books are under twenty bucks.  The life you save may be your own.
hey big cat
shake a leg!
the wife calls
pretending not to see
his wife’s face…
defeated wrestler
Kobayashi Issa 

       translated by David G. Lanoue      
handcuffsG  Lawyers Choosing a Spouse:   When drafting his recent sermons
advocating self-assessment by law school applicants, students and lawyers, as
well as keeping one’s options open (and budget under control), Prof. Yabut
avoided an important topic that needs to be mentioned — who you choose to
marry.   This may sound obvious, but sometimes it is lost in the blush of
young love and lust, or inertia: marrying a spouse who, for all your good traits,
is also highly invested in the expected lifestyle and respectability of a financially-
successful lawyer, can greatly (1) limit your future career and life choices;
and (2) exacerbate forces within the profession that so often lead to a focus
on profits, power, and prestige rather than service to society. 
Which is to say: your spouse could be the one snapping on those golden 
handcuffs — or at least be an enabler or cheerleader as you attach that ball
‘n’ chain.  So, while you’re finding out your own values and priorities, make
sure you also know those of a prospective spouse (including once children
arrive), and she or he knows yours.   

spring rain–
in the wife’s sleeve
coins jingle

a wife, a child…
foretelling my fate?
blossoms scatter too

becoming beautiful
Buddhas, butterfly
husband and wife

       translated by David G. Lanoue      

“can I ask you a question?”
ducking, the law students says
“you just did”

              [Sept. 27, 2005]


September 26, 2005

Missouri newsflash: legal consumers are really stupid

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:00 pm

Add Missouri to our ever-growing list of states with “we’re just protectin’ them simple-
minded consumers” lawyer advertising rules.  [See our posting here for Indiana; here
and here for Florida; here for South Carolina regarding lawyer nicknames; here and there for Kentucky; and here for New York]
This time, the Supreme Court of Missouri, in an Order issued Sept. 19,
2005 and effective Jan. 1, 2006, has amended Rule 4-7.2, adding a new
subsection (f).  The rule will require that each lawyer ad “contain the
following conspicuous disclosure:
wrong way smN “The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.”
Proving that the Court thinks lawyers are pretty simpleminded, too, a new
Supplemental Missouri Comment states:  “In the case of television, the
disclosure . . . may be made orally or in writing.  In the case of radio, the
disclosure must be made orally.”  (emphasis added)
tiny check It seems to me that a more necessary warning would be:
“The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should
not be based solely upon a recommendation from your Bar’s
Lawyer Referral Service.”
[See our prior post — getting the next lawyer on the list is
hardly an improvement.]
Thanks to David Hricik at Legal Ethics Forummy new best pen-pal — for
pointing to an article from the St. Louis Dispatch about the new Missouri rule.
The article also notes that the new rule will:
“[S]top lawyers from advertising for a specific type of case if they
have no experience in that area. Ads must state if a lawyer routinely
refers an area of practice to other attorneys. Another change requires
that if a lawyer touts damage awards or settlements he has won, he
also must state that past results are no guarantee of future outcomes.

“The rules also expand restrictions for direct solicitation of clients, such

as advertisements sent through the mail. Among new prohibitions is one
that stops lawyers from vilifying or disparaging a potential defendant.
[Mark] Levison [who headed the MoBar committee that sought the new
rules] cited the example of a mailing that depicted a doctor behind bars.”
wolf dude neg In my opinion, Missouri lawyers and courts are really reacting to their own
dislike of all lawyer advertising — to uphold the profession’s supposed “dignity” and prevent
the outbreak of unseemly competition. An FTC letter in September 2002 to the
Alabama Supreme Court makes some important points (see the Press Release):
“[I]t is best for consumers if concerns about misleading advertising
are addressed by adopting restrictions on advertising that are tailored
to prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices. . . . [I]mposing overly
broad restrictions that prevent the communication of truthful and nond-
eceptive information is likely to inhibit competition and to frustrate
informed consumer choice.” As the Commission staff noted in a 1994
comment to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Advertising,
“research has indicated that overly broad restrictions on truthful advertising
may adversely affect prices paid by consumers, especially for routine
legal services.”
As to the “dignity of the profession” concern, the FTC’s Alabama Letter concluded:
“[B]road rules to enforce criteria of ‘dignity’ may prevent the communication of useful,
nondeceptive information and thus inhibit competition and consumer choice. Strict
rules to enforce ‘dignity’ may not give consumers enough credit, for consumers
apparently respond more positively to advertising that would be considered ‘dignified.’
And consumers appear to be less offended by certain supposedly undignified methods
than professional themselves are.”

update (Sept. 27, 2005): Evan Schaeffer, who practices in Missouri
and Illinois, doesn’t think the new disclosure will be effective, but won’t
mind adding it to his Missouri ads.  He wonders, however, about corporate
defense firms, whose ads target a more sophisticated crowd but will now
need to include the confusingly irrelevant bit of “information.”
If you’re feeling over-protected by your legal profession, let
me suggest a haiku break.  W.F. “Prof. Bill” Owen never
underestimates your intelligence:

waxing moon
we take turns cranking
the ice cream maker
morning bell
dew spins
from the kickball
soccer ball gray
autumn morning
two veterans
shoulder their brooms
last bale of hay
one strap holds
his overalls  
“last bale of hay” – Frogpond XXV:1 (2002) 
“autumn morning” – Modern Haiku XXXIV:1 (2003)
“waxing moon” – Modern Haiku (Winter 2002)

not quite October:
holly wreaths fill
the sweet corn bins
[Sept. 26, 2005]

what IS up with GW?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:32 pm

Prof. Bainbridge wants to know what the heck is up with G.W. Bush lately. 

Is he drinking, emasculated, a socialist, or still on course for greatness? 

Go vote at Prof. B’s poll.  But, first check out last week’s edition of cartoonist

Tom Tomorrow’s This Modern World, where he explains it all — “Deep Undercover” 

(Sept. 20, 2005). 

TMWdeepCover  click for original


the great lord
forced off his horse…
cherry blossoms


the great lord’s wood fire





Kobayashi Issa 
       translated by David G. Lanoue                                                                             




September 25, 2005

sleep late and often

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:34 pm

Spending a cloudy Sunday alone can have its

melancholic moments.  However, there are some  

very nice advantages: napping at will; lazily going

through the newspaper; and picking a few newly-

discovered poems by Jim Kacian:





repotting the jade . . .
that I am childless





                                          bees drunk on my wine this flower-filled day







night fishing
bailing the moon
out of the boat





                                                             whiskey I sip it till I love it


“KacianSelf”  Jim Kacian 

“repotting the jade” – Modern Haiku (Winter 2002)

“night fishing” – World Haiku Ass’n bio

“whiskey”  & “bees” – World Haiku Ass’n bio/p.2


they change color and fall off

the grandkid explains

leaves and hairs



                   [Sept. 25, 2005]


tiny check Tort expert John Day explains today how greedy lawyers laughing man small

are causing those terrible hurricanes.  It’s part of John’s

new Sunday Spoof project.  (via Legal Underground)

We hope it’s funnier than our infamous Weakend Specials.



tiny check My debate over at Legal Ethics Forum this week with David

Hricik, over whether we need laws to protect law school

applicants from deceptive marketing by the schools, reminded

me of my post last November on school taglines.  I wonder what

Prof. Hricik thinks about the slogans chosen by the schools in



tiny check The copyright infringement suit by the Authors Guild against

Google raises some very interesting and important issues.  This

afternoon, I finally checked out a few weblogs dealing with the

topic.  There’s a good discussion at Lessig’s Blog, and see EFF,

and madisonian.net.



tiny check  I agree with Jeremy Richey that Barack Obama’s reasons for

voting against Judge Roberts’ nomination are not persuasive.

However, it’s only fair to point out that it is George W. Bush

who is always telling us that he’s looked into someone’s eyes

and seen his soul or his good heart.  Obama gets to make

similar assessments. 


infielderF  Thanks to the Score Bard at the Humbug Baseball Toaster

(hey, I don’t name ’em!), for linking to our baseball haiku page and

reminding me to remind you about it.  Consider yourself reminded.


first red leaves

i swing late

on a change-up


     ed markowski




September 24, 2005

haiku harvest journal — easy pickings

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:05 pm

I didn’t get out for apple picking on this lovely late-September

Saturday in Schenectady.  But I did make my first visit to the

online haiku journal Haiku Harvest, which is published and edited

by poet-author Denis M. Garrison.   Here’s how Garrison describes 

this source of fine, modern haiku and related forms:



HAIKU HARVEST Journal of Haiku in English is

dedicated to publishing and promoting haiku, both in

the western tradition of classical haiku and in all related

forms. We give generous space to poets so they can

demonstrate the range of their haiku and we promote

innovative ku by providing a showcase for poetry in new

forms that are serious attempts to assimilate the haiku

tradition in forms within the English poetic tradition.

A number of f/k/a‘s Honored Guest poets have been featured at

Haiku Harvest since it began publication in 2000. Here are two 

poems each from three of them (you’ll find several more from

each haijin by clicking the links below):




Sunday drive —
we lift our old dog
into the truck





sunny morning —
pink tulips in bloom
on the preschool’s walls



Billie Wilson from Haiku Harvest  (Spring 2001)  


                                                                                   pickup g 




first time on the river
i fish the spot
the heron fished





moonless night
we follow the glow
of a texaco star


fishing pole  ed markowski from Haiku Harvest (Fall/Winter 2005)





the flood’s wake—
driftwood bison
and dinosaurs








rose-colored dawn—
taillights disappear
in the parking garage



Barry George from Haiku Harvest  (Jan-Feb 2003)



  • by dagosan                                               

Riverside Faire

one white balloon

floats past two brown ducks



[Sept. 24, 2005]


tiny check  MyShingle‘s Carolyn Elefant suggests that operating a solo practice

can be excellent preparation for running a city.   She quotes Fairbanks

soloist and City Council candidate Mary Beth Smetzer:

“I think I can be a help and have considerable business acumen

having run my own business since 1978 with tight budget constraints.

You have to say ‘no’ more than you can say ‘yes,’ regrettably when

it comes to financial issues.”

I was just about to pipe up with one of my Yabuts, when I noticed Carolyn

made my point in the immediately prior post, “You Gotta Know When to

Fold. . .”   It’s the tale of a solo who took on cases (small ones) at a time

when he simply could not give them the needed attention, and ended up

losing his license.   In my experience, far too many solos — both the very

busy and the underemployed — say “yes” to new cases and clients, when 

the ethically appropriate action would be to say “no.”  (See our prior post)



September 23, 2005

don’t ask, don’t tell — Jeeves’ aborted vocation

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 9:44 pm

What’s the world coming to?  Ask Jeeves is about to fire Jeeves the Butler

Sept. 23, 2005).  And, just as I was going to suggest a possible late-life

priestly vocation for the unemployed manservant, I learn that the Vatican is

about to post a “No Gays Need Apply” sign on all of its seminaries.   (see

BBC, Vatican ‘to ban new gay priests’,” Sept. 23, 2005; Mirror of Justice,

Gay priests and the Vatican, with a lengthy excerpt by “Fr. Paul Michaels,”

from The Tablet; NYT, “Gay Men Ponder Impact of Proposal by Vatican.”)


According to TimesOnline:

“The Roman Catholic Church is about to ban men who are even

suspected of latent homosexual tendencies from training as priests.


“Vatican sources said that the Pope will recommend mobilising all

the resources of modern psychology to weed out those with homo-

sexual thoughts.”


The Guardian explains:

The proposed move, a clear shift away from earlier church policy

of condemning homosexual acts but not homosexual orientation,

is being seen as another example of the hardline approach of the

deeply conservative new Pope, Benedict XVI.

“JeevesG”  Although I wish they’d keep the updated Jeeves search engine icon, 

I have no idea whether that newly-purchased enterprise needs a fresher and

more expansive image to compete with Google and Yahoo!. 


On the other hand, I’m almost certain that a ban on gay priests will greatly

hurt the Church’s image and its institutional soul.  It will both worsen the drastic

shortage of priests and greatly burden gay men who have been serving their

Church faithfully and are now being told they really should never have been

ordained.  (It has been estimated that between 20 and 30 pecent of American

priests are gay.)  Branding all persons with a homosexual preference as unsuitable

for the priesthood is both unjust and unholy.  I urge you to read the Tablet

column mentioned above, which was written by a celibate, homosexual priest

with an active ministry in the United States.


Just as Martin Grace recently wondered whether the American Catholic   “JeevesN”

Church is getting good advice from its lawyers, I have to wonder whether the

Vatican is getting good advice from the Divine Counselor, who is purportedly

the source of the Church’s “Truth.”  More accurately, I wonder whether any

one in the Vatican still has the ear of the Holy Spirit and whether they really

listen to the Divine message of love and compassion.

maleSym femaleSym  At my Jesuit high school some forty years

ago, the principal (a male priest) ran off with the female head of

our Parent-Teacher Association.  Do you think we should check

out seminarians for heterosexual tendencies?   What the Church

apparently needs is a whole lot of good eunuchs. 

Meanwhile, Old Jeeves might have to look elsewhere for new employment.  

Don’t Ask.  Don’t tell.  And watch those bad thoughts!


[Tom Toles “explains” it all in this editorial cartoon (Wash. Post., Sept. 23, 2005)]



he stows his fan
behind his neck…
little priest


quite remarkable
being born human…
autumn dusk



       translated by David G. Lanoue                                                                             

                                                                                                       “JeevesLogo” don’t tell! 




no intro needed: hotham & ness

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:33 pm

sun blocked by clouds
mile after mile
in silence



mourning –
a piece of birchbark



leaves flying




Landing on the lintel

a pigeon and its shadow

become one



sun blocked by cloudsThe Heron’s Nest  (Jan. 2002)

mourning — ”  The Heron’s Nest  (Nov. 2002)

“landing on the lintel” – the haiku sequence “A Flutter of Wings” (2003)



under us —
water that roared
in the waterfall 







on every step
dead cicadas —
a day’s list of things to do






home early –

your empty coathanger

in the closet


under us” & “on every stepThe Heron’s Nest (Sept. 2005) 




  • by dagosan                                               


big hurricane  –

holding my breath


                          [Sept. 23, 2005]


tiny check  George Wallace has been away from his Forest and his webDEsk

for two whole weeks now.  Would someone please tell him that

preparing for and handling a trial is not a good enough excuse —

even in California.


tiny check  What can a harried airline passenger say to a TSA agent?  Not  “oilcanHFs”

much, according to the 6th Circuit in Rendon v. TSA.  Over at

Crime & Federalism, hoping for an en banc, Mike Cernovich offers

to do all the grunt work (drafting of pleadings) for any lawyer

willing and able to handle the oral argument pro bono.  Also,

check out First Amendment at the Airport? at Appellate Law &



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