valentine quickies


q.s. for those who need self-help on Valentine’s Day embraceRS

HeartArrowG A Valentine from Sperm-Donor Dad: Today’s New York Times tells the moving story of Jeffrey Harrison, a very popular donor at the California Cryobank in the 1980s. “Sperm donor father ends his anonymity” (NYT, Feb. 14, 2007) Mr. Harrison decided it was time to find his donee children (some of whom had been looking for him).  Now, 50 years old, and living in a recreational vehicle with four dogs, Harrison says: “It’s a short life and these children need to have some kind of resolution. I thought I could send a little valentine, kind of, to everyone, just saying hello.”   Because this is a quickie blurb, I haven’t done research on the state of the law relating to the anonymity rights of sperm donors, donees and their children.  However, donors loss the right to anonymity in Britain in 2005 (see BBC article), and Canadian legislators have been considering how to handle the Controversy Over Sperm-Donor Anonymity

HeartArrowN Lat’s Looking for Hotties Again:  We thought shlep‘s readers with curious minds would want to know that the latest “hottie” contest at David Lat’s Above the Law tabloid is aimed at finding the Hottest Law Librarian.  Contestants must be current, genuine law librarians and may be at any library or legal workplace.  Please feel free to tut-tut.

UnscrewedCover Unsure about Unscrewed:  A couple days ago, Laura Orr mentioned the book Unscrewed: The Consumer’s Guide to Getting What You Paid for, by Ron Burley, at her Oregon Legal Research BlogBurley’s website has an excerpt from the book (its introduction), and says its

“Five easy-to-learn principles and a collection of simple techniques win satisfaction in virtually any business negotiation without the hassle of writing letters, arguing, screaming, making threats, or going to court.” 

The book is new to me, and I hope that visitors who have read it will share their thoughts about its value to consumer self-helpers.  I’m a bit reluctant to endorse it blindly, because the article “Don’t get mad, get what you want” (USA Today, Nov. 13, 2006) says “Some of Burley’s ‘Unscrewed Solutions’ . . . could be interpreted as a deliberate action to damage a business” in some states, and that “A few tactics seem a little shady.”  Also, a customer review at notes “In fact, some of the things Mr. Burley advises people to do could land them with a defamation lawsuit, a punch in the jaw or worse.”   Unscrewed lists for $14,95, and sells for $11.66 at  [For $.01 plus shipping, you can get the 1993 book Getting Unscrewed and Staying That Way: The Sourcebook of Consumer Protection (Hardcover) Henry Holt & Co; 1st ed edition (July 1993), by David Klein et al.] 

HeartArrowG   Disbarred & Pro Se:  We might make this a recurring topic here at shlep.  The latest example is ex-lawyer George R. Leach, a 1975 graduate of W&M’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law,  who “filed a federal lawsuit to force the school to return the Wren Cross permanently to the historic chapel on the Williamsburg campus.  “W&M graduate files lawsuit seeking return of Wren Cross,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 14, 2007.  The suit names the college President Gene R. Nichol and the Board of Visitors as defendants. According to the Times-Dispatch, Leach says in the suit that Nichol’s decision last fall to remove a 2-foot-tall brass cross from the chapel “deprives the plaintiff and others of the free exercise of religion.”  I could be wrong, but Leach’s argument that President Nichol is “an active agent of the ACLU” seem a little bit unlawyerly (or at least irrelevant to the legal merits).  An article in the Hampton Roads Daily Press (Feb. 13, 2007, via Religion Clause) points out:

“[A] suit filed against the college would be frivolous and unsuccessful, said Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, a group that promotes First Amendment freedoms.” 

Despite being in the Valentine spirit, I have to agree with Haynes that ex-lawyer Leach has not filed a winner.

aaiLogo  As we noted in our post “understanding antitrust law,”  the American Antitrust Institute website is a major source of information for anyone wanting to learn about antitrust law and competition policy.  This morning, AAI unveiled its new-look website, at the same URL.  Along with AAI’s Current Activities, it’s easier to locate Upcoming Events and Recent Working Papers on the homepage.  The link antitrust resources brings you to AAI’s Antitrust Directory and Gateway to Anititrust Resources.

Click Fair Fight in the Marketplace for a great antitrust video.  TrustBusterTeddyN 

  • update (5 PM): a) Robert Ambrogi has collected a list of valentine-related materials by lawyers on the web, at his LegalBlogWatch forum. b) haikuEsq has an array of (real) haiku and senryu that seem relevant on Feb. 14th, in valentine matchmaking at f/k/a.


  1. Laura the Law Librarian

    February 16, 2007 @ 2:50 pm


    Hi David:

    Thank you for your posting on Unscrewed (and I added comments to my blog posting in response). I’m such a terrible skeptic and can forget that most people are not and might not read Unscrewed as it should be read so the caveat is welcome. As for those (ahem) hottie law librarians, no tut-tuting from this librarian. Just gales of laughter – where’s the Action Figure Librarian when we need her! :-)


  2. shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » mooning over law librarians

    March 3, 2007 @ 10:28 pm


    […]      It’s Saturday night in Schenectady.  The Blood Moon Eclipse is over and I’m home alone. [yes, a solo shlepper; sigh]  What better to do than check out David Lat’s Law Librarian Hottie Contest at his tabloid weblog Above the Law?  Since we mentioned the Contest here on Valentine’s Day (see prior post), Lat has received many worthy nominations, male and female. […]

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