Tuesday Late Night Open Thread

Our earlier open thread is just about full.

We've got a blizzard starting. Frontier Airlines has already canceled flights for the morning.

I'm reading the U.S. Sentencing Commission's new report on mandatory minimum sentences and its recommendations to Congress. It doesn't recommend they be abolished, but it does point out they are too severe and applied inconsistently. One really good recommendation it makes is for Congress to expand the Safety Valve to apply to non-violent offenders with 2 or even 3 criminal history points. Overall, it says: [More....]

If Congress decides to exercise its power to direct sentencing policy by enacting mandatory minimum penalties, the Commission believes that such penalties should (1) not be excessively severe, (2) be narrowly tailored to apply only to those offenders who warrant such punishment, and (3) be applied consistently. Sentencing data and
interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys indicate that mandatory minimum penalties that are considered excessively severe tend to be applied inconsistently.

Herman Cain's sexual harassment settlements are getting a lot of attention, as are his inconsistent and poorly conceived responses. It's hardly worth wasting any more keystrokes on him.

No surprise here: Dr. Conrad Murray decided not to testify in his manslaughter trial. Definitely the right decision in my view.

I've never seen a Kardashian show, or understood why these women get so much attention, but Kim Kardashian's filing for divorce after 72 days to Chris Humphries is causing quite a stir. I'd feel pretty conned if I was one of those invited to the wedding who gave a gift. Her response to her fans that instead of returning the gifts she will donate $200k to a charity of her choice would not make me feel any less conned. I'd want my individual gift back.

How did Nancy Grace not go home on DWTS? Ms. Wooden Piano Legs lived to dance another day. The audience actually booed when she was declared safe over David Arquette. Her dance last night was simply terrible and she had the lowest scores of the night. Guess her guilt-loving TV fans saved her once again. At least the longer she stays on DWTS, the less she's polluting the minds of the public with her rabid commentary.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Sometimes late night emails (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:17:19 PM EST
    have good news.

    The New York Bar Exam, turns out I passed it.

    That and three bucks will get me a cup of coffee. :D

    Congratulations, andgarden. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:26:34 PM EST
    Passing the bar puts you much closer to earning that three bucks for coffee. Heck, this is reason to celebrate. Get yourself a mocha.:-)

    Seriously, nice work. I know people who took the bar exam two, three times before passing. You did good, kiddo.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:31:30 PM EST
    And yeah, pretty soon I ought to be able to buy coffee. Not just yet, though. ;-)

    Let's all get together and send (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:37:01 PM EST
    andgarden a Starbucks card.  

    Heh. I appreciate the sentiment, really. (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:42:20 PM EST
    But I don't even really love coffee (nor am I starving--by any stretch of the imagination). It's just an expression!

     Thanks, though.


    What have you been doing since taking the (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:43:37 PM EST
    bar exam?

    A smattering of law-related things (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:48:28 PM EST
    with recent discussions about doing such things in a slightly nicer office--maybe.

    It's a dismal legal job market (worse than many people would like to believe), but I'm doing ok.


    Best wishes. Word is it's really a (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:52:12 PM EST
    difficult job market and the loans are out of sight now.  Also, I read every 12th person in D.C. is a lawyer--until the cutbacks.  I've also heard the CA AG's office is hiring despite supposed job freeze.  Especially in writs and appeals (criminal appellate practice).  

    There are going to be a lot of people (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:55:48 PM EST
    who never pay back their loans, ever. There are people, I gather, with a quarter million dollars of debt and no job prospects.

    It's like the mortgage crisis but with no keys to turn in and no discharge in bankruptcy.


    Congrats A.G... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 09:10:09 AM EST
    If I had to wager I'd bet you were smart enough not to go 6 figures in the hole for a law degree.

    Like I was telling my OWS friends down at Liberty Plaza, in so many words...if you borrowed that much money in the United States of Grift with only a diploma and maybe a license to show, ya  need your f*ckin' head examined!  Ya can't blame the masters of the universe for that mistake...ya gotta look in the mirror and at your university for charging so damn much.


    Which makes me wonder why Pres. Obama (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:56:57 PM EST
    waited so long to modify repayment terms.  

    First they should go after (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:04:19 AM EST
    Two of the law schools on the list (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:19:51 AM EST
    are in San Diego.  

    Congratulations, AndGarden (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:32:38 PM EST
    Very well-deserved!

    Hooray for you! Take a big bow. (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:35:22 PM EST
    (I like the notification by e-mail, if you pass, that is.)

    I assume the send something (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:43:23 PM EST
    to the "didn't pass" list too. I mean, it's only fair.

    Well, as to CA bar results, one hoped for (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 11:44:32 PM EST
    thin envelope.  If it was thick, that meant you didn't pass.  

    Yay! Congratulations andgarden! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 06:27:51 AM EST
    Never a doubt in my mind!

    Congratulations, andy! Never even (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 07:02:03 AM EST
    considered the possibility you wouldn't pass.

    Can I assume you haven't taken the "traditional" big-firm summer associate path to a job offer?  If my firm is any indication, it seems many firms that used to have fairly big summer programs have cut back since 2008, and some are not prepared to make offers in quite the numbers they used to.

    From what I hear, the market is pretty saturated with legal talent, so the path to job security may be having an interest in, some writings on,  or talent for an area of law that isn't one that "everyone" is gravitating to.

    And it never hurts to know people in high places, or people who know people.

    Keep us posted as things develop, and in the meantime, take some time to bask in this accomplishment - you worked hard for it!


    Congratulations! (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 07:55:16 AM EST
    Never any question in our minds (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 10:15:01 AM EST
    that you would do anything other than pass the bar exam. Now lets hope you find the kind of job that will not only pay for the coffee but one that you find rewarding both financially and intellectually.

    Congrats! (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 10:24:24 AM EST
    We all knew you would pass!  Still, you must be happy that it's over and that you are now "Andgarden, Attorney at Law."  Or do lawyers still use "Esquire"?  Whichever, you are an honorable member of the New York State Bar.  Hurray!

    Not just yet (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:56:23 AM EST
    In order to be sworn in, I have to pass the character and fitness review.

    Strange (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:34:14 PM EST
    I know NY does character and fitness after teh bar exam, but it seems so strange.  Most places require that you pass C&F before you are allowed to sit for the bar.

    Any word on how long your process is?  When do you reasonably expect to be sworn in?


    Not sure exactly (none / 0) (#37)
    by andgarden on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 03:19:43 PM EST
    On my end there's a fairly substantial application/affidavit that I need to fill out, including stuff for former employers. I've been half-procrastingating on it.

    I assume I should be sworn in before next spring! :D


    I found (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 03:29:09 PM EST
    Organizing stuff like places of employment / periods of unemployment and residences on spreadsheets seemed to work well.

    Also good if you've kept all your tax returns with all your W-2s, so you don't forget any job!


    I wouldn't worry (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 02:21:38 PM EST
    about that part.  You're a shoe-in!

    Oh, ,well done! (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by sj on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 10:55:17 AM EST
    Congratulations, Andy.  That's great news indeed.

    congrats! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by CST on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:04:12 PM EST
    I'm ramping up for my profession's version of the big exam (PE).  Not looking forward to it, but at the same time sort of looking forward to it being over.  Good luck with the job search!

    Is this sad, or what? I waited (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 12:23:49 AM EST
    so patiently for my library hold for Murakami's "1Q84". Today i picked it up. Tonight I opened it--translated into Spanish. Back to the drawing board.

    And here I am waiting for your review (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 06:31:11 AM EST
    Before I dive in.

    I can wait though....reading the new Neal Stephenson (I can hear the groans now), and the Steve Jobs bio.

     Looking forward to hearing your opinion though!

    Donde' esta la biblioteca?  

    that's the extent of my high school Spanish.


    haha (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CST on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 02:38:56 PM EST
    this just reminded me of something funny.

    My boss the other day asked me how to spell something in spanish.  I told him I don't speak spanish and can barely spell in english.  His response was "but you're always talking to the cleaning guy in spanish".

    HAH!  Yes, I do speak to the cleaning guy in spanish.  Our conversations consist of the following words: "hola"  "como estas?"  "bien"  (whether it's true or not because I don't know how to say tired/annoyed/grumpy in spanish) "y tu?"  "muchas gracias" "de nada" and finally "adios".

    I'm wikked fluent.


    Ah, ALM Spanish, Level one (none / 0) (#27)
    by sj on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 10:54:45 AM EST

    The first "new" thing I learned about in Spanish class was "albondigas" which was not on our menu at home.  (I mean we ate meatballs of different types, but we called them meatballs).

    I always thought it would make a great expletive.  ¡Albóndigas!


    I may break down and buy "1Q84". (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 11:11:14 AM EST
    Meanwhile, I just started, and am already immersed in. "In the Garden of Beasts,"  by Erik Larson.  Turns out it isn't a novel!

    That cracked me up (none / 0) (#39)
    by sj on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 06:28:01 PM EST
    I don't know annoyed and grumpy because I apparently keep that to myself?  I don't know why.  But the feminine of being tired is "cansada" so "estoy cansada" would work.  But you could ask your cleaning person how to say it.  "Como se dice grumpy" could potentially make you a master of the language :)

    @CST #36 (none / 0) (#40)
    by sj on Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 06:29:08 PM EST
    That comment was intended for you.