Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hooray for Judge Phyllis Frye!

Front page of the New York Times (here)!  I've known Judge Frye for around 15 years, and she and her wife Trish are lovely, warm, wicked-smart people. 

I wish that her time at the University of Houston Law Center had been more welcoming.  The story captures some of what she went through:
The self-defense, combined with a charm offensive, began in law school itself, at the University of Houston. During her first semester, she felt shunned. Determined to break out of her isolation, she requested the seating charts for her classes, memorized her classmates’ names and approached them one by one. She tussled with the administration to gain access to the women’s restroom, the kind of fight that continues to this day.
 I'm so proud of her that I could burst, and I know that her story will inspire others.

Tale of a customer service fail (GrubHub)

Last night, we decided to order in and catch up on some shows, so I did what I often do when I'm out of town--order from GrubHub.  I ordered nice and early (yes, we're early risers, so we're early diners, too), on the theory that the food might take more than an hour to arrive.  I got a confirmation number with my "yes, you've made an order" notice (below).  After more than an hour had passed without getting the food, I called the restaurant, which told me that I had no such order on file.  I started to order directly from the restaurant, because we like the food there a lot, and then decided that I'd order elsewhere instead (which we did).  I told the restaurant that we didn't want to order, after all.  I tried to contact GrubHub, but the website was down, the phone was busy, etc.  So I tweeted my problem to +GrubHub Seamless.  Radio silence.

Three hours later, the restaurant's delivery person showed up w/our order.  Apparently, GrubHub put the order through once its website was back up.  We told the delivery person that we'd canceled the order three hours earlier. 

I got back on Twitter and on Facebook.  The Facebook site indicates that the same thing was happening to more people.  I posted another tweet, and once I finally got the GrubHub email that "my order was in the works" (three hours too late), I replied and explained my problem--and asked that I not be charged.

STILL radio silence.  Let's see how long it takes for GrubHub to get back to me and others affected by yesterday's webfail.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Banality of hate (repost, with a comment).

Professor LeRoy makes an important point about failing to realize the precursors to evil (here).  By staying silent when evil occurs, we are making our world less safe and diminishing our civilization.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Proudest moment of my time at UHLC.

I had so many good times at UHLC, including (surprisingly enough) the post-Tropical Storm Allison time, when everyone at the law school -- including those inside the school and our alumni and other supporters -- pulled together to rebuild just under $50 million in damage.  But probably the high point was working with UH's then-president Art Smith, with Sondra Tennessee, and with Seth Chandler on the decision to move Loyola-New Orleans's law school INTO UHLC after Katrina.  Loyola's community became wonderful neighbors and friends.  As we remember Hurricane Katrina, it's a chance for me to thank again all those who made that temporary arrangement seamless.

So proud of UNLV's Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering!

If you ever want to see the value of research in action, watch this clip.  Thanks to Professors Brendan O'Toole and Mohamed Trabia and their team, Hailey Dawson now has her "special hand."

Friday, August 07, 2015

I'm not a ConLaw person, but ...

I'm really not a ConLaw person--you can tell that from my law school transcript--but I think that there is a difference between saying something where people can walk away from the speaker and saying a lot of things where people are stuck listening to that person.  It's a hard issue, though.  I get that.

The tough issue that the Salaita case raises is that no one knows if what he says outside of class (hateful, but entirely his right, and I'd be first in line to defend him--and then first in line to meet his speech w/different speech) would also affect how he'd treat students inside class (where he would have to create a learning environment in which students would be treated fairly).  I'm glad that Prof. LeRoy is part of this debate.  I'm glad that others are, too.  What I hope is that everyone understands the complexity of the issue.

Too often, unfortunately, people say that there's only one side of a particular issue and that anyone on the other side is wrong-headed, or discriminatory, or dumb.  And that's no way to debate a peer.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The world lost a mensch.

My old friend, Seymour Serebnick, just passed away.  I loved his boundless curiosity and his deep generosity of spirit.  He knew of my love of Disney and was always finding me rare surprises.  And he and I loved to talk about the law.  He's in my heart, and his family is in my thoughts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Just a couple of thoughts on ASARCO.

I think that the dissent was closer to being right than the majority opinion was (of course I think so:  I was one of four folks on this amicus brief), and that Congress should fix the problem by adopting the test that we proposed in our brief (fees for substantially prevailing).  The majority opinion will tempt parties who like objecting to fees for strategic reasons to do more of these types of objections; professionals may respond by increasing their base rates (or increasing them more rapidly) to take the possibility of objections (and unreimbursed defenses) into account; and a court's only likely response is to consider whether really obviously strategic-only objections were actually frivolous.  On the other hand, there's still the "you don't object to mine, and I won't object to yours" behavior, so maybe the opinion won't have as drastic an effect as I fear.