Thursday, October 30, 2008

In memory of Deanna Redder

It's always so sad when good people die, especially when they die so young. Here is the obituary of Deanna Redder, one of my former students at The Ohio State University College of Law (here). One of her friends from that time, Kathleen Lyon, let me know of this tragedy. Deanna will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Top five reasons that the Disney Board could use me

As I was reading John Schnatter's op-ed in Saturday's Wall Street Journal, "Where Were the Boards?" (here) -- an opinion with which I wholeheartedly agree -- and ruminating about our family's recent visit to Disney World, I couldn't help thinking that some large public companies could really use an infusion of new blood. I've been interviewed for two boards but didn't make the cut, so I think it's time to be more aggressive. If any of you out there want to propose me for Disney's board, here are five good reasons:

1. I've been studying board behavior ever since Enron imploded, and I think that I could add a lot to a board's ability to cut through "groupthink."

2. Although I'm not a candidate for any board's audit committee, I'm enough of an outsider to be useful to, for example, a board's compensation committee (although, to be fair, I'm not in favor of huge payouts to C-level officers who haven't performed well).

3. I believe in taking the long-term view, rather than tying decisions to the short-term (quarter by quarter) view.

4. I love Disney--ever since a friend and I went to Disneyland after the California bar, I've associated Disney with a very happy state of mind. I collect Disneyana, I watch Disney movies, I go to Disney parks, and I read about Disney whenever there are articles on it. My ever-patient husband puts up with this obsession to a magnificent degree.

5. I'm (obviously) not already loaded up on public boards.

So--how about it, Disney? Think outside the box!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twenty-five years ago in Beirut

Our hearts go out to the families of those brave Marines lost in the Beirut bombing 25 years ago today. See, e.g., here and here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

We've gotten permission to post this ad for lateral candidates:

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGASWILLIAM S. BOYD SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for at least one tenure-track Associate Professor or tenured Full Professor of Law position, with appointment to begin with the 2009-2010 academic year. We have substantial flexibility in subject matter interests, with special interest in clinical teaching. We seek candidates with excellent academic records and experience and who have a strong commitment to scholarship and teaching. Candidates must have earned a JD from an ABA-accredited law school or an equivalent degree. Applicants for Full Professor must have records of substantial accomplishment and qualifications sufficient to be awarded tenure. Salary will be commensurate with the labor market. This position, like all faculty positions, is contingent on funding. Application review will begin immediately.

The Boyd School of Law is a fully-accredited public law school in state-of-the-art facilities at the center of the UNLV campus. We have a diverse faculty of new and experienced legal educators drawn from top institutions. The Boyd School of Law has 488 students enrolled (372 full-time,116 part-time) and 41 full-time faculty. For more information on the Boyd School of Law, see our website at UNLV is a premier metropolitan research university located in the nation’s fastest growing city. It is the state’s largest comprehensive doctoral degree granting institution, with more than 28,000 students and more than 850 full-time faculty. UNLV provides traditional and professional academic programs for a diverse student body and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, learning, and scholarship. For more information on the University, see the UNLV website at Applicants should submit a letter of interest, along with a detailed resume, three professional references, and off-prints of your published works.

Contact: Professor Nancy Rapoport, Chair, Appointments Committee, UNLV—Boyd School of Law, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway – Box 451003, Las Vegas, NV 89154-1003.

UNLV is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity educator and employer committed to excellence through diversity.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update on that letter to the Dallas lawyer

After I wrote about the letter questioning the collegiality of a particular lawyer (here), the lawyer who received the letter wrote back to me and asked me to publish his response. Here it is:

Here is my response relative to Jeff Murphrey’s letter of September 26, 2008 about hurricane related sewage in his yard in which he slams me and seems to slam the lawyers from the great city of Dallas, Texas. His letter has received a lot of play on legal blog sites. Please publish this on your blog site.

I am glad I am from Dallas, I am proud of the fine group of lawyers who practice in this great city, and I am proud of my actions related to Mr. Murphrey’s late cancellation of the deposition. Dallas, like Houston, has thousands of very professional and capable attorneys, like myself, who represent their clients in a very professional, competent and ethical way. Mr. Murphrey’s implied slam on Dallas attorneys and his slam on me are totally off base and unjustified. Click here for the real story behind Jeff Murphrey’s letter:

Dale Markland

Markland Hanley LLP

2200 Ross Avenue, Suite 4100W

Dallas, TX 75201

469.341.3633 (main)

469.341.3634 (direct)

469.341.3640 (fax)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why proofreading is so very important for lawyers....

Reason #1 (here). Reason #2 (here).

In memory of David Young

Texas lawyers lost a talented writer and gentle person this past week, and I wanted you to know a little bit about him. Here's his obituary:
David Bruce Young of Austin, Texas, passed away suddenly Sunday evening, October 5 at his home.

He was born in Columbia, Missouri on November 1, 1945, to Raymond Arthur and Virginia Garton Young. He was preceded in death by both of his parents. He is survived by his wife Flossie, son Michael and wife Mistie, four grandchildren, and son Jay.

Dave attended Williams College and graduated Magna Cum Laude. From there he went on to Oxford University to earn a Bachelor of Philosophy, followed by Masters and Doctoral degrees from Columbia University. He later attended law school at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, graduating with highest honors.

Dave published an annotated translation of Beccaria’s Crimes and Punishment. He was a brilliant, prolific writer, and took great pride in the published (and often cited) legal articles and other works too numerous to mention.

Since moving to Austin in 1992, where he was employed at McGinnis, Lochridge and Kilgore, he has been involved at Bethany United Methodist Church, the C.S. Lewis Society, and judging debates in moot court.

He married Flossie Corder in 1973. His sons, Michael and Jay, were the pride of Dave’s life, and he delighted in all of their accomplishments. His joy was complete when Michael married Mistie Shelton, who brought four wonderful grandchildren into the family.

Those who knew him will always remember his intelligence, quick wit, and humor. He will be greatly missed as a colleague, friend, grandfather, father, and husband.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1 P.M. on Friday, October 10, 2008 at the Bethany United Methodist Church, 10010 Anderson Mill Road, Austin, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the Hill Country Institute for Contemporary Christianity (online donations preferred), the Bethany Foundation, or to the charity of your choice.

Please join us in honoring David by visiting our Memorial at Through this site we invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with our family.
I will miss David--what a remarkable person he was, and what a loyal friend. May his memory be as a blessing.

Someone should hire this soon-to-be-graduate!

I've known Stephen Chen, who will be receiving a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and an M.P.H. from the University of Texas School of Public Health this coming May, for over three years. He was my research assistant while he was still an undergrad at UT, and he proved himself to be diligent, creative, and intelligent--and an extremely nice guy, to boot.

He's everything that I think a law firm should want, but in part because he was pursuing dual degrees, his GPA isn't as high as some law firms might wish. I don't think that a high GPA is the sole predictive factor for becoming a good lawyer. I do think that emotional intelligence, coupled with academic intelligence, can predict a budding lawyer's success much better than just a GPA.

You can click on Stephen's resume here. PLEASE think about interviewing him. You won't be disappointed.

"Hello Skinnyjeans" and its particular brand of "customer service"

After reading about how wonderful "Hello Skinnyjeans" were, I ordered a pair on August 3. I waited and waited -- and waited and waited -- for the jeans to be delivered. I emailed the company on August 24, and Catherine Hart told me then that the jeans would be ready "in another 1-2 weeks." After not hearing anything again for a month, I emailed the company again on September 25, and Celine at the company told me that I'd get the jeans in a week.

Today, I emailed the company to say that I wanted my jeans by Tuesday, or I wanted a refund.

Catherine Hart sent me this email in response:
We are finally in stock and I can transmit your order to the warehouse now. Conversely, I am happy to cancel your order and refund you as no one wants pissy customers. You paid by paypal which forces immediate payment and I’m thinking of canceling it for that reason. Let us know asap.

Catherine Hart
My response to her was as follows:
Yes. This particular pissy customer is tired of dealing with a company that promises one thing and never delivers. Please refund my money today.
I'm sure that the jeans are great. The customer service, however, is not. With all of the good brands of jeans out there, why spend money on brands that don't care enough to (1) notify customers when there's a delay or (2) follow through on their promises?

Let's see if Hello Skinnyjeans is better at fulfilling its promise of a refund than it was at actually delivering the jeans.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's ok to stop sending me law school publications that describe a bunch of achievements now--I've voted already.

As chair of this year's appointments committee here at Boyd, I've been getting all of those glossy publications touting various law schools' achievements. You can stop sending me the "law porn" now. I've sent in my USNWR votes.

This year, of course, USNWR asked voters to pick up to 15 schools that we thought of as having "top" part-time programs. I used the highly unscientific method of asking my colleagues which part-time programs had impressed them, and then I added my own experience teaching in two part-time programs.

I'm a fan of the program here at Boyd School of Law. It's small (heck, the whole school is small!), and we tend to consider the part-time students when we're thinking about such things as clinic experiences and externships. I know that, at a lot of part-time programs, issues like clinic and externship opportunities slide under the radar.

Thinking about 15 good programs is probably about par for having some collective knowledge about the quality of offerings out there. As I've said before, trying to evaluate 190+ schools' overall programs is impossible.

It'll be interesting to see what USNWR does with all of this new information.

Oh, and sending me the "law porn"? Didn't help at all. I didn't read a single one of the glossies that I received. I didn't have the time, and I did have a healthy skepticism about the likelihood that the glossies bore any resemblance to the truth. Of course, that's why I'm looking forward to the Green Bag's project (for more on that project, see here).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Most interesting Civ Pro rap video I've seen

OK, it's the only one I've seen (see here), but it IS interesting . . . . Can a bankruptcy law rap be far behind?

Hat tip to Kathleen Lyon for letting me know about this one.

If you're looking to place a child with loving parents, I know two people who'd be great

My friends Tori & Jennifer are looking to open their loving home to a child (see here).

And a shout-out to Ann Ryan Robertson

Ann's a buddy of mine who was highlighted recently in Texas Lawyer (here). Brava, Ann--I'm kvelling!

Want to be listed as a follower of my blog?

Just click here. Thanks!

A shout-out about an intriguing idea in criminal law

Geoff Mousseau pointed me to his company's website (here), which helps white collar defendants with the process of going through the criminal justice system. Geoff himself has personal experience with the criminal justice system, and he believes that he can help to translate the experiences of defendants accused of committing white-collar crimes for the lawyers representing those defendants. My guess is that Geoff's right, and that he will be able to help.

Why we never learn from economic crises

I've posted some thoughts over at JURIST (here), and the second edition of our Enron text (Enron and Other Corporate Fiascos: The Corporate Scandal Reader (Nancy B. Rapoport, Jeffrey D. Van Niel, and Bala G. Dharan, eds.) (Foundation Press 2008) is slated to come out this December. The second edition tries to answer the question of why we never seem to learn from our mistakes, and it takes a look at cognitive errors that humans are hard-wired to make (among other things). We think (the three editors) that this book will be useful in law schools, business schools, and undergraduate courses--and we hope that you'll agree.

For those law professors who are going to the AALS annual meeting in San Diego, you should be able to look at the book at Foundation Press's booth.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

And, over at the Legal Profession Blog . . . .

I've reproduced a letter that a friend sent to me (see post here) to illustrate how obstreperous some attorneys can be. I'm not so sure that the reference to Dallas is gratuitous--you might want to watch this clip (here) from the song "Dallas, Texas," on the Austin Lounge Lizards' Highway Cafe of the Damned CD.

This reminds me of Judge Markell's opinion in In re Martinez, 393 B.R. 27 (Bankr. D. Nev. 2008), in which the court sanctioned the attorneys for Wells Fargo (and Wells Fargo itself) for refusing to correct a stipulation allowing relief from the automatic stay ON THE WRONG HOUSE. As the opinion explains,
This court is concerned that Cooper Castle and its lawyers sacrificed their professional independence to the demands of a large institutional client. They should have counseled Wells Fargo to agree to vacate the mistaken stipulation, and informed them that any other course of conduct was unreasonable and one in which they could not participate. Instead, they followed Wells Fargo's instructions without apparent regard to their professional obligations. In short, rather than remain as independent professionals counseling Wells Fargo, Cooper Castle and its lawyers instead chose to become unthinking agents for Wells Fargo's ends.
Failing to cooperate when the circumstances clearly call for it is a Very Bad Idea.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

UNLV (Boyd School of Law) is hiring....

And I'm the appointments chair. Also on our committee are Chris Blakesley, Keith Rowley, Jay Mootz, and Leticia Saucedo. So far, the University has approved our search for a Director of Academic Support, and we may also be looking for visitors and for laterals (depending on funding and University approval).

Here's our ad for the Director of Academic Support position:
Position # 4497
Search # 9063


The William S. Boyd School of Law of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) invites applicants interested in joining our faculty as an Assistant Professor in Residence – Academic Support. The qualifications for the Director of Academic Support position include a record of academic success in law school and experience suggesting the aptitude to direct a creative and ambitious academic support program. The faculty also expects that the Academic Support Director will be a resource for the faculty to increase teaching effectiveness. The existing program is administered by the Director, with the assistance of an Associate Director, and includes workshops, tutoring, special classes, orientation programs, bar preparation classes, counseling, and other strategies to enhance the learning environment at our law school. The Director may teach substantive, non-bar, non-ASP related classes. The position is a 12-month, non-tenure track, renewable contract position.

The Boyd School of Law, a state-supported law school, is the only law school in Nevada. Located at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the law school commenced classes in August 1998. It has a faculty of 42 new and experienced legal educators drawn from law schools around the country, and is located in a state-of-the-art facility in the center of the University campus. With nearly 500 students, the law school offers a full-time day program, a part-time day program, and a part-time evening program.

The Boyd School of Law is a diverse community of faculty, students, and staff who work together, collegially and respectfully, to maximize the potential of its students and to help the law school fulfill its aspirations. We welcome applications from those who wish to participate in this sort of community, and we strongly encourage women and people of color to apply. For more information on the Boyd School of Law, see our website at Please contact Professor Nancy B. Rapoport at (702) 895-5831 or if you have questions about the position.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of credentials will begin immediately and the search is to remain open until the position is filled. If you are interested in applying for this position please apply on-line at: and submit a letter of interest, a detailed resume that highlights relevant professional experience and qualifications, salary history, and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three professional references who may be contacted.

For assistance with UNLV's on-line applicant portal, contact Jenn Martens at (702) 895-3886 or UNLV is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action educator and employer committed to excellence through diversity.
If you have any nominees for this position, we'd sure like to hear their names. Many thanks!