Monday, August 31, 2009

A Brooklyn hero

A judge who makes foreclosure plaintiffs (the mortgage holders who want to foreclose) actually prove their cases: see today's New York Times story (front page, slightly above the fold) here.

Note to the lawyers drafting the complaints--shouldn't you make sure that you have the prima facie case correct before you file?

Hat tip to my buddy Seymour, who also saw the story.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seriously, you've heard it here before -- billable hours are on their way out

See this morning's Wall Street Journal (front page, below the fold): here. See also here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I know I'm becoming a broken record, but there's no way that clients are going to continue to help law firms meet their budgets (and keep associate salaries high--for those associates who still have jobs) on a piecemeal approach when they can simply shop around for equally talented lawyers who are willing to try alternative billing methods.

And while I'm on the subject of shopping around for professionals who are willing to do good work for lower fees, don't forget to read the Energy Partners case discussed in this Wall Street Journal blog post (here).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The future of ballroom dance

Watch Martin Rivas dance quickstep (with Sergei Shapoval and Liza Smith) at this year's Nevada Star Ball): here. BRAVO, Martin!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A nice way to learn about public service: Rachel's Rave.

Rachel Diehl, one of the student workers at Boyd, has started her own blog, which describes different ways to do public service in and around Las Vegas (and, ultimately, beyond). See here. Brava, Rachel!

Mazel tov to our friends Martha & Karen!

Who were married yesterday! See here. (And, yes, Jeff & I think that it's way cool that Martha & Karen's announcement made it into the New York Times!)

If you talk with Martha and Karen, ask them about their wedding cha-cha....

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Why I wish I had taken pictures of the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn, 3550 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL, before I left this morning.

I had a great time at SEALS, as I always do, and this time, I had tried to keep costs down, so I stayed at a place down the road from the Ritz. Here's how the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn describes itself (see here and especially here). I don't know when those photos were taken, but either Photoshop works miracles, or I'd checked into an alternate universe.

My room had all of the style of a Motel 6 (and there is nothing wrong with a Motel 6, when one is expecting to stay at a Motel 6) without any of the cleanliness or amenities. The bedspread was the second-scariest one that I've ever seen--the first scariest was the one that Jeff & I saw on our trek from Nebraska to Houston with our cat Calypso, and we had tried to sleep hovered above that bed in Oklahoma City. The floor was a greige-y linoleum, and the wall plug tried to come home with me when I unplugged my computer. I don't blame the wall plug. I wouldn't have wanted to stay in that room any longer, either. The refrigerator--actually, a nice touch--had a broken handle, but I was able to pry my way in.

I wouldn't have complained at all (hey, I'd asked for "inexpensive"!), except that when I checked out this morning, the front desk tacked on an additional "resort fee"--a last-minute charge. I asked the desk clerk what the resort fee was for, given that I was staying at a motel. He claimed that the resort fee was for parking (the motel parking slots???), beach access (the wooden stairs???), and computer use (behind the front desk???).

OK, Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn. Here's a tutorial for you, so that you can tell the difference between a resort and your motel.


Most decidedly not a resort

Valet parking

Parking in slots outside rooms, exposed to the elements

Several different places to eat

One place to eat, open at odd times of day

Pools (plural)

Pool (singular), slightly larger than a hot tub

Pool attendants, pool towels, food/drink service at pools

People anywhere near the pool

Gated access to beach

Serial killers can have access to your beach and your rooms

Luxurious rooms

Greige rooms

Luxurious bathrooms

Bathrooms that make you seriously consider buying flip-flops for shower

Luxurious bathroom amenities

The same amenities that you’d get in any other inexpensive motel

Fluffy towels

The same towels that you’d get in any other inexpensive motel


Night watchman (maybe) (I fell asleep, trying to get the image of the room out of my head)

Security guards

Lock on door

I don't mind roughing it (as long as "roughing it" includes cable TV). What I mind is sneakiness. So, Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn, here's hoping that every Google search pulls up this post. Have fun with the next guest who gets tagged for a resort fee at your motel. And, Mr. Front Desk, who--when I asked him if he was kidding about a resort fee--suggested that I stay at the Ritz next time, yes, I believe that I will.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A shout-out to Jason Solomon for letting me do some op-eds with him

Jason Solomon, a buddy of mine at U Ga. and one of the co-founders of the Race to the Top blog (here), has kindly let me hang out with him in a couple of op-eds talking about turning the USNWR rankings into something resembling a measure of actual quality, rather than a mere beauty contest. We published op-eds at The Daily Report (subscriptions-only access, though--sorry!) and in Inside Higher Ed (here).

Law school beauty contests, though, are intriguing. Can't get the image of all of us in swimsuits and talent contests out of my mind. Going to have to try, though. I don't want USNWR to think that such an idea would make for a marketable survey.