Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We've learned nothing from Enron.

See today's Wall Street Journal article (here) about manipulating debt at ends of quarters to make debt "disappear."  We've learned nothing.

Shameless plug:  our latest Enron book (here) explores just why we never learn from prior corporate malfeasance.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"In" isn't a synonym for "during."

Today's New York Times has a story (here) about Richard Blumenthal's exaggerations about his military service.  He apparently didn't serve "in" Vietnam; he served "during" Vietnam.  The Times reports:
In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam. He joined a unit in Washington that conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive. 
 There's nothing wrong with serving in a military reserve unit; what's wrong is misstating what one's service record was, especially for personal gain. 

Words matter.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Want to vent? I have a forum for you!

Over at our other blog, Law School Survival Manual: From LSAT to Bar Exam, I'd like to take questions and comments from those of you who wonder why some students might behave the way that they do.  (For an egregious example, see here.)

So I'm looking for such things as
  1. Question of the week.  Now's your chance to throw a question our way.  You can email me, or you can post a question by clicking here.  This is your chance to vent about behavior that puzzles you, frustrates you, or amuses you.  If the behavior horrifies you, then please send us . . .
  2. Horror stories.  These can be from legal employers, from faculty members, OR from law students themselves.  (I have a few of my own from my law school days.)  We'll post the best horror stories (or should we say the worst ones?) on our blog.
Thanks, and Jeff & I both look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Question for you Blogger programmers out there.

Do any of you know how to change the color of the banner background in our Law School Survival Manual blog from this:

to HTML color #335C33 or thereabouts?  I don't like the light green color, but I can't find a website that will teach me how to edit the HTML for the part of the blog that's above.  I'm officially out of my comfort zone.  Thanks!

Brava, Elena Kagan!

Some may disagree about the President's choice (see here), but there's no question that Solicitor General Kagan has a wealth of experience in different roles.

(Yes, I'm happy that the President chose a former law dean.)

We'll see what happens during her confirmation hearings.

Weekly tips over at our other blog:

We've started handing out some weekly tips for law students (this summer's theme is, not surprisingly, summer jobs) over at our Law School Survival Manual blog (see here and here).  Here's hoping that folks find them useful.  If you want to weigh in, either agreeing or disagreeing--or even adding ideas for us to consider--please take a moment to click over to the Law School Survival Manual blog.  I'd sure love your thoughts.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Darn it.

The Enron play is closing on Broadway, long before Jeff & I could go see it.  See here

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

More shameless self-promotion.

We now have a blog attached to the Law School Survival Manual (see here).  Our first post, about summer jobs, is here

Monday, May 03, 2010

A few updates about bankruptcy fees.

In yesterday's New York Times, Nelson Schwartz and Julie Creswell wrote a fascinating article about the magnitude of bankruptcy fees, especially in the Lehman case (see here). 

Look:  I know how hard lawyers work, and I also know how non-lawyers perceive many of us.  (As does Eric Van Horn--see a piece we wrote for the ABI Journal here or here about handling the misperceptions of bankruptcy lawyers in the media.)

In a world of still-rampant unemployment, we need to remember that we don't have a lot of friends on the "outside" (the world outside bankruptcy law).  If we're not careful, we'll lose the friends we have on the "inside," too.

Here's a plug for an article I'm publishing with the University of Maryland's Journal of Business and Technology Law, an up-and-coming journal with author-friendly editors and a great work ethic.  My new article's called Rethinking Professional Fees in Chapter 11 Cases, and it explores why there are so many problems with the moving parts that make up fee requests.