The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Checking in

Posted by brightcoast on April 13, 2013

Hello readers, assuming anyone checks this dusty old thing anymore.

I thought I’d check in for a bit to give you a brief and ambiguous update.

I think of this blog often, and wish I had the time to keep the content current, but alas I currently do not.

I never did get a worthwhile job practicing law after graduation, eventhough I graduated cum laude and passed the Bar on my first try.

I eventually gave up looking and decided to wait for a better opportunity. The rejection from Starbucks still stings!

Alas, eventually I was able to find work as a professional blawger, it was incredibly part time and underpaid, yet I did that for over a year. Then I found an even better blawging job, so I’m still doing that. I almost never get to blawg about current topics that interest me, which particularly include SCOTUS decisions, so I get my fix by engaging with former law school classmates about current legal events, and am putting off the longer copy for that some day.

I’ve started a personal blog, but out of respect for this space I rarely if ever cover legal events or laws.

I do eventually plan to resuscitate this beast when I get the chance, but I can’t say when that will be. I can tell you that the WordPress app may make this substantially sooner rather than later, but I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, hope life and the law is treating you well!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Never Underestimate the Guy Who Beat Hillary

Posted by demkid on November 8, 2012

I did it again!  I underestimated Barack Obama.  The President exceeded my slightly conservative expectations on Tuesday night, beating Willard in the Electoral College 332-206 (the Romney campaign conceded Florida earlier today).  So, I missed my toss up (Colorado) and Florida, which I said he could win if he had a good night.  Hard to believe that the national race was called a mere 12 minutes later than it was in 2008…I was expecting somewhat of a longer night.

How about my other predictions?  The popular vote currently stands at 50.4%-48.0% for the President.  My guess was 50.7-48.3, the exact margin of 2.4%.  I will not claim victory, however, because they are still counting votes around the country, and some have speculated that the final popular vote margin could be over 3%.  Still, I’ll take what I can get!

In the Senate, it was a good night for Democrats, as they actually managed to increase their majority in the upper chamber with some key, close victories.  They’ll have 53 senators (plus the 2 independents) for a total of 55, 2 more than I expected.  2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the “Year of the Woman,” when my former boss, Senator Feinstein, and her California colleague, Barbara Boxer, were elected, along with 2 other women, to the U.S. Senate.  This was the first time 4 women were elected to the Senate in a single year.  I remember wearing a shirt stating, “A Woman’s Place is in the House…and the Senate!”  It was appropriate that in this 20th anniversary year, Senator Feinstein was re-elected, and a NEW “Year of the Woman” happened.  For the first time, there are 20 women senators (naturally 16 are Democrats), and there will be at least 77 women in the House, a new record.  With Tammy Baldwin being the first openly-gay person and first woman elected as a senator from Wisconsin, the Democratic Party and the country are continuing to move forward.

In the House, it looks like Democrats could wind up with a 7-seat pick-up for an even 200 representatives, but there are still a handful of races to be decided.  I’d say my guess of +4 was fairly accurate.  It will probably take a couple of more election cycles before the Dems will have a legitimate shot of reclaiming the majority, as gerrymandering has made many districts non-competitive.

To wrap up my predictions, it looks like I was a little too optimistic in Ohio.  When all the votes are counted, the President will probably win by a margin of about 2%; a bit lower than my 3.5% guess.  The closest state was not, in fact, Virginia, as the President won there by around 3%.  Could the Commonwealth be turning into a light purple state?  We’ll give it another couple of elections to see, for sure.  VA actually ranked 4th on the list of close states, with Florida taking top honors.  They were still counting votes down there as of today, and the President’s margin should wind up perhaps a little less than a full percentage point.  Here are your 10 closest states, via the Washington Post.  I did nail the largest swing from the 2008 election, which was Utah.  John McCain won Utah by about 28 points in 2008, and Romney increased that margin 20 points, winning there 73-25.  It must be tough to be a Democrat in Utah (or a non-Mormon.)  Other big Romney gains were in West Virginia, North Dakota, and Montana (the GOP can have those.)  The votes have also been counted in my domicile, and it was a close, close race for the District of Columbia’s 3 electoral votes.  The President beat John McCain 4 years ago 92-7, and this time around it was a squeaker, with the margin being 91-7.  Apparently a few votes went to Jill Stein.

Finally, I will give myself a pat on the back because my last prediction was dead on: Dick Morris still is the worst political pundit in the entire nation.  I’ve been debating which video of his to post, his initial prediction or his video entitled, “Why I Goofed,” when he stated, “I’ve been in a bit of a mudslide on my face,” but the latter is full of too much BS (even for Dick), so here’s the master prognosticator with his flawless prediction, made a day before the President’s re-election:

Posted in Election 2012, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

President Obama to be Re-Elected; Little Change in Congress

Posted by demkid on November 5, 2012

Well, I indicated in my last post that I may be blogging more frequently, but that just didn’t come to pass.  However, I did catch the twitter bug during this campaign season, so if you’re into tweeting, you can follow me on there (@brightcoast).  This blog began 4 years ago, in the midst of the 2008 campaign season, as a tongue-in-cheek response to some of our wonderful USD Law professors who blog over at The Right Coast.  (Now that blog just seems to be dominated by one professor who tends to re-post conservative articles without commenting much on them.)  Like many conservatives, The Right Coast has envisioned some sort of landslide (or smaller) victory for Willard Romney when all the votes are counted on Election Day, which is tomorrow.  In August, I stated that the conservative dream would never come to pass, and said, “I can almost guarantee that President Obama will be re-elected in November.”  Now that we’re a day from voting, I’m going to put it all on the line and officially get rid of the “almost.”  I guarantee that the President will serve another 4 years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Before I give you my predictions, I’ll note my accuracy in 2008.  Then, I predicted an Obama popular vote margin of 6.7%.  He won by 7.2%.  I predicted an electoral vote for Obama of 349.  He exceeded my expectations and garnered 365.  In the Senate, I predicted 41 GOP Senate seats; they got 41.  In the House, I predicted a Dem majority of 260-175; the margin was 257-178.  So, I think I did pretty darn well.  Let’s hope that I can repeat my accuracy this time around.  Here’s how the map will look this year:

The President’s Path to Re-Election

There you have it.  294 electoral votes for the President.  Many of the s0-called “swing states” will be close, but I believe the President has a slight edge naturally and a significant built-in advantage in many of the important states.  His easiest path to victory is the “firewall” of Nevada, Wisconsin, and Ohio.  Winning these, plus not losing Pennsylvania (which trust me, won’t happen), gets him to 271.  I also think he wins Iowa by at least a few points, and Virginia, which is the closest of my Obama states, but which I think he’ll hold onto by the slimmest of margins.  The closest Romney state is Colorado, which I’ve been going back and forth on.  Many think Obama will hold onto Colorado and wind up with 303 votes, which is significant because it’s the same number Presidents Truman and Kennedy won.  That’s a distinct possibility, but I’m being a little more conservative, based on early voting figures.  As for Ohio, the big battleground, I think the President will win there fairly easily.  I’m actually a little more concerned about Wisconsin (a state Gore and Kerry won by less than a point), but the President has been there 3 of the last 5 days, and I think he’ll hold on.  Take away Virginia and Wisconsin, and the President has 271.  This is why Iowa is an important back-up, and why the President is finishing his campaign there, today.  It could also be close in New Hampshire, but recent polling has shown a slight but steady Obama margin there.  By the way, if it’s a slightly better night for the President, he could very well win Florida, but I think the odds are against it.  Here are my other predictions:

Popular Vote: Obama 50.7%, Romney 48.3% (The exact margin when Bush beat Kerry in 2004.)

Senate: Democrats (+2 Independents) 53, Republicans 47 (no change)

House: Republicans 238, Democrats 197 (Dems gain 4 seats).  I was tempted to make this dead even too, but there has to be SOME change out of 435 races, right??

Ohio: Obama 51.2%, Romney 47.7%

Closest State: Virginia

Largest Swing from 2oo8: Utah (secondary choices: Hawaii, Oregon, or Wisconsin)

Worst Political Pundit: Still Dick Morris

There you have it!  It’s been an entertaining election season and hopefully it’ll be a fun night, tomorrow.

 

Posted in Election 2012, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Year Seems Like a Good Enough Break…

Posted by demkid on August 10, 2012

I wonder how many people have come to The Bright Coast in the past year and have been utterly disappointed due to the lack of any new posts.  Probably not a whole lot, but I can live with that.  The fact is, “brightcoast” and I have moved on to bigger and better things in the past couple of years, and we simply don’t have nearly the same amount of time to devote to crafting award-winning blog posts on “law, politics, and culture,” to use part of the tagline we borrowed from our rival blog.  (That “other” blog has still been going strong, though, as our USD Law professor friends generally have plenty of time on their hands to write about all things conservative.)  The two of us, on the other hand, have become USD Law alums, and neither of us even lives in San Diego, anymore!  That being said, and especially since we’re less than 3 months from what many are calling “the biggest election of our lives,” I’ve caught the blogging bug again, at least to write the occasional election-related post.  Where better to start than to talk briefly about some of my favorite subjects: polling, the state of the race as I see it, and the electoral college.

Despite what our professor friend hopes will happen, that being, a landslide for Willard Romney, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it will never come to pass.  In fact, I can almost guarantee that President Obama will be re-elected in November.  Why am I so confident?  Well, besides the fact that Romney is a super weak candidate, the economy will slowly improve over the next few months, and it’s just generally difficult to defeat an incumbent, the electoral math is clearly on the President’s side.  For Romney to win, there would have to be a pretty significant shift across the country to his side (Obama currently leads nationally by a few points or so), and he would almost have to sweep all of the major swing states.  For an excellent state of the race, check out Nate Silver’s page here, which currently gives President Obama almost a 75% chance of winning re-election.  For me, the proof is in the electoral math, and I’ve created a couple of maps over at 270towin.com to illustrate my confidence.  The following map shows the lay of the land, that is, I would be absolutely shocked if any of the colored states goes the other way on Election Day:

My Solid States

As you can see, I believe that President Obama is a mere 23 electoral votes from re-election.  If he fails to win any of the above blue states, he’ll be in real trouble.  I just don’t see that happening.  So, if he’s at 247, where does he pick up the other 23?  In my mind, there are two clear paths to victory.  Here’s the first:

Nevada (or Iowa) plus Ohio = Victory

In the above scenario, President Obama wins Nevada (where he’s currently up 5 in the polls with a 79% chance to win) and Ohio (also currently up 5 and a 72% chance to win.)  He could also replace Nevada with Iowa, where he’s up 3 and has a 67% chance to win (these percentages come from Nate Silver’s page.)  So, let’s leave in either Nevada or Iowa, and show you the second-easiest path to re-election:

Nevada (or Iowa) plus New Hampshire and Virginia = Victory

New Hampshire and Virginia will get the President to exactly 270.  In New Hampshire, he’s currently up 4 with a 74% chance, and in Virginia, he’s up 3 with a 68% chance to win.

In conclusion, I recommend focusing on polls from the above-mentioned states over the next 3 months.  If you see a bad couple of polls from any of the blue states in the first map, President Obama should be very concerned.  But, if all those hold up, simply look at Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Virginia.  Winning Florida, North Carolina, or Colorado would just be a bonus…these aren’t needed to win.  Also as shown, the President doesn’t need Ohio to win, if he can get Virginia, New Hampshire, and either Nevada or Iowa.  Many paths to victory, and many fewer paths to victory for Romney.  That’s the state of the race as I see it, and that, my friends, is our first blog post in a year.  Perhaps there will be more soon to come!

 

 

Posted in Election 2012, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

San Diego Coastkeeper’s Blog

Posted by brightcoast on August 24, 2011

I recently stumbled upon the San Diego Coastkeeper’s blog, and I am quite impressed. However, I am not surprised that such a high quality, efficiently running, and passionate environmental water quality non-profit would have an equally strong web presence. It covers environmental issues, water quality specific topics, but also local San Diego issues, especially as related to the Areas of Special Biological Significance, just one of the many features that makes San Diego such a unique ecosystem, and place to live. Can you tell I miss it?

Also, their new executive director is a USD Law alum!

Check it out.

Posted in Environment, San Diego, USD Law | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Law School Employment Reporting Requirements

Posted by brightcoast on July 2, 2011

Article from the State Bar can be found here.

Essentially, the new requirements address the issues such as what industry the person is employed, whether they are employed by the school, and perhaps more importantly, the number of students for whom data is unknown or unreported. In theory this will lead to more accurate data.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Breaking: Stephen Ferruolo Named 10th Dean of USD School of Law

Posted by demkid on May 25, 2011

You heard it here first (or so we hope): Stephen Ferruolo will be named the 10th Dean of the University of San Diego School of Law.  The official announcement will come next week, but we here at the Bright Coast pride ourselves in being ahead of the curve.  USD Law’s 9th Dean, Kevin Cole, informed alumni in New York and DC of the pending news within the past few days.

Stephen Ferruolo

The search process for a new Dean took longer than anticipated.  The Dean Search Committee initially named three finalists, who came to campus in January for a series of meet-and-greets and informational sessions with faculty and students.  A recommendation was made, an offer was given, a name was withdrawn (who really knows what happened?), and in April, the school announced that it had expanded its search to include three additional finalists.  An April 27th Motions article proclaimed that the “expanded pool now includes an even more diverse group of individuals . . . ,” but I’m not really clear on what they meant by “diverse,” because the Search Committee added 3 new white guys to the original pool of 3 white guys.  Ohh…I get it: diverse backgrounds.  How silly of me!  In any case, Mr. Ferruolo was chosen out of the new pool, and I’m sure he’ll lead USD Law capably and admirably.

A former Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Ferruolo is the Founding Partner and Chair of the Goodwin Proctor, LLP San Diego Office.  Prior to law school, Mr. Ferruolo was a professor at Stanford University for nearly eight years. After attending Stanford Law School, Mr. Ferruolo was a judicial law clerk and associate at O’Melveny and Myers in Los Angeles. Soon after, Mr. Ferruolo received a position with Heller Ehrman, LLP in its Palo Alto and San Diego offices. After a mere four years of work with Heller Ehrman, he became a partner—the earliest promotion in firm history. He co-chaired both the Life Sciences and Corporate departments. While at Heller Ehrman, Mr. Ferruolo also worked as an adjuct professor at Stanford Law School. In 2007, Mr. Ferruolo became a partner at Goodwin Proctor.

Mr. Ferruolo’s firm bio is here.  Please join us in welcoming him as the new Dean of the University of San Diego School of Law, and here’s hoping that he’ll bring positive change and a fresh outlook to the premier legal institution in San Diego!

Posted in Education, San Diego, USD Law | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

I like the law

Posted by brightcoast on May 13, 2011

Hilarious.

Caution: this is probably not even remotely funny unless you have at some point in your life had the pleasure of attending law school. The language is probably also particularly offensive for the common sensibility. This won the Above the Law video contest.

Even less funny, but it’s about Davis, so I gotta represent NorCal.

Posted in California, Education, The Law, USD Law | Leave a Comment »

Glenn Beck Desperate

Posted by brightcoast on May 13, 2011

That’s the only explanation I can come up with for this (http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theticket/20110512/ts_yblog_theticket/mccain-ladies-feud-with-glenn-beck) (links not working), an on air rant inappropriately reacting to a skin cancer PSA starring Megan McCain.

But let’s be honest, it’s not like he has a reputation for behaving sanely, or even rationally. He’s essentially the epitome of all that is wrong with the Right. That his joke was in poor taste, if you can even call it that, is obvious.

Posted in News Media, Politics, Twitter | Leave a Comment »

Yale Kamisar Retiring

Posted by brightcoast on May 10, 2011

Great article here about renowned professor Yale Kamisar ‘s retirement(yes he’s that important he has his own wiki page). He’s also sometimes referred to as the father of Miranda (Miranda v. Arizona), which created the reading of Miranda Rights or Warnings to criminal defendants, preceding any custodial interrogation. It’s the notorious Cops catch phrase, “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you…” which stems from your Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination.

Although I never had the pleasure of taking a class with professor Kamisar, I have heard many stories of his legendarily intense lectures, which sound to me more like custodial interrogation than anything else. What strikes me the most about prof. Kamisar, aside from his legendary writings, is his inquisitiveness and realness when it comes to legal issues. He seems like the exact sort of professor that would inspire his students to follow in his footsteps of greatness. His retirement shall be strongly felt, and USD Law will be hard pressed to replace him. (Which is not to say that certain other quasi-celebrity Criminal Procedure profs aren’t similarly entertaining and noteworthy– the phrase “no thank you officer, I’d rather not say” comes to mind.)

On behalf of USD Law students I’d like to thank Professor Kamisar for his 11 years of service.

Posted in SCOTUS, The Law, U.S. Statutes, Uncategorized, USD Law | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The RAP strikes again!

Posted by brightcoast on May 10, 2011

aka The Rule Against Perpetuities aka the biggest pain in the ass Real Property Law has to offer.

The Rule states, “No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after the death of some life in being at the creation of the interest.”

Here is the link to the article detailing (well not much detailing) how Mr. Wellington R. Burt made it so that the vast majority of his fortune would not be distributed to his children, or even grandchildren, but rather 21 years after the death of the last grandchild. Here’s where the issue may lie. Although there is the possibility that this is the good ‘ole class gift subject to open, I can’t help but wonder whether for RAP purposes, the last grandchild would have to be a life in being at the time the will was created, which is technically impossible.  Perhaps only a grandchild had to be a life in being at the time the will was created, thus validating the binding nature of the lack of distribution until after the last grandchild’s death + 21 years. (The language is eerily similar to the rule itself, presumably on purpose, so as to avoid invalidation via the RAP).

Perhaps more interesting though, is the fact that this is a featured news story on Yahoo News’s front page, which suggests that non-lawyers are actually remotely interested in reading about the types of stories that lead to confusing legal principles that still linger though most of the dynastic wealth/dead hand control is nowhere near what it used to be. (Think feudalism).

It’s further intriguing to ponder what estate tax will apply to the corpus of someone’s estate who died in 1919, but was/is not distributed until 2011.

Posted in CA Bar Exam, Taxes, The Law | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Irrelevant (?) Con Law thought of the day:

Posted by brightcoast on May 3, 2011

Police and governmental officials can legally search your trash once you put it out onto the curb, yet environmental laws prevent you from burying your trash in the backyard or setting it on fire to destroy the evidence. There’s got to be a violation of some constitutional right in there, not to bear witness against yourself by having no alternative choice to putting your trash on the curb? Do the federal environmental laws preempt the state’s right to have access to your garbage? I’m wondering whether any criminal defense attorney has ever challenged the trash laws via this avenue…

Posted in Environment, The Law, U.S. Statutes | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Trouble paying your mortgage?

Posted by brightcoast on April 20, 2011

Here is a potential option.

However, any 1L can tell you that houses are subject to zoning laws. Meaning that your neighbors may not want to live next to such an eyesore, and in fact, you may be barred from using a residentially zoned property for a primarily commercial use. The payment of your mortgage by the ad company only strengthens the argument of the intended commercial use. Not to mention the fact you may additionally need to procure a business license, assuming the use is permissible.

Posted in The Law | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Adverse Possession Advocacy?

Posted by brightcoast on April 8, 2011

Carlsbad lawyer faces disbarment for encouraging clients in foreclosure to hire locksmiths and re-enter their homes.  It’s unclear what his legal standing is. He claims that they have right to possession because the foreclosures are illegal, but clients forcibly re-entering will do nothing to resolve any potential legality, other than potentially put themselves in danger for trespassing claims and the like. It absolutely reminds me of the Adverse Possession allegory, except that in order to adversely possess, you must be acting hostile to the True Owner (TO), and if the foreclosure is illegal, that obviously means the hostility requirement is not met.

It seems disbarment is imminent.

Posted in CA Bar, California, San Diego, The Law | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Helpful articles from Above the Law

Posted by brightcoast on March 31, 2011

Career Advice here

Choosing which law school, article here

And perhaps most helpful to those deciding where to go, an article on best value at graduation law schools here

Posted in Education, The Law, USD Law | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers