The Bright Coast

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

Archive for October, 2009

$1.26 BILLION default judgment against PepsiCo

Posted by brightcoast on October 28, 2009

and it’s not just a Civ Pro hypothetical, even though it sounds like a good one. I have two thoughts about this: 1) really? bottling water was such a big idea that someone sued for Pepsi stealing it? Perhaps due to the environment I grew up in, I can’t picture the idea of bottling water as being presenting an actual legal claim for misappropriation. 2) A judge would actually think that Pepsi’s failure to appear was an acquiescence a) period; and b) for $1.26 billion in damages. It seems to me like the local rules would prevent default judgment in a case with shaky service of process, as the article discusses. “Drink more water.”


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Change in Federal Marijuana Policy

Posted by brightcoast on October 19, 2009

I usually avoid blogging about this topic, but I think the Administration’s new policy completely makes sense. Let’s not waste federal resources to pursue people who are in clear and unambiguous compliance with state law. This sort of cooperative federalism seems to additionally support the SCOTUS’s announced views of letting the states experiment with new policies (e.g. gay marriage, etc.) without the feds getting involved until there’s a consensus clear enough for them to take action–within the limits of the Constitution of course. But the commerce clause argument seems like a no brainer.

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J&K + 8, baby daddy’s other K problem

Posted by brightcoast on October 16, 2009

Source of his “epiphany” seems crystal clear. While the tabloids claimed John was putting the kibbosh on filming for personal reasons, they failed to mention his legal woes, perhaps then unknown, John was having with TLC. Namely, selling himself to the entertainment media in the name of giving his side of the story, aka making a fool of himself in an already ridiculous media circus.

While I ordinarily wouldn’t waste the time posting about such fluff, I thought it worth mentioning if only for the fact that John seems incapable of saying no to t.v. appearances, even if it means landing himself in a contract suit he seems surely to lose.

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New Idea For Repaying My Law School Loans

Posted by demkid on October 13, 2009

Well, maybe it isn’t a new idea.  I have considered using my skills in the lovemaking department before, but this story reminded me that there are other options for paying off student loans besides slaving away in an office all day.  Just so I don’t evade paying taxes, I should be home free, right?  I guess I’d have to move to Nevada too, or something.

A Stanford Law School graduate was sentenced Monday on a federal tax conviction related to running a high-priced call girl service, punishment that includes restrictions on her ability to keep advertising as an escort while she’s on probation.

During a hearing in San Jose federal court, U.S. District Judge James Ware concluded he needed to impose those restrictions on Cristina Warthen after federal prosecutors disclosed she’s continued to advertise herself on the Internet as a high-priced escort, even as she awaited sentencing on federal tax evasion charges related to her days as an upscale prostitute named “Brazil.”

Warthen gained notoriety when she was busted as a jet-setting call girl who sold her services to pay off her Stanford Law School debts. She got her law degree from Stanford in May 2001, but quickly began to run a steamy Web site with offers to jet off for liaisons with clients in cities around the country, including New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

By the way, where were these girls in my law school class?  I’m not really that into the huge lips and plastic boobs, but it definitely would have made Contracts more enjoyable!


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The Right’s Continuing Artistic Incompetence

Posted by demkid on October 13, 2009

If you’re a fan of people on the right attempting to accomplish things above their intelligence level and falling short, you’ll remember this story from a year ago about the girl who claimed she was assaulted by a black Obama supporter who carved a “B” into her face.  Turns out, she was looking into a mirror when she carved the letter into her own face, and didn’t realize it would be flipped around when viewed by an outside observer.  Oops!

Well, almost a year later, we have this shining example of artistic stupidity:

Close, but not quite.

Close, but not quite.

Last night, some dumbass(es) carved this into the 18th hole of the Lakeville Country Club in Lakeville, MA.  Of course, police and the Secret Service are investigating.  I saw this story linked to on the Drudge Report, with the headline, “Swastika and Obama carved into green at golf course…”  Many other news outlets are likewise reporting that the symbol is a swastika.  Unfortunately for the lamebrain trespasser(s), Drudge, and other sources, the attempt missed the mark a bit.  From the above-linked story:

Police believe the vandals meant to carve a swastika next to President Barack Obama’s name on the 18th hole; however, the symbol was backwards and means hope and peace in some Eastern countries.

Actually, the carved symbol can actually be referenced as a swastika, but it isn’t the one associated with the Nazis, which is a right-facing swastika.  The current carving can be more properly referred to as a sauwastika.  In any case, the point is, before defacing any property with some half-hearted attempt at a political hate message, you might want to doublecheck that what you’re carving is, in fact, the Nazi symbol and not a symbol for hope and peace.

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Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by brightcoast on October 9, 2009

This seems quite early to me, and also partisan, but maybe it’s just a sigh of relief that we actually have a president who doesn’t jump the gun when it comes to brute force.We shall see what a stir this causes…

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Graduate School Return Investment

Posted by brightcoast on October 8, 2009

I wish they had this for law schools, especially when I was deciding where to spend the next $120,000 of my life. It’s ironic, because the U.S. News Rankings for lawschools tells you information about employment and debt after graduation, but that doesn’t really tell you which is the best value, or how quickly you will recoup your investment.

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Seasonal Employment

Posted by brightcoast on October 6, 2009

Wonderful. Words cannot describe the laughter I enjoyed while reading this article. In this dismal economy, times are getting desperate. I’ve seen several posts like this, which concern me. Not sure if it’s legit, has the looks of a scam, especially considering there are like 20 similar posts in different areas throughout the state. There are, however, perhaps more depressingly, a plethora of listings in Bankruptcy work. This must be my favorite. Not sure what is more disturbing, that people may actually waste their money with the promises of passing the Bar through this “correspondence” program, or that someone thinks being fluid in English makes any sense.

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Oh the Irony (from fb)

Posted by brightcoast on October 6, 2009

Brightcoast completed the quiz “Which US President are you?” with the result Ronald Reagan.
You are a great communicator! You possess talents that cause others to press you to lead. You are not only wise, knowledgeable, and articulate – you al…so have captured the very essence of being a modern hero. You are optimist and encourage others to remain on the path to success. Selfless to a fault, comical and pleasureable, others enjoy your presence. If there ever was a tour guide for the “city on a hill” you would be the candidate..

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An Olympic Wind Blowing in 2016?

Posted by demkid on October 1, 2009

The 2016 Olympic Games will be awarded tomorrow to one of four cities: Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, or Tokyo.  A quick check of the evening odds shows that the bookies have Chicago as the favorite at 4/6 (or a 60% chance), followed by Rio, Madrid, and Tokyo bringing up the rear.  I think it’s safe to say that Tokyo is out, and should be the first city eliminated in the voting tomorrow.  There doesn’t seem to be overwhelming public support for the Tokyo bid (only 55% of citizens in favor), and the fact that the 2008 games were in Beijing doesn’t help matters.  The same kind of logic can be used for Madrid, as I doubt the IOC will want a European games back-to-back.  Spain hosted in 1992, and it would also be the fifth in seven summer and winter Games in Europe. 

So, barring some shocking turn of events, this all should come down to Rio and Chicago.  No city in South or Central America has ever held an Olympics, and that works hugely in Rio’s favor.  Lots of IOC members want the Olympics to be looked at as truly a world event, and awarding Rio with the Games would go a long way to achieve this goal.  However, Rio has issues with crime, and a ton of work would have to be done to revitalize the city.  Chicago is probably the safest choice.  There’s lots of support and the money situation is the best out of the four cities.  There have been issues with disorganization however, and it might not quite be time for another Games in the U.S., 20 years after Atlanta and with Salt Lake in between.

As some of you may recall, Paris was favored going into the IOC meeting four years ago, but London walked away with the 2012 Games.  It’s far from a certainty that the 2016 Games will be in the Windy City.  However, I think it all comes down to two things.  First, no matter how much it’s been downplayed, President Obama’s visit tomorrow morning will be a factor.  A new American president, popular in Europe, is a huge asset for the Chicago campaign.  (It also doesn’t hurt that Chicago is his adopted hometown!)  A correlation can be made between this meeting and the one that decided the host for the 2006 World Cup.  There, the German chancellor did some last minute lobbying and pushed Germany over South Africa by 1 vote (from what I recall.)  Even though Chancellor Schroeder was no Barack Obama, lobbying by an influential head-of-state matters.  Second, also World Cup related, is the fact that Brazil will be the hosts of the World Cup in 2014.  Sure, this can be a positive because the country will have built up some infrastructure already, and it can be looked at as a test run for the larger spectacle of the Games, but in my mind, it’s a net negative.  I think more IOC members will go against Rio, reluctant to have the world’s two largest sporting events in the same country, two years apart. 

Tomorrow, I think the Summer Games come back to the States.  If they don’t, at least I went with the odds!  For a good list of the pros and cons of each of the four cities, see this article from SI.

Update: Well, Chicago was eliminated after the first round of voting.  I’m not going to speculate, but I’m sure the Right will have fun with this one.  Congrats to Rio!

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