The Bright Coast

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

Author Archive

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 »

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.

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I like the law

Posted by brightcoast on May 13, 2011


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 ( (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 »

SCOTUS upholds funeral protests

Posted by brightcoast on March 2, 2011

Roberts wrote the majority opinion stating that the First Amendment protects the rights of such “outspoken” groups as Westboro Baptist, who protest at funerals of deceased homosexual soldiers.

What ever happened to Time, Place, and Manner restrictions? The Court noted that the protestors followed police instructions, and maintained a 1000 feet distance from the church, but regardless of the political message, what ever happened to the sanctity of a funeral, and respecting the rights of the mourners. Since when does freedom of speech mean that any fundamentalist group can set up shop and stir up some media attention merely to feed their self-centered and hateful group.

I find this sort of speech distinguishable from the court’s jurisprudence  on events such as parades because, while the content of the speech may be just as (if not more) vile, people can generally choose not to attend or otherwise avoid being subject to the distasteful speech, whereas here the mourners have no choice but to be subjected to the incredibly insensitive demonstrations. It seems as though the 1st Amendment protection in this case actually serves as a governmental endorsement of this sort of speech.

In the name of maintaining content neutral standards, I suggest Congress pass a statute prohibiting the protest of funerals of military members (or otherwise private citizens–as the argument to protect all governmental figures may be prohibited under the notion that they are public figures, and thus not privy to the same speech protections) within a more reasonable distance, say a mile. This simultaneously maintains the integrity of the mourning and funeral process, but also allows a forum for the passionate protestors to find alternative sites to express their hatred. I’m sure it would still garner the media attention these AWs are looking for, but would make for a more respectful and still constitutional process.

It is worth noting that the actual cause of action seems to be the intentional infliction of emotional distress or IIED.

Posted in SCOTUS | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thank you for suing us = awesome.

Posted by brightcoast on January 28, 2011

Courtesy: Taco Bell

Article here. According to the article, the suit was filed in federal court in California. Can you say diversity jurisdiction? Or perhaps there is a federal question since it’s the FDA’s meat requirements. Civ pro aside, I heard about this ad campaign on the radio, but didn’t catch who it was about. In dispute is the actual % of beef in Taco Bell’s meat. Relatedly, I caught an episode of the BBC show “Kill it, Cook it, Eat it,” which dealt with beef in different consumer products, such as kebabs, and the woman stated that in order to qualify as “meat,” it can’t have more than 25% fat and 25% connective tissue, such as ligaments, etc. I’m guessing, based on the article, that there’s an additional 10% wiggle room for preservatives, binders, and seasonings.

Anyway, all the more reason not to eat fast food, I suppose.

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Generation “Next”

Posted by brightcoast on January 25, 2011

What I like about “our” generation, and I use that term loosely, since I’m not sure where it ends compared with the teenagers who have cell phone ring tones at such a high pitch that my “damaged” ears can’t even hear them, is the use of social media for good, or for any real purpose at all. (Aside from a waste of time or to hurt others, etc.)

Here’s an example. Pepsi is giving away various grants to different organizations for various causes and public service projects. A project very near and dear to me is the “Cause the Cure” to childhood Leukemia. You can vote for this organization here They are in the running for a $250,000 grant, which we all know is small peanuts in the medical research arena, but you have to start somewhere. On the board is a father of an 18 month old girl aggressively fighting to recover from her bout with cancer, and now the complications. You can vote both via link and by texting 105654 to 73774. Voting ends Jan 31, and I believe only the top two in the category will be funded.

Aside from my personal interest in helping this organization and family, I applaud Pepsi for giving people a sense of empowerment in causing things they care about to happen.

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Attorney Jokes

Posted by brightcoast on January 19, 2011

Following the election this past November, there has been a sort of uproar in this otherwise sleepy community regarding an attorney who was elected to the local board equivalent of city council (from what I can tell). I wrote a letter to the editor expressing my outrage at these seemingly ridiculous allegations. Unfortunately, due to a lack of space in the teeny tiny (albeit free) paper that our community delivers to residents, I was told I had to edit it down. Never have I been more thankful for free web publishing.

Nonetheless, because I liked the full version better anyway and I believe this is a recurring issue we as attorneys have to deal with, I am reposting my letter for your reading (and perhaps PR refreshing) pleasure. I have omitted the party names in case they do not wish for their names to be blasted over the interwebz. Enjoy.

Dear Editor,

I am writing to come to the defense of fellow attorney (name) in regards to what I believe are unfair and unfounded allegations discussed in your December 2010/January 2011 edition. As attorneys, we are bound to strict professional rules of conduct, which can be found in the California Business & Professions Code, among other sources. In fact, in order to become an attorney, we must pass not only the California Bar Examination, but also an additional professional responsibility exam, and we must further pass an investigation by the State Bar certifying that we are of good moral character.

Chief among these rules is the most famous duty of confidentiality. If (attorney)did in fact represent (current board member), which is not clear from the information presented, she is not at liberty to disclose this representation freely. Confidentiality is central to forming an informed and trustworthy attorney-client relationship.

Even assuming confidentiality is not an issue, it is not immediately clear to me, in terms of non-legal concerns why writing a letter inviting the DA to investigate potential illegal conduct would raise any potential conflict of interest issues or relationships. It seems to me that the reason why others are pointing fingers in regards to this letter is simply that they disagree with (attorney’s) politics, which, by the way, is not unethical, but rather at the heart of democratic process. Aside from necessarily meaning that she represented (current board member), (attorney) signing her name , Esq. could indicate that the alleged violations of the relevant code sections were worth investigating, as vouched for by an attorney. In other words, she had investigated this matter in a legal capacity, and was making the recommendation in that regard.

In terms of a potential conflict of interest, which is presumably what the “concerned” are up in arms about, I don’t see what the conflict is. If it is that (attorney) represented (current board member) in some capacity, then that is in effect saying that attorneys, as a professional class, are barred from serving on any boards where they represented any present members in any capacity, which is quite a slippery, and in my opinion unfair, slope.

If the issue is that (attorney) is aligned politically or personally with (current board member), then I challenge those “concerned” to articulate a reasonable, neutrally applicable standard by which elections may be held, whereby anyone who has any sort of affinity or personal relationship with another person presently serving on the board, may also not run for office. It is simply absurd.

It seems abundantly clear that this is simply a matter of politics and not ethics. I write to you because it is extremely disconcerting to me when a person is accused of an ethical violation when there is literally no support for such an accusation which can potentially cause such damage.

I sincerely hope that the citizens of (community) will be able to move past any bad feelings for not having their candidate elected, and learn that in politics you win some and you lose some.


Fellow (Community) Attorney

Posted in California, Professional Responsibility | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »