Author Archive

Legally Me: The Struggle of Officially Redefining Yourself

Thought this was such a thoughtful and real post on the life of a lawyer who happens to be transgender. Worth a read.

That Guy Kas: Adventures of a Trans* Dude

About two weeks ago, the State of California, through a LA Superior Court judge, granted my legal name and gender change. I was very emotional when I finally got my hands on the certified copy of the court order. This was what I had been waiting for.

I filed my petition for a name and gender change back in February. I would have done it sooner, but the filing fee in LA Superior Court is $435, and I was still catching up on bills and debts following my graduation from law school and the following 5 months without income.

So I filed in February. All the websites I had read on the subject of filing a name and gender change made it clear that the petition would take about 6 weeks to process and grant. The state would have to clear my paperwork, and then run a criminal background check…

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If X, Y, and Z, then A: Legal Analysis is Simple

Today we’re excited to welcome Joel Trachtman, Professor of International Law at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and author of The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win to share some tips on conquering legal analysis.

via If X, Y, and Z, then A: Legal Analysis is Simple.

Spooky Law on this Happy Halloween!

Woke up this morning to the sounds of Halloween: zombie growls, witch cackles, the resonating scream of a vampire victim. Ahhh… marathon Halloween television. When I reached the kitchen, I grabbed a healthy handful of Sweet Tarts, drank my coffee, and reviewed my schedule for the day, I decided to search for Halloween case law  as a way to connect the parties to our continuing legal curriculum. And what a treasure trove I found.

The first is, Halloween Law by Victoria Sutton, a wonderfully appropriate textbook that would allow a school to teach an entire first-year law school curriculum using just Halloween-related cases. Imagine learning about constitutional law, criminal law, tort law, property law and contract law, all with a scary twist (as if law wasn’t scary enough!). Ms. Sutton even skips Chapter 13 in honor of Halloween superstitions. You can buy the book on Amazon.

Another interesting link that gives a good rundown on Halloween case law is Daniel B. Moar’s excellent article, “Case Law From the Crypt, The Law of Halloween” published October, 2011 by the New York State Bar Association. The best tidbit from this article is how tort’s classic “duty not to scare” is changed on Halloween eve. On that night only, our expectations change. Another juicy one is from the opening of the article, where the plaintiff sued her neighbor for defamation through the “tombstones” on the neighbor’s lawn:  “The decorations included an ‘Insane Asylum’ directional sign pointed towards the plaintiff’s house and a homemade Halloween tombstone purporting to reference the plaintiff, which read:

At 48 She had
No mate No date
It’s no debate
She looks 88
She met her fate
in a crate
Now We Celebrate

In case you want to dress up as something law-related for Halloween, here’s a blog article from 2009 that offers some pretty good options for you, including dressing up as the Socratic Method (Greek-inspired toga); Assault and Battery (er… salt shaker and… a battery); and the Billable Hour (carrying around a hourglass and a billing statement…), among others. You get the idea. Speaking of Halloween costumes, LegalZoom offers some excellent advice to employers regarding employee costumes. BEWARE, they say!

We also have a blog post that certainly outdoes my humble offering of links, from Harvard Law Library Blog: Halloween and the Law: A Round Up of Links. More recently, however, is Jonathan Turley‘s excellent annual listing of Halloween cases entitled Spooky Torts. And since it’s an annual listing, you can look back on his blog archives and find all his excellent listings of litigation horrors.

Finally, a real-life horror: laws that prohibit sex offenders from participating in Halloween. Sounds reasonable, yeah? disagrees!

Enjoy the reads, learn a little law, offer up your own Halloween law link, stay safely within the law…

Happy Halloween!

and…. Happy Halloween, my friends.

Law and Fantasy

Ever wonder if Superman would be held liable for all the damage he does to city buildings? Or if She-Hulk would have a right to privacy claim when she was photographed sunbathing? These are very valid questions that need exploring. So a couple of blogs that will help answer such questions:

  • Law and the Multiverse – this is an up and running blog that’s regularly updated.
  • Superhero Law – this hasn’t been active in quite a while but has some great blog posts.
  • Legal Geeks – this is a great blog. How can it not be? Admitted Geeks discussing all kinds of things from a legal point of view such as Dune and Battlestar Galactica


Ten Top Tips when studying Law

Excellent tips! Ten Top Tips when studying Law. From the Lawblogist’s blog.

California State Bar Pamphlets – Excellent Information

Not only does the California State Bar issue licenses to attorney allowing them to practice law in California, but it also provides valuable information to the public on legal matters. They just recently updated the  “Kids & the Law: An A-to-Z Guide for Parents.” Other age-connected publications are “Seniors & the Law: A Guide for Maturing Californians” and “When You Turn 18: A Survival Guide for Teenagers.

The pamphlets tackle specific areas of practice, too, including:

What Should I Do If I Have an Auto Accident?

How Can I Resolve My Dispute Without a Trial?

What Should I Know If I Am Arrested?

These pamphlets are FREE to anyone who orders it via the CA State Bar’s online order form.   I strongly recommend these to your friends and family.

What is Constitution Day?

What is Constitution Day?

On September 17, 1787, delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completed and signed the U.S. Constitution.  Congratulations, us!