Monthly Archives: May 2007

Yellow Ledbetter Exposed

For those Xers who have lived all these long years without being able to understand one of the more popular songs of our time, relief has come. We now know what Eddie was singing. Listen and enjoy.

yojoe

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$125 free money!!! Attorney fired??? Zounds!!! A BAR/BRI Class Action update.

I took the Bar/Bri Bar Review course, as do far too many attorneys-to-be. Simply put, it costs far too much for what amounts to mere force-fed rote memorization of masses of answers to multiple choice questions.

As you likely know, there’s a settlement out there negotiated between the firm representing the class, McGuireWoods, and BAR/BRI. The settlement (not yet finalized) requires West Publishing to pay $36 million, and Kaplan to pay $13 million. That amounts to an average of $125.00 for each of the approximately 300,000 law students that took a BAR/BRI course between 1997 and 2006.

If you haven’t submitted a claim and want to get in on the action, you must postmark your claim no later than September 17th, 2007. The class action page and claim form links are here.

McGuireWoods partner Eliot Disner, however, along with three of the seven lead plaintiffs, have objected to this settlement, claiming it far undervalues the class’ actual damages, which Mr. Disner estimates at more than $400 million. Although Mr. Disner drafted the brief, he did not file it–it was filed by the three objecting plaintiffs, Loredana Nesci, Lisa Gintz, and Ryan Rodriguez. Turns out that Mr. Disner et al don’t think the $125 is so free after all. At ten times the damages, this theoretically would mean we’d each be entitled to, approximately, $1,000. Much more attractive figure, that.

May 24th, the Wall Street Journal reported, and Mr. Disner confirmed, that he has been fired by McGuireWoods for objecting to the settlement. Law.com reports that McGuireWoods partner William Alcott responded to the Disner-drafted brief: “Eliot’s brief does not represent the position of McGuireWoods as lead class counsel,” and that “[McGuireWoods] will be addressing the substance” of the brief in a later filing.

For those of you that agree with Disner, et al, and think the objectors have any chance of success, you may get word in advance of your September 17 deadline. While the $49 million settlement has been preliminarily approved by the judge, another hearing is scheduled for June 18th to finalize the settlement.

And a little postscript. Who is this colorful Loredana Nesci character that’s popping up in the media in pictures with Disner? Why is she suddenly the objectors’ poster-girl? From the odd MySpace page, to her bodybuilding stats, to her extra-schmaltzy law firm website (check out the bio, which details her participation in police shootouts (as a policewoman) and her providing nutrition counseling to insecure fellow law students), she almost seems like an attractive female Mike Hammer (yes, right down to the schmaltz). At best, this seems like an unorthodox choice of a poster-girl. Her wit and wisdom about the settlement is that it “pretty much sucks.” Needless to say, I agree: I’ll take the $1,000 over the $125 anyday.

Loredana: I sincerely hope you and Disner can squeeze a little more out of those publication and Bar Review powerhouses for us starving attorneys. Disner: hope you get your job back. If all else fails, Loredana’s web site says that her passion as an attorney is defending the blameless. (And we all know you’re doing this solely because it’s a righteous cause… you’re doing it for us.)

Lime out

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Filed under Appellate Law, Humor, Law, Supreme Court

Avandia, Incompetent Lawyers, and the New Science: Medicine (and the Law?) makes strides thanks to Google

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal reported on the alarming news about the diabetes drug Avandia, which places users at a 43% increased risk of suffering a heart attack. I have a close relative on the drug, so it’s of immediate concern to me. More about the Avandia news here.

Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, the WSJ article reports, started investigating Avandia’s risks in 2006, based on “hints” of trouble he found in prior studies of the drug. However, the article states, he “hit pay dirt with a Google search that pointed him to a trove of study data.” Dr. Nissen then pushed this study data “in just a few weeks” into the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine’s article, to be released in the June 14, 2007 issue. Nissen’s Google search, which turned up an online database of drugmaker Glaxo’s study results, including the heart attack data, was the catalyst for Nissen’s viewing the “hints” as much more serious indicia of Avandia’s dangers, and for the push to quick publication.

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Filed under Appellate Law, Health, Law, Science, Supreme Court, Tech

Brief blogging hiatus: 360 Elite Review forecast

Just a quick note: I’ve been out finishing teaching my law school class, hearing the students’ presentations, and family vacationing. The 360 Elite review is in preparation and y’all can expect it post-haste.

Lime

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The Dark Knight: A Not-so-Funny Joker

The Joker in the new film The Dark Knight is not the fun-loving comical version portrayed by Jack Nicholson. Just from his looks, one can tell that this will be a very different character. The Joker will be played by Heath Ledger.

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The Joker, in all his glory (aka, Heath Ledger)

Also making an appearance in this film is Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart. He even has his campaign website up and running. We only hope that Two-Face, the super-villain alter ego of Dent, is a little more civil during his political debates and avoids dropping F-Bombs, in the style of our fine senator from Arizona. The Joker has his own website that has been on and off-line as of late. Currently, the site shows “Page not found” and a number of letters H and A. To find a hidden message copy all of the text from the Joker’s site to a word document and delete all of the letters H and A. (It would be too easy to just tell you what the message is).

Yojoe

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Filed under Movies, Politics, Science Fiction

May 07 Xbox 360 Dashboard Update Confirmed: 0200 PST on Wednesday, 9 May

After a long and baited breath, the goods: Xbox Live’s Major Nelson has confirmed that the Dashboard update rolls out 0200 PST on Wednesday, 9 May.  That’s tomorrow.  Crackberry-like constant access with the family, friends, and non-gaming world is finally here.  (Egads!)

The Xbox Press Release is here.

My previous post re the update is here.

HL

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Filed under Gaming, Tech, Windows Vista, Xbox 360

Psychoanalyizing Personal Space in Virtual Worlds

Fascinating video over at NPR’s Bryant Park Project. Apparently the rules of personal space apply equally in virtual worlds like Second Life. First we have motions toward taxing “virtual property” in virtual worlds, and now we have psychologists devoting at least some of their (very likely taxpayer funded) time to studying the dynamics of social “virtual” interaction.

Great vid, take a look here.

Lime (at least 3 feet) out.

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