Constitutional Daily

Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1573:legal-reasoning-redux-5&catid=38:there-and-never-back-again&Itemid=65

Time, Place, and Manner

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Have you ever been on Instagram liking your friends’ photos of their mediocre lunch and been thinking “hmm, really wish I could find a lawyer on here?” Ever been on Pinterest pinning clothes for your dream closet and wished you could pin potential attorneys to a board for later use? We’d ask about Facebook, but if you haven’t been on Facebook and thought at least once, “that guy needs the help of a legal professional,” then congratulations on having well-behaved, law-abiding friends and this example not applying to you.

We’d like to introduce you to RSVPLaw. According to the WSJ, RSVPLaw just made attorney-client connections “infinitely easier.” It’s a no cost service to potential clients that “boasts a novel 21st century approach” using social media as the primary contact means to connect clients and attorneys. Feel free to tweet your way to a new attorney-relationship. If you tweet at RSVPLaw, they will respond with a “direct message asking what type of lawyer is needed, what happened, and where you are located.” Enjoy condensing your explanation of “what happened” into 140 character messages. Then they’ll find you someone who practices the kind of law you need in your area.

Don’t fret if twitter isn’t your scene. You can also find them on facebook, instagram, pinterest, tumblr, vine, their own website, and via email. (As a courtesy to our readers, we should probably warn you that grammar and sentence structure were clearly not at the forefront of the RSVPLaw website designers’ minds). They combine “the best of technology and human interaction to provide a warm and efficient service that’s both convenient and compassionate.” How charming.

“But guys, this sounds basically just like the yellow pages in my phonebook!” you might be saying. And you would be basically right. But with RSVPLaw, there’s a human element. So it’s  more like if a bunch of lawyers hired someone to read the yellow pages to you. Don’t you feel connected now?

Who is even using RSVPLaw? What client demographic could this possibly appeal to? People who don’t have phonebooks but do have internet but can’t find the yellow pages online? People who don’t have google? So, no one?

More importantly, what legal professional is using RSVPLaw? We say “more importantly” because the lawyers are the ones who will be paying for RSVPLaw, and therefore perpetuating its inane existence.  So who’s interested in this? RSVPLaw sounds like they’re rounding up a client list and then charging lawyers for access to that list. Clients who would have gone to some lawyer anyways, but now another middleman is taking a slice of an already shrinking pie.

They’re hoping there are lawyers out there desperate enough for clients that they buy into the RSVPLaw service, hoping that just one client will make the service pay for itself.  And maybe it will. With a $6-10 referral fee, IF you meet that client, and IF they retain you and IF they pay you, you’ll get that money back. But what about all the other clients you were matched with that didn’t pick you in that time? Is this really any more cost-efficient than the yellow pages?

Hell, why are we even talking about this, since it’s so obviously awful? Well, we’re talking about it because the WSJ was talking about it. But actually, they were just running a press release from Business Wire.  So how much did RSVPLaw pay to get that press release? Probably close to $500, if we had to guesstimate. BusinessWire starts its pricing at $340 for a 400 word press release with higher charges for every 100 words. The RSVPLaw press release was 587 words, not including any contact information.

So we’ve got lawyers who are desperate for any method of bringing in new clients, and a company willing to prey on that desperation to take an unearned cut of the fee. And really, if all you’re doing is collecting names of clients and names of lawyers who you’ve never met and have no basis for recommending, then your cut really is unearned. And as far as we can tell, no one is actually using the service yet. So, we’ve also got this startup legal connection company giving money to a PR firm in hopes that PR firm will generate enough buzz to get it some clients. And that PR firm is almost certainly paying to have its ads placed in the WSJ, probably under the hope that people who come across it will see the WSJ logo, not notice that it’s a press release, and mistakenly think this is a real story, and thus the company being discussed has actually done something noteworthy.

And it has done something noteworthy. It has caused money to spin in a downward spiral so fast that it gives Greece and Spain goosebumps.

Waaahooooshaaah!

This is how you get GoT

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Spoiler Alert

This post deals with the events in last night's episode of A Game of Thrones, and A Storm of Swords.

 

In the third book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Danyrs (Dany) is in search of an army she can use to reclaim her crown. She comes across a slaver with 8000 slave soldier for sale. The Unsullied are noted most of all for their intense discipline, to the point where they will stand night and day without food or water, or fall on their own swords if so ordered. Lacking money, Dany agrees to trade one of her three dragons for all of the slaver's Unsullied. This is of course a boneheaded move for the slaver, because duh, Dany can just kill the slaver and steal the dragon back by using her big shiny new army.

That's not quite how it goes down though. Instead she has her dragon kill the slaver. Here's the relevant text:

Dany handed the slaver the end of Drogon's chain. In return he presented her with the whip. The handle was black dragonbone, elaborates carved and inlaid with gold. Nine long thin leather lashes trailed from it, each one tipped by a gilded claw. [...]

Dany turned the whipe in her hand. [...] "Is it done then? Do they belong to me?"

"It is done," he agreed, giving the chain a sharp pull to bring Drogon down from the litter."

[...] Though the Astapori yanked and tugged, Drogon would not budge off the litter. Smoke rose grey from his open jaws, and his long neck curled and straightened as he snapped at the slaver's face.

[...] "He will not come," Kraznys said.

"There is a reason. A dragon is no slave." And Dany swept the lash down as hard as she could across the slaver's face. Kraznys screamed and staggered back, the blood running red down his cheeks into his perfused beard. The harpy's fingers had torn his features half to pieces with one slash, but she did not pause to contemplate the ruin. "Drogon," she sang out loudly, sweetly, all her fear forgotton, "Dracarys."

The black dragon spread his wings and roared.

A lance of swirling dark flame took Kraznys full in the face. His eyes melted and ran down his cheeks, and the oil in his hair and beard burst so fiercely into fire that for an instant the slaver wore a burning crown twice as tall as his head. The sudden stench of charred meat overwhelmed even his perfume, and his wail seemed to drown all other sound.

Had Dany simply used the Unsullied to kill Kraznys, and then took her dragon back, we'd say fine. Kraznys is an idiot, and Dany is a cutthroat bitch, but all's fair in love and stupidly selling your entire army.

Instead, Dany has Drogon kill Kraznys, giving rise to the arguments that either no contract was formed, or that Dany breached.

The argument that there was no contract rests on the idea that a dragon is not an alienable chattel. Were Drogon a mere pet, he could be handed over, and tough shit for the new owner if he doesn't obey. But, Drogon is a very special type of creature. He follows Dany, even obeys his commands, but it's not clear that she necessarily owns him. He may be more Jorah Mormont. He follows her and obeys her commands, but as a free man, she cannot trade him (without first enslaving him).

So, if Drogon is more like a free person than a pet, no contract was formed due to mistake or lack of consideration.

In the alternative, if Drogon did legally pass to Kraznys, Dany can be argued to have breached by interfering with his taking possession of the dragon. Dany is under no obligation to make Drogon behave, just as someone selling a dog doesn't have to follow along with the new owner and give it commands. But, if a dog seller takes the cash, hands over the leash, and then immediately orders the dog to come, and has it run away from its master and back to the seller, that's a breach. Having the dog breath fire and melt the buyer's eyeballs is a bigger breach.

The Unsullied unanimously accept Dany's rule, with none of them questioning their legal status, and maybe Astapor law doesn't care about these objections, but rest assured that in Winds of Winter there will be Westerosi maesters sitting high in their ivory towers doing the important work of debating the legality of this transaction, and deriding the work of those members of the order who actually work as physicians and medical advisers.

Terrebonner

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WHEREAS, the Terrebonne Parish Council finds that appearing in public view while exposing one’s skin or undergarments below the waist is contrary to safety, health, peace, and good order of the parish, and the general welfare...

Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana passed an ordinance this week to ban saggy pants in public. Terrebonne Parish, in case you were wondering, is in that little part of Louisiana that’s underneath Mississippi but isn’t New Orleans, and is home to about 111,000 folks.

The ordinance includes no measurements or other type of specification on how low the pants have to be to be inappropriate, how much underwear or skin is enough to incite a ticket, and unfortunately no visual aids as examples of inappropriate clothing. The patent office figured it out, but we’re waiting for every other governmental agency to figure out that visual aids are informative, and fun!

Offenders of this grievous anti-saggy pants ordinance will be fined $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense and $100 plus 16 hours of mandatory community service for the third offense. A judge will determine the punishment for any further violations.

The new ordinance it “unlawful for any person to appear in public view or in a public place wearing pants, skirts or other clothing below the waist which expose the skin or undergarments.”

Temporarily disregarding the generally silly nature of the ordinance itself, let’s take a look at the way it’s written. We understand that “expose the skin or undergarments” is intended to mean “expose the skin or undergarments between the waist and the top of the clothing item worn around the waist.” But, that’s not what they said. What they said was “clothing below the waist which exposes the skin.” Sounds to us like you can no longer wear any clothing below the waist except, well, pants. And if you wear pants, don’t you dare wear peeptoe heels! (Or loafers with no socks, thus exposing your ankles, BL1Y.) Skirts, shorts, skorts, capris, and ankle pants all expose some skin below the waist. …Though perhaps some of though ought to be banned.

Do you even have to wear pants? seems to be the obvious follow up question. While the Terrebonne Parish City Code makes nudity and semi nudity in public places illegal, they define nudity to mean “the appearance of a human bare buttock, anus, male genitals, female genitals, or female breast,” and semi nudity just means that you have some kind of opaque clothing covering those areas, but only those areas. So you can’t expose those areas, and you can’t expose everything but those areas. Sounds like the start of a great LSAT logic game, but the way we understand it, you can toss on a shirt and undies, and be just fine because while your skin and underwear is exposed, you’re not wearing pants or anything else below the waist which is doing the said exposing.

We find the whole ordinance rather unnecessary, but the local NAACP chapter wholeheartedly agreed with the ban, declaring, “There is nothing positive about people wearing saggy pants. This is not a black issue, this is not a white issue, this is a people issue.”

While this isn’t the first time a municipality has attempted or enacted an anti-saggy pants ban, this is the first time the local NAACP chapter agreed with it. Not the first time the NAACP has weighed in, mind you. Just the first time they’ve weighed in on the wrong side.

There are really only two reasons for a law like this: you either really want a dress code for your parish because you’re the sort of busy body who needs to control everyone’s life, or you want the police to have a cover for racial profiling and harassment, because you’re the sort of busy body who wants to harass poor black people without going through the effort of pretending to smell marijuana.

And the only reason for the local NAACP chapter to support the bill, which come on, we all know is designed to go after black kids, is that the NAACP leadership has gotten old, and now their opinions of black youth are starting to align with the white opinions they experienced when they were younger. There is a group for that, by the way. It’s called the AARP. Maybe they should merge and form an NAARCP, and leave the NAACP to people who think black people are better served by having liberties than by being told how to dress.

Let's hope the Boston marathon bomber makes us all stupid about race issues

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David Sirota has an article up on Salon.com titled Let's hope the Boston marathon bomber is a white American. Great title David, and we'd be inclined to agree, but you lost us as "Salon.com." Here's the gist of Sirota's argument:

[W]hite male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings — even though most come at the hands of white dudes.

Likewise, in the context of terrorist attacks, such privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as “lone wolf” threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters. Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats — the kind potentially requiring everything from law enforcement action to military operations to civil liberties legislation to foreign policy shifts.

[...] If recent history is any guide, if the bomber ends up being a white anti-government extremist, white privilege will likely mean the attack is portrayed as just an isolated incident — one that has no bearing on any larger policy debates. Put another way, white privilege will work to not only insulate whites from collective blame, but also to insulate the political debate from any fallout from the attack.

Remember how in the aftermath of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut the shootings ended up having absolutely no bearing on any larger policy debates? Ohhh, right, they did. Congress and the nation has been debating gun regulation ever since.

But hey, James Eagan Holmes and Adam Lanza were treated like lone wolves! The entirely of white maledom wasn't blamed for their actions! What gives?

Well, of course all the evidence points to them being lone wolves, and nothing points to their being white as having anything to do with their motives. (Being male probably does have something to do with it, given that nature has dealt men a hand more likely to be violent and suffer from a mental illness that manifests itself violently.)

But if white people weren't collectively blamed by Holmes and Lanza, why do Muslims get collectively blamed for attacks by Islamist terrorists? I mean, just listen to this speech by George W. Bush just 9 days after the September 11th attacks.:

The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics -- a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children.

The United States respects the people of Afghanistan -- after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid -- but we condemn the Taliban regime. It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder.

[...] I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.

Wow! You can just smell the white male privilege dripping from that fiery rhetoric! It really takes an uppity white dude to tell the world how peaceful the vast majority of Muslims are. Where does he get off?

 

When we said David had a great title, we meant it. He just wrote the wrong article. We do hope that the bomber was a white American. Hopefully a white Christian American. Why? Not because it's going to insulate foreigners from prejudice, but because white male domestic terrorists do in fact tend to be lone wolves. We hope he was a lone wolf because that's preferable to hoping there's an organized terrorist organization that's going to continue carrying out attacks.

Domestic terrorists aren't painted as part of a larger conspiracy because there isn't one. The terrorists who attacked the United States on September 11th were described as part of a large, international terrorist organization because they were.

If we can't have a white American as the culprit, we'll settle for a black American. Heck, even one with the name Muhammad, because if you remember, in the wake of the ten Beltway Sniper murders white privilege was extended to blacks to protect the entire black population of the United States from being considered a terrorist organization. Although, the extension of this privilege was probably accidental, as Montgomery County, MD Police Chief Charles Moose suspected the shooter was a white male (because, no surprise, when someone commits a crime that is typically committed by lone white males, criminal profiles suspect the culprit is a lone white male, privilege be damned).

Passionate, Flexible 0Ls? Sounds Sexy. Or Stupid.

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Yesterday the US News University Directory published a news piece with the headline, “Law School Students Use Passion and Flexibility in Struggling Job Market.” Never the kind to turn down an opportunity to roll our eyes at idiocy, we read the article.

The headline is off to a great start: redundant and almost completely inaccurate. “Law school students” because somehow “law students” wasn’t clear? That headline might lead one to believe this article would be some kind of focus piece on individual law students who have done something passionate or flexible with their law degree. Nope. Note even a little.

The article is actually about pre-law students, and no one is actually using passion or flexibility- they just think their hypothetical future selves might. The job market is struggling, though, so at least they got something right. Well, actually, the job market itself isn’t struggling, but people in the market are. …Well, not even really in the market yet. But whatever. Close enough?

The article claims that despite the difficulties of the current legal market, students are still “flocking” to law schools. Students are flocking to law schools the same way lemmings would flock off a cliff if a Stopper lemming was dropped in the middle of a herd and some Builder and Digger Lemmings got the rest to safety. Law school applications are headed for a 30 year low, and despite some schools voluntarily cutting class sizes, there’s a good chance numerous schools will find themselves with empty seats. There’s still a flock, but the context demands mentioning it’s a significantly smaller flock.

The article goes on to cite a survey by Kaplan Test Prep, which says that half of pre law students plan to use their law degree in a nontraditional legal position because of the condition of the legal market. And Jeff Thomas, Kaplan’s Pre-Law guy thinks that’s just okay:

While we'd always counsel students to go to law school with the intent to practice law, society is filled with lawyers in all types of positions - politicians, lobbyists, authors, law enforcement officials, executives at professional sports leagues, and more - which shows that law degrees can be applied to a broad range of career options.

We could point out that if you’re planning on doing something other than practicing law, you’re better off getting a degree that’s much more on point (and probably cheaper) than a law degree. If you want to be an author, get an MFA. If you want to be a police officer, study criminal justice or go to the police academy. If you want to be a politician, get an MRS and wait for your husband to hit his term limit. There are just so many other, better choices than a JD for alternative careers.

We could also point out that if you don’t intend to practice law, but instead want to use your JD to be a politician, lobbying, author, police officer, or professional sports league executive, you’re going to first need to practice law. For most of these, look at a stay in the legal profession of 15 years to life, maybe 12 if you get out on good behavior.

But we’re not going to say that. What we’re going to say is that if you believe a test prep company about the viability of alternative career paths, you’re embarrassingly gullible. Test prep companies are only going to make money if you’re planning on taking a test they can prep you for. There’s no politician or writer version of the GMAT, GRE, or LSAT. You don’t sell test prep programs by telling people to get an entry level position in their target field.

Furthermore, if you believe a test prep company about the viability of alternative career paths, fire your test prep company, because they’re obviously doing a pretty terrible job at teaching you logical thinking. That’s probably on your test somewhere, and you officially suck at it.

According to the survey, while half of these bright pre-law minds don’t plan to actually practice law (because they’ll be exploring that alternative career path), 71% of them are going to law school so they can have a career they are passionate about. Here’s what law school has given us at ConDaily a(n increased) passion for: beer, wine, spirits, sleep, not getting enough sleep, client-hating, and confusing parenthetical placements.

The only sense demonstrated by anyone referenced in the article comes from the 43% of pre law kids who said they would postpone or alter their law school plans if they did not receive enough financial aid. At least some of the flock gets to the edge of the cliff and says, “Oh hell no. Not without an umbrella.”

I Hope They Serve Beer on Broadway

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Raise your hand if you saw this coming. Now put your hands down, because no you didn't. Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is being turned into a Broadway show.

The show will be based on the book, rather than being an adaptation of the movie (which combined some plots, made some new stuff up, and generally deviated from the text quite a bit), the play is being written by Kit Sanderson (two seconds of Googling didn't reveal anything interesting), and you will be able to purchase and drink beer at the theater, which is actually not that uncommon, though being able to take your drink from the lobby and into the actual theater is a bit of a novelty (not like anyone was actually sitting through Legally Blond without sneaking in a flask).

The show opens June 5th, and Tucker Max will be played by Abe Goldfarb, who has the double Cartman no-nos of being both Jewish and a Ginger:

Frankly, we think he looks the part.

30 Seconds for Brian Loncar

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Law firm with "HURT" in the phone number? Even Sweet Brown got time for that!

Should You Take a Document Review Job?

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Yesterday we gave you this picture from the ABA's website of a blonde LF10 talking to a brunette RW10, asking for possible captions. As a commenter pointed out, they are probably discussing just how the hell that folder is flying, cause neither of them seems to be holding it. Is this the sort of next level shit they showcased at the ABA Tech Show?

 

Not liking to play fair, we already had the winning caption in hand, provided by none other than the ABA itself. This picture appears on the top of all pages in the publications section of the ABA website, but one page in particular stood out:

 

Bazing!

You can read the ABA's full analysis of doc review jobs, but we've selected two gems:

Document-review work is not glamorous, but it is a common way to gain legal experience and provides valuable insight into the discovery process in many different areas of law. It is often done by solo practitioners looking for extra income or new law school graduates who have not yet secured permanent employment.

Document review is not legal experience. Not by a long shot. You might get a little bit of knowledge about privilege, but you could have just grab a free MPRE study guide and get the same information. The number of valuable insights to be had in document review is less than the number of opportunities for promotion.

The ABA also misses the mark in saying it's something you can do as a solo, or to earn "extra" income. Truth is document review is going to be all or nothing. It's rare that a company will let you work your doc review schedule around the few client meetings and court appearances you have for your struggling solo practice. There's an oversupply of lawyers willing to do this work, and doc review companies want 40+ hours a week.

Although most assignments are done with a looming discovery deadline, it is uncommon to work over forty hours a week. Best of all, document review assignments rarely involve weekend work. Some attorneys may find this schedule preferable to a demanding firm job. At minimum, document review work is a good way to get your feet wet and earn a steady paycheck.

It's uncommon to find a document review position for less that 40 hours a week; more than 40 hours is common, though overtime rates are not. And plenty of doc review jobs require working 6 days a week (as noted in a different article the ABA has on document review). Despite the hours, doc review still has a schedule that's preferable to most firm jobs because when your day is done, it's done. You're not on call 24/7. Although, firm jobs pay year-round. Doc review's schedule means constantly being in search for your next gig.

Despite their being some slight perks to the schedule, it's entirely disingenuous to say that some people "prefer" that schedule. They don't. They'd prefer the schedule of working 60-70 hours a week and being on call all the time because that's the schedule that comes with a real lawyer job where you do real legal work (see the ABA article on minority attorneys being "left to languish" on document review projects). If you neither advise nor represent clients, and doing so is nowhere in the future of your job, you're not a real attorney.

That's nowhere to be found in this introduction to document review. You might need a license to do the job, but you're not practicing law. And you're not getting your feet wet either. You're part of the legal process, but you're in a deadend bottom position, and legal secretaries get to see more of the process than you.

But, to answer the question, should you take a document review job? The answer is quite simple. How desperate are you for money? If you still hold out hope of having a professional career, and your water hasn't been shut off yet, no. Don't do document review. If you don't mind being a basement dwelling nobody for the rest of your career, or are living in conditions so squalid that guinea worms are a real threat, then yes, take it.

Captain Contest

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Here's a picture. You know how caption contests work. Get going.

But first, a tiny bit of back story. This image is from the ABA website. We also already have in hand the winning caption, provided by the ABA itself which we'll post tomorrow, but we're going to give the rest of you shlubs a chance to play.

When you play the game of TV time slots, you watch live, or you DVR

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Maybe your Sunday evening doesn’t revolve around TV scheduling, in which case, congratulations on your exciting and fulfilling life. If you’re like at least half of the ConDaily staff, though, it does, and last night presented a bit of a dilemma: watch the AMC premiere of Mad Men at 9ET/8CT, or watch the second episode of Game of Thrones on HBO at the same time?

If you’re like us, you decided to watch Mad Men first. Both HBO and AMC had a night of back-to-back encores planned, but Mad Men had a two-hour time slot, so going to Game of Thrones first would mean an hour break between show. Or waiting an hour and catching the second Game of Thrones and immediately going in to Mad Men, but why would you want to delay your happiness by an hour? Mad Men then immediately Game of Thrones was the clear decision. Except that Mad Men wasn’t a 2 hour premiere. It was a 2 hour and 8 minute premiere. Thanks for the heads up on that, AMC. Oh wait, you didn’t give us one. Sure, there’s the actual time listed in the digital cable guide, but this is news worthy of a smart phone app blast. I didn’t realize that the episode had gone 8 minutes over until you saw the credits and looked at the clock to see if you had time for a potty break before switching to GoT. This is what I get for having blind faith in television producers staying in their projected time slots.

Is 8 minutes really that big of a deal? You tell us. A lot can happen in that time. You can commit adultery (Don Draper), bang a prostitute (Tyrion Lannister), do 8 minute abs (maybe Namby?), and be more or less done making box mac and cheese (all the rest of us, and the ATL staff, and pretty much every under-employed legal type).

And so I missed the first 8 minutes of GoT. Sure, if we were real upset about it, we could’ve waited ‘til the next showing, or gotten on HBO Go, or On Demand, or begged someone to tell us what happened. (As an aside, I still haven’t seen it, so that tells you how eager I am, and by extension how upset I was).

But, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that AMC had given us (and HBO) a heads up about this running over thing. What if they called up HBO and were all, “Hey, could you delay GoT a few minutes? We’re running a little long on this premiere of Mad Men.” And HBO could’ve been all like, “Yeah sure, AMC. We know that there’s a lot of overlap in our audiences (the people who care about good TV audience), and this is a small concession to make in order to let everyone watch both shows without a stupid one hour break in the middle or delaying the whole 188 minute TV marathon by an hour.”

And because this hypothetical is already ridiculous, picture it ending with the douchiest characters from each show high-fiving: Theon Greyjoy and Pete Campbell. (Spoiler alert: this joke is much funnier if you’ve seen the latest GoT.)

Jumping into the legal analysis, this agree is, on its face, anti-competitive. As in “hey, let’s not compete over this chunk of time.” Anti-competitive collusion usually happens at the expense of the consumer and to the benefit of the business. But in this instance, if the networks had “colluded,” then everyone’s happy. The fans see all of each episode, so they’re happy, which (should) make the networks happy, and would certainly make advertisers in those last 8 minutes of Mad Men happy to not have a chunk of their audience switch over to HBO.

HBO doesn’t have much incentive to cooperate, but maybe AMC agrees to pay a portion of the last block of advertising money, or HBO just puts up a message saying “Game of Thrones has been delayed a few minutes while we wait for viewers to join us from Mad Men” and gains a lot of good will. Even viewers who don’t watch Mad Men will appreciate the gesture, and HBO can just run some filler, like cast interviews they’ve already taped, or run a promo for Louis CK’s new special.

Or even better, we could take our legally dubious collusion to the next level and send the Game of Thrones staff over to Mad Men and help them find 8 minutes to cut, because good lord that episode was slow. Maybe trim a few seconds off each of the close-ups showing Don looking—yet again—constipated? How about losing the entire thing with the wedding and the lighter? Maybe the photo shoot? The goulash? So many things. In the entire 2+ hours, Mad Men packed in about 3 moments of interest. The best thing the episode had going for it was getting all the disappointment out in one evening instead of ruining next Sunday as well. But nope, that didn’t happen, and instead we didn’t just get a poorly paced episode of Mad Men and a conflict of Game of Thrones, but I also got stuck with an assignment from BL1Y to analyze whether antitrust laws would prevent two networks from coordinating their scheduling. Thanks a lot everyone. I hope you get [spoilered] just like [spoiler] does to [spoiler] during [spoiler]’s [spoiler].

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Practice Makes Putrid

Legal practice would be all rainbows and buttercups, if it weren't for the clients, and opposing counsel, and co-counsel, and judges, and the law.


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Eat Mor Fiv Freedums


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Gin and Glannon's

As Shadow Hand suffers through law school, the rest of us get a little Schadenfreude.


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I Just Work Here


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Irresistible Impulse

Dr. Rob Dobrenski's daring expedition into the psychology of lawyers and the law. (Not a substitute for a life well lived.)


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You're Not a Failure, You're a Narcissist


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Graphic and Gratuitous

Sometimes cartoons are the highest form of communication. Those times are known as "most of the time."


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Intelligence: The Gathering


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There And Never Back Again

Defunct Big Law attorney BL1Y shares his misadventures as a writer who accidentally went to law school.

 


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JD vs MFA


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Lampshade, Esquire

We're dealing with some technical difficulties here. Hold up a minute.


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Staff Infections

News, humor, and other non-billables from our underpaid, uncredited, unsexy staff.

 


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