Dancing by James Cagney and Bob Hope. Good stuff.
The time for filing the appellee’s brief in the Collin County Community College District whistleblower case has been extended to May 8.
Surely everyone knows by now that former super model Jerry Hall, who was formerly with Mick Jagger, is now married to Rupert Murdoch. Is it her mission in life to give hope to ugly guys everywhere? On the other hand, Bryant Gumbel reported that interviewing her was like talking to a window. So maybe it’s not that much hope.
Cuban cigars have, of course, been illegal in the United State since the inception of the Cuban embargo in the 1960s. Yet many cigars are available here with traditionally Cuban brand names. That is because tobacco growers in other parts of the Caribbean, many of them Cuban refugees with Cuban seed, use Cuban brand names when exporting to the United States. For example, the name “Cohiba” belongs to the Cuban government (because the Cuban government expropriated it) except in the United States. A private manufacturer owns the name here.
It seems likely that soon it will be legal for the Cuban government to export its cigars to the United States. When that happens, the Cuban government and the private owners will probably litigate entitlement to the duplicate brand names.
Now Communists abjure the concept of property. The trademark to the duplicate brand names is a form of intellectual property, which is to say property. It will be amusing to see the Cuban government profess in court the primacy of its property rights, especially since it stole those rights to begin with.
A lawyer’s job is to advantage his client where possible. I believe that and have done it to the best of my ability throughout my career. But I learned early on that you are limited in how far you can go. As a young lawyer, I once drafted a proposed purchase agreement that was so transparently and heavily weighted in favor of the buyer (my client) that the seller concluded we were in bad faith and walked away from the deal. I learned from that. You cannot take advocacy so far as to attempt to deny the other side the essential benefits of its bargain.
That lesson came to mind when I read about the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case of Hayes v. Delbert Services Corp., which concerned the enforceability of arbitration and governing-law clauses. The contract disclaimed the applicability of any state or federal law, providing instead that disputes would be governed by the laws of the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation. I infer, though the excerpt I’ve read does not say, that the Sioux Nation in question doesn’t have much law on the subject in dispute and that the parties have no connection to that Sioux Nation. Unsurprisingly, the court struck down the offending provisions.
If either of the parties had a meaningful connection to the Sioux Nation, I would expect the choice-of-law provision to be upheld. But it is offensive for a party with superior bargaining power to impose that choice on someone else when neither has such a connection. I have used arbitration clauses and choice-of-law provisions in my agreements, as have most transactional lawyers, but I’ve had better judgment than to try to push things as far as the lawyers did in this case–at least since that early experience I described.
Here’s typical habitat in the area where legends tell of a Wild Man living in the Navidad River bottom land.
I’ve posted a series of pieces on the corruption at the Collin County Community College District. The police officers who discovered part of the scheme and began to investigate were told to shut down the investigation and were penalized for having gone as far as they did.
The officers filed a whistleblower suit, which was dismissed on the basis that the college district was immune to such a suit. The officers have appealed and the brief in support of their appeal is now filed. Here it is:
The College District will probably file its response in April or early May, depending on what extensions of time they seek.
Cigars come in so many brands, sizes, shapes, tastes, and colors, and such widely ranging prices, that it can be hard to get your head around them. In an effort to understand the variety better, Frank Robertson compares them to something more familiar. But, counterintuitively, that something is women.
What man thinks comparing something to women makes the compared thing easier to understand? I raise that as someone who is approaching his 46th anniversary with the same wife. That said, the article is amusing, perhaps especially because of the comparison. Here’s a great example:
Why is it assumed that Cubans are the best? Cuban cigars can be thought of as a Swedish runway model. You know what I’m talking about, the one that you could live 10,000 lifetimes and you would still never have a chance! Simply, people want what they can’t have. And if you’re ever “lucky” enough to get one, it’s not long until you realize she’s over priced and over hyped – in fact, she’s crazy! Don’t misunderstand me, there are some good ones out there, but generally speaking…go with what you can readily get. It’s often a better experience.
We’ve all heard of gaggles of geese, herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, and probably murders of crows. But how many know that the correct term for any number of cats, one or more, is a “surfeit.” Or a “plague,” depending on the day.
Or so I think it should be. My wife has cats. I have irritations.
I’ve certainly seen examples, but I never knew the word: