xtitsx: (Default)
( 14 Sep 2017 11:18 am)
for a comprehensive discussion of last Wednesday's Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure classes see yesterday's post.
after Civil Procedure i had twenty minutes before the third and final class of the day began.
the next class was in the room just next door to the one i was just in but it was still occupied by a Torts class that was running long so i had to sit and wait for that to finish.
i sat on a bench in the hallway near some other kids who were also waiting for the room to open up and after a few minutes i struck up a conversation with a kid sitting closest to me.
he was some kind of spazz with a malformed head and special needs who frequently asks dumb questions that make other kids' eyes roll.
i asked him how his first year was going so far and he said it was a lot to adjust to.
then he asked me, as polite as could be, “do you go to school here?”
what? motherfucker, what do you think i'm doing here!?!
i'm in your Legislation and Regulation class. we're waiting for the same class to begin. why do you think i'm talking to you!?!
i told him that we were in the same class together and he said “oh!?!” like he was surprised.
i tried not to take this kid's total lack of recognition as a personal insult, but it was hard.
i mean, i get that it's the first few weeks of Law School for this kid and there are lots of new faces and new experiences to get used to but, come on, i'm a big hairy weirdo who wears polish on my fingers and toes, i frequently take my shoes off and walk around the classroom barefoot and it says TITS on all of my stuff.
i would think i would stand out.

eventually the Torts class emptied out and we filed in for Legislation and Regulation.
the Professor came in after another few minutes and he was full of jokes.
he spent several minutes doing material about what a funny name 'Puffendorf' was, and then another few minutes about how they don't form posses anymore like they used to.
this guy might very well be the funniest tax attorney at the Law School.

the Professor started the day's class, like he did every single other class before that since the beginning of the semester, talking about the opposing ideologies of statutory interpretation, purposivism and textualism.
he's beat that dead horse into hamburger.
then we finally moved on to the related-but-thankfully-different topic of the absurdity doctrine.
the absurdity doctrine is a rule in statutory interpretation that says if interpreting legislation in a certain way will yield an absurd result, you probably shouldn't do it that way.
the Professor asked how the absurdity doctrine jibes with the textualist approach that says that judges should interpret the words of legislation according to their plain meaning.
my classmates seemed to think that they were antithetical but i raised my hand [or, i just shouted out] that you can't have textualism without the absurdity doctrine.
it is an out that allows textualists to maintain their approach to statutory interpretation without it collapsing under the weight of its own orthodoxy.
the Professor seemed like he'd never looked at it that way before.

next we started talking about whether, when interpreting legislation, to use the plain meaning of a word or the scientific or technical meaning, if there is one.
we talked about a case from 1893 called Nix v. Hedden in which a guy who was importing tomatoes tried to get out of a $0.10 per bushel tax on vegetables by claiming tomatoes were fruits.
this is an argument i've had with the PSE on dozens of occasions.
i'm sure it's an argument you've had with your loved ones, family and friends as well.
inadvertently there is always that one little shit in any social circle who hears from somewhere that tomatoes are fruits because they flower from the vine and have internal seeds.
the PSE has put up that argument more then once and it's all i can do not to belt her across the face.
the tomato is a vegetable because we use it as a vegetable, that is, in savory cooking, not a sweet desert like proper fruits.
which is exactly the conclusion the Supreme Court reached in 1893 holding that, though botanically a tomato might be a fruit, the supreme law of the land is that it is a vegetable, case closed.
it was reassuring but totally unsurprising to have my tomato opinions validated.

i got out of class at the usual time, 4:40pm, then went home to sit and stare at the wall until it was time for school again on Friday afternoon.
i have one class on Fridays, Civil Procedure from 1:30 to 2:50pm.
i left the house at 1:05pm, giving myself time to go out to the parking lot and fuck with my TITScycle.
the last time i tried to ride it on Wednesday afternoon i couldn't get it to start.
i thought maybe i was low on gas but when i came back from school Wednesday afternoon i got the thing started and drove it to a gas station and filled it up.
but, when i tried to start it up again Friday afternoon it was doing the same shit it was doing Wednesday morning, [see yesterday's post.]
i would press the ignition on the TITScycle and it would start up then die off immediately before i had an opportunity to rev the engine.
i sat in the parking lot pressing the starter, trying to rev the engine and having it die for no less then five minutes before i finally got enough gas into the thing for it to take off.
i suspect that the problem might be the clutch, though i'm only vaguely aware of what a clutch is.

in the few minutes before Civil Procedure began i found myself talking with an awkward Ginger fellow who started talking to me in the bathroom and followed me around the halls and back to our classroom.
the guy was nice enough but he left me with the impression that he suffers from crippling social anxiety and his therapist makes him go out into the world and have conversations with people as practice.
i didn't mind.
nobody else really talks to me in Civil Procedure because they're all First Years and this is the only class we have together and i'm an outsider [or just because i'm a weirdo and i make people uncomfortable] so if this sputtering Ginger wants to practice the social niceties with me i'm happy to play along.

at 1:30 the Professor started class and we got to talking about acquiring jurisdiction over property, which is called 'in rem.'
to get in rem jurisdiction, the property in question has to be within the territorial bounds of the state the court is located.
then you have 'quasi-in rem' jurisdiction, which is where you want to sue to garnish property located within a state, to try to get compensation for something.

after in rem, we talked about notice, which is the second half of the two-part equation to determine if a court has jurisdiction over a person or thing.
first the thing in question must have “minimum contacts” with the state but then, also, they have to be notified that they are the subject of a lawsuit.
you can't just sue a motherfucker, not tell them they are being sued, and then file for a default judgment against them and collect.
well you can do that, it happens all the time, but, it's not supposed to.
really, if there is any practical way for the plaintiff in a lawsuit to inform the defendant, they need to give it a good faith effort.
they don't have to try their hardest, they don't have to go above and beyond, but they have to take steps that are “reasonably calculated under the circumstances to apprise interested parties the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections.”
that makes sense.

class was over at 2:50 and with it my short-but-somehow-still-really-long school week.
as everybody was packing up some other faculty member stuck his head in to say that they'd just had a going-away party for somebody in the conference room and there was leftover food to be had.
i knew that because i am a Second Year and i keep a close eye on what's going on in the conference room and am quick to swoop in on leftovers but since somebody made an announcement, i had competition.
i made my way over to the conference room and filled up a plate with a slice of lemon cake, a cookie that turned out to be peanut butter and, the best part, four bites of chicken and chili peppers wrapped in bacon.
i grabbed four and left, then, halfway down the hall, turned around and grabbed three more before going home for the day.

//[ab irato ad astra]

October 2017

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