Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Schedule

So now that I no longer have the position of student organization president occupying my mind, I shall turn my attention to future matters.

First, this summer. I will be continuing my work at the agency where I've been employed since last summer. (Note to self: must complete paper work for 711 certification.)

Second, I got almost the exact schedule I wanted for next semester. My classes will be as follows:

Externship Clinic
Lawyering Practice (Gilchrist)
Juvenile Law (McGraugh)
Secured Transactions (Korybut)
Urban Housing and Development (Salsich)
Directed Research (Bloom)

The only class I wanted but didn't get was Porter's Feminist Legal Theory seminar, because I've already taken two seminars and therefore was low on the priority list.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Passing the torch ...

... or in this case, the paper plates and napkins.

It is my honor and pleasure to congratulate the newly elected officers of SLU Law's chapter of ACS.

President - Paul Woody
Vice President - Chris Durso
Secretary - Christie Kure
Treasurer - Rich Carey

I am very happy with the progress my fellow outgoing officers and I have made in getting a student group established that didn't exist when we started at SLU Law last year.

I am also happy to be handing the reins over to someone else, particularly since our chapter of ACS will be in such capable hands.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Texas Hold 'Em - one last time

I wanted to remind everyone that ACS is having our Texas Hold 'Em tournament this Thursday evening at Guido's on The Hill. It will start at 7pm and run until sometime between 9-10pm. It's a $10 buy in and the winner will receive a gift certificate to Guido's.

Chief Justice Wolff of the Supreme Court of Missouri is signed up to play.

Please note that this event is open to anyone who would like to attend, so long as you're over 21 and willing to pay $10 to ACS. There is still a small amount of seating available - to sign up please email acsslu@yahoo.com.

After our meeting tomorrow, I will no longer be the president of this group, so this is likely my last post in that capacity. Wow, how the time flies.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Texas Hold 'Em - taking it up a notch

Last night was the second installment of what I hope becomes a tradition for SLU ACS. We had a social at Guido's on The Hill. Our guest of honor was Judge Teitelman of the Supreme Court of Missouri. Last semester our guest of honor was Chief Justice Wolff, and apparently he had such a good time that he asked to be invited again. The event was a rousing success.

We had a sign up sheet for our upcoming Texas Hold 'Em Tournament at the event, and Chief Justice Wolff signed up to play.

There are still seats available, so if you're interested in playing poker with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri, sign up by emailing acsslu@yahoo.com.

And to any SLU Law 1Ls who are reading this, good luck with those LRW briefs that are due on Monday!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Too cute to resist

Civ Pro in action

One of the biggest benefits of summer work - particularly summer work at a swamped, understaffed agency that won't lock you in a room with a Westlaw password and a computer - is that you get to see some of the stuff you learned in classes play out in actual cases.

This past summer, I got a crash course in what I termed the "dark side of Civ Pro."

We had a pretty routine family case, or at least it should have been fairly routine. But the respondent knew just enough civ pro to be dangerous. He had already been before every judge in his small county on some sort of criminal or civil matter, so one by one he filed petitions for substitution against every one of them. Some of them voluntarily recused themselves, others let fellow judges decide. By the time I came on the scene at work, he'd gone through every judge in his county so they were bringing in other judges to hear our motions.

The first hearing I attended, we were greeted with yet another petition for substitution alleging actual prejudice. Since every judge in that county had already been disqualified in one way or another, none of them could rule on the petition and neither could the judge against whom it was filed. So we had to continue the case yet again until someone else could be brought in from a neighboring county to hear the petition.

I'm pretty sure that case still isn't over.

Well, in Madison County we're getting another chance to view civil procedure in action.

A couple of months ago, following a judge's retirement, Lloyd Karmeier appointed former (Republican) prosecutor Don Weber to fill the vacancy until the next election.

In Illinois, a participant in a lawsuit is allowed one change of judge "by right." (meaning no reason has to be given) Since many of the trial lawyers over in our neck of the woods are big time donors to and/or active participants in the Democratic party, many of them believe they won't get a fair trial in front of Judge Weber. So they are asking for substitution anytime they draw him for their cases.

Edit: There are also reports of racist comments Weber made when a prosecutor. I didn't include that in my original post because I couldn't find a source for it, but I do know that there was a picket by the NAACP at his swearing-in ceremony.

Now, the name Don Weber might be familiar to those of you old enough to remember the Paula Sims case. (Sims was a woman who was convicted of killing her two infant daughters. She was from my area - my grandma taught her in high school and her defense attorney lived in my neighborhood during the time of the trial.) Don Weber was the prosecutor who tried her case. He wrote a book about the case, and on the cover was a picture of Sims and her family. The photographer who took the picture sued, saying permission had not been granted to use the picture. One of our big law firms represented the photographer, so they moved for a sort of "blanket" substitution. They lost, but they'll probably get their substitutions another way. (It just would have been less a hassle if they'd won their case, I guess.)

Anyway, the end result of all this is that we have a judge in Madison County who, from what I hear, kind of sits around doing not-that-much because everyone requests substitution when they draw him as their judge.

It will be interesting to see what happens after the election. While some political watch dogs say this will be a close race that's impossible to call at present, many around the court house believe it won't even be close and David Hylla will win in a walk. (Just check out some of my group memberships linked on the side of this page to guess how I hope that turns out.)

At the very least, Madison County is never a boring place to work!