Law in Contemporary Society

Readings That Remind Us of Class

This topic seems to have taken off a little, which is nice. I'm thinking that in the interest of usability, it might be worthwhile to a) break this topic into subtopics, for example by link topic (e.g. Law School, Politics, Lawyer Stories, etc), which would allow for some more discussion on related topics (rather than the free-for-all we have now), and b) to make those subtopics available under this page and linked to from this page (because I think it would be pretty that way). This would also allow the integration of a number of orphan posts from a few weeks ago, including the last link discussion which is somewhat towards the bottom of the index and hasn't been changed since January. What do you think? Sorry for the binary nature of the poll; if you have a different idea feel free to sound off.

Break it up?
Yes (5)
Merge in Orphans?
Yes (3)
No (1)

So I've gone ahead and created topics for politics, law school, and lawyering, since that doesn't seem to be a much contested plan. -- DRussellKraft - 06 Mar 2010

Predatory Habits How Wall Street Transformed Work in America

"In order to capitalize mortgage securities, expected future earnings and corporate debts, Wall Street elites must first capitalize on our personal insecurities. They make their exploits appear necessary, natural, even laudable. This is quite a feat, since in those moments when we suspend our faith in the financial sector and candidly examine its performance, we generally judge Wall Street’s behavior to be avaricious and destabilizing, immoral and imprudent. At the best of times, Wall Street provides white noise amidst entrepreneurs’ and workers’ attempts to actualize their ambitions and projects. We are still learning what happens at the worst of times.

The myth of the financial sector goes something like this: only men and women equipped with the highest intelligence, the will to work death-defying hours and the most advanced technology can be entrusted with the sacred and mysterious task of ensuring the growth of the economy. Using complicated financial instruments, these elites (a) spread the risks involved in different ventures and (b) discipline firms to minimize costs—thus guaranteeing the best investments are extended sufficient credit. According to this myth, Wall Street is the economy’s private nutritionist, advising and assisting only the most motivated firms—and these fitter firms will provide jobs and pave the path to national prosperity. If the rest of us do not understand exactly why trading credit derivatives and commodity futures would achieve all this, this is because we are not as smart as the people working on Wall Street. Even Wall Street elites are happy to admit that they do not really know how the system works; such admissions only testify to the immensity of their noble task..."

-- GloverWright - 4 March 2010

A young lawyer who didn't get to pawn his license "an interesting essay by a lawyer who graduated in 2007 into the waiting arms of unemployment. He decided to begin helping people who were deep underwater on their mortgages by trying to get them loan modifications. This is the story of his first client and his first encounter with Wells Fargo. Also includes an interesting side note about new California law that discourages lawyers from taking on these types of cases."

-- JohnSchwab - 26 Feb 2010

"DNA's Dirty Little Secret"

This article concerns "cold hit" DNA prosecutions. These occur when the police, with no particular suspect in mind, run DNA evidence through a database of prior offenders. This method has a high probability of false matches, one-third in the case in the article, but is still used as key evidence at trial. -- JohnAlbanese - 25 Feb 2010

This article anticipates our class discussion of the Leff piece. Saks Fifth Avenue's new ad campaign uses "wit and whimsy" to get customers back into their stores. After all, customers can still have "fun" during "serious times."

FOR EXAMPLE, although the average customer can no longer afford to buy both a new tunic and a matching belt, Saks "wittily" and "whimsically" suggests the customer buy the tunic and use her husband's "old tie" as a belt. Lovely!

-- KalliopeKefallinos - 03 Mar 2010 by way of Rebecca Lesnick's facebook page

-- NonaFarahnik - 05 Mar 2010

Nona, the link expired. What was the ad for?

-- JessicaCohen - 05 Mar 2010

Jessica, I saw the article on AboveTheLaw? before it went down, here is a link to a website that recaps the original CraigsList? posting:

Reading this, I think that the poster has issues that go beyond whatever law school or private law practice "did to him."

-- SaswatMisra - 06 Mar 2010

The Oracle of Omaha on not knowing. From Berkshire's annual letter to investors.

"Charlie and I avoid businesses whose futures we can’t evaluate, no matter how exciting their products may be. In the past, it required no brilliance for people to foresee the fabulous growth that awaited such industries as autos (in 1910), aircraft (in 1930) and television sets (in 1950). But the future then also included competitive dynamics that would decimate almost all of the companies entering those industries. Even the survivors tended to come away bleeding."

-- PeterCavanaugh - 11 Mar 2010



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r17 - 13 Jan 2012 - 21:58:27 - IanSullivan
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