Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wrapping things up

I wore my suit twice over the past three days, and neither occasion was for church!

On Saturday, I produced the ICCA South region's third quarterfinal. It was a pretty good show, and certainly my best produced. I'm finally starting to get the hang of how to run these shows. Looks like I won't be able to make my own Semifinals, though, so Rosa has kindly volunteered to run it for me! Which is really cool.

We awoke to the phone ringing on Sunday morning. Surprise! Church was cancelled. This wasn't such a big surprise, given that the weather reports were calling for nearly an inch of ice to cover the area. Nasty. So after hanging up the phone, we ran to the window, only to discover that there was no ice, and barely any snow. The snow wasn't even sticking to the grass! Charlottesville is definitely the most paranoid city I've ever lived in, when it comes to cold weather. I think the city has like one plow.

And Monday, I did my off-brief oral argument for the intramural Lile Moot Court. That's my final argument, this round of Moot court is over! If I advance, that would be incredible, since only the top 1/4 of the teams from this round advance. And it would also mean I get to put "Quarterfinalist" on my resume. On the other hand, if I don't advance, I don't have to write another brief! I'll find out my fate on March 31. 'Til then, I think I'll just enjoy this post-ICCA, post-symposium, post-Moot Court break.

Time for a nap.

Friday, February 23, 2007

My new article posted on casa.org: A Case for Competing

"As a former competitor, current adjudicator, and current competition producer, I am constantly fascinated by people’s reactions to a cappella competitions. I know some people are strongly against, and most are strongly in favor, and some lie in between. But that’s not what gets me. What astonishes me is the reactions people give at the end of the competition.

"Some people lose competitions with unbelievable grace and poise. These people practically deserve an award just for their professionalism. Other people..."<continue reading>

Thursday, February 22, 2007

UVA Law article re: symposium investor panel

Institutional shareholders are increasingly taking an activist approach to investing by trying to influence how corporations govern themselves, but panelists at a business law symposium Feb. 16 agreed that more involvement by such groups will pay off for shareholders in the end. Representatives from institutional investor groups responded to scholars who spoke on the phenomenon during a Virginia Law & Business Review and Virginia Law and Business Society symposium, “Corporate Governance: The Impact of Institutional Investors,” held in Caplin Pavilion.... [Full article and mp3 podcast available here]

Monday, February 19, 2007

What a week!!

This was one of those weeks where you only sleep a couple hours at a time. I seriously was staying up until 2am working on my moot court brief, then I'd sleep for a couple hours, work from 4am-5am, then sleep again for a couple hours. And that was my night. That was the process a few nights this week. Crazy!

I'm happy to report that the moot court brief got completed, and it was not late! (I turned it in one minute before the deadline) But my partner and I are pretty proud of it - we hope to advanced past this Second Round to next semester's Quarterfinal Round.

Then, as if that wasn't crazy enough, my big symposium happened on Friday. Have you ever prepared for something for so long that the date just gets engrained in your mind? This was like that. I wrote "Friday, February 16, 2007" in a thousand emails over the last eleven months, preparing for this day. Then all of a sudden, it arrived! We had professors from around the eastern US, and several representatives from the institutional investor community (together representing many trillions of dollars). What an experienced, professional group! It was an amazing experience to eat dinner with them all on Thursday night (and sit next to the Dean of the law school), and then even more incredible to hear from them all on Friday. Our professors shared their research and insights with us, and the investors sat on a panel and fielded questions about fund activism within corporate governance. From my side of things, it couldn't have gone better for me; I was so lucky - catering was on time and delicious, microphones all worked, weather was gorgeous.

So by the time that was all through, I was ready to collapse. What a week!

Fortunately, this weekend I had basically nothing planned, so I was able to just relax.

In other big news, our bishopric was changed on Sunday. Great men were released, and new great men took their place on the stand behind the pulpit. We're sad to see the old ones go, but we welcome the new with open arms. And the rest of Sunday was really fantastic. What a day.

What a week!!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Our symposium is next week!

Things are really heating up for our journal's symposium next week. I'm excited to see it all culminate in a wonderful event. I've put over a hundred hours into this thing over the past ten months. I'm looking forward to it. The law school just posted a news story about it. Check it out:


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Stella Awards

The 2006 True Stella Awards

Issued 31 January 2007

(Click here to
confirm these are legitimate.

#5: Marcy Meckler. While shopping at a mall, Meckler stepped outside and was "attacked" by a squirrel that lived among the trees and bushes. And "while frantically attempting to escape from the squirrel and detach it from her leg, [Meckler] fell and suffered severe injuries," her resulting lawsuit says. That's the mall's fault, the lawsuit claims, demanding in excess of
$50,000, based on the mall's "failure to warn" her that squirrels
live outside.

#4: Ron and Kristie Simmons. The couple's 4-year-old son, Justin, was killed in a tragic lawnmower accident in a licensed daycare facility, and the death was clearly the result of negligence by the daycare providers. The providers were clearly deserving of being sued, yet when the Simmons's discovered the daycare only had $100,000 in insurance, they dropped the case against them and instead sued the manufacturer of the 16-year-old lawn mower because the mower didn't have a safety device that 1) had not been invented at the time of the mower's manufacture, and 2) no safety agency had even suggested needed to be invented. A sympathetic jury still awarded the family $2 million.

#3: Robert Clymer. An FBI agent working a high-profile case in Las Vegas, Clymer allegedly created a disturbance, lost the magazine from his pistol, then crashed his pickup truck in a drunken stupor -- his blood-alcohol level was 0.306 percent, more than three times the legal limit for driving in Nevada. He pled guilty to drunk driving because, his lawyer explained, "With public officials, we expect them to own up to their mistakes and
correct them." Yet Clymer had the gall to sue the manufacturer of his pickup truck, and the dealer he bought it from, because he "somehow lost consciousness" and the truck "somehow produced a heavy smoke that filled the passenger cab." Yep: the drunk-driving accident wasn't his fault, but the truck's fault. Just the kind of guy you
want carrying a gun in the name of the law.

#2: KinderStart.com. The specialty search engine says Google should be forced to include the KinderStart site in its listings, reveal how its "Page Rank" system works, and pay them lots of money because they're a competitor. They claim by not being ranked higher in Google, Google is somehow infringing KinderStart's Constitutional right to free speech. Even if by some stretch they were a competitor of Google, why in the world would they think it's Google's responsibility to help them succeed? And if Google's "review" of their site is negative, wouldn't a government court order forcing them to change it infringe on Google's Constitutional right to free speech?

And the winner of the 2006 True Stella
Allen Ray Heckard. Even though Heckard is 3 inches
shorter, 25 pounds lighter, and 8 years older than former basketball
star Michael Jordan, the Portland, Oregon, man says he looks a lot
like Jordan, and is often confused for him -- and thus he deserves
$52 million "for defamation and permanent injury" -- plus $364
million in "punitive damage for emotional pain and suffering", plus
the SAME amount from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, for a grand total
of $832 million. He dropped the suit after Nike's lawyers chatted
with him, where they presumably explained how they'd counter-sue if
he pressed on.

©2007 by Randy Cassingham,
StellaAwards.com. Reprinted with permission.