Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stanford Homecoming

Curtis and I got back today from Stanford Homecoming. We had such a good time but we're exhausted. We left yesterday at 9:30 to get to Palo Alto around 3 PM. We relaxed for about an hour and then headed over to campus for the young alumni tailgate - the Alumni Association really knows how to put on a tailgate.

The game started at 7:30 PM and we were able to find some good seats near the student section. The first half was pretty fun and exciting, our team was doing really well and went into halftime 23-0.

First Down!

The second half was not so interesting, but we still got win #5. One more win and we're headed to a bowl game! Today we went to Stacks with our friends who were also at the game, and left town at noon. That is our last Stanford home game planned for the season (although I haven't ruled out a trip to the Oregon, or even the Notre Dame game). But we will be at the Stanford game in the Coliseum on Nov. 14!

Have a good week :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Moot Court

There are times in which I realize that when you're in law school, you're learning a new language, and so when I describe something that I'm doing, people who are not crazy, sleep-deprived, stressed, addicted to sugar, caffeine, etc. might not know what I'm talking about.

Moot Court is basically appellate oral argument before a panel of judges. Last year all of the first years had to argue before the "California Court of Appeals" on a trade secret issue. That was for a grade, and also to qualify for the Moot Court Honors Program. I was one of the 40 that qualified, and now I am getting ready for the preliminary rounds.

This time I'm arguing before the US "Supreme Court", which in the preliminary round is 3 practicing attorneys (for the final round the school usually recruits 3 Federal court of appeals judges). There are two issues and two students on each side. I am arguing about the 4th and 5th Amendment of the Constitution. I get 15 minutes to speak, during which the judges frequently interrupt me with questions that I have to answer. You have to be knowledgeable, charming, and able to think on your feet. I'd like to say that I'm good at all three, but generally I get dinged on the "knowledgeable" part - especially this year.

The issue is interesting, but the answer is far from easy. The essence of it is: you can be stopped by a police officer and asked questions without being unlawfully "seized" - a Fourth Amendment violation. But, you can't be interrogated while under arrest without receiving your Miranda warning (you have the right to be silent, anything you say can and will be used in a court of have a right to an attorney...etc.etc.). So the question is, can you be detained by an officer to the point at which it isn't an unlawful seizure but you should have received your Miranda warning? I spent most of my time this semester arguing for my paper that you don't have to be given the warning (that was my assignment, not my choice), BUT -- you have to argue both sides. On Tuesday I argued for the government, and tonight I'm arguing for the defendant. There is a ton of case law on this issue, but no clear answers, especially from the Supreme Court, which is why the issue was chosen.

The real rounds start in about a week, but this week we had practice rounds and it's been pretty difficult, especially to argue the side that I actually wrote about. We'll see how tonight goes when I do my off-brief. After the preliminary rounds, 16 students are chosen to compete next semester, and a winner is chosen in March. Perhaps if I get to the next round I'll be arguing the other issue: is a prohibition of sex toys a violation of the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause right to privacy? But for now, I'm focusing on the rights of a criminal defendant and trying to make sure I'm able to articulate a decent argument.

Unrelated note: this weekend I am up north for Homecoming! Hopefully I will remember my camera this time and will put some pictures up on the blog when I'm back.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Updates 10/19/09

Not much to report, but I have a few pictures so I thought I'd post.

Family Weekend - we spent Saturday and Sunday in Mission Viejo. It was really nice to be there and had a good time. Some highlights included going to the driving range, playing basketball, eating great food, and hanging out with our families. We brought home our wedding album which was fun to look at with our parents. We'll probably be back in 2 weeks for Halloween, and we're looking forward to that.

(that's my dad, and my golf bag, which is pink :-)

School - is going well, much different than the first year. I'm doing a lot more writing than last year, which is good practice but not very fun. I'm still applying for externships for second semester, in lieu of taking classes.

Married Life - I always get asked "how's married life?!" Well, it's good, definitely different. I'm glad that we waited until we were married to live together, because it's a wonderful experience that would have already happened. At the same time, it can be a hard adjustment, figuring out how to divide up the chores, how much time to spend together, versus apart, etc. We're also in a unique situation with me in school, because it means that I'm home a lot, whereas Curtis works 40-45 hours a week and spends 10 hours a week in the car commuting. But, as time goes on I think we've adjusted, and it's a work in progress. And at the end of the day, we're still very much in love, and have a great deal of respect for one other, so we're good :-).

Future plans - next weekend is Stanford Homecoming! We're very excited about that. We're driving up on Saturday (the game is at night), will do the homecoming tailgate and game, stacks in the morning and then head back. We're also hoping to get to Disneyland for Halloween time before the end of the month. And then it will be November and time to buckle down for finals.

Have a good week!