Monday, February 26, 2007

On being organized, even when you speak

So maybe it is the left over tech writer in me. Or maybe it's just the OCD nature I have for organization that made me a good tech writer that manifested itself tonight. Or maybe the lady was just a numbskull. Really the possibilities are endless.

I'm an organizer. I think all jumbled up and don't rest until my head is nice and tidy. Even when I speak--when I'm trying to be clear or efficient--I'm organized. And by and large, I think folks I interact with appreciate that.

For example, when I go to say, Subway, right next to campus to grab a quick dinner, when I order I start with what is logical and group things that are like. Bread first--that's what they have to grab first, then meat then cheese. Then veggies in order of reach for the sandwich artist (snigger) then vinegar and s&p. That makes sense. Really, does it help the artist to say "a hot ham and cheese on uh, uh, italian (read: white, at subway anyway)." The artist might forget that you want it hot since that instruction is so far removed from when the artist would actually toast it. And for sure, the artist will have to ask you "what kind of cheese?"

So tonight, I walk to my favorite sandwich shop. And I am delighted to discover that the only line is a woman and her teenaged son and then me. My sandwich artists are speedy guys. We are in and out of there pronto. There's no fooling around. No slouching. Just fast, fast, fast. But, alas, alack, they can go only as fast as the orderers can process and communicate their desires. SIgh. Double sigh. So tonight. There are two artists and as far as I can tell, two paying persons (the son doesn't count). So the lady tells the son to order and he does, and the sandwich artist makes it to completion--even so far as putting the sandwich into a bag. At which point, they come to take my order and the mean bitty lady gives them a crusty "excuse me, I'm making a rather large order of sandwiches." Um, ok. Sure. So both artists go to help her. She doesn't know what she wants. Can't remember who wanted cheese, was it the BLT? or the BMT? and did johny want his heated? 3 cell calls later, we have meat and cheese on 3 sandwiches (6 inches). Yup. that was her "rather large order of sandwiches." Then she was equally dingdongish on the toppings. But what do you expect from someone who bought combos for the whole family. I shouldn't judge that part; maybe they were having a picnic in the 30 degree snowy weather, so being economical and buying a bag of chips and a 12 pack of soda wouldn't make sense.

My point being: how much time could she have saved 5 people? (me, her, the son, and the two artists). A lot. Here's how it should have gone--or at least what I would have done.
Enter store. Hi. I'm ordering 5 six inch sandwiches, all on italian except one on honey oat. The honey oat is a BMT. The others are BLT, ham, turkey, and meatball. All have swiss cheese. Please heat the BLT and meatball. When the artist is ready, the meatball is all done. The other sandwiches all have lettuce and tomatoe and mayo. The turkey has jalapenos. That's all for toppings. I would like each of them in a combo please.

The freaking end. See. Right away, the artists can decide if it is a two man job or whether one should continue to help others in line or ring the lady up to move things along.

Sigh. Organization. Now, back to my shareholder's derivative table :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Almost overwhelmed--and just how many laws are there for corps anyway?

Geez mon! I swear we've been doing corps in BusAss for the last month, and there is no end in sight! Blergh. I'm just feeling overwhelmed at all the detail. This prof's final sounds relatively straightforward though: Facts, what does P argue, what does D argue, what will the court say. So in that spirit I think that I will organize my outline something like:

II. Corps
B. Shareholder's Derivative suits
1. When can you bring it -- blah blah
2. Filing a Demand
A. what P args; or defends for not bringing the demand (futility)
B. what D args-BJR or defense to futility (are disinterested members etc)
C. Bottom line, Ps usually lose because xyz

I might get all fancy and make a table instead. Tricky that. I'm a totally visual person--well not really. I don't like pictures and flowcharts. But I do like visually organized charts. So, tables generally work well for me.

My final version of my note is due to our managing editor this coming weekend. So far, I have zero atty or prof feedback. I need to send a gentle reminder tomorrow. I'm less worked up about my note these days. I went through it with a fine-toothed comb last week and found that my arguments, in my humble opinion, were not as bad as I remembered them to be. There is one fly in the ointment and I'm still debating whether to address it. All that's left is to incorporate any recommendations I receive this week, update some of the cases I use to reflect some of the more recent cases that address my issue, and give it a thorough blue-booking. Our law review editing process is not particularly transparent, so I have no idea when they are done copyworking and editing if I am supposed to be the enterer of those changes or not. So for all I know after I turn it in next weekend, I won't touch it again until the executive edit. I really hope that is the case :)

My drafting class is getting kind of intense now. Bigger, regular, graded assignments. So that just equals more stress in my life. And that's fine. It's just another reason that I need my note to be really off my plate.

Ooh, in other happy law review news, we are coming to the end of the copywork for the year. We should only have a few smaller articles trickle through. And cheers were heard around the world! Our board for next year was selected and I did not end up as EIC, and to that I say praise everything that is holy! I got executive editor instead, and that is going to keep me plenty busy. I'm very happy with the result.

This is why I am only almost overwhelmed. I've got all of the balls up in the air right now. None of them have fallen so far, and all I can see ahead of me is someone kindly removing a few of the balls. This is doable.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm kind of a weenie

It's true. And there really isn't any kind of about it. Before I declare my note entirely done, I want a reality check from some practitioners, especially where I'm writing about a circuit split and essentially saying that one circuit got it wrong. So, now I need to send a note to several attys in the field and ask them to read and critique my note. That shouldn't be so hard. But I am so paralyzed at the thought of someone reading it and thinking that I am indeed a total moron. See--I'm a weenie. Plain and simple. And with much more cringing and complaining, I'm sure that I will get it sent out in the next few hours.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I've fallen and I can't get up--and I HATE hearsay

Good grief. I've got to start paying attention to the invisible memos that surely must be passed around telling you that second semester is infinitely more crazy than firsts... and that's applicable all years of law school, or at least, in my experience, the first two years.

So all is happy and so forth with my note being published, but man that's a lot of extra work to pile onto my daily plate. So I am trying to implement some strategery (thank you, Bush). I've got all my busass read for the week, unless of course she does one of her random "let's cover about 40 pages each day for a couple of days" spurts.

I've read the bloody 100 pages of evidence plus the E&E chapters on Hearsay. Unfortunately, I took a little quiz last night to see how I was coming along. Um, yeah. Hearsay is the current bane of my existence. I only got 9 of 25 questions right. And of those 9, 5 I had marked with a ? mark to indicate that I really had no clue and just guessed. Which basically means: I only actually knew the answer to 4 of the 25. Should I just take myself out behind the shed now and shoot? or will this get better? The part that is tripping me up is just identifying the intended assertion of fact (mostly whether it's really an assertion) and then whether the purpose of the testimony is to determine the truth of the matter asserted. Yeah, I like saying it that way. I mean, now it seems like I am just confused about 2 parts of hearsay... and if you are reading this and have taken evidence, then you know that those are the only 2 parts that are difficult. Sigh. Hopefully, I will have an epiphany on it soon.

So back to my strategery: it's just to get the day to day work done this weekend, so I can spend all my free time on my note this week. I really need to send it to a prof who specializes in this field by the end of this week, so hopefully, I will have feedback on it by the last week of this month. The managing editor wants it ready for copyworking in early March. Realistically, I think I need to work on three areas to make it less embarrassing: 1) throw the new cases relying on the circuit holdings into the note because for whatever odd reason it's coming up much more now (probably because of the way the 10th circuit held last year; it's quite a boon for plaintiffs), 2) take a very critical look at my analysis and ultimate conclusion--I'm just not sure about it and because of that I think my whole note is weaker, and 3) this is all based on a statute that has two mutually exclusive pieces but I've mushed the cases together--it's because both pieces of the statute define something the same way, which is the focus of my note. Hmmm. are you confused by my vagueness yet?

In any case. Long ass week ahead.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gobsmacked by Law Review

My note is being published. Yes, jaws around the world are smacking the concrete in disbelief, including mine. I'm not sure whether to be excited (which I am) or mortified at the thought of anyone reading it because I sure didn't feel like I made any point that was all that earth-shattering. Thank heavens for editors, right?

In any case. Cheers!