Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
User Journal

Journal Journal: Still alive, just not active

Since last I updated, I have left my job at The Firm, have contemplated (but not yet decided to) stop doing this lawyer thing altogether, and moved to the oilpatch (God help me.). I'm looking for law jobs, but I'm having trouble being enthusiastic about another soul-killing 12-20x7x365 job where you're either responsible for multimillion or multibillion dollar suits (I've worked on both high hundred millions and low $X Bn litigation), or what is usually just as stressful, litigation involving much lower numbers or simpler problems but that has one hell of a lot more direct impact on the man or woman sitting across from you when you interview them. In my experience, even when they're in the wrong, they're usually a fairly nice person who had a bad day once. Most of the right @#$&hole parties I've met were across from me, not on my side of the table, thankfully. Anyhow, that's why I've been dark. That and, as mentioned in a previous rant here, I can't talk about my job except in vague generalities. And why is 'comments disabled' the default preference here?

Journal Journal: Thank God for Catwoman 5

Thank God for Catwoman. That's right, true believers, that movie is the best thing that could have happened to comics in general and DC in particular. With the spectacular failure of this craptastic piece of celluloid trash, this perfect storm of teh suck, one can only hope that the folks at Warner Brothers learn to listen when their DC division tells them that their latest pillaging of DC's intellectual property is a Really Bad Idea. It should also slow down the process of the comic culture being stripmined - SDCC turned into a huge junket for the major studios the last couple years and was more about movies than the books.

Hopefully, WB studios will compare the success of Spider Man 2 and the spectacular failure of Catwoman ($17.5M? sci-fi and comic book stuff usually opens huge as the fanboy market lines up to catch the first possible showing, but declines rapidly unless it reaches out to the broader demographic), and will realize that the essential difference between the two (besides the superior writing, acting, directing of SM2) was that Spider Man was respectful of the source material. Well, with the exception of the Natural Progression of Peter Parker Love Interests - Gwen who? - but I'll give them that. When you're paying that kind of cash to Kirsten Dunst, she gets the screentime, okay? Besides, she's hot. If you treat the source material with disrespect, you'd better have concepts of your own that are at least as good or better. And if you did, you wouldn't need the license, now would you? Jack Black, I'm looking at you. And you too, Keanu (you ALMOST get a pass for casting Tilda Swinton but then I saw the concept sketches for your superhightech jet-car. Yeah, I didn't know John Constantine had one of those either).

And you too, whoever is directing Superman this week. We're watching you - but if the trailer shows you're pissing on the character's history, we won't actually go to see it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mike Rowe Soft

The newest cause celebre on Slashdot has a local connection for me. I actually know some of the lawyers at the firm that caused this brouhaha for M$(Smart & Biggar). Took a course from one of their senior guys a ways back, and know another of their guys from back when he was at UBC.

They have done some great work for Canada Post (among others), but I doubt the firm views this present story as a shining moment. Just goes to show the dangers of law - you can be 100% right legally and get crucified in the press.

Not that M$ doesn't have a point - copyrights are yours come what may, but if your trademark loses distinctiveness, it's toast. Easiest to see when brands become generic identifiers - linoleum, aspirin, etc. Some companies are losing, but fighting the good fight on that score: Kleenex, Lego (makes people call them LEGO Blocks, never ever 'Legos'), too many others to count.

[as an aside, I'm sure as hell not saying saying that Mike Rowe Soft is likely to cause confusion, except among idiots. I also think you should give the guy a break on choosing the name deliberately... the guy's name is freaking Mike Rowe! Try to count the number of high tech and web companies with *soft in their names! I mean, FFS! Screw taking away the domain, just liicense it to the guy so the trade mark usage problem doesn't bite you later and move on]

As always, IMHO, YMMV, and IAN(an IP)L and even if I were, this ain't legal advice, so don't even think about it, chum.

User Journal

Journal Journal: New Year's Resolutions

Having just finished nearly two weeks of vacation (my first since before articles), I am refreshed. I am also dreading the return to work, with a big trial starting Monday.

Resolution One: Get my ass organized. Budget. Plan. Stick to it. This includes finances, exercise, diet, time management, and (most importantly) practice management. If I can get my practice in order, then the rest will fall into place. If I can't, 2004 will be much like 2003. And NOBODY wants that.

Slashdot Resolution One: Post more, but continue to obscure anything which might enable anyone to identify me or (more importantly) my firm and clients when I tell stories. Which means I will continue not to tell stories. Sucks to be my humble reading public, I guess.

I get really nervous talking about my day with non-lawyers. Sorry. Funny thing. Get lawyers around a table and we can't resist telling war stories. Put non-lawyers at the table, we often don't tell the good stuff - other lawyers know where the line is (confidentiality wise) and if someone innocently strays over it in a beer induced moment of indiscretion, we know not to repeat it. It's worse because some of my friends are/were journalists.


Journal Journal: Movie Adaptation

god help us, the Watchmen movie project is actually getting off the ground with the X-Men writer as director (be afraid...).

The best quote from the interview has to be this one:

As for Dr. Manhattan, a blue superhero who spends most of the story wearing nothing at all, Hayter said, "We've had a couple of actors in their 40s say, 'Yeah, I'd like to play Dr. Manhattan.' I'm like ... I don't know if I think we need to see you naked."

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Wind

Why is the default for journals now set to comments disabled? But anyhow.

Listening to Warren Zevon's The Wind, the album he was recording through his terminal illness. Just go out and it. Period. Thank me later.

Not a perfect album, but worth the price of admission for "Numb as a Statute" and "She's Too Good for Me" and "Prison Grove" alone.


Journal Journal: Where'd summer go; and Loss of a Legend

I mean seriously, where did it go? I don't even REMEMBER getting a June, for starters, and July went so fast I didn't get anything I wanted to done. August, still trying to recover from July, realize August 28, Oh crap, all the stuff I need to get done 'before fall' need sto be done this weekend. Panic mode.

Anyhow, September is flying by. Workload went up like 1000% on the stroke of midnight, Sept.2. Strange. Everybody is back in work mode, business casual is out, business just-barely-less-formal-than-evening-wear is back in with it being after Labour Day.

On another note, I would like to express my sympathy for the Zevon family and my own sense of loss at the death of the legendary musician Warren Zevon. An acquired taste that the world never really acquired, but the consummate musician's musician. It was amazing how cynical his lyrics were, but at the same time, there's a twinkle in them that let you know that underneath the gruff exterior, there's the heart of a romantic.

Warren wrote some of the greatest hellraisin' rowdy songs ever, in particular Lawyers, Guns and Money and Werewolves of London, Mr. Bad Example. His autobiographical stuff, like Piano Fighter and Boom Boom Mancini is fantastic. He wrote poignant melodies that don't just pull, they bloody well rip at the heartstrings they're so sad - Desperados under the Eaves, The French Inhaler, The Vast Indifference of Heaven.

He had more songs about serial killers (Excitable Boy), Monkeys (Gorilla, Gorilla You're a Desperado, Monkey Wash, Donkey Rinse, Porcelain Monkey), Hula Hula boys than any artist you could name, and wrote the strangest song ever to become a motion picture (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead).

Warren Zevon should also be remembered fondly by all Canadians, for despite being a Californian, he wrote what is, without a doubt, the greatest tribute to the era of smash-mouth hockey and to the soul of those who play the game ever sung. Hit Somebody! is an ode to a Canadian farm boy who has always dreamed of scoring a goal in the NHL, but after a long career in the league, he's only ever been asked (or expected) to go out there and hit somebody. He will be missed.


Journal Journal: Fame and fortune

Since last we saw our intrepid hero...

I've had a couple of weeks of court time. Big win on one, hugely complex, turned out great. Big loss on another... I would love to appeal, but life's not like that. It's the client who decides if it's worth appealing, and making your lawyer feel better isn't much of a reason to appeal.

I got to tell my parents they could read about my cases on some newspaper websites, which was very cool. Wish I'd won the second one, but remember, I'm a civil litigator, which doesn't generate the press of criminal law. So long as they spell your name right.

Still adjusting to life as a junior lawyer. They really, really, don't prepare you for the job in school or in the bar admission process. Biggest thing, I work with the law relatively rarely. As a student, it was law law law. Now, my main job now is to assist with marshalling the facts and keep cranking out the correspondence to keep the heat on the other side. And, of course, responding to the various parries and thrusts being made by the juniors on the other side.


Journal Journal: Welcome to 2003 2

New job, starting officially next month. Moving now to a new office. Getting an assistant. [I have staff - this warps my tiny little mind].

No actual raise, since the job isn't official for a while, but it's coming. This is all a huge relief, though I've been so busy my /. posting/reading has taken a bit of a drop. There just don't seem to be a lot of fun stories recently, though people's journals have been particularly funny/interesting. Tonsil and furnace sagas to while away the winter days.

User Journal

Journal Journal: RL beckons

It looks like I'll actually get some time off for the holidays. I have to somehow do two or three days of work in the next twelve hours, but if I pull that off, I'm out of the office for two weeks.

I also hear through the grapevine I might actually get a hireback decision before the new year. Only a few more weeks of paranoid obsession!

Shopping wise, Starbucks has completely sold out of gingerbread syrup... for retail, anyhow. This has been like the quest for the holy grail, I tell you. I've been to almost every SB location on the west side of Vancouver (and that's saying something) and I'm in one store staring at a half dozen big bottles of the stuff , and they're saying they can't sell me one. Hey, if they need them to make coffees for people, fair enough, but you know why they can't sell the big bottles? They're food items and not labelled in french and english, so they can't be retailed. Welcome to Canada.

I found out who makes the stuff, but it looks like a private label deal, since they don't even seem to wholesale the stuff. I swear, I find a connection and I'm going to buy a bloody case of the stuff so I don't go through this next year. Maybe I can bribe a barista...


Journal Journal: The problem with writing JEs ... 5

... for me is that I can't really talk about how my day went, or what I did, except in exceedingly vague terms, because it's all confidential and privileged.

When I was a law student, this wasn't a big thing. You hung around the lounge, you debated the big issues of the day, you went and had much beer, whatever. Now, I'm an articled student. What that means is that I'm working in a law firm, trying to get hired on as an associate when I get called to the bar shortly, have no life, and incidentally, have real clients so I can't talk about work. What with the "no life" part, not much to JE.

In case anyone is wondering, this is one of the reasons lawyers stick together so much socially: forget common backgrounds and ties, except insofar as they let us convey a lot of meaning about our lives without conveying any real information.

How's your day, Tim?

Crappy, my 18A got denied, and then they 19(24)'ed my pleadings on the other thing I'm working on.

Sorry to hear that, man. My day sucked too - can you say, Rule against Perpetuities?

Oh jeez! That's SO harsh. Will?

Worse. Really old deed, whole bloody thing might escheat, you know? Got dumped on my lap by a partner at 6pm. Due tomorrow.

The law types out there know what I mean.

I know a lot of you folks are in tech (and probably NDAed out the wazoo), which I suspect is much the same. But some of you actually have lives.

Slashdot Top Deals

U X e dUdX, e dX, cosine, secant, tangent, sine, 3.14159...