Author: denvirj

On the Road to Homeless

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Repairing the System / Untitled

  The true power of  Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning study of poverty in Milwaukee, comes from the individual stories it tells.  Arleen’s story is a good example. When we first meet Arleen (pseudonym) and her sons, Jori and Jafaris, they are moving into a new  apartment in Milwaukee’s inner city.  Arleen is busy  rearranging furniture and stacking  dishes next to her nice porcelain plates.  It’s a new […]

My Favorites

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Untitled

This month marks the 4th Anniversary of GuileisGood.com.   I have decided to celebrate this event by creating a new “page”  on  the blog–“My Favorites”. Its primary purpose is to provide new readers some sense of my interests and prejudices, but I hope long time readers might also enjoying taking a look.   Here are my personal favorite posts: 1.”What It Means to Think Like a Lawyer”  (1/04/2018) https://guileisgood.com/2018/01/05/is-it-good-to-think-like-a-lawyer/ 2. “What It Takes to be a Good Lawyer” (10/15/2014) https://guileisgood.com/2014/10/15/erin-brockovich-what-it-takes-to-be-a-good-lawyer/ […]

Contrition is Good for the Soul

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Guile is Not Always Good / Repairing the System

The cynical art of the “fauxpology” has entered the sacred precincts of the law.   Highly respected Judge Alex Kozinski of the prestigious Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was accused late last year by several former female clerks and interns of improper behavior that included unwanted touching and fondling.  Kozinski at first denied the allegations, but soon resigned his judgeship and issued this “apology”: “It grieves me to learn that I have caused any of my […]

How a Court Stops Being Supreme

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Democracy's Constitution / The Sjupremes

The short answer is that the Supreme Court stops being  supreme when it allows a political party to dictate the substance of its judges’ decisions. Let me explain. A good place to begin might be 1990  when George Bush Senior appointed David Souter to the Court. Souter, a New Hampshire Republican, had served as a New Hampshire  supreme court justice before being appointed. Although he had a long judicial record, Souter had ruled on few […]

Guiled!

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The Sjupremes

Why did 81-year-old Justice Anthony Kennedy, known best for his decisions protecting gay and abortion  rights,  choose to retire at the time that best enables Donald Trump to appoint a right wing successor who will most likely vote to reverse those decisions?  Adam Liptak and Maggie Haberman  of the New York Times give us the answer.  Trump  “guiled” him. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/us/politics/trump-anthony-kennedy-retirement.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news Liiptak and Haberman outline a  “flattery” campaign aimed at convincing Kennedy his legacy would be […]

Smart Law

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Book/film List / Repairing the System

Identifying a problem is usually easier than solving it. Take, for instance, the spate of police shootings of unarmed minority suspects like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Proposed solutions seem to vary from mild responses like more racial sensitivity training for police officers to more punitive ones like heavy criminal sanctions that are never in fact imposed . UC Berkeley Law professor Franklin Zimring in his book When Police Kill suggests a more indirect, but […]

China Has Big Plans for Your Future

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Democracy's Constitution / lawyers without borders

When I first visited China in the 1980’s, the tallest building in Shanghai was the fourteen story Peace Hotel; when I returned a few years later, there were over fifty skyscrapers over fifty stories. So China’s economic miracle is no  surprise to me.  But up till now, it has consisted mostly of  supplying low price goods to Western consumers at very competitive prices.  Now  China is planning to provide over a trillion dollars of  capital […]

What it Means to”Think Like a Lawyer”

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Heroes

I have always been puzzled by the venerable phrase “thinking like a lawyer.” What does it mean and should we take it as a  compliment or a put-down? I think the idea is  best captured by a metaphor trial lawyers sometimes  use to describe the craft of a colleague they especially admire or an adversary they fear — he or she can “see out the front.”  It means the ability to look over a complex […]