Re: Photocopier

1

I'd like to see a gas powered photocopier.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:10 PM
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Wow I am totally using that in support of my long term campaign to make sure my son does NOT become a lawyer.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:10 PM
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3

Or a tree trimmer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:11 PM
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4

I clicked on that this morning, but not to the end. My reaction was that it was totally normal and that I've experienced similar things, possibly a tiny bit less ridiculous, in maybe 20-30 depositions? Anyhow, who knew that the NYT would be interested. Maybe something crazier happens during the end part that I didn't watch.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:12 PM
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The buried lede is in the credits: Lindsay Crouse, ex-wife of David Mamet (who only marries really bad actors), mother of one of the abominations on Girls, and recurring character on some season or other of Buffy is reduced to the role of...what was it....researcher for weird little films. Ok maybe it's a different Linsday Crouse.

Anyway this was weirdly enjoyable to watch.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:16 PM
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3: yep! But otherwise I'm super flexible. So's he, come to think of it.

4:it's the fug of anxiety coming off the witness and the unspeakable banality of being shut up in the conference room hour over hour, very accurate and well conveyed.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:16 PM
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7
marks the debut of a new series, presented by Op-Docs, that transforms

That transforms information from an easy to skim form into time-consuming video.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:20 PM
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5: She's good in Slapshot!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:21 PM
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9

Rebecca Pidgeon's mom did the flowers at our wedding.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:33 PM
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10

It's possible that wasn't entirely on topic, especially since we didn't make it into Vows.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:34 PM
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I only watched the first half, but that plus the lawyer's comment make me think the concept behind the video was to make people go "How waaacky!" when in fact the deponent and his lawyer were trying to prepare for an argument over what exactly constitutes photocopying in the meaning of the law, and the questioner was trying to blaze over it. It might have been a bad argument, but it was still an actual argument.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:34 PM
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12

I like the thing Rebecca Pidgeon does but it doesn't seem to be acting.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:54 PM
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13

7 nails it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 12:57 PM
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14

I had a friend the other day say that she'd recently been deposed, and based on my explanations for how a deposition witness should handle themselves (Short truthful answers to appropriate questions, but no normal conversational helpfulness. Don't explain your answers, if answering a question would require you to make an assumption don't, just ask for the question to be made more explicit, and so on. If you think you're making good points, you aren't. If it's a grimly awkward and unpleasant experience, you're doing it right) she drove the examining attorney to foaming at the mouth. The capstone was asking him to explain what exactly he meant by "investments".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:13 PM
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15

You know what, video haters? Sometimes there are going to be videos.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:21 PM
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16

(That is, she hadn't asked for advice on this particular deposition beforehand, she just remembered things I'd said over the years and went with them.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:23 PM
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17

My favorite deposition that I took involved a rich husband who filed an adultery divorce after he and his wife made an arrangement to date other people. (He was gay and had cheated first.)
We admitted the adultery, but he pled the Fifth. In Va, you have to do that question by question. (And it can be kind of held against you.)

So I ask my first question, he pleads the Fifth. His lawyer (a-hole) says "You don't have to keep asking, bc he will plead the Fifth to everything."

Me: "Then, he can do it to my 15 pages questions. Question by question."

After 3 pages of incredibly personal, embarrassing questions, the husband gave up and admitted adultery. Most fun that I have ever had in a deposition. (Other than when a crazy guy started talking about how I wanted to kill him.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:36 PM
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18

How can you take the fifth in a divorce you filled?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:39 PM
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19

Is adultery still an actual crime there?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:40 PM
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7: This is one of the rare cases where I think the video adds something.

I'm getting annoyed lately with how almost every time a link to the Onion shows up in my Facebook feed, it turns out to go to a video.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:43 PM
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21

17: IME people's favorite rights are the ones they don't actually have.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:46 PM
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22

Not a deposition, but I recently heard a lawyer tell a story about talking to the family of a defendant in a criminal case. The lawyer explained that new semen evidence seemed to exclude the defendant and implicate someone else, and one of the family members reacted skeptically. Something like, "That's bullshit. I've seen lots of semen, and it all looks the same."


Posted by: Jimmy Carter | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 2:58 PM
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23

22 would have been even better with "tastes".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:04 PM
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24

12: I kind of love the insanity of The Spanish Prisoner (Dog my cats!), but maybe that is because I am batting my eyelashes at Campbell Scott.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:06 PM
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25

I'd actually probably watch this video but not on my phone in a public space without headphones. Also, on the mobile page I didn't see a clear link to the text so I couldn't even tell what I'd be watching.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:09 PM
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26

Have all the video you want, but also have captions/transcriptions.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:10 PM
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I kind of love the insanity of The Spanish Prisoner (Dog my cats!), but maybe that is because I am batting my eyelashes at Campbell Scott.

Right, I love it, too, it's just completely ridiculous. We watched it yesterday is the thing. "Dog my cats!" is exactly the line at which I said "so this is kind of like a parody of Mamet" and Bave said "all Mamet is a parody of Mamet." Or rather.

Smearcase: Look, this movie, it.
Bave: Fine. Yes.
Smearcase: As a movie.
Bave: Yes. You already-
Smearcase: The thing I'm saying is that this movie. Do you understand what I mean by movie?
Bave: I have clearly. Look. I have seen a movie.
Smearcase: Then when I say movie, you-
Bave: I think you've made your point.

etc etc etc etc etc

But I love that line, and I love her fuck-you flat delivery of it. Second to the State & Main exchange, of course.

Philip Seymour Hoffman: You like kids?
Rebecca Pidgeon: Never saw the point of 'em.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:26 PM
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28

Also obviously Campbell Scott, most handsome actor or very most handsome actor?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:27 PM
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"Who, my learned friend, is Gazza/the Beatles?"

also, three blocked lumps of Flash, nein danke.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:36 PM
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Boy, I saw The Spanish Prisoner stoned out of my gourd, and it did not make a lick of sense. Finally, near the end, Steve Martin says something like, "Here, let me explain everything." Then a barge honks its horn for the duration of the explanation, which I get as a cosmic joke, but as a very stoned person, seemed borderline like it was intended to insult me out of everyone in the world.

(Similarly: in Real Analysis during my first semester in grad school, we are two months in and I've never been so confused in my life. The instructor is super famous and super terribly bad at teaching. He says, "Here, let me draw a graph which will make everything clear." He draws a giant pair of axes on the board.

I draw a giant pair of axes in my notes, and get very excited for this graph which will finally make everything clear. The professor is still talking about what this graph will accomplish.

Then the professor goes on to the next topic, leaving the empty axes hanging on the board, mocking me. I think I almost cried.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:47 PM
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31

Re:7

Yes.

Is there a pithy acronym for video;did not watch?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:51 PM
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32

25 gets it right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:53 PM
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33

Second to the State & Main exchange, of course.

"Well, that happened."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:53 PM
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34

That story is better if you visualize the axes as the kind Vikings wield. Or, maybe it isn't, but that is what I did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:53 PM
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35

33: That is maybe the single best movie line of the last 25 years.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 3:59 PM
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36

33, 35: FACT


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:06 PM
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37

Here's a transcript. The video is much more entertaining.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:22 PM
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38

The deposing lawyer in teh video seems unrealistically aggressive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:42 PM
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39

???


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:44 PM
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40

He does kind of box himself in, though. I like to think I would have done a better job.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:45 PM
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41

Is that not aggressive? (Is it normal to actually point and yell at the people you're deposing?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:46 PM
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42

Urple realizes he's been doing it wrong all these years.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:48 PM
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43

42: there's a lline with many valences


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:49 PM
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44

David Mamet (who only marries really bad actors)

I was going to object but 12 satisfied me.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:50 PM
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45

It's past 40 comments which means I can derail, right?

In which case this story seems very unfoggedty, with bonus guess-the-person-alluded-to opportunities.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/anonymous/2014/04/i-had-an-affair-with-my-hero-a-philosopher-whos-famous-for-being-moral/


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:54 PM
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46

I wrote and deleted a post about that last night. It seems that perhaps there's more to come, so opinionating seemed premature. But you've done it now!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 4:58 PM
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47

Off of nothing more than "affluent Westerners" and "Ivy League" Imma go with Pet/r Sing/r.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:15 PM
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48

This bolsters my case.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:17 PM
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49

Heh. I was about to ask whether this is another one of those cases where there's an obscured reference to someone that is supposed to be obvious but I have no idea who it could be.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:20 PM
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50

47: The commenters at the linked post seem really sure it's Thom/s Pog/ge.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:22 PM
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Oy. One reasons I didn't post is that it seemed pretty obvious to people in philosophy (not to me) who it was (not the person guessed in 47), and the facts as stated didn't seem to amount to crimes requiring the internet witch hunt machine to go into action.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:23 PM
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I don't have time (or capability) to ggive the links just now, but it's now clear why they didn't think our stand your ground shooter was just standing his ground. It was a trap, and he'd stayed up several nights hoping, as he told the gal who cut his hair several days before, to shoot some fucking kid.

Welclme to Deer Lodge says I.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:25 PM
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You mean there is more than one Ivy League ethical philosopher who scolds affluent Westerners? You think with all the pressure the affluent Westerners would knock it off already.

I would call it more of a crotch-sniffing machine than a witch hunt machine but either way it's amazing what these machines can do.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:27 PM
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54

Link for Carp's story.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:31 PM
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55

It's probably not the Paul Ryan who ran for vice president who is representing the guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:34 PM
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56

I just skimmed the article linked in 45, but does it say anything more damning than that this guy is (a) famous (or "professor famous") (b) has affairs and (c) wasn't totally straight with her about whether or not his wife was on board with the affairs? Assuming that I haven't missed anything, and that the author of the article in question is an adult and that famous professor X is not her supervisor, which seems to be the case, it does seem pretty goddamn shitty for her to vent her (understandable) private frustration through a public shaming, particularly if it's obvious to anyone who cares about this who the person is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:35 PM
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57

They figured out who it was in the comments. I never heard of him.


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:37 PM
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58

The call and response of skeezy seduction with blind-item shaming is not so great a discord in the infinite lovesong of the universe.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:44 PM
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59

14 has got it right. A person being deposed just answers yes or no and doesn't give any explanation or elaboration. Make the other side work.

I was deposed once and broke that rule on one answer, and my/our lawyer gave me a fair amount of grief about it afterwards.

It didn't matter in the end, fortunately. Like almost all lawsuits it was settled before it went to t$r$i$a$l.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:47 PM
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58 is certainly true. You play the game, you risk the shame. But she doesn't come across as an angel either for publishing the article. The collective response should be a yawn (assuming no supervisory relationship, and nothing in the rape borderlands).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:49 PM
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You play the game, you risk the shame

I don't want to know why you have a ditty for this.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:50 PM
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62

#cancelMoralPhilosophy


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:53 PM
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63

You take off your briefs, you expect some griefs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:14 PM
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64

57 is the worst comment in history because it made me read the comments to the post in 45, which are the worst comments in history. Also, tell me who the hell it is, pls.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:14 PM
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65

You fake the tan, don't use the can.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:15 PM
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66

A bit of how's your father, a lot of internet bother.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:21 PM
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67

Hump the professor, internet's your confessor.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:28 PM
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68

But she doesn't come across as an angel either for publishing the article.

Now I ain't saying she's a gold digger,
But she ain't stopping til she gets a Heidegger.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:29 PM
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69

Don't own the boat if you ain't got the moat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:37 PM
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70

Jesus. Methinks the internet confession mode has gone a bit too far.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:37 PM
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71

Don't work the moral if you dig the oral


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:37 PM
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72

Don't sign a non-aggression pact with Hitler if your tank forces are littler.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:43 PM
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73

If you can't afford the lime it ain't margarita time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:44 PM
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74

Don't publish on Rawls if you need students on your balls.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:47 PM
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75

Huh, I posted 73 and then I read in this article that lime prices are spiking in part because Mexican drug cartels are extorting citrus farmers. Those little coincidences are so fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:48 PM
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76

Date the player, date the game.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:49 PM
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77

The guy seems seriously sleazy in a habitual lying cheater who sleeps with younger women sort of way, but as that category goes, in some ways he seems less sleazy than most. Assuming she's right that what happened with her is the way he operates, he doesn't actually make passes at his targets, just sets up a romantic situation where there's an opportunity for his target to make a pass at him, lies about his relationships, and hopes she makes a pass. Nasty person but not in a way that should lead to professional sanctions.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 7:00 PM
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Right. The outer seems to be incredibly naive (and, forgive me, but she doesn't write very well for a phil grad student*).

* My god, I am so sorry to have said that, but her writing really gives me the impression that she's too young and/or too thoughtless as yet to be ready for her career.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 7:14 PM
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79

Cripe, I feel like an asshole for having said that. Pretend I didn't.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 7:14 PM
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80

the facts as stated didn't seem to amount to crimes requiring the internet witch hunt machine to go into action.

We should calque the Chinese term for this: the human flesh search engine.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 7:16 PM
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81

The Translation Party version seems to be "Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet Internet machine witch hunt."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 7:21 PM
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82

Pretend-make a sprog, somebody might blog.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 8:03 PM
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83

Chinese virgins, just another Western perversion.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 8:08 PM
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84

Shit where you eat, and people will be like "Whuh?!" because it's really unusual to defecate on the kitchen table.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 8:25 PM
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85

You just blew urple's mind.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 8:48 PM
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86

nothing in the rape borderlands

I have read quite enough about Game of Thrones, thank you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 8:52 PM
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87

Hey, the witness is played by Mike McCafferty, star and creator of hit Channel 101 shows such as Oh Shit!.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 9:11 PM
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88

Also this great thing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 9:24 PM
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89

Beer after liquor--
Never been sicker
Sleep with a philosophy professor--
Maybe don't sleep with a philosophy professor.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 11:08 PM
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90

I though it was "beer before liquor."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 11:19 PM
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91

Think I'm really righteous?
Think I'm pure of heart?
Well you know I use the word "moral"
As a professional term of art


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 11:25 PM
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92

You look like
A mattress topper
I'll meet you by
The photocopier.
(Burma Shave)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 11:49 PM
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93

It seems to me that as a philosopher who prides himself on making moral judgments professionally, he would logically set off much larger "hypocrite" vibes than your average literature/mathematics/.. professor.

Perhaps my experience with insufferable ethics professors colours my judgment.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:44 AM
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A person being deposed just answers yes or no and doesn't give any explanation or elaboration.

You could get murdered.

Q. Do you have a photocopying machine?
A. No.

... Three hours developing the case on the assumption of no photocopier...

Q. What reproductive technology do you have?
A. An MFD.

BANG!!!!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 1:52 AM
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With only minor modifications, la version francaise:

Nos péchés sont têtus, nos repentirs sont lâches;
Nous nous faisons payer grassement nos aveux,
Et nous rentrons gaiement dans le chemin bourbeux,
Croyant par de vils pleurs laver toutes nos taches.

Sur l'oreiller du mal c'est l'grand Normalien
Qui berce longuement notre esprit enchanté,
Et le riche métal de notre volonté
Est tout vaporisé par ce savant éthicien.

C'est l'Uni qui tient les fils qui nous remuent!
Aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas;
Chaque jour vers le Chomage nous descendons d'un pas,
Sans horreur, à travers des concours qui puent.

Ainsi qu'une étudiante pauvre qui baise et mange
La queue martyrisé d'un antique Kantien,
Nous volons au passage un plaisir clandestin
Que nous pressons bien fort comme une vieille orange.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:22 AM
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94: You may think you're kidding, but that's exactly the idea, minus the murder. Part of the point of a deposition is find out facts you didn't know, but the larger point is to tie the other side's witnesses down to the story they're going to tell at trial (or on summary judgment). Once they've said something at the deposition, they can't change that story (without a very good explanation for why that doesn't make them totally unreliable).

So if you ask a foundational question the answer to which makes you believe that the witness didn't have a machine for making copies (I don't know what an MFD is, but from context I assume it makes copies but is legitimately not a "photocopier"), then you prepare your entire case under the assumption that the witness can't tell a story at trial that involves being able to make copies. And when he does tell a story where he makes copies, because you asked him the wrong question about copying technology, you're completely unprepared and your case may fall apart.

Not clarifying that level of confusion would make you an incredible jerk in a real conversation, but in a deposition, that's precisely the sort of cooperation that a good witness withholds. You owe the examining attorney truth, not help.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 4:18 AM
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75: I thought you were being delightfully topical. I recently (and unwittingly*) paid $6 for 4 (four) [FOUR!!!!] limes because, well, margaritas.

*missing price label, which I suspect was no accident


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 4:47 AM
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I don't know what an MFD is

I believe this dates your exit from Big Law.

An MFD is a multi-function device -- copies, scans. faxes, -- fancier ones make coffee, and give hand jobs.

So, saying you don't have a photocopy machine when you have an MFD, would be similar to saying you don't have a cellphone when you have a smartphone -- I'm thinking there's probably a deposition out there on that controversy too.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 4:52 AM
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99

Oh, that'd be straight up lying then. No, you can't do that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 4:54 AM
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100

And even my sad government office has copiers that scan --
I just never heard MFD as a name for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 4:59 AM
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101

Kobe is right. It's just the copier even though it does all the other stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 5:14 AM
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102

So not a major fucking deal then?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 5:27 AM
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103

Thing is, an MFD isn't technically a photocopier. It scans a file of a document into memory and then prints it. So it's equivocation, rather than lying, which I thought was your point.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 5:57 AM
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104

We use a Ditto machine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:01 AM
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103: It's still lying (in the relevant sense) if you knew that the questioner was using 'photocopier' in the non-technical sense, but decided to be cute about it.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:06 AM
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Anyway, the scanning is still using photo-receptive cells to capture the image.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:08 AM
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107

There's a line, and what you're talking about was over it. In an office with an MFD, someone asking where the copier was would get a straight answer directing him to the MFD; no one would spontaneously say "that's not a photocopier". I wasn't thinking particularly clearly about what an MFD might be that makes copies but people would in ordinary usage distinguish from a photocopier, but you'd need something like that.

To put it another way, you'd need a situation such that the natural answer to "Do you have a copier" would be "We don't have one, but if you want to make copies, there's an MFD you can use." If that would be natural, then stopping at "We don't have one" isn't a lie, just unhelpful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:09 AM
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103: but that's how all modern photocopiers work. And technically like based-on-word-etymology technically, it's using reflected illumination onto a surface to produce a reproduction of a document, which is exactly what every photocopier has donce since the first one.

chris y is so going to jail.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:10 AM
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no one would spontaneously say "that's not a photocopier"

Now wait a minute, some offices are full of nerdy pedants.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:11 AM
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Boy was 106 pwned. Wait, wait, no, 106 was a photocopy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:11 AM
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||

Bleg:

A while ago, I recall a discussion on translations of Homer. I know that some here have scholarly interests/knowledge in that area.

If I was looking for a good, readable modern translation that didn't take massive liberties with the original(s), which would it be?

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:12 AM
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Not clarifying that level of confusion would make you an incredible jerk in a real conversation, but in a deposition, that's precisely the sort of cooperation that a good witness withholds. You owe the examining attorney truth, not help.

I understand the sense in which this is correct, but even so it bothers me that you'd call this a "good" witness. "Good" here just means "most helpful to the litigant whose side they're on". It doesn't mean "good" in any objective sense. Arguably, this is the sort of behavior that should be considered quite wrong.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:17 AM
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111: I think the usual recommendations are Fagles, maybe Lattimore or Fitzgerald, all of which are readable. I'm partial to Lombardo's Iliad, have not read his Odyssey, though he certainly takes liberties with the original (not, in my view, necessarily a vice).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:22 AM
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108: The original photocopiers worked by capturing an image of the original on a photosensitive drum, which picked up ink on the dark parts of the image and then transferred the ink directly to paper - an entirely analog process. MFDs scan the image into memory in digital form and then reproduce the image by translating the digital copy into squirts of ink. It's a whole 'nother process. Chris y is innocent.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:22 AM
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I mean good in the sense of "skilled at acting in such a way as to achieve their desired ends". Ethically, which is what you're talking about, I'm not sure of the source of the obligation you seem to be appealing to to be affirmatively helpful to someone on the other side of a lawsuit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:22 AM
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98: In my excitement to make a stupid joke, I left out the most important function of an MFD -- printing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:23 AM
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114: No, he's really not, unless he can get the jury to reasonable doubt as to whether, when he heard the question, he in fact though "oh, this guy wants to know whether we have a device that captures an image of the original on a photosensitive drum etc etc. Of course we don't!"


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:24 AM
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114: How many other things changed from an analog process to digital without being renamed?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:25 AM
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As with lots of issues in the law, this gets you only into as much trouble as the factfinder thinks it should. They might think the witness is a liar, or they might think the lawyer should have asked whether there's some other way to make copies, and they're going to make this decision based on a much bigger context than just the question asked.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:25 AM
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"That's not a photograph as the image wasn't captured on a light sensitive emulsion, but rather digitally captured."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:26 AM
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114: In a just world, none. In our fallen world, too many. But we must fight back.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:28 AM
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114: right, but "analog" is not inherent in the name "photocopier", as there have been non-analog devices sold as "photocopiers" for a couple of decades now.

I really love the fact that we are re-arguing this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:29 AM
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Ethically, which is what you're talking about, I'm not sure of the source of the obligation you seem to be appealing to to be affirmatively helpful to someone on the other side of a lawsuit.

Ethically, it has the same source as the obligation to be honest with someone on the other side of a lawsuit.

(Unless you think there is no ethical obligation to do that... only a legal one.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:31 AM
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114: See my 107. I don't believe anyone would naturally say "We don't have a copier" because an MFD uses a different process. Even if there's some argument for drawing the distinction, you can't start using words in a different way in the deposition than you would outside the deposition without explaining what you're doing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:32 AM
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I should clarify that I don't actually care about photocopiers vs MFDs so much as keeping Chris y out of prison. If that means lawyering definitions so be it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:32 AM
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111: I liked Fagles' Odyssey for readability, and if you want to give it a whirl, it's all in this here PDF. I don't know how accurate it is, but I recall the NYRB reviews being favorable (I'd cite, but they're paywalled).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:33 AM
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OK, having watched the first few minutes: it's not clear to me what the basis is for defending the "I don't know what a photocopier" is other than professional solidarity. The lawyer for the guy getting deposed lists off the myriad technologies covered by the term "photocopier" -- which means that any of them are a "photocopier". This isn't asking about a term of art, because the lawyer for "I don't know" explicitly states that "photocopier" is not a term of art. On the basis of the claim that denial of understanding is legit here, I don't actually understand how it's possible to ask any question in a manner that a dickheadconscientious lawyer couldn't object to.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:33 AM
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If it is this hard to figure out what "copier" means in a legal context, how the fuck does "reasonable doubt" work?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:33 AM
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120: in class yesterday I was explaining something using an analogy to the operation of a camera and had to catch myself before I said "the image on the film".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:33 AM
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123: Again, what does "honest" mean? There's an obligation not to lie, but I don't think there's an ethical obligation to tell everyone everything you think they'd be better off knowing. (Or, to the extent that there is any such obligation, no one who feels bound by it is litigating anything.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:35 AM
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I haven't watched the video -- I probably should.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:35 AM
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I was using equivocation in this sense, as per 114. In practice, I doubt iif there's a court in the world where you could get away with it these days, although the Pope is now a Jesuit, so it might be worth a shot in a very catholic country. It'd be a bit of a Hail Mary even there, though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:36 AM
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111: Yes, Fagles; his liberties are sort of the bare minimum necessary to make the thing resonant (at least that's true of the bits I know in Greek, and also what I've read about him).

IIRC Fitzgerald is at times a more direct/literal translation, but at other times takes greater liberties in search of more forceful expression.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:36 AM
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111: Fagels is probably the answer. One doesn't really get to modern and readable without liberties (and this is why I will be Lattimorz 4 life), but Fagels is what I would assign.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:37 AM
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132: chris y is patting himself on the back for that one.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:37 AM
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Agree with JRoth. Fagles isn't going to be superseded for best balance of readability vs. literalism any time soon.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:38 AM
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134: I should try Lattimore again one of these days. I was a Fitzgerald guy, and the first few pages of Lattimore left me cold, but this was ~25 years ago.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:39 AM
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Well, I'm happy to strike a balance between modern and readable, and more faithful to the original. So if it's Lattimore [also recommended by someone on twitter] then that'd also be OK.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:40 AM
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to be affirmatively helpful to someone on the other side of a lawsuit.

I'd argue that there's daylight between "affirmatively helpful" and "speaking English", but the members of the bar seem to disagree.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:41 AM
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You could get murdered.

Quite a lot of my job is repressing the urge to shoot someone for not giving a straight answer to the simplest fucking questions.

Ok, shooting might be a tad harsh but maybe a punch to the neck or at least some noogies.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:41 AM
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And after watching the video (although I would rather have a transcript) the examining lawyer is a fuckup. The witness wasn't being dishonest, just asking for the question to be made explicit. The whole thing could have been cut short if the lawyer had said "By photocopier, I mean any piece of office equipment used to reproduce a document. Do you have one of those?" immediately. The "I can't believe you're feigning confusion over this" routine was just a waste of time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:43 AM
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138: I don't think anyone is suggesting that Fagles isn't eminently readable, are they?

I'd add that I recently saw An Iliad, an absolutely wonderful one-man play with the actor as a sort of eternal Homer, regaling the audience with an informal retelling of the Iliad while drawing the obvious parallels to endless war. Anyway, the bits that are direct quotes are from Fagles, and they fit in seamlessly with his largely colloquial, and somewhat urgent, storytelling as a whole.

If I'd caught it earlier in its run, I would have gone twice. So great.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:45 AM
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"By photocopier, I mean any piece of office equipment used to reproduce a document. Do you have one of those?"

What do you mean "reproduce"? If I scan a document and then print out my scan, do I have a photocopier?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:46 AM
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The "I can't believe you're feigning confusion over this" routine was just a waste of time.

Maybe he felt like having a little fun that day?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:46 AM
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143: Yes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:46 AM
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141: I agree on that - he went straight to exasperation, when slight annoyance and a rewording of the question seems easy enough.

But what do you make of the part I cite in 127: how does that not end the examinee's line of faux ignorance?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:47 AM
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Possible thread inter-topic merge point: Ship of Theseus


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:48 AM
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I thought to myself "how come nobody has done a hip hop translation of Homer called 'Tha Ill-iad'". Then the internet said "What? Of course they have. Don't be dumb."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:49 AM
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127: I'd have to look at the transcript, but as I recall that bit the lawyer didn't quite actually ask the question -- he did something more like listing technologies and then actually asked "Are you telling me you don't know what a photocopier is?" opening him up for a legit answer of "No, I'm asking you to clarify the question."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:50 AM
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There's an obligation not to lie, but I don't think there's an ethical obligation to tell everyone everything you think they'd be better off knowing.

You have an obligation to answer questions truthfully, and I don't believe that deliberate obfuscation is ethically consistent with telling the truth.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:50 AM
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LB, if you missed it, the transcript is linked in 37.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:51 AM
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132: A Jesuit who picked a very non-Jesuit papal name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:52 AM
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no one would spontaneously say "that's not a photocopier".

See, LB clearly does not work with engineers.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:53 AM
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151: I had missed the transcript, but yeah, that's pretty much what's going on. By the time the witness's lawyer was listing technologies, the examining lawyer had lost control and didn't have a clear question on the table. Instead of getting into a power struggle over whether the witness understood the meaning of photocopier, he should have just defined it for him and moved on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:56 AM
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It's not a fair question. A photocopy machine can be a machine that uses photostatic technology, that uses xerographic technology, that uses scanning technology.

So what remaining basis is there for the examinee to feign ignorance about what the question-asker means by "Do you have any photocopiers?"?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:56 AM
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142: Ooh, that looks good. And it's playing in San Jose through Sunday!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:57 AM
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To put it another way, I think a witness acting ethically should follow something close to a 10b-5 standard, and should not make any untrue statement of a material fact OR to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.

I understand there are pragmatic reasons we can't legally hold witnesses to that standard. But that doesn't mean that statements with intentionally misleading omissions aren't nonetheless wrong. And, while we probably can't legally hold witnesses to that standard, we certainly could have ethical rules that required lawyers not to coach clients to be intentionally misleading in their responses.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:58 AM
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By the time the witness's lawyer was listing technologies, the examining lawyer had lost control and didn't have a clear question on the table.

Do you have photocopying machines at the Recorder's office?
That question comes within 50 words after the examinee's lawyer makes the statement I quote in 155. Are depositions so nihilistic about language that the quote in 155 is no longer applicable 30 seconds later?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:59 AM
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Does "the whole truth" not have practical impact? Or is that still in oaths?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:59 AM
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156: Go and take every Bay Area Unfoggedteer with you.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:59 AM
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No need to handle wet chemicals in a Xerox machine.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:01 AM
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158: Because that was the examinee's lawyer's list, not the examiner's. The witness is asking what the examiner means, not what his own lawyer thinks the question means. If the examiner's lawyer had adopted that list: "Yes, I mean any of those, or any other means of reproducing a document", that would have worked, but he got his back up about not explaining himself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:02 AM
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I just might.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:03 AM
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145: I don't think that's how most people understand the term "photocopier".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:03 AM
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Now I can't decide which is more awesome, 148 or 161.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:05 AM
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161: Oh my actual word. [Also, classicist urban legend has it that they rang up the UW-Madison classics department (I think) and asked, "We need a name for our new dry copying technology." And the classicists said, "How about xeros?"]


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:06 AM
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157: That'd be fun. "Are you aware of any weaknesses in your theory of the case"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:07 AM
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"Did you kill him? Just between you and me."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:12 AM
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166: Ohio State, apparently.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:17 AM
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169: That's what I always heard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:19 AM
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169: Even better!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:19 AM
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What happened here is that both the examining lawyer and the lawyer defending the deposition are mediocre lawyers. The purpose of defending a deposition is not to allow your client to come across as a manipulative buffoon who has been coached, but that's what happened here. The guy worked his client up into a snit of fear and told him to use the classic "I'm just trying to understand your question" but didn't actually teach him how to answer the question reasonably (eg, if there's a legitimate issue as to what a "photocopier" is, you can say "I can't answer that question put like that" or "in this context, there's some difference as to what a photocopier might be" or something like that, rather than just a straight "I don't know what a photocopier is." The examining lawyer had a bunch of tools, including asking the guy to define a photocopier for himself, asking if he'd ever heard the term, then calmly asking whether the machine in his office is a photocopier, what does or doesn't make it a photocopier, etc. the examining lawyer let himself get boxed in a bit and then went straight to pointing out how evasive the witness was, when he had other options. The defending lawyer, however, I think in context screwed up worse -- the case, I think from a brief skim, was about the state failing to meet a requirement to provide free copying services, and the examining lawyer now has evidence that demonstrates that the state's witnesses are obstructionist and ridiculous, and god help the defense if that video goes before a jury. However, the examiner still could have done a much better job.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:24 AM
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166: I can't believe I never made that connection. So Kleenex has something to do with...couches?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:31 AM
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I am trying hard not to examine too closely the undeniable fact that rather than react technically or professionally to anything in the video I just watched 30 seconds and was overwhelmed by how unattractive the actual human encounter was.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:43 AM
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114: No, he's really not, unless he can get the jury to reasonable doubt as to whether, when he heard the question, he in fact though "oh, this guy wants to know whether we have a device that captures an image of the original on a photosensitive drum etc etc. Of course we don't!"

Well, isn't that the precise reason for being cute about asking repeatedly "what do you mean by 'photocopier', exactly?"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:44 AM
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There's a not really interesting non-legal question of what to call the copying services you provide when you say people can order copies of documents but you give them scans by file transfer or CD/DVD and almost never print.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:44 AM
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173: Heh!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:48 AM
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So Kleenex has something to do with...couches?

Of course. Where do you find all the used ones when you're cleaning up?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:52 AM
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175: Sure; I was talking about chris y's "no" answer in 94/103, not the actual video.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:53 AM
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I'm going to tell a story which I'm not going to be able to do justice to because of my fading memory of the specifics.

A good friend of mine got married several years ago. She really has beautiful taste, and she picked a lovely church, and she's a classical singer and used to be a cellist, so she had a cellist play a piece at her wedding that made me cry, and basically beautifully curated every element of her wedding, except that they let both the bride's and groom's fathers make speeches. She remembers them both as problematic, but I don't remember her dad's at all. Her husband's dad, though: he gave this speech that went on and on -- fifteen minutes maybe? twenty? -- which started with these people huddled in a basement on the brink of a great invention. It was all a metaphor for marriage, see, of embarking on a journey into the great unknown. He punctuated this over and over again with a three word Latin motto. Something like "Truth. Beauty. Courage." (or whatever that would be in Latin). The people huddled in the basement? The great thing that they would invent? That he spent 15-20 minutes on at a speech at his son's wedding? The founders of Xerox corp. He gave a speech all about Xerox at his son's wedding. I asked my friend afterwards -- does he have some connection to Xerox? Is that meaningful to his family in any way? No. It's just what occurred to him as a metaphor for great and meaningful journeys, like marriage. But the grandeur couldn't fully be communicated without a Latin motto.

I should really ask her if I could get a transcript. There's some weird move from the '70s where the best part is someone (Donald Sutherland?) giving a tripped out speech about marriage at a wedding (uh, help me out here?) and this was truly on that order of absurdity.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:53 AM
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There is nothing worse than this. It's important to give it at least ten minutes or so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:57 AM
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180.last: Little Murders?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:57 AM
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172 -- The examining lawyer makes pretty clear that the witness' obfuscation is going to be self-discrediting before the Ohio Supreme Court. Sure, the lawyer could have done that a little better in getting the witness to further self-discredit, but you can't leave this thing thinking the county is acting in good faith with respect to its copy policy.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:04 AM
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He's not trying to find out if they have a photocopier in the clerks office, since he already knows that they have them.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:04 AM
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183 -- right, absolutely. Which is why the defense lawyer screwed up worse. I do think the examiner could have done a better job of getting the answer out before he got mad, but ultimately he had to go home thinking that this depo was a win.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:08 AM
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The guy worked his client up into a snit of fear

Do you think he was fearful based on the transcript? I think he could have just been blandly stonewalling. The actor chose to do it that way, certainly.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:10 AM
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The guy worked his client up into a snit of fear

Do you think he was fearful based on the transcript? I think he could have just been blandly stonewalling. The actor chose to do it that way, certainly.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:10 AM
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I meant a snit of fear that he would screw up if he said anything at all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:11 AM
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I mean good in the sense of "skilled at acting in such a way as to achieve their desired ends". Ethically, which is what you're talking about, I'm not sure of the source of the obligation you seem to be appealing to to be affirmatively helpful to someone on the other side of a lawsuit.

Maybe not in a deposition context, but there are such obligations in general. Standard disclosure in an English civil trial includes any documents that adversely affect your own case or support another party's case.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:15 AM
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Ah, yes, Little Murders. Thanks!


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:15 AM
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Huh. I've never seen that sort of stonewalling used against a witness to any effect at all. Sure, it looks stupid, but not in a way that "I'm not used to being deposed and I wanted the question to be precise" doesn't fix. And it's not particularly unusual -- if you quoted that excerpt in a summary judgment motion to indicate that the other side's witnesses were being unhelpful, I'd expect an eyeroll and an "No shit, you're engaged in litigation" from the judge, rather than taking it as any kind of proof that something particularly shady was going on.

In this circumstance, I'd agree that the stonewalling was almost certainly pointless -- I doubt there was any important difference between the different possible technologies -- but not harmful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:20 AM
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Is saying "photocopier" actually common? I'm pretty sure I always just say "copier" or "copy machine" or something, never the "photo-" part.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:25 AM
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The case was about whether or not the state or county was complying with some obligation to provide free copying services. Having some state witness say "I don't know what a photocopier is" doesn't help your case. Also, more generally, a purely stonewalling deposition can be absolutely devastating, sometimes case-ending devastating, when shown at trial, and is generally ineffective at avoiding trial. Which isn't to say you should be fully forthcoming, either, just not clearly stonewalling in this manner. Which is why the defense lawyer is clearly pretty mediocre.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:26 AM
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185-86 -- As you can see from the lawyer's NYT comment, linked in the OP, he didn't play it mad, but bemused.

191 -- I'm guessing he's a 30(b)(6) witness; if not, it's still ex officio. I'm not saying this alone is self-discrediting by itself -- and already said that even outright lying only matters as part of a wider context.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:27 AM
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194: My 186 was about the witness.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:29 AM
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Also, more generally, a purely stonewalling deposition can be absolutely devastating, sometimes case-ending devastating, when shown at trial

You've probably done more trials than I have, given that I've done very very few. But I don't think I've ever heard that concern expressed before. (For something that stays on the right side of the line between fair unhelpfulness and asking for clarification on the one hand, and Chris Y's suggested equivocation on the other).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:31 AM
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194.1 -- bemused is much better than mad, but the examining guy still had like 5-10 more moves where he could have both gotten an answer and still pointed out the bad faith of the state's witness. I think so anyway. I agree with 194.2.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:34 AM
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196 -- well, there's always the prior question of whether you can play the depo video at trial at all. But very very often you can, and in those cases it can be absolutely devastating to have some key witness on the other side quibbling about what the meaning of "is" is, particularly if "is" is a key term. One trial I worked on (years ago now) used that kind of testimony in service of a $400 million + verdict; we recently did an arbitration against [major company] where we used ridiculous word evasion about a contract term in a depo video to excellent effect.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:40 AM
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Huh. What, exactly, did you use it for? Just to create prejudice in the jury ("This party's witnesses are evasive jerks, so I don't believe them about anything"), or was there some specific point?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:43 AM
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SOmewhat related: The Supreme Court has taken on the important question of Yates v. US, on the topic of whether a statute outlawing destruction of "records" in a federal investigation, also outlaws destruction of a fish. Actually, three smallish fish.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/28/does-destroying-fish-violate-the-anti-shredding-provision-of-sarbanes-oxley/


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:46 AM
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SOmewhat related: The Supreme Court has taken on the important question of Yates v. US, on the topic of whether a statute outlawing destruction of "records" in a federal investigation, also outlaws destruction of a fish. Actually, three smallish fish.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/28/does-destroying-fish-violate-the-anti-shredding-provision-of-sarbanes-oxley/


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:46 AM
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199 -- Evasion and equivocal answers about key contractual language or an important factual point. By the time you get to trial/arbitration, both sides need a story and if you've got depo testimony that (like here) shows the other side being massively evasive or stupid about the definition of key terms, you can very seriously undermine the credibility of the other side's story. Not to mention, you can show a jury that the other side are a bunch of weasely jerks. (None of this is to say you should be actually fully forthcoming in a deposition or tell your story there, just that you shouldn't have your clients act like this witness did, on any reasonably important issue).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:49 AM
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Huh. That seems like a situation where of course fish are tangible evidence and you can't destroy them to impede an investigation -- there's nothing silly about that just because fish are inherently silly -- but if the gravamen of the charge is that the first time investigators counted they found 72 undersized fish and the second time they found 69, even if the defendant had the opportunity to destroy the three 'missing' fish, it's really hard to see how that would have impeded the investigation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:50 AM
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198 restores my faith in humanitythe American legal system.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:51 AM
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Once you have 69 fish, all anybody will think of is ribald jokes. With 72 fish, you've got the Septaguint and the number of books in a Catholic bible. Huge difference.

Sheesh, LB.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:53 AM
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202: This doesn't sound wrong to me in general. Specifically as applied to something comparable to the photocopier testimony, though, I think it'd be hard to make much hay with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:57 AM
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We have three bottles of lemonade kept in the office fridge as a a record. Not an official court record, but still a federal record.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:57 AM
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113: I found Lombardo to be way closer to the original than Fagles, in style as well as content. It captures a sort of Homeric directness that often gets left behind in other translations that try to make characters talk like they're in a poem.

Fagles is full of bizarre, distracting anachronisms like saying someone has a spine of steel. I'm aware that my opinions on both of these are unusual but I'm continually astonished to see all the love for Fagles.

The Murray translation is less beautiful than either but perfectly readable.

I found Lattimore terrible and dry but some people seem to like it, and its accuracy is unobjectionable. If you don't mind the style it is probably the best for you.

Fitzgerald is beautiful but you're basically reading an original English poem that follows Homer very closely.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:01 AM
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200: In Latin American legal systems, the fish question is governed by the doctrine of pez judicata.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:14 AM
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Also applicable to disputes over individually dispensed candies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:19 AM
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208: I don't think I'd hear Lombardo described as "very close to the original"; my sense was that it was closer to Fitzgerald in taking well-justified liberties.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:23 AM
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Here's the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in the case:

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2012/2012-Ohio-753.pdf

It was a mandamus proceeding directly before the Ohio Supreme Court, not a jury trial, and no oral testimony or argument was heard. The Supreme Court decision doesn't specifically reference the deposition. On the other hand, suffice to say that the Supreme Court found the Cuyahoga County position to be extremely untenable. Not to mention that the county actually wanted a broad definition of what it meant to photocopy something, not a narrow one. So, the stonewalling probably amounted to, in terms of case outcome, not too much, but may have helped persuade the Supreme Court that the county wasn't acting in good faith, and looks like a lost opportunity for the county to have stated its position in a somewhat reasonable way -- they would have been better off saying "yes, we have lots of photocopiers, including the scanners! Everything is a photocopier."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:24 AM
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I believe there is a precedent regarding habeus porcus.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:28 AM
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203: no, the allegation is that the defendant discarded all 72 significantly-undersized fish he'd been ordered to hang on to, and replaced them with 72 other fish that were closer calls (and only 69 of which when measured were in fact under the limit).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:31 AM
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214: If that's it, what on earth is the Supreme Court doing with it? Why wouldn't fish be tangible evidence?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:34 AM
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Maybe the court figured extremely slippery is close enough to intangible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:36 AM
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215 -- per the link, the statute prohibits destruction of a "record" or "tangible object." I can't see why a fish wouldn't be a "tangible object" -- is a fish too slippery to be tangible?

The guy's claim seems to be that he couldn't have known the statute would apply to him because it was part of Sarbanes Oxley. Which seems specious to me but maybe the SCT will find for him under the special "we don't like Sarbanes Oxley" rule.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:41 AM
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215: Beats me. I mean, there's probably a good legislative history argument that the statute in question (Sarbanes Oxley) wasn't meant to cover fish and something something rule of lenity, but I wouldn't expect that to win out with this court and I don't think there's a circuit split or anything.

208, 211: Yeah, Lombardo has way more spine-of-steel kinds of things than Fagles (is my sense; I did not count), though as I said above I don't think that's a problem.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:42 AM
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Wasn't really expecting to be pwnd on the slippery fish joke.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:43 AM
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I'm in your mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:45 AM
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Stop thinking about the junior associate wearing yoga pants and a pigeon mask.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:46 AM
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Lattimore was what I was exposed to undergrad. Frank Kinahan, one of my favorite professors ever used the Fitzgerald for comparison to Ulysses, which I know is a specialized use.

What's anybody's opinion of the Samuel Butler Odyssey? If I'm not mistaken the Great Books uses it. It's prose.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:53 AM
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I don't approve of Homer in prose under any circumstances, but that's probably some sort of philistinism.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 10:07 AM
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Further to 218.1, looking at the statute (because yes, I really need to procrastinate today):

knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object

I suppose there's a decent eiusdem/noscitur argument (and by "decent" I mean "no more compelling than any canon of construction argument"). The statute arguably contemplates the kinds of tangible objects in which you can make a false entry. Still don't see why it's cert-worthy and w/o a split I guess it does suggest application of a "we don't like SOx" rule.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 10:11 AM
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I'd read 'tangible object' as an explicit statement that the law is broader than just records. What could you make a false entry in that wouldn't be a record or document?

To put it another way, if the intent of the law was to cover only evidence in the nature of stored information (whether paper or electronic), I'd think you'd do that precisely by listing things like "record or document" and not "tangible objects".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 10:27 AM
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The case undoubtedly rang out to conservatives as an example of crazy, button-pushing government overreach ("they're using this law that punishes financial innovators to put a fisherman in jail!). But personally, I think it's a great thing that the DOJ is aggressively pursuing fishermen who violate catch limits. The fishing industry is extremely difficult to regulate and obviously has plenty of opportunity to destroy evidence of violations of the law. But if we want to have any fish left we need to regulate the shit out of the fishing industry. And convincing fisherman that there are really really serious consequences for destroying evidence of breaking the law seems like a good way to go.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 10:53 AM
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Were there no other laws against destroying (discarding) evidence related to overfishing before Sarbanes-Oxley? Or does SOx increase the penalty?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:06 AM
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Were there no other laws against destroying (discarding) evidence related to overfishing before Sarbanes-Oxley? Or does SOx increase the penalty?

Without having read any of the links, is it partially a question of jurisdiction? Does SOx allow for federal prosecution of something that would otherwise be a state matter?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:16 AM
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It depends on whether the fish are bony or cartilaginous.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:20 AM
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I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean by "fish".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:28 AM
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227 -- this isn't really my area, but I believe this provision of Sarbanes Oxley was intended to make it clear that altering evidence for the purpose of impeding a federal investigation was always a federal crime, in the wake of things like the Arthur Andersen decision which seemed to imply that under former law you also had to show that the defendant knew that what he was doing was "corrupt" or unlawful and that the evidence would be used in a particular proceeding against him.

If you can't believe a conservative Supreme Court would ever construe so narrowly a criminal law that did not apply to the activities of wealthy businesspeople, you'd be right!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:31 AM
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224 strikes me as weak sauce, since the state also apparently contemplates tangible objects which one can mutilate. Can one mutilate a database? Can one make a false entry in, say, a contract, or email exchange? (One can forge a contribution to an email exchange but that stretches "false entry".)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:35 AM
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Also, is no one going to recommend Logue for Homer?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:35 AM
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229, 230: Also, do beavers count as fish?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:39 AM
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232: Of course it's weak sauce, hence my parenthetical remark. Doesn't mean it won't be invoked--canon of construction arguments like that are frequently how courts dress up outcome-driven results in what look to lawyers like neutral constraints. Since it probably only makes sense for the Court to have granted cert in order to reverse, my guess is that something like 224 (plus rule of lenity) is what we'll eventually see.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:42 AM
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What could you make a false entry in that wouldn't be a record or document?

A wall.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:46 AM
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Surely Logue fails the "didn't take massive liberties with the original" criterion?

The armies hum

As power-station outflow cables do.

It's a lot of things, but faithful translation it isn't.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:47 AM
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236: I like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:49 AM
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Oh, walls are very popular.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:51 AM
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It occurred to me as soon as I posted it that I should have done it as Wile E Coyote, QC.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:51 AM
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Isn't Logue's rendering an adaptation of existing translations? So it's not really a translation itself in any case.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:53 AM
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Wait, sorry, that's All Day Permanent Red. His "translation" is a different kind of liberty:

Long after midnight when you park, and stand

Just for a moment in the chromium wash,

Sometimes it seems that, some way off,

Between the river and the tower belt, say,

The roofs show place on pomegranate red

As if, below that line, they stood on fire.

Again, quite striking, but also quite not Homer.
Such fleas...

Such lumps...

Watch Greece begin to die


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:00 PM
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Nosflow is such a pill. Logue is gorgeous, but it's, you know, Logue. Also, does he even do The Odyssey, which was the original question? (I've only read War Music and All Day Permanent Red.)

If we're tending that way, then everyone should read Derek Walcott's Omeros.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:04 PM
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"All Day Permanent Red" is just a part of his general "account" of parts of the Iliad, so I don't know what the distinction in 242 is. Though yes, Jesus, I suppose it isn't really a "translation" if you want to be super strict about it, and yes, it does take massive liberties. But it's so good!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:05 PM
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241: And not even attempting to be a translation; a retelling, sure, but no more translation than the play I saw.

To be super-clear, I love Homeric retellings; I have a shelf of them (and I'm now wanting to add Logue to that shelf; I've been meaning to for years). But what Logue did (or Armitage or Walcot*) is clearly not what tram was asking after.

I only discovered at dinner before the play that AB has never read either Homer (she didn't actually know the story of the Iliad at all, although of course she knew the general outline of the Trojan War). I'm trying to decide what's the best way for her to start. I don't think she'd be up for any of the straight translations to start - that's a big commitment that, if she wanted to make, she would have during her first 4 decades as a reader - but I don't know which of the retellings I have would be most compelling. Maybe the Armitage...

*both of those being Odyssey, not Iliad


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:05 PM
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And now moving very far afield, Charles Mee is really great too. Someone read a bit of his Trojan Women aloud as part of a paper and I started to cry right there at the conference table. (I am a sap. Shoot me.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:07 PM
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243.2 gets it exactly right.

I got to see him speak in the company of my beloved English prof whose last publication was entitled The Muse Strikes Back.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:08 PM
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the statute at issue in the fish case, 18 usc 1519, has the title , "Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy." The text of the statue also refers to tangible objects. Obviously (to me) it's a statute about destroying evidence, which seems to be exactly what this guy did. It's not really a surprise that physical objects can be evidence.

There's an interesting pile up of legal fictions: Can the fisherman be presumed to have been put on notice of the contents of the statute because it's a federal law? Would it be appropriate to presume he had notice it the statute had a clearer title? Obviously no one actually reads the federal laws.

On the other hand, he knew he was under investigation, and it seems reasonable that a citizen can expect there will be some consequence to violating a federal officer's directive to preserve evidence. I don't have much sympathy for him.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:09 PM
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the statute at issue in the fish case, 18 usc 1519, has the title , "Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy." The text of the statue also refers to tangible objects. Obviously (to me) it's a statute about destroying evidence, which seems to be exactly what this guy did. It's not really a surprise that physical objects can be evidence.

There's an interesting pile up of legal fictions: Can the fisherman be presumed to have been put on notice of the contents of the statute because it's a federal law? Would it be appropriate to presume he had notice it the statute had a clearer title? Obviously no one actually reads the federal laws.

On the other hand, he knew he was under investigation, and it seems reasonable that a citizen can expect there will be some consequence to violating a federal officer's directive to preserve evidence. I don't have much sympathy for him.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:09 PM
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No, Logue has never done the Odyssey and, alas! never will. Fine! I admit it! I was being a pill!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:11 PM
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|| So more on our stand your ground case: kid was with a host family 5 or 6 houses away from shooter (2 as the crow flies). Shooter out on 30k bail. Looks like shooter has lived there about 6 months. My paralegal's son goes to the same high school as the kid (didn't know him, though): a full media circus there this morning. There's a helicopter circling our neighborhood, presumably giving German viewers a look from above. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:14 PM
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249.2 -- Wasn't there a Supreme Court case long ago that we're all on notice of things that appear in the Federal Register?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:17 PM
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Never been deposed, but the thing I did that came closest to it was utterly nerve wracking given that slow, deliberate verbal responses exhibiting careful thought and discretion are not my style even one little bit. I mostly resorted to the "can you please repeat the question" gambit just to slow myself down. I had power of attorney for someone and I wonder if that made it worse or better. It concerned a quite substantive disability claim, which was a Hail Mary and being contested on a subtle point of semantics, so I had very specific instructions on how to talk about the events in question (the person's attorney was also on the phone). As I said, absolutely nerve wracking but went OK--the person on the other side feigned ignorance, and nothing I said turned out to be the least bit material to the ultimate resolution anyway (which was settlement on appeal, following denial and getting utterly thrashed and humiliated in the first run at a judge).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:17 PM
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"All Day Permanent Red" is just a part of his general "account" of parts of the Iliad, so I don't know what the distinction in 242 is.

That was me misunderstanding the chronology of his work; shortly before "ADPR" was published, 3 of his previous works in that vein were collected as "War Music", and so I was taking "ADPR" as somehow separate. And I will say, reading a few pages of each just now, the latter work has a rather different feel. Perhaps that's purely a stylistic choice (as opposed to reflecting a different ethos wrt translation/retelling), but the effect is that ADPR is barely recognizable as Homer (his preference for odd renderings of names emphasizes this; anyone know why Chryseis* becomes Cryzia?) in a way that "Kings" (part of "War Music") does not.

*I've never known/remembered how to do Greek letters on the internet


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:20 PM
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||

Proctoring an exam. Didn't get stuck with the extra assistance kids this time yay. How serious am I supposed to look, you figure?

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:25 PM
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My son was talking about the Odyssey during his birthday call to me Sunday. The Sirens episode, interpreted by Adorno and Horkeimer, and his thoughts about them.

It's been a few years since I've thought much about Homer. Last was grappling with Simone Weil's Poem of Force.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:30 PM
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Though yes, Jesus, I suppose it isn't really a "translation" if you want to be super strict about it

If requiring some engagement with the source material to qualify as a translation makes me super strict, then I'll cop to being super strict.

Last was grappling with Simone Weil's Poem of Force.

I remember loving that, I should read it again.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:44 PM
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234: Cabybaras count as fish for Catholic purposes.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 12:49 PM
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258: Thus.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 1:03 PM
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252: Jackson, J., dissenting: "If [a farmer] were to peruse this voluminous and dull publication as it is issued from time to time in order to make sure whether anything has been promulgated that affects his rights, he would never need crop insurance, for he would never get time to plant any crops. Nor am I convinced that a reading of technically-worded regulations would enlighten him much in any event."


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 1:46 PM
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Granted that idea of actually reading the Federal Register is insane (and I say this despite having signed cover pages of it on my desk), isn't it a very basic principle of the law that ignorance is not a defense?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:07 PM
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It is utterly absurd that a person could be held liable for breaking a law they had no way of knowing even existed. There really are too many laws and regulations for any person to know all of them. Any not-crazy judicial system ought to take that into account.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:17 PM
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I did prefer "War Music" to "All Day Permanent Red". The description of Apollo attacking Patroclus is amazing (and the linked post is right, you really need the actual book).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:21 PM
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In the abstract, that sounds good. In the concrete, I'm not relying on any arcane legal knowledge to avoid breaking the law, day to day.

This specific case, we've got a guy arguing that "How could I possibly have known that after federal investigators told me to preserve my catch because I might have been breaking fishing regulations, that it was a violation of law to destroy it. I'm not a Sarbanes Oxley expert." As an argument, that inspires me to subtly cough "Horseshit" rather than getting sympathetic about the complexities of our overregulated state.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:24 PM
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Oh I'm missing the Logue thread! I don't have anything to say except I loved All Day Permanent Red, and I liked War Music a lot.

I recently read Madeline Miller's Song for Achilles, where she rewrites the Iliad as a YA love story, more or less. It was not good.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:26 PM
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*I've never known/remembered how to do Greek letters on the internet

Ampersand name of the greek letter (lowercase or capitalized however you want the output) semicolon. Like so: λ gets you λ, Σ gets you Σ.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:28 PM
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And if you want to be extra fancy with your word-ending sigmas, it's &sigmaf.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:30 PM
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Or rather ς.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:30 PM
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262: Here's the deal, as near as I can tell: ordinary people in their ordinary personal lives are not at risk from "surprise" laws - very little you do that your mom wouldn't tell you not to do will turn out to secretly illegal, and most of the exceptions will be technicalities that rarely get enforced/heavily punished (e.g. the numerous minor infractions around driving*). The exceptions that do pertain tend to be laws that turn minor - but obvious - infractions into major ones, like the stupid law that turns an assailant into a co-murderer because his buddy commits an unplanned murder. That's a flawed law, but the problem isn't that the assailant was ignorant of the law, but that the law is flawed (and possibly misapplied). And the assailant was, in fact, doing something clearly illegal (punching someone in the face).

Then there's the whole category of technical illegalities around business, which covers the fish case. And here, there's the simple rule of thumb that you either operate on the up and up or have a good lawyer. Maybe Mr. Fish didn't know he was violating a federal statute, but he sure as hell knew that swapping out fish was, um, fishy. I don't care if ignorance led him to miscalculate the punishment, because I don't think he really thought he was on the up and up.

I hope none of this is construed as "just don't break the law, and you have nothing to fear". It's intended, rather, to say that breaking the law isn't like stumbling into some court ceremony where it's impossible to guess what behaviors are taboo. Most of the time it's pretty clear, and most of the marginal cases are either minor or situations where a smart person would be asking for some expert advice.

*set aside, for the moment, the whole issue of arbitrary enforcement; I don't think that's the heart of tog's complaint


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:32 PM
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255: Some pointers.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:32 PM
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τεστ.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:34 PM
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Here's the deal, as near as I can tell: ordinary people in their ordinary personal lives are not at risk from "surprise" laws - very little you do that your mom wouldn't tell you not to do will turn out to secretly illegal, and most of the exceptions will be technicalities that rarely get enforced/heavily punished (e.g. the numerous minor infractions around driving*).

This seems like a big overstatement. What about using freely available tools to view readily available media online and then share that media with your friends? Or non-commercial fishing in a local lake without a fishing license? (Who knew you needed a license to fish? Isn't this a free country?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 2:55 PM
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Dude, I knew that I needed a fishing license when I was in high school. Furthermore, I think most people with plausible ignorance claims on that front (e.g., a recent immigrant) would be let off by the relevant authority.

As for the former example, I can't conceive of anyone, anywhere, who would make a serious claim that a little file sharing would be criminal. I mean, sure, there are petty, sociopathic tyrants out there who'd put a minor in prison for life over a minor drug bust, but what kind of an asshole would view BitTorrent as a problem?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:00 PM
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Thomas Jefferson didn't need a license to fish.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:03 PM
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273, 274: So one time in HS, by buddy and I decided to sneak into the nearby private lake* property to do a little late night fishing. We were using corn as bait (apparently illegal?) and he was drinking. Cops came cruising through at one point. The joke was, "They had us on 4 counts: trespassing, underage drinking, fishing without a license, and corn fishing. So we hid the can of corn behind the beer."

Later that night, we rode down the street on the roof of another buddy's car. Alas, memory fails me as to model and make, but let's just say, this was north Jersey in 1989. So probably some shitty domestic with an oversized engine.

*private for swimming, not so much for fishing


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:17 PM
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-b, +m

Oh, and to be clear, the cops didn't spot us.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:17 PM
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273 last -- for a criminal copyright violation, the copyright infringement needs to be "willful." Under the law in most of the country, to establish willfulness you need to show either that the defendant knew that he was violating the copyright law or that the defendant showed "reckless disregard" or "willful blindness" of the copyright holder's rights, e.g. he intentionally disregarded knowledge that what he was doing was illegal. In the 9th Circuit, the standard is stricter for the government; there, the government has to show that the defendant actually knew he was disregarding a legal duty to show willfulness.

You can't be criminally prosecuted for violating copyright if you think that the infringement is legal (as long as you're not "recklessly disregarding" evidence that what you're doing's not legal), and in a borderline case (I dunno, sharing media that seems free with your friends) you can't be, and never would be, criminally prosecuted.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:21 PM
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Are you really this easy to troll?

Not that I don't appreciate the law primer.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:29 PM
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That reminds me: a (fairly) smart radio host misused "primer" yesterday. He used the McGuffey's Reader pronunciation, but his usage was start-your-engine. It was ambiguous enough a case that it was clearly wrong, but also that he didn't come off as a guy trying to seem smarter than he is. Still made me chuckle.

Oh, also on usage: I'm working on a Ford dealership (don't ask) and we had a site meeting yesterday. We were outside talking about the paving and such when I noticed that the Focus positioned for sale out front had painted in its window, "GAS MIZER". Oh, rural dealer.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 3:32 PM
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I am super dark on ignorance arguments because realistically the people it benefits are rich people engaged in heavily regulated activities, who really do need to be slapped around a lot more by the law than they are.

(Likewise whines about strict liability.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:11 PM
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Proctoring an exam.... How serious am I supposed to look, you figure?

Somewhere in between Indiana Jones and that guy who kills everyone in No Country for Old Men.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:24 PM
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Re: ignorance of the law:

Years ago, I was staying overnight in a motel in Sacramento. After a nice dinner with wine, I walked back to my room to listen to a basketball game on the radio. Only the room radio reception was really crappy, so I went out to my car to listen to it on the car radio. After the game, I walked back to my room to go to sleep. Some time later, was surprised to learn from the newspapers that that series of actions was sufficient to convict for DUI in California, assuming sufficient BAC, and that prosecutors were adamant against liberalizing the law in question. (Being in possession of the keys, in the car in question, while intoxicated = DUI, even without any evidence that the car in question had been driven, or was intended to be driven anywhere.)

I guess I'm lucky that no one called the police to report a suspicious guy just sitting in his car watching the motel in question.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 6:58 PM
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The origins of the federal register are in the problem of people not knowing what the laws were. It's a surprisingly interesing story.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:06 PM
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Speaking of lawyers, the order granting defendant's motion for summary judgment included this little dig at the profession (and plaintiff was a lawyer):

This is a case in which the answer to the central question is clear and easily arrived at. Only lawyers, with their finely honed skill of rendering the obvious obtuse, could create uncertainty as to the outcome.

A fairly new judge at the time whose career had been made at the legal death star, so presumably had good data on the relevant skills.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:27 PM
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282: It's definitely true that you can be convicted of a DUI in Virginia without the cop seeing you driving. Usually there's some other circumstantial evidence. I know of three such convictions in particular:

-Cop pulled over to check on a vehicle parked on the shoulder of a main state route. Defendant, the only person in the vehicle, was asleep in the driver's seat, keys in the ignition but car off. Subsequent field sobriety and/or breathalyzer (don't remember which one) established intoxication.

-Domestic disturbance call, and, as the cop pulls up, the defendant is alone in the vehicle putting the keys in the ignition but hasn't gone anywhere. Again, field sobriety or breathalyzer, and boom, conviction.

-Guy shows up at the police station drunk. Like, really drunk. To complain about something the cops did in his neighborhood. He tells the cops he drove to the station, and his vehicle is in fact outside. (Okay, this one's not really a tough sell. I just sorta love that story.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 7:59 PM
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Drunk Virginia Man moving in on Florida Man's turf.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:03 PM
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285: None of those seem particularly problematic to me.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:11 PM
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Stupid form memory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 8:30 PM
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It's definitely true that you can be convicted of a DUI in Virginia without the cop seeing you driving.

It's true most everywhere. Our exact phrasing in the code as pertains to DUI's is "may not operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:06 PM
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Fake physical control is okay?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:18 PM
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290: Constructive control. See, it sounds all positive with the magic legal words.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:24 PM
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I suppose "destructive control" is an oxymoron in this context.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:25 PM
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Unless you're, like, dismantling it piece by piece or something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:25 PM
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I don't have any problem with anything in 285 either. And the reason for the rule is obvious and explains by facts like those -- for example, if you stumble out of a bar obviously drunk, get your car in the parking lot, sit down at the wheel, turn on the engine, and a cop comes over and sees you, you probably shouldn't be able to get an automatic get out of jail free card by saying "Uh I was just listening to the radio." And you really don't want a rule that requires the cops to let drunk drivers drive around for a bit before they can arrest them.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:26 PM
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What do you mean by radio?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:33 PM
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It's an analog music-delivery system.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 9:36 PM
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Actually, a surprising number of terrestrial radio stations now simulcast in a digital format, so-called "HD Radio." The digital signals boast an improvement in sound quality and the added benefit of potential "sub-channels" (e.g., 88.5-2), where the broadcaster could program different content. For instance, all Elvis, all the time. And then I fell asleep talking about HD Radio.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 10:04 PM
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What do you mean by turn on the engine? Is that normally required to operate the radio?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 10:40 PM
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What do you mean by normally?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:42 PM
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For instance, all Elvis, all the time.

Don't tell ogged.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-29-14 11:42 PM
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By normally I mean using a method taught at a Teachers College.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:09 AM
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What do you mean by a Teachers College? Don't all colleges involve teaching?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:12 AM
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I remind you that you are under oath.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 12:13 AM
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285: There was a case that went to the Supreme Court in Canada that matched the first situation (drunk guy in car with keys in ignition and in fact running) but where the guy was exonerated because: it was cold (-20C? Properly cold), the guy had called a taxi and was waiting for it, but had turned on the car to get the heater working.

That third situation is hilarious.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:15 AM
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The digital signals boast an improvement in sound quality

Ha. That is definitely not the situation in Britain, where DAB is widespread (though not widespread enough for the planned switchover to happen just yet).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 3:24 AM
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Yeah, DAB is largely worse than FM for sound quality. I can't remember now what the exact hierarchy of quality is best. If I recall correctly:

Streaming [esp. radio 3] > FM > streaming/freeview [for most other stations] > DAB


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 4:39 AM
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A sound thing: I have recently rediscovered a decent pair of headphones I had lying around (one of these: http://www.amazon.co.uk/FREETALK-TALK-5115-Everyman-USB-Headset/dp/B002YHAFF2%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q%26tag%3Dduc08-21%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB002YHAFF2 , actually intended as a VoIP/conferencing headset) and I am frankly shocked at the sound quality I have been putting up with, as well as the sensual pleasure of listening to music with tolerable quality.

I may have to accept that quite a few of my strongly held opinions on music are actually artefacts of missing great chunks of frequency range.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:10 AM
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re: 307

Yes. I think that's often the case. I have friends who claim that X is indistinguishable [from not-X] to most people,* but who only listen to music in formats or on systems where they'd never be able to hear it anyway.**

* where X is some kind of compression artefact, or high frequency noise, or hiss, or rumble, or whatever.
** comment not to be understood to be endorsing the worst kind of audiophile snake-oil-ery.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 5:14 AM
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My sister got in trouble for the exact circumstance of 285.1, including the state. I don't recall the circumstances.

What would the law say about someone sitting drunk and listening to the radio in a VW, which doesn't require keys to turn on the radio? ISTM that sitting in a car with the keys in one's pocket is not actually a step in the process of driving the car somewhere.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 8:58 AM
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I wonder about sitting in the passenger seat.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:22 PM
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In Ireland, the drivers seat is the passenger seat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 2:23 PM
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285,294: Yeah, I don't have a problem with most of those circumstances either, or think that the officer needs to have seen you driving. But if IIRC, the prosecutors quoted in the paper were arguing that it should remain a strict liability thing, where I would want it to be at most a rebuttable presumption that you intended to drive or had driven. By the side of road in the middle of nowhere, intoxicated? Better have a good explanation of how you got there without driving drunk. But parked in the lot of the motel where you are staying for the night, with no indication that you need to go anywhere else by driving? That's a much more plausible circumstance.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-30-14 6:34 PM
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