Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas and holiday musings

Faithful readers: you can expect posting to be light for the next - well - several months. Aside from the upcoming holidays, y'all do remember that I am having a baby in 3 weeks or so? Keep you eye on the Baby Blawg, although I do expect to get an announcement posted here, too.

Here are some of my previous December/holiday posts of interest:

Happy Hanukkah (2004)
Handel's Messiah (2004)
Holiday Shopping Guide (2003)

And here's a new link: Martha Stewart on The Perfect Package.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Breastfeeding in Public

The Independent has an article about the movement to ensure public breastfeeding rights in the UK.

Friday, December 09, 2005

From Bad to Worse?

Kellogg to Reduce Trans Fat in Products

...and replace it with genetically modified soybean oil.

Iowa Midwifery

The Des Moines Register reports a move to gain greater hospital privileges for Certified Nurse-Midwives:
[Clara] Dugan said hospitals are denying independent admitting privileges for advanced practice midwives. Hospitals, she said, require that independent nurse midwives practice dependently under the sponsorship of two physicians who agree to take responsibility for the midwife's actions.

"If you're required to have two supervisors, you have to do it their way," Dugan said.

Dr. Rebecca Shaw, medical director for Midwife Services of Iowa Health-Des Moines, said the hospital, which has three employed midwives, does require independent midwives to have two co-admitting physicians, who are able to provide for obstetrical emergencies and complications, because it "enhances patient safety and communication between midwives and physicians at the hospital and it improves care when communication is best."

A new advocacy group, Mothers And Others for Midwives, has been formed, and last night's meeting featured speakers such as Susan Hodges, president of the national advocacy group Citizens for Midwifery, and the famous midwife and author Ina May Gaskin.

**12/19/05 Edited to add this news link: Midwives Fight Hospital Rules

You will never think of playhouse disney the same way again

I'm embarassed to link to this post from The Sarcastic Journalist. But it's hilarious. Including the comments. Warning: for mature audiences only. Let me make this plain: though the photo is not what I would consider offensive, do not load the page with your kids in the room or you will have some 'splainin' to do, of a kind you would rather avoid. Here's a hint: it seems that some moms (not me though!) have - er - romantic thoughts about certain characters on children's t.v. shows. Like Anthony Wiggle.

The Mommy Blawg does not endorse such things.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Virginia Midwifery

The State of Virginia has legalized direct-entry midwifery, and will start licensing DEMs this month. A big round of applause to the dedicated midwifery supporters in Virginia and elsewhere who made this possible.

Here's a news article, which I'm going to pick at a little, if you will bear with me:
State regulations being put in place this month will license certified professional midwives, letting dozens of homespun obstetricians come out of the closet.
Homespun obstetricians? Nothing could be further from the truth. The author clearly is oblivious to the difference between the obstetrical and midwifery models of care.
To [Midwives], midwifery is an almost mystical art. To the medical establishment, it's a threat.
A mystical art? Most midwives I know are quite grounded in evidence-based care. Art, yes. Mystical, no. What are they smoking over there in Virginia?

As far as being a threat, sure, in terms of giving women a choice. But in a state - such as Texas - where midwifery has been perfectly legal for quite some time, the homebirth rate is still so low that doctors are just not feeling the competition in their pocket-books. At all. Any OBs out there loosing business because of midwives? Let me know.
"Seeing 10 deliveries in no way prepares a person to do something that impacts two lives," said Richmond-area obstetrician John Partridge, who opposed the licensing laws. "There will be people injured--mothers who will be injured and babies who will die."
Ten deliveries? I think NARM requires 40, 20 as primary. Ten observations hardly qualifies you to assist. And yes, mothers will be injured and babies will die, but that happens at OB-attended hospital births, too. Statistically there is no difference. Oh, except that CPMs have fewer complications.

Congratulations, Virginia!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Our Daily Sudoku

Sudoku puzzles seem to be all the rage right now. Our local paper has been printing them (easy on Monday, very hard on Friday), but we don't subscribe; my husband brought one home from work one day and I was hooked.

The website has a Sudoku program you can buy, but has four levels of free Sudoku puzzles a day, which you can play online or print off. Thank God for the Australians! First The Wiggles, now Sudoku. What will they think of next? Also has daily puzzles, and what appears to be a Sudoku blog, although the entries are not dated so I'm not quite sure if that counts as a blog.

And speaking of blogs, a Google search turned up:
sudoku! sudoku!
Dan Rice's Sudoku Blog
Sudoku Blog
Sudoku Strategies


Sudoku Webring

Enjoy at your peril!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Nestle Forumula Recall

Nestle infant formula has been recalled all over Europe, due to the milk being contaminated with ink from the packaging.

Italian police seize Nestle baby milk (Reuters)
Baby milk scare widens in Europe (BBC)
Nestle Press Release
BAby Milk Action Press Release

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

In 1950, my grandmother won the Dallas Morning News' recipe contest for leftover turkey. A few months back when our family was together, my mom unearthed the newspaper article and my grandmother informed us that she made up the recipe and had never cooked it herself.

That's right. She made up the recipe in her head, submitted it to the newspaper without testing it, and managed to win first prize. My grandmother was always a pretty handy homemaker, and had studied home economics in college, but still. Gee whiz.

Here's her prize-winning recpie:

Turkey Pie

2 tablespoons fat
1 cup rice broth
1 cup milk
2 cups leftover chopped turkey
1 cup leftover mashed potatos
salt and pepper
1 recipe rich biscuit dough combined with 3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
almond slivers

Make cream sauce of fat, flour, milk and broth. Add turkey, potatoes and salt & pepper and place in baking dish. Cut small sage biscuits and place on top of turkey mixture. Top biscuits with slivers of almonds. Bake at 385 degrees until biscuits are brown.
Enjoy! If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

C-Section Rate Hits All-Time High

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics has come out with 2004 statistics, and the rate of Cesaraian Sections has hit an all-time high - 29.1% of all births. This is up from 27.5% in 2003. Just for some perspective, the c-section rate was 5% in 1970, and the World Health Organization stated in 1985:
Countries with some of the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world have caesarean rates under 10%. Clearly there is no justification in any specific region to have more than 10-15% caesarean section births.
Even more troubling, the VBAC rate (vaginal birth after cesarian) has dropped 13% since last year and 67% since 1996. In many areas of the country, it is extremely difficult to find a doctor or hospital who will take on VBAC patients. The number of preterm and low birth weight babies is also increasing.

What's the cause of this disturbing trend? Ah, well, we can always blame the lawyers:
"The increase in the cesarean births is due to three things — malpractice, malpractice, malpractice," said Dr. Joshua A. Copel, director of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine.

Copel believes that the decision to do cesarean deliveries is largely based on doctors' fear of litigation. "Not that much has changed about the American population to account for such an increase in cesarean birth rates except the fear of obstetricians of being sued," he said.


"Most disturbing are data showing a steady increase in the rate of cesarean delivery," [Dr. David L.] Katz added. "While the so-called c-section can be invaluable when used to address complications of labor and delivery, it appears to be used increasingly for mere convenience, or to avoid liability associated with the natural risks of birthing."

"That we are doing more surgery, but not delivering more prenatal care, is quite concerning," Katz said. "Pregnancy-related care should be a national priority, and delivery a matter of Nature's timing, not the obstetrician's convenience. The trends in this report call for a reassessment of our priorities."
(HealthDayNews via Baby Center)

In response to the CDC statistics, the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) has issued a press release (PDF) focusing on what it terms "forced" cesarean surgeries:
Over 300 hospitals and thousands of physicians across the country have banned vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) based on cost concerns and fears over liability. These bans mean that women are pushed into cesareans they do not want and likely do not need...."Every medical and regulatory organization espouses the principles of patients' rights, yet we're finding that the realities these women face don't jive with what's on paper," says Katherine Prown, Ph.D., ICAN's Director of Advocacy.
Some related links of interest:

Red State Moron weighs in and links to the New York Times article.
Experts on the High Rate of Cesareans from
The Assault on Normal Birth: The OB Disinformation Campaign by Henci Goer

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Carnival Roundup

Blawg Review #31 is up at the IPTA Blog.

Grand Rounds 2.07 - with a Star Trek theme - is up at MSSPNexus Blog.

Cytotec Blog

Parker & Waichman, a medmal/products liability lawfirm, has a Cytotec (Misoprostol) news feed on their website. Not updated as frequently as one would like, and no original content; though their are a couple great articles written by Ina May Gaskin and Henci Goer a few years ago that are worth checking out.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Prenatal Care Behind Bars

Via FamilyLawProfBlog and Blogging Baby, NPR's Linda Wertheimer has done a piece called Prenatal Care Behind Bars:
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in upstate New York houses the oldest prison nursery in the country. Pregnant inmates are given prenatal care and parenting classes. Some women are permitted to keep their babies with them in prison for up to 18 months, in an effort to create bonds between mother and child.

It's natural, healthy -- and it's law

Chip Johnson of the San Franciso Chronicle writes this article about the effects of California's two-year-old law requiring employers to provide a space where nursing mothers can express (pump) milk. He writes:
Too often, the law is violated, though more often out of ignorance than contempt.

"The law is out there, but a lot of people, including breast-feeding moms aren't aware of those rights,'' said Pam Tellew of La Leche League, an international breast-feeding advocacy organization started in Chicago nearly 50 years ago. The group provides support, education and a community forum for new and expectant moms.

To promote and advance the law, the Contra Costa Breastfeeding Coalition, which works toward widespread acceptance of one of humanity's most natural acts, last week honored several employers that provide a safe, clean and private environment for their nursing employees.

Two local Contra Costa County offices -- the Children and Family Services Division and the county administration office -- as well as the Nurture Center, a Concord business that sells maternity clothes and infant supplies, were commended by the group for their efforts.


But for all the comfort the Nurture Center provides, such accommodations are rare in a workplace, never mind that it's technically against the law to deny mothers such an environment.

Most advocates agree that enforcement of the law will be carried out by the same breast-feeding mothers it was written to protect.

Both Tellew and Levy tell stories about mothers who had to enforce their right with an employer or inform someone in a public setting that they have the right to breast-feed anywhere, anytime they want.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Carnival Roundup

I've been a bit tardy in linking to Blawg Review, et al. these past couple weeks. So bear with me...

Blawg Review #30, the Howell-o-ween edition, is up at Bag and Baggage. Denise Howell mentions yours truly not once, but twice.

Last week's Blawg Review (#29) was hosted by none other than the Blawg Review editors themselves, on the Blawg Review Homepage, who, in a blog carnival double header, also hosted Carnival of the Capitalists #107. Ed. writes:
Blawg Review was started by some lawyers who blog and others who have participated in Carnival of the Capitalists over the past two years. We owe a lot to Jay Solo and Rob May for the inspiration, and trailblazing the blog carnival concept for business professionals.

This is not the first Carnival of the Capitalists hosted by lawyers, and more have already signed on to host future editions.

Hosting Carnival of the Capitalists #107 and Blawg Review #29 together on the same weblog this week, we hope to introduce our law blog followers to the always informative and often entertaining CotC, and to introduce business blog readers to a good selection of blawgs, recommended reading for everyone interested in business, economics, law, and money quotes.
Grand Rounds Vol. 2 No. 4 was at Diabetes Mine - hosted by a patient blogger. Grand Rounds Vol. 2 No. 5 was at Hospital Impact . And look for tomorrow's Grand Rounds at Kidney Notes .

Can anyone recommend a good Mommy carnival?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Final Update - Chandler, Arizona

The City Council of Chandler met last night and decided to do the right thing:
  • The City Council tentatively adopted a breast-feeding ordinance that allows a mother to breast feed on public or private property "where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be." Final adoption will be in November and the ordinance would then take effect 30 days from final adoption.
  • Additionally, a resolution was passed encouraging the Legislature to take up the issue of rights for breast-feeding mothers as well. Both votes were unanimous.
This makes Chandler the second city in the nation to pass a breastfeeding ordinance (first was Philadelphia). Thirty-five states (but not Arizona) have passed breastfeeding legislation similar to Chandler's ordinance. The City of Tucson is taking up the issue.

Prior to this week's Council meeting, City Attorney Michael House - who has apparently been living in a cave for the last 50 years - was quoted as saying, "Under the United States Constitution, they, the business owner has the almost unrestricted power to regulate activities on their premises." Excuse me?

Ironically - or not - Chandler was recently named one of the Top 100 Best Communities for Young People .

Previous post on Chandler, Arizona (with extensive legal discussion)
Previous post on Update - Chandler, Arizona

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Milkdudz vs. Milk Duds Trademark Dispute

**Update 10/28/05** ABC News/AP has picked up this story.

Milkdudz, a company that sells hip, sexy nursing wear, is reportedly in a trademark dispute with Hershey's, maker of "Milk Duds" candies:
Attorney Theresa Middlebrook representing Hershey’s is claiming that a third party consumer would be easily confused between Milkdudz 'not your mommaz nursing wear' and the chocolate covered caramel candy known as "Milk Duds." Also, Hershey's is claiming that Milkdudz 'not your mommaz nursing wear' will somehow tarnish the reputation of the candy. Hershey’s is demanding that the name of the breastfeeding apparel company be changed and the domain rights handed over to Hershey's as soon as now.
Yeah, whatever.

The writer of the press release goes on to explain helpfully, for those who might have skipped Trademarking 101:
While Hershey's had the "Milk Duds" mark officially trademark in 1970, they only marked in the category of CANDY. When adding a trademark to any name/logo, there are many different categories in which you can have exclusive rights to, and while marking "Milk Duds," Hershey’s only marked it in the category "candy" so that technically left the category of "apparel" open.
On a (vaguely) related topic, Breastfeeding Witch Causing Stir In Vermont.

Don't Forget Hurricane Katrina Victims

I am continuing to update the list of childbirth-related hurricane relief efforts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Life in a Small Town

We've just come back from several days spent in Monticello, Iowa (population 3,607). The day we arrived, we headed down to the public library to use the computer. All four computers were in use, said the librarian, and would be available in about an hour. She remembered us from our trip last June and our daily one-hour internet-addicted visits. We didn't give her our names or our phone number, but exactly one hour later the phone at my in-laws' house rang. It was the librarian; two computers had opened up and she would reserve them for us if we would come right down.

A similar thing happened this summer when we were visiting, and my son attended vacation bible school at one of the local churches. I was a bit concerned when registering him that I only had to provide my son's name and age and a parent's name. No address, no phone number, no liability release. However, on the second day of VBS, we got a call from the church saying that he had thrown up and maybe we should come get him.

Later this week, my husband went with his dad to make a delivery at an Amish farm in Kalona. They also bought some chickens and a couple dozen eggs (non-certified organic) and received a gift of a large bag of apples and an Angelfood cake, made from scratch by the farmer's wife. They don't have electricity, so it left us wondering how she bakes such beautiful cakes - wood stove? Propane oven? D. and the farmer, a 30-something father of seven, had an interesting conversation about midwives and homebirth and vaccinations and such. Like us, they birthed their firstborn in a hospital; and two midwives in their community assisted the rest. In Iowa, direct-entry midwifery is illegal, but even the most midwifery-hostile states tend to refrain from prosecuting midwives who work exclusively within religious communities. Some states, like California, have a specific religious exemption (art. 2063, Medical Practices Act) for traditional midwives. (Compare, however, the case of Judy Wilson who served both Amish and non-Amish populations in Pennsylvania. Her trial is scheduled for January).

Another neat thing we did was visit the Field of Dreams in Dyersville. We brought along a couple of plastic balls & bats and the boys (ages 4 1/2 and 2 1/2) took a couple of swings and ran the bases. We also walked out of the corn. The Field of Dreams is actually two separate entities - the Lansing family's Field of Dreams Movie Site, where the house used in the movie is located; and the Ameskamp family's Left and Center Field of Dreams, which owns 3rd base and left field. Of course, a feud ensued between the two property owners. Rumor has it that the two parties have patched things up; for instance we noticed the groundskeepers aerating the field on both sides of the property line. Reminders of the division remain, however; two separate roads run down to the site, and a sign on the Lansing farm side lets you know that the Left and Center site is run by "an out-of-state investment trust." For the record, while the Field of Dreams Movie Site has a bigger & closer parking lot, the Left and Center site has a much bigger souvenir shop (with drinks and snacks) and better displays of educational/historical information.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Breastfeeding Legislative Update - Wisconsin

A proposed bill in Wisconsin (hey, dairy country!) would impose a fine of $200 on anyone who harasses a breastfeeding mother. To my knowledge, the bill, if passed (doubtful) would make Wisconsin the first state to put teeth into legislation guaranteeing the right to breastfeed in public. Scotland passed such a law earlier this year, and efforts are being made to do the same in Britain.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Carnival Roundup

Blawg Review #27 is up at Legal Blog Watch, plus an announcement about Blawg Review.

Grand Rounds Vol. 2 Issue 3 is up. Doulicia is a non-practicing attorney-turned-labor doula - a woman after my own heart. She writes:
This week's Grand Rounds is meditation on symbiotic relationship between law and medicine. I mean, without medicine, what would lawyers do? And without lawyers? Well, probably some aspect of medicine would be worse off than it is now.
What we have this week is a lawyer carnival hosted by a non-lawyer, and a medical carnival hosted by a non-doctor. What's next? Dogs and Cats living together? (Just kidding, I think it's marvelous.)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Implications of Cerebral Palsy Litigation

The Journal of the American Medical Association has an excellent editorial on Cerebral Palsy Litigation (subscription required, but you can read it here). The author points out important facts about Electonic Fetal Monitoring (EFM), such as:
EFM as compared with monitoring by intermittent auscultation is associated with no decrease in perinatal deaths, no fewer admissions to neonatal intensive care units, no fewer Apgar scores below 7 or below 4, and no less incidence of CP. All randomized trials of EFM to date have shown that such monitoring is associated with a higher rate of interventions into the process of birth and, in the United States, with an increased rate of surgical delivery.
Which begs the question, doesn't it, which advocates of evidenced-based obstetrics have been asking for years - if continuous EFM increases the risk of interventions, has few if any benefits, and creates a record which could be used in litigation (and given the EFM's high false-postitive rate, more likely to be used offensively than defensively), then why is it still being used? Some have suggested it is due to inadequate levels of nursing staff:
Studies that show intermittent auscultation to be equivalent or better than EFM had 1:1 ratios of nurses to patients and fetal heart tones were assessed every 15 to 30 minutes during the first stage of labor and every five minutes in the second stage. In one study, a university hospital center attempted to use intermittent auscultation as the primary method of monitoring without increasing the number of staff. Auscultation was only successfully completed in 31 of 862 patients in labor with viable fetuses. Intermittent auscultation was abandoned for most patients because the staff was not able to maintain the required 1:1 nurse-patient ratio.
Which leads to yet another question: if there is not enough nursing staff available to cary out intermittent fetal monitoring, is there enough nursing staff available to provide optimal care to the patient?

Legal Blogging

The New York Times ran a piece this week (Opening Arguments, Endlessly) about lawyers blogging - although, apparently, they are in desparate need of a fact checker.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Next Supreme Court Justice of the United States

When I was twelve, I wanted to be a lawyer.

This may not seem so surprising, since I actually am a lawyer. However, after my brief early flirtation with the law, I quickly lost interest in the legal profession, an interest I did not regain until about 6 months after I graduated from college.

But my dad, the son of a lawyer who had himself once planned to go to law school, did his best to encourage my career aspirations. One day when there was no school, he took the day off work. We went downtown to the Dallas Courthouse, where we spent a good hour or so watching the morning docket - mostly plea bargains, that sort of thing. I got to go up to the bench and meet the aptly named Judge Scales.

After our morning in court, we had lunch with a lawyer friend of my dad's - actually, a woman he had dated in college. From what my family tells me, theirs was a fairly serious relationship. Don't know exactly why things didn't work out between them, but according to my grandmother, my father (now deceased) is known to have said that she was "too much woman for him." Or any man, for that matter; as it turns out, she never married.

I don't remember her giving me any great career advice. What do you say to a twelve-year old who wants to be a lawyer? "Don't do it, kid, you'll regret it"? "Stay in school and get good grades"? What I do remember is people stopping her in the hall at the courthouse, asking her questions or just greeting her, and she seemed like a busy person who knew a lot of people. Back then I didn't have words for it, but now I would use words like "important", "powerful", "well-connected", "respected". Busy, but not too busy to have lunch with an old friend and his daughter.

That woman was Harriet Miers.

My father's family, most of whom are Catholic Democrats (as was Ms. Miers, once upon a time), are delighted to know someone who has been nominated to the Supreme Court. They always liked her, and we all have been following her career for years. No "Harriet who?" comments around here. It's probably the only thing that George W. has ever done that they have approved of. The conservative pundits, however, are "disappointed" and "underwhelmed". With a few notable exceptions; Marvin Olasky is blogging both "pro" and "con" - but he has interviewed actual people who actually know Ms. Miers. Texas attorney Beldar is doing a great job of defending and fact-checking (here and here and here and here and here and here). For instance, he points out that the Texas Bar Association is a very different animal from the ABA. Locke, Liddell is a top Texas law firm. And while SMU may not be a "first tier" law school, it is by no means "second rate". It is well-respected both regionally and internationally, and as an SMU law graduate, the wife of an SMU law graduate, and the descendant of an SMU law professor, I will have you remember that. Thank you very much.

"'Every woman lawyer in Dallas, Texas, owes a debt to Harriet Miers,' said Robin P. Hartmann, a partner with the Dallas law firm of Haynes and Boone", quoted in an Associated Press article.

My point exactly.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

William Bennett

Douglas Wilson has some interesting comments on the recent William Bennett conflagration:
While recently walking in the meadows of public discourse, William Bennett stepped in the cow pie of truth. He mentioned that if evil, pragmatic outcomes were your only consideration, you could reduce crime by evil means.
and later:
Blacks are far more likely to be incarcerated than whites. That is the simple fact, and the basis of Bennett's hypothetical (and roundly condemned by Bennett) scenario. White racists attribute the difference in the incarceration rates to the genetic and hardwired attraction of blacks to crime. Liberals of various stripes blame various societal factors, like the "cycle of poverty" caused by society generally, and selective and prejudicial enforcement of the laws. But in that debate, both the liberals and the racists are talking about the same phenomenon, an indisputable phenomenon which it is apparently now hazardous to even mention.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Not a case, not a statute...not even a blawg.

Via Denise Howell, Howard Bashman reports the first use of the word "blawg" in a published judicial opinion:
Throughout these lengthy proceedings, the judge has offered nothing at all to justify his actions--not a case, not a statute, not a bankruptcy treatise, not a law review article, not a student note, not even a blawg.
This is from Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski's dissenting opinion in In re Complaint of Judicial Misconduct (PDF).

Monday, September 26, 2005

Lactose Intolerant

I only link to this commentary on breastfeeding because the author is a lawyer. But be sure not to miss Hawthor the Cow Goddess' response cartoon.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Update - Chandler, Arizona

The City of Chandler's Breastfeeding Task Force has met for the second time:
The sticking points among the seven appointees, and a vocal audience, centered around the city's inability to trump the state's indecent exposure statute and a business owner's right to ask its patrons to leave.
It's very interesting. As I reported in August, the City of Chandler initially passed an administrative directive which amounted to: "Mothers who breast-feed on Chandler city property must cover up, go to a private spot or leave if someone complains. Refuse and they could face criminal trespassing charges." Now, however, the Task Force is attempting to find a way around Arizona's indecency laws to ensure the right of public breastfeeding in their community.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Rita

Just got back from the grocery store. Nothing unusual.

Until we got to the beverage aisle. The shelves were bare. My first thought was, "they're resetting the store again?" Then I realized I was looking at the bottled water section.

There were several cases of sports water and some of the fruit-flavored variety. But I am talking about a whole half-aisle of nothing.

The store was not unusually busy for 5:00 pm on a Friday. Across the street, there were no lines at the gas stations. Gas prices here are well below three dollars a gallon. Mind you, earlier this week it was predicted that Rita was heading right for Dallas as a Cat. 1 hurricane at most, more likely a tropical storm. At this point, however, we will be lucky to get an inch of rain, which we desperately need.

We are 300 miles from the coast. But we have no water.

Plenty of beer, though.

** Update 9/24/05 1:55 a.m. **
Apparently, everyone stopped at the gas station on their way home from work, because my husband just went to five gas stations before he found one with gas.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Carnival Round-up

Blawg Review #24 at Jaybeas Corpus.

Grand Rounds #52 at

Carnival of the Capitalists at Willisms.

A couple highlights:

Kevin, M.D. writes, "Some doctors are refusing to give immunizations as insurers are reimbursing them at below-cost," however, the link to the article is broken (though it comes up on a Google news search).

Found a new blog, Doulicia, written by "a mother, a non-practicing lawyer, and a labor doula." Wow! She writes a two part series on Guests at the Birth (Part 1, Part 2) comparing last week's New York Times article to a previous Wall Street Journal article about Doulas.

The J-Walk Blog points to, a project of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Roberts Hearings Part III - Judicial Ethics

On why John Roberts appears, at times, not to be answering the questions put to him by the Judiciary Committee, see the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5A (3)(d)(ii), which states:
A candidate for a judicial office shall not make statements that commit or appear to commit the candidate with respect to cases, controversies or issues that are likely to come before the court.
And the commentary:
Section 5A(3)(d) prohibits a candidate for judicial office from making statements that appear to commit the candidate regarding cases, controversies or issues likely to come before the court. As a corollary, a candidate should emphasize in any public statement the candidate's duty to uphold the law regardless of his or her personal views. See also Section 3B(9), the general rule on public comment by judges. Section 5A(3)(d) does not prohibit a candidate from making pledges or promises respecting improvements in court administration. Nor does this Section prohibit an incumbent judge from making private statements to other judges or court personnel in the performance of judicial duties. This Section applies to any statement made in the process of securing judicial office, such as statements to commissions charged with judicial selection and tenure and legislative bodies confirming appointment. See also Rule 8.2 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Lawyers should know this. Journalists, apparently not.

Roberts Hearings Part II - Serious

From Day 1 of the hearings, Roberts' opening statement:
Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them.

The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.

Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent, shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath.

And judges have to have the modesty to be open in the decisional process to the considered views of their colleagues on the bench.

Mr. Chairman, when I worked in the Department of Justice, in the office of the solicitor general, it was my job to argue cases for the United States before the Supreme court.

I always found it very moving to stand before the justices and say, I speak for my country. But it was after I left the department and began arguing cases against the United States that I fully appreciated the importance of the Supreme Court and our constitutional system.

Here was the United States, the most powerful entity in the world, aligned against my client. And, yet, all I had to do was convince the court that I was right on the law and the government was wrong and all that power and might would recede in deference to the rule of law.

That is a remarkable thing.

It is what we mean when we say that we are a government of laws and not of men. It is that rule of law that protects the rights and liberties of all Americans. It is the envy of the world. Because without the rule of law, any rights are meaningless.
Powerful words.

Roberts Hearings Part I - Funny

From Day 1 of the hearing:

ROBERTS: My wife, Jane is right here, front and center, with our daughter, Josephine and our son, Jack. You'll see she has a very tight grasp on Jack.


SPECTER: Thank you very much, Judge Roberts. Judge Roberts had expressed his appreciation to have the introductions early. He said the maximum time of the children's staying power was five minutes. And that is certainly understandable.

For those of you who missed it, while President Bush was announcing Robert's nomination, Jack, age 4, was off to the side doing a little dance which Jane and Josephine completely ignored.

Friday, September 09, 2005

LEGO: Knights' Kingdom Chess Set, and Trademark Issues

My 4-year old loves the website which has some great games (check out Junkbot, Junkbot Undercover, Worldbuilder, and Brick Buster). Yesterday he found the Knights' Kingdom Chess Set. We were both awestruck.

If you accidently type in "", you will get a not-terribly-friendly message from the folks at Lego reminding you that they are "LEGO bricks or toys", not "LEGOS" and kindly refrain from diluting their trademark. Apparently, I am not the only one who has noticed this, as Melody Wirz of Phosita writes this week (Lego my Legos) (via The Trademark Blog).

Previous Mommy Blawg posts of interest:
Lego Land
How To Teach Your Four-year-old to Play Chess

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina Relief and Babies

*** Scroll down for updates ***

As you no doubt are aware if you watch the evening news, there are a number of women affected by hurricane Katrina who are pregnant or have recently given birth, some even in the midst of the evacuation. Below are listed several efforts by the childbirth community to reach out to these women and their babies. If you know of any others, please email me so I can update the list.

The Barefoot Doctors Academy, a Hawaii-based non-profit, is focusing its recovery efforts on "arranging for medical assistance and relocation for families containing pregnant women, infants and small children". They are looking for volunteers who are doctors, midwives, childbirth educators, doulas, lactation consultants, and La Leche League leaders. In particular, they are wanting midwives to travel with relocating pregnant women to provide support, childbirth education, and emergency childbirth services en route if necessary.

The American College of Nurse-Midwives is activating their annual Blankets for Babies Campaign:
Distribution centers have been set up by nurse-midwives in Dallas-Fort Worth and Galveston, Texas. Thousands of families are being offered shelter and support in Texas, and many midwives will be providing health care services to these families. They have graciously agreed to accept and work with local relief efforts to distribute your donations.
Their website lists addresses where you can send donations of blankets and baby clothes. The ACNM has also set up an eMidwife list for KatrinaSupport information.

The Midwives' Alliance of North American (MANA) is offering to post notices of relief projects on their website. They also note that "many Texas state licensing boards and programs are providing expedited processes to assist refugees displaced by Hurricane Katrina who are seeking employment in Texas" and list contact numbers for the Texas CNM and LM/DEM licensing authorities.

There was talk in certain circles that CAPPA's Operation Special Delivery, (which provides volunteer Doula services to birthing women whose partners are on military deployment), might expand their efforts to reach those affected by Katrina. However, as of today there is nothing about it on OSD's or CAPPA's websites. Nevertheless, if you know of someone who is pregnant and could use a Doula, I would suggest contacting CAPPA or DONA and see if they can't locate a Doula in your area who would volunteer. I know there are many doulas, midwives, childbirth educators, and lactation consultants who would be glad to help out evacuees free of charge.
**UPDATE 10/03/05** Operation Special Delivery has a new website with Katrina support information on the main page.

**UPDATE 9/15/05 **
The March of Dimes has announced several efforts to help babies and women affected by hurricane Katrina, including providing support parents of NICU babies and donating supplies, maternity and baby clothing.

**UPDATE 10/01/05 **
The African American Breastfeeding Alliance has teamed up with Mocha Moms and La Leche League to provide breastfeeding support and resources for families affected by Hurricane Katrina. "In addition to on-the-ground efforts in Texas, AABA is providing a support hotline where mothers can get breastfeeding information. The AABA Breastfeeding Support Hotline Number is 1-877-532-8535"
Press Release (PDF)

**UPDATE 11/27/05**
Project Breastfeeding Book Recovery - Pharmasoft Publishing and Crystal Stearns, IBCLC, have teamed up to help Lactation Consultants and La Leche League Leaders who may have lost breastfeeding reference materials in the hurricane. Donations accepted here. Additional lists of lactation-related relief efforts are posted by the La Leche Leage Alumni Association and the International Lactation Consultant Association.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Baby Blawg News

There's big news over on The Baby Blawg, and photos, too.

More Katrina

Over 3500 homeschooling families have offered to take in homeschooling Katrina evacuees - so many, in fact, that Operation Extended Family is having trouble locating displaced families to help.
Link: 3500 Homes Offered in "Operation Extended Family"

Tonight's Nightline featured residents of the Desire Street area of New Orleans (as I learned, inspiration for "A Streetcar Named Desire"). Yesterday, my husband came across a website for Desire Street Ministries, which has temporarily relocated its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia. DSM is accepting donations as well as runing a people locator database for members of their community.

I must say, I have never been more proud to be a native Texan.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Missing New Orleans

TulipGirl posts a recipe for her Maw Maw's Pralines as well as links to some of her memories of New Orleans.

The website for Cafe Du Monde (making no mention of Katrina) says:
The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It closes only on Christmas Day and on the day an occasional Hurricane passes too close to New Orleans.
Sad thing is, my next reaction after "oh, those poor people who lost everything" (and before the horror of the lack of emergency relief was known) was "gee, I hope Cafe Du Monde is still standing." And all those historical buildings, too. I hear it's not under water. I haven't been to New Orleans in over ten years, and my husband has never been . Guess it will be a while before we go and, in a certain sense, you can never go back again. So maybe we'll just get us some beignet mix and some chicory coffee and call it good.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

The Truth Laid Bare has declared this Blog for Relief Weekend. So, just in case there's anyone out there who reads my blog and no other blogs, here are some links and some thoughts. If you donate, please go here to log your donation.

The Home School Foundation has set up a fund to help homeschoolers with emergency needs and curriculum replacment.

And since we are raising little cheeseheads, you might also consider the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation. Mr. Favre, a quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, hails from Kiln, Mississippi, where his childhood home and a great deal of the town was destroyed. His wife and family are fine, though.

The American Bar Association has set up a Katrina relief page. They are not accepting donations directly, but they are soliciting volunteer legal and professional services, and providing referals for persons needing legal help.

On a related note: while the 5th circuit webpage is up, I have not been able to pull up cases and the website is really buggy. Don't send them anything by mail, by the way.

News links. For first-hand updates on the situation, check out, MetroBlogging New Orleans, The Interdicter, and Ernie the Attorney, who rode out the hurricane in New Orleans but managed to get out. There are others, try Instapundit for lots of links.

Christine Hurt of The Conglomerate asks, "Where's Fred?" Fred Smith, that is.
Mr. Smith, no one seems to be able to figure out the logistics of moving supplies and people quickly, safely, and efficiently. Your company, FedEx, does this every day at lightning speed. You invented the concept of branding, and guarantee you that if CNN showed fleets of FedEx trucks and planes in New Orleans, that your social responsibility efforts would be applauded by shareholders and customers alike. I personally pledge to use FedEx exclusively for the rest of my life if you will get down there and do something.
I will tell you, FedEx can get supplies to the nearest airport, and by truck as far as there are roads, but they don't have boats, helicopters, or armed security. They are also asking employees from the affected areas to call in.

Deaf woman sues hospital

The San Jose Mercury News reports that a deaf woman is suing a hospital for not providing an interpreter during childbirth.
The absence of a sign language interpreter made Webb's Caesarean section and subsequent stay at the hospital in December 2003 a fearful and frustrating experience because she did not understand what was happening to her or her newborn daughter, according to the law center.
Although the woman notified the hospital in advance of the labor that she was deaf and would need and interpreter, the hospital provided her with an interpreter for 15 minutes prior to her surgery but not during the operation or for the following three days.

Link: Deaf woman sues hospital for not providing interpreter

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Drugs in Breastmilk (and not the prescription kind, either)

Oregon resident Jennie Thomas was sentenced this week after pleading guilty to a felony charge of "Forcible Ingestion of a Controlled Substance" after breastfeeding her baby boy while high on methamphetamines. She was sentenced to the maximum penalty of a year and a half in prison.
Thomas now has the distinction of being the first Oregon mother convicted for the crime of putting her child in harm's way through one of the most intimate connections a mother and child can share.
Link: Meth mom gets maximum sentence in landmark case

Breastfeeding Mom Arrested

Headlines notwithstanding, the mom was arrested while breastfeeding, not for breastfeeding.
Colorado police are investigating a woman's complaint about how she was ordered to stop nursing her baby, thrown against her family car with her blouse still open, and taken away to jail in handcuffs in what turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.
Link: ABC News: Breastfeeding Mom Arrested in Mistaken Identity

Reflections on Blawg Review #20

I took the rest of last week off from any "serious" blogging, following the marathon blogging session that was Blawg Review #20.

It's wonderful when things like this happen to your blog. The only problem is, I don't know anyone in real life who blogs, other than personal journals. Or even reads blogs. There's no one to call. I didn't even tell my mother - it would take too long to explain. My blog received around 975 page views on Wednesday and 575 visits.

I'm working on a piece about anonymous blogging, and where I am going with The Mommy Blawg.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Because I like to track hurricanes


8/29/05 12:23pm ETA: About Last Night has an updated list of Katrina-bloggers (via Instapundit, who has frequent updates, photos, and links to things like webcams). And Ernie the Attorney is blogging from New Orleans.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Family Law Joke (sort of)

Just received this via email (please note, I am an SMU law school alumna):

Dallas, Texas

August 24, 2005

A seven-year-old boy was at the center of a courtroom drama today when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him.

The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her.

When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the SMU Mustangs, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Blawg Review #20

Reality TV Edition

I must admit to a slight addiction to reality tv. My addiction is self-limited, however, by the fact that 1) we don't have cable, and 2) we have only one tv, which I share with two preschoolers who would much rather watch Bob the Builder or Thomas the Tank Engine. Usually they win.

Nevertheless, I watch when I can. Now we all know that "reality television" is like "professional wrestling". Right? Willing suspension of disbelief, and all that. Granted. So let's have some fun.

Here's something interesting: Prospective reality show cast members campaigning to be cast via blogs.

Note: All of the television shows mentioned below are real, although a couple are still in the casting or production stage and have not yet aired. If you click on the header for each section, you will get a link to the official site, if available, or to a list of links. Thanks to RealityTVLinks for the link directory.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. First up, real lawyers.

The Law Firm

The show "The Law Firm" was cancelled by NBC last week and will move to Bravo. It had already come under scrutiny by lawyers such as Donald Caster of All Deliberate Speed (Is The Firm Already Over the Line), Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground (The Verdict is In), and LawGirl's On Firm Ground (More Blogging About the Law Firm). LawGirl writes:
It occurs to me that NBC may have pulled the plug, not just because of ratings but because of all the legal and ethical concerns that have been raised by critics of the show. Maybe they are concerned about liability.
Could be. Now on to some fake Reality TV (or is that redundant?).

The Apprentice

This week on the Apprentice, Robert L. Shaver from Patent Pending fills in for The Donald and sends two very young contestants out to start their own business in Introduce Your Kids to Entrepreneurship.

Speaking of Trump, recent reports are that a Chinese version of The Apprentice is in the works. How's that for Capitalism?

Norm Pattis of Crime & Federalism reports that a Connecticut church worker has been charged with felony "risk of injury to a minor" for leaving four children to sell cookies, as part of a church fundraiser, outside a grocery store on a day when the temperature rose to 97 degrees (Hot Crime).

A Baby Story

Mother in Law's Law Mom started law school this week. In Labor vs. Law School, she compares law school to childbirth. Having experienced both, I know what she means. Watch out; the Bar Exam is like transition.

Also blogging about the first year of law school is David Giacalone of f/k/a (1L of a decision):
Your decision to attend law school is very likely to be one of the riskiest you will ever make in and for your life. Law school will test your stamina and your sanity, leave you with a mountain of debt, and prepare you (some say rather poorly) for a profession that is universally disliked, and is rife with dissatisfied, self-loathing and depressed individuals, who feel helpless to redeem their lives and selfesteem.

From the law student author of Pelican Barbecue & Buckeye Beer comes this humorous look at Orientation: Briefing a Case.

Law student Abusygirl of the Busy Days blog compares first-year law student to Penguins in March of the one-Ls.

And Christine Hurt of Conglomerate discusses what she would have done differently in law school in Regrets, Anyone?

Battle of the Sexes

Well, not really. When I told him I was working on Blawg Review, my husband asked if anyone had mentioned the NCAA Mascot decision. So here it is, honey. NCAA Looks for Way Out on Mascots by Mark at Sports Biz. He writes:
The NCAA in a rare display of recognition that it has actually made a mistake has put in place a system of appeals for the "branded" universities with unacceptable Native-American mascots and nicknames. In a statement released on Friday, the NCAA said that "namesake" tribal support would be a critical factor in the review process.
And thanks to the hubby for taking over a greater share of the childrearing duties the last couple days. I'll remember this come football playoff season.

Canadian Idol

Walter Olson of Overlawyered mentions the Canadian bar's efforts to spruce up it's image in Canada: "truth and reconciliation" panel for lawyers' image? He writes: "All talk of 'truth commissions' aside, that last bit sure sounds like progress to us -- and a decided improvement over the circle-the-wagons reaction to criticism so often adopted by organized lawyerdom in the U.S."

The Cut

The Cut is a show hosted by Tommy Hilfiger, featuring a group of clothing designers who are sent out to perform design-related tasks, Apprentice style. The couple of times I've watched the show, one thing that has always been emphasized is "protecting the brand", even while ripping TH clothing up and reconstructing it. So here's a little branding blogging:

I wrote this week about FedEx Branding & Trademark Issues, including the FedEx Furniture website. So did Phosita's Melody Wirz (FedEx Fuming Over Boxy Furniture), Copyfight's Alan Wexelblat (Dumb Ideas Never Die), Bill Heinz's I/P Updates (FedEx Frowns on Free Furniture), and of course Stanford's Center for Internet and Society who are the counsel-apparent for the defendant.

Jason Sonenshein of Leave Us Alone! writes that Cleveland Councilman Joe Jones should have used FedEx or UPS, rather than placing a false disclosure statement in the mail, thereby turning a state misdemeanor into a federal felony (Lesson of Jones Plea: Use a Private Courier).

And Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith, Esq. writes How Attractive is Your Firm's Brand on the "Supply Side?":
Let's face it: With the first-year associate package apparently frozen at $125,000 plus bonus, with every firm claiming to be "friendly and collegial," and with the reality of 2,000+ hours/year requirements across the board, how is your firm really going to distinguish itself?
Evan Schaeffer discusses The Swingline 390 Heavy Duty Stapler which Infamy or Praise's Colin Samuels picks up on, pointing out that it is Professional Schizophrenia to be blogging about staplers while extolling the virtues of The Paperless Office, a la The Greatest American Lawyer and The Home Office Lawyer.

Fire Me, Please
(or, My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss)

George Lenard of George's Employment Blog discusses Work-life balance lesson from Willie Wonka and Charlie.
In the movie, Willy Wonka offers Charlie the ideal job -- ownership and live-in management of the Wonka Chocolate Factory. Innocently, Charlie asks if he can bring his family -- Mom, Dad, and four elderly grandparents. When Wonka essentially responds "of course not," Charlie promptly declines the offer.

For Love or Money
(or, Who Wants to Marry a Multi-millionaire)

Big news this week was a Texas jury's $ 253 million verdict against Merck for their drug Vioxx. Ted Frank of Point of Law writes:
You might've thought that you needed to marry a billionaire to get $24 million from a one-year marriage, but we now know that that a one-year marriage to a 59-year-old Wal-Mart produce manager with arteriosclerosis is worth $24 million in compensatory damages. Mrs. Ernst is apparently very lucky that her new husband died from a sudden arrhythmia rather than from a brain tumor or lightning strike, because I'll bet a year's salary that she didn't have a $24 million life insurance policy on him to compensate her in the event of a sudden death.
Lots of folks had something to say about this verdict. From Point of Law alone we had comments by Jim Copland, Jonathan Wilson, and Ted Frank. Then there was Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground (The Good Guys Win), Derek Lowe of In the Pipeline (Judgement Day, No More Merk for a Couple Days, and Okay, One More Merk Point),Tom Kirkendall of Houston's Clear Thinkers (Merck Gets Hammered), Professor Bainbridge (Merk), Professor Tom Mayo (Merck's Biggest Hit (So Far): $253 Million), Gordon Smith of Conglomerate (Merk), Howard Bashman's How Appealing, Tom Lamb of Drug (Ernst v. Merck Vioxx Trial: Massive Verdict for Plaintiff; Knock-out Punch for Merck?), and Douglas Sorocco of rethink(ip) with an unusual take, Use of PowerPoint in a Trial.

Thanks to Overlawyered's Walter Olson for many of the above links.

And that's just what the lawyers had to say. If you're interested in a medical perspective, keep an eye on this week's Grand Rounds which is due to be posted Wednesday at Straight From the Doc.

Houston Medical

This week on Houston Medical, the med students get some instructions on making patients feel comfortable, prompted by the recent New York Times article which Elizabeth Malloy of HealthLawProf Blog comments on in Being a Patient - Check Dignity at the Door.

Hospital employees also get guidance on HIPPA security regulations thanks to Bob Coffield of the Health Care Blog Law (CMS Issues New Educational Advice on HIPAA Security Rule).

I'm a Celebrity But I Want to Be a Pop Star

Melody Wirz of Phosita writes about The Artist Formerly Known As P. Diddy:
So, I got to thinking. Has "Diddy" registered all of these trademarks with the USPTO. I was surprised to find that he has applied for at least 27 different registrations, with 7 actually being registered....

Other registered marks include "Puff Daddy," "Puffy," and "Sean John." But my favorite is the dead application requesting registration of "Farnsworth Bently." The USPTO rejected the mark because it is almost identical to the alter-ego of "Diddy's" former assistant, Derek Watkins, a/k/a "Farnsworth Bentley." In the application, "Diddy" claims that he created the character, and controlled Mr. Watkins when he appeared as the character. However, the application was ultimately abandoned, along with the very similar "Fonzworth Bently."

Pimp My Ride

On this week's episode, Ted Frank of Overlawyered brings in a Ford Pinto with an exploding fuel tank and leaves with a Winnebago equipped with autopilot (One more Winnebago thought: the Ford Pinto lawsuit urban legend). Just kidding, Ted. My family actually had one of these "unusually dangerous" Pintos and I managed to survive childhood unscathed.

AutoMuse's E. L. Eversman has been featured in's Best of the Web (PowerBlog and Forbes Best of the Web).

Road Rules 13

The unlucky Road Rules 13 gang gets lost and winds up at the Boston University Blogging Colloquium where they learn about "the legal complexities facing the growing blogging community." Apparently, they got directions from Denise Howell at Between Lawyers.

And they might not have gotten lost in the first place had they been using their Blawg Review Google Guest Map courtesy of The Common Scold Monica Bay.

Rock Star: INXS

John Day, writing a guest post on Evan Schaeffer's Legal Undgerground, explains to clients "I'm sorry, you're just not right for our law firm, Branham & Day" (A Plaintiffs' Lawyers Explains the Economics of Turning Cases Down).

Tom Kane of the Legal Marketing Blog examines the opposite situation in: Lost An Unhappy Client? You'’ve Lost More Than That.

The Greatest American Lawyer has extensive coverage on the topic of Problem Clients.

Rough Science

For those not familiar with the show, Rough Science is a PBS series which puts a group a scientists on a desert island with a bunch of junk and asks them to make things, kind of like the Professor on Gilligan's Island.

Douglas Sorocco of Phosita sets us straight on the Microsoft/Apple/iPod interface patent hype (Microsoft Patents Apple - Don't Believe the Hype).

Ron Coleman of Likelihood of Confusion follows up on the ClearPlay litigation in "Cleaning Up, or Getting Their Clocks Cleaned?" ClearPlay has "developed a unique DVD parental control technology that enables users to skip and mute segments of movies that contain graphic violence, nudity, and profanity." Apparently, Hollywood doesn't like this too much. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.


The Supernanny is called in to help Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage whose little one has tossed her purse (including cell phone, car remote, and camera) into a fountain in I'm Soaking In It. At least Ms. Howell's iPod was not a casualty, as she might need it to listen to her recent Podcast interview with John Furrier.

And the Supernanny puts little Johnny in the naughty chair when he won't share, apparently egged on by J. Craig Williams of May It Please The Court's Property Law As Viewed By A Toddler. Little Johnny's appeal is pending.

Speaking of toddlers, Tom Mighell's Inter Alia turned three years old this week.

Who's Your Daddy?

Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds (or should we call him Instapregnant?) denies responsibility - in advance - if and when Angelina Jolie gets knocked up, er, pregnant.

The Will

Jill Fallon of Legacy Matters writes that an envelope found in the safety deposit box of a recently deceased 73-year old woman marked "Do Not Open Until My Death" may provide the key to solving the disappearance in 1930 of Judge Joseph F. Crater, called "the most missingest man in America".

Gerry W. Beyer of Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blawg writes a two-parter, Ethics Issue in Recent "Dear Abby" Column and More on "Dear Abby" Letter. The letter reads, in part:
My husband, "Girard," and I have been married two years. We both have children from previous marriages. Girard always told me I would have a home if I outlived him, even though his children will eventually inherit the property.... One day I asked Girard if it was in the will, and he said no, but that he and his children "had discussed it." When I asked him to put it on paper, he agreed. His attorney drafted a document for him to sign.... I decided to call the attorney myself. Well, you guessed it. I was told the papers had been executed. When I confronted Girard he admitted he had lied and promised to have the will done over. When I looked at the document he had signed, I saw that Girard was giving me 90 days to get out of the house after his death.
Now, why on earth do people write Dear Abby instead of calling their lawyers? Know what Abby's response was? "Now that you know how your husband thinks, consult an attorney of your own and find out exactly what your rights are as a wife in the state of Louisiana." However, I digress. Prof. Beyer's take on this is to discuss the ethics of the wife's conversation with her husband's lawyer.

Faking It

The unfortunate drawback of blawg reviewing around a "theme" is that there are always a number of good posts which are impossible to fit into the theme. Either that, or I am at the point of having completely run out of creative juices. Here are the remainders (often, the best parts):

Kevin at Cyberlaw Central discuses the move to make attention and attention data a new property right in Attention - Part One and Attention - Part Two. He writes:
From an IP attorney'’s point of view, Attention is interesting because it is an attempt to create a new property right in the aggregate of data. It'’s different from other forms of property that currently can be protected. ... Attention, unlike trade secrets, is public information. It'’s the aggregate of your interactions with third parties like shopping sites. The current state of affairs is that the shopping sites, with Amazon as the best example, are collecting this data for their own commercial advantage. While you might appreciate seeing what others who bought a book also bought, it'’s really in Amazon'’s interest since they are more likely to get an additional sale out of the deal.
Really interesting. By the way, I almost put this under the heading of "Last Comic Standing" before I actually read the links. At first glance, it looked like a slick hoax.

Next, Steve Bainbridge of writes about Air America, the radio station that was pulled off the air only two weeks after its debut:
Did the directors and officers of Air America owe a fiduciary duty to the network's creditors? In short, yes. Would the creditors' complaint alleging self-dealing in breach of that duty survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim? In all probability, yes.
Law Pundit Andis Kaulins writes in Google Library Digitization Project Delayed by Copyright Issues:
[P]lans to digitize university library holdings of Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Oxford University and the New York Public Library have been put on hold because of copyright issues raised by publishing and library associations, who of course are not interested in authors rights of copyright, but rather fear the new digitally based competition.
On the same topic, Brad Newman's The Law Student's Blog additionally discusses the DMCA's Notice & Takedown provisions (Google Press Pause On Book Scanning).

And I'll end with a marvelous Report From the Trial Court Trenches by William J. Dyer at BeldarBlog. Among other things, he writes:
And to my horror, just as I was sitting back down after the judge had overruled my fourth or fifth (absolutely valid!) objection, the paper-clip accidentally slipped out of my clammy fingers and, propelled by the rubber band, shot across the room, loudly TWACKing the hollow wooden front of the judge's bench.

"And I object to Mr. Dyer shooting his paper-clip across the room when he loses his objections!" thundered my opponent.

"Sustained!" thundered back the judge, glaring at me. Whereupon I pouted, conspicuously, for at least the next ten minutes (but with my hands clenched, empty, under the table).

In Conclusion

That's all for this week's episode of Blawg Review. Thank you to everyone who contributed. The next issue of Blawg Review will be hosted at Carolyn Elefant's My Shingle. Blawg Review has Submission Guidelines for getting your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues. Just a hint, it really helps the host if you include a description or summary of your post in your email. Give the host some idea of why your topic is important or relevant.

Until next week ... keep it real!