Liable But Not Culpable: Lexplaining The Criminal and Civil Justice Systems, Part 1

It’s May! Well, it’s halfway through May, and so in my infinite wisdom and general niceness, because I’m simply on heck of a guy who cares about those lowly law students, I’ve decided that I’m going to do a bit of a primer on a key difference in law that most people don’t understand.  Hell, I’ve met lawyers that don’t really understand it. It’s because the difference that we’re talking about here is the difference between criminal culpability and civil liability, and the difference between what criminal intent and civil intent are.

Have I gone long enough without cussing that it won’t show up on the article previews in social media? Thank fuck.  Alright, listen, if you’re a lawyer and you don’t already know this shit, hand in your law license.  There is literally no reason for you to be practicing law. No reason, whatsoever. This is some basic ass shit, like, so basic we’re talking “pumpkin spice latte wearing ugg boots” levels of basic.   There’s absolutely no reason a practicing attorney shouldn’t already be aware of this first-year-of-law-school bullshit, but it was requested by a reader that I dig into the difference between the two, and that’s what we’re going to do today: the difference between civil liability and criminal culpability.

But before I even start to talk about that, the difference in the state of mind needed and the types of shit that happens, we gotta make sure the non-lawyers out there understand the difference between criminal and civil.  And that means, of course, that we’re going to end up doing a Lexplanation (you like that? I like it.  It’s a portmanteau of lex, the Latin for law, and explanation, the English for “talking slowly and loudly to morons”).

So, I don’t know guys, go get some coffee or something and see what Popehat is up to? He’s normally got some decent shit on his site.  I’ll be over here forcefeeding basic legal knowledge to muggles and walking malpractice suits.

Continue reading “Liable But Not Culpable: Lexplaining The Criminal and Civil Justice Systems, Part 1”

NCCU and the ABA – A Clash of Wills

OH HAPPY DAY!

So you guys may be familiar with my longstanding opinion that the ABA is something we could do without.  It has, for generations now, served as a governing body without a profession to govern, choosing to suggest things and come up with resolutions regarding the practice of law that are entirely non-binding on attorneys. In short, the ABA is the government-that-never-was, dictating the standards and admissions of exactly 0 attorneys and offering nothing more than a series of possible discounts in the form of malpractice insurance and rental car agreements for the attorney who thinks it may mean something, someday.  But, unfortunately, this lack of say has not extended to the law schools that educate the attorneys of our fair nation, and the ABA, as the accrediting body for these august institutions of assholery, has long maintained a stranglehold on the profession by governing where someone seeking to learn how big of a mistake lawyering is can go.

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Guest Post: “The Billable Hour will Die in 5 years” and other Pathetic Pieces of Professor Prophecy

Boozy’s Note: Today I welcome back our prior contributor, Bill  M. Hours, the insurance defense attorney who’s come in from the cold to talk about the asinine predictions his law professors and classmates made regarding the practice of law in the future. 

I like Bill. Bill has the requisite amount of snark. I’ll just shut up and let him show it off for you.

Enjoy! Continue reading “Guest Post: “The Billable Hour will Die in 5 years” and other Pathetic Pieces of Professor Prophecy”

So, You Failed The Bar Exam.

Fall is in the air, and as the leaves turn from verdant green to the orange, red, and brown colors of death, sometimes with a sprinkling of yellow just so the New Yorkers will drive through and comment about how beautiful things are, so too do the hopes of the July bar exam takers wither and die as each state releases results. Most recently, for example, Mississippi decided this week was the perfect time to destroy the self-esteem and crush the dreams of a whopping 47% of the poor morons that sat for the exam this past summer. I mean, as if living in, and wanting to continue living in, Mississippi wasn’t enough of a punishment, those poor kids now have to suck it up and admit they aren’t going to become “Like one of those guys in a John Grisham book” anytime in the near future while staring down a mountain of student loan debt in the state that ranks the lowest in the nation on that “we’re dirt poor” scale.

So yeah, Mississippi bar exam takers in that 47%, good fucking luck. For the rest of you, though, now you probably understand why the whole of the South has a phrase that goes “Thank God for Mississippi!” But don’t get too cocky, because there are a lot of fucking states that haven’t released their bar exam results yet, and we’re still waiting to see whether the bump in pass rates from the July 2016 examination is a fluke or if that shit’s really on the climb again. So, you know, you could find yourself sobbing gently into a pillow as you start to wonder how long you’ll be chasing the elusive “Esquire” you so desperately wish to append to your signature line like a Grade A Asshole.

Me, however? Oh, I passed the bar exam years ago, so I get to take a certain amount of devilish delight in watching and wondering who’s next on the hit list of bar exam failures. But, you know, I’m not entirely heartless (that doesn’t happen until you make partner), so let’s have an open and honest conversation about all of the things you folks who find yourself on the wrong side of a pass/fail rate can do now that the long wait to find out if you’re a disappointment has ended.

Continue reading “So, You Failed The Bar Exam.”

Boozy’s Tips for 1L’s: Read Cases Until You Don’t Need To.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a guide for those poor souls who’ve made the poor decision to abandon all of the joy in their lives and attend law school. You can find it here, wherein I give a few tips on how to survive and mentally prepare yourself for the first year of law school. One of these tips was to do the reading for your classes well in advance of the class, so that you may be prepared when the evil glare of a professor falls upon your unprepared ass and demands that you demonstrate your complete lack of knowledge to all of the other poor idiots that sat up one night, presumably having simultaneously wet the bed and shit themselves (the rare double whammy), and said “I really want to be a lawyer, because it’s either that or getting into the S&M scene in my local town!”

First, they still should have gone with the option that involved burning wax, rope play, and nipple clamps.

Second, some of the lawyers in the LawyerSlack took some exception to me advising kids to actually read the cases for class, and filled the channel with examples of their own lack of preparation for classes. “Boozy,” they furiously typed in an effort to avoid a moment of actual work on their cases, “We’re all licensed attorneys, and we hardly did any of the reading for our classes!  Why are you telling these kids it’s necessary to do the reading for their classes when all they need to really do is go to the outline depot or some other sort of thing and read up on that shit?”

Continue reading “Boozy’s Tips for 1L’s: Read Cases Until You Don’t Need To.”