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January 7 2008 Legal Blog Roundup

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In some instances, driving while drunk may not even constitute a DUI. How come? Resources for Attorneys has a late December entry titled "DUI Overview," detailing the many rules and stipulations which constitute what makes up a DUI versus a DWI or an OUI and how attorneys can expect to plead when representing the unfortunate drivers accused of such offenses.

Ever read a legal brief and wondered what the hell it was saying? And have you ever wondered about — or even heard of — the word "pelf"? No, it's not an exotic species of elf, but it did leave Peter Lattman of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog wondering what the stupendous word (which appeared in an excerpt released by Judge James Rosenbaum: "he is entitled to depart from its employ while claiming pelf approaching $800,000,000") meant.



Turns out Judge Rosenbaum was using an extraordinarily rare and unused term for what is commonly known as wealth or riches, generally of the dishonestly acquired variety. If nothing else, this might compel you to comb over judgments you've read and see what other special terms our persnickety and well-read judges like to throw out to confuse us. By the way, what's a windigo?

Legal Profession Blog, meanwhile, is offering its readers a timely link to the ABA Journal's "Top Ten Legal Ethics Traps." Pray tell, what are they, you ask? Here is a sampling of the most notable entries in the eyes of yours truly:
  • "My Boss Made Me Do It"
  • "Not Knowing the Ethics Issues"
  • "Communicating by E-Mail"
  • "Failing to Communicate with Clients"
  • "Ending the Lawyer-Client Relationship"
No offense to the ABA, but which one of us hasn't used the age-old excuse "My boss made me do it"? Personal accountability? That's so last century. Just ask Wall Street. Or the Bush administration.

Which brings us to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) recently passed by the United States Senate, which closes the exemption known unofficially as the "Enron loophole" wherein energy trading platforms may avoid federal regulation. Energy Legal Blog has a fairly plain entry on the subject in its December 21st post, though it bears reading if you care about the planet. Of course, this is Washington, so it isn't perfect by any means. Notes Andrea Kells, "The main distinction between the House and Senate measures is that the Senate amendment permits an electronic trading platform to determine whether a previously unregulated product serves a price discovery function, while the House measure includes no such provision."

And if you've resolved to learn drafting and transactional skills in 2008, book a ticket to Atlanta. Emory University School of Law's Center for Transactional Law and Practice is hosting a workshop called "Teaching Drafting and Transactional Skills: The Basics and Beyond." All the pertinent details are available at Legal Scholarship Blog.


Emory University School of Law

    


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