Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Arthur Zief Passes Away

I thought I'd pass on the tragic news to any USF'ers that Arthur Zief, the name our library bears (well, his wife), passed away over the weekend. He was 89.

Here is a portion of the email sent to us by our school:
I wanted to share with you news that Dean Brand shared with faculty and
staff this past Saturday evening. We were incredibly saddened to learn
that Art Zief passed away this weekend.

Most of you are familiar with the incredible generosity of the Zief
family through not only the contributions to the university and law
school at-large, but in particular, through his contributions to the
Zief Law Library and his generous financial aid endowment which, through
the Zief Scholarship Program, currently supports 75 second and third
year students. For those of you who had the opportunity to personally
meet Mr. Zief, you will recall his incredible passion and vigor, despite
his nearly 90 years of age, for the law school, its mission and its

And, of course, the law school was not his only passion or object of his
incredible philanthropy. Art and Dorraine Zief dedicated themselves to
giving voice as best as possible to the developmentally disabled,
building nine homes and contributing to organizations to promote their
well being. The Arthur Zief Jr. Foundation (named in honor of their
son) carries on this noble work.

I've only had one opportunity to meet Mr. Zief (and his wife) sometime last spring. The school arranged an opportunity for the Art Zief Scholarship recipients (yes, I was one of them) to meet Mr. Zief and his wife to thank him. So, 75 of us piled into Kendrick 100 and, one by one, we went down to thank him and his wife, shake their hands, and tell them a little bit about us and where we wanted to go in our careers. He appeared genuinely interested in listening to all of us and seemed fascinated by our future career plans. To be honest, Mr. Zief wasn't in the best of shape that day, but through all that, he still managed to come out and listen to a bunch of law students.

Indeed, he left a very positive impression with me, and I'm tremendously thankful I got the opportunity to meet him and his wife. They both were very down to earth people and gave selflessly to the community. You will be missed Mr. Zief.

Monday, July 21, 2008

News of the Day: John McCain Really Is A Robot

Boy, folks weren't kidding when they describe him as "rough around the edges." To be sure though, "the Robot" isn't to be confused with "the Machine." I mean, I'd hate to see McCain like this. Wonder how the Robot would do at Janet Reno's Dance Party?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wal Mart to Customers: Keep Your Monkey Where It Belongs!

Well, I kept it tame, but feel free to insert your own monkey jokes where appropriate. This might be the lawsuit of the day: woman sues Wal Mart (and her local health agency and Cox Health Systems) for discriminating against her and her monkey, a 10 year old macaque, named Richard [insert additional joke]. According to the Kansas City Star:

Debby Rose of Springfield said in the lawsuit that the 10-year-old bonnet macaque helps curb a social anxiety disorder that can cause her to have panic attacks in public.

The suit contends the Springfield-Greene County Health Department lacked the authority to decide that Richard is not a service animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Health officials in 2006 sent letters to restaurants and grocery stores, advising them not to let Rose in with the monkey.

Rose also alleges she was denied access to Cox Health Systems facilities.

Hmm interesting. I'll be honest, I've never seen anyone walking around with an actual monkey. And in middle America, no less. But apparently Cox Health Systems and Wal Mart aren't her only detractors. Coincidentally today, I happened upon former US Senator George Allen and, being a prominent former politician, I asked his opinion. Defending the retail giant, Mr. Allen said "people who walk around with macaques aren't 'real' Americans." His tone seemed angry. Though I could see him being bitter towards macaques. Mr. Allen then asked if I'd like to "super size" my meal for only $0.49 more. I declined.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

USF Law Prof. Richard Leo Knows Something About Police Interrogation

USF Law Professor Richard Leo was on Pasadena NPR affiliate, KPCC. A guest on the Pat Morrison show, Prof. Leo spoke on the topic of police lying to suspects during interrogations. It's a pretty interesting listen. For those who may have had Prof. Leo for Crim Law, he comes off much better talking about his field of expertise. I rather enjoyed it. Here is the link. Scroll down to Wednesday, July 2. The segment is entitled, "Police Interrogations: Is it okay to lie?"

Omar Khadr Interrogation Video Released

Well, for those who follow the Gitmo action, the interrogation video of Omar Khadr, the suspected terrorist picked up when he was 15 years old, was released by demand of the Canadian Supreme Court.

Here is a 10 minute clip. There's supposed to be 7 hours released at some point in time.

(a picture of Omar Khadr, then 15, before his capture)

From the New York Times: (and, more extensively, from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Mr. Khadr, just 16 years old at the time of the taping, in February 2003, swung from calm and indifference to rage and grief during four days of interrogations in the recordings, which his Canadian lawyers released.

The recordings, turned over to the defense under a Canadian court order, provide the most extensive videotaped images from inside Guantánamo Bay yet seen. In them, Mr. Khadr, now the last Western citizen held there, is seen pleading with a Canadian intelligence agent for help. At one point, the recording shows him displaying chest and back wounds that had still not completely healed months after his capture in Afghanistan.

The seven hours of recordings were made by the United States military and given to Mr. Khadr’s Canadian lawyers by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service under the terms of an order by Canada’s Supreme Court.

They show Mr. Khadr, who is accused of killing a United States soldier in Afghanistan in battle in July 2002, being questioned by an unidentified member of the Canadian intelligence agency. A Canadian diplomat and a third person, apparently an American official, were also present.

For national security reasons, the audio was removed from several parts of the recordings, and the officials’ faces were electronically obscured by black blobs.

Mr. Khadr, a Canadian, maintains he was abused by American interrogators in Afghanistan and at Guantánamo Bay. It appears from the recordings, as well as from written documents of the interrogations that were released last week, that Mr. Khadr initially believed that the Canadian agent had come to help him. But he eventually seemed to realize that the agent was present only to extract information.

Man, to be 15 and captured by US armed forces. And then interrogated at age 16 at Gitmo. On the one hand, I feel pretty bad for him. I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle something like that when I was that young (or at my current age). On the other hand... he is a suspected terrorist. They come in all shapes and sizes. Interrogations are part of the process. Still though, it's no justification for torture (if the accusations are true). It'll be interesting to see where this goes and the public reaction that results.

Friday, July 4, 2008

GPA Rankings for USF Law, Spring 2008

In continuing the tradition of Greg at Otherwise Occupied, we are posting the USF Law GPA breakdown. As Greg is graduating and will no longer be posting GPA rankings, we'll be compiling the GPA stats and presenting them to the internet world. Congrats Greg, and good luck on the bar!

This table shows the breakdown of percentile ranks by GPA for the University of San Francisco School of Law as of the Spring 2008 semester, i.e., as of the end of the 2007-2008 school year.

33 1/3%
1FT & 1PT = 236
3.63 &
3.46 -
3.38 -
3.31 -
3.20 -
3.09 -
3.02 -
2.87 -
2.71 -
2.38 -

2FT, 2PT & 3PT = 228
3.55 &
3.42 -
3.33 -
3.21 -
3.16 -
3.06 -
2.99 -
2.84 -
2.75 -
2.55 -

3FT, 4FT & 4PT = 217
3.54 &
3.43 -
3.38 -
3.29 -
3.23 -
3.15 -
3.07 -
3.01 -
2.93 -
2.72 -