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Messages - Felsen

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OK, resurrecting this thread so I can reiterate what Margee mentioned a bit ago.  We've taken up residence over at,64.0.html
so that we can divide our discussion into various sub-threads.  We're sitting there instead of the official school boards, because we like these boards better.   :P

C'mon over and join us, or you'll miss out on all the events and name calling.  We've already labelled some poor sucker as a gunner.  He'll have to live that down through all of law school now.    ::)

Incoming 1Ls / Re: How much will you spend on food every month?!?!
« on: June 07, 2006, 11:48:58 AM »
My wife and I have worked up a budget for ourselves.  It is for 2 adults, a 2-year old, and a 1-month old.  We budgeted about $450 for groceries, and $80 for eating out.  The groceries amount includes other little things like toiletries, cleaning supplies, and similar items you just pick up at the grocery store when you're getting groceries.  We are meeting that budget without much scrimping.

When I was a single college student 7 years ago, I probably lived off of $150 per month for groceries.  If you use a lot of pasta and rice in your diet, you can keep your prices pretty low.  Eating puts a serious dent in your food budget.

If you eat out at McDonald's on the Meal Deals 3 times a day, you spend about $450 a month (3 meals * $5 * 30 days).  If you spend more than that on groceries, you'd better be feeding more people than just yourself.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Is it possible to do 2 internships during summer ?
« on: June 05, 2006, 01:09:46 PM »
I can't really comment on whether it is better or worse for you if you are seeking future permanent employment at the firm.  It would depend on the firm, and possibly even the individual recruiter.  Some will have bought into the idea, and make no distinction between a full and split summer when deciding hiring.  Others will feel that you aren't as committed to the firm, so will hold it against you.  (My conjecture only.  I could be wrong, but I think I'm vague enough to be right.)

Here are a few articles about split summers.  The first one seems to take the realistic approach (law firms would prefer full summers, but make concessions in tight markets), while the others look more rosily on split summers.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Is it possible to do internships during summer ?
« on: June 05, 2006, 11:44:25 AM »
Yes, it is possible to work 2 jobs during the summer.  They are not done simultaneously, rather you work one job for 6 weeks, then the other job for the remaining 6 weeks (or whatever half the summer is).  Whether or not this is available as an option depends on the places where you want to work.  From what I hear, this is becoming more prevalent of an option than in the past.

It mostly benefits you as a student, as you then get to experience twice as many different companies/environments for law.  It benefits the firms some, as they can get a few more students for at least half a summer rather than no summer at all.  The firms lose a lot too, though, as there is some ramp-up time on employees.  So instead of 2 weeks ramp-up and 10 weeks of productive work (exact numbers were pulled from thin air), they still have 2 weeks of ramp-up but only 4 weeks of productive work.

You could also start up some discussions under the UTexas - Austin category on the Students & Graduates board.  It is really dead over there.  Since it is an entire category, we could start up multiple threads on different topics to keep them on particular topics.

Looks like I killed the thread.  Anyway, i'm pretty excited about moving now.  After getting a place in Austin, I just want to move now and forget about working for the summer.

Yep, all of us non-sexy people have stopped posting.

There's just not too much to talk about for the next couple of weeks.  That's about when everyone will start asking questions again:
When is the Letter of Intent due?
What happens if I don't get the Letter of Intent in by the deadline?
I never got my Letter of Intent form in the mail.  What do I do?

Then there will be more chatter when they assign the societies and mail out the course schedules.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: For those of you going to UT in the fall
« on: June 02, 2006, 02:17:51 PM »
There is already a UT thread here:,58834.0.html

You could also try using the Students & Graduates board.  They have a specific forum section for each of the schools, though UT's isn't well frequented.

Your message might be heard and frequented better in those places, so maybe just post a link if you want to do so.

Concerning the San Jacinto garage...  I've heard similar from another student.  From the UT parking page, it doesn't appear to be one you can get straight into, but need to get into another garage first and transfer over.  How much further of a walk is it actually from the Manor Garage?  That appears to be the next closest for those who can't quite get San Jacinto.

As far as the cheating controversy...  The only places I've heard about the cheating controversy is from current UT Law students.  I'm not concerned, but actually find it reassuring that a rumor of cheating would start up and that the administration would seriously investigate the matter.

MissP, in your most recent hypothetical scenario, I don't see there being any difference through the opinion of the court than the actual scenario presented.  Ceballos would still only have statutory protections, and not constitutional protections.  All I see your situation as cutting out is his inflammatories, and testifying about the warrant for the Defense (which he probably would have been compelled to do still anyway).

The lack of inflammatories probably would have given his superiors a better view of his work performance, and resulted in no punishment.  Or the punishment could still be exaclty as the other courts decided and been merely an administrative move irrespective of the disagreement.

If investigating the warrant and turning over the results to the defense are covered under statutory law, he would have that protection.  I see that as a prime example of something that should be covered by whistleblowing laws.

Now, to still show the limits I expect the court to impose, if Ceballos starts investigating every single warrant in great depth and goes to extra lengths trying to get cases thrown out that, Ceballos could still be punished.  This would fall under the situation of him doing his job poorly, or doing his job in a manner inconsistent with the prosecutor's goal of prosecuting (he having started trying to too assist the defense to an excessive extent).

An interesting point is the place in-between.  What if he started trying to get an excessive number of cases thrown out, and then came across a case where it truly needed thrown out because of corruption.  Even though there would be sufficient cause to say he was doing a crummy job by trying to get so many cases thrown out, would the presence of one whistle-blower quality case be sufficient to provide enough protection?  I think it would still be a split decision, but probably sway at least one justice to swap sides.  It would still be under the statutory protections, though, and not the First Amendment protection.

Off-Topic Warning...

Did anyone else happen to do a search on "Garcetti et al v. Ceballos" on Yahoo or Google a lot earlier today?  I swear that I searched Yahoo for that term and didn't find anything at first, then found a single entry under "Garcetti v. Ceballos" that was the 9th Circuit Court's ruling.

Now, there are pages and pages of the stuff, some of which appear to have been posted a while ago.  It is just amazing how quick search engines like Yahoo can react to linking in so many new articles and posts on this stuff.

Either that or I was doing something different this morning, and have just discovered how to properly spell the names involved.  :)

OK, back to your normal program.  I'll consider posting more after I've let some other folks have some fun in here.

Whether Ceballo is/was a jerk, what exactly he said who stepped on whose toes is of little interest.

Actually, I guess I agree with that.  I consider it pretty darn established that if someone is a jerk and stepping on people's toes, that it is sufficient reason to demote or fire the person.  The opinion didn't focus too much on that aspect of the case.  Of course as I stated before, that's because the courts had alrady found sufficient alternative explanation for the demotion other than retaliation.  If they were still looking for a sufficient explanation, then the jerkiness would have been more material in the argument.

The kink is that a private individual privy to the exact same information who raises the issue in a public forum IS protected by the first ammendment.  So whats the message? Public employees better be willing to go all out with their gripes or else shut the hell up.

There is no kink.  Ceballo still had all the rights of a private citizen under the First Amendment.  He just couldn't write memorandums for work and go into work meetings and express them freely.  If Ceballo had written a letter to the office as a private citizen, he would be fine.  If he had stood on the street during his lunch break and proclaimed his disagreeance with what was being done, he would be fine.  But he wa acting as Ceballo the employee when writing the memorandum and going to the meeting.  If he'd written the memorandum to the prosecutor's office as a private citizen and been invited to the meeting based off of that, then he would have a case under the First Amendment.

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