Saturday, May 22, 2004

I’m pissed. As most of you know, the Democrats and the Republicans put aside their differences over appellate judges for the time being. This means, in effect, that the rhetoric of the constitution and qualifications was rhetoric. I dutifully reported it all!

Then, the constitution was amended. I reported on that here. Well, it wasn’t really modified but a wacko said it was modified. However, it was my duty to report on it. Also, Rape Monthly has a cover story entitled "She Passed Out." Finally, to top it all off and put a cherry on it, some punk-ass law professor calls me a jerk. Then, my blog gets haxored and the world who reads my blog thinks I said, "...send in the hope that I might give a damn" here.

On the up-side, The Washington Times reports here that more teenage girls are having sex. I am totally shocked. I thought they did noting but read my blog. This must have something to do with the decline of moral values in America. In my day, teenage girls did nothing but read "How Appealing" and talk about it with their friends.

Monday, May 17, 2004

New side project. In addition to being a great news aggregator--I mean appellate litigator, and egomaniac--I mean blogger extraordinare, I am adding "super seer" to my resume: As this post demonstrates, I can see the future with perfect clarity. Next stop, VEGAS BABY!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Sorry for the lack of posts. As you know, I have been attending CLE programs at the The Likeable Lawyer. My army of would-be research assistants (all of which received offers to be Bristow fellows) is being screened by The Likeable Lawyer in their screening program to see if they are the right fit for me. Activities include swing-dancing and GPS orienteering. Also, in Beard v. Banks, No. 02-1603, the Supreme Court, in an opinion to be released on Thursday, June 24, 2004, that Mills v. Maryland does not apply retroactively. I know this because I am a top-notch appellate litigator who will provide you with top-quality appellate litigation at reasonable prices.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

How To Tell If You Are Practicing in Front of a Bad Appellate Judge: Recently, Ken Lammers, who did not follow the same career path as myself, but seems to do all sorts of wacky things involving people that require appellate representation, posted a list of ways to tell that you have a bad lawyer here.

This list was no way related to the list that David Letterman wrote. However, I noticed that some people thought it was funny, and rather than raving about my blog, they posted a link to it here and here.

Therefore, I am going to give you my list of “How To Tell If You Are Practicing in Front of a Bad Appellate Judge.”

1. He works for a court in a circuit not evenly divisible by three.

2. He was once rumored to say that answering 20 questions on the internet seems like a rather silly idea for someone who was nominated by the president, confirmed by Congress, has life tenure, and will have anything they write published anyay.

3. He looks down from the podium to say “Sorry, I don’t have a subscription to the online version of the LA Times, so you will have to tell me what it said, rather than spelling out a 250-letter ‘url’.”

4. Does not express an opinion as to whether unpublished opinions can be cited or not.

5. Did not go to one of my alma matters. (The odds of this are very rare, because, in five years I will have attended every law school in the country.)

6. Defends decision on right to privacy by saying here, "There are countries where you can go and suck away for all you are worth... People in high places do it for all they're worth. I'm not an expert, but you read about it in the papers. But this is Asia." Does not drop footnote that Asians seem to have lots of oral sex with lots of people (including people who should not be having sex at all) here and here.

7. Has robe made completely of black silk. There is no yellow-stripe running down the right side with list of blogs stenciled onto it.

8. Thinks bobble-heads are not only stupid, but does not even understand if they are a form of derisive parody or homage.

9. Thinks that “The Green Bag” is a racial slur.

10. Asks “Howard who?”

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

More mail. I have just received the follwing very interesting e-mail from the latest interviewee in How Appealing's 20 Questions for the Appellate Judge:

Another new law school in New York City: CourtTV reports here that "Michael Jacobson, a professor of criminology at John Jay Law School in New York City and a former commissioner for the New York City Corrections Commission..." said something or other. While I am under no obligation to fact-check (that is Brain Leiter's job) I am open to proposals from this new law school regarding my retroactive graduation from it.
The Appalling Mailbag

A reader writes in to me to say,

Dear Howard:

Why don’t you pre-screen judges for your wonderful “20 questions” page. That judge from some state that begins with an M was like totally lame.



What a brilliant idea! Are you interested in being my turning down that offer for a Bristow fellowship and working as my research assistant? I will be sending out the following letter to all judges who, serve as appellate judges. This includes trial court state and federal trial court judges who sit by designation on appellate courts or sit on courts whose jurisdiction includes administrative appeals.

How Appalling Judicial Screening Questionnaire
(This is not political. It is only to tell if you are qualified. Be as honest as possible about how you would answer questions if you were selected for the honor of answering questions on How Appalling.)

1. In 500 words or less why do you think my blog is great?
2. Tell me why you deserve to be on 20 questions. Explain this in the context of how interesting it is that the Virgin Islands are in the Third Circuit?
3. Why are you not on the Third Circuit? If you happen to be on the Third Circuit, why am I not on the Third Circuit? Be brutally honest.
4. What is your clerk’s sock on Greedy Clerks?
5. How many times per day do you read How Appalling? This question is to test your knowledge of How Appalling and style at explaining how my blog is wonderful.
6. Fill in the blanks: ___ is sexy; ___ is sexier.
7. In 30 seconds, create as many neat puns about Manuel Miranda as possible. I am looking for quality.
8. Do you enjoy reading How Appalling to your children and grandchildren? They like it, right?
9. Since you have been accused many time of being a judicial activist, what do you have to say to people who accused you of being a judicial activist?
10. How much time per day do you spend thinking about that letter you got from Kozinski regarding certain changes to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure?

Your answers will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. I get roughly 500 applications per day to be questioned by me, on How Appalling. In short, the chances of being selected are very small. Being a reject is not a reflection on your personal character, but rather on the qualifications of the other judges who have been selected. If you are not selected, I ask that you continue reading How Appalling, and wait at least a year before submitting again. During that year, you are expected to make yourself MORE interesting.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Appellate Column
How to be like Me.

I get a lot of inquiries from law students, law clerks, lawyers, judges, and Supreme Court justices asking how to be like me. This, my latest appellate column, is written in response to those inquiries.

First, you must go to a first-rate law school. Although my alma matter is currently among the Top 23 in the country, when I went it must have been ranked much higher. Second, allow yourself to be honored by America’s other fine law schools. I have spoken at Harvard Law School and my truly outstanding legal web log is hosted by Legal Affairs Magazine, a publication of Yale Law School. These honors are especially fitting, as I have always thought of myself as an Ivy League Man.

Second, clerk for an elite federal judge, preferably a Supreme Court Justice. Should you be able to obtain an offer from a Supreme Court Justice, you are welcome to decline and then apply to work for me as a Research Assistant. This position, called a Bashman Fellowship, recently displaced the Bristow Fellowship in terms of prestigue and is often referred to as an opportunity to clerk for the Tenth Justice, who is also known as being First Among Equals.

Third, work for the nation’s top law firm. While others labored in obscurity at such low-brow firms as Williams & Connolly and the Office of the Solicitor General, I worked on cutting-edge insurance defense issues for Buchanan Ingersoll in the City of Brotherly Love. Now I work for the No. 1 appellate practice firm in the country, hjbashman.blogspot.com, which recently took these honors from BI.

Fourth, be prepared to accept honoria from your colleagues. I chaired the appellate courts section of Philidelphia’s Bar Association. Philie’s appellate litigators are the very best in the country having displaced Washington, D.C. under my leadership.

Fifth, read How Appealling daily. You must also engross yourself in my Appellate Columns. It is widely known that my truly outstanding legal web log and Appellate Columns, along with the Rules of the Supreme Court, are known among Supreme Court advocates as the Bible of the Supreme Court.

Sixth, do not shun your success. Do not be afraid of calling – and allowing others to call – yourself number 1. The internet is a wonderul forum with which to promote yourself. After all, before How Appealling, no one used the names Seth Waxman, Migeul Estrada, General Olson, Ken Starr, and Howard Bashman in the same breath. With due hard work and diligence, you too could join this elite club. Or maybe not (see infra).

Finally, you must get lucky. I recognize that most of you can never be me, or even like me. But you might get lucky. You do not need to look for free porn on the internet to get lucky. You can get lucky in other ways than looking for the free Paris Hilton video.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Live reports of waiting on line before oral arguments. An avid read writes in via the internet to say:

Dear Howard,

Your blog is wonderful. Like most of your avid readers I attend oral arguments and appellate arguments of which I am not representing a client. Many times I find myself traveling many miles and waking up a 4:00 in the morning to witness the top-notch appellate litigators do battle. Although I have not seen you actually argue, I am sure that, based on your blog, you are probably “just as good” as Seth Waxman. Perhaps better.

Because your blog is probably the best thing in the world, as a single female I am in need of someone to have casual conversations with and spend long nights by the fire, eat sushi, and discuss the pros and cons of Fed. R. App. P. 33.1 with. Unfortunately, the people who are standing outside the Supreme Court at 4:30 in the morning are all a bunch of creeps. Ditto for the DC Circuit, and I got arrested for solicitation there, despite my claim to be holding a 45 million dollar brief. There is too much construction around the Federal Circuit’s building to have any heart-to-heart conversations with people in the early morning.

While I can’t offer you any play-by-play descriptions of oral arguments, because I was too busy looking at the gallery of hunky accomplished appellate litigators, I can offer you a suggestion on how to make your blog even better.

As you know, on right side of your blog you have a series of links. These links link to a number of other sites – usually other blogs who have not posted numerous things that might be considered offensive to your religion of “Bashism”
One of your links is to “The Onion.” If you were to, say, click on that link, your browser would be teleported to “The Onion” which is a satirical newspaper. However, not only does it offer commentary on, say, Bush, but it also has the picture of an eligible single on a similarly-situated right-hand column. (I say “similarly situated” because the column is also on the right. Neither column includes a link to Greedy Clerks.) Now, if your wonderful blog were to have a section like this, the picture of an eligible and available accomplished appellate litigator would come up, and if one were to click on their picture, a series of “likes,” “dislikes” and “goods” would appear. The person on display would have to also have the responses to the following “fill in the blank” questions. “____ is sexy; ____ is sexier.” Obviously, I would say “Appellate litigation is sexy; Blogging about news reports about appellate litigation is sexier.”

So, can you help me out? I’m desperate. The Greedy Clerks are so mean. I promise, I will do anything. I will show up at the 9th circuit when it sits in Fairbanks, and email you with my immediate impressions.

(name withheld)

She gives me a lot of good ideas. In the short term I am trying to think of a short way for readers to say that they love my blog. Perhaps a quick LTBIWABHDOY (Love the Blog, I want a Bobblehead Doll of You) would be helpful. The other ideas will have to wait.

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