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Maybe I could do a career in radio?

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 18, 2011 in The 3L Life

Good evening y’all, and welcome to the weekend! :D

Posting on law:/dev/null will be hit-or-miss until around December 9th or so — I’ve currently got 6 papers, 2.5 oral arguments, and an in-class final exam in the next 2 weeks alone, leaving me with almost no time to blog.1

Without the luxury of coming up with something new and pithy, I’ve taken the luxury of linking to a “Behind the Mic” webstream of an online radio show I hosted with my classmate Hahvahd2 on Wednesday for our ConLaw II class :)

Each week during the academic year, we host something call iSpeak Blog Radio talking about a variety of First Amendment-related topics. You can access the main website, including the archived shows, online at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ispeak.

My topic was California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) shutting off all cell phone service within their subway stations, as a way of squelching an alleged protest that they claim was going to take place.3 We also brought in ECU’s Peter Romary4 to help give a lawyer’s perspective on the issues. Personally I think BART’s decision was shamelessly illegal and I’m a bit disappointed no one’s filed suit over it yet, but until someone does I decided to comment from my perch in the law school  :angel:

Before we get to the video, if you’re interested in the factual background and links for more info, here’s what I included in the Facebook event listing I cobbled together for the radio show:

[FACTUAL BACKGROUND]
The operators of California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) public transportation subway system pay mobile phone providers to offer mobile phone service throughout the Transbay Tube. Mobile transmitters/towers exist throughout the BART system providing cellular coverage. BART maintains physical control over the towers, including providing electrical power.

On July 3rd, 2011, BART police shot and killed Charles Hill at its Civic Center Station in San Francisco. Hill was a homeless man who was allegedly inebriated, and was reportedly armed with a bottle, two knives, and was “acting aggressively” toward police when he was killed. The official security camera video released by BART is inconclusive (the YouTube video can be seen at the link below).

This was the third fatal shooting by BART police in three years. The first, occurring in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009, resulted after police arrested and handcuffed Oscar Grant for disorderly conduct at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland. While Grant was handcuffed and prostrate [face-down] on the ground, Officer Johannes Mehserle pulled out his revolver and shot Grant in the back. Grant later died for his injuries and Mehserle served 11 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter: Mehserle claimed in court he intended to pull his Taser instead.

Following Hill’s July 2011 death, the group “No Justice, No BART” organized a protest at several metro stations beginning at 4:30pm calling for BART to be disbanded and the officers who killed Hill to be criminally charged for yet another killing. As the crowd grew in size, some protestors attempted to prevent trains from departing and service was eventually disrupted. Several stations were closed entirely as a result of the protest.

A month later, BART claimed “[o]rganizers plann[ed] to disrupt BART service on August 11, 2011… us[ing] mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police.” BART officials cut off electricity to all mobile phone towers from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at four stations in an attempt to thwart the alleged protest. In the process, everybody (including non-protestors) lost mobile phone service in BART stations.

[LEGAL ISSUES PRESENTED]
==> Did the alleged “credible information” obtained by Bay Area Rapid Transit, claiming an impending August 11th protest, satisfy the 3-pronged test articulated by the Supreme Court in Brandenburg v. Ohio (intent / imminence / likelihood) for infringing upon speech rights?

==> Assuming arguendo the Brandenburg test was satisfied, was the BART decision to end mobile phone service nonetheless an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech, particularly when BART acknowledges portions of its stations are “free speech zones” for lawful protest?

==> Assuming arguendo the Brandenburg test was satisfied, was ending mobile phone service for everybody (including innocent commuters) an overbroad — and therefore unconstitutional — restriction on protected First Amendment activities?

[NEWS & RELATED SOURCES]
==> “BART Video: Civic Center Shooting,” YouTube.com, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCVj-GIBu6k

==> “BART Police shooting of Oscar Grant,” Wikipedia.org, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BART_Police_shooting_of_Oscar_Grant

==> “Oscar Grant Riots: 86 Arrested, Downtown Oakland Smashed,” SFWeekly.com, http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/07/oscar_grant_riots_86_arrested.php (07/09/2010)

==> “Latest BART Shooting Prompts New Discussion of Reforms,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/us/17bcbart.html (07/16/2011)

==> “BART Protest Shuts Down Several SF Stations,” KTVU.com, http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/bart-protest-shuts-down-several-sf-stations/nDb2w/ (07/11/2011)

==> “Statement on temporary wireless service interruption in select BART stations on Aug. 11,” Bay Area Rapid Transit, http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2011/news20110812.aspx (08/12/11)

==> “BART Officials Blocked Cell Phones During Transit Protest,” CBS Sacramento, http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/08/12/bart-officials-blocked-cell-phones-during-transit-protest/ (08/12/2011)

==> “A letter from BART to our customers,” Bay Area Rapid Transit, http://bart.gov/news/articles/2011/news20110820.aspx (08/20/2011)

==> “BART Pulls a Mubarak in San Francisco,” Electronic Frontier Foundation, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/08/bart-pulls-mubarak-san-francisco (08/12/2011)

==> “Cell Phone Censorship in San Francisco?,” American Civil Liberties Union, http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/cell-phone-censorship-san-francisco (08/12/2011)

Now for the fun stuff!

If you just want to access the audio-only feed from the Blog Talk Radio website, go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ispeak/2011/11/16/can-you-hear-me-now-ca-silences-phones-to-silence-protests

But if you’re a visual learner like me, enjoy the video (and requisite facial expressions) below ;)

Have a great night y’all! :D

  1. And a heaping pile of regret for trying to be an overachiever academically :beatup: []
  2. New person added to the law:/dev/null pantheon, previously referenced indirectly (and so named) for being the partner to my SBA predecessor noted in this Site Stats entry. []
  3. Yes, you read that right — supposedly we do stuff like that here in America now? :crack: []
  4. Long-time law:/dev/null readers might recognize Peter from this entry mentioning his new blog, The True Verdict. []

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When polysyllabic surnames attack!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 3, 2011 in The 3L Life

I know I’ve been gone for a long time folks, but I kid you not when I say last week has been the week from hell in terms of multiple events going on every. single. day. :crack:

I’m 2 assignments behind in AppAd,1 nearly a week behind on a Tax assignment, couldn’t even tell you how far back I am in reading for Sales, etc etc etc. I’ve got another bullet-pointed update to post at some point this week that will explain in greater detail.

In the interim, however, this past weekend we had our annual tryouts for NCCU Law‘s trial teams — where I got mauled by polysyllabic surnames :beatup:

Once again I ended up being defense counsel for a guy on the hook for murder, with a scant 7 minutes to explain to the jury in my closing why there’s no possible way he could have done it. The biggest challenge for me? The dead guy’s name is McKenzie, the trigger man’s name is Kubinsky, and the widow who financed the hit is the dead guy’s wife Mrs. McKenzie.

Trying to say McKenzie and Kubinsky in the span of a few minutes didn’t turn out so well. See for yourself…2

Folks I’ve gotta tell you, I felt like the closing was going pretty doggone well until I hit that point — but the instant my tongue got tied up on his name, it seemed like time itself crraaaaawwwwwllllled to a standstill. I left out part of what I planned to say, added in stuff elsewhere that I never planned to say, and felt like I speed-talked through the final two minutes to make sure I made it within the time limit.3 :beatup:

No one but myself to blame on that one. I was fighting hard for #1 in the competition but at this point I’ll be content just being on the team again :)

If you want to read through the fact pattern that was used in this case, check out State v. Blizard at TYLA.org.

More to come later this week. Have a great night y’all! :D

—===—

From the trial team competition-related archives:

  1. And missed class this morning because my car needed repairs (again) :mad: []
  2. As a reminder, these videos now use the HTML5-friendly iframes format for embedding video; if you have trouble playing it, let me know! []
  3. I squeaked by, clocking in at 6:57 :surprised: []

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Any new student blawgers out there?

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 10, 2011 in Randomness

Hey y’all! :D

I need your help plz :angel:

Each year, the ABA Journal compiles its annual Blawg 100 — a pretty cool categorized listing of the top 100 legal blogs on the web. As part of that process they developed a “Blawg 100 Amici” form where folks can submit recommendations of blawgs the ABA Journal folks should check out.

I filled out one form last year (nominating Dennis Jansen) and plan to submit more this year…

…but with my chronic disappearances over the past semester I don’t really know as much as I should about the law student portion of the blawgosphere anymore :beatup:

So I’m turning to you for info: which law student blawgs should I be looking at that I’m not? is there anyone new out there who isn’t included in the law:/dev/null blogroll? and which folks merit me (and others) turning in amici forms?

Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email :)

And, just because I’ve been on a Samson kick these past 36 hours,1 here’s a clip from my camera phone of him playing with one of his new toys earlier today:

Have a great night everybody! :D

  1. Albeit a tired Samson kick, since the dog woke me up at 3:30am… then again at 5am… then again at 6:30am… []

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Wrong man. Wrong place. Wrong time.

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 5, 2011 in The 2L Life

I’M OFFICIALLY A 3L! :D

Although I didn’t have as much time to study for my (9am) Criminal Procedure final as I had planned — courtesy of my near-catastrophic failure to write down the correct exam time — I suspect I got enough of the material right to pass the course. So I’m claiming the 3L status now instead of waiting however long it’s going to take for the Professor to confirm it :beatup:

To celebrate, I’m going to do absolutely nothing at all tonight except relax.

And since (i) “absolutely nothing” would include refraining from productive blogging and (ii) I had my own potential issue with “wrong place / wrong time” yesterday, I thought now would be a decent time to embed a YouTube clip of the audio from my closing argument that I gave during the TYLA National Trial Competition regionals a little while back ;)

I don’t have a video feed to go with it so you’ll miss out on some of the theatrics, but this was the closing when we went up against the WFU Law team in the very last round (and essentially ate them alive). Hope you like it!1 :D

If you want to read through the fact pattern that was used in this case, check out State v. Duffie from TYLA.org.2

Have a great night everybody! :)

  1. And for the computer science folks in the audience, this video uses the new HTML5-friendly iframes format for embedding video — if you have trouble playing it, let me know so I can figure out what’s wrong! []
  2. There were some amended pages clarifying minor points, and you can download those from TYLA.org if you’re so inclined. []

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Making lemons into lemonade

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 7, 2010 in The 2L Life

Hey everybody :)

One of the bundle of long-delayed entries I posted Wednesday mentioned the totally crazy TYLA fact set we were given for NCCU Law‘s 2L Opening Statement competition held by the Trial Advocacy Board.

I finally got the video from my performance to see where I need to improve, and thankfully things didn’t turn out as disastrous as I thought they did at the time. It’s posted below for your amusement in case anyone’s interested.

Just for sport, see if you can spot the moment when I realized I left something out and would have to work it back in on the fly :beatup:

If you want to check out the fact pattern for the case, complete with the autopsy report, download “Cori Harbour Cañas v. Jody Hamer, M.D.” from this URL at tyla.org.

Hope y’all enjoy :) I’m off to bed so I can take a tour of the Durham County Jail tomorrow with EIC and some other folks from my DV Law class. Have a great night! :D

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Spontaneity FTW

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 5, 2010 in Randomness

One of the things I’ve always hated about most vacations is how the last day usually gets wasted. Packing, traveling home, unpacking, etc etc etc — it’s a pretty blah way to end an otherwise-fun excursion.

So é›…é›… and I decided to fix that with a random side trip down North Carolina’s Outer Banks :D

Even though I frequently take the back roads home to visit Nan & Pops, and I’ve been to Elizabeth City State University several times back when I was President of the UNC Association of Student Governments, I never actually made it the extra few miles to North Carolina’s oceanfront. It was a totally different experience compared to what I was accustomed to growing up in the most populous city in Virginia.

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, but what I found definitely wasn’t it. And I mean that in a good way :)

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First we crossed over the state border and stopped in Moyock, the global headquarters of Xe Services LLC (formerly known as Blackwater). The folks at the visitor’s center in Moyock loaded us up with various maps of the Outer Banks area, and we continued on our way south down US Highway 158 S.

One of the spots on the map was a shop called Lammers Stained Glass & Gifts. Originally we were planning on skipping it — folks selling stained glass didn’t exactly strike us as something worthy of “tourist attraction” status — and I actually did drive past the building as we headed south. But after seeing the shop on the drive-by, deciding it looked interesting, and concluding we had plenty of time for sight-seeing, we turned around and went in.

I’m glad we did :D

First, the place is almost comically huge. From the road it looks tiny, and even the room where you enter through the front is only about the size of my living room (roughly 187ish square feet). But then you walk in… and notice there’s another room. You walk into that room… and see another room.  You go in there… and see another room.  Then there’s a long hallway.  To another room.  Attached to another room.  Attached to a whole separate building. :crack:

Just in case there's any doubt about my career aspirations ;)

We’re talking almost 9,000 square feet total, with nearly every single inch packed with various types of stained glass, crystalware, ornaments, frames, jewelry, and various other odds and ends. The building in the back is a practical warehouse of antiques with all sorts of cool stuff you’d typically see on a show like Pawn Stars or something.1

Given my future vocation, I decided to grab something for my living room window before we left :)

After spending about an hour at Lammers Glass, we then resumed our journey south and east to the Outer Banks, then pivoted north toward the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

As we’re driving through Duck up toward Corolla (where the lighthouse is located) one of the things that is hard not to notice is how isolated everything feels.  NC Highway 12 is basically just a two-lane road in most places. It seems like a phenomenal place to vacation2 but the first thought that ran through my mind while I was driving was “wow it must be a real pain in the @$$ to evacuate during a hurricane.” :beatup:

The whole area is incredibly beautiful. We got to the Currituck Beach Lighthouse about 45 minutes after leaving Lammers, and walked around the lighthouse grounds to check out the guardhouse and such. é›…é›… didn’t like the idea of paying the entrance fee to climb the lighthouse3… but really didn’t like the idea of waiting around while I climbed it, so we both started up the spiral staircase of the ~15 story structure.

View from the bottom (L); View from the top (R)

The view at the top was pretty amazing :) I took a bunch of photos to stitch a 360º panoramic view together, but until I get around to finding some software for that purpose you’ll have to settle with this single shot of the Atlantic Ocean :P

After hanging out at the top for a few minutes to snap photos and soak in the view, we headed back down and then ventured over to the gift shop.4 Some of the items in the shop reminded us that we needed to check out Corolla Beach, so afterwards we decided to see how far north we could get on NC-12. Feral horses roam all through the northern reaches of the Outer Banks, but the whole area is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles because it’s not paved — you basically have to drive along the shoreline until you get to Carova Beach, adjacent to the Virginia border.5

But with my non-4WD Ford Focus, we decided discretion was the better part of valor and turned around about a quarter-mile in once I noticed the sand starting to pile high :beatup:

From there we headed south back toward Duck (population: ~500), where we stopped for lunch at the Sunset Grille & Raw Bar. Their outdoor seating area is set on the Currituck Sound so we got to enjoy the view while enjoying a superbly-cooked cheeseburger, french fries, and sweet tea :) After that I pulled out my BlackBerry, consulted Google Maps, and we decided to head south toward the Wright Brothers National Memorial down in Kill Devil Hills.

We checked out the building, which includes exhibits on the history of the Wright Brothers, pieces of the planes they built (as well as a replica), and other historical items about flight such as the first military aviation folks, the first female pilot, and so on. After that we ventured out toward the granite markers that designate where the Wright Brothers’ plane landed on each of their 4 test flights… and came to a realization.

Before reading further: don’t judge me please :oops: ;)

For whatever reason, when I learned about the Wright Brothers in my K-12 education I had the impression they took off from the nearby hill where the monument stands. I never really got the big deal, since if they took off from the hill and landed on the ground below they weren’t really “flying” so much as gliding to the ground. But standing there, seeing the piece of railroad track they used to take off, realizing (20+ years later) they took off and landed from the same height — I could only imagine the exhilaration they must have felt by that achievement!

Thinking I must have just been remembering my childhood years wrong, I told é›…é›…… who admitted thinking she got taught the same thing. Maybe that’s a weakness in the current K-12 curriculum since we came from 2 entirely different states but both recalled getting taught something inaccurate? :beatup:

Anyhow, at this point é›…é›… and I were both pretty exhausted from all the walking around but I couldn’t resist heading over to the aforementioned hill so I could check out the monument. Similar to being at the top of the lighthouse, it’s a long climb but the view from the top is worth it :) I recorded some video on my camera phone to give you an idea of what it’s like.  I start off facing the Atlantic and circling around clockwise. The field you see at the start and end of the video is the area where the Wright Brothers made their first successful flights; the sound you hear is the wind whipping around like crazy :beatup:

After heading back down the hill and checking out the recent additions in the pavilion — which includes a replica of what Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills were like back in 1903 as well as information chronicling the history of flight since then — we once again consulted Google for the nearest tourist-worthy attraction and decided to head over to Roanoke Island.

On our way there we happened to pass by the Lone Cedar Cafe, owned and operated by state Senator Marc Basnight (D – Manteo). President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate, Basnight is widely considered the most powerful politician in North Carolina. He never went to college but is a tremendously huge supporter of the 17-campus University of North Carolina and ensuring NC students have the ability to pursue a quality higher education in this state :surprised:  Even though I’m a fairly conservative Republican, and I disagree with the Senator on a fairly wide range of issues, I consider myself a Marc Basnight fan just based on his support for higher education.6

This live oak is 400+ years old!

Roanoke Island is home to the Lost Colony and is part of modern-day Dare County, named after the first child born in the Americas to English parents. Once we got on the island we headed north just before realizing it was getting near closing time for government agencies. We skipped past the NC Aquarium and instead headed toward the Elizabethan Gardens, an English pleasure garden built half a century ago in tribute to the colonists. The whole trail through the gardens is about 1.5 miles. I’ve never been a garden type, but I see why people enjoy stuff like this ;)

Particularly cool was a super-massive-huge live oak tree that is 400+ years old — basically meaning it was there in that same spot when those colonists first set up shop on the island! :eek:  It’s pretty neat being able to stand underneath a tree and imagine that someone four centuries ago once stood in that exact same spot of that exact same tree :)

By the time é›…é›… and I finished checking out the gardens, it was a hair past 7:00pm and time for us to start making the 3.5-hour drive back home to Durham (we had left Virginia Beach around 9am :surprised: ). We took US Highway 64 W, following along the Alligator River before seeing endless fields upon fields of North Carolina’s famed agriculture.

After driving for about 2 hours we decided to stop for dinner in Robersonville, a teeny-tiny town of roughly 2,000ish people7… and home to the most technologically-advanced Bojangles’ restaurant I’ve ever seen :crack:

The building was brand new, and included all of the “green” tech stuff you’d expect from a new building. The registers had the gizmos in the front where customers can swipe their own credit/debit card (an anomaly for Boj’s restaurants in the Triangle). There was free wi-fi. Even the bathrooms had Dyson Airblades — the first time I had ever seen them, and which worked surprisingly well.

Needless to say it was a fitting end, having dinner at a tourist-worthy Bojangles’ after all of the other bona fide tourist attractions we spent the entire day checking out :D

Folks who have worked with me know I’m an obsessive planner, and I’ve never been one to randomly take the day off and go somewhere out of the ordinary. But once I’ve cleared some days in my calendar as “time to go adventure” days, I absolutely love not having the slightest clue where I’m going and instead just figuring it out as I go along. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money over this past week, but it has undoubtedly been the single best vacation I’ve ever had for that reason alone: no work, no Student Government, no class, no excuses for staying tethered to life back home — just taking a few days off to unwind and explore without a set schedule or agenda.

It’s good to be back in the Bull City of course, but that was definitely a blast :) And it reminds my why I’ve made North Carolina my home for the past 12 years ;)

  1. Including restored gas pumps from back in the early-1900s :surprised: []
  2. Definitely more laidback than Virginia Beach. Example: it’s possible to find parking :beatup: []
  3. She’s afraid of heights []
  4. Where I picked up a lighthouse ornament for the Christmas tree :spin: []
  5. It’s pretty cool if you pull it up on Google Earth, seeing the development in Carova Beach totally separate and apart from… everything. I’m determined to buy a Hummer or something so I can go check it out some time in the future :D []
  6. Which is actually a bit weird, because many of my predecessors in the UNC Association of Student Governments dislike him for various reasons even though they’re much closer ideologically to the Senator than I am :crack: []
  7. N.C. State has over 33,000 students, by contrast. []

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Happy Independence Day! :D

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jul 4, 2010 in Randomness

The vacation to Virginia Beach continues, spending today celebrating the 234th birthday of these United States… my favorite holiday of the year :D

é›…é›… and I first spent the afternoon unsuccessfully trying to find parking somewhere near the Oceanfront, eventually giving up 2 hours later. I’m so accustomed to being at the beach either early in the morning or late at night that I totally forgot how insane it gets in the middle of the day :beatup:

The Hurricane

We made up for it by heading to Wild Water Rapids for a few hours1 B-)

Moving around was a little difficult due to quarter-sized blisters I got on the balls of my feet Friday, but a pair of bandages and some flip flops solved the problem. I even took the opportunity to ride The Hurricane, the crazy high-speed contraption in the photo.2

I chickened out back in 2008 but figured I’d give it a shot this time around. It was an experience ;)

Then we headed back to the grandparent’s house for the usual Independence Day grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and various other summer food… and ice cream :spin: After that we took the 10-minute walk to Mount Trashmore Park for the annual fireworks show.

I know y’all couldn’t be there with me, so I recorded a bit of video on my phone and posted it on YouTube so you can pretend ;)

Hopefully all of you had a fun and festive day! :D Have a great night y’all!

  1. Our 3rd theme park in 3 days: we went to Busch Gardens with the family yesterday, and to Water Country USA by ourselves the day before. Crazy expensive but sooooo much fun :spin: []
  2. For my NC-based readers, the Hurricane is similar to the Dragon’s Den ride at Emerald Pointe… except you’re not on an inner tube. It’s just you. :surprised: []

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A chance coincidence of coincidences…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 13, 2010 in Student Government

…or, perhaps, divine intervention. That was the theme of my first speech to the UNC Board of Governors, after taking my oath of office as the Board’s student member.

With my term as UNCASG President ending in the middle of final exams, I never really paused to realize how accurate a characterization that is of my life — and particularly my involvement in Student Government.

It’s a point that got reiterated a couple times over the past few days.

Comments from one of the forefathers of ASG

Earlier today I was getting ready to drive down to Fayetteville State University to run a parliamentary procedure workshop for their Student Government Association, when I logged into Facebook and saw this comment from a past President of UNCASG. This guy is one of maybe 2-3 people who were pivotal in making the organization into what it is today, so I consider it high praise :)

It’s praise I never could have gotten had I not been elected President. And that election was the end result of meeting the Pickle Princess three years ago this past Sunday. I was attending a reception for legislators hosted by the University system, my first event as Student Senate President at NC State. Even though I had been working for a lobbying firm for months I still felt profoundly out of place. So rather than continue trying (poorly) to blend in and mingle, I sat down at a table next to her and introduced myself. We ended up becoming friends, then competitors, then colleagues. Most of what I did in the Association when I was Senate President was to impress her, and she returned the favor by getting us elected a year later when folks loved her but loathed me.

And that UNCASG election itself never would have happened had I not first been elected Student Senate President, a freak election that hinged on my opponent’s taste for apparel touting our university’s athletic arch-rivals. This was after I served the preceding year as a Student Senator, appointed to a vacancy after first losing a 4-person Student Senate election to 3 seats… coming in 4th, to at least 1 guy who didn’t even campaign :beatup:

That appointment was actually my 3rd separate stint in the Senate. I was a Student Senator my freshman year, decided to run for Student Senate President that Spring (as a freshman), and — predictably — got totally obliterated. Yet the guy who beat me “agreed” to appoint me to a Senate vacancy, scheduled my appointment for confirmation, even had me show up to the Senate meeting where I’d be approved. Then, as I was walking to the front of the chamber… he withdrew my nomination, prompted by a pre-planned objection made by the Student Body Treasurer at the time.

The Treasurer happened to be… the same guy who wrote those remarks on Facebook I mentioned at the start of this post :surprised:

To this day that experience easily ranks among the most embarrassing moments of my life, but it taught me some valuable lessons. Most importantly: it motivated me to work harder to excel at what I did so I wouldn’t go through a similar experience again. That motivation led to my return to the Student Senate the next year (albeit briefly), kept me focused on returning to school after finances forced me to drop out, and reminded me to seek perfection in everything I do since.

Except, it seems, law school grades :beatup:

Anyhow, I’d go on with more examples but this particular post is already pretty long. Was it all a chance coincidence of coincidences? Divine intervention? A bit of both? Not sure, but I know it’s been an eventful journey… with an even longer road ahead :)

Have a great night everybody! :D

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A Tale of Two Accents

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 25, 2010 in Randomness

It’s been truly, truly humbling to have both regular readers here at law:/dev/null and my fellow Legal Eagles enjoying the performance I posted yesterday of my closing argument in NCCU Law‘s annual Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition :)

But there was one unexpected side effect to folks who don’t normally hear me talk all of a sudden watching me on video:  apparently I have completely different accents depending on the venue :beatup:

I mentioned on Monday that I was running for Treasurer of our Student Bar Association, and on Tuesday all of the candidates had an opportunity to give speeches to about 50ish students.  The video from my particular speech is below — which I’m told is how I normally talk.

The odd thing is that I generally don’t “hear” myself when I give a speech, so I don’t even notice the accent (or lack thereof) at any particular point in time. Not entirely sure where it comes from or where it goes…

On a totally unrelated side note, sorry for bombarding y’all with videos of me over the past few weeks! I’ll probably go on a video hiatus here shortly and stick with text entries for the next little while :)

I’m off to go work on UNCASG meeting prep. Have a great night everybody! :D

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Alice in Wonderland

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 24, 2010 in The 1L Life

Hey everybody! :D

I mentioned back on Sunday that I participated in NCCU Law‘s annual Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition. The videos were posted online today, so I downloaded a copy and threw it on YouTube to share with y’all :)

The student workers who did the recording apparently took a coffee break around the 4min mark — the camera just keeps on panning into the wall, so for the last minute you’ll just have to listen to my voice. Hopefully you can still figure out the theme to the closing ;)

That whole experience showed me how weird it is to watch yourself after giving a speech. At the time I thought I was talking incredibly fast — I finished with 35+ seconds left, even though every time I’d practice I’d only have 3-5 seconds left — but watching it after the fact it doesn’t seem that bad.

If you want to check out the fact pattern for the case, download “People v. Andrew Madison” from this URL at streetlaw.org.

Anyhow, hope y’all enjoy :) I’m off to study for CivPro then to prepare for this weekend’s UNCASG meeting. Have a great night! :D

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