Tag Archives: Intern Derrick

Those internets are dangerous

10 May

Well, that was a ton of fun, let me tell you.

I’m back for the time being and enjoying a little 1 week spurt of vacation before I start my summer work. This summer I will be working in a district attorney’s office as a summer clerk. It should be a lot of fun, and hopefully you guys will be able to hear about some of the more interesting work I’m doing.

Unfortunately, I realized a month or so ago that the internet was a dangerous place. I even thought about shutting down tCP, for the safety of the authors’ imagined future careers as professional awesome-types. But joe, what’s so dangerous about it?

Recently my esteemed university has come under attack by internet bloggers and lawyer-metacritics alike, essentially dragging it though the mud through popular law blog sites such as above the law and others.

Aside: since I said law blog I am obligated to post the following video of which many of our site’s readers will appreciate. If you are a reader of the site and do not appreciate it, stop reading this site. It is not for you.

Back to the point. Well, my point anyway; a point which many of you already know. It bears repeating. Facebook is dangerous. The internet is dangerous. Blogs are dangerous. Especially when it comes to schools and institutions, where reputation is everything. As you may have read though the above link, one the professors at our school decided to respond to a comment made by one of the 3L students about the recent US News and World Report ranking of law schools. This professor sought to defend the school’s actions over the past few years, despite the drop in Mercer’s rank out of the top tier of law schools. This spawned a flurry of activity and pushback which resulted in national blogal coverage, and further resulted in the defaming of my school.

Some things I want to say:

First, the US News and World Report is overwhelmingly recognized as the worst possible proxy of law school effectiveness or educational standards. A large percentage of the rankings are based on mailers that are sent out to judges and lawyers in the community, which in turn rank the schools on their reputation. And how do the judges/lawyers figure out what kind of reputation Campbell law or Charleston law or Appalachian law or Mercer law have? They look at the US News and World Report. It is purely self-perpetuating. Most judges and lawyers do not pay much attention to law school, outside of the top 50 schools, because frankly, it doesn’t really matter. Law schools do a prerequisite job. Everything else falls on the particular student.

Yet, every stupid kid who even considers applying to law school turns to these mostly arbitrary/political/bureaucratic rankings to decide where to go. I’m not saying that these rankings are useless, I’m just saying that people should understand that they have very little meaning or merit, and that it is insane to use them as the sole criteria for choosing a school to attend.

On to my second point. Facebook. It is evil. The reality of Facebook, seen more and more every day, is that it is a very dangerous place. This danger derives from the disconnect people feel when they open up their web browser. For whatever reason, people do not experience normal inhibitions when on Facebook. They speak their mind, they say inconsiderate/rude things, and they feel free to attribute themselves to saying those things. It is a rare and odd phenomenon which flows from a misunderstanding of Facebook as a casual atmosphere.

It used to be that Facebook was a relaxed, casual atmosphere where people could go and meet other people. You could also see pictures of friends and keep up with old acquaintances. But it is not that anymore. Facebook is no longer a casual, private place, and this sense of informality is clearly misplaced. The whole debacle here illustrates that reality perfectly.

This leads me to my point. While the inconsiderate comments of the student were certainly unnecessary, rude, inconsiderate, damaging, and misconceived, it is important to consider the role of the professor in this event. I have the utmost respect and affection for that professor; I had the fortune of having him in my first year and many agree that he is one of the best and most interested/interesting professors around. Unfortunately, he chose the wrong forum for the conversation. He should have realized that he was acting in an official capacity as a school representative when on Facebook, not as a casual observer of the fallacies in the status of a Facebook “friend”. He stepped into the dangerous domain of Facebook, a place where rational arguments come second to the reign of public opinion. And in the Facebook world, ad hominem attack is a powerful tool which is not off limits.

So what does that mean for me, intern derrick, and tCP?

It means we have to be more careful in this dangerous world we call the internet. Try not to slur people. Try to only make fun of ourselves. Try to limit the personal references and make sure that if an employer were to read this, that we would not get fired or unconsidered for a job.

Unconsidered is a word. You know how I know? Because spell check didn’t pick it up. If that doesn’t keep me from getting a job, I don’t know what will.

So remember, blogs and networking sites are dangerous places. Except for this one. This one is awesome.


I’m Back. Sorry about that.

28 Jan

Well, hello gang. It has been a while, I know. It’s kind of awkward.* Like running into an old acquaintance three years later who you could barely classify as a friend, and then forgetting their name. Sorry Mike.** What have I been doing all of this time? Funny you should ask.

As you know I have spent the last six months attending law school. I began my journey in August, wide-eyed and full of innocence and enthusiasm. Now, not so much. I’m a little more cynical, a little less impressionable, and certainly not any more rested.*** Exam week for a first-year student is torturous. Nothing you have done in the 22 years leading up to 1L exam week prepares you for the four test you have to take, four hours each. My friend compared it to running a marathon, finishing, and then turning to your friend who just took a nap and asking them to race you to the end of the block.

Having said that, I feel approximately 27% justified in failing to post for the past two months. Really though, it was kind of lame, since I have all kinds of irrelevant stuff to show you guys. Intern Derrick picked up the slack though, and fate awarded him with a really sweet job. So if blog gods really do exist, then I should start receiving job offers within the hour. I’m putting all my apples in that basket…

In any case, my first semester turned out alright. I passed. I might still be a lawyer one day. And that leads me to the substance of my post, which is probably the most fabulous piece of lawyering I have ever seen.

Below is an excerpt from the appellant’s brief in Taylor v. Mercer University (2000). This case was a lawsuit brought by a student (well a former student I suppose) at my esteemed law school. While the case was dismissed in federal district court, and then that dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, the appellant brief is fantastic. I’ll include a big excerpt of it, since you don’t want to read the whole thing. I’ve redacted the professor names, just because I don’t want people associating these statements with something I’ve said. For your pleasure, I have provided a running commentary to the piece, all in blue. Here we go:

Appellant Taylor desires that the prudent and learned members of this appellate court hear his arguments. Mr. Taylor, as a young African-American male, has clear and convincing evidence that his instructors at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law acted in collusion to deprive him of a law degree.

Alright, so we are looking for “clear and convincing” evidence. Sounds pretty serious. And collusion, because that is a legal cause of action. Taylor’s saying, “you conspired, and that’s bad”. He’s leaving out the part where it is their job to conspire and collude to give somebody a grade…

The prudent and learned members of the Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals have an affirmative duty to find that employees of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia(1990-92), d.b.a. the faculty and administration of the Walter F. George School of Law assigned an arbitrary and capricious grade threshold.

An arbitrary and capricious grade threshold. No argument from me. Grades suck in law school. Heck, school in general.

Another issue before the Court is to determine that although Mercer Law School employees granted Appellant Taylor an offer of admissions and he enrolled, he relied to his detriment that the employees would exercise due care and assist him in his matriculation. Therefore, Mercer Law School employees committed fraudulent inducement.

Prepare for an overuse of the word “matriculation”.

This Court is to determine that comments from Mercer Law School employees were extremely harsh and judgmental towards the young African-American United States Army veteran Taylor.

Notice how he throws in the US army veteran here. Talk about capricious, that has nothing to do with his claim. And not to mention African-American, what’s that doing here? C’mon with the gratuitous adjectives.

They mercilessly infringed upon his constitutional and civil rights in a collusive effort to enslave his mind with inferiority.

The single best line in the entire brief. Maybe the best line I have ever read. Those teachers sure know how to enslave minds with inferiority. Is it a mistake he mentioned “enslave” after mentioning African-American?

This Court is to determine the seriousness of Appellant Taylor’s desire to serve the public as an attorney-at-law and review credentials that would allow him admission to the bar to have a license to practice in Georgia and Alabama. May it please the Court to correct the wrong that Mercer Law School employees inflicted upon the eager Taylor and grant him admission to the bar in the states of Georgia and Alabama.

Unnecessary adjective three: “eager”.


Taylor, an honorably discharged United States Army Veteran who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science received an offer of Admission to enroll at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law for the class entering in the fall of 1990. He enrolled, which was acceptance. Payment of his tuition constituted consideration. However, Mercer Law School employees breached their contractual obligations to Mr. Taylor to make a good faith effort to educate him and help him to matriculate towards completion of the law degree.

Matriculate. Cringe.

Mercer University Law School employees knowingly, wantonly, and willfully awarded Mr. Taylor grades that would not be equal to or surpass the threshold of 76, the minimum required grade point average to continue to the next law school term.

I love the juxtaposition here, how employees wantonly and willfully  awarded. Award connotes something earned through merit, but wanton just makes me think of Chinese food.

Appellant Taylor’s original complaint in the District Court resulted in a judgment for Mercer University. It is on appeal in the Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals.

Taylor received grades that mysteriously stayed between 69 and 72, other than the 80 he received in legal writing. His cumulative grade point average, based upon what Mercer Law School employees issued to him, was approximately 71.6, after the first two semesters of law school.

These bad grades are so mysterious! Agatha Christie would be miffed!

The “76” grade point average cutoff is arbitrary and capricious. It is in violation of Mr. Taylor’s right to Due Process and Equal protection under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

Somebody wasn’t paying attention in Con. Law…

Members of the Mercer Law School faculty talked to Appellant Taylor in a cruel and unusual manner in violation of his Eighth Amendment United States Constitution right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment.


[A Torts professor] said, “You should be doing something else.”

[A Intro to Law professor] said that Mr. Taylor’s self-worth depended on those “tests.” “I heard you did not do too terribly well in intro (to law study),” [He] said, indicating that his colleagues discuss students’ grades amongst each other.

[A Criminal Law professor] made explicit sexual and lewd comments such as “Pussy” in a classroom setting where Mr. Taylor was under [his] supervision. Such statements constituted a hostile environment and equate sexual harassment.

[A Sales professor] said, “You did not give me anything” in reference to Mr. Taylor’s final exam.

[Constitutional Law professor] made derogatory remarks about the black intellect in the classroom setting. [He] said that regardless of what test scores blacks may have, we may still believe that they are inferior.

[He] said, “We don’t like prizefighters” and Mike Tyson is a rapist. [He] insulted homeless people, “They don’t bathe.” [He] admitted that when he was in college he cheated on exams by looking at his neighbor’s assignments. [He] admitted in reference to his college buddies, “we stayed up all night and we got really inebriated.”

Why isn’t “Mike Tyson is a rapist” in quotations? Is he paraphrasing? And how is bashing homeless people offensive to this kid. Homeless people do stink!

[He] told another student in reference to Taylor, “His grades are under strict scrutiny.” [He] told Mr. Taylor, “You found one thing that you could not do,” an effort to enslave Mr. Taylor’s mind with inferiority.

Next time this professor asks me a question, I’m going to say, “I don’t know, because you have enslaved my mind with inferiority. Stop doing that.”

[A Dean of the school] told Mr. Taylor, “If you come back, you will flunk out.”

[A Civil Procedure professor] indicated that his exams intentionally created stress for students and would affect their academic performance adversely.

[A different Civil Procedure professor] told the young Christian man, Taylor, “Someone with a very religious background could not do well in law.” “Jesus could not get through law school,” [he] said.

Mr. Taylor’s own faculty advisor, [a Contracts professor] said, “I think you’ll flunk out”

[A Dean of the School] told Mr. Taylor that his grades were not “close” enough to the threshold to remain in law school.

But, he can put “close” in quotations.

[A fantastic Contracts professor] made derogatory remarks about people who did not have a college education. [His] lewd remarks included, but are not limited to: “Me so horny; you get no nookie; and PMS” [He] told Mr. Taylor that he could not be a lawyer.

Nookie is a legal term. You wouldn’t understand.

[He] subjected Mr. Taylor to a hostile environment that constituted sexual harassment.


Taylor, a young African-American male, a Christian man and an honorably discharged United States Army Veteran, enrolled at Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law in the fall of 1990. Such enrollment equated acceptance to the offer of admissions from Mercer Law School. Mr. Taylor’s payment of tuition constituted consideration. A contract existed.

Mercer Law School employees breached this good faith contract because they did not make a bona fide effort to assist Mr. Taylor in his matriculation at the American-Bar-Association Approved Law School. Therefore, the law gives Mr. Taylor a remedy. Also, Mercer Law School employees had a duty to educate Mr. Taylor and assist him in his matriculation towards his earning a law degree.


Mr. Taylor’s duty was to attend classes, complete assignments and exams, and matriculate towards the completion of a law degree. Mercer Law School employees did not meet their mutuality of obligation.


Mr. Taylor relied to his detriment. His remedies stem from the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

A preponderance of the evidence indicates the Mercer Law School employees deprived diligent law student Taylor of a law degree and a license by the bar to practice law in Georgia and Alabama, Mr. Taylor’s objective.

It would be only fitting that the prudent and esteemed member of this Court grant Mr. Taylor’s remedies, both compensatory damages and relief in the form of credentials in the State Bars of Georgia and Alabama. Taylor completed the equivalence of one year of law school. A Master of Law degree would be a feasible solution.

Bahahahaha! You finished one year of law school, and you want an automatic acceptance into the bar of two states? Your competence in writing this brief demonstrates your lawyerly capacity. You’re a shoe-in dude.

Furthermore, this Court may find it compelling to review further credentials of Appellant Taylor and admit him to the State Bars of Georgia and Alabama.

Mr. Taylor prays that the learned, prudent, and esteemed members of this Court will render unto him his remedies under the law, which include a degree of law and license to practice law.

Just to summarize:

Honorably-discharged, African-American, eager, Christian, diligent law student Mr. Taylor didn’t get good grades in law school because there was a conspiracy to enslave his mind with inferiority and verbally punish him cruelly and unusually. As a result, he mysteriously received grades which were below the capricious threshold and he failed to matriculate. Matriculate. So now, as remedy he wants a free pass admission to the State Bars of Georgia and Alabama. Clear and convincing, indeed.

*Does anybody else try to spell awkward as “ackward” like I do. Seriously, every time. Same thing with judgment, I’m always trying to add an “e” to make it “judgement”. But I have no problem with “government”, even though that “n” is ridiculous.  Ridiculous, I say!

**Or maybe it’s Mark, I can’t remember…

***Sitting in ethics class last week, a guest speaker said that the worst thing you could possibly be is a “cynicist”. And I thought, well, that’s not even a word. Then my sleeve caught on fire. I think it was the irony.

Nataly Dawn and Pomplamoose

16 Oct

When we talked about Sufjan Stevens a few months ago, perhaps you gathered a sense of our collective taste in music here at tCP (acronyms make everything cooler). Undoubtedly, you gathered that Intern Derrick and I have fantastic, unassailable taste in music. You gathered that our musical tastes are is eclectic, elitist, and simply better than yours. Don’t be ashamed. You aren’t the only imaginary person with inferior musical taste.

About a week ago, while prowling youtube, I came across a new artist and I thought, people should be aware of this goodness. So I present, “A Happy Song”:

There is something so raw, unfurnished, and starkly beautiful in the lyrics and chords of this song. And sure, that is impressive, and well done on her part. I like it, and really, I think you should like it too.

Which led me to think about what might be done with this song, how the artist might transform it to something I could listen to on my Zune (no, I’m not an Apple/Ipod user like the rest of you; Itunes is one of the worst programs I have ever used; when you turn on Itunes, the rest of your computer stops working; don’t judge me; unnecessary semicolon). She would have to take a song, simple and austere, and flower it up with percussion, synthesizer, and maybe even a piano, plunking chords off in the background. Really, though, I don’t want that. I would just like to listen to it in this form, because that’s the way it was conceived and that is the way it was meant to be played.

High horse dismount.

Anyway, Nataly Dawn has a decent spread of good material on her youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/natalydawn

Also, Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte (another great musician) have joined forces to form Pomplamoose. A few of their better videos are below. Enjoy!

“Mrs. Robinson”

“My Favorite Things”

“Beat the Horse”

Terry Tate, Condense the Nonsense.

12 Oct

I realize that this blog has started to become just a haphazard collection of youtube videos, and that is certainly not the intent of the authors. The authors, in fact, wholly lack any intention. The reality is that law school is a bit mundane. While there are interesting cases and such, I don’t want to bore you with rewrites of my case briefs. It’s bad enough that I have to write them once. So, I’m busy. Youtube isn’t. Go talk to him.

The only excuse I can offer for Intern Derrick is that he is busy grooming his Col. Sanders mustache and pretending he is an English expert in a place where nobody knows better. That is only a slight burn because I couldn’t pull off the majestic mustache. But then again, I’m not sure whether he can pull it off either (nice, a follow-up burn that mitigates my mitigation of the original burn).

Your mom.

(that was a pre-emptive burn for the anticipated burn which Intern Derrick will be thinking of posting but will undoubtedly decide is too anemic and sickly to ever stand up to the might and strength of my incendiary greatness)

(I feel comfortable using this space as a locale for petty insults and jibe because I am quite certain that the only other person that reads this blog is, in fact, Intern Derrick. And it is quite possible that he doesn’t even bother with that)

(Self-burn, I’m even good at that)


So Terry Tate, office linebacker is one of my personal favorite bits. It came out a few years ago, and was unadulterated awesomeness. Now it seems that there are a few sequels to the initial greatness, so that gives me an opportunity to post the videos and still maintain an illusory appearance of relevance and modernity.

The Original

“I’m a firm proponent of paradigm breaking”

Sensitivity Training

“As I’ve always said, if it ain’t something that is broken, then there is no need to repair it.”


“Oh, we were aware that Mr. Tate was a discerning guest, but, it seems were weren’t aware just how discerning he really was.”

Draft Day

“You got mailed baby! Woo!”


Cultural Competency

13 Aug

So law school orientation for your’s truly started this week. So far I have been doing very little learning about the law and a lot of learning about how hard it is to learn about the law. Mostly a fair bit of backhanded intimidation mixed with cleverly disguised assurances of hardship. I suppose that I did sign up for it.

Today I oriented myself to something which I found particularly difficult to conceptualize. I thought I might share it with you. Apparently, there is a popular movement in soft-skill circles called “cultural competency”. Here and here are examples and explanations. I don’t necessarily have problems with the ideas presented, but the title does baffle me. Cultural competency? How could you possibly become competent in culture? Doesn’t one gain competence at a particular skill or trade or ability? Culture surely isn’t something you can be competent in. Surely pseudo-bloggers know not to end their sentences with prepositions!

Am I so arrogant to think that I could learn to be “competent” in all of “culture” (including those things therin enclosed, contained, and encapsulated) in a two-hour period? Assuming that I am that arrogant (I am), what could becoming culturally competent possibly entail?

Well, to sum up the presentation from the wonderful PhD presenters from Kennesaw State University (who have achieved cultural competence): cultural competency is the realization that everybody is different, but that those differences do not mean we should treat each other differently. But (!) it is of utmost important that you do not deny those cultural differences. However, it is of equal importance that everybody is considered equally important. So everybody is different, but everybody should be treated the same.


Maybe our cultured (and undoubtedly culturally competent) Intern Derrick can enlighten us to the ways of competence which I sorely lack and fail to understand.

Helping you get your RSS fix

4 Aug

I’m not sure how many of our loyal imaginary readers use RSS feeds, but I am quite fond of them, and I know that intern Derrick is pretty fond of his too (he likes to subscribe to all those Spanish newspaper feeds, it makes him feel international). This post is mostly so our readers can get a few awesome blogs into their RSS universe, in whatever form it may take.

If you aren’t familiar with RSS feeds, dude, get with it. First step, find a RSS aggregator. Google Reader is my personal favorite, but I hear Yahoo has a decent one as well. Next, start finding RSS symbols on pages you like and clicking them. The symbol looks like this:

RSS icon

Except smaller.

Okay, so I will leave it to you to figure out from there. Here are a few awesome blogs that I follow, if you have some that you follow and think are cool, leave a comment so we can benefit from your blogal trappings.

The Constitutional Pheasant (the best blog ever written*)

XKCD (possibly the funniest series of comic strips ever concocted, and very nerdy to boot!)

Joe Posnanski (the best writer in all of baseball)

Sunday Morning Breakfast Cereal (another webcomic, definitely a bit edgier)

2 Birds 1 Blog (quirky and pretty funny)

Freakonomics (awesome book, ergo, awesome blog)

Fail Blog (you’ll like this one)

Okay, that’s all I’ve found that are of interest. I hope you have some to round out the list?

*We cannot substantiate that assertion.

New Banner!

30 Jul

Intern Derrick is awesome, almost like an artist or something.

Imaginary t-shirts will be ordered soon for all our imaginary readers.