whitefly.com Rotating Header Image

June, 2006:

Bar Preparation – More PR

Well, I needed a break today. So, I fell asleep for about an hour in my room. Unfortunately, its about 80 degress in here or was, anyway. So, I woke up shortly from being hot. So, I set to work on Professional Responsibility again. We typically get two days per topic of out-of-class work. So, I read through Conviser’s again, reviewed the essays I did yesterday (trying to make sure I got those rules and the contexts they come up in) and then started in on the two for today. As it turns out, I do alright. These essays today were both harder than the one’s yesterday.

The first essay concerned, primarily receipt of a contingent fee in a divorce action. Duh, cruddy idea. Turns out in CA its ok, so long as it doesn’t “encourage” divorce. Whack, man, whack.

The second essay involved a bank officer divulging to you that his boss and he have been “cheating” on the books. Where do one’s loyalties lie when one has been representing the company, apparently for some time. Apparently one disclosure, in the mind of the base answer suggests that it immediately shifts to the officer alone. I’d argue it shifts to no one. They argue that you now have confidential (and prejudicial) information about this officer essentially stealing. Thats totally correct. However, this doesn’t make you immediately his lawyer. In fact, you also have, apparently, several years of confidential information about the company as its outside counsel. This is what is called a conflict. I’d say, instead, that you can represent neither party effectively. Instead, you are under and ongoing duty to “warn” the company’s board that there are issues, then likely withdraw (not clear in CA). Next, you should advise both parties of your need to withdraw, due to the conflict and withdraw. You must maintain the confidences of both “clients” even though the officer only divulged some things, one day to you. But, hey, thats just me. 😉 Hopefully I’m overly ethical.

In brighter news, thankfully, I get the rest of the weekend until Wednesday off. Thank Heaven. I’m really running low on steam. They said something about a “wall” this week in Barbri. They would be right.

So, I’m going to go see Superman with Heidi, probably, and then see some fireworks with her on Tuesday! Woo, I’m excited to play a bit. Just hope it doesn’t turn my brain to mush.

Bar Preparation – Professional Responsibility

Today I began work (well really last night) on professional responsibility review for the California Bar Exam. For those who don’t know, I will be taking the bar on July 25-27th in Ontario. Oh, its great fun. Its, allegedly, one of the toughest two bars in the country, second (or first, depending on who you talk to) to New York’s Bar.

I’ve been working the last month, basically, on this whole studying thing. I’ve now completed a review of:

  • Torts
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure
  • Remedies
  • Evidence
  • Real Property (that means land and land + houses, as opposed to personal property, like a car)
  • Civil Procedure
  • Contracts
  • Corporations
  • Profesional Responsibility

I will be going on to:

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Community Property

These two topics get two days of pounding on before I get back to work on some other topics. Heaven help me.

Back to Professional Responsibility… This class in law school basically consists of numerous warnings not to be a shady character. We get things like, “don’t force your client to sleep with you to pay for your services.” Does that really need a rule? I’m sorry to say it apparently does. I’m of the impression that “we all have our thing” to quote Jenna Elfman in Can’t Hardly Wait. People screw up, even lawyers who are trained to be precise and not screw up. As much as I like the “legal” way of dealing with these matters which are described in 31 long pages in the Conviser Mini Review, I wish our society were still such that we could deal with the problems of individuals through the model suggested in the Bible: to exhort one another and to reprove them with kindness and gentleness, bringing them back into the right path. That model does not pertain only to matters of faith, but to all types of living, I believe. When one does wrong, it is another’s obligation to point out that failure, but then to provide reason, means and opportunity to right that wrong. I hope that all would allow others this path and most of all, that I would be beneficial of forgiveness when I fall short as well.

Alright, thats enough random preaching at my non-existant readers. It is time to study more of the codification of goodness that I have to know to become a real lawyer someday.

E3 2005 – New Game Consoles

The new consoles have been unveiled. There is much praise and adoration to go around. The Playstation 3 has its press-release just hours before the “official” and previously-announced press-release of the Xbox 360. First of all, this is an obvious ploy to help dampen the hooplah around the display of their chief competition which will be introduced first. Second, it is an attempt to fawn some of the attention off on its own product. Both products, incidentially, look great. They offer value over-and-above their current offerings and are welcome refinements of their prior incarnations. The Xbox crew, in particular, seems to have learned from its mistakes.

Soon thereafter, the new Nintendo offering, entitled Revolution, is also unveiled. To me, this seems to be a quickly-put-together and ill-advised press moment. Most websites have a single press release picture to use which is intriguing but empty of true “content.” This release appears to be a panic-release based upon the “surprise” release by Sony. Nintendo feels that to maintain a shot at market-share they have to release some information now. I feel that they would be better advised to have continued refining their product and working on defining their vision for the next Nintendo.

If you speak to my friends, who will listen, you will hear me rant about the GameCube’s poor performance. Its not that bad of a system, it just had terribly poor follow-through, a poor brand-image that was established quickly and has not been effectively corrected. I want to play on a Nintendo. I’ve got all these grand memories of hours spent playing something fun and addictive. I’ve also said for some time now that Nintendo has been trying to tell its customers what they want, rather than cater to what the market is telling them that they want. Case-in-point, the Nintendo DS versus the Playstation Portable. Did the market really tell Nintendo that they wanted two screens? Did the market really tell Nintendo that they the capability to “chat” with friends? Is it fun to have handwriting recognition on a game device? What about handwriting recognition is fun? On the other hand, did the market say, we want to take fun, more in-depth games along with us as we travel? Did it say, the current handheld games available are all linear side or top-scrolling games that begin to all look the same? I would hold the latter questions as true.

The DS, to my mind, is a fun little device for kids who are about ages 8-12 years old. This is a problem. It furthers the terrible (for large-scale sales) image of Nintendo as a “kids game company.” Thats a fine image to have when the game industry caters to children 8-12 years old. Unfortunately for Nintendo, the average age of gamers is constantly moving up. Unfortunately for Nintendo, the average age of gamers is currently roughly 29 years old. If you want to keep up in a console market, then you have to cater to people of this age or you are simply removing a large portion of your market from your group of potential sales.

The “announcement” this week by Nintendo of their new Revolution only proves that they have finally discovered this problem. Unfortunately, this effort is very likely too little, too late. For starters, Nintendo’s specialty of late, if one can say that there is one, has been innovation. There is certainly room for this in the industry. Fun comes in all shapes and sizes. I just feel that their innovation has been in directions that most gamers do not and will not want. The “new” Revolution does not even come close to living up to its name. So far as I can tell from the limited information available, it is a clone of a Playstation 2 with Internet connectivity and potentially the option to download software to play. How is this a Revolution? At the very least, its a sell-out of thier vision for games and game consoles.

Finally, if Nintendo wants to make any effort to compete, they have to do something they have been terribly poor at doing: keeping developers. I believe Nintendo is past the point of no-return on this front. This, I believe, is why the Revolution will fail. The new piece of console machinery has no relevant differentiator from the looming and powerful competition. Imitation by Nintendo in the game console market only serves to demonstrate the dire straits in which the company finds itself.

If Nintendo wants to make any effort at competing in this highly competitive market, it has to make the best of this and (potentially, depending on the release date of the Revolution) the next E3. The miserable showing of a lackluster imitation of the Playstation 2 console will not serve the company at all in wooing developers. Who cares if you have backwards compatibility if you have the most miserable support for a predecessor platform since the Atari Lynx? Nintendo needs to show something that will make its platform fly off the shelves so that more and more developers will jump on board. The name Nintendo and two platform-centric games (Mario and Zelda) will not bring the masses anymore. Nintendo, pay developers if you have to, but if you want to sell consoles, you’ve got to do better than that.