LAWYERS ON SAMUEL ALITO . . . According to lawyers who commented anonymously last year in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary (Aspen Publishers 2004), Judge Alito is smart, pleasant, conservative, and a good writer--but sometimes a little bored. Here is a selection of the lawyers' comments that I think is representative:
"He has brilliant ability."
"He's pretty good in terms of making a coherent argument."
"He is brilliant and of unquestioned intelligence."
"He has adequate legal ability. He doesn't say much and is harder to read."
"He has a fine, nice demeanor--he couldn't have keener demeanor."
"He is demanding, but always courteous. He may occasionally demonstrate a little bit of impatience with lawyers that aren't quite getting it--this can be directed at either side; it's just a sign that his mind is working more efficiently than yours. He is never discourteous and never abusive."
"He asks questions that are very pointed; get right to the heart of an issue. He's active."
"He is conservative."
"There is a conservative bent to his thinking."
"He is conservative and on the far right of the court, but he is a truly decent person who believes in his heart that he is doing the right thing."
"His opinions are very detailed, analytical and thorough. His judgment is quite considered."
"His opinions are very well written."
"His opinions are brilliant. They are concise, very incisive opinions."
"His opinions are very, very conservative. He's very ideological and carefully writes his opinions to set up the next--he plants language that moves the law further to the right. He is dogmatically conservative. His opinions are succinct, but still scholarly."
"I do not have much of a sense of him as a person. He looks bored at times."
HAPPY HALLOWEEN . . . You could say I don't have my law-related weblogging priorities in order. On a morning when President Bush is holding a press conference with his new Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito, I'm posting a picture of one of my kids, Sam, who wouldn't know President Bush from the Great Pumpkin. It's disgraceful, although it could be that Sam is on the right track . . .
Why the briefcase in the background? That's to put things in perspective with last year's photo, when Sam was dressed up like a tiny lawyer.
UPDATE FOR NEW YORK TIMES READERS: While it was nice to be honored in "Blogger Reaction to the Alito Nomination," it's a little puzzling since I didn't really have a reaction. I had to go to court. Now that I'm back, I've offered something more substantive in my next post, "Lawyers on Samuel Alito," which collects some anonymous comments about Alito from the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary.
THE LEGAL UNDERGROUND PODCAST Episode #40 . . . On today's show, I'm testing driving a new format called "Litigation Radio." Topics include an analysis of the bickering between Merck's lawyers and the judge at the New Jersey Vioxx trial (with audio of the bickering!), a discussion of why I have no plans to give up the Illinois Trial Practice Weblog, and an interview with my wife and law partner, Andrea Lamere. Running time: 23 minutes.
As always, there are many ways to listen:
Slickest method: If you have Apple's free iTunes version 4.9 or higher, click on the button below to take you directly to the Legal Underground page to subscribe for free, or search in the podcasts part of the iTunes Music Store for "Legal Underground";
Easiest method: Follow this link to my Feedburner page, which contains a list of all my podcasts in reverse chronological order. From there, you can simply click on the link you want to hear. As long as you have speakers, your computer should be able to play the show, or you can download the file to your computer;
Tech-savvy method: Finally, you can manually subscribe to this RSS feed using iPodder or a similar product. For detailed instructions, click here.
Additional show notes. Here are links to some of the items discussed in the podcast:
LAWYER PRODUCTS: the Firefox Web Browser. . . Although most lawyers use Internet Explorer to browse the web, those who are tech-savvy enough to read weblogs use Firefox. You'll recognize it by its logo--
If you're not one of the lucky ones, you can get your free Firefox download here. Those who already use Firefox can learn more about its many hidden features in "The Power User's Guide to Firefox."
THIS WEEK IN TECH FEATURES LAWRENCE LESSIG . . . This Week in Tech, which is consistently one of the best independent podcasts, claims to have more than 250,000 listeners. The lastest show features Lawrence Lessig, the copyright professor who founded Creative Commons. Highly recommended.
STANKOWSKI IS SHIRKING HIS RESPONSIBILITIES . . . Stan Stankowski is so busy working as a lawyer that he didn't get around to writing his regular Thursday column. While I'm thinking of a way to deal with his troubling insubordination, you can make sure you've read all twenty of his collected posts.