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Monthly Archive for December, 2005

More Work on my Outline

I proceed here on the good advice of my dean, Elena Kagan to face my teaching to the future. I agreed with Andy Kaufman,, our inside dean at hls, to teach Internet Law next year. That obligation looks to September 2006. Zittrain will offer his take on Internet Law in our January Winter semester. I am eager to be his student, and perhaps he mine.

Come January 3, 2006, Zittrain and i open our internet school. We start with the idea that our three week winter semester is like camp and we are camp directors. Welcome to cyber school. We would like our students to engage with us in an intense and absorbing learning and teaching experience during the three weeks that is ours.

I start each day with light calesthenics, breathing and stretching and such, at 8:30 a.m., all welcome to come, Evidence class begins sharp at nine and runs til noon. Z teaches Internet Law starting at 2 p.m. I hope he will allow me to attend his class, blogging all the way.

Cyberspace is a rhetorical place, virtual, made of message. Internet is the wiring of cyberspace. Internet Law has so far been conceived as the law that affects the routing of message in the space. But focus first on the space itself and the concept of message. What new capacities does this meta space bring? How will we learn and teach and create in it? What new forms of legal and social organization with this new environment permit to evolve and thrive? What will grow, what will die.

Both Z and i are forming our classes into groups. We’ll need two groups to help us plan and execute our meta plan to generate group activity so engaging that HLS students will actually dance. Becca, my daughter, my first child, HLS ’01

doubts that we can do it. Becca produces video and web and other delights with Wayne&Wax. Wayne’s my son-in-law.

Thursdays from eleven til noon we will be webcasting, connecting if we can with Kingston and London and who knows where else to consider issues raised by the case of Jah Cure and the plight of the victim, a.k.a. Susan Fergeson.

Fridays we play poker. Zittrain plays what many consider to be the best poker on the law school faculty in games of dealer’s choice. What is his skill? How would you describe it? Nick Marshall, Wayne’s little brother, is the best i’ve seen up close at Texas Hold’em.. I’ve a poker table in my house. Friday nights the game, Satellite games to reach the head table. We offer help for beginners and comfort for experts – come play.

We have broadband in our school, in our classrooms, in our workgroups, in our hands. We have WIKI and IM and GOOGLE and iCOMMONS and a digital revolution at our fingertips. We have the capacity to organize ourselves to do and to produce something extraordinary. We can identify our common interests and pool our resources in order to satisfy them. We can identify our common goals and pool our resources in order to accomplish them.

I want to speak on the first day to all who have the choice to add or drop, which is all of you. With my friend and colleague Burt Neuborn at NYU i teach Evidence without emphasis on the test of the rules, believing as does Burt that such focus misleads you to thinking Evidence Law is about textual interpretation of rules. We teach the principles beneath. We look to you to learn and understand how the fundamental principles of evidence and proof are expressed in code. We seek to train you to be programmers of the law, not its pawns. Code is Law. Law is Code. The concept is one and its reflection.

security in the net, law’s mission to create an environment in which society and economy can flourish; human rights in the net

organization of power in the world
the net itself a subject of study
principles behind the rules, how the rules reflrct them

Being back home

[This post by Kevin dates back a few weeks to the time of his return to Jamaica after the London Global Voices summit, only posted now because i allowed it to sit neglected as draft.]

It was amazing. i think people should have the chance to travel and see the world and then make decisions and to where they want to go with their lives.

The Jamaica project is one that you don’t necessarily get by hearing about it just once, you have to hear it, see it and most of all you have to feel it. Before London Charley and i went to one of the prisons to take part in the finals of the quiz competition. As we sat there in the audience we just kept looking at each other, both in amazement and pleasure to see the men of the SET group taking part in this competition. The team that ended up winning was led by a young man who, when he came to us could bearly read and write. In the past few years we have seen him grow from strength to strength and now he is at a place where he is able not only to help himself, he is able to help others as well. The power of the SET group is that these men recognize that in order for them to be able to spend their time in a lab each day working and studying, learning and teaching, some amount of sacrifice has to go into it. They are also reminded that they do not need to look at paying anything back; however they are expected to pay it forward. Sounds simple, well that is bacuause it is. If each time we are given an oppertunity we look for an oppertunity to give an opperrtunity to someone else, can you imagine the kind of impact something like that could have.

Every day we look for new and better ways to help people realize just how powerful they are and that their imput is necessary to the betterment of Jamaica. If we, those of us on the outside, could see the situation as picking up a fallen soldier, oh man. The situation here will not go away if we do not act. and it is not only jamaicans which need to act. We all need to act.

Just think for a moment: Someone in prison starts to see good in himself. He will then want others to see it, and even if he doesn’t act it out he will find other ways to let others see it.
It will be good for him, and for those other inmates around him, and family and friends that come to visit him. Then it will start to affect the community that he is from and then before long the whole country will start to feel the energy, which will undoubtly spread around the world. Some would say what is the differrence with this project, why will this one work. The answer to that is also a simple one; it will work because of the energy and effort that we are putting into it.

Working on the Outline of my Course

This Evidence course is about truth, the power of narrative, and the opportunity and responsibility that comes with mastering it. We will consider the courtroom as a rhetorical space and law as a storyteller. We will consider how lawyers persuade, comparing what it means to prove a proposition science, life and law. Our course explores the strategy of the law in conducting and structuring trials and the rules of evidence that determine the play. We will consider the roles of the different players in the space — prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, jury, witnesses, parties, public. We will consider how trial unfolds in the courtroom and how the message it generates is communicated to the polity. We will study the American jury system, considering the function that brought it into existence and the changes that have allowed it to grow and in decay. We will explore the Federal Rules of Evidence as a detailed rule structure governing the trial process. We will consider how new functionalies in our information space might be employed to enhance Law’s success in achieving elegance, understanding and respect for its message.


Who are you? What year? How many like law school. How many are going to practice law. How many intend to practice in firms. How many see your self as doing trials. How many feel you are good in math? Was there a time? When did you get off track? How many think of rhetorical as something bad, compared to substance, something good? How many on the net. How many blog. gay, fine by me, the shirt i wear, how many fine by you, let’s hear a hum. How many Marijuana, Fine by me.
[Should i put the use of pc’s and taking notes to a vote, i think not.]

Who do i see you to be.

We are here to learn how the law system works and what role lawyers and the rules of evidence play in it.

Ben Brafman’s opening.

Who am i.
Born in Newton, prep school, harvard college, class of 60, harvard law, 63, fellowship, clerkship, Justice Department, back harvard law to teach in 66, tenured in 69, civil rights, anti-war.I defended Dan Ellsberg in a long trial in federal court in 71-72 and found fascination in the function and process of the courtroom, been teaching Evidence ever since. homage to matt byrne and leonard boudin.

I am a citizen of the net, by which i mean a citizen of the world. I believe in connection. I am a citizen of the United States of America. I believe in freedom and democracy, but need to differentiate this thought. My first sniff of patriotism came in a movie theater during world war two, 1944, my mother next to me, five years old, shouting out to her and to the rest of the silent theater as an excited child will do, seeing my hero on the screen close face up, “That’s General Mark Clark!” America stood for freedom, democracy and fair play. Our cause was just. We are the good guys.

Was i deceived in believing that we were the good guys? What is the spirit that guides? Do i stand for fighting fair? Or Do i Stand For Fighting Dirty? What has America become?

Who are we? Who are we if we are not we the people? WE, good people of the earth.

We are a world community. We read each other’s news. We have a means of connecting the good in us to form a spirit strong enough to resist the evil spirit deep within, the spirit that fights mean and dirty and lies to our faces, squandering the credibility of the spirit of America in the world.

Do we stand for free speech, fair play, civil discourse, love of learning, true spirit of democracy, listening, understanding, moderation, fun.

that’s what i strive to stand for, to teach,and to make real in our cyber future.

Cyberspace does not exist until we build it. Law is code. Code is Law.

AFRIKA CHINA JAMAICA UNITED -biggest of the big, smallest of the small

When visiting Beijing last summer in company of Ben Walker I met Liang Lu and learned the story of Bokee, and how Chinese blogspace, sparked by interest in a woman’s stories, exploded with exponential growth . I met a Chinese blogger and an interpreter who showed me passion.

I met Jeremy Goldkorn and, watched the documentary that he and his partner had made, telling the story of an amateur football team comprised of African men who had come to Beijing for work and found connection playing football, AFRIKA UNITED.

In Jamaica in October for our CyberStrategy conference, sitting in the conference room at Growth Facilitators, the company that put the conference together, talking with Norman, friend and chairman of Growth Facilitators advisory board, I pitched the cyberstrategy to him of inviting AFRIKA UNITED and a Chinese team from their league to come to Jamaica on a goodwill tour mixing, football, music and community development in venues around the island, with bloggers along, telling the stories of the trip and generating media for a global Chinese and Jamaican audience. Norman liked it. Here’s audio, NormanConquest.mp3.

Next I discussed the idea with Moneyede Martin of SSET, who expressed willingness to coordinate such a tour on the ground in Jamaica along with Kevin Wallen of Destiny Productions.

I met Ken Shaw at the South Camp Quiz Competition, who contributes equipment for the inmates at South Camp to play ball. He thought SSET could field a competitive team.

Then, in London, at Berkman’s Global Voices 2005 London Summit, I met Kevin, who founded Bokee, and Nart, who will host the domain of our JamaicaExpress group blog, and learned about PledgeBank as a means for raising funds for interesting ventures.

What are the pieces still needed to fall into place in order to make this idea for internet development come true? Can we set a budget, set a date, see if there are Jamaican and Chinese companies who might lend support?

Unchained on Roots fm

The day i had yesturday is one that gives me all the reasons i need too keep doing what i do. I woke up early as i usually do. I then spent the better part of the morning with Kijani my son. My mother is here in Jamaica visiting from Canada along with my little sister and the both of them were seeing Kijani for the first time. It was a great meeting as Kijani being the character that he is mde them laugh out loud most of the time that we were together. i had an opportunity to speak with just my mother for a few moments. She told me how prowd she was of me and the work that i was doing. I explained to her as much as i could the details of the project but throughout my talking to her the one thing that kept coming out was the fact that this is something that could and will have a tremendous effect on Jamaica. It starts with the prison and then to communities and then through out the rest of the world.

My mother then looked me straight in the eye and said “you are a special kid and i have always known that.” She did not explain why she said that and I did not ask her to. That is how we said good bye.

I took Kijani home as it was time for me to go to the prison for my regular sunday visit. Seeing as it was the sunday before Christmas Robert Winter and some folks from the Kwanis club wanted to come in and do a treat for the members of the SET group, which they did and it was great. As per usual the men made a great impression on the visitors, who then made commitments that they would do what they could to help the program.

I left the prison and went to the Radio station to do my weekly one hour program “Unchained”. The moment i set foot into the studio the phones started to ring. People wanted to call and send blessings to those they have behind bars. That was amazing. The phone rang straight through and the messages were great. On several ocassions i was close to tears.

I also included a new segment into the program called “From an Inmate’s Diary.” It includes the thoughts and ideas of the inmates. Stories about their lives, dreams and aspirations. There was a young lady in studio with me reading the letters and boy i tell you, it was amazing. After each note was read we opened up the phone lines and WOW the callers responded, they loved it and their coments ranged from appreciation for the ladies for sharing their stories to appreciating the fact that they are hearing directly the words of those in prison. It was a hit and somethng that we will do again.

Reading this made me cry

I sat in my office with a couple of friends talking about life and what it really means to us, and for a moment i wondered where my life was going. I did not question if what i was doing was the right thing because i made a decision a long time ago to do something with my life that would result in me sharing the blessings that i was given. as we sat here and talked i logged on to the jamaica Observer web site and typed my name in the search area only to see a series of articles which feature the work i’m currently invloved with in the prison. one of them struck me so much so that reading it brought tears to my eyes, and so i thought i would share. if there was even the slightest thought in my mind about giving up, this article erased that thought completely. the power of love, what an amazing thing. Charley i thank you for this medium, what a wonderful way to express one’s self. here is a copy of the letter

Dear Editor,

I’m glad that the Observer has finally recognised the need to highlight the positive men and women of our society. Too often our cover stories glorify those who are heartless criminals among us. My story is about a man who has been working single-handedly to change the situation of our penile institutions. Today, as crime spirals out of control, everyone feels that it is their duty to prescribe remedies. Some argue that the police need more ammunition and improved tactics; the youths need employment; government needs to sever ties with gunmen; and the private sector needs to report extortionists. However, no one is speaking about the situation of our prisons. None of us seem to recognise that at least 80 per cent of those in prison will be released and on the streets again. We fail to understand that many of the hardened criminals that now ply our streets were made that way by their prison experience. So while we make recommendations, the problems will continue to persist if we do not take a stand.

Thankfully, one man has. Kevin Wallen – an entrepreneur – has done, and continues to do, tremendous work within the prisons. With his small but effective group called Students Expressing Truth (SET), he has implemented a rehabilitation process that introduces its members to a wide variety of courses, especially in the area of Information Technology.
This group can be credited for Spelling Bee, quiz and debating competitions, which are all being marvellously executed in the prisons. In addition, the group has done a wonderful Information Technology Expo, which truly attests to the power of reform.

Interestingly, these stories barely make the paper, but the frivolous demands of prisoners command the front page.

Kevin has invested millions of his personal funds, persisted despite criticism (from colleagues of the same private sector that is now clamouring for change) and has spent thousands of hours of his personal time in motivating and speaking with these offenders. He has even done the “unthinkable” and has employed those who are released in his business. It is heart-warming to watch him make himself selflessly available to these men who demand his attention, especially after being released. He often digs deep into his pockets without any complaint, providing ex-criminals with the funds necessary to make a start, and makes the trip to pick them up when released, and drives them home in dignity. It is no wonder that none of his members are recidivists. In fact, this proves that rehabilitation works. If we do nothing to help those in prison acquire a skill or make improvements in their personal lives, what is the use of building more prisons? It will be a waste of the country’s resources if plans are not made to rehabilitate prisoners, as they are to improve police tactics and ammunition. Both go hand in hand.

Kevin is really an excellent example of what it means to take action when we are unhappy with the situation around us. It is not enough to simply sit (stand) in the uptown park of New Kingston, demanding change. Kevin has the foresight and the good sense that many of us lack. He has set an example and I salute him as a powerful Jamaican whose work will not go unnoticed.

Lecia Gordon

what all this means to me

Charley and i sat on the phone for a while this morning talking and writing my first blog, then he red this thing to me that jackie wrote and i must tell you it made my day. for someone who met me and only spent a little time to think that much of me means the world to me. but that is only the biginning of it. the way the Berkman Center has taken me in is just amazing to me and i can’t tell you how good that makes me feel to know that what a lot of folks thought was a bad idea has made a difference in the lives of so many. Charley you are the man, you saw the vision and ran with it, since i have met you so much has happened and the program is poised and ready to make a great impact on Jamaica and then the world.

a few days ago i had a meeting at my office with some of the members of the SSET Group who are now on the outside and i must tell you it felt good to have a meeting with them in the confrence room and not in a prison.

one of the guys Raymond, he was in prison for almost seven years the story he told was just amazing. his life is one that we can all learn from and i can’t wait to tell his story or better yet i can’t wait to have him tell his story.

not everyone gets the jamaica project, not everyone understands the SSET project and i understand that but over the next little while i will bring you up to speed the best way i can, and perhaps you will be able to see it through our eyes. each time i talk about this project i ger goose bumps. why? because i have never been a part of something so powerfull.


i have urged Kevin to become a blogger and have opened up this page as a place for him to begin. He has just come live with broadband in the new SSET offices in Kingston, which we are officially opening when i am in Jamaica next Tuesday, December 6. We spent an hour or so this morning downloading skype and then talking through the process of entering a message here. Below find Kevin’s first message. Incidentally, i had the pleasure of passing on to Kevin Jackie Harlow’s description of him in a journal entry she has just sent me.

Kevin embodies Jamaica. He is larger than life. Proud and strong like the mountains, peaceful and persistent like the lapping waters, energetic and hopeful like the school children running through the streets, and soulful like the old men sitting on the stoops of the shanties.

The entry above – what all this means to me – is Kevin’s first blog message.