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Monthly Archive for May, 2009


i q, in frqnce typing on q french keyboqrd; zhich is not the one ,y hqnds knoz: security; fro, fere en tqrdinois; q cqstly zith q ,ote qround: zhq hqs the ,ost pozerful gqngm he zho does co,,qnds the hill: in our ti,e our nqtion held itself secure for q period by being strong enough thqt no one dqred qttqck: qnd ,ost did not zqnt to: this depended on the i,qge of q,ericq in the zorld: q,ericq zqs q shining light; q sy,bol of de,ocrqcy:

bush qnd cheney zere zrong in their strqtegy becquse they let the story be told thqt this qttqck got to q,ericq qnd forced us to shoz zhqt our ene,y sqys is our true dqture: ze gqve the, evidence to the zorld:

obq,q is on the right line but ,erely sqying it is the first step tozqrd re=qttqining it; qnd once ze hqve been seen by the zorld to hqve been driven off it ze hqve confir,ed the fqith qnd belief of those ze hqve trqined to hqte us

obq,q needs q rhetoricql strqtegy to credibly reqssert the fundq,entql co,,it,ent to de,ocrqcy of our constitution: he is hi,self ,ost credible zhen qsserting qnd teqching the constitution: i sqy his best ,ove beyond doing his very best to hold the decency line he enunciqted zould be to co,e in zith so,ething totqlly unexpected; totqlly trqnsfor,qtive; zhich qllozs hi, to speqk directly to the q,ericqn ideql; the role of citiwen; zhqt it ,eqns to be q,ericqn; zhich hqs the potentiql to help q,ericqns redefine the,selves qnd by doing so beco,e once qgqin credible to qn obq,q zorld:

the q,ericqn jury% restore it to its plqce: rebuild it qs the bulzqrk of liberty

security in q cyber qge hqs ,ore to do zith story:

All the King’s Children

Hi Professor Nesson,

I want to thank you for the three most inspiring classes I took at law school. Your classes challenged me and pushed me to think in directions I never would have imagined. One of the most vital truths I often was reminded of in your class is that the structure of how a message is delivered, is as important as the content itself, so with that in mind, my final paper for American Jury is attached. I also signed up to do an additional credit of work regarding my marijuana and Judaism paper, so I filmed a video, its on YouTube, of my soulmate (read: second life avatar) Rabbi Shtreimel, delivering a sermon in virtual synagogue on the topic. Here is the link:

Good luck with everything in the future! I’ll be following the headlines!

David Gross
Professor Nesson
American Jury
Spring ‘09

All the King’s Children

A long time ago, in a far away world, an epic fairytale (without a fairy) unfolded. Twelve unsuspecting, unbiased, unprepared, uninitiated, and unlikely children were methodically hand-selected for their profound weaknesses. Yanked from their families, these children would soon enough be thrust into an unwitting battle with a power hungry, robe-wearing, menace, the King of all the land, who was notorious for wielding a hammer-like scepter. But let us not jump ahead.

It all started with a royal letter. “BRING FORTH YOUR CHILDREN FROM YOUR DIRTY LITTLE HOVELS LEST THEY BE ENTRAPPED IN MY DUNGEON!” it read. Not surprisingly, the vague letter reached its desired effect. In the month of Adar of that year, every male and female child, throughout the land, was collected and brought to the King’s stables, the stuffiest, sweatiest, smelliest, building in the whole county. The children were most uncomfortable, but nobody was concerned. Throughout the day, a lucky few children (or so they thought) were chosen, at random, to leave the stables, and march over to the royal court (which was nearby, but not near enough). One by one, these “lucky” children were paraded in front of the King, to be evaluated for their potential for subversion.
“Your highness!” one of the King’s henchmen sharply barked, “That child is unworthy to be in the King’s presence!” With a slam of the notorious scepter, the child was immediately dragged out of the royal court by his feet. As the lore would have it, nobody would ever see him again.

Without missing a beat, the henchmen continued to whittle away at the group of scared little children. “That one was caught stealing!” “That one wears baggy pants!” “That one’s skin color is not to the King’s liking!” “That one has access to magic beans!” By the time the henchmen were through, only twelve “pure” children remained in the King’s presence. His Highness looked them over, scanned them with his penetrating eyes, and felt satisfied that he had found the most frail, impotent children in all the land.

In time, these twelve children would learn to rely on each other. But for now, they were too intimidated to even make acquaintances. One precocious speckled child, named Henry, who was obviously underestimated by the obtuse henchmen, seized upon a silence in the royal proceedings to make his voice known. “How long will I be here for?” he whined. Astonished by this brash, high pitch, uncalled for tweet, the wide-eyed henchmen were paralyzed. The King though, grizzled by the battles he had waged to achieve such a lofty position, seemed intrigued, if not willing to entertain this small infraction. Delicately and purposefully, the King said, “My child, do not fear. You will be here only as long as the Law demands it, and not a moment longer.” The scepter slammed creating a loud noise. Even though he was unsatisfied and bewildered by the King’s response, Henry sat down quietly, afraid of the scepter’s power, and chose not to push for more details. Needless to say, the other children in the room were awed by Henry’s courage, and would not soon forget it.

As the sun set on that fateful day, the King retired to his royal palace, in the center of the city. A banquet was being held in his honor, to which he was excited to attend. The children, on the other hand, were carried by the henchmen to a small, solitary, sleeping quarter at the edge of town. When they arrived at the deserted and dark destination, the henchmen bid the children farewell and promised to return first thing in the morning to pick them up for “royal service”. With that cold goodbye, the henchmen departed to their families, who were awaiting their arrival dutifully.

The children were now alone in the darkness, and as any new parent knows, such a lethal combination can cause even the most confident child to unleash deafening cries. Most of the children quickly fell asleep, as if to block out the trauma of the day. Not Henry though. As tears began to slowly crawl out of his sad eyes, Henry’s heavy breathing morphed into a small whimper. Just as he was about to lose total self control, a soft hand brushed his shoulder.

A young girl whispered, “Don’t be sad. Everything will be okay.” The shock of her sweet touch helped console Henry’s nerves. He could barely make out her shadow in the darkness, but just knowing that she was there was reassuring. Henry managed to get out a few coherent words before losing himself once again in emotion. “I miss my mommy. I want to go home.” The little girl nodded in agreement. She could relate to the natural desire to return to the security of the world she knew best. Yet, she persisted, “We can’t go home yet. The King won’t allow it.” Henry, whose anger towards the King had been building furiously since being silenced in court, became enraged at the mere mention of his name. “But the King went home tonight! He got to see his mother!” The little girl listened intently to his emotional outburst, but either brilliantly or ignorantly responded, “You heard the King in court. We will go home when the Law allows it. Not a moment later.” The two children, Henry and Wendy, continued talking into the night, and before long they were both dreaming of memories past.

The next morning, the henchmen woke the children from their slumber. They traveled together from the remote cave in which the children slept, to the royal court. The King was waiting for their arrival. “Welcome, my children” he bellowed. “Welcome to my royal court, where you will have the esteemed honor and privilege to serve the entire county. You have been selected from amongst all the children of the land, because you are the most qualified to listen and carry out my instructions. After all, I am the King, and if what I say is followed, everyone in the county will be better off.” The King slammed his scepter, and the children quivered with fear.

The children were immediately put to work. Annabelle, Aaron, and Alex, were ordered to shine the King’s shoes. Billy, Bertha, and Bethany, buffed the King’s throne with toothbrushes. Charlie, Camille, and Carlton, polished the royal goblet. Finally, Henry, Wendy, and Mendy, were sent to wash the royal lavatory. Although the King often relied on his henchmen to interact with the children, every so often His Highness would speak (down) to them directly, usually to reassert his dominance. Months went by, and nothing changed.

Since there were only two henchmen, and one King, one of the four groups of children was always left unsupervised. On this particular day, Henry, Wendy, and Mendy, were left to their own devices. Henry and Wendy had become fast friends since that first night in the cave, many months ago; Mendy was more than happy to act as a third wheel. As the trio was scrubbing the royal shower, Wendy began crying. “I’m sorry” she said, directed at Henry. “We have been serving the King for so long. When I met you, that first night, I sincerely thought that a day would come when the Law would no longer be in need of our services. Now I fear that that day will never come.” Henry tried to reassure her, but nothing would quench her despair.

Suddenly, Mendy stood up. Something in Wendy’s words resonated deeply with him. Mendy, who was ordinarily the silent type, could no longer contain himself. “The Law?” he asked skeptically. “I have never even seen the Law. How can something invisible keep us captive?” Henry and Wendy were astonished. Not only was Mendy speaking (to other people), but his words were inflammatory, and showed the promise of subversion. Just at that moment, the door swung open and none other than the King was standing there.

The children were frozen in fear, and after bowing in respect, they quickly shuffled out of the facility to give His Highness his royal privacy. Fortunately, the King had not overheard their conspiracy. He had simply come to take a shower. The children breathed a sigh of relief, but Henry, inspired by Mendy’s passionate display, felt impelled to act on all of their behalf. He quietly reentered the royal lavatory, tiptoed as silently as his tiny child feet would allow for, and without knowing what exactly he was about to do, he stole the royal hammerhead scepter, as the King was busy bathing. As Henry turned to escape, Wendy and Mendy were standing beside him, holding the royal robes. The three children quickly ran out of the bathroom, unsure of what they had done.

Suddenly, a deep, resonating voice blasted forth from their stolen spoils. The entire palace shook with vibrations. The other children came running, as did the fresh faced henchmen. The King, still covered in shampoo, stumbled furiously out of the lavatory, screaming incoherently. Without his robes and his scepter, the King looked just like a little boy, and could have easily blended into the other children. The hammerhead scepter began to speak. “I am the Law!” And then, as if taking on a personality of its own, the scepter looked squarely at the King, and said, “And who the hell are you!”

The End.

new meaning

girl picked out the hat, a flair for fashion on Twitpic

is this disrespect

here’s my motion to judge gertner which i did not file because my team thought it disrespectful. i mean and meant no disrespect. my effort was to communicate my objection and my thought directly. i feel the pace of the case requires fluid direct response lest the message be lost in falling over itself in form as this objection was lost because my team thought it in bad form. then let this be a teaching and learning moment. is this bad form, and if so why, and should it make a difference if the alternative comes at cost?


I ask you to reconsider your order prohibiting me from digitally recording a telephonic deposition. I ask you to distinguish rhetorical space for the function of telephonic conference among judge and lawyers from the different rhetorical space suited to the function of on-the-record deposition. I am not here asserting either the right or the intention of immediately serving the digital record of this deposition to the net (thank you to my opponents for their parentheses). I will accede to your considered judgment whatever it may be, albeit with retained objection.

In response to a request from opposing counsel to agree to this deposition by telephone I said yes if I can audio record it. I am not available at the time scheduled for the deposition, nor for certain are any of the five students who have been admitted provisionally to the bar of the court to practice with me in this case. But I would like to listen to it and be able to use a record of it in conferring with my team. If the deposition is to be used at trial I would like to have the deponent’s voice and tone as well as the stenographer’s text (which we protest at having to purchase if we are to have a record at all). My assistant is able without cost to call in on the conference line and audio record what transpires with my digital recorder. As I read the federal rules of civil procedure I am at least entitled to an exercise of your discretion to permit this.

I claim a right to audio record this deposition as part of Joel’s right to counsel. This is the cheapest and most efficient way of evidencing it.


Respectfully submitted,

Charles Nesson
Counsel for Joel Tenenbaum

Dated: May 4, 2009

SET Jamaica

rebecca-argudin-stephanie-wittenauer[this from rebecca argudin and stephanie wittenaur with wicked dan brown leaning in]

From Kingston to Cambridge: What 2 Harvard Law School Students Learned from 20 Jamaican 9th Graders

As second-year law students at Harvard Law School, we have arguably been exposed to the best education that money can buy. Our professors are world-renowned legal scholars, and our fellow students are future Congresspersons and Supreme Court justices. And yet, after two years of classes here at Harvard Law, we can both honestly say that we have learned our most valuable lessons from twenty underprivileged 9th graders in Jamaica.

Each week this semester, we met with students from Ascot High School in Kingston, Jamaica, via Internet video chatting. With just a laptop computer and Internet access, we were able to instantly connect with students thousands of miles away.

Throughout the semester, we taught the students various lessons using fun and challenging strategic games. Although we prepared lesson plans and acted as teachers, we soon found that these students were actually teaching us in ways we had never expected.

Here are some of the most memorable lessons we learned…

Lesson #1: Kids have so much to say; they just need someone who is willing to listen

From the moment we first logged on to the video chat, it was apparent that the kids were eager and ready to interact with us. One by one, they walked up to the camera, waved to us, and started talking. They sang their school song, danced, asked us questions, and just talked to us about anything and everything. There was never any need to worry about if our lesson plan was too short or whether we would run out of things to say, as the kids were ready and willing to fill the time with questions, stories, and intriguing conversations. We learned about their lives, their school, their culture and even their uniforms, and shared with them anything they wanted to know about ourselves, the United States, and Harvard. We were so impressed by their politeness, vivid stories, and eloquent questions. We learned more than we could have ever imagined from these impromptu conversations and hopefully were able to satisfy a little bit of their curiosity about us. These students are so eager to learn new things and share their thoughts, but they need someone who is willing to listen. Once the spotlight is on them, and they have an audience, the possibilities are endless.

morning mail from jamaica

From: Barbara Ellington
Date: Sun, May 3, 2009 at 10:02 PM

Charley’s Questions
SET: Students Expressing Truth

1. Besides the beauty of the landscape and the warmth of the people, what are your reasons for using the Berkman Center for Internet and Society to help Jamaica?

2. Has it been successful; what else would you like to achieve here?

3. How would you describe the progress made by Jamaica as a country and technologically over the years you have been visiting Jamaica?

4. Name five things that could reform Jamaica’s prison system.

5. With the high crime rate in the island and the daily growing statistics, what other realistic steps can we take to combat crime?

6. What propelled you to become involved in the civil rights issues in a positive way? Was there a positively defining moment between you and black folks back home?

7. Another law professor from Harvard, Charles Ogletree, taught the Obamas at Harvard, did you teach him or come in contact with him? What kind of student was he?

8. You told me that you admire him (President Obama), why is this so? Knowing him as you do, what do you think he will take from his exposure to and knowledge of constitutional law into his choice for the Supreme Court vacancy?

9. I have met people from age 19 to 90 who have said, given America’s racist history, they did not expect to see a black president of the United States in their lifetime. Given what you know of your country, did you expect it?

10. I don’t believe in miracles but after only 100 days, your countrymen and woman almost expected Obama to turn water into wine, what improvements to foreign policy and the economy do you expect to see at the end of the first term?

11. How has the poker initiative been going?

12. What else would you like to accomplish in your life’s work?

13. What thrills you; makes you sad or surprises you about life?