September 20, 2019

Winter Season 5: "One Night, One Person”. Keep the Homeless Alive.

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You say you would really like to help the urban homeless on both cold and super-cold Northeastern and Midwestern nights? Both plain cold and the bitterly cold, often unpredictable nights that many cities are prepared to accommodate more homeless residents at shelters but for a number of reasons (both good and bad) thousands of Americas's rough sleepers take their chances outside?

Good. So see our inaugural post about our One Night, Person (March 5, 2015) campaign and our follow-up March 7, 2015 post. No, we don't have time to go over all of this again; we're working stiffs like you. Just read the posts.

Once again, and in short, here is the idea and the rules:

You're a Yuppie, professional or other generic dweeb between the ages of 22 and 82.You live in towns like New York City, Philly, Boston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Wilmington, DC or Chicago. Or similar cities in Europe. Or Asia. Generally? Think Northern Hemisphere. Planet Earth. Wherever Yuppies roam. You may live in the suburbs or in a downtown neighborhood of these cities. But if you work during the day in a downtown area of any of them, you and yours will go forth and do this:

1. Pick out and ask a homeless woman or man what articles of warm clothing she or he needs that you already have at home or in storage--thermal gloves, wool scarfs, warm hats and beanies, big sweaters, winter coats, thermal underwear, socks, etc.

2. Ask just one person at a time.

3. Agree on a time to meet (preferably at the same place) later that day or the next day.

4. Find the winter stuff you have at home or in storage.

5. Bring said stuff to the homeless woman or man as agreed.

6. Nine out of ten times, your new friend will be there when you show up.

7. Wait for forecasts of the next super-cold night--and repeat.

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Boomers

Boomers are still It. It will be a while until we see that kind of moxie again. All out. Every day. Until the last dog dies. Boomers will walk through walls to get stuff done.

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September 16, 2019

Legal Lolita: Real Life Facebook Messenger Romance.

NOTE and WARNING: A youngish attractive person (by normal people standards) between 18 and 25 from her photo recently "friended" me on Facebook. I apparently accepted thinking she had some personal connection to me; she does not. Today she privately messaged me to chat via Facebook Messenger. We chatted while I was still at my office--I'm a youngish energetic Boomer lawyer; we're all like this, even on Friday nights--in my last half-hour at work. I unfriended her at 7:26 PM. Look, there is nothing more dangerous/ unsexy than this kind of human you meet on the Net. Okay, a bit funny to me maybe. However, if you're a regular homely and/or sexually-frustrated married guy unskilled in philandering, or a part-time or novice cad, this is NOT fun, funny or safe. Do not try this at home; you'll just screw it up, end up on a Chris Hansen NBC show. Am correcting typos/punctuation of her English prose for clarity in this post. Otherwise verbatim:

(Chat Conversation Begin 6:56PM)

HER: Hi

ME: Hi, what's up? Can I help you?

[longish pause]

HER: How are you doing?

ME: Fine. And you?

HER: I am doing well. I am looking for a good man.

ME: That would not be me. I have had 2 or maybe 3 wives and scores of girlfriends and cheated on every one of them. Besides you are way too young for me. Way.

[moderate pause]

HER: You mean you cheated on your wives and GFs?

ME: Yes. Every one of them. I think there's something wrong with me.

[No pause at all but then this non-sequitur response...]

HER: But I believe with love 2 people can overcome age and distance.

ME: Well, I don't. I'm looking for (1) Smith College, (2) brilliance, (3) wit, (4) Anglo-Gaelic breeding, (5) athleticism, (6) world-class beauty, (7) a flat in London and (8) really big trust funds. And (9) right here in DC. Must have all 9.

[another longish pause]

HER: Really?

ME: Yes. Absolutely. How did we get to be FB friends? I may be the wrong Dan Hull. There are lots of Dan Hulls and most are lazy hillbillies like me. Half of us are in jail.

[short pause]

HER: Uhhh...ok.

[Chat Conversation End 7:25pm]


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September 15, 2019

The Church of the Epiphany, Washington, D.C. Built 1844.

Right altar. North side. The Church of the Epiphany (Episcopalian). Built 1844. 13th and G Streets, Northwest. United States.Senator Jefferson F. Davis (D-Mississippi) and his family worshiped here in Pew No. 14 from 1846 until 1861. 2:30 PM June 5, 2019.

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Heroes: The Real Paris.

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In this illustration (here's one from the 1400s) of an important Greek myth, Paris, the Trojan prince, judges a beauty contest. The goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite compete for a golden apple.

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The Pluck & Fineness of Jacob Riis (1849–1914)

Jacob Riis (1849–1914) was a Danish American reformer, journalist and photographer. He is still famous for his photos of New York City's slums and their uneasy mix of new Americans--especially those taken in Hell's Kitchen and around Five Points. Below in the 1890s is Mulberry "Bend" (then sometimes "Lane") in lower Manhattan and within the Five Points. It's now Mulberry Street, which runs through Chinatown and Little Italy.

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September 14, 2019

Charles Clapp's "The Congressman."

What do members of Congress really do, anyway?

What have they done traditionally? True, staffs are bigger now--but much of life on The Last Plantation is the same as 50 years ago. What values, if any, are shared by those on work in Capitol Hill?

The Brookings Institution first published "The Congressman: His Work as He Sees It" by Charles L. Clapp in 1963 (507 pages, Anchor). Congressional fellow, policy wonk and former Capitol Hill aide, Clapp was one of the first Washington "old hands" to study and write about the way a legislator actually thinks and works--as opposed to "how Congress works" generally--in the American Congress.

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Continue reading...

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Seven Habits of Highly Clueless Corporate Lawyers.

Return of EFGB and the Seven Habits. Lawyers who won't take a stand is a time-honored tradition. Ernie from Glen Burnie, a life-long friend of mine, is not such a creature. It's just his nature. He'll stand up for people who pay him--and people he just met on the subway. You can read Ernie's story. It's about an old parchment he claims was discovered in Alexandria, Virginia, around the same time we both began practicing law in the District. Do see "The Seven Habits of Highly Useless Corporate Lawyers". This is a true story, mostly. So listen up.

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Stand-Up Guys: Ernie, a dead-ringer for 1950s icon Neal Cassady, and the author, during their pre-lawyer years in Washington, D.C.

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September 13, 2019

We miss Kay Graham...

Talk about Real Women. If you’re interested in journalism, American politics or great lives, do read the autobiography of Katharine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post 1969-1979. Her “Personal History” won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography.

Personal History, by Katharine Graham (1997 Alfred A. Knopf)

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September 11, 2019

18 Years.

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September 10, 2019

Bring Back Real Women: Parker Posey

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"You don't need the money with a face like that."

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September 09, 2019

Anglos, Saxons, Franks, Frisii: Awfully Good at Government?

Germanic tribes. Good at government? Just lucky? Or something else?

Discuss.

“The most civilized nations of modern Europe issued from the woods of Germany; in the rude institutions of those Barbarians we [received] the original principles of our present laws and manners.”

--Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter IX (1782)

The most civilized nations of modern Europe issued from the woods of Germany; in the rude institutions of those Barbarians we [received] the original principles of our present laws and manners.

--Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter IX (1782)

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Paul Fussell’s “Class”

Read Paul Fussell’s 1983 book “Class: A Guide through the American Status System.” No finer, funnier or painfully accurate book on the subject. Fussell was a Penn professor, WWII combat veteran and (gulp) WASP’s WASP. Read it at your peril. It might bum you out.


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September 08, 2019

Rule 11 of WAC?’s 12 Rules: Treat Each Co-Worker Like He or She Is Your Best Client.

Rule 11: Treat Each Co-Worker Like He or She Is Your Best Client.* Or, Why did Big Sally throw a DC phone book an associate? I still need to get better at this rule. People, of course, are every business's most important asset. So here are three very personal "aspects" of Rule 11, from the 12 Rules. The above is my non-litigation "Rule 11".

And these are, as it were, the "advisory committee notes":

First, in our workplaces, we need great people and we need to treat them with respect--not just buttering up. We need to give them prompt feedback--the good and the bad.

Above all, we need them to grow and be happy. Which frankly is not (like never) your problem unless you let it be. Failure to grow: it's their problem, unless you impede their growth.

(Note to Employers: Please get used to the above. Maybe repeat in over and over again. Get off your knees first. Good. And now say: "Any hire's mediocrity and lack of aspirations is not my fault. It's only my fault if I keep them." Repeat, you big Boomer weenie. Yeah, that's it.)

Second, I have a short fuse. I am focused on what I am doing, and I am not always perfectly nice. To bad guys. To good guys. To people I admire, respect, like and love. And since 1981, I have had approximately 25 secretaries. Okay maybe 35.

Continue reading...

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September 07, 2019

Rule 8. Think Like a Client. Help Control Costs.

Rule 8 is Think Like the Client--Help Control Costs. The 2006 Explanatory Note for Rule 8--we reluctantly decided that an Advisory Committee Notes regime was a bit grandiose--begins this way:

Ask an associate lawyer or paralegal what a "profit" is. You will get two kinds of answers. Both answers are "correct" but neither of them helps anyone in your firm think like the client. The answers will be something like this. (1) "A profit is money remaining after deducting costs from receipts." This is the correct young transactional/tax lawyer answer. Or (2) "it's money left over at the end of the hunt." This is the correct fire-breathing young litigator answer.

The right answer?

A profit is a reward for being efficient. And until a lawyer, paralegal or staffer gets that, she or he will never know how a client--or a law firm partner--thinks.

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September 06, 2019

Benjamin Disraeli on Writing Well.

When I want to read a good book, I write one.

--Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

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John Irving on Editing.

Half my life is an act of revision.

--John Irving (1942-)

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September 05, 2019

Partner Emeritus: On the Sanctity of Associate Lawyer Privacy Rights.

If you work for a peer firm, you will encounter me or someone very much like me. I or some form of my embodiment will exist to make your existence as uncomfortable and unpleasant as it can be.

-- Partner Emeritus, New York City, September 3, 2009

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I've loved practicing law. After three years of working on Capitol Hill, I became one of two associates in the small DC branch office of a now-defunct Pennsylvania firm. They gave me a wonderfully eclectic mix of work to do: environmental litigation, energy law, U.S. Supreme Court practice and lobbying for coal companies and banks. In two years the DC office merged with a bigger DC-based firm. We went from 10 to 35 lawyers. And I went from a window office on Eye and 15th, N.W. off McPherson Square to a smaller no-window office three blocks down the street at International Square. I was a 4th or 5th year associate. I didn't complain. I drew a picture of a sun and posted it on the wall.

Meanwhile, up in New York City, and at about the same time, Partner Emeritus' white shoe firm was negotiating a lease renewal--and the Great Man would have gone one step further:

Back in the early '80s when my firm negotiated its lease renewal, I ardently advocated to take less space as I thought placing associates in offices was a waste of resources. Offices are for closers and relevant playmakers who need personalized space to entertain clients. Given that young associates are not permitted to directly interact with clients, there is simply no need for them to have offices.

One of my pet peeves when I was at the firm was the contumacious habit of associates who closed their doors. Whenever I saw an associate's door closed, I assumed he/she was doing one of the following: 1) taking a nap; 2) checking their private email account (e.g., Ashley Madison, etc.); 3) masturbating; 4) engaging in personal phone calls; or, 5) watching internet porn.

As far as I am concerned, associates do not require privacy unless they are on the commode. I personally took a note of all the associates who closed their doors and would often reprimand them or make a notation on their annual review. If it were up to me, I would have had the building maintenance crew remove the doors off of the hinges but I was outvoted on the matter.

I prefer that associates and non-equity partners share the window cubicles. This way, the partners and staff can easily monitor how busy associates are. Moreover, the window cubicles will keep associates on their toes and prevent them from slacking off.

And please spare me the argument that window cubicles dehumanizes associates by making them feel like zoo animals on display. Unlike the animals in the zoo, trust me, no one wants to waste time watching troglodytes push paper.

--Comment by Partner Emeritus to an article by my friend boy wonder David Lat on August 28, 2015 at Above the Law entitled "More Bad News For Biglaw Associates?"


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3rd year associates share 'premium' window cubicle in 1987 (J. Riis).

Copyright 2015 J. Daniel Hull, Ellen Jane Bry, ____ Doe. Best of Partner Emeritus (#6)

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Daniel E. Hull, Sr. (1768-1854)

Missourian John Daniel Hull I (1866-1953) was my great-grandfather. He crowed about my birth and I got to meet him before he died. Below in turn is the grave of his own great-grandfather Virginian Daniel E. Hull, Sr. (1768-1854). With 12 years separating their lives, they unfortunately never met. They were, respectively, 87 and 85 at death. I first visited Daniel's grave on May 6, 2015. It's still beautifully kept by Lutheran church people I don't know and have not met.

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September 04, 2019

William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Return from the Harvest, 1878.

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William-Adolphe Bouguereau, c.1878, Cummer Museum, Jacksonville.

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September 03, 2019

The 12 Rules of Client Service: Get Off Your Knees.

...are right here. Revel in their Wisdom. Ignore them at your Peril. Teach them to The Help.

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September 02, 2019

Cummer Gallery: Rombouts's "The Concert"

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The Concert, c. 1620, Theodoor Rombouts (Flemish, 1597-1637)


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Budapest 2007

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Legal London: Love, Literature and Labor Day.

Here is the complete text of a circa-1595 comedy by Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost. You can read it aloud--or, even better, act it out. First performed before Queen Elizabeth at her Court in 1597 (as "Loues Labors Loſt"), it was likely written for performance before culturally-literate law students and barristers-in-training. The notion was that such well-rounded humans would appreciate its sophistication and wit at the Inns of Court in still over-percolating Legal London. And, most certainly, it was performed at Gray's Inn, where Elizabeth was the "patron". Interestingly, the play begins with a vow by several men to forswear pleasures of the flesh and the company of fast women during a three-year period of study and reflection. And to "train our intellects to vain delight".

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September 01, 2019

Byron Galvez: Rosa, 1989.

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"Rosa", 1989, Byron Galvez (1941-2009)

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August 31, 2019

Pantheon: Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

There's no point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually. I guess that we thought we had a little more time.

--Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then-Assistant Secretary for Labor, a few days after November 22, 1963

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August 30, 2019

The MC5: The Revolution as Serious Fun.

The MC5 truly believed in the power of rock & roll to change the world.

--Rolling Stone

Below is the MC5's Wayne Kramer singing "Ramblin' Rose" at Wayne State University in Detroit in July 1970, two months after the shootings own May 4, 1970 at Kent State. Note that Patti Smith's husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, now deceased, is the non-dancing guitarist in the dark cowboy shirt. One critic: "The MC5 brought out the animal in every audience."

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Real Women: Charlotte Rampling.

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Cannes Film Festival 2001

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Circa 1975

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August 29, 2019

Île Saint-Louis.

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Hotel du Jeu de Paume, 54 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 75004 Paris

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August 28, 2019

Pilgrims Going to Church, George Henry Boughton (1867)

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August 27, 2019

In praise of too-young women: Ah, Porteña.

Lips like cherries and the brow of a queen,
Come on, flash it in my eyes.
You said you dug me since you were thirteen,
Then you giggle as you heave and sigh.

--R. Plant, J. Patrick, Albion Inc.

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Through the circus of the Buenos Aires queens.

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Golfing with Eddie Guest, the People’s Poet, 1919.

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Guest in Detroit, 1935

Enormously popular for the first half of the 20th century, Detroit’s Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959) charmed America with simple and often funny upbeat poems celebrating Midwestern common sense and optimism. No. He’s not my favorite poet. But I’ve a special connection to Guest. He owned a house in a small but storied Michigan summer community where I spent Junes and Julys of the 1960s growing up in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. He died just before my family’s first visit there. His house on Lake Huron was purchased by parents of one of my Detroit classmates. So I often played near and sometimes in that huge dark house made of large dark logs with the largest porch I’d ever seen at the top of Cliff Road. Guest was always closely connected to the place. It seems odd we never met. He was greatly loved and always somehow still alive in that place. At least it seemed that way to me.There was old golf course—one of Michigan’s first coursed—nearby that my brother and I learned on. Guest played the game as wrote several fairly schmaltzy but fun poems about golf. This one appeared in 1919 as part of his highly popular “A Path Toward Home”.

“A Lesson From Golf”

He couldn't use his driver any better on the tee
Than the chap that he was licking, who just happened to be me;
I could hit them with a brassie just as straight and just as far,
But I piled up several sevens while he made a few in par;
And he trimmed me to a finish, and I know the reason why:
He could keep his temper better when he dubbed a shot than I.

His mashie stroke is choppy, without any follow through;
I doubt if he will ever, on a short hole, cop a two,
But his putts are straight and deadly, and he doesn't even frown
When he's tried to hole a long one and just fails to get it down.
On the fourteenth green I faded; there he put me on the shelf,
And it's not to his discredit when I say I licked myself.

He never whined or whimpered when a shot of his went wrong;
Never kicked about his troubles, but just plodded right along.
When he flubbed an easy iron, though I knew that he was vexed,
He merely shrugged his shoulders, and then coolly played the next,
While I flew into a frenzy over every dub I made
And was loud in my complaining at the dismal game I played.

Golf is like the game of living; it will show up what you are;
If you take your troubles badly you will never play to par.
You may be a fine performer when your skies are bright and blue
But disaster is the acid that shall prove the worth of you;
So just meet your disappointments with a cheery sort of grin,
For the man who keeps his temper is the man that's sure to win.

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August 26, 2019

Lower England: "Are you a Man of Kent?"

As with London, and with the County of Suffolk to the north, from where my mother's family came to Massachusetts via Ipswich 384 years ago, I am completely and hopelessly in love with Kent, mainly the eastern ("Men of Kent") part. The County of Kent is the southeastern doorway to the British Isles--it has even more history, legend and myth than London. Lots, and maybe even too much, has happened here during the past 2500 years. Eventually, in 51 BC, Julius Caesar called it Cantium, as home of the Cantiaci. Augustine founded what became the Anglican Church here in about 600 AD. And of course Thomas Becket, Chaucer's "holy blissful martyr", was killed here (Canterbury) in 1170.

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St. John the Baptist, The Street, Barham, Kent

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London, 1835: Ben Disraeli Disses Daniel O'Connell.

Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.

--Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), Parliament, 1835.

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August 23, 2019

Jack London: On Inspiration.

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

--Jack London (1876-1916)

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Charles Baudelaire: On Great Cities.

What strange phenomena we find in great cities. All we have to do is to stroll about with our eyes open.

--Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)

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Benjamin Franklin, a Carrara marble statue in the District of Columbia by Jacques Jouvenal (1829-1905), a German American sculptor. The statue was dedicated on January 17, 1889, at 10th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. It was moved in 1980 to its current site at the Post Office Pavillon at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue. Photo: May 21, 2019

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