New dictionary reviews!

The Civil Law Dictionary I wrote with Stephan Kinsella has been getting some renewed attention lately. The reviews are in and they’re very good!

Last month, Philip Gragg reviewed the Dictionary in the latest issue of LSU’s Journal of Civil Law Studies. From the article:

This work is a great access point to Louisiana law, particularly for those unfamiliar with the state. It is also a quick reference that could be used by practitioners.

Those are two of the main audiences we were shooting for with the Dictionary: out-of-state attorneys just wading into our legal system and practicing Louisiana attorneys needing a quick reminder about words they promptly forgot after taking the bar exam. Success!

Just today, Jeff Richardson reviewed the electronic version of the Dictionary on his blog, iPhone J.D. His review even included some really nice screenshots of the e-book version in action on his iOS devices. Shiny.

His bottom line:

If you practice law in Louisiana, or if you just want to impress your friends with legal terms that almost sound naughty such “naked owner” and “usufruct,” then consider getting this ebook for your iPad and iPhone.

I appreciate that someone else finds those legal terms vaguely dirty. (As for dirty common law terms, have I got a springing executory interest for you.)

Many thanks to both Messrs. Gragg and Richardson for taking the time to write these very nice reviews!

Alton Brown in New Orleans

Alton Brown is coming to Octavia Books on October 19, 2011, to sign copies of the newest volume in the Good Eats series, Good Eats 3: The Later Years.

The cost of a ticket is the price of a copy of the book at Octavia. You trade the ticket for the book at the signing. Unfortunately, the store’s website indicates that Alton will only be signing books purchased from the store. I bought my ticket yesterday, and it came to just over $40 with in-store pickup. Also, for those who want pictures with AB, keep in mind his no-camera-phone policy (third paragraph from the bottom) and bring a real camera.

See you there!

Killer Wants to go to Law School

One of Tulane Law School’s brand new 1Ls is a convicted murderer. According to the newspaper reports quoted in the Above the Law comments, Bruce S. Reilly murdered a Rhode Island Community College professor in 1992. He pleaded no contest to second degree murder, admitting to stabbing the professor twenty-four times, beating him with a fireplace poker, and smashing his head in with a statue. Then he ran off with the late professor’s stereo, credit cards, and 1988 Ford Tempo.

Police got a break in the murder investigation when an informant reported that Reilly had been bragging about the murder. After pleading, Reilly was sentenced to twenty years in prison and was released on parole after twelve.

Now he’s out, and he’s attending Tulane Law School on scholarship. How do the people who applied to Tulane and were rejected feel now that they know who they lost out to? And why would Tulane bother admitting him? J.D.s are refused admission to the bar for misdemeanor DUIs and minor drug convictions all the time; Reilly has no hope of practicing law anywhere. Is it a publicity stunt?

Whatever the school’s reasoning, it’s offensive that Tulane wasted the seat and a scholarship on someone who’ll never practice law. Reilly is a prisoner’s rights advocate. The school should have passed on him and admitted a student with similar interests but less stabby hobbies. That student could have made a difference with his J.D.

The silver lining here, of course, is that Tulane is adopting a progressive, more lenient stance on crime. This is what one of the Deans said after a student stole Mr. Rogers’s shoe a while back:

I’m afraid I cannot overemphasize the gravity of this incident. It appears that one of the students of this Law School committed theft, a serious crime. It is also a violation of the Tulane University Code of Student Conduct. Moreover, what was stolen was of very high value. . . . I hope it is obvious that being under suspicion or arrested in connection with this incident would have the most serious negative implications for your future career as a lawyer.

Thank god Reilly only killed someone to steal his Ford Tempo and not something of very high value. Otherwise, it might have had negative implications for his future legal career.

At least he’s not a gunner.