Saving Boston's Long Wharf Park From Extinction

Have you visited the beautiful and historic Long Wharf Park on Boston Harbor? And what do you do when the government goes rogue?

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), in defiance of the Massachusetts Constitution, is trying to turn Long Wharf Park into a late-night restaurant and bar. The Massachusetts Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature before public parkland can be converted to other uses. The vote has not happened, and the BRA is telling the world that it is unneeded. As featured in today's Boston Globe, ten local residents, including me, have been trying to force the government to obey the constitution.

New Lawyers in New York Must Give First 50 Hours Free

Fascinating article in today's Times, by Anne Barnard:

Starting next year, New York will become the first state to require lawyers to perform unpaid work before being licensed to practice, the state’s chief judge announced on Tuesday, describing the rule as a way to help the growing number of people who cannot afford legal services.

The approximately 10,000 lawyers who apply to the New York State Bar each year will have to demonstrate that they have performed 50 hours of pro bono work to be admitted, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said. He said the move was intended to provide about a half-million hours of badly needed legal services to those with urgent problems, like foreclosure and domestic violence.

Lawyers Always Win, or: That's Why It's Called a Plea Bargain

From a Wall Street Journal article about Raj Rajaratnam's failed insider-trading defense strategy:

Mr. Rajaratnam is estimated to have paid as much as $40 million for his defense, according to people familiar with the matter and some lawyers not affiliated with the case, about two-thirds of the amount prosecutors said Galleon made from the insider trading addressed in the charges.

I bet I could have gotten him convicted on all 14 counts for $5 million, and I'm not even a lawyer.

Does Internet Elusive Equal Hollywood Exclusive?

Today nearly every company and organization has a website—there are by some counts nearly half a billion of them (and a Google estimate suggested one trillion unique URLs). Yet if you search for the website of the most important law firm in Hollywood, Ziffren Brittenham, you won’t find it. (Disclosure: Ken Ziffren is a colleague and trustee at UCLA Law School).

Similarly, even a casual fan of TV and film knows that the Creative Artists Agency, or CAA, is one of the biggest power centers in Hollywood. CAA does have a website. But it doesn’t tell you anything beyond the addresses of the firm’s various offices.

Have these major Hollywood players not heard of the internet? Or do they have some other strategy?

What Would the World Look Like if Economists Were in Charge?: Full Transcript

Stephen J. DUBNER: If you would please just tell me your name and what you do. John ZOGBY: John Zogby, pollster. I’m the Zogby poll. DUBNER: John, you know what Americans think about a lot of things. Now, what do Americans think about politicians, the people running our country right now? ZOGBY:  It’s pretty much at a low […]