Weekly Links

Texas mom challenges transgender widow’s marriage
http://www.statesman.com/news/texas/texas-mom-challenges-transgender-widows-marriage-818584.html
A firefighter’s mom is suing to have her son’s marriage voided to prevent his transgender wife from receiving any of his death benefits.  Apparently in Texas, you are always considered the gender of your chromosomes, regardless of your appearance or physical traits.  This is actually a more complicated problem than it seems because there are genetic conditions that cause someone’s gender to be ambiguous.  I can also see a problem where a transgendered individual obtains an updated birth certificate to specify their new gender (in a state that permits this).  If you don’t have to take a chromosome test to get married, how would the clerk know?  Is the state going to void decades-long marriages over a postmortem genetic test?  It raises a lot of problems. 

Legal Blog Case Study
http://lawyerist.com/successful-law-blog-case-study/
What it takes to have a successful legal blog.

People’s Court Oath is Meaningless
http://abovethelaw.com/2010/07/quote-of-the-day-the-peoples-court-gets-benchslapped/
Just because testimony was given “under oath” on the People’s Court doesn’t mean you can use it in subsequent litigation…

The Science Behind “Having a Bad Day” (and How to Solve It)
http://lifehacker.com/5595104/the-science-behind-having-a-bad-day-and-how-to-solve-it

Lawyers: Find freedom from anger, anxiety and stress
http://www.abanet.org/media/youraba/201007/article01.html
“The life of a lawyer isn’t a cakewalk. Constantly judged in terms of winning and losing, and existing in a culture of attack and counterattack, lawyers face countless pressures. The emphasis on perfection that starts in law school seldom lets up once a lawyer is in practice, and the resulting stress only multiplies with impatient clients and exacting bosses.”

 You Can’t Take It With You
http://steveblank.com/2010/07/26/you-cant-take-it-with-you/
“Listening to some of his stories over dinner was entertaining enough, but after awhile I realized I was hearing something else – this trial litigator played strategy while his opponents were using tactics. It turns out that Tom was a student of military history and a chess player. He described preparing for cases like war.”

 How to Rebuild Your Attention Span and Focus
http://lifehacker.com/5596964/how-to-rebuild-your-attention-span-and-focus
Think the internet’s made you totally ADD?  Here’s how to rebuild your focus.  (Meditation actually teaches mindfulness – the ability to keep your mind on one thing and not let it wander.  Practicing meditation can actually build attention span and concentration.  It’s on my list of things I should do but never discipline myself to follow through on)

 Fourth Circuit Decides First Amendment Trumps Social Security Number Privacy
http://abovethelaw.com/2010/07/fourth-circuit-decides-first-amendment-trumps-social-security-number-privacy/
To protest local governments’ refusal to redact SSN’s from land records, a blogger began posting public officials’ and court clerks’ records on her website.  After someone pleaded guilty to identity theft using info from the blog, the state passed a law making her actions illegal.  The fourth circuit found the law to be an unconstitutional restraint on speech and ruled that the blogger is making a powerful statement about the state’s refusal to protect citizens’ SSN’s. 

 Mel Gibson Quotes Presented by Kittens
http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/the-13-worst-mel-gibson-rant-quotes-presented-by
I thought this was a nice wrap-up to our ongoing Mel Gibson coverage.  (Warning – extremely offensive language, courtesy of Mel)

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Emily Miskel

Judge Emily Miskel was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as the first judge of the 470th family district court of Collin County, Texas. She graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School and she is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Find Emily on Google+, Facebook, and other social media.

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