Final course grades posted on CUNYfirst!!

Dearest Students!

It’s a Christmas miracle!!  I have entered your final course grades on CUNYfirst!

As I said previously, it has truly been my pleasure to work with each of you this semester.  I hope you learned a lot, I did!  And I hope you had at least some fun, I had TONS!!  I also hope that I can work with each of you again in the future, either in a course, or academic advisement, or extracurricular activities, or any capacity that might be useful to you.  Please keep in touch!  I want to hear about all the great successes I know you’ll achieve, and any struggles where you think I can help.

Most importantly, I pray that you and your families stay safe and healthy.  Things are getting really scary again, and we all need to be extremely cautious, but sometimes that doesn’t even work.  If I can ever help any of you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, and Happy Life!  See you in 2022!!

Prof. C.

Final exam grades posted!

Hello Students!  I hope you are all recovering well from the Fall semester.  Good news!  I have entered your final exam grades for each of our courses in the “GradeBooks” here on OL (linked at bottom right corner of home page).  Bad news: I probably won’t get your final course grades posted to CUNYfirst till Monday. 🙁  When I do, I’ll post a notice here.

Have a great weekend, and a merry Christmas if you’ll celebrate it!  And PLEASE stay safe and healthy.

Prof. C.

Court Observation

I didn’t attend the court observation but I was able to join the live stream. Even though the live stream was a little  laggy or maybe it was my wifi, I was able to see it. I like how the attorneys would go back and forth with each other. They looked formal and they were well prepared. And I know it take a lot to be well organized and well-prepare to go against someone. This is something I enjoyed and wished I was there to observe rather than online. I also watched the case with Kyle Rittenhouse I believe was the name and I saw how his attorney was ready and formal. He was also formal and prepared to make Kyle look good.  Looking at this made me realize that I like this and it could be something I would like to do. 

Law In Culture

For this assignment I chose the movie “The Clovehitch Killer” By: Christopher Ford. This movie was released on September 22, 2018

 

This is my second time watching the movie because I really enjoyed watching “The Clovehitch Killer ”. I love watching anything that is thrilling and mysterious. This movie was essentially about a perfect family that had the afternoon as “family time” and they even went to church. The gossip that was going around at Tyler school is that there is a serial killer going around and killing people. Every time the serial killer would kill someone the serial killer wouldn’t leave any trace behind or any evidence. There was this girl that was into solving mysteries and she started off with the Clovehitch killer. One day Tyler went into his Dad’s shed and he noticed a lot of spooky things that would have him thinking that his dad is the serial killer. As Tyler and the girl team up they keep finding evidence that his father is the killer. For example, they find pictures of the victim along with their driver’s license. Come to find out that Tyler caught his father in action about to kill a lady so the girl  teamed up with Tyler to take him to the police but Tyler’s father shot himself instead. Then the girl tells Tyler that she was into this stuff because the clovehitch killer killed her mom and that was one of the pictures attached with a driver license that Tyler saw in his dad’s shed. 

I don’t think that this movie portrayed any legal concept in this course. I was expecting for the father to get caught by the police or someone and arrested. Taken to jail and shown the trail that the father was supposed to get. One thing I would say is that the girl’s grandmother had something to do with some legal work that led the girl into this mystery. One thing I would say is that they could have shown the police involved more instead of the girl doing herself with Tyler. Almost every movie like this has a similar ending except for this one. 

If the father was caught in like a mid movie with him getting arrested. If the author showed Tyler’s father in the court and the trial of Tyler’s father that would portray some sort of legal concept from this course. Because we would have seen how the attorney goes back and forth in court and how the judge decides the sentencing of the father. I was a little upset when I finished watching this movie b/c I realized that it didn’t show any legal concept from our course. 

 

Law in Culture Review

For my Law in Culture review I chose the movie Legally Blonde directed by Robert Luketic released July 13th 2001. The movie holds a 4.7-star rating on Google and has spawned 3 spin-offs with a 4th being set to released in theaters May 20 2022. Since its release, many movies have parodied its more well-known scenes, with the line “So you’re breaking up with me because I’m too…. Blonde?” even becoming a viral trend on the social media app Tik-Tok.

The movie is about a 21-year-old blonde girl named Elle Woods and her quest to win back the man who she believes to be her true love. The movie starts off with Elle and her then boyfriend Warner going on a date on which she believes he will propose to her, he does the opposite and breaks up with her because she is too blonde and he says he needs to marry somebody serious if he’s ever going to become a senator like the other men in his family. She leaves the restaurant crying and locks herself in her dorm for a week crying and eating until her two best friends eventually take her to get her nails done. After seeing a newspaper clipping with Warner’s brother and his fiancée she decides to attend Harvard Law School in order to prove that she can be serious and that she is worthy of marriage.

The story includes the murder of the millionaire Henthory Windham and the trial of his wife fitness enthusiast Brooke Windham who is 34 years younger and the primary suspect since she was seen standing over his dead body by his daughter and her “boyfriend” the pool boy Salvator. Brook also happens to have graduated from the same sorority Elle attended before leaving for Harvard. Elle goes to get Brooke’s alibi since she won’t speak to anybody else, it’s then revealed that Brooke won’t admit to where she was because she was getting liposuction and if the public finds out her career will be ruined. Once she returns Elle’s boss asks her what the alibi was however, she refused to reveal it since it was a private discussion between her and a client. This is would be considered confidentiality as it is considered malpractice to reveal a client’s private information to a third party or anybody, they request it not to be revealed to. After the witness testimony where Salvator claims to be having an affair with Brooke, Elle realizes that he’s gay when he is able to correctly identify the brand name of her heels. One of the defense lawyers uses this to get Salvator to admit to being gay while on the stand which invalidates his claims of an affair. During the testimony of the daughter, it is revealed that she was the one who shot her father and not her step mother because she was mad that her father would marry somebody her age.

At first, I thought I would hate the movie but as I watched it I realized it’s pretty good and it made me laugh a couple of times too. The movie opened my eyes too as it addressed real issues women face in a field like law which used to be dominated by men such as discrimination and sexual harassment. I say this because the law professor who had originally hired Elle revealed that he only did so because she thought she would be willing to sleep with him to further her career and once she declined he started saying that she would never be able to win the case simply because she’s just a dumb blonde. I bring this up because growing up I was used to seeing more women lawyers than men so something like that happening in a movie as lighthearted as this one really caught me off guard and showed me that if even a comedy movie brings it up it has to be a very common issue even in law.

 

 

Law and Culture Review

For my law in culture review, I watched How to Get Away with Murder. This show was released on September 25, 2014 and lasted until May 14, 2020. It has six seasons and sixty episodes. It is about a brilliant defense attorney and part-time professor (Annalise Keating), who teaches criminal law or as she preferred to call it “How to get away with murder”. Every year she selects a group of her students to go and work with her at her law firm. The students who were chosen, worked for her as paralegals throughout the show while being investigated for high-profile cases in which they broke the law, but surprisingly got away with it.

The show is mostly about criminal cases; nevertheless, there are several scenarios that portrays what has been thought in our classes. For instance, the way the federal court system works. In our Civil Procedure class, we learned that Federal courts have two types of jurisdiction, federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction. On the show Annalise takes a class action lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court. In order to get there, the case had to meet the requirements (in this case federal question jurisdiction) which were violations to the 6 and 14 amendments, then Annalise had to go through to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where she lost and finally appeal to U.S Supreme Court. They emphasized how the U.S Supreme Court only take 2% of the cases submitted, but she still submitted a writ of certiorari, which was granted. Other aspect that portrayed our classes specially Introduction to paralegal studies was the violation of the 3C’s confidentiality, competence and conflicts of interest. I cannot recall how many times they broke them, but I could see how it affected every case.

I would say the show has some scenarios that are not realistic at all; however, most of it did accurately portray what the law field is, for example the paralegals conducting research, interviewing witness, the consequences of violating ethical duties, lawyer arguing with each other on court and the court system. My favorite episode was Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which is the one where Annalise goes to the U.S. Supreme Court. On this episode Olivia Pope from scandal (another TV show related to law) come alone and help Annalise with the class action lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court. I would definitely recommend this show, it is entertaining and a little bit addictive I would say.

Court Observation

 After visiting the court house I noticed that it did give me a better understanding of what goes on in this field work. Something that I found interesting was how dismissive the judges were. They almost showed some signs of them not even wanting to be there, they were very fast and direct. I also noticed that with this behavior from the judges it affected some of the attorneys. They would freeze up sometimes or repeatedly say “um”. I think that this visit put a more serious and real perspective of this career path in my head. It was very clear how hard working these attorneys were, especially one that stood out to me which was the guy who had two cases back to back. Having cases like that should sound a little stressful but he was able to clearly and firmly get through his position, while keeping it short and directly to the point. Which seemed like what the judges liked. One thing that I do wish to understand a little bit more is how these attorneys prepare for their cases because this is not something we quite see in the court. I’m pretty sure it takes a lot to prepare for cases and make sure you know everything that you’re doing. As well as feeling comfortable while presenting the case because if not that’s something the judges might notice. Overall I feel like this was a very important experience for me because it opened me up to what my life may be like if I chose to continue down this career path. 

 

Law in Culture Review

The documentary The Women and The Murderer directed by Mona Achache and Patricia Touranchea and was released on September 9th, 2021.

The Women and The Murderer is based on a true crime that took place in France in the 90’s. From the year 1991 through 1997 serial killer, Guy Georges, had gruesomely murdered eight women. During this time France did not have a DNA database and there were many completely against it. Throughout the documentary the viewers are introduced to many women from attorneys, victims’ mothers and sisters, one victim that was able to get away and a court journalist. They all tell the story about how they all worked together to find, arrest, and prosecute Guy Georges in a field that was dominated primarily by men at the time. 

The whole documentary takes place in France through their court system however, there are a lot of similarities to the US court system. There was the lead detective (inspector), Martine Monteil, the defence attorney, Frederique Pons, and the plaintiff attorney, Solange Doumic just like what would happen in a US trial. Guy Georges had been killing women from the early 90’s but wasn’t arrested and put on trial until 2001. This is where the statute of limitation would come into play. Guy Georges was given a fair trial, there was a jury, he had a lawyer, he was put on the stand for questioning just like any other trial would play out and it only lasted five days until he confessed on the stand, making his trial “speedy”.

I think The Women and The Murderer accurely potryes the legal field even though it isn’t based in the US.The documernrty shows the audience step by step before the trial even started, before they even knew who was killing these women in France. In the documentary, they present the evidence they had against him and talk about his confession and how long he would be going to prison for. I would recommend The Women and The Murderer because it shows how hard everyone worked to catch and prosecute Guy Georges. It shows the beginning all the way to the end and shows how powerful women can be even in a field that is dominated by men. It has made me more interested in the law and the legal profession seeing everything that goes into the trials and even before it. 

 

 

Law in Culture

In my law in culture review, I was able to watch scandal. Scandal is a show about how a group of paralegals in a private law firm call them self’s gladiators. When it comes to paralegals of course you’re going to need the main lawyer to carry out the law which is named Olivia Pope. The show first aired in April 2012 with 7 amazing seasons. This show won many awards like NAACP Image Award, Peabody Award, BET Award for Best Actress, and many more.

 

The show only deals with criminal cases, no civil cases sadly but it does make the show more interesting. I think they do a pretty good job at portraying a real paralegal and lawyer, but it could be a little dramatic, It could just be the show side. 1 paralegal named Quinn Perkins, we saw her do a lot of things for Olivia. For example, she was able to file papers, interview clients, and many more.

My favorite episode was when a paralegal accidentally signed a paper that Olivia was supposed to sign. I watched the whole episode on how they went to court and the judge was confused on who Quinn was and the case was lost, and she lost her job for it and the law firm rep was ruined. I want to see how the show continues when I keep watching it. We even saw an appeal that went to the supreme court and many more different types of appeals.

Laila Clarke- Court Observation

I watch the court case on zoom. A big thing I noticed was how swiftly the judges and attorneys moved about things. Everything was very straight to the point. Everyone knew exactly what was going on, without any confusion. With the number of cases judges see per day, I would have thought they would need to be refreshed oh much each case was about, however, they were very informed on everything going on.