Not really a question: Today I realized I literally billed a client for time I spent scrolling through your tumblr. There's no question here. I just thought you may enjoy knowing that you cost a client roughly $39 of my half-assed attention during a conference call.

perhaps I need to stage a seminar…

  • me:*is trying to sleep*
  • my brain:after the war I went back to New York, a-after the war I went back to New York
  • me:nooo
  • my brain:I finished up my studies and I practiced law
  • me:it's like 2am please no
  • my brain:I practiced law, burr worked next door
  • me, sobbing:please leave me alone
  • my brain:even though we started at the very same time, Alexander Hamilton began to climb how to account for his rise to the top?
  • me, sitting bolt upright in bed:MAAAN, THE MAN IS NON-STOP
Iran: Women’s rights activists treated as ‘enemies of the state’ in renewed crackdown

Women in Iran are subject to pervasive discrimination both in law & practice, including in areas concerning marriage, divorce, child custody, freedom of movement, employment, & access to political office. Women & girls are inadequately protected against domestic & other violence, including early & forced marriage & marital rape. Compulsory “veiling” (hijab) laws empower police & paramilitary forces to target women for harassment, violence & imprisonment regularly.

The Arab-Israeli conflict in 10 points:

1 Not an ancient conflict

In the late 19th century, Palestine’s Jewish population stood at less than 5 per cent. Tensions between the region’s Jews and Arabs did not begin to rise until after 1917, when British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour declared that the British authorities “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.” After the first World War and the breakup of the Ottoman empire, the League of Nations granted Britain a “mandate” to rule over Palestine. The first serious outbreak of violence there came in 1929. A parliamentary inquiry later determined that “there had been no recorded attacks of Jews by Arabs” in the previous eight decades and that the aggravating factor had been British support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

(Correction: There has previously been violence against Jews prior to 1929.)

2 Colonial roots, colonial realities

Many of the laws and practices that would later become essential to Israel’s governance of its Palestinian population were inherited from the colonial regime. The British Defence Regulations, codified in 1945 and incorporated into Israeli law three years later by the first legislative act of the new Jewish state, allowed for the prosecution of civilians by military courts, indefinite “administrative detention” without trial, home demolitions, official censorship, the criminalisation of “unlawful associations”, the establishment of “closed military zones”, the imposition of curfews and restrictions on travel, and the arbitrary confiscation of land and property. All of these measures would be used against Palestinians in Israel and, after 1967, in Gaza and the West Bank as well.

3 Refugees, infiltrators, émigrés

By 1949, when Zionist forces defeated Palestinian militias and the armies of several neighbouring Arab states, more than 700,000 Palestinians had fled or been expelled from their homes. Some ended up in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which fell under Egyptian and Jordanian control. Others began lengthy exiles outside historic Palestine. In 1949 the Israeli military adopted a “free fire” policy, allowing soldiers to shoot returning refugees on sight. By 1956, 2,700-5,000 such “infiltrators” had been killed. There are now more than seven million Palestinian refugees around the world. By contrast, any individual with one Jewish grandparent, regardless of their place of birth, is entitled to emigrate to Israel and become a citizen of the Jewish state.

4 An illegal occupation

After six days of fighting in June 1967, Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai peninsula. Five months later, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 242, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territories it had occupied. Israel had at that point already established its first civilian settlement in the West Bank, though international law forbids occupying powers from transferring “parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. In the years since, Israeli governments of both the left and right have consistently encouraged the settlement enterprise with financial, infrastructural and military support. About 500,000 Israeli citizens now live in more than 130 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and in more than 100 “outposts” not yet formally approved by the state. Forty-two per cent of the land in the West Bank currently falls under settlers’ control.

5 The peace that wasn’t

In September 1993, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organisation chairman Yasser Arafat signed an agreement that, along with several subsequent treaties, would be collectively known as the Oslo Accords. “The fact is,” wrote the scholar Edward Said at the time, “that Israel has conceded nothing.” Meant as a temporary measure until “permanent status negotiations” were complete, Oslo divided the West Bank into zones of Israeli and Palestinian control, giving the Israeli military control over 61 per cent of the West Bank. The deal created the Palestinian Authority and delegated to it responsibility for the security, health, and education of Palestinians living in the 18 per cent of the West Bank over which it exercises a highly limited form of authority. Israel still controls Palestinian borders, movement, economic relations, airspace, telecommunications, and access to water and other resources. The PA frequently acts as Israel’s proxy, suppressing protests and potential resistance to the occupation on Israel’s behalf.

6 Segregation and the wall

In 2002, during the Second Intifada, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon ordered the construction of a physical barrier to separate Israel from the West Bank and prevent the entry of Palestinian suicide bombers. The barrier – which in some places takes the form of a 2m electrified fence, in others an 8m concrete wall – has since grown to 709km, twice the length of the internationally recognised boundary between Israel and the West Bank known as the Green Line. Despite its ostensible security purpose, the barrier has functioned primarily to seize Palestinian land: 85 per cent of its length falls within the Palestinian side of the Green Line, annexing nearly 10 per cent of the West Bank. It snakes deeply into Palestinian territory, separating communities from one another and farmers from their fields. The Israeli architect and theorist Eyal Weizman has described the wall as “a discontinuous and fragmented series of self-enclosed barriers that can be better understood as a prevalent ‘condition’ of segregation … rather than one continuous line neatly cutting the territory in two.”

7 Permits and checkpoints

In the early 1990s, Israel began requiring Palestinians to obtain permits before entering Israel or moving between the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. During the Second Intifada, which began in 2000, the military began establishing checkpoints, not only along its borders but within the territories it occupies, restricting movement in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Palestinians are now in many cases required to apply for permits to visit and farm their own land. More than half of the nearly 100 permanent checkpoints in the West Bank regulate travel within Palestinian territory, preventing the free movement of people and goods, and making fear, humiliation, and uncertainty an elemental part of Palestinian life. Checkpoints are frequently sites of clashes, and of Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli security forces.

8 Courts and prisons

Israel administers separate legal systems for Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank. Israeli citizens are subject to Israeli civil and criminal law, with extensive due process protections. Palestinians live under martial law and are tried by military courts in which they lack even basic procedural rights. Nearly all West Bank Palestinians have at least one relative in prison and nearly 40 per cent of all Palestinian males there have been in detention at some point. In 2010, the last year for which figures were released, the conviction rate for Palestinians in the military court system was 99.74 per cent. Israel now holds more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners. More than 400 are children and nearly 600 “administrative detainees”, held on secret evidence without charge or trial. More than 50 prisoners are on hunger strike to demand the freedom of Bilal Kayed (35), who was placed on administrative detention in June immediately after completing a 14½-year sentence.

9 The siege of Gaza

In 2005, by order of then prime minister Ariel Sharon, Israel evacuated all settlements in the Gaza Strip. One year later, the Islamist party Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections. Months of fighting between Hamas militants and forces loyal to the secular nationalist party Fatah followed. Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip while Fatah, under PA president Mahmoud Abbas, maintained power in the West Bank. Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza, limiting the import of food, fuel, and all goods into the Strip, which had been walled off since the mid-1990s. In the years since, responding to sporadic rocket fire from armed groups there, the Israeli military has launched three major “operations” against Gaza, killing more than 3,800 people, nearly two-thirds of them civilians and a quarter children. In the 15 years since Hamas first fired rockets into Israel, projectiles from Gaza have killed 30 Israeli civilians, about the same number that die in traffic accidents each month. According to the UN, the devastation Gaza has endured may render it uninhabitable by the end of this decade.

10 Boycott

Inspired by the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, in 2005 170 Palestinian civil society groups put out a call for a nonviolent, international campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel. The campaign has lately won some major victories, with several multinational firms and national investment funds breaking ties to Israeli firms. It has also come under attack. In a speech to pro-Israel lobbying group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton characterised the BDS movement as anti-Semitic, and several US states have passed laws to penalise those that boycott Israel. In May, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charles Flanagan affirmed that those advocating boycott hold a “legitimate political viewpoint” and that the Irish Government “does not agree with attempts to demonise” them. Last year, Ireland imported more than €90 million of Israeli goods, and sold more than €1 billion of Irish products to Israel. the beginning...

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Welcome to the beginning of my new adventure.  

Over the course of the last year I’ve drastically changed my traditional law practice (i.e. sitting in an office, going to court, drafting and reviewing documents, etc.) to a non-traditional practice where I no longer go to court, sit in an office, draft or review documents, etc.

Why?  Because the traditional law practice is a terrible business model in the present day, as well as the fact that I was dreading going to work each day.

So what am I doing now, you ask?  Well for one, I’ve devoted my attention to building up the business of my life-long passion which is photography and image creation.  

Check it out: Vincent Kostiw Photography

After business school, law school, the bar exam, all those hours and years practicing law, I didn’t want to throw it all away.

So I came up with a way to integrate my experience as a licensed attorney with my art, by writing, ranting, speaking, educating, and entertaining about issues that affect artists and those involved in creative industries, mainly intellectual property law (copyrights, trademarks, image rights, privacy, publicity) and business law issues.

I hope that you will join me along the journey, enjoy!

I messed up 

I was feeling pretty good about how much dissertation I’ve done (I’m on about 6k / 20k, with a month left - aaaaah) and so I asked someone else on my course how theirs was going, and MISTAKE

They finished theirs in July??? And they have a month and a half to edit it???? And make it absolutely perfect????? 

I know it’s fruitless to compare yourself to someone else, because you can only do your best, but YIKES and JINKIES

Atm, I’m on track to finish an incredibly rough draft in about 2 weeks, and then spend 2 weeks sobbing as I chop and hack away at it, probably pulling all-nighters on campus like the naive, caffeine-soaked undergrad I once was, and I thought that wasn’t too terrible, but this person has like 6 weeks to do it?? 

I’ll be applying for an extension, because I didn’t get a supervisor until a good 3-4 weeks later than this other person (my supervisor was absent and I wasn’t allowed to switch due to ‘inter-departmental politics’) but I’m working on the assumption that I won’t get the extension, and I’m worried

I’m literally spending every day writing this thing or reading for it, apart from Thursdays because that’s when I have work, and I am a big ball of stress, and I love love love my topic and I love writing it and I think it has real scope to be something I’m super proud of, but what if that isn’t enough? What if I just don’t have enough time to write the best dissertation I can?

Two months to write 20k is crazy and anyone who has a Master’s on these terms is an absolute hero, I admire and worship you all and I also hate you a bit but that’ll pass

An Overview of Practice Areas Offered Through the Oyler & Woldman Law Firm

Located in Santa Monica, California, the Oyler & Woldman law office offers several different services for its diverse clientele. Attorney Connolly Oyler, who possesses 50 years of experience in the legal sector, received the AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell. The award symbolizes a commitment to ethical practices and excellence in the workplace. The attorneys at Oyler & Woldman mainly deal with family law issues, striving to settle most cases through mediation outside of the courtroom. If this route isn’t suitable for clients, Connolly Oyler and Donald Woldman perform litigation in the following practice areas:

1. Divorce. The area involves the dissolution of a marriage.
2. Nullification of Marriage. The act presumes that, because of issues that occurred before or during the time of a marriage, the marriage is void and was never valid.
3. Child Custody. The area involves parents and/or guardians of children who need legal assistance in defining a custody plan for any children involved.
4. Child Support. The item usually refers to the necessary reimbursement from a non-custodial parent to the child’s primary guardian.
5. Guardianship. The procedure is used for those who want to become the legal guardians of a minor.
6. Spousal support. The area also known as alimony involves the payment of funds from one divorced partner to his or her former husband or wife.
7. Property division. The practice area focuses on the division of property rights and obligations after a divorce or death.
8. Palimony. With similarities to spousal support, palimony is a substitute for alimony in those cases where two partners lived together, but no marriage occurred. Palimony cases must also meet other requirements.
9. Premarital and postmarital agreements. Individuals who wish to draw up prenuptial agreements and other contracts before or after their marriage can come to Oyler & Woldman for professional advice and representation.
10. Cohabitation agreements. The legal procedure involves a contract between two individuals who live together and want to bind themselves for protection from certain property and family issues.
11. Non-marital disputes/Marvin Actions. The cases closely mimic the issues involved in palimony disputes.
12. Marital torts. Cases involve individuals who divorce because of the damaging incidents and behaviors of their spouses.
13. Paternity. In this practice area, lawyers oversee paternity testing and dictate the ensuing parental rights and responsibilities involved through mediation or litigation.
14. Restraining Orders. The item involves a legal action that bans a specific individual from entering a physical boundary around a person’s body or home because of an earlier issue.
15. Grandparents’ Rights. The area covers the visitation and custodial rights of grandparents.
16. Move-away cases. The area involves a parent who has primary custody of a child and wants to move away from the other parent.
17. Mediation and arbitration. The areas serve as alternative forms of legal resolution.
18. Support and custody modifications. The professionals at Oyler & Woldman are available for support and custody modifications for their clients and other individuals.

CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. For more information on Martindale-Hubbell, visit

Essential Law Firm Technology Policies and Plans

Our Firm subscribes to a great publication put out by the American Bar Association called Law Practice. It’s typically filled with well-researched and thought out articles regarding the best practices to run a law firm. The current issue revolves around technology and how to best put technology to work for you.

Contained within the articles regarding iPads, cloud computing and social media tips is a gem of a piece outlining some essential technology policies and plans your office must have in order to be compliant and successful.

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First off I’ll say that SMC is in the process of refining and finalizing all our technology and Records and Information Management policies. We work hard at making sure our firm is compliant with all regulations and protocols as well as being forward thinking to ensure that these policies will continue to expand along with our practice. Don’t think of these polices as being restrictive. Instead, think of them as tools to empower you and your firm to go forth into the wild jungle that is technology and social media and put those tools to good work.

A quick recap of Law Practice’s essential polices:

  • Electronic Communications and Internet Use Policy - Essentially this is a general catch all policy regulating internet and email use as pertaining to Firm email and internet access. Obviously you don’t want employees surfing Facebook all day and not getting anything done, or going to sites that could expose undue risk to your network. However, you can also use this policy to encourage internet use in the form of proactive searches for better methods of doing business. 
  • Social Media Policy - I’m not really going to cover this again, but you can check out my post yesterday here talking all about this critical topic:
  • Document Retention Policy - I’ve mentioned retention schedules time and time again. Make sure your Firm has one. Each state has different rules and regulations, so make sure you know what pertains to your location. Here in Missouri we're governed by (among many other things) Missouri Supreme Court Rule 4.15, which essentially states that records pertaining to case matters must be maintained a minimum of ten years.
  • Incident Response Plan - This is a great policy to have as it outlines all steps to be taken in the event of a data breach. The most important commodity a law firm has is information. We don’t deal in products or tangibles. Losing data is equivalent to losing your business. Knowing how to protect yourself is absolutely essential to keeping your business alive.
  • Disaster Recovery Plan - Essentially the same as the Incident Response Plan but instead this covers what should happen in the event of a natural disaster. In Missouri we’re constantly aware of floods and tornadoes and have to prepare for that contingency.

What all this boils down to is being prepared and being secure in knowing that your firm is ready to handle anything that comes your way. Read through the article and check out some of the resources Law Practice gives out on how to start up your own policies.

Dear Mom

I know in my heart that everything you do, every action that you execute, and every breath that you take are all apart of a struggle towards a better future for your children. I Know that every cold shoulder and icy word is backed by lifetimes of love. And I am in no place to criticize your parenting skills.

I know 19 years ago I was born into your love. But I am 19 years old and I do believe I have earned your trust.

It is not only mislead but insulting that you have to interrogate me to know about my every move in life. It’s understandable- but only up to a point. I don’t get bad grades. I don’t do drugs. I help around the house. I don’t get in trouble, so why must you act like I commit these acts of ill judgement? Aren’t you the one who raised me? To treat me with so much mistrust is to insult your extremely thorough parenting. And I don’t think I can stand by it.
You are my mother and you have my unconditional love and respect, but because of how you handle things you’re beginning to lose my trust.

I don’t trust you to handle my financial affairs. I don’t trust you to choose my husband. I may not trust you to take care of my children in the future. And as a mother, these are not things that you SHOULD earn they are things that you should HAVE earned.

I know that you stalk my blog only to keep every nanometer of my life in check, so it’s almost assured that you’ll read this. And I would try telling you this to your face but you won’t talk or listen to me. I’m sorry I had to resort to this, it’s kind of pathetic. I love you

As you’re working on business development, you’ll discover what works and what doesn’t. You’ll run into unexpected challenges that you’ll have to work through. You’ll also discover great opportunities you didn’t anticipate, so take advantage of those! No matter what, keep moving forward and adjust as you go.
—  Julie Fleming, Lex Innova Consulting