Nick's Journal
2007-09-14 18:28:21 (UTC)

Sometimes you just gotta know when to fight and when not to

unless you're a spineless independent you probably have some
principles by which you try to live your life by. be they
hunting down mexicans who cross the border or helping the
senegalese relieve themselves of the crushing burden of debt
incurred from the IMF.
normally our principles are the most likely cause for any
argument we get into (or at least for me they are). yet we
(or i guess i should start saying 'i' here) tend to get into
fights about things which we just can't seem to win or are
so frivolous that we have to step back and see if we are
really even protecting a principle of ours...if we are then
i guess we should go under with the boat, if not...jump ship
and swim away into the beautiful blue and open ocean which
i'm sure will present you with another shark who will attack
you right quickly.
lately i had a fight with my commputer and netflix. i was
trying to watch instantly which just wwasn't working for me.
i'd get the video on screen but then it'd flicker green. i
tried everything from shaking my computer, to threateningly
point at it, to updating my video card. nothing worked. by
now i had finished my lunch and i was beyond frustrated at
not having been able to watch an episode of the office. i
was about to fly off the handle and call netflix to bellow
at them when i looked at my 300 pgs of constitutional law i
had to read...this was not a fight worth fighting.

one thing i've noticed is that the "older" (i.e. over 40 or
so ) "students" at my law school are a lot more "proud" than
the dudes my age. maybe it's just because i'm the age of
their kids or because they've been through "NAM" that they
just feel like i should never be right when i'm in a group
with them. the most glaring example of this age-chauvinism
comes from john. john is about 110 years old and the most
self-righteous prick on this earth.
every time he talks he folds his arms across his flabby
chest , resting them on his barrel of a gut, then he manages
somehow, to fold all of the chins streaming down his neck
and rests his eyes so that they seem to be looking down on
you with the most condescending aire.
so the other day i was arguing with him about the second
amendment. he was aruging with that aire of exasperation
that people who are too proud to give up assume when they're
losing, "look, all i'm saying," he said in that manner as if
he's talking to an imbecile, "is that the founding fathers
did not mean for every idiot out there to own a gun so that
he can execute vigilante justice."
"of course not. they didn't want people going out there
killing each other, but that just sidetracks the fact that
they DID want the people to be allowed to arm themselves and
to deny the government any recourse to keep them from doing so."
"so you just want everyone to own a gun?"
"no i want everyone to retain the right to own a gun."
"what's the difference?"
at this point, as he started to get down right sardonic i
thought that this was another green computer screen
argument, why even bother?
but not this time. and after another 15 minutes in which
john got increasingly flustered and angry with me (and i'm
sure is now ready to buy a gun to kill me) class rang.
i don't know if i won, but at least i didn't give up.

so at the end of the day i got the surest sign that i waas
meaant to be a lawyer. in bankruptcy we were assigned this
problem of a guy who was looking to file for bankruptcy. he
had a mother who held a trust in his name for $250,000;
every month he got $1,000 out of it. the mother was ill and
the doctors didn't expect her to last more than a year. we
were to advise him as to how to keep it.
so all the groups were coming up with ways through the
bankruptcy code and the most likely seemed Section 541(c)(2)
which allows a person to exempt a trust in his name so long
as there was a transfer restriction on it. the problem with
this is that he'd run the risk that once she died the trust
would revert to him and the transfer restriction would expire.
so i was looking through the code and came upon section
541(a)(5) which essentially says that anything becomes a
part of the bankruptcy proceeding if it is inherited within
a half a year of filing for bankruptcy...however AFTER those
180 days its beyond reach.
so...i raised my hand and said the following,
"he should file immediately and take really good care of his
mother. that way if she lasts for at least 181 days after
filing for bankruptcy noone can touch the money because as
the trust expires it would be deemed an inheritance gotten
by him after the limit imposed in Section 541(a)(5)."
i love the law.