17 May 2006

Frustration Thy Name is Batson

Back in law school I remember doing a bunch of research on Batson v. Kentucky for some paper (can't remember for which class). This is a good thing because I have an appellate argument accepted on a Batson issue. For those of you not lawyers a Batson issue is an argument over whether one party in a case used race or gender to exclude someone from the jury.

I remember the law as it applies to Batson challenges but, naturally, I don't remember all the cases. No problem, I've saved every paper I've written since my first college course. So this morning I go into the wilderness depths of my walk in closet and start looking. I find all my college papers, among them "Comparative French and American National Foundations"; "War and Islam"; "The October War"; "Suffi Poetry as Religious Expression"; "The Adversary: Comparative Myths of the Fall"; and even my first published article "Abraham, Father of Faiths: Comparative Translations and Explanations of the Hebrew Testament and the Quran."1 You might be able to guess that my undergrad majors were International Studies and Religion. I also found a bunch of photos from back in the military and even my High School year book. But nothing from law school. At one point I thought I'd hit the jackpot when I opened a box and it had all my books from studying for the bar, but no joy. Anyway, the legal papers I wrote are nowhere to be found - including my copy of the Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Journal with my case note - it wasn't much of a case note but I wanted to keep my copy.

Then it hits me. A year or so back my landlord flooded my apartment. I threw out all sorts of books and papers because they were destroyed. Most of it was sentimental stuff I had held onto only because I couldn't bring myself to throw it away; I didn't have much use for my Soldier's Guide anymore, I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away until it was waterlogged and weighed about 20 pounds. But I also threw away a bunch of waterlogged papers and books from law school. At the time I figured it was all basically in the same category. It appears I was wrong. Now I have to go reinvent the wheel and figure out all the important Batson cites all over again.

Joy of joys.

1 Okay, it's not really my first published work. In the third grade a poem I wrote (about a lion and piano?) was published as part of a booklet put out by my Elementary School (Deep Springs, Lexington, Kentucky). However, much as I'd like to get a copy of that I suspect it is lost to the ages.

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