Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Link Lawyers will Love

Here's a link to a site that includes interviews from Bryan Garner with Supreme Court Justices about brief writing. While non-lawyers may yawn, and even certain lawyers may yawn, for a research attorney like me, who does almost nothing but write briefs, this is giddy-excitement-inducing stuff.

Oh, and this reminds me - I keep meaning to mention that if anyone has any legal trivia they'd like to know from me, feel free to ask. I can't be anyone's attorney here, and so this can't really be official legal advice, but if there's any "trivia" anyone is curious about, I'll do my best to whet your appetite. And now the legal disclaimer - it is not intended to be legal advice - if you need that, you need to go get yourself a lawyer. This is for entertainment purposes only. Heh.

4 comments:

E said...

Here's a question: Today is TEST DAY, where we give the one that really counts for NCLB and AYP and all that. I had a student who refused to participate in the test, and the administrator I called to my room said that as long as he put down 5 or 6 answers, we could just invalidate the results, but it would still help us keep the % of students tested in the passing range. (Which just goes to show how tremendously stupid the whole system is.)
When I related this to a colleague at lunch, her comment was, "I don't believe the state can compel a student to take a test." Of course, when the Man tells me I have to do something, I really don't even think to argue anymore (baaaaa!), but I think she is flat-out wrong despite this. Has the "mandatory" in mandatory testing been challenged?

DBB said...

I'm sure the mandatory applies to the schools - if state law tells you you have to test, then that's your job to do it. As for the child, the law compels attendance in class, and certainly you can impose discipline for disrupting class, but could you force a student to take a test if all they did was silently refuse to write answers? I don't know that offhand, but I could dig a little - my intial guess is that no, you can't force that - at best, you can flunk them for failure to answer, but actually forcing them to write answers - probably no. But I could be wrong. It is an interesting question. I'll let you know what I find out.

E said...

Brute force didn't work for me, either. It wasn't until I told him to just write answers for the first 5 questions and then he could go home that he actually did it.

DBB said...

I don't claim to have done exhaustive research on this, but the only law I found was related to truancy (or to locker searches or general discipline) - it seems that the only way to deal with someone who's only "disruption" is they refuse to write answers on a test is to flunk them on the test. I don't think you can force someone to take the test. When I have more time I'm going to look at this a bit closer, but just wanted to post an update.