July 2008

Apartment Trash Chute Run: Moldy Soup Pot/Sweaty Underwear Edition


The BAR EXAM is in just THREE DAYS (!), and this will be my last blog post until then so I’ll make it really good. That said, THIS happened to me tonight:

After a 40-minute cardio workout, I got ready to take a shower. But before I hopped in, I decided to wash this pot half full of soup that’d been sitting in my sink for over a week. I’ve been putting it off ‘cause it had green and white foam on it, and, well, I just assumed that if I left it next to the sink for long enough, somebody else would wash it for me. (Live alone, bad plan.)

Because I don’t have a garbage disposal, I decided that I’d toss the contents of the pot down the trash chute, which is just ten feet from my apartment. I put my sweaty underwear (boxer briefs) back on, took the pot to the chute….bumped into the door, which spilled some moldy soup on me…and then threw the rest down the chute. I walked back to my door…and realized that I had locked myself out.

So there I stood, nearly naked, sweaty, holding a still-moldy pot, and locked out.


After a minute or two of freaking out, I knocked on a neighbor’s door. And I don’t know who answered, but I know it wasn’t my neighbor. It was some girl. And after two minutes of awkward conversation, I convinced her to go down to the lobby and get the spare key for me.

HOPEFULLY the bar will go smoother than that. We shall see.

WELL, now that I’m going on a three-day blogging break, I just wanted to say thanks again to all who bought and read Lawyer Boy. If you enjoyed the book or are feeling particularly generous as you read this, it’d be great if you could do these things:

1) Email a friend or two about the book. Or mention it on your facebook/myspace profile. Or your blog. Or maybe get a tattoo of the Lawyer Boy cover on your forehead.

2) Go to Amazon.com and write a review of the book. A handful of jealous guys on the law school web forum LawSchoolDiscussion.com have been encouraging people to write bad reviews of Lawyer Boy on Amazon.com without actually reading the book. (And I implore you not to stoop to that level, only review if you’ve read.)

3) Wish me luck on the bar.

4) Have a great week!

Bar Exam in Four Days: What Will I Do Without Her?


The bar exam is just four days away. I foresee one tiny problem…

I’ve been studying at the Barnes & Noble, every day, next to this lady who wears the same black and white dress every day and talks nonstop. At first it was annoying as hell, and I’d move away from her…but little by little, I’ve gotten used to her (usually socialist) nonstop blabber. Now I wonder whether I’ll be able to focus during the real exam without it.

But considering the fact that ibaby (the Illinois Bar administrators) doesn’t even allow test takers to bring cell phones into the testing site, something tells me they wouldn’t be okay with me bringing the study buddy lady along.

Sample Bar Exam Question: Funny Porn Movie Title Edition


The bar exam is in just five days. I’m reviewing dozens, sometimes hundreds, of multiple-choice questions every day. Now, for those of you who have no idea what a bar exam multiple-choice question looks like, I figured I might share one with you.

This particular question comes from MicroMash, which is kind of like Princeton Review for the bar exam, only without the classes. Law students, lawyers, and prospective law students are encouraged to leave their answers to the question in the ‘comments’ section below:

If the plaintiff was unable to show bad faith or other extraordinary circumstances, in which of the following situations would a federal district court assume jurisdiction?

A. Plaintiff M has been indicted in a state court for showing an obscene motion picture, “Sore Throat.” He brings an order to the federal district court seeking to enjoin the state prosecution.

B. Plaintiff N is the operator of a motion picture theater. The attorney general of the state has commenced a civil action to enjoin the showing of a motion picture, “The Bevel in Miss Jones,” on the ground that it is obscene. He applies to the federal district court seeking to enjoin the state civil proceeding.

C. Plaintiff O is the operator of a motion picture theater. The local law enforcement officer has informed him that if he shows “De Flowering Inferno” again, he will be prosecuted for obscenity. He brings an action in the federal district court for a declaratory judgment that the picture is not obscene.

D. Plaintiff P has been convinced in the trial court of State X for showing “Sin For Your Supper.” While the case is on appeal to the supreme court of that state, he brings an action in the federal district court seeking to enjoin the state proceeding.

Illinois Bar Exam: The Insane Baby Problem

The Illinois Bar exam is in exactly one week. I don’t feel like I’m prepared—let alone feeling like I’m close to prepared—but I’m told that this is normal.

The subjects are all merging together; I can’t remember which subject I was studying yesterday morning. I think it was Conflict of Laws, but it could have been Family Law. Either way, I remember learning about what to do in the case of an “insane baby.” Mind you, I don’t remember WHAT you do when you have an “insane baby,” I just remember learning that this is an actual legal predicament.

Another predicament, I suppose, is determining that your baby is insane. With older people, it’s obvious. If they say, “The banana patch monster ate my manure sandwich tomorrow,” well, that would be a give away. But with babies, it’s not so obvious. Most of the things that mark as an adult as insane are normal for babies.

The point is, if an “insane baby” question comes up on the bar exam next week, I’m screwed.

Fifty Dollars and Time Served


I watch Night Court on TV Land. At three in the morning.

(For those of you younger readers, “Night Court” [1984-1992] is a sitcom about a young, idealistic, unconventional judge [played by Harry Anderson] who sentences flamboyant hookers in short skirts “fifty dollars and time served.”)

The irony is, with my sleeping habits—I suspect I have “Night Owl Syndrome,” which is a real disease, by the way—working at Night Court would be perfect for me. The thing is, as best I can tell, ‘night courts’ don’t exist. Not in Chicago at least.

Does anybody know if they have night courts in New York or anywhere?

Lawyer Boy Book Reading Pics

Thanks so much to all who came out to the Lawyer Boy book reading/signing/magic show this week—all 130 (!) of you. Several people have told me that the inscriptions I wrote in their books were illegible.

I have awful handwriting. I get it.

So…in case you were one of those people who got an illegible message, here were some of the more popular ones I wrote. See if the message in your book could be one of these:


“Enjoy the book!”

And, if you are a lawyer, I probably wrote this in your book, “Get ready to defend me when my dad sues for defamation.”

Hope that clears things up.

AND…for those of you who couldn’t make it to the reading, here are some pictures of what you missed:


It's Kind of Like The Sixth Sense, Only Instead of Seeing Dead People, I See Lawsuits Waiting To Happen


The Bar Exam is in two weeks (!) and this week I began to re-study torts. (For all you non-lawyers, a “tort” is a wrong for which the law provides a remedy). This was my best subject in law school, so I don’t think I’ll spend too much time on it. I don’t know why, but torts come naturally to me. Which is why part of me can’t help but feel that I was born to sue people. Sometimes I kind of feel like the sixth sense kid, only instead of seeing dead people, I see lawsuits waiting to happen.

Yes, I know a lot of people feel that America has become too litigious, and a lot of special interest groups have convinced many Americans that there is a lawsuit “epidemic” going on in the country right now—they ALWAYS use that word, “epidemic.” All I can say to all those people perpetuating that lie is, wait until YOU get hit by a drunk driver, wait until YOUR mother slips on the unsalted Wal-Mart driveway, wait until YOUR kid child is sucked into your neighbor’s pool’s filtration system.

My dad always says, “Everybody hates lawyers, until they need one.”

Society's Stance on Crying Babies in Fancy Restaurants


Last night I was getting lots of studying done (torts, commercial paper, secured transactions) at the Peninsula hotel. And then this baby showed up. Accompanied by parents, of course.

The baby cried for an hour straight, and I wish I were exaggerating.

So…what’s society’s stance on taking crying babies into fancy restaurants? Are we cool with it? Do we sympathize with the parents who have enough to worry about without trying to hunt down a trustworthy babysitter on a weeknight…or do we want (deserve?) some peace and quiet when we’re paying to eat at a nice place? ($16 for lobster ravioli appetizer, which, I learned, contained four pieces of ravioli…COME on.)

The State of My Apartment

<!--StartFragment-->RickLax.com isn’t just about fun and games, it also serves to inform my mom about the state of my Chicago apartment.  And the state of my apartment is messy.  Here are some photos I took earlier today:  <!--EndFragment-->




 On a positive note, mom, if I spend this little time cleaning, imagine how much studying I’m doing.




Skepticism at the Bookstore


Today I studied for three hours at the Gold Coast Barnes & Noble. Around hour two, I took a break and asked one of the store workers whether I could sign the in-store LAWYER BOY copies. (I’m told that authors do this.)

“This one is your book?” the store clerk asked.


“Can I see some identification?”

“You’re joking me.”

“I’m not joking you; I have to see identification.”

“There’s a picture of me in the jacket flap.”

The guy looked at the picture, then back to me, then back to the picture, then back to me.

“Let me get you a pen.”

“Wait….do a lot of people come in here asking to sign books they haven’t written?”

“You’d be surprised.”


“It’s happened more than once.”

“Have YOU seen it happen?”

“Let’s just say, it’s happened more than once.”

Come on. That’s just crazy. Under what circumstance would somebody do that? I’m skeptical…


I’m doing my first of two book readings tomorrow. FRIDAY JULY 11th at 7PM at the BOOK CELLAR in Lincoln Square. (That’s right off the Brown Line Western stop.) If you’ve got nothing else going on, come on by. There’ll be magic tricks and wine. Plus you can meet my dad, Lawyer Man.