Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Congress is Full of BCS

Like most American men, with New Years just around the corner, my thoughts have turned to Chinese food (PF Chang's, here I come), insincere New Year's resolutions ("Oh sure, I'm going to be nicer to everyone I meet"), and, of course, college football.  As a fan, there is nothing more exciting than watching two teams whom I couldn't care less about play each other in the USF&G Sweet & Low Bowl or the UPS Mango Bowl or whatever other silly bowl games they have lined up for January 1st.

After all, the only important game, the championship game, won't be held into one week later on January 8th.  Why the one week delay?  Apparently, the geniuses behind the BCS ratings system relish this extra week of coverage, whereby every television commentator and analyst will have nothing to do but question the wisdom of the two teams selected for this year's game. 

Of course, all of this might change in the future, thanks to Congress.  Yes, you read that correctly.  While Congress can't seem to find solutions to other problems facing Americans, such as our addiction to foreign oil, our crumbling financial system, or yet another spin-off of the Flavor of Love reality show, it's good to see that they are on top of the BCS dilemna.  And no, I'm not kidding!

A proposed bill has been introduced by Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on ... get this ... the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Apparently, bored with the lack of responsibility in trouble-free areas such as energy and commerce, Barton decided to attack this "pressing issue" for the good of the nation.  Of course, by the "good of the nation," I mean the fanatical fans of the Texas Longhorns and the Texas Tech Red Raiders (yes, they are really called the "Red Raiders") who were incensed when conference rival, Oklahoma, received a spot in the BCS Championship game despite having a similar one-loss record (and a head-to-head loss to the Longhorns).

To right this travesty of justice, Barton's bill would make marketing the championship game as such an unfair or deceptive act or practice under the Federal Trade Commission Act, unless the game is the result of a playoff system (or includes at least one team from the "Great State of Texas").   Of course, given the speed with which Congress has acted on our other national challenges, college football fans can expect the first college football playoff to occur sometime around the introduction of the solar-powered automobile, the implementation of universal healthcare, and Sarah Palin's string of 200 straight victories on Jeopardy. 

In the meantime, other members of Congress have introduced bills to resolve other common football controversies.  For example, the chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee has introduced a bill that will outlaw the prevent defense in close 4th quarter football games involving Payton Manning.  Likewise, the head of the Senate Armed Forces Committee has proposed ending the century-old Army-Navy football rivarly after seven straight wins by the Navy, including a 34-0 drubbing by Navy this December.  Finally, it is expected that President Bush's last official act in offense will be a pardon of the head coach of the Detroit Lions.  As you know, on Sunday, Detroit became the first city to lose 16-games (and a sitting mayor) in a single season.

And who says that we don't get our money's worth out of our elected officials?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ladies Night is Alright?

A Manhattan judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against several New York nightclubs for their discriminatory ladies' nights promotions.  The lawsuit was brought by a lawyer who seems fixated on the "injustices" inflicted upon men in our female-centric society.  For instance, he recently sued Columbia University for its "oppressive" women's studies curriculum, claiming that the university should also adopt a curricular devoted to the study of a subject from a male perspective.  While the university has yet to respond to the lawsuit, I suspect that they will answer that they have such fields of study.  They are called History, Philosophy, Anthropology and so on.

That being said, I'm not so sure that I agree with the judge in the nightclub case.  According to media reports, the nightclubs were able to attack the lawsuit as frivolous because "the prices charged to men aren't so burdensome that they amount to denying them entry and male customers actually might benefit from ladies' nights because so many women attend."   I don't know if this is an accurate assessment of the situation and whether it is allowable under the constitution, but I do know that it is pathetic.

Are men so devoid of wit, charm and intellect that we must bribe women to be in the same room with us?  Don't answer that question, ladies!

Let me put it another way.  While men are lacking in many areas, we still possess one thing that most women need.  That's right!  We have the ability to kill tiny spiders.  I must confess that without my ability in this area, my wife probably would have thrown me out of our home years ago.  She certainly doesn't need me for all of the "help" I provide in maintaining our home or rearing our three or four children (I lose track of the current headcount).  And given that she is smarter than I am, she could probably make quite a bit more money than I make.

Yet, she could never bring herself to killing a microscopic spider that has just crawled its way into the bathtub.  Without me here to perform that Herculean task, she'd have to pack up and move every three months or so.  And while that might be just the stimulus we need to get our housing market back in order, it wouldn't solve the larger issue.  Who is going to go downstairs every time she hears a "strange noise" in the middle of the night -- her realtor?

Let's face it, guys!  We're needed!  Sure, women no longer need us for financial support, companionship or even procreation.  But so long as there are spiders and strange noises in the middle of the night, they will keep flocking to nightclubs to meet us, with or without ladies' night.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quid Pro NO!

One of my greatest frustrations as a solo practitioner was dealing with the client who wanted to barter for my legal services.  While there was something strangely comforting in knowing that I could have, say, free lifetime dry cleaning in exchange for a private placement memorandum, I knew that my creditors wouldn't be as comforted.  After all, they tend to insist that I pay my bills in actual money.  As a result, they tend to cop an attitude when I call them and say, "Oh, no, I don't have your money this month, but the starch in my dress shirts is just right!"

And, just recently, an northern Illinois lawyer learned that bartering can not only be frustrating but it can lead to being suspended from the practice of law.  Well, that is, if you barter your legal services for nude lap dances.  Yes, you read that correctly!

The really sad part is that this entire debacle could have been avoided if the attorney in this case had followed three basic ethical rules:

1.  Don't Solicit Business in Strip Clubs.  According to the Review Board Report, the attorney met his client at her place of employment -- an Illinois strip club.  How can you possibly expect to find reputable clients among a group of people who aren't even using their real names?  A simple rule of thumb should be to reject any client who introduces herself as Porsche, Mercedes or Lexus, unless her name is followed by ", Inc."

2.  Don't Barter for Services More Expensive Than Your Own.  From what I've heard, lap dances can cost up to $40 per song.  Assuming an average song length of three minutes, this means that lap dances can cost up to $800 per hour.  Therefore, unless you are a senior partner at a mega-NY firm or a liar, you don't make that much per hour.  Does it really make sense to trade 4-5 hours of your time for an hour of lap dances (and three hours of resulting shame)?  Because my wife occasionally reads this blog, I say, "No way!"

3.  Clients Should Remained Clothed At All Times.  For those of us who serve corporate clients, adherence to this advice goes without saying.  After all, about the only people less sexy than our corporate clients are ... are ... I'll have to get back to you on that one.  However, even if you find the client to be attractive (i.e., you are desperate), there is a level of objectivity that must be maintained in the lawyer-client relationship.  And while reasonable people may disagree about where the appropriate line is, we can all agree that it shouldn't be a tan line.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Everybody's a Comedian

In the past, I thought the most annoying thing about being a legal humorist is that people insist on validating your skills.  For instance, if I'm introduced to a group of lawyers as the "legal humorist," one of them will invariably ask me to prove my bona fides.  "Oh, so you're a humorist, huh?  Well, I'll be the judge of that.  Say something funny."

I've always been tempted to respond, "Oh, so you're a securities lawyer, huh?  Well, prove it.  Draft a trust indenture."  Of course, common courtesy (and the fact that the organizer usually holds the balance of my fee until after my talk) prevents me from doing so.  Besides, given the current state of the securities market, she just might take me up on my offer.

Yet, recently, I've found an even more annoying tendency among the lawyers I meet -- the tendency to suggest ways to improve my talks by telling their favorite jokes.  Now, don't get me wrong.  The quality of my talks can always be improved.  And I certainly am not above "adapting" (or even outright stealing) time-tested humor techniques.  Yet, I can't possibly fit a Nantucket limerick into my seminar on stress management, as was suggested by an attorney last week.

Even more, I can't help but to feel that, while well-meaning, these suggestions are just a tad presumptuous.  After all, you wouldn't meet a rocket scientist from NASA and say, "Well, you know, I really think you guys did a good job on landing that probe on Mars.  However, for the next mission, I'd suggest ..."  Even more preposterous would be the rocket scientist taking your advice back to NASA.  "Guys, we're going to have to scrap the new Titan rocket series.  Why?  Well, I met this family lawyer at the Chili's Happy Hour on Friday and he told me ..."

And while my work is not exactly rocket science, it does require a modicum of skill and specialized knowledge.  It's simply not that easy to formulate, and cleverly express, zany thoughts and ideas (as evidenced by this blog entry).  It's something best left to the professionals -- nightclub comedians, late-night talk show hosts, and the people currently in charge of U.S. domestic fiscal policy.

And I suspect that you might feel the same way about your area of expertise.  Think about it.  If you met a plumber at a neighbor's house, would you consider his suggestions on drafting, say, an SEC-compliant stock option plan for your biggest client?  Of course not.  In fact, if this plumber is anything like my plumber, you probably wouldn't even consider his suggestions on plumbing.  And that would certainly be the case if the work boot was on the other foot.

For example, I recently had my house painted by professional painters.  You're going to find this hard to believe, but I did not overhear the following conversation:

Painter #1: "Should we use the blower or the brush to get to that tiny space under the overhang?"

Painter #2: "Hmmm.  That's a tough one.  In my 40 years of experience, I've seen it done both ways.  Oh, I know!  Let's ask the legal humorist!"

About the only thing that these guys wanted to ask me was whether my check would clear if they cashed it immediately (which they did).  And I don't blame them.  After all, I don't know primer from prime rib.  I have about as much business interjecting my thoughts on a house painting project as, say, a certain lawyer who thinks that I should tell his favorite Andrew Dice Clay joke during my next diversity seminar.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Politician Arrested for Bad Joke

When I read the above headline, I was horrified.  After all, I make my living telling jokes to lawyers.  And while I think all of my jokes are funny, my audiences don't always share in that assessment.  However, up until now, the penalty for telling a bad joke has been awkward silence and comments like "He should have kept his day job" on my evaluations.  It's scary to think that the penalty could be stiffer.

I can see it now.  I'm making my way through an adoring throng of fans shouting out things like, "Great talk!", "You the man!", "I want to have your baby!"  You know, the usual stuff.  Just then, I'm approached by a police officer.

"Mr. Carter, I have to place you under arrest."

"What for?"

"For that WNBA joke in the beginning of the speech.  You're also being charged for that bit about not having sex with the clients."

"You've got to be kidding me?  The sex with clients bit is some of my best stuff!  It killed!"

"It didn't kill for Agnes Walker," replies the officer, pointing to a woman who appears to have been born in the 30s -- the 1830s.  "She's the one who called us in.  Now, are you going to come quietly or are we going to have to get rough?"

How do I explain that one to my new cellmates?  As they sit around exchanging stories of assault, robbery and general mayhem, I'd be forced to chime in.  "You know what I did?  I told a bad joke at a legal conference.  That's right!  And I'll do it again too!"  For some reason, I suspect that I'll be doing a lot of sleeping with my eyes open.

Seriously, when did this society get to the point where you can get arrested for telling a bad joke?  And why hasn't someone come and put Conan O'Brien on death row?  These are questions that we all should ask.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Long Live the Fashion Police

When I first read about the case of the 29-year-old Florida man who was arrested for violating a city ordinance governing low-slung trousers (or, legally speaking, "exposure of undergarment in public"), I was sympathetic.  After all, what's next?  Will the fashion police in Florida begin arresting people for wearing white after Labor Day or black dress socks and sandals?  I could just see it now:

Frightened female motorist: "D-d-did I do something wrong, officer?"

Officer:  "Did you ever?  What made you think you could get away with wearing red lipstick and plum nail polish?"

Motorist:  "Oh, but I was running late and ..."

Officer:  "Save it for the judge, sister!  Here's your ticket and have a nice day.  Oh, and for the record, that lime green blouse is soooo last year!"

Well, I did feel that way about the law until I happened to see the rapper Lil Wayne on the Video Music Awards (see picture above).  But first, I must explain why a 40-year-old man with a law degree (and a fully-functioning frontal lobe) was watching the VMAs in the first place.  Here's what happened:

It was nearing my 14-year-old son's bedtime.  My wife and I conducted our nightly coin flip to determine who would have to risk malaria to step into the swamp he calls his room to remind him to bathe.  Needless to say, I lost.  When I got to his room, I found him lying across his bed on top of a mountain of both clean and dirty clothes watching television (what a surprise!).  As someone who believes that parents should monitor their children's entertainment choices (particularly when the Pussycat Dolls are gyrating across the screen), I decided to investigate his viewing choices further.  That's when I became acquainted with Mr. Wayne.

Now, the fact that I couldn't understand a word that Lil Wayne was mumbling into the mic was to be expected.  My parents could never understand the high pitched squeals of Prince or Michael Jackson either.  However, at least, Prince and Michael Jackson wore pants that covered their entire buttocks (well, at least, Michael Jackson did).  In any event, I began to see the wisdom of the Florida law (and canceling my cable subscription).  No person should be allowed to wear pants that expose their underwear, unless of course, they are in an all-girl musical group.

Seriously, Lil Wayne and his fellow rappers must be stopped!  That's why I'm calling on the U.S. Congress to stop their current work of not passing legislation to deal with the major problems facing the American people and start working on passing legislation that would require Lil Wayne to wear a belt.  And if you think I'm picking on the rappers unfairly, I'm actually trying to help them.  For instance, Lil Wayne has been arrested twice in the last year.  I now know why.  He can't possibly run very fast from the police with his pants fastened across his thighs.  If he pulled his pants up, he might have gotten away.  Also, please note that my proposed law would also apply to plumbers, locksmiths and heating and air conditioner repairmen.  

In short, if the American people have to put up with high gas prices, a crumbling infrastructure, unaffordable health care and MTV, we should at least be freed from Lil Wayne and the Brotherhood of the Exposed Backsides.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

When people think of lawyers, many adjectives come to mind.  Yet, "sexy" isn't usually one of them (unless they've just attended one of my CLE seminars).  However, unlike most people with 20/20 vision, the various state bars don't underestimate our attractiveness.  In fact, most states have rules that prohibit lawyers from entering into intimate relationships with their clients.  Apparently, laypeople are powerless against our good looks, wit and persuasiveness and therefore, they must be protected from our sexiness.

How else would you explain California Rule 3-120(B), which reads (and no, I'm not making this up):

A member shall not:

(1) Require or demand sexual relations with a client incident to or as a condition of any professional representation; or

(2) Employ coercion, intimidation, or undue influence in entering into sexual relations with a client; or

(3) Continue representation of a client with whom the member has sexual relations if such sexual relations cause the member to perform legal services incompetently in violation of rule 3-110.

The lawyer envisioned by the rule must be sexy beyond belief!  After all, are you good enough at your job to "require or demand" sex as a condition to hiring you?  I continually work on my craft and I haven't come close to the skill level where I can demand sex in exchange for my services as a speaker.  I just can't imagine saying to an event organizer, "Well, yes, I'm available on the date of your event.  However, in addition to paying my fee and travel costs, someone on your staff is going to have to sleep with me.  Can you make sure that she's a brunette and between 5'8 and 5'10?"  However, I guess I now have something to shoot for, don't I?

Of course, you may be thinking that this type of rule makes sense in a place where people have year-round tans.  Maybe so, but how do you explain Utah Rule 1.8, which reads:

(j) A lawyer shall not engage in sexual relations with a client that exploit the lawyer-client relationship. For the purposes of this Rule:

(j)(2) ... sexual relations between the lawyer and the client shall be presumed to be exploitive. This presumption is rebuttable.

Rebuttable how?  Perhaps, it works like this:

Lawyer: "You know, I've never felt like this about any client before."

Client: "I know, I feel the same way."

Lawyer: "I'd like to take our relationship to the next level."

Client: "Me too!"

Lawyer: "Well, before we do, I need you to sign this waiver in triplicate.  I have a notary public waiting back at the motel."

Client: "Oh, you are so romantic!  Kiss me!"

And if you think that our sex appeal is limited to clients, think again.  Apparently, client spouses are equally powerless; at least as evidenced by a peculiar case involving a Mississippi lawyer who has been ordered to pay $1.5 million for sleeping with his client's wife.  In perhaps, the quote of the century, the amorous lawyer explained that he wasn't surprised by the verdict.  "I knew I was going to get screwed," he said.

Turnabout is truly fair play, I guess.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Justice is Blind ... And Apparently, Cheap as Well

A prosecutor's $5 fine for being late to court was overturned after his boss filed a 47-page appeal.  The presiding judge failed to give the lawyer proper written notice before sanctioning him for being five minutes tardy to an April robbery case, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month.

Yes, you read all of that correctly.  The 4th District Court of Appeals was actually asked to rule on a matter involving the whopping sum of $5.  And yes, in doing so, they were forced to wade through a 47-page appeal, which was most likely copied more than a dozen times at a cost well in excess of $50 ($50,000, if copied at your law firm).

Can you just imagine being one of these judges?  You've finally ascended to the ranks of an appellate judgeship.  Your parents are making all of their friends and family sick as they talk about their son or daughter -- the "big-time appellate judge."  And then you have to go home for Thanksgiving and explain this case to your parents.

"Have I decided any capital cases?  No, not exactly.  What about political cases?  No, not precisely.  Multi-billion dollar class actions?  No, not really.  But hey!  I did resolve a dispute over $5 last week.  Can you pass the cranberry mold?"

I can only imagine that at some point, one of the judges must have been tempted to reach into her own pocket and just pay the $5 fine herself.

Of course, I feel most sorry for the lower court judge who was reversed in this matter.  It's one thing to be reversed in a landmark decision like Roe v. Wade, Brown v. Board of Education or Ali v. Frazier.  These contests meant something (especially if you had money on Ali).  They had an impact on the history of the nation and to this day, generate heated debate and thoughtful reflection.  For some reason, I just can't fathom future historians producing a series of documentaries entitled "$5 to Life: The Case That Changed the Law as We Know It."

Perhaps, the most pitiable person in this incident is the prosecutor who felt it necessary to appeal the massive $5 fine he received as a result of being five minutes late to court.  Now, I certainly understand that prosecutors don't make as much as, say, partners in large law firms (or associates in large law firms ... or receptionists in large law firms), yet are times that tough among the prosecutorial ranks?  Will prosecutors start hanging out around freeway off-ramps holding up signs reading, "Will Plea Bargain for Food"?

And what does this story foretell about the ability of judges to assure promptness in their courts?  Without the ability to impose fines (even miniscule ones), will judges be forced to eliminate any expectation of timeliness?

"Tomorrow, court will begin at, oh, around 10 ish ... or 11 ish ... or maybe, you could all arrive at sometime tomorrow before midnight, but hey, no pressure!"

Pardon My Fat

As someone who has fought (and consistently, lost) the battle of the bulge, vindication may be just around the corner.  While thin people may enjoy the benefits of increased health, physical vitality, and clothing that doesn't make them look like they are racing in the Tour de France, those benefits may soon pale in comparison to the sole benefit of being overweight -- the ability to have your execution stayed on the grounds that you are too fat to fry.

That's right.  An Ohio inmate, Richard Cooey, is challenging his scheduled execution on the grounds that he is too fat to be put to death.  In particular, he is claiming that executioners would have trouble finding his veins and that his weight could diminish the effectiveness of one of the lethal injection drugs.

By the way, if you are wondering how fat is too fat to die, the answer is not that fat.  Cooey is only 267 pounds.  Is that really too fat to find a vein?  Who will be administering the legal injection -- Mr. Magoo?  I've been within striking distance of that weight on several occasions and, not once, has my doctor had trouble taking my blood (or ever-increasing co-payment for that matter).  In fact, my wife, who has absolutely no medical training, has assured me on several occasions that if she ever caught me with another woman, she could quickly find my jugular vein with a carving knife.  I believe her.  In fact, maybe we should get her to do the injection.

Or maybe Cooey's lawyer should stick with his most persuasive argument -- that Cooey is taking a drug for migraine headaches that may have created a resistance to the anesthetic drug given in the lethal injection process.  According to Cooey's lawyer, "All of the experts agree if the first drug doesn't work, the execution is going to be excruciating."  Of course, given that Cooey is allegedly incapable of receiving any medical treatment that requires an IV, life could become excruciating if he is allowed to live as well.

Think about it.  Let's suppose that Cooey comes down with an appendicitis.  Unable to find a vein, doctors are forced to operate on him without anesthesia.  And given that they can't find a vein under centimeters of fat on his arm, just imagine their luck at finding the inflamed appendix and removing it.  They'd have a better chance of finding a solvent sub-prime lender.

That being said, Cooey has taught me to embrace my inner fat-boy.  I will no longer abuse my body with proper diet and exercise.  What's the point?  After all, as the old saying goes, "A Twinkie a day, keeps the executioner away!"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

In God We Sue

By now, you've probably heard the story of the Tennessee man who is suing his church for $2.5 million for injuries sustained when he fell and hit his head after being "slain in the spirit."  Here is the actual news story.

And while many commentators have dismissed the plaintiff's case, I'm not so sure that he doesn't have a legal basis for his suit.  While I haven't read the complaint (that would actually require real research), I can guess that his lawsuit is based on a negligence theory.  In short, he is likely claiming that the church breached its duty of care by letting the Holy Spirit in the church in the first place.  And even then, the church should have taken adequate precautions to prevent him from getting hurt.

And while this seems silly at first blush (and maybe even second blush), the plaintiff might have a point.  After all, from time to time, I see Benny Hinn on TV knocking out people like a young Mike Tyson.  (If you think I'm exaggerating, take a look at this video).  Almost always, he has two strong guys standing behind the healed person to catch them when they fall (or just as likely, to pull them to the ground should they not accept the cue to fall down voluntarily).  Even Benny Hinn understands that you can't employ the power of the almighty without regards to legal liability.

Of course, the church will have two defenses to this action but neither is completely satisfactory; at least, as far as the church should be concerned.  For one, it could argue that the plaintiff's injuries were not foreseeable.  However, I can't imagine that the pastor will be very excited about sitting in the jury box and explaining that a movement of the Holy Spirit in his church was completely unforeseeable.  "Listen, folks.  I haven't seen or heard from the Lord in decades and then, out of the blue, He just shows up one Sunday.  It was completely unforeseeable."

The other possible line of defense is the tried and true "assumption of the risk" defense.  In other words, the plaintiff should have known that attending church was dangerous in the first place and, as a result, he has no one to blame but himself.  Once again, I can't imagine that the other parishioners will find much solace in the new signs that will have to be posted in the church: 

Beware of God

Holy Spirit at Work

How's My Preaching?  Call 1-800-JOHN-316

With this kind of legal reasoning, it should be clear why I no longer practice law!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rap-tivist Judges

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to meet one of my judicial heroes -- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin, or as he is known on the street -- Eminee (M & E).  He has earned his moniker for writing some of the "dopest" rhymes out of Philly since the Fresh Prince's Parents Just Don't Understand.  Here are just a few samples of Eakin's lyrical skills:

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, 
but the Vehicle Code does not divorce 
its application from, perforce, 
a steed, as my colleagues said.

"It's not vague" I'll say until I'm hoarse, 
and whether a car, a truck or horse 
this law applies with equal force, 
and I'd reverse instead.
Yeah, boy!  But check this one out:

A groom must expect matrimonial pandemonium 
When his spouse finds he’s given her a cubic zirconium 
Instead of a diamond in her engagement band 
The one he said was worth 21 grand.

Now, you can say what you want, but anyone who can find a rhyme for "cubic zirconium" shouldn't be on the bench, but instead, should be on a private yacht somewhere sipping Cristol surrounded by the "honeys."  In fact, when I met him, I chided him that if he were to add a few N-words, B-words and H-words to his opinions, he could get a recording contract.  He politely said that he would "take it under advisement."

Nevertheless, it was just a matter of time before an east coast - west coast judicial rivalry was spawned.  And it seems to have started now that Judge Ronald Leighton (aka "Lay-Lay") began kicking funky rhymes in response to an incredibly verbose lawsuit filing (the filing was 465 pages long, 8 pages of which were the title):

Plaintiff has a great deal to say,
But it seems he skipped Rule 8(a). 
His Complaint is too long, 
Which renders it wrong, 
Please rewrite and refile today.

Before long, we can expect judges in the "dirty south" -- the 11th Circuit -- the get in on the act (sadly, I suspect that the judicial contingent from Alabama won't be so reticent to use the N-word ... yes, I'm kidding my friends in Alabama).  In any event, if we can just get Diddy to create a reality show for these aspiring raptivists, perhaps in the line of Making Da Band.  In fact, he could call it Making Da Court.  In between walking to Brooklyn to pick up his dry cleaning, Diddy might want to enlist the judge's help in getting his record child support payments reduced.  Yeah, boy!