Paralysis by Urinalysis

doctor-with-urine-sample-via-shutterstock-615x345Paralysis by Urinalysis

If I fail a urine screen I am then discharged from treatment by my doctor.  This has become an all-too-common practice at many .. practices. Isn’t this ridiculous?  I mean, hypothetically, if I decided to go to an all night 70’s disco cocaine party and decided to partake (hypothetically) then I am in danger of losing the services of my orthopedic surgeon who is helping to mend my back after a near-paralyzing car accident?  Ridiculous.  A joint to help me sleep?  Say goodbye to my recovery from spinal injury.  Is there even a justification for this?  I will play devil’s advocate and try to defend the indefensible here.  Note:  Any position that isn’t mine is indefensible.

We can’t be providing opioid medications to patients who are themselves drug users.  There could be dangerous interactions and other irresponsible behavior that would cause them to harm themselves.  They would need a doctor.  They should be discharged from my (doctor) practice.

We have to test their urine frequently to be sure that we are not contributing to a patient’s drug problem or addiction issue for which they should be seeking professional help.  They would definitely need to see a doctor if they had an addiction problem.  These patients definitely should be discharged from my (doctor) practice.

By testing our patients’ urine, we can see who is a complicated patient so we can quickly discharge them from our practice, thus leaving us with the simple patients who quietly come and go, pay their bill on time, and allow us to pack in more patients (more money!)  Complicated patients take up too much time and cost us too much money (not to mention effort).  Money and effort should never be expended needlessly in our line of work.  Just tell them we can lose our license (an incredible irony when you consider that by KEEPING them as patients and TREATING their destructive tendencies by way of referrals or their addiction we would be acting MORE like doctors and thus be MORE worthy of our licenses) and keep having them make the walk of shame from bathroom to waiting room holding their leaking urine vials.  I became a doctor to get rich not to treat people who have unhealthy habits or dangerous behaviors.  Those people should go get their heads examined.  …by a doctor, I guess.  I’m confused.

Doing drugs is unhealthy although often a lot of fun.  If you choose to do something this stupid (awesome) then you should not be in danger of losing the services of a competent medical professional.  It should be noted, however, that if your doctor discharges you for failing a urinalysis, subjecting you to both withdrawal and the care that you deserve due to an injury or illness, the maybe your medical professional isn’t so competent after all…


I Thought I’d Share A Sample of the Email That Is Delivered to Students in Law School. Humor is Not a Required Course, You’ll See.

Dearest friends:

Muhammad Ali  once said, “Champions aren’t made in gyms.  Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision.”  By extrapolating  Ali’s maxim, one thing becomes abundantly clear:  Rutgers Law will win the UVA Law Invitational Softball Tournament on April 9-11, 2010.  It’s a FACT.  I mean, look around you.  Everyone still has desire (… to get find a job before the REPO man comes rap-tap-tapping at your chamber door);  everyone still has a dream (… it’s called “Barrister’s Ball,” or, “Buddy Mixer with Cumberbunds”);  everyone still has vision (… or can regain it through successful Lasik surgery, natch).   Thus, despite our (read: MY) ill-fated workout regimens, we are the champions.

But it will be no bed of roses.

No pleasure cruise.

I know what some of you are asking yourselves (and yes, I hate this rhetoric device too):

1. “But Jorge, how do I get involved with the 2010 Intercontinental Co-Ed Softball Juggernaut that is Rutgers Law Softball?”  Simple, Bro Montana.  Fill out the attached registration form and bring a $30 non-refundable deposit to the UVA Softball Table in the atrium.  Or you may choose to fill out the form at the table.  We will start tabling regularly from next week through Thanksgiving break.  You must register before Thanksgiving break if you want to attend. The total cost of the trip will be about $100 ($70 after deposit) for new players and $75 ($45 after deposit) for returning players.  These prices are subject to change (read: D-to-the-rizzop) depending on our collective fundraising efforts.  This cost includes: a 2 day stay at the wonderful Days Inn of Charlottesville, VA; a mesh Rutgers Law Jersey; and tournament registration*.  We strongly encourage 1Ls to attend.  Get your briefs done a few days early because you DO NOT want to miss this trip.  I know that it’s a little pricey, but it’s easily the best event of the year.

2. “But George, I’m not that good at softball.”  Listen, chief.  This is a FUN-raiser.   Besides, every team needs some Miguel Cabrera.  Follow instructions above.

3. “No, but seriously Hore-hay, I don’t want to play softball.”   Well, if you’ve read this far into the e-mail despite not wanting to play, I want to let you in on two secrets.  (1) My name is Jorge.  (2) I want you to break out that scarlet war paint and come anyway.  Far too often we forget what the softball trip is about—making contact.  And I’m talking about more than ground-rule doubles.  In ten years, when we’re at the Bar (Association events) together we’re not going to look back and talk about how awesome that ALALS bake sale** was.   No.  We’re going to talk about how awesome it was when [REDACTED] totally [REDACTED] in [REDACTED]’s [REDACTED].

The gauntlet has been lain.  The fields have been reserved.  All that’s left is your participation.

For New Jersey.  For Rutgers.  For “the Gipper.”  Let’s make it happen.

With love and squalor,

Jorge Estrada
J.D. Candidate, 2010
Sent on behalf of the Rutgers Softball Team

Ex parte McCardle. My Kind of parte…

There is a war (isn’t there always?) This one is okay though because it’s civil. They even called it the Civil War! McCardle was a Mississippi newspaper editor with some naughty things to say about the government and the silliness of the Civil War. He was taken into military custody for libel and for publishing incendiary articles. He habeas corpused. The Circuit Court say “No!”. But the Super Duper Court said ‘Yes! Sure, in fact…” (you understand that this is not a true citation right. OK. Let’s move ahead.)

This parte gets nuts when, after arguments were heard, Congress passed a law revoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear cases that happened to be the one about to be decided on concerning the guy who said a lot of nasty stuff about you and doesn’t deserve a chance to appeal especially to the SC, I mean who does this jerk think he is, first he slam our country then seeks refuge in it? Seems like a lot of libs these days, actually…

So, in a completely coincidental disaster for McCardle, his appeal was mooted.

Lesson: Don’t f*#k with Congress. They can adjust jurisdiction and get you so long as it does not directly butt heads with the Con Con (stitution).

Heck of a parte…


The Erie Doctrine – “We Choose the Law. Toughum Shittum.”


Erie is eerie. (had to do it). In the most influential of all Supreme Court rulings, with regard to power and Constitutional interpretation. 10th Amendment. I like this one. Most of us have forgotten the whole “if we didn’t sat you could do it then you can friggin’ do it.” amendment. The framers put this in here at bookend number 10 for a reason. So we could have a lot of freedom and fewer regulation. Especially from those pesky courts and annoying lawyeerses.

Ah, so Erie. Erie Railroad v. Tompkins. Why there is no movie is beyond me. Man walks down dingy, gritty road in nowhere Pennsylvania. Man sees train approaching. No friggin’ biggie. Alas! The door of one of the cars is open and it knockethed his arm off. Yeah. Trains go fast.

So negligence action is put into motion. Loco-motion. Here’s where we get silly. In Federal Court, Mr. Half-the-man-I-used-to-be is a trespasser and would be denied any recovery unless there was wanton misconduct. Under Penn. law, he would be a licensee and would only have to show negligent negligence, the kind we all know and love. Garden variety.

You can guess which side wanted which court… Well, law said that since Armless Tompkins was a Pennsylvanian and Erie was a New York company, diversity was in order and federal court was the proper venue. Tompkins was sad. He recovered nada. He also failed to grow back his arm.

Appeals galore ensued until the freakin’ Supreme Court granted certiorari. It is great to be granted certiorari. It is also the hardest word to spell. I digress.

Certiorari is the permission to talk to the big guys and gals about your case and why it was decided wrongly. After hearing the arguments, the Supreme Court created what was and will forever be known as th Erie Doctrine which stipulates that, even though diversity applied and the federal court had jurisdiction, they are obligated under law to take into account local law when presiding over such a case where it would directly affect the outcome.

Tompkins won in the end. Great story. I hear that, with all the money he won, he is now a Rap Mogul producing such acts as: Dedos non-entiros, and Nuclear Arms (minus one).


A Soft Cushion in Washington

“…the empowerment of authorities seems to be a response of groups to problems such as social conflict and … scarce or diminishing resources, and yet it is precisely in such situations that the actions of authorities are likely to be controversial… (in the 70’s this was problematic due to) alienation from and distrust of legal, political, and industrial authorities …  Since the legitimacy of authorities is often viewed as a “cushion of support” that helps societies to survive difficult periods in history, the weakness … seemed to point to a potentially dangerous vulnerability …”

Civil Procedure, Subrin, et al. p. 38

Enjoy your cushion America!

Law School and the Pleasant Surrender of Everything

It all looks the same, but only people with considerable personality disorders enroll in law school and actually make it through the first semester.  Our goals are selfish and means masochistic, so we embrace abuse to do the superhuman, we must become inhuman.  The rules of “normal” do not apply to us.  We are not better, but we are not the same.  Something has been killed in us as simple as illuminated in the maxim, “Ignorance is bliss.”  Well we’re not ignorant any more.  The world is full of unspeakable horrors.  Messes made by insufferable people left for lawyers to clean up and profit from.  Basically, that is the overarching principle guiding our course of study thus far.  On deck for next semester, I have elected to take Professional Responsibility.  This is a required course in the ethics of lawyerdom.  I felt that it would be funny.  I am sick and need mental help.  That is why I shine in law school.  I’m the sickest of the sick in my class.  Law Review awaits!  I’m already the lone scholar chosen by the school to represent one of the richest most successful men to graduate from my program.  See.  Surrender everything and become a monster.  I love it because I can dispose of the facade I’ve built to be normal and resume my more comfortable role as a predator.  I’ve found my calling amongst the wolves, readers.  I wish to make it clear that law school will take your soul and replace it with space for your ego to grow (he is cramped within the strictures of your current “normal” life).   I will keep you updated as I learn the “ethics” of being a monster.  Stay tuned…FUN ABOUNDS!