Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year in Review, 2015.

Books Read (in order read)
1. An Atheist in the FOXhole: A Liberal's Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media by Joe Muto (2013)
2. The Lost Painting: The Quest For a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr (2005) [cd unabridged]
3. Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer (2011)
4. Gasping for Airtime by Jay Mohr (2004) [cd unabridged]
5. Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail by Erin Miller (2014)
6. Lying by Sam Harris (2013)
7. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John M. Gottman, Ph.D. and Nan Silver (1999) [cd unabridged]
8. Denali's Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America's Wildest Peak by Andy Hall (2014)
9. Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work & Life by Ronald A. Howard & Clinton D. Korver (2008)
10. American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice (2012)
11. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer (1953) [cd unabridged]
12. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick (2000) [cd unabridged]
13. Yes Please by Amy Poehler (2014) [cd unabridged]
14. The Case Against the Supreme Court by Erwin Chemerinsky (2014)
15. In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
by Hampton Sides (2014) [cd unabridged]
16. Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan (1986)[cd unabridged]
17. The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph by Ryan Holiday (2014)
18. The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage by Rob and Kristen Bell (2014)
19. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Gregory Hays, trans., 2002)
20. The Trial by Franz Kafka (Breon Mitchell, trans.)
21. The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant (2010)
22. Speak to Win by Brian Tracy (2008) [cd unabridged]
23. Hell or High Water by Peter Heller (2004) [cd unabridged]
24. Mizzoula by Jon Krakauer (2015)
25. Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals by Ed Brodow (2006) [cd unabridged]
26. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters (2014) [cd unabridged]
27. Finding Ultra by Rich Roll (2012)
28. The Game by Neil Strauss (2005)
29. The Dark Art: My Undercover Life In Global Narco-Terrorism by Edward Follis with Douglas Century (2014)
30. Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs by Ben Mezrich (2015) [cd unabridged]
31. When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man by Jerry Weintraub with Rob Cohen (2010) [cd unabridged]
32. Rules of the Game by Neil Strauss (2009)
33. Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss (2009)
34. House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William D. Cohan (2009) [cd unabridged]
35. 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff (2014) [cd unabridged]
36. The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, the Power of the Elite, and the Corruption of Our Great Universities by William D. Cohan (2014)
37. What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan (2013)
38. ¬°Adios, America! by Ann Coulter (2015)
39. The Mystery Method by Mystery with Chris Odom (2007)
40. Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy (2015) [cd unabridged]
41. Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came To Rule The World by William D. Cohan (2011)
42. The Physician by Noah Gordon (1986)
43. The Martian by Andy Weir (2011) [cd unabridged]
44. American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard (2011)
45. The Greatest Trade Ever:The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street & Made Financial History by Gregory Zuckerman (2009)
46. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright (2006)[cd unabridged]
47. Mate by Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller, PhD with Nils Parker (2015)
48. God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner (2015) [cd unabridged]
49. Population Wars: A New Perspective on Competition and Coexistence by Greg Graffin (2015)
50. The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat by Bob Woodward (2005)[cd unabridged]
51. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke (2002)
52. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance (2015)
53. Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow (2015)
54. Daddy, Stop Talking!: And Other Things My Kids Want But Won't Be Getting by Adam Carolla (2015)
55. Witness to Power: The Nixon Years by John Ehrlichman (1982)
56. Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest by Beck Weathers with Stephen G. Michaud (2000)
57. President Me: The America That's in My Head by Adam Carolla (2014)
58. The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam (2005) [cd unabridged]
59. Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence by Bill James (2011)
60. SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin (2011) [cd unabridged]
61. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams (2013)
62. The Dilbert Principle:A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions by Scott Adams (1997) [cd unabridged]
63. The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships by Neil Strauss (2015)

Athletic Achievement of the Year
Summited Mt. San Gorgonio, 11,502 feet





Losses Sustained
Vincent T. Bugliosi, Jr.
Dale R. Peterson (one of the hiring partners at law firm who hired me for my first lawyer position. A sharp Stanford JD with physics/philosophy undergrad degrees, he was one of a kind. A competitive handball player, he introduced me to the game and we had a standing Saturday duel. He could talk music, cars, comedy and fine dining with equal alacrity. His interests were as eclectic as his intelligence was electric).

Concert of the Year
Lagwagon/NOFX (at It's Not Dead Festival)
Honorable Mention: Social Distortion (at Greek Theater)

Film of the Year
Spotlight
Honorable Mention: Sicario

Book of the Year
Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work & Life by Ronald A. Howard & Clinton D. Korver (2008)
Honorable Mention: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams (2013)

Trial of the Year
I represented a successor trustee who was charged with administering a trust that was amended multiple times. The overall effect of these changes was to disinherit one of the beneficiaries. The beneficiary sued to set aside the amendments on the grounds of "incapacity", "undue influence", and moreover, they were invalid because the trust was "irrevocable" in its entirety. We defended the allegations and also affirmatively brought forward a pleading to have the court correct "scrivener's errors" in the trust (and amendments) regarding its alleged irrevocability. Based on the drafting attorney's testimony and an expert opinion, we argued that only one subtrust was irrevocable and that all the amendments were intended to amend the revocable subtrust and effectively did so. As an additional complication, a deed was recorded that seemed to place a real property into the irrevocable subtrust when it only made sense that it be vested in the revocable subtrust (from which the contestant was disinherited). The trial court agreed in all respects, reforming or correcting the trust (and amendments) and upholding the disinheritance.