Law Religion Culture Review

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

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Year in Review, 2020.

Books Read (in order read)
1. Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow (2019)
2. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (1949) [cd unabridged]
3. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell (2019)
4. The War of Art: Break Through and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield (2012; originally pub. 2002)
5. The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough (2019) [cd unabridged]
6. Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Servino (2019)
7. Loserthink: How Untrained Brains are Ruining America by Scott Adams (2019)
8. Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer (2019)
9. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford (2004) [cd unabridged]
10. Persuader by Lee Child (2003) [cd unabridged]
11. The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh (1953)
12. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (2015) [audiobook unabridged]
13. Roadshow: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle by Neil Peart (2006)
14. The Flight: Charles Lindbergh's Daring and Immortal 1927 Transatlantic Crossing by Dan Hampton (2017)
15. Night School by Lee Child (2016) [cd unabridged]
16. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (2008) [audiobook unabridged]
17. Letters to the Church by Francis Chan (2018)
18. The Club King by Peter Gatien (2020)
19. Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero by James Romm (2014)
20. I'm Your Emotional Support Animal by Adam Carolla (2020)
21. Far and Wide: Bring the Horizon to Me! by Neil Peart (2016)
22. Broken Faith by Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr (2020)
23. The Operator by Robert O'Brien (2017)
24. The Devil's Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High-Stakes Games Played Inside Lehman Brothers by Vicky Ward (2010)
25. Kushner, Inc. by Vicky Ward (2019)
26. Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy (2020) [audiobook unabridged]
27. The Dog Went Over the Mountain by by Peter Zheutlin (2019)
28. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (1985) [cd unabridged]
29. Relentless Pursuit by Bradley J. Edwards with Brittany Henderson (2020)
30. Writing to Persuade by Trish Hall (2019) [audiobook unabridged]
31. The Liar's Ball: The Extraordinary Saga Of How One Building Broke the World's Toughest Tycoons by Vicky Ward (2014)
32. Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (1962) [cd unabridged]
33. Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game by Oliver Stone (2020) [audiobook unabridged]
34. We by Charles A. Lindbergh (1927)
35. The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson (2019) [cd unabridged]
36. Church of Cowards by Matt Walsh (2020)
37. How to Keep Your Cool: An Ancient Guide to Anger Management by Seneca (edited and translated by James S. Romm) (2019) [audiobook unabridged]
38. The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Plague in History by John M. Barry (2004) [cd unabridged]
39. Supreme Ambition: Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative Takeover by Ruth Marcus (2019)
40. Quitter: A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery by Erica C. Barnett (2020)
41. So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams (1984) [cd unabridged]
42. Out of the Silence: After the Crash by Eduardo Strauch with Mireya Soriano (2019, translated by Jennie Erikson)
43. True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump by Jeffrey Toobin (2020) [audiobook unabridged]
44. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (2020)
45. The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham (2006)
46. 2000 Miles Together: The Story of the Largest Family to Hike the Appalachian Trail by Ben Crawford with Meghan McCraken (2020)

Losses Sustained

Neil Peart
James T. Capretz (former law partner)
Eddie Van Halen (saw him twice in concert--at LA Coliseum and Forum)
J.I. Packer
Sean Connery
Chuck Yeager

Concert of the Year
Tool (1/10/20 San Diego; 11th Tool Show attended)

Film of the Year
The Way Back
Honorable Mention: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Book of the Year
The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh (1953)
Honorable Mention: Relentless Pursuit by Bradley Edwards with Brittany Henderson (2020)

Trial of the Year

"Have a House"

My client befriended a gentleman in his neighborhood. Over the years, they bonded over their mutual loves of cars and sports. After the gentleman lost his wife, he received a terminal diagnosis as well. He told my client that he wanted to give him his house upon his death, but didn't want to deal with a will or trust. My client had heard of a "deed upon death" that would allow the gentleman to stay in the house for his lifetime, and then have the property transfer to my client at his death. My client suggested that the gentleman look into it. He did. The gentleman decided to have such a deed prepared, reviewed it, and then executed it with a notary. It was then recorded. However, it was not recorded in a timely fashion. As a result, my client was informed by a title company that it would not be able to insure title. Thus, my client would not be able to refinance or sell it. He was told he would need to quiet title to the property. He then came to us. We brought a lawsuit to quiet titled in his name. At the trial, I elicited extensive testimony of the deceden't intent to transfer title to my client. We introduced evidence of their long-standing relationship, but also that there was no "care-giver" relationship that could have potentially disqualified my client from receiving it. At the conclusion of the trial, the court quieted title to the property in favor of my client. At 25 years of age, my client had his first house.

Appeal of the Year

"A Record Without A Record"

Our client sued a tech company for breach of contracts. The tech company cross-complained. Each pleading demanded damages in the millions. My client, as plaintiff, brought an affirmative motion for summary adjudication on its complaint. Prior to the hearing, the tech company dismissed its cross-complaint without prejudice. The trial court granted my client's summary adjudication motion and awarded it damages of approximately $8 million, plus attorneys' fees and other costs. The other side appealed. At the oral argument, appellant's counsel argued first, as is customary. He told the justices that he would organize his remarks around the four main arguments of our respondent’s brief. I made a mental note that he was distracted from his contentions that the trial court somehow made an error below in granting summary adjudication and instead focused on our arguments. Among other things, we argued that the appellant failed to provide an adequate record for the appeal. We also contended that the trial court's written evidentiary rulings on our objections to the evidence were correct. One particularly amusing piece of purported evidence was that the appellant had included a declaration in opposition to the motion that averred he had "recently" visited a website to claim that it contents somehow violated the contracts. We objected this statement lacked foundation as to when he viewed it and whose website it was. One of the justices noted that “recently” was not defined, was not a "term of art", and needed a “temporal component” essential to foundation. She also observed that there was no date on the website print-out submitted to the trial court. Appellant’s told the panel they could check to see it was still up there now. Almost in unison, they said something to the effect of that’s not how we do things on appeal. The opinion ensued unanimously upholding the judgment in its entirety, and then tacked on additional attorneys' fees and costs. With interest, it has grown to eight figures. A personal record.

Athletic Achievement of the Year
Completed 52 Hike Challenge (in actuality, doubled it--over 104)
Plus 365/365 workouts (6th year in a row)
Fulfilled annual trek to Sedona (annual trek to Maui was a Covid-19 casualty)