Sunday, June 14, 2009

No California Love

While all my California friends are celebrating the Laker's championship win, I am not feeling as much of the LA or Cali love.

All day today, I've been review evidence- the first subject where we have to learn the California law. While I have a pretty good grasp of the federal rules, I am just starting to learn how California is different. I made chart of differences . . . and it was 7 pages long. sigh. That pretty much means California is the opposite of, or has an exception to, every federal law.

My frustration is not really amount the material of information I have to learn, but really how stupid the California law is. California's deviations away from federal law just seem completely arbitrary. Sometimes it screws over the accused, sometimes the party bringing the case. You just never know.

The bigger picture is that this is what happens when you have bad governance. When you have term-limited state legislators passing new laws relating to evidence based on the hot news story (thanks for bringing us the "OJ rule" California). Or when you have the public voting on rules of evidence (thanks for bringing another horrible Prop 8- this one doesn't have to do with gay marriage but rather changing all the rules for criminal cases). Evidence is hard enough for many law students to understand; not to sound elitist, but how are non-lawyers supposed to be savvy enough to know how to change it.

Can we just have that big earthquake so we get a fresh start and end this direct democracy experiment?

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