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St. Louis Diary

I can really feel that this semester is coming to an end


I can really feel that this semester is coming to an end. In most classes there are only three or four hours of course work left, and almost everybody at school is talking about the finals. I already gave the presentation of my trademark seminar ("Injunctive Relief Against Trademark Infringement in American and German Law") and am now preparing for the remaining exams: Contracts, Cyberlaw (which is a going to be a 24 hour take-home exam), Copyright and Commercial Transactions.

While preparing the PowerPoints for my presentation, I found that the University is well outfitted with all kinds of technological equipment. Besides the two computer rooms at the law school, there are several other computer labs, equipped with Pentium II computers (some Macs...), DVD drives, scanners and laser printers. Moreover the university has a central media lab, with all kinds of printing devices, such as big format laser printers, copiers, color copiers and special devices to make transparencies. All the dorm rooms are also equipped with a direct connection to the university network and most of them with cable TV. Besides the regular TV program two separate university channels broadcast music and movies (last week the blair witch project) without any commercial break.

By the way, commercial brakes: If you thought that the commercial brakes on the German cable channels were long, you have to love American television - the commercial breaks actually seem to be longer than the main presentation. Most shows are served in nice 10 minutes portion, each divided by commercials of at least the same duration.

However my favorite tension-ruining scheme of movie presentation is a show called "Movie and Dinner". The concept is pretty simple. The setting of the show is a mixture of a TV kitchen as it is being used in one of those cooking shows, and an over-decorated "hip" (thatís what they think), "young urban" living room. The two hosts welcome some actor, they appear to prepare some dinner and meanwhile show a movie. While this might still sound ok, what it comes down to is, that you donít only have the annoying regular commercial brakes, but also additional brakes in which those people make lame and semi-funny comments about virtually each and every scene of the picture. Eventually it takes them about 3-Ĺ hours to present (or better: completely ruin) a 1-Ĺ hour movie. (I actually never made it through the whole show, but I guess that there are some hardboiled fans, which donít miss a single presentation).

But back to law again. As I promised some time ago I would cite once in a while entertaining passages (I hope you agree) I found in American judgments. So here is another one. It originates from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and describes the death of an unsuccessful gambler and the problems of his creditors to recover his debt: "On June 27, 1980, Brinker cashed in his chips for the last time, apparently leaving an insolvent estate of less than $ 5,000.00." Now, isnít that a nice way to put it?