There is no story more formally structured than a legal narrative; there is an audience, narrators, characters, a plot, rules about who can say what when — and, typically, wide room for interpretation. Jerome Bruner writes that, like all tales, a legal narrative reflects Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic Pentad: agent, action, goal, setting and means — but there is some disagreement between the five elements, creating trouble. In fiction, of course, that trouble creates the plot; in everyday life, trouble is grounds for a story recounted later, to friends or family, sometimes again and again. But trouble is a different thing altogether when it is created in a legal setting. “It is the conversion of private Trouble (in Burke’s sense) into public plight that makes well-wrought narrative so powerful, so comforting, so dangerous, so culturally essential” (Bruner 2002:35). Fortunately for lawyers, the trouble created for legal narratives is inherently adversarial; in almost every case, both sides make different claims, and it is up to the audience — sometimes a jury, other times one or more judges — to decide how the story ends.
The College of William and Mary Student Assembly passed its largest appropriation in seven years to provide funding for an additional staff member at the Counseling Center.
The SA passed the Student Mental Health Act, sponsored by Sen. Ryan Ruzic J.D. ’11 and Sen. Curt Mills ’13, Tuesday night, appropriating $57,000 from the consolidated reserve to fund the salary, benefits and search process to employ an extra psychologist at the Counseling Center for one year.
“We were able to do something that actually helps students in a real, substantive way,” Ruzic said. “I think student government does a lot of things that help a lot of students, but in very small ways. It’s great when we have a lot of our various missions — talking to the state government about more funding, talking to administrators about student life issues — but there’s very few things we do that so fundamentally help people.”
The City of Williamsburg is suing the landlord of 219A Harrison Ave. for violating the city’s three-person rule, which prohibits more than three unrelated people from living together.
The city brought the lawsuit against 219 Harrison Ventures, LLC, the owners of the property, before the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court earlier this month.
“The house was found to be in violation of the city’s zoning ordinance,” Williamsburg Zoning Administrator Rodney Rhodes said. “It had not been corrected within the time period given the property owner.”
Transcript? Check. Recommendations? Check. Essay? Check. Video? Maybe.
Videos are becoming an increasingly popular part of college applications at the College of William and Mary and at many other schools across the nation. Including a supplementary video allows a potential student to show — not just tell — admissions officers about themselves.
Former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse spoke with The Flat Hat about Sandra Day O’Connor, the allocation of federal power and her experience covering Bush v. Gore.
Tell me about your relationship with Sandra Day O’Connor.
I’ve had the chance to see her a number of times since she retired. I’ve been on a couple of panels in programs that she put together at Georgetown Law School and her project to clean up the system for selecting state court judges that she’s really devoted herself to. I feel privileged that I’ve known her because I think she’s really the genuine article. She’s a terrific servant of the public, really, and she’s using her premature retirement to really try to make a difference in American civic life, and that’s very commendable.
Do you think it’s likely that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire at the end of this term?
Yeah, I think it’s highly likely. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t.
Future decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court will focus on topics such as corporations and wartime executive powers rather than on popular social issues, according to former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse.
Greenhouse, who covered the nation’s highest judiciary from 1978 to 2008, spoke at the College of William and Mary Tuesday during a three-day visit to campus as the 2010 Hunter B. Andrews Fellow in American Politics.
She has participated in most of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law’s annual Supreme Court Previews in the last two decades and currently teaches at Yale Law School.
Greenhouse began by discussing the recently decided case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 5-4 decision in which the majority ruled that corporations have broad First Amendment rights, especially regarding political advertisements. The decision struck down part of the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002, which in part prevented corporations from running political advertisements prior to elections.
The Williamsburg City Council voted down a motion Thursday to allow College of William and Mary students to reside in hotels and motels throughout the city.
The proposal would have expanded the ability of the College to house students in hotels throughout the city rather than just the Museum Support district, the only area of the city currently able to lease to students.
It was passed 6-1 by the Planning Commission in December and seemed likely to pass through city council. Council members, however, were swayed by landlords and rental agencies who spoke against the change.