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July 2022

Law \ Legal

Law Student Discovers Catholic Learning Institution Enforces A Religious Code Of Conduct


Frustrated college student studying at computer face palm, d’oh, sad, embarrass, stress

Who thought Leviticus would show up on the Tort exam?

There are a couple of stock issues to address when some bright eyed 0L approaches and asks for advice on going to law school. The first is to tell them not to go to law school. No, seriously, please give it some thought. Many a liberal arts degree grasping for what to do after their BA in Basket Weaving has looked to law as a path toward a 6 figure starting salary and proud parents, only to find that most lawyers don’t end up at Cravath and, even if you do get the Biglaw gig, you aren’t guaranteed to like it.

After they inevitably don’t listen, I’m sure you go down the usual list. Find a study group. Go read “Getting to Maybe.” Once you tell them to find a way to cope with stress that doesn’t involve hitting the bottle or Tinder, that’s usually where the info dump stops. Another thing we should add — consider the religious background of the law school you’re applying to.

One law student had a rude awakening when they got this email from their JD mill:

I assume that most people don’t think about what their law school will think of their twitter, protest attendance or finsta posts while they’re suffering through learning the rule against perpetuities — character and fitness concerns are usually once you’re already minted. But surveillance is real, and few do discovery better than lawyers. Do not drink the Kool-Aid that universities are a no holds barred forum to voice your thoughts and concerns. I’d also be wary against dismissing this as “Welp, that’s what happens when you go to a private religious school, should have read the fine print.” Nothing really stops other private institutions from mums the wording politically divisive content for the sake of saving face, see Facebook.

One commenter followed up the post with this:

“Best you can do is forward it to Above the Law. They’ll publish it with commentary, and it’ll warn potential incoming students”

They weren’t wrong. Try not to get cancelled by your administration for sharing radical notions like “people should have access to adequate healthcare” or that “the outcome in Obergefell was not morally contemptuous.”

Idk How To Feel About This Email From The Dean Please Help [Reddit]


Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at [email protected] and by tweet at @WritesForRent.





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Shopping

On the Road: NHPA Tours Stores in Copenhaven


Representatives for the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) are taking the association on the road—in stores and on industry show floors in the U.S. and Canada, and even further abroad.

NHPA chief operating officer and publisher Dan Tratensek recently completed a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he attended the 2022 Global DIY Summit. He also toured Danish home improvement stores that ranged from discount consumer-focused operations to 24-hour-a-day lumberyards. Continue reading to learn more about these store visits.


SilvanSilvan
A leading Danish DIY-focused chain that operates stores throughout the country.

While Silvan’s 42 shops are located in both urban and suburban areas, the retailer’s focus for growth is on its urban store formats. The urban locations, like the one Tratensek toured in the heart of Copenhagen, focus on providing urban dwellers with everything they might need to make their homes comfortable. The stores even offer bicycles with a large basket in the front for customers to use and ferry products to and from their homes.

At roughly 1,000 square meters, this downtown store location offers everything from live plants to lightbulbs and offers about 6,000 SKUs of products. The two-level structure is located in a historic building with a large sign inside the entrance sharing the building’s history and a large map outlining the store’s layout.


Stark City 24-7Stark City 24-7
A lumber dealer that caters to Copenhagen’s professional contractors and tradespeople.

Stark is a 125-year-old company with 485 branches throughout Northern Europe. In 2021, the operation made more than $5 billion in sales.
One of Stark’s most unique features is that it is open

24 hours a day, seven days a week, to meet the needs of the market’s contractors who often want to start their days early.

The Copenhagen location Tratensek toured offers a full-service outdoor lumber facility and products located under a covered, drive-through area for easy picking and loading.

In addition to its full slate of building materials and lumber, the salesfloor offers everything from a wide selection of power tools and accessories to plumbing supplies, paint, workwear, shoes and safety gear. The salesfloor also includes a small flooring and kitchen and bath showroom.

Stark also offers its customers unique features like the ability to rent one of its tool vans. The van is fully stocked with a range of tools and customers can rent it for the day. Stark will even drop off at job sites a fastener box that comes completely stocked with fasteners to meet almost any need.


jem & fixJem & Fix
Denmark’s low-cost leader for supplying hardware and building products to contractors, tradespeople and the public.

Jem & Fix is a family-owned company with more than 124 stores in Denmark, 59 stores in Sweden and 11 in Norway. The store’s brand is built around its no-frills merchandising. It rarely offers promotions and does not offer a loyalty program. At Jem & Fix, price is the primary driver to capture customers.

The store features a broad selection of lumber and building materials as well as lawn and garden and outdoor living products. Customers can also find paint, plumbing, hardware tools and more.


Carl RasCarl Ras
A third-generation, family-owned chain of pro-focused hardware stores with locations throughout Denmark.

Carl Ras’ 19 stores focus on selection and service, and the location Tratensek visited in Copenhagen is a gleaming example of high-performance retailing. In addition to an assortment of brands carried by the stores, Carl Ras features its own private-label tools and products.

Roughly 50% of Carl Ras’ sales are delivered directly to end users from its on-site warehouse. To keep up with this type of volume, Carl Ras has created a state-of-the-art warehouse with a sophisticated order processing and fulfillment system.

One of the tools it has implemented is a robot order picking system, which like the ones found at Amazon, uses a series of robots that run along a gridded track system to sort, pick and combine products into customer shipments.


Get Started
Click here to learn more about NHPA membership.





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News

Eagles training camp: Jordan Mailata keeps making ‘daily deposits’


Jordan Mailata is the next man up. As a writer my late 20s, I’ve seen three total entrenched starting left tackles for the Eagles.  Tra Thomas, a first-round pick who played with the Birds from 1998 to 2008, held down Donovan McNabb’s blindside and made three Pro Bowls. In the 2009 offseason, the team swung a trade for Bills star Jason Peters, who put together a Hall of Fame career and made four All-Pro squads in midnight green, staying with the Eagles until 2020. A new player in Mailata has taken up that mantle as the franchise left tackle, but he was an unlikely candidate for the role.

In a city where people half-serious/half-joking asked if Mailata should be playing fullback for a few years, the left tackle now stands (or towers at 6’8″) as the future of an Eagles offensive line that has been the most consistent unit in Philly sports over the last two decades. Mailata lingered on the Eagles roster in 2018 and 2019 despite not playing a snap of “real” football in his life, shocked everyone with his competency after being thrust into action in 2020 as his potential oozed and then helped anchor the offense for perhaps the best o-line in football in 2021.

It’s been a whirlwind turn from rugby star to a player I expect to be garnering All-Pro consideration this fall in less than a half-decade. The initial returns are greater than even the most optimistic members of the Eagles organization could’ve fathomed, taking a flyer on an Australian guy in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft who now looks poised to be the team’s left tackle the rest of this decade. That early success isn’t lost on Mailata, but the hungriness that had him rising from a player who never put on a chin strip before to an LT winning battles against the best pass-rushers in the league is still there.

“Easy. It’s easy,” Mailata said after Eagles practice on Friday about keeping that drive going. “For me, it’s just, like, I know being an international player, there’s always going to be that chip on my shoulder. People aren’t going to respect me, so I’ve got to prove it every day. I’ve got to earn it every day. Every day, you’ve got to make daily deposits. That’s the same mentality that I’ve had since I was a rookie. It’s the same mentality I have now. 

“So, I think for me, it’s just been easy just to have that mentality of being that dog that I need to prove myself every year, every game, every day.”

Hungry dogs run faster, indeed. 

Mailata knows that praise is there and will keep coming. The guy never played football before and then ended up in the most frantic football city in the world with an open-book personality that easily endeared himself to the Eagles faithful. 

“I think it’s nice, but like [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] said, it’s poison,” Mailata said about the buzz around his game as he makes a leap to stardom. That line of “poison” is one that Jalen Hurts has made mention of in the past too, a hallmark of Nick Saban philosophy down at the University of Alabama, where Stoutland previously coached under Saban. 

“I take it with a grain of salt,” Mailata continued. “I appreciate the kind remarks, but at the same time, I know that I could’ve been a little bit more better. And I know if it’s a bad rep, then I know it’s a bad rep, then I can look myself in the mirror and say that, ‘Look, you’ve got to get better at that.’ I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses, so it’s up to me to hold myself accountable to this team.”

I wouldn’t say Mailata has had many bad reps, if any, after the first week of Eagles practice. During training camp when players are just in shells and helmets, it can be hard to truly evaluate the running game and trench play. That physicality is a different world come August and then the regular season. It’s glorified 7-on-7s in the summer to a degree. Eagles fans won’t have to wait too long to hear about that souped-up, legit action though, as it’s on his way next week. 

“I can’t wait for the pads to come on,” Mailata said.

He speaks for the entirety of Philadelphia there. 


Follow Shamus & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @shamus_clancy | @thePhillyVoice

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Sports

JD Martinez’s comments amid trade rumors are heartbreaking


Boston Red Sox slugger JD Martinez knows there’s a good chance he’s traded by Tuesday’s deadline, and it all hit home on Saturday night.

Martinez has dealt with immense pressure since David Ortiz retired, essentially being the Boston power threat to replace Big Papi. In Beantown, clutch hits can often go unrecognized, even if they lead to World Series glory.

Despite a phenomenal season statistically, Martinez is on his way out primarily because of his age (34 years old) and an expiring contract. He’s an asset as a power hitter for a contending team, and Boston has decided potential AL Wild Card contention isn’t worth the risk of losing expiring contracts for nothing. A recent rough stretch helped secure that point of view for Chaim Bloom.

Red Sox: JD Martinez lets it all out

“‘I want to be remembered as a professional,” Martinez said, per The Boston Globe‘s Julian McWilliams. “A guy who came through and did what he had to do. I didn’t just take a contract. I played it out. I take a lot of pride in that. I gave everything, my heart and soul to the Red Sox.”

JD continued, saying he didn’t want to be remembered as someone who merely played out his contract, but contributed and was part of the community.

It’s tough to argue that feat. Martinez was a key member of the Sox’s 2018 World Series team. He’s been to four All-Star Games with the Red Sox, and two Silver Sluggers in five years.

In 2018, the year the Sox won the World Series, Martinez slashed .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs and 130 RBIs.



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Business

Lufthansa Faces More Turmoil After Pilots Back Potential Strikes


“We need a modern and fair, internationally competitive remuneration structure,” Marcel Groels, the VC’s chief negotiator, said Sunday by email. “In the interest of our passengers, too, Lufthansa must show a serious willingness to find solutions.”





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Technology

US startups seeking funds shouldn’t overlook financing from the government – TechCrunch


While cash from Uncle Sam may not be top of mind for startups, SBA loans can provide low-cost capital

What’s the difference between a startup and a small business? Semantics, mostly. As many startups find themselves struggling to raise funds from venture capitalists as financing continues to decline this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) could prove to be a powerful resource for capital, even if startups traditionally look for funds from other sources.

Chris Hurn, the founder and CEO of Fountainhead, knows the potential benefits of taking on government financing. Fountainhead is a nonbank lender of government-guaranteed loans. Hurn said the current generation of entrepreneurs is laser-focused on raising equity-based funding from backers like venture capital firms — but that isn’t their only option, especially as equity gets more expensive in current market conditions.

“The problem is that business owners oftentimes overlook pretty readily available debt capital,” Hurn told TechCrunch. “They don’t have to give up any equity. [SBA loans] can oftentimes be the exact stepping stone they need to get to the next stage.”





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Crypto

STEPN Kickstarts Gamers’ Interest As GMT Capitalizes On Bullish Retracement


And the game is on for STEPN as the GMT token plays in sync with other cryptocurrencies amplified for the bull run.  In the past couple of weeks, STEPN has been making upgrades on its network to rekindle the waning interest of gamers. And the token seems to be making a lot of progress.

The move-to-earn game has recently rolled out Health Points that set a certain life cycle for STEPN sneakers. They also were brewing an exciting STEPNrun Contest that is scheduled to kick off from July 25 to August 8 which is meant to get the word out about STEPN on social media. The contest is designed to run on both Instagram and Twitter.

GMT Token Price Warms Up At $1.01

The GMT token price is currently at $1.01 and is forecasted to take off in the past couple of days. It looks like STEPN is just warming up at this point with its recent updates.

When the contest was launched, GMT tokens gained support and advanced to $0.92. The GMT price has since then remarkably increased by 4% as seen in the past few days.

Alongside the GMT price growth, trading volume also surged for the same period. GMT’s trading volume has spiked by over 25% or at 492.16 million as of this writing. It only took a couple of days for the token to gain some traction. Additionally, GMT’s total token’s market cap has also jumped to $606.36 million from $553.76 million.

With the prices still showing an upward trend overnight, CoinMarketCap showed a 4.12% spike in STEPN’s GMT price in the last 24 hours.

STEPN’s GMT Token Set To Go Bullish In Coming Days

Meanwhile, STEPN’s GMT token seems to be hovering towards the overbought domain as seen on the 4-hour chat with the Money Flow Index or MFI at 74.02. Moreover, the token’s RSI was also spotted at 59.63.

On the other hand, GMT’s social dominance has lagged behind by 23%. Its social volume also declined by 67% as seen in the past couple of days. The token is seen to be moderately volatile or on the average when pitted against other cryptocurrencies.

With that being said, STEPN is currently in the top 43% of cryptocurrencies in terms of volatility.

STEPN’s GMT price is geared for an uptrend. With resistance at $1.03 and support found at $0.935037596620583, this sets up STEPN to go for a bullish movement before it faces hurdles from selling pressures.

Crypto total market cap at $1.06 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Featured image from Atomic Wallet, chart from TradingView.com



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Law \ Legal

Be Prepared To Be Terrified: Bar Exam Horror Stories!


She’s reached the end of her rope!Earlier this week Above the Law made a call for bar exam horror stories, because more than a professional licensing exam, it’s a trial by fire/hazing ritual. But the tradition soldiers on, and so do the stories about the absolute misery of the test.

We had some folks who’d already passed the bar exam dusty off their old war stories of bar exams past to provide inspiration for the newest generation of wannabe lawyers:

My exam number was 911. Minutes before the exam began, the person sitting next to me jumped up, ran to a nearby trash bin, threw up and returned to his seat. In response to my look of horror, he informed me that this was the fourth time he was taking the exam. Despite these omens, I passed.

And of course, the dreaded Rule Against Perpetuities comes up in any “worse case scenario” conversation:

In California, part of the bar exam is what they call a “performance test.” It’s meant to simulate something that you might do in the actual practice of law. (“Meant to” in the sense of “Doesn’t. At all. Not even close.”) By the afternoon of the third day of the exam, I was feeling quite relieved that there had been only one mention of the dread Rule Against Purple Chewy Things, and that was on the Multistate, so I just guessed and hoped for the best.

And then came the final performance test. It went, more or less, like this: “The state legislature has proposed changing the common-law Rule Against Perpetuities (which we’re not going to quote for you) to the following statutory version. [Something almost but not entirely unlike the RAP followed.] Our client has inherited the remainder of 99-year leases on several pieces of commercial real estate. Write a memo comparing and contrasting his legal position under the common-law Rule Against Perpetuities and the proposed statutory version.” (Paraphrased, but that’s the basic idea.) You could hear the little moans of horror all around the room as people read the instructions and realized what they were up against. I have no idea what I wrote, but it was probably just as nonsensical as what everybody else wrote. I came out of there convinced that I’d totally blown it, but in fact I passed the first time. Perhaps that will give prospective examinees hope.

Since this year there was not one, but two RAP questions on the bar exam, this is undoubtedly very comforting to this year’s test takers.

Speaking of this year’s test takers, there were some doozies — as there seemingly are every year.

From the tech issues:

CA Bar exam story: Pasadena convention center

a good number of us (at least 20 in my room) had to handwrite our essay sections because apparently the room we were in caused our computers to go crazy. We kept getting warning messages in a foreign language and our computers would not stop restarting. Exemplify said it wasn’t on their end. Apparently every time you plugged in at the convention center and had a Mac laptop you could randomly have this issue. No tech people available we were just screwed

To the minor — but annoying — issues:

A noisy restroom door control in the hallway outside the exam chamber of stress. Over time the door’s usage increased until it was truly inside my head. At mid-break I said something. Why did I need to say something? I think they used a trash can to prop it open. It’s only a story because it was very loud and went for so long before something was done. Impossible to ignore, but the people conducting the exam never thought anything of it.

Then there were timekeeping issues, which made the whole day run long:

Bar exam today was to resume at 1:15 pm the proctors came back at 1:50 and made everyone wait while they took a long lunch.

But this tale was simply horrifying — the tipster calls it their “ambulance lunch break” — just wow:

This is the story of my ambulance lunch break on Tuesday.

Let me preface this by saying that I did what everyone tells you not to do. I stayed up all night studying before day one of the bar. I did not eat breakfast, and I was mostly running off of caffeine.

We started the day with the MEE. I quickly realized that there were several essays that were on topics that I am either barely familiar with, or that I just simply am bad at. Well, I pushed on and BS’d my way through, until there was about 30 minutes left.

Everything suddenly went black for a moment. I became very lightheaded, my chest was tight, my left arm felt numb, and I was struggling to breath. I immediately assume that I am having a heart attack. I was overcome by a sense of dread and fear, but I also had a voice inside of me saying that I still needed to power through. I needed to finish the exam. I was contemplating the odds that this was a heart attack, or just a reaction to the sleep deprivation and stress. I considered asking a proctor to call 911, but instead I just sat there unable to make a decision.

I ended up running out the clock on the MEE, leaving the last question almost entirely blank. I felt very weak when I stood up from my chair to leave. I figured I would walk to my car, and the walk and some fresh air would make me feel better. However, when I got to my car, I was feeling even worse. I finally decided that I could not risk the chance that this was actually a heart attack any longer, so I called 911 and asked for an ambulance. I assumed that this meant I would be throwing in the towel, because there would be no way that I could get the medical attention I needed within the hour lunch break.

The ambulance showed up within minutes, and I was being triaged in the parking garage of the testing center. After being examined for about ten minutes, the paramedics told me that I was not experiencing a heart attack. Instead, I had been suffering from a panic attack, and I was going to be ok. The MPT was going to start in ten minutes.

After my ambulance lunch break, I went back in and tackled the MPT. I went back again and completed the MBE the next day. Who knows how I scored (probably not well), but I am glad I got to finish the whole thing.

I want to thank a classmate of mine who was kind enough to help me through all of this. She saw that I was struggling and she went out of her way to help and support me through that wild lunch break. I barely knew her before this experience, but out of the kindness of her heart, she sacrificed her break time to make sure I was ok. This profession needs more people like her. Unfortunately, the bar doesn’t test for traits like that.

This would take the cake for worst bar exam experience… except for everything about Cherelle Griner’s experience. Though that is much bigger than just bar exam fuckery.


Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).





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Shopping

How Chatbots Can Assist Your Operation


additional benefits of chatbotsAccording to Insider Intelligence, a research firm that analyzes digital opportunities, by 2024 consumer retail spend via chatbots will reach $142 billion worldwide—a sharp increase from the $2.8 billion spent in 2019. With continuing staffing issues and increasing demand for technology from customers, chatbots provide an opportunity for more efficient customer service, boosted sales and reduced costs.

Why Add Chatbots?

Chatbots are considered conversational marketing tools, meaning they can drive conversations between you and your customers, closing sales and providing quality customer service.

  • 56% of users would rather use chatbots than call customer support.
  • 97% of consumers have neutral or positive experiences with chatbots.

How Can Chatbots Improve Your Business?

With chatbots answering basic questions and assisting customers online for free, fewer employees are necessary, and paid staff are free to use their time more efficiently.

  • 41% of consumers use conversational marketing tools for purchases.
  • 30% of customer service costs can be reduced by the use of chatbots.

Sources: Insider Intelligence; Outgrow; State of Conversational Marketing report, 2020, Drift; Digital Customer Care in the Age of AI, 2018, IBM


Next-Level Customer Service
Discover how QR codes can boost in-store customer service here.





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News

King of Prussia based company launches wristwatch made from recycled coffee grounds


Who knew that looking chic and protecting the environment could be achieved by wearing an accessory made out of coffee?

The Coffee Watch, a sustainable, one-of-a-kind watch made with recycled coffee grounds, is now available in the United States. The product was created by German designer watch company Lilienthal Berlin, which has its U.S. headquarters in King of Prussia, PA. 


MORE: Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie brand opens store at King of Prussia Mall


Lilienthal Berlin was founded in 2016 in Germany, and has since expanded across the United Kingdom and United States. The Coffee Watch began as a Kickstarter campaign, raising more than $90,000 to develop the eco-friendly product. 

Coffee grounds are one of the largest sources of waste, as they usually end up in a landfill emitting methane gas. Methane gas is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and is one of the primary causes of global warming.

“In Germany alone, 20 million tons of coffee grounds are collected each year, demonstrating the capacity for the world to utilize its coffee grounds in more sustainable products, and our Coffee Watch is the pioneer of this movement,” said Eric Bambach in a press release. Bambach is the VP of Zeitgeist Inc., the North American distribution partner for Zeitgeist GmbH, which owns Lilienthal Berlin.

Lilienthal Berlin spent three years partnering with coffee shops, repurposing leftover coffee grounds, developing and perfecting the first-of-its-kind Coffee Watch design. The face of the watch is made entirely of recycled coffee grounds, while other components of the watch are created from eco-friendly products such as vegetable-tanned organic leather or interwoven stainless-steel bands.

“The project has been a true labor of love and long-time goal of our company, to protect our environment and create a full sustainable yet stylish watch, and after several years of perfecting the process, we are thrilled to announce the U.S. launch of the Coffee Watch,” Bambach said.

The Coffee Watch designs are named for popular caffeinated drinks such as Espresso, Latte, Macchiato and Americano, and each one is priced at $349 online.



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