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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Monday, July 31, 2006

Jury Selection Begins in Federal Vioxx Trial

This article from the Houston Chronicle has the details.

More information on Vioxx litigation pending in the Federal Courts can be found here.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Attorneys Testify at Silicosis Hearing

Here is an interesting article from the Madison Record regarding a House Committee Hearing held yesterday into questionable silicosis claims filed in Mississippi and Texas.

The Hearing was held by the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The Committee's press release on the Hearing can be found here.

More information on the Hearing, along with a link to a video of the proceedings (Real Player required), can be found here.

Links to earlier posts on this same topic can be found here.

UPDATE - Here is another article from the St. Clair Record that offers some additional details on the Hearing.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Upcoming Concerts

...that you might want to check out in the Houston area.

August 2nd - Hayes Carll at Puffabelly's
August 3rd - Hayes Carll and Idgy Vaughn at the Mucky Duck
August 3rd - Sidehill Gougers at Armadillo Palace
August 5th - Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys at the Continental Club
August 5th - Gary P. Nunn at Borski's
August 11th - Lonestar Bluegrass Band at Hickory Hollow
August 12th - Bruce Robison at the Mucky Duck
August 13th - e muzeki at the Mucky Duck
August 17th - Hayes Carll and Adam Carroll at TUTS
August 18th - Jason Boland at the Sam Houston Race Park
August 18th - Shake Russell at the Mucky Duck
August 19th - James Hand at the Firehouse Saloon
August 19th - South Austin Jug Band at the Continental Club
August 19th - Gordy Quist and Adam Carroll at the Old Quarter
August 23rd - John Evans at the Continental Club
August 25th - Dana Cooper at the Old Quarter
August 26th - Austin Lounge Lizards at the Mucky Duck
August 26th - Eric Taylor at The Corner Pub
August 30th - dedringers at Armadillo Palace


Monday, July 24, 2006

The First Prempro Trial

Here is an interesting article from the Associated Press on an upcoming Federal trial in Arkansas involving the hormone replacement therapy drug Prempro.

This trial is scheduled to begin next month. It will be the first ever trial involving Prempro which is manufactured by Wyeth.

More information on upcoming Prempro litigation can be found here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Real Deal

"Folks, like I said before and it's STILL true, James Hand is the real deal!" - Willie Nelson

Willie is right!

I had the privilege of hearing James Hand in concert last night at the Mucky Duck. It was one of the best concerts I have ever heard at the Duck or anywhere else. James Hand is truly a unique and special artist.

I only heard of James Hand for the first time about two weeks ago. I was driving down the road listening to the LoneStar Jukebox on KPFT. They played the song In the Corner, At the Table, By the Jukebox which at the time I thought must have been an old Lefty Frizzell song that I had somehow managed to never hear before. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the song was a recent recording by a still living songwriter who lives and tours in Texas.

James Hand gets a lot of comparisons to both Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams. While clearly influenced by the styles of these two legendary artists James Hand has his own unique voice and style. His voice and his songs rank right up there with the great honky tonk singers of years gone by in my opinion. His songs are not merely in imitation of that earlier tradition but are a continuation of it.

Go see James Hand in concert. You will not be disappointed. You will probably be amazed. Like Willie said, he is the real deal.

You can check out samples of James Hand's music here.

A good article on James Hand can be read here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Some Legal Humor

This is an oldie but a goodie.

I first saw this Opinion by Judge Kent circulated via email not long after it was first released.

Here are a few excerpts:

"Before proceeding further, the Court notes that this case involves two extremely likable lawyers, who have together delivered some of the most amateurish pleadings ever to cross the hallowed causeway into Galveston, an effort which leads the Court to surmise but one plausible explanation. Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact -- complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words -- to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions. With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor's edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins."

"Further, as noted above, Plaintiff has submitted a Supplemental Opposition to Defendant's Motion. This Supplement is longer than Plaintiff's purported Response, cites more cases, several constituting binding authority from either the Fifth Circuit or the Supreme Court, and actually includes attachments which purport to be evidence. However, this is all that can be said positively for Plaintiff's Supplement, which does nothing to explain why, on the facts of this case, Plaintiff has an admiralty claim against Phillips (which probably makes some sense because Plaintiff doesn't)."

"Despite the continued shortcomings of Plaintiff's supplemental submission, the Court commends Plaintiff for his vastly improved choice of crayon -- Brick Red is much easier on the eyes than Goldenrod, and stands out much better amidst the mustard splotched about Plaintiff's briefing. But at the end of the day, even if you put a calico dress on it and call it Florence, a pig is still a pig."

"Take heed and be suitably awed, oh boys and girls -- the Court was able to state the issue and its resolution in one paragraph ... despite dozens of pages of gibberish from the parties to the contrary!"

"After this remarkably long walk on a short legal pier, having received no useful guidance whatever from either party, the Court has endeavored, primarily based upon its affection for both counsel, but also out of its own sense of morbid curiosity, to resolve what it perceived to be the legal issue presented. Despite the waste of perfectly good crayon seen in both parties' briefing (and the inexplicable odor of wet dog emanating from such) the Court believes it has satisfactorily resolved this matter."

"...out of caution, the Court suggests that Plaintiff's lovable counsel had best upgrade to a nice shiny No. 2 pencil or at least sharpen what's left of the stubs of his crayons for what remains of this heart-stopping, spine-tingling action.
In either case, the Court cautions Plaintiff's counsel not to run with a sharpened writing utensil in hand -- he could put his eye out."

Now the complete opinion has surfaced again and can be found here. (H/T to Noetic Toe)


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Specter Editorial on Asbestos Legislation

Here is an editorial by Senator Arlen Specter on the stalled asbestos trust fund legislation in the Senate.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Martyrdom of St. Elizabeth and the Nun Barbara

Today the Russian Orthodox Church commemorates the Holy New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth and the Nun Barbara.

These two Saints, and those with them, suffered martyrdom near the town of Alapaevsk in Siberia in July of 1918.

More information on these two saints can be found here.

Many photos of the Saints and the site of their martyrdom can be seen both here and here.

An Akathist to Saint Elizabeth and the other martyrs and can be found here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Rogues at the Mucky Duck

Last night I was able to hear the Rogues in concert over at the Mucky Duck.

This was the second time I have been able to hear this very popular group play at the Mucky Duck. (An earlier post can be seen here.)

The Rogues once again put on an extremely fun and exciting show.

If you like bagpipes (and why would you not?!) then you really should check out a Rogues concert.

You can check out their schedule of upcoming shows here. You can also sample some of their music here.

So go see the Rogues when they come to town. Their shows are the most fun you can have with your kilt on!

Seriously, the Rogues are one of the most entertaining Celtic groups performing today. Go see for yourself why they are so popular.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Heard on the Radio

Today on the radio I happened to hear Victor Kalinnikov's setting of the Prayer of Saint Symeon in a performance by the Sixteen.

The performance was from a new cd that the ensemble has recorded featuring a capella compositions from mostly Orthodox composers.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Merck wins New Jersey Vioxx Trial

This article from Bloomberg has the details.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

La Iglesia Ortodoxa En Espanol

The Orthodox Church written by Timothy Ware (now Bishop Kallistos) is now available in a Spanish-language translation.

More details as well as ordering information can be found here.

New Recording of Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil

A new recording of Sergei Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil has recently been released.

The recording of the piece is by the Estonian Philharmonic Choir led by conductor Paul Hillier.

More information on the recording can be found here.

A review of the new recording which aired today on NPR can be heard here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Closing Arguments in New Jersey Vioxx Trial

Closing arguments were heard today in the ongoing Vioxx trial in New Jersey.

This article has more details.

The jury is scheduled to begin their deliberations tomorrow.

More information on Vioxx cases in New Jersey can be found here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Relic of St. John the Baptist in Russia

Here are a few remarkable pictures of the relic of St. John the Baptist currently in Russia and the crowds of pilgrims that have turned out to venerate it.

The Photos are taken from this website.

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist according to the Julian Calendar.

Here is a homily on this Feast by St. John Maximovich of Shanghai and San Francisco.

A famous relic of St. John the Baptist is also currently on view in Russia.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have venerated relic over the past few months throughout several Russian cities.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fortieth Anniversary of the Repose of Saint John Maximovich

Here is a report from the ROCOR website regarding the services held on the Fortieth Anniversary of the repose of Saint John Maximovich of Shanghai and San Francisco.

More information on the repose of Saint John can be found here.