Uber is the Future of Urban Transportation – Going Carless in Philly

July 19, 2015

A few years ago, there were only three ways to get around Philadelphia without driving. You could take a cab, you could take SEPTA, or you could ride your bike. Cabs are expensive and unreliable, especially if you call one into any part of town that isn’t Center City. SEPTA is okay, but it only runs in very select areas of the city. Riding the bike is great, but seasonal and a bit dangerous. It’s also hard to fit basic items like cat litter, paper towels, and toilet paper in a backpack.

So, any resident of Philadelphia who doesn’t live in Center City basically needed a car to do even basic things like grocery shop.

What’s wrong with that?

My car is paid off, but there are still monthly bills associated with it. At a minimum, insurance, registration, and gas.

It's a zombie destroying tank. 2000 Land Rover Discovery II.

It’s a zombie destroying tank. 2000 Land Rover Discovery II.

Then there are the costs of things like paying for a garage, fender benders, and repairs.

And of course, parking tickets….

PPA boot

The PPA will find you

Owning a car in Philadelphia kind of sucks…

My old car. This is why we can't have nice things in Philly.

My old car. This is why we can’t have nice things in Philly.

Before getting my Land Rover, I used to drive a Honda Civic. When I bought it, I figured it would be a nice, affordable, practical car. But no. It was vandalized, the wheels were stolen, and someone ran into my door. Eventually I had to sell it due to all the damage. That is why now I choose to now drive a tank, which I’ve had surprisingly few problems with.

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Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich Is a Must Read

July 3, 2015
IMG_0759

Welcome to Rushie Law

Ah, today it’s Friday. The courts are closed. I wake up leisurely in my big house around 9:30am, answer some emails, and take some phone calls. My physical office is located a block from my house in Fishtown. After a session of Crossfit, I decide to ride my bike down to the pool, and work from there instead.

Why not?

My bike

My bike

It’s been a great year. I’ve got money in the bank. Earlier this month I took a few trips to the Poconos to shoot guns in the woods.

AJR woods

Right this second I’m looking into a taking a trip to Alaska because I want to ride a dog sled.

Being self employed, single, and having a few bucks in your 30s is absolutely fucking fantastic. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

Three years ago my life was very different. I had a job working for a corporate law firm, and I was married. Most if not all my time went into billing hours and trying to work my way up to partner. At some point around 30, I knew I wanted more out of life but wasn’t sure how to go about it.

Enter Mike Cernovich, author of Danger & Play. His philosophy on life is considered radical, and even misogynistic by some. Men can save their money, develop streams of passive income, and live a lifestyle that is generally awesome. Mike is also an advocate of functional fitness, and generally being awesome at life. There are very few people whose advice I value. Cernovich is one of them. His blog changed my life.

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Hosting “Networking Events” Brian Tannebaum Style, And Why I Don’t Bring Business Cards

May 29, 2015

“Do you know any lawyers who specialize in cat law? My food bowl has been empty for 20 minutes. The squirrels in the back yard think I have a good case.”

My friend Brian Tannebaum wrote a book called The Practice. You should read it. The Practice is the most relevant book about growing a law practice since Jay Foonberg‘s “How to Start and Grow a Law Practice.” The two books should really go hand in hand. Foonberg’s is about starting a practice, Brian’s book is about sustaining one. One of the key concepts Tannebaum stresses is the importance of relationships.

That said, I generally avoid anything called a “networking event” like the plague. Why? It’s a waste of time. You walk up to random people, have a two second conversation, and exchange cards. A few days later, I reach into my pocket, find a card, and think to myself “Who is this person again?” Then I throw it out.

They’re also not all that fun. Nothing is more annoying than the guy who approaches me and says “Hi, I’m John. I handle DUIs. If you get any DUI work in, I’d be happy to handle them for you, and pay you a referral fee! Check out my website!”

I think to myself, “I’ve never seen you in a courtroom, or any of your work. Why would I tell my friends, family, and clients to hire you? Because you asked me to, and have a cool card on heavy stock? Not gonna happen.”

I’d rather go to Crossfit. Even if I don’t get any business from it that day, at least I got a good workout.

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How Pickup Artistry Evolved Into A Masculinity Movement and Philosophy

May 23, 2015

I was a philosophy major in college. I remember the day I told my grandfather, an engineer, that I was majoring in philosophy. The next morning we were eating breakfast and he handed me the newspaper. Typical of his laconic wit, he said: “Jordan, I appreciate your decision to major in philosophy. But it seems the philosophy firms aren’t hiring at the moment…”

I still get a chuckle from our interaction. But I do not regret majoring in philosophy for a second. Philosophical treatises opened my mind and inspired me. I find my classical philosophical background to be more practical than one would imagine, and I continue to study classical philosophy and apply the principles to my everyday life as a trial attorney.

For thousands of years, wise men wrote about topics like ethics, virtue, and even the death of God. Plato taught the wisdom of Socrates through dialogues and conversations with other people. Aristotle wrote to identify natural order in the world. Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. Plutarch wrote about the lives of Spartans. Augustine taught us how to learn. Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus made us question the point of our existence.

Ultimately, many philosophers put their thoughts into working philosophies, such as objectivism, metaphysicsutilitarianism, etc. Aristotelian ethics is a philosophy developed on how humans should live best.

Working philosophies had a profound impact on the development of society.

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Bad Things Happen When Lawyers Stop Representing Clients, and Start Representing Causes – John Blaha Ordered to Pay Rightscorp Attorney’s Fees

May 10, 2015

An interesting development in the world of copyright litigation, as rights holders secured a major victory in California on Friday. A court has ordered Morgan Pietz’s client in John Blaha v. Rightscorp to pay attorney’s fees due to a successful anti-SLAPP motion filed by the defendants. It raises ethical issues about using clients to try and further an anti-copyright law agenda, and drum up business.

A little bit of background…

Rightscorp is an anti-piracy corporation. It monitors BitTorrent usage, and then sends out notices to pirates who are stealing and distributing copyrighted content. From there, the company requests that pirates stop stealing the content, and pay the rights holder a reasonable fee of about $20. In this instance, Rightscorp was contacting people who stole and distributed films like The Shawshank Redemption and The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, two of my favorite movies. Notably, Lord of the Rings is available on Amazon.com for $9.99, and Shawshank Redemption is available for the same price. If you’re that hard up for cash but really want to watch the movies, you can even rent them for a whopping $2.99.

Surprisingly, people routinely steal movies using BitTorrent, even though they are available for immediate purchase on Amazon and iTunes. People on the internet say it’s unfair when they get caught and sent a notice from Rightscorp, or sued. Of course, if you were caught stealing the same movie in Target, you would be arrested, prosecuted, forced to spend a lot of money on lawyer fees and restitution, and then at the end of the day you would have a criminal record for the rest of your life. So in the grand scheme of things, Rightscorp’s approach seems pretty reasonable.

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Differentiating Attorney Advertising and Blogging – The California Bar Thinks People Are Too Stupid to Use the Internet

February 25, 2015
DISCLAIMER: CLOVER THE CAT THINKS YOU SHOULD HIRE ME. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

DISCLAIMER: CLOVER THE CAT THINKS YOU SHOULD HIRE ME FOR ALL YOUR CAT NEEDS. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

I’m an attorney. I have a blog. What do I write about? Whatever I feel like writing about. Sometimes I write about cats. Sometimes I write about cheesesteaks. Sometimes I write about law stuff. I don’t wake up in the morning and say “I should write an article about such and such topic because it will generate more clients.”

Do I get clients from writing this blog? Indirectly. I get very few calls that go like this:

“Hey, I read that post about cheesesteaks on Philly Law Blog.”
“Oh yeah? Did you like it?”
“Yeah, it was great! By the way, my son got sick from a cheesesteak and we need someone to represent us. Clearly, you are a cheesesteak lawyer and an expert in your field. I also hear you like cats. Can you help us?”

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Why I Hope You Get Sued For Copyright Infringement – A Response to the EFF on Maximum Statutory Damages

February 23, 2015

It’s Monday morning. Time to get pumped for the day. I click on my Pandora icon and a song comes on. I love Pandora One. It costs me about $50 a year, but I can stream music all day. At the gym, my living room, anywhere.

This song sounds good… Geometer by Slidecamp. Never heard of these guys before, but I can dig it. Let’s see if they’re on iTunes. Awesome. The entire album is available for exactly $7.92. That’s about two cups of coffee. I’ll bite.

BOOM – now the entire album is now on my iPad, my iPod, and my computer. I can listen to the song I want on repeat. Sweet. Gonna be a good day at the gym today.

For a second, I can’t help but think back to when I was a kid. There were two ways to listen to music – tapes and CDs. CDs sounded better, but you couldn’t take them into the gym because it skips. So you had to use tapes for any type of workout, and then listen to CDs in your house. After awhile, the CDs would get banged up, scratched, and useless. I think I bought Pearl Jam – Ten about ten times. To get a CD, you had to drive to Sam Goody and buy the entire album when all you wanted was one song. My bedroom had CDs spewed all over the place at any given time. And damn, I left my tape player on the bus again. Hopefully Ms. Gomez found it. It’s got my Green Day tape in there.

My how things have changed since then. Now any content I want is available at the click of a finger through Amazon, iTunes, or often directly from the producer’s website. It’s backed up in the cloud. MP3s don’t skip, and all the music goes to all your devices. And it gets better – movies, software, games, you name it, available in one click. No more braving the mall, no more Sam Goody, no more Electronics Boutique. Everything you want is available right here, right now, and for a fraction of what it used to cost. and if I break my computer I just buy a new one and all my music is back.

Welcome to the new millennium.

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