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Want to read the latest Bruce M. Selya opinion from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but down deep wonder if you’re, well, really up to it? Does it help to know it’s only 22 pages long and that there are some five-word sentences? Here’s an advance vocabulary list, drawn from Selya’s text in Cochran v. Quest Software Inc., an employment law opinion that came down on April 29. Asseverational-More commonly, asseverative, the adjective form of asseverate, to declare seriously and positively. (“We turn to the merits of the plaintiff’s asseverational array.”) Defenestrates-To throw something out the window. (“This admission defenestrates the plaintiff’s belatedly proffered theory.”) Isthmian-Forming an isthmus; narrow. (“The plaintiff’s effort to fit his case within this isthmian exception.”) Neoteric-New; of recent origin. (“We see no reason to treat with neoteric theory that was not advanced before.”) Praxis-The habitual or established practice; custom. (“In accordance with the settled praxis for appellate review.”) Rodomontade-Pretentious boasting. (“That rodomontade ignores the partial rescission.”) proving that it doesn’t hold a grudge, institutionally speaking, the Indiana Supreme Court has officially pardoned Benjamin Harrison for abandoning his post at the court 141 years ago. It was July 1862, and the 28-year-old lawyer who would become the 23rd president of the United States was employed as the Supreme Court reporter. But Civil War bugles sounded, so he turned over the office keys to a subordinate, enlisted, formed the 70th Indiana regiment of Union Army volunteers and took off for glory at the battle of Peach Tree Creek. Meanwhile, politics raised its ugly head. A Democratic-controlled Indiana Supreme Court declared that Harrison, a Republican, couldn’t hold two government jobs-reporter and colonel -and stripped him of his court post. By way of setting things right, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard presented the pardon in March to a volunteer dressed as Harrison. the next step for a litigator is the court of appeal, and the step after that, for one lawyer, is to try to hurt someone. Mary A. Lehman says she was so anti-confrontational as a lawyer that she went directly into appellate work-never even a deposition-and created a widely respected practice in the San Diego office of Palo Alto, Calif.’s Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. After the birth of twin daughters six years ago, she went to the gym to get back into shape and stumbled onto a kick-boxing class. It was a revelation. “This was pure, it was real. It wasn’t about who had the cutest little Spandex tights, it was about what you could do,” she marvels. Last year, the featherweight won her first professional fight. Now, undefeated, she ranks 14th in the country. Dubious colleagues came to watch, fussing that the violence might make them leave early, and ended up shrieking “Kill, kill!” Lehman recalls with laughter. But besides the primal side of it, Lehman said she thinks of boxing as a way to control violence. “You’re dodging a bullet, gracefully, and that’s such a rush,” she said. She maintains she’s a better mother, and a better appellate lawyer, because of the self-control that boxing has taught her. The other day in oral arguments when the questioning got tough, she noted with pride that her right leg moved into position behind her. “I was digging in, relishing the fight.” Lehman said she’s not worried, as someone who makes her living with her mind, of getting hit in the head so much she’ll start hallucinating flocks of flamingos. “People get punch-drunk after 20 years in the ring, and I’ll be lucky if I stay another two years,” she said. Lehman has left Gray Cary to set up her own practice because she needed a more flexible schedule. On May 9, she has her biggest fight to date-a chance to be on television, and maybe break into the Top 10.

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