When Clarence Thomas speaks, I listen

News reports that Justice Clarence Thomas ended nearly seven years of silence during oral arguments Monday reminds me of the story of the 5-year-old girl who had yet to speak a word.

Then, one morning, she says to her father, “Daddy, the oatmeal is cold.”

“Wow, that’s amazing,” the dad exclaims. “Your first words — and a complete sentence at that. But why, why did it take you so long to speak?”

“Up until now, everything’s been fine,” the youngster responds.

Like the father to his daughter, I, too, can recall the times I heard Thomas speak during oral arguments. And, as in the case of the daughter, on both occasions the justice’s comments were memorable for their clarity and authenticity.

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Trendspotting at the Consumer Electronics Show

Samsung phone

Samsung displayed a phone made of plastic that bends at 2013 CES in Las Vegas. (AP Photo)

For the third consecutive year, Frank Gorman of Gorman & Williams graciously offered to write a few blog posts while in Las Vegas for last week’s annual Consumer Electronics Show. Here, he writes about the trends to watch out for. On Tuesday, he’ll share his top ten gadgets of CES.

The thousands of products and services on display at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show can crowd out perspective, like so many trees that you cannot appreciate the forest.

But attending a keynote address or an informational program or two brings larger perspectives to what one sees at CES. I attended a Q&A with Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and the keynote address by Stephen Woo, president of Samsung, which ended with a surprise address by former President Bill Clinton.

Here some of the trends in consumer electronics shown by 2013 CES.

Everything on mobile devices

Manufacturers are convinced that consumers want their mobile devices to do everything. Today’s mobile devices are smartphones and tablets. As a result, manufacturers are committed to developing smartphones and tablets with ever-increasing capabilities.

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Law blog roundup

Quentin TarantinoWelcome to the first Monday after the most improbable of victories. Can you believe that Quentin Tarantino won for Best Screenplay?

Here are some news items to get your week started.

– What happens if you lie on a gun-permit application?

– Sri Lanka’s president fires the chief justice.

– A lawyer was attacked by his client in a D.C. courtroom.

– Cellphones will be permitted in Chicago courthouses — for now.

– Federal judge sets ground rules for horse roundup in Nevada.