California Meetups

The following Slate Star Codex meetups are planned for the next week or so:

Berkeley, 3/1 at 2:00 PM at Indian Flavor Express, 2548 Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Stanford, 3/3 at 4:00 PM in Old Union, Room 200, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford

There’s still a little bit of planning going on around the second one, so watch for possible updates.

I have been subpoenaed by a court in Michigan to testify about one of my patients. I am trying to convince them that I am on vacation and it’s unfair to make me come back on such short notice. If they start threatening me with legal penalties for not showing up, I’ve got to cut my vacation short and these meetups will not happen (any legal experts here who can tell me a way to get out of this will be duly appreciated). Again, watch for possible updates.

29 thoughts on “California Meetups

  1. elian

    Can anyone come to the meetups (assuming they don’t get canceled)? I’ve never been to an LW event and I only recently discovered this blog. But I live close by and would love to come.

  2. Benjels

    I hope everything works out and you’re able to host the Stanford meetup. I’ve never been to a SSC, LW, or any other kind of ‘rationalist meetup’, and I’m excited to attend one for the first time.

    BTW, what would most likely occur at such a meeting? Open discussion on one of a variety of controversial subjects relating to poor epistemology?

    1. Herpaderp

      Mostly we talk about how high status we are compared to non-rationalists, and then pass around the females for polyamorous cuddles over marijuana.

      #doesnotactuallyreflectmyexperiencewithrationalistmeetups

      At one I went to, we played a mafia derivative where I was shocked by the fact that nobody assumed someone else was a spy just for thinking through a hypothetical out loud. My strategy was shot near to death.

    2. rictic

      I’m also planning on going, and haven’t been to such a meeting before. So if it turns out that everyone else knows each other, at least there will be two of us, new and out of place.

    1. Scott Alexander Post author

      Yes, they are helping, they’ve told me to wait to see what happens, and I’m waiting.

      1. Decius

        If they represent the hospital and not you personally, recognize that they may have interests that are not yours.

  3. Anthony

    First, IANAL.

    How was the subpoena served? Were you in California when you received it? Improper service should invalidate the subpoena, and service generally needs to be by certified mail or in-person.

    1. sam

      I am not a lawyer either, but this page says basically the same thing.

      The Michigan Court Rules seem to back this up. Subpoenas are dealt with on pages 5-9 of this document. Subrule (G)(1) (p. 7) deals with the service of subpoenas, and directs us to page 4 of this, which supports the service-in-person-or-by-registered-mail requirement. (And if it’s by registered mail, it only counts as served once you’ve acknowledged it.) Subrule (G)(2) (first pdf, p. 7) allows service by regular mail but says that “If the [acknowledgement] card is not returned, the subpoena must be served” in person or by registered mail.

      Also possibly relevant is subrule (C)(3) (first pdf, p. 6), which reads, “If the served witness notifies the party that it is impossible for the witness to be present in court as directed, the party must either excuse the witness from attendance at that time or notify the witness that a special hearing may be held to adjudicate the issue.” I have no idea how that would work in practice – whether the witness has to come to the special hearing, how likely a lawyer is to excuse the witness – but special hearings sound like nobody’s idea of a good time and it wouldn’t surprise me if this rule is meant to encourage lawyers to excuse/reschedule witnesses who can’t come when scheduled.

      Note that 1) again, I’m not a lawyer, and 2) these are from the Civil Procedure chapter of the rules, so who knows what the situation is if it’s a criminal case (or federal court, for that matter).

    2. Marc Whipple

      I am a lawyer, although I am not licensed in Michigan, and this is not legal advice.

      If I represented our gracious host, I’d start by asking him about the service… but then I’d point out that he’s a new doctor, he’s probably going to be in MI for a while, and he may deal with this judge and/or lawyer again in the future. I’d get my own lawyer, and have them approach the judge politely and say, “My client’s on vacation. I need a rescheduling (or a continuance or whatever the appropriate action is in court) for after he comes back, and we’ll gladly work around the court’s schedule.”

      Bottom line, he’s not going to get anywhere trying to talk the judge into this himself. He should get his own lawyer and have the lawyer ask. I mean, sure, there’s a chance the judge will be reasonable, but it’s not a good one. If they have to choose between making some resident break off their vacation, or keeping the stupid thing on their docket, they’re going to go for the former most times.

    3. Decius

      I am not a lawyer either.

      Don’t ignore a court proceeding that you have actual knowledge of. It doesn’t end well.

      I suggest you call the serving attorney and explain that you are out of state, and will require transportation costs from your current location to attend on the date stated, or you can attend court more easily on a later date.

      If that doesn’t get you a reschedule, either cut short and return earlier or get someone who is licensed to provide legal advice and representation.

    1. Airgap

      That’s actually the plan. Mike shows up, and the combination of him and Scott produces an explosion which I use to launch a city-sized starship towards Alpha Centauri.

      By the way, I need to pick up about 500 tons of uranium in the shape of a manhole cover. Any suggestions? Amazon.com?

  4. maxikov

    Is that possible to move them later? Most LW events in Bay Area start at around 7~8PM, which seems like a more convenient time for most people who may be interested in attending.

    1. Marie

      Seconded, 4 is kind of early and I’d have to miss it. Also, the room in OU isn’t reserved yet. That particular room is free from 3-7, but not 7-9. Should I reserve the room, or is someone on that?

  5. notaboutcars

    I’m not a Michigan attorney, but in general, if you want to get out from under a subpoena it’s your responsibility to file a “motion to quash”. The deadline to file is likely short, so I recommend that you get with a MI attorney. The downside is you have to pay some relatively small attorneys fees. The upside is that you can likely stay in CA.

    In my state, at least, it is routine to have the court throw out last mtinute subpoenas, especially of doctors. Good luck!

    1. caryatis

      Scott, I would ask the clerk if you can testify via videoconference. Don’t know whether this is done in Michigan, but it would be a way for you to have your vacation without throwing off everyone else’s schedule.

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