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July 29, 2005

Tired of practicing law? Look what Orrick, DLA Piper are doing

"Should law firms ever be in businesses other than practicing law?  And does the answer to that turn on legal ethics, or on microeconomics, or both?" asks Bruce MacEwen. "The question is no longer academic ..."

MacEwen goes on to examine the latest business services diversification trend at firms such as Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and DLA Piper. Here's a teaser:

"Ralph Baxter, Orrick's chairman, says the firm has made huge savings by shifting the functions to one central location. But he wants to go further, and is convinced the firm can 'commercialize its back office,' offering its operations center as an outsourcing service for other law firms, handling administration, IT and even basic legal research for them."

"Have we now gone a bridge too far?   From the ethical perspective, I don't see any transgression in what Orrick is offering other firms -- subject to all the usual safeguards and checks against conflicts, breaching confidentiality, maintaining Chinese walls, etc. But I would defer on this point to others more steeped in ethical nuance.

"On the microeconomic front, however, I will weigh in.  The strongest argument against what Orrick proposes is that none of those back office functions is a "core competence" of a law firm, so what business do they think they have diving even deeper into that particular pool?" More here.

July 29, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

"TGIF for the Just a Patent Examiner Blog"

I have to give kudos to Bill Heinze's kudos to "the excellent insights from the Just a Patent Examiner Blog," which appears to be a perfect cocktail of snark and insight from an anonymous patent examiner. Here's a taster of the three posts that Heinze recommends:

On July 11, 2005 regarding "Motivation to Combine:"

"...If you want the average examiner's eyes to glaze over (or me to disregard your arguments), put 4 pages of arguments citing 10 different pieces of case law regarding the motivation to combine. I simply don't have the time to research all of the case law you've cited to figure out which applies and which does not. I don't mind seeing responses like that, because suddenly I find that what I thought was a 6 page response consists of only two pages that actually need to be responded to."

July 29, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Should a $2 million exec perk be covered by an unwritten policy?

Think again, suggests The Wired GC in his post, "The Unwritten Policy Trap."

July 29, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Canadian "Slaw"

Joy London recommends Slaw, "a uniquely Canadian legal research and IT blog, featuring an All Star Lineup of Canadian research and tech gurus, and some tagalong named Steve Matthews."

July 29, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

Volokh: 'Roe' too broad for Roberts to answer in hypothetical

Todd Zywicki doesn't address any other questions that the Senate Judiciary Committee could aim at Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts, but he does take on Roe v. Wade.

He offers up Judge Edith Jones' reference to Roe in her opinion in McCorvey v. Hill as an example of why Roberts really can't answer questions about Roe in the abstract. Zywicki describes Jones' concerns as being "about stare decisis regarding Roe and Casey, not Roe itself," and says he doesn't see how Roberts can answer questions about Roe:

"[T]here is a big difference between whether to uphold precedent, versus deciding whether a case was correctly decided in the first place. The former seems to be exactly the sort of question that can't be answered in the abstract. Given that, I don't see how Judge Roberts could meaningfully answer that particular question based on the lack of a solid factual record."

Zywicki does say, however, that "I haven't made up my mind on Vik Amar's argument that even if Roberts can't be asked about future cases, he could be asked to comment on how he would have decided cases that have already been decided. It is an interesting argument that I have to think about more."

Don't miss the comments.

July 28, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

How not to market your legal help to women

In honor of his participation in BlogHer, the inaugural women's blogging conference being held this Saturday, July 30, in Santa Clara, Calif., Matt Homann has resurrected his series, "What are the five worst mistakes a lawyer can make when marketing to a female potential client?" (*)

Let's just say that his interviewees -- Jennifer Rice, Yvonne DiVita, Anita Campbell, Michele Miller and Kirsten Osolind -- know their stuff. For example, check out DiVita's first recommendation of what not to do:

"1. Assuming a condescending attitude. We know you went to law school, we accept that you know more about the law than we do --- that's why we're there -- but don't pat us on the hand with, 'Don't worry, I'll take care of everything,' blather or write your sales copy as if you're God."

More here.

(* Full disclosure: I'm a co-founder of BlogHer Con '05 and is premiere sponsor. )

July 28, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Proof 2 out of every 3 lawyers are nice, no matter what they say

"For members of a profession often portrayed as greedy, it is nice to have evidence that proves otherwise ... Lawyers donated an average of two weeks a year to pro bono and community work," writes Bob Ambrogi, in his post on a new ABA survey of pro bono work. Ambrogi says the survey found that two-thirds of American attorneys "gave free legal assistance to people of limited means and organizations serving the poor, volunteering an average of 39 hours of pro bono work a year."

July 28, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

One more reason not to shred anything

Ah, shredders. The one piece of office equipment that can cause almost as much trouble as e-mail. Ron Friedmann offers up one more reason to think before you shred, in a post describing how the wrong document destruction or "records management" policy can wreak havoc on a firm's or law department's knowledge management efforts.

July 28, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Could your company's form contracts risk classwide arbitration?

MoFo recommends California companies reconsider using a standard arbitration clause in their contracts with consumers, due to a recent state supreme court decision. Geoff Gussis has the links.

July 28, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 27, 2005

Labor pains: How to restructure for a new economy?

Mike Fox brings an interesting employer's perspective to this week's family feud between the AFL-CIO and two of its major unions. Read on to see why he advocates that employers perk up their ears, rather than celebrate:

July 27, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Former Orrick assoc sues for being promised then denied partnership

Was Patrick J. Hoeffner, a former associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe,  slapped with the same carrot that three firm partners used to keep him from jumping ship?

He alleges so.  Mike Cernovich recommends an article by Tony Lin, in which Hoeffner "claims partners William Anthony, Robert Isackson and Robert Cote promised in 2002 to make him a partner because they feared he would leave the firm and take a client, Conductus Inc., with him."

Orrick's position is that, regrettably, Hoeffner didn't make the partner grade, as so many don't. Sour grapes.

Yet Lin, who has seen the e-mail exchanges upon which Hoeffner bases his case,  carefully and thoroughly introduces a number of interesting points with the appropriate caveats. A good piece. As a result, Cernovich raises an eyebrow and offers a little advice:

"Of course, Orrick's partner's are denying that anyone made an agreement.  Maybe they're right, though it's hard to understand why the associate wouldn't have accepted the other offers.  Plus, the associate is now working at Fulbright & Jaworski, which is no place for underachievers.  Orrick is going to have a hard time proving that someone with a portable book of business, other job opportunities, and high employability imagined the agreement. Anyhow, the full article is worth reading.  Obviously, anyone considering working for, or currently working at, Orrick should watch her back.  And everyone should remember this maxim: An oral promise is worth the paper it's written on."

July 27, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Sorry, I need six more minutes for my brain to heat up

Geoff Gussis recommends Sabrina Pacifici's recent reading on information overload. The links are great -- I never knew how many minutes it was before my brain entered "a really creative state."

July 27, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

What part of "keep it short, sweet and then shut up" don't you understand?

The Wired GC has deposed and been deposed.  In case you or one of your executives is ever in that position, you should probably read his syllabus of how-to links.  Or at least bookmark it.

July 27, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

Confirmation Kabuki: Peeling back the mask

Randy Barnett recommends the Legal Affairs Debate Club on how the U.S. Senate should question Supreme Court nominees in confirmation hearings. This debate features Erwin Chemerinsky (Duke) and Brannon Denning (Cumberland).

Barnett thinks Denning has a strong start, and I have to agree, given this passage:

"...[R]ecent Supreme Court confirmation hearings have a Kabuki quality about them. Senators ask vague, abstract questions; nominees attempt to respond in a manner calculated to communicate the least information without offending the questioner. As a result, recent nominees to both the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals all admire Justice John Marshall Harlan II, judicial restraint, and all agree that Korematsu, Plessy v. Ferguson, Lochner, and Dred Scott are the worst Supreme Court decisions ever handed down. And senators have demonstrated a reluctance to be satisfied with nominees' attempts to differentiate their personal views on a matter, like abortion or gay rights, with their acceptance of the court's decisions in these areas as a matter of law. Some senators, in fact, have even shown a reluctance to accept the distinction you proffer between stating one's views and not committing one's self to declaring an intent to vote one way or the other.

Thus, I'd ask what kinds of questions would you propose that could plumb a nominee's views without asking him to commit, in advance, to particular positions? And what sorts of answers should be seen as disqualifying."

I, of course, cherish a fantasy where voters not only submit questions but staff the panel.  Much as voters dramatically improved the quality and discourse of the questions and answers in the 2004 presidential debates, I suspect we could make a huge difference here as well. I long for authentic confirmation hearings devoted to the interpretation of the Constitution and the practical application of law, rather than professional spin and political dealmaking. From all sides.

Barnett has already recruited a handful of interesting comments. Here's hoping some Senate staffers -- or even their bosses -- are listening.

July 26, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

EC holds off on patent harmonization on stem cell research

Should patents on gene cell sequences follow the classical model of patent claims  or be limited to specific uses ("purpose-bound protection")? Bill Heinze reports that the European Commission on "Development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering" isn't taking a position for the European parliament -- nor are they going to push harmonization. Why? In their words:

"In the light of the clear divergences which currently exist between Member States as regards the acceptability of research relating to embryonic stem cells, the continuing and rapid developments in this field, and the fact that the Directive itself provides for Member States to refuse patents on grounds of public order or morality under Article 6(1), the Commission considers that it is premature to give further definition or provide for further harmonization in this area. At the same time the Commission will monitor developments taking into account both the ethical aspects and the potential impact on competitiveness. It has launched a study looking at the ethical and legal aspects of stem cell patenting."

July 26, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Solo tactics: Get your OTJ training first

Carolyn Elefant is surprised to find herself recommending some advice from a BigLaw recruitment attorney to a young lawyer wondering whether to hang out a shingle. Ann Israel, Elefant writes, "is biased against solo practice, so predictably, she advised against the move -- but I was surprised to find that I don't disagree with all of her advice. ... Where I do agree is Israel's point about taking a salary for a year or two and getting training while you're being paid."

Elefant also recommends this advice from Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer, which she found at Ernie the Attorney's blog.

July 26, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Blawg Review #16

Mike Cernovich recommends we read Sean Sirrine's contribution to "the traveling carnival we call Blawg Review." I wholeheartedly agree -- Sirrine's Review #16 has a fun roundup on Roberts, Rove, Privacy Rights, Alabama's decision re: castration (yes, equal parts barbaric and ineffective), and many other topics.

July 26, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Call me Sal, short for Sisyphus

I'm talking about Sal Messina, the former chief knowledge officer at Kirkland & Ellis, a Chicago-based law firm. Mr. Messina gave an interview to a graduate student in George Washington University's knowledge management department. A pretty frank interview, at first glance. Joy London has the story.

July 26, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

California AG Opinion No. 05-613: Treat bloggers like journos?

J. Craig Williams writes that one of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer's deputies has solicited an opinion from Williams on the subject of Opinon 05-613. Why do you care? If you're a blogger or enjoy reading blogs, read this.

Williams writes, "I suspect other bloggers may have received the same letter, but it's the first time I've been asked in my 18 years of practice to provide a comment to the AG before the AG issues an opinion. So, I'll put it out there for your comment and opinion, too. With a little help from my friends, we can probably give the AG some worthwhile guidance, and protect the blogger journalists among us. The AG wants a response by September 30, so comment away, please. "

You might also consider adding your voice here: To a February 2006 colloquium on the legal realities behind the blogging revolution, hosted by the Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law, as posted by Randy Barnett.

Related links:

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Look in their wallets: Why a law firm isn't a corporation

Why "a tolerant lock-step system is disastrous" -- a case study by Bruce MacEwen and friends.

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Elefant: "Court-appointed work is not supposed to be a full-time job!"

Carolyn Elefant has a talking-to for solos, now that the Massachusetts legislature has raised hourly rates for court-appointed attorneys but also limited the total number of hours that they can bill. She writes,

"Court-appointed lawyers can't expect a guaranteed stream of revenue at private rates.  It's a trade-off.  If lawyers want the security of a flow of cases for which they don't have to advertise or market, then they can settle for court-appointed work at a lower rate.  If they want to make more, then they need to go out and find the clients who are going to pay -- and stop asking the captive ones to fork up even more money.

"And as I've always said, court-appointed work is interesting and a good way to pay the rent early on or even a way to do work that's got a pro bono element without working entirely for free.  But if you want to step up to a successful practice, your plan has got to include weaning yourself from court-appointed work.  After all, why limit yourself to $84,000 a year when you could possibly make ten times that much?"

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

A lifetime employment program for Mike Fox

What's his secret? Human behavior. Mike Fox writes:

"Why I (Unfortunately) Will Have Work For the Duration ... of my working life, probably regardless of how long that is. From Sunday's NYT: "There's No Shortage of Intolerance in the Workplace." On a brighter note, there are the Millennials -- the generation born after 1977 (or 1980 according to some) described in a report by Patti Carey for the National Conference of Legislatures, Understanding Four Generations at Work:

'Millennials are leading the way to becoming color-blind. They value diversity, and they get along with members of different racial and ethnic groups. As a group, they are more open to interracial dating than to dating across economic classes. Unlike other generations, they do not have any gender restrictions. After all, many of them have played on coed Little League teams. Their corporate board compositions will certainly have a different flavor than those of yesterday and today.'

"Someday," concludes Fox. No wonder today he recommended the EEOC Update on Guidance in Light of National Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Morgan.

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Microsoft's new legal vista: Google

In addition to other vistas described by Monica Bay, Microsoft is seeking "to prevent Google from hiring a Microsoft executive, Kai-Fu Lee, who would establish a new Google research facility in China and lead its operations there," according to The Wired GC.

Why? Well, writes the anonymous GC, it could be Mr. Lee's noncompete clause. Or it could be the fact that Mr. Lee was working on search. Or the fact that he's the highest-ranking exec yet recruited from Microsoft by the high-flying search engine Google. Or it could have something to do with this graphic below, he writes.

Msft_v_goog2 You be the judge.

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Veteran legal techie now blawgging

Both Joy London and Bob Ambrogi recommend you check out Alan J. Rothman's blog, The Subway Fold.

Update on 7.26.05 - I see that Monica Bay explains the story behind the blog's name here.

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Why not call it the "Bernie Ebbers Memorial Group Therapy"?

Not a trace of my sarcasm can be found in Rees Morrison's professional post recommending a recent survey by PLC Law Department (hat-tipping Adam Frederickson)  on managing risk and compliance, based mostly on European companies. Apparently the survey found that:

- 82.5 percent of the respondent general counsel provide the principal advice to the board on corporate governance issues.

- 36 percent said that their board of directors did not have a good understanding of corporate governance issues.

- 31.6 percent said that getting board and senior management support for compliance programs was either extremely difficult or very difficult.

Astonishing. No one's asking, but I cannot imagine serving on a board without my own personal advocate sitting behind me, at this point. Perhaps a few PowerPoint slides featuring mug shots from across the pond would help drive the point home?

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

What do the firms of Bryan Cave, Davis Polk and Blake Dawson have in common?

All three of these firms are a superior competitive advantage via virtual lawyer tools for clients, according to Tom Baldwin, who is Chief Knowledge Officer for Sheppard Mullin, reports Joy London. London links the " 'menu' of potential knowledge management projects for law firms" that Baldwin developed, along with lists of firms pursuing change that Baldwin considers "significant" or even "superior." It's a great list for any firm that's wondering how to begin -- or how to improve.

July 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 22, 2005

While we talk, Roberts works: United States v. Jackson

While is recruiting signatures for a petition against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, and USA Today is reporting how allegedly popular  this previously popularly unheard-of jurist has become overnight (hat-tip to Jim Lindgren, the source of both links), Roberts keeps on ... working.

Take, for example, the dissent Roberts filed yesterday in a Fourth Amendment case. Orin Kerr posts:

"Judge John Roberts filed a dissent in a Fourth Amendment case today that is pretty interesting as an example of his style as a jurist. The case, United States v. Jackson, is very fact-specific: the only issue is whether the facts of a particular traffic stop amounted to probable cause to search the trunk of a car. Judges Judith Rogers and Harry Edwards, two of the more liberal judges on the D.C. Circuit, said no. Judge Roberts said yes. On the merits of the probable cause determination, my own sense is that this was a pretty close call. Based on current law, I think Roberts was probably right. At the same time, the doctrine calls for a judgment of probabilities, and reasonable people with different experiences can disagree ..."

July 22, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

John Roberts reportedly is not on Federalist Society team

The Washington Post has fact-checked a story propagated by, well, many news outlets. Let's consider this story, linked by Orin Kerr, as the Post's correction of the record.

Will the others correct the record?

July 22, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Peeling the Am Law 100 onion with an eye to the little(r) guy

What about the rest of us? asks J. Craig Williams.

July 22, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Will the U.S. ever be a friend of IP in developing countries?

"I think the U.S. totally rejects anything that changes this organization's modus operandi that helps developing countries," a Brazilian delegate charged. "I hope I am not correct."

This quote is part of Bill Heinze's rather depressing update on the World Intellectual Property Organization meeting.

July 22, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Bad week to be a jailor in California ...

"This was not a great week for the California prison system," writes Mike Fox:

"The one's OK, three's too many and two is an open question, paramour case handed down by the California Supreme Court not only should have been embarrassing, but made terrible law for all California employers. See "Paramour Claims Live in California -- Although Maybe It's A Question of How Many?" But that wasn't the most costly news of the week, as Monday the prison system was losing a $20 million dollar age discrimination case as reported in the Contra Costa Times, California prison to appeal doctor's $20 million judgment."

July 22, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Add this category to DWB: OWB

By DWB, I mean Driving While Black. Let's add a new category, Observing While Black. Here's what I'm on about: Mike Cernovich's post, "Right to Not be Arrested for Onlooking Clearly Established"

July 22, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

MacEwen: Don't treat partners like MBAs -- there's real money at stake

Bruce MacEwen reports on two new entries to the executive education field for lawyer -- Wilmer Cutler, in conjunction with Harvard Business School, and Chicago's Seyfarth Shaw, with Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management -- and offers some advice from the corner office:

"[N]ot only do these executive education initiatives have their emotional and behavioral work cut out for them, they cannot apply the MBA template to law firm leaders:  "What works for GE will not work for law firms," since the art of "managing" a group of high-performing, verbal and analytic overachievers whose career success may have been largely built on standing out from the crowd, bears no resemblance whatsoever to employer/employee relations.

"Finally, real money is at stake.  Not only does week-long immersion in executive education supplant otherwise-billable time, but the cost of the curriculum itself can be tens of thousands of dollars for a handful of partners."

More here.

July 21, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

The latest on "first to file" IP rules

Courtesy of Bill Heinze:

  • CRS Reports on Proposed Patent Reform Legislation
    "On July 15, 2005, the Congressional Research Service of the U.S. The Library of Congress published "Patent Reform: Innovation Issues" (Order Code RL32996). The report examines the Patent Act of 2005, H.R. 2795, introduced in June 2005, which would arguably work the most sweeping reforms to the U.S. patent system since the nineteenth century. Among the more notable of these changes are a shift to a first-inventor-to-file priority system; substantive and procedural modifications to the patent law doctrines of willful infringement and inequitable conduct; and adoption of post-issuance opposition proceedings, prior user rights, and pre-issuance publication of all pending applications ..."

  • USPTO Announces New Interference Search Procedure
    "On July 19, 2005, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced a new procedure, effective June 21, 2005, for conducting "interference searches" in order to ascertain whether any other applicant is claiming substantially the same subject matter as is being allowed in application being searched. Under the new procedure ..."

July 21, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

John Roberts on the bench: 27 employment law cases and an uber view

For 27 decisions that Judge Roberts participated in on the D.C. Circuit, Mike Fox has "provided a brief description of the court's actions, Judge Roberts' role in the decision and characterized it as either for the employee or employer position. Although that is a very arbitrary way of looking at decisions, it still shows that Judge Roberts has certainly not been one-sided. In fact what is more notable is the number of times Judge Roberts sided with the employee's position in reversing a lower court or agency. Most, although not all, of his rulings that favored employers were in agreement with the court or agency below."

Read the list of 27 cases and Fox's categorizations here. Also, Orin Kerr links to an uber view of Roberts' performance on the court.

July 21, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Are barriers to KM part of legal culture?

Joy London suggests you e-mail Fiona Muir, who surveyed these firms for her master's disseration on "Barriers to Knowledge Sharing in Law Firms": Allen & Overy; Bech-Bruun Dragsted; Lovells; Slaughter & May; Gorrissen Federspiel Kierkegaard; Anderson Partnership; and Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer.

July 21, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

E-mail and the m-word (m-a-l-p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e)

Better than a kick-me sign. Read this story of  an e-mail sent by one partner to his colleagues, and imagine being one of the recipients. Courtesy of the InhouseBlog.

July 21, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

And the nominee is ... John Roberts

Things just got a lot more interesting, now that President George W. Bush has nominated John Roberts -- a federal appeals court judge, a New York native and a Harvard Law School graduate -- to succeed the seat that will be vacated by the first woman on the United States Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor.

Many blawggers, from noted partisans to the most gentle(wo)manly professional, is invoking that mosh pit of all political mosh pits, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings to come. Even Mike Fox, whose restrained politics and professionalism make Jottings by an Employer's Lawyer one of my favorite blogs  -- even though we frequently disagree  --  had this to say:

"[I]f I were a Democrat, particularly one running for office in the 2006 elections, I would be deathly afraid that the face and image of the party is going to be represented most prominently by Senator Leahy and his right hand person for judicial nominees, Senator Schumer (D-NY). In his post-announcement rush to challenge Judge Roberts, the anticipation of 12 weeks (months?) in the spotlight was all too evident. Maybe we will get a replay of Senator Hatch telling him that he is asking "dumb ass questions" that occurred in Judge Roberts confirmation hearings for the D.C. seat he now holds. See Howard Bashman's post and link to those hearings here. Senator Schumer will of course not be the only big ego in the confirmation hearings, but my guess is that he will be by far the most obnoxious. Apparently, I was not the only one who was less than impressed with the start of the Democratic Dynamic Duo, see Professor Ethan Leib's post about their conference at PrawfsBlawg, that begins, "Why do the Democrats do such stupid things sometimes?"

But others expect Judge Roberts to "sail through," including The VC's Orin Kerr, who spins the spin:

"The interest groups have to make a lot of noise right now, but it's mostly because they see that as their job regardless of who is the candidate. Lots of groups have been given lots of money to fight or support whoever Bush nominates, and that money has to be spent somehow. The spring has been wound very tight, and now we have to let it unwind a bit. But most people I've talked to aren't taking it very seriously, or seeing it as very specific to Roberts..."

Here's a round-up of bloggers on the subject:

And don't miss what the Volokh Conspirators said in May when Roberts' name first surfaced as a potential nominee, including their review of his record.

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Ambrogi: Finds flaws in FindLaw's fixed links

Bob Ambrogi, following his series auditing FindLaw, reports that the fixes are not in, despite his ongoing updates from company leadership. Ambrogi writes:

"FindLaw CEO Scott Kinney called me today to discuss my survey last week showing the deterioration of FindLaw's index of law-related Web sites. Kinney said that, as of Friday, the links were verified through a new content-management system and should now be 100 percent accurate.

"A quick check showed there may still be some problems. Checking a link through a program verifies that the link works, but not that the content of the linked site remains valid ..."

More here.

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Do you have the right to the music in your audiocast?

Looks like you should double-check. J. Craig Williams has read that NPR is negotiating to pay royalties for music on podcasts. He writes, "Apparently, no one podcaster or group of podcasters have the rights to place music on podcasts -- which doesn't stop some podcasts from doing so, illegal as it may be ..."

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

A CEO perspective of the GC's office, part I

Meet  Good Technology CEO Danny Shader, "a CEO focused on the best way to achieve business objectives and not one to litigate because you may have a case," one of the first characters in The Wired GC's occasional series.

July 20, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 19, 2005

Help for the little guy: Stop IP theft


For more on the new service offered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to help small businesses who may be exposed to intellectual property theft, visit Bill Heinze.

July 19, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

More Supreme Court blogs -- and a podcast

We addicted nomination-watchers just got a worthy podcast, courtesy of Bob Ambrogi, who, along with Orin Kerr, taps some hot new blawgs on the subject.

Are there others out there? Please! Add the URL below. Thanks.

July 19, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

A whole new kind of face time

What if each of your colleagues at the firm had their own RSS feed and you could monitor their productivity and output that way? Oh yeah, and learn from their hard work too? That's the subject of Ron Friedmann's latest post, where he applies blogs and RSS to the acronym del dia: knowledge management.

Here's an excerpt:

"This question got me thinking about the potential benefits of enterprise aggregators. I envision folders centrally managed (firm-wide, by practice, or by opt-in) to present relevant blogs and ones individuals manage, some private and some partially or fully public within the firm. With this model, interesting KM possibilities emerge:

  • Lawyers can share subscription lists easily.
  • Subscription choices can be used, among other sources, to infer both lawyer expertise and interests.
  • Lawyers could nominate posts for firm- or practice-wide posting (to, say, a portal, with or without vetting).
  • Users can save posts of interest, either for private or broader re-use.
  • Firms could deliver valuable content more easily. "

July 19, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Secrets of the top-paid GCs

As the U.S. economy looks up, so do the prospects of certain GCs, says Geoff Gussis. He recommends this article by ALM's Corporate Counsel:

"Want to know the secret of becoming a general counsel who's able to afford the best in life? Hint: Good lawyering is only part of it ..."

July 19, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Does Judge Luttig's textualism make him less conservative?

Todd Zywicki ponders a weekend Washington Post article on Judge Luttig, whose name is oft-mentioned as a short-lister for President Bush's Supreme Court nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor.

According to Zywicki, the article reports on why one of Luttig's colleagues of the 4th Circuit was rated as more conservative than Luttig:  Turns out the survey compared their decisions on the bench. Zywicki writes:

"The article suggests that the reason for this counterintuitive result may be Luttig's commitment to textualism as part of his larger judicial philosophy ... This has been noted in the context of the recently completed Supreme Court term, where in several high-profile cases some of the individual Justice's votes were hard to explain in terms of political ideology, but instead seemed to reflect differences in judicial philosophy, such as principles of federalism. Luttig has articulated his philosophy of textualism in a number of interesting cases over his time on the bench ..."

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

New York and Connecticut get their grape on!

Michel J. Ayer follows the application of Granholm v. Heald. I wonder how California's wine sales will do in 2005?

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Read. This. Now.

"You have to not only love, but stand in awe at the wit and energy behind Blawg Review #15, hosted this week by fellow management employment lawyer, George Lenard at George's Employment Blawg," writes Mike Fox. Visit Fox for a link to this exceptional essay,  which begins:

Blawg Review #15 shall have a groovy, rockin', psychedelic 60s and 70s theme.

Every post shall be grouped under a pop-song heading, preferably the Beatles.

Every Graphic shall complement this theme in some fashion."

... and delivers.

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Don't call. Don't write. Don't blog about me either!

Can a blog be used to harass a private individual? Bob Ambrogi examines a Massachusetts case that sounds a lot like stalking via blog ...

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

No more multihyper-tasking

Before your colleagues, clients and various electronic accoutrements  drive you insane, consider Rees Morrison's recent reading on the topic. (Note to self: Try this at home too ... as soon as there's time ...)

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

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