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Saturday, July 27, 2002

Gather No Spoofs

Chris pointed me toward a good Rolling Stone opinion piece by David Kushner about the peer-to-peer network seige. Chris has more at his place about the cluelessness of things like the Berman/Coble bill (PDF, via Politech), and the article itself offers examples of why these sorts of measures are a huge waste of time.

with, bear

Hmm, am having the fun of Blogger refusing to update my template. Sorry if your sidebar link just vanished. Hopefully it will let me bring things up to speed later. --Better now.

Commendations, Pack Your Bags

The Blawg Patrol has had such a smashingly successsful week that the Bureau's jet is fueling to take the field unit to the Azores. Who knows what they may dig up there, but they've earned it so off they go. Here are some of ways they've been strutting their stuff this week, but first don't forget we've already had an interim report featuring three fine blawgers. The home office also has been behind on its paperwork and meaning to highlight Jennifer Granick (The Shout: Opinions on Everything), of Stanford Law School and Donna's blogroll. Now that's done, back to the unit. Agent Altreuter reports in that Strike Team Charon is the brainchild of Mark, a Connecticut lawyer in private practice. (If Mark has no objection to use of his last name, I'll add that later and remove him from the "deep cover" division.) Mark's a gamer and compadre of Dorothea's (Hi Dorothea, you Paynt-splattered goddess, you), and I'm enamored not just of his writing but also his comment-comments: "Report in!" ... "1 casualty" ... "[x] victims in the mayhem" Ernie, Rick: ready? Agent Cooper has tracked down The LitiGator, a Radio, um, URL maintained by "Michigan lawyers specializing in civil litigation." More from their inaugural 7/6/02 post:
We are a Michigan litigation law firm.  Our postings will naturally follow our work and our other interests, which include legal applications of technology, politics, social and moral issues, and other discrete areas. We do not call this a "blog", because we don't happen to like the term.  If we have to name it, it will be called a weblog or web-based log.
Hopefully no one will object to "blawg..." ;-] (I'd encourage them to stop worrying and learn to love the "blog," especially in light of what William Safire [via Scripting News] and Geoffrey Nunberg have to say on the subject. By the way, Rick, there's no question: you're Hot.) The stewardess (we'll never keep good staff if I keep throwing that sort of language around!) flight attendant has been instructed to provide Agent Cooper with all the snacks he desires, as an added bonus for his double blawg-spot this week. I'll let him introduce you to Sam Heldman in his own words:
Sam Heldman works in the Washington, D.C. office of an Alabama law firm; his weblog focuses on the Alabama court of appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (which includes Alabama), and the National Labor Relations Board.
(The culprit must have realized Agent Cooper was hot on his trail because he also sent in an email confession. Always appreciated.) Sam mentions being "a little queasy in the effort to balance candor and style, on the one hand, with not-alienating-people on the other." I liked his post on the subject, and enthusiastically recommend Rebecca Blood's The Weblog Handbook if these sorts of things are on your mind. These reviews help explain why. Finally, the home office urges the field unit (who're now too schnockered somewhere over the Atlantic to pay any attention, but oh well), and any as yet unapprehended blawgers, to consider their blawging roots and hang awhile with witty and prolific blawger Burt Hanson (BurtLaw's Law And Everything Else), who's been at it since 2000. Bring a biscuit for Mathilda. --Later: There's little chance you'd neglect him either, but just wanted to note Dodd Harris has been around the blawg a few times himself (ok stop; those groans were audible), firing things up as he did in November '00.

Friday, July 26, 2002

That George Partington

In case you were wondering about how WorldCom was clued enough to generate this -- Blogging: Electronic Postings And Links Bring Vital Information To The Surface -- and just who was the primum mobile within the organization, Jeneane explains and comments. I second those emotions, and Hot Damn, it's been exhilarating connecting by phone this week with Jeneane and Chris. Just as it was pure joy to meet up with Frank and Mrs. Frank last month. It's high irony, as Chris has deliciously pointed out, that it takes a global Internet backbone and technology I can never hope to fully grasp to ultimately connect people in the most low tech of ways. I'm more fired up about that one thing, and the promise it holds for individuals, business and society, than anything else that comes to mind right now. (Except maybe the fact I'm about to enjoy a few days' vacation and catch seriously up on my reading. A close second.)

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Declare Your Judicial Candidacy Electronically

Judicial candidates in the State of Washington (which elects its jurists) may submit their ballot information electronically at the Washington Courts Web site. A similar system exists for those who would serve in the state legislature. [Via The Daily Journal] I am all for combating bureaucratic red tape with technology, and simply would urge those in charge to be sure and share the more unusual submissions.

Can I Get A Little (Declaratory) Relief?

So asks the ACLU on behalf of Ben Edelman in the U.S. District Court, Massachusetts (great looking courthouse, btw) concerning Edelman's potentially DMCA-barred plans to discover and make known the "block list" used by the N2H2 Internet filtering software. Donna Wentworth and Declan McCullagh have this well covered with discussion, commentary and links (here, here and here), and Donna's interview with Ben Edelman is well worth the read. Donna notes it can be a long, hard road before a DMCA challenge like this may result in legal precedent, and Ben points out the differences between "extracting and analyzing an encrypted block list" and "extracting an encrypted movie from a DVD." This reminded me to check the status of another DMCA declaratory relief action pending here in California and discussed here and many elsewheres back in April. The 321 Studios case against MGM et al. (complaint here) reportedly was scheduled for hearing on the defendants' motion to dismiss before Judge Susan Illston (more here) tomorrow, according to a 321 Studios 6/14/02 Press Release. However, Judge Illston's calendar does not agree and I see no recent related news(?).

Split The Circuit Hearing Statements

The statements of the witnesses at Tuesday's hearing before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property are now available here. Howard has more here (and an unrelated but not to be missed and perfectly contextualized Ice-T quote here).

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

That'd Be It

Next time anyone asks me why I went to law school, practice law and/or give a ding-dang about any of this stuff -- and you'd be surprised (or maybe not) how often lawyers get grilled on these points -- I'm skipping the usual routine and pointing them here: rip-roarin' Barbie law. (Thanks, Howard!)

Annie Got Her Blog

Cool, Annie's here. Proving once again there's a doctoral thesis lying somewhere in the intersection between Ursula K. Le Guin, Christopher Locke and weblogging. And she's Frankalouguing famously. Do check her out.

PopTech Blog Tease

Watch for it soon, on Buzz's site.

Was Cable, Now Spaghetti

Seems this (Adelphia's Family Fools at Slate, via Outside Counsel), was just the tip of the iceberg. Now there's a civil lawsuit by the SEC over "one of the most extensive financial frauds ever to take place at a public company," (via FindLaw), and five arrests (via The Nando Times) for using the (my!) hapless cable company as a "personal piggy bank." Forbes offers a concise chronology, beginning, appropriately enough given the spectacle, with a movie theater purchase. Should this interfere with any September Sopranos viewing, the appropriateness of emotional distress damages for subscribers deserves serious consideration . . . (I'm just kidding, folks at Overlawyered; unless of course you're as strung out for your next hit of the arrabiata-soaked stuff as I am, and thus with me on this??). Many thanks, RB, for the heads up.

O'Reilly Open Source Convention, San Diego

Doc and Dan are dexterously delivering the details.

Legislative Ping Pong

Kevin Marks was going in an interesting direction regarding 18 U.S.C. Section 1030 and digital rights management recently, and it's a direction I think would be undone -- where a peer-to-peer network was involved -- if the Berman/Coble bill to be introduced this week were enacted. [Via c | net and Politech] Frank Field doesn't think this particular bill will pass, so I wouldn't give up just yet on seeing a Section 1030 claim aimed at damage resulting from a peer-to-peer network hack. The Milberg Weiss class action concerning copy protected audio cds (complaint -- PDF) seems like the kind of suit that might try for the relief Kevin suggests, but it pleads no federal claims (presumably, to stave off removal to federal court).

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Today's Hot Trailer

You can't wait for the second coming of Matrix. Have bled bandwidth to the Two Towers. Wish Nemesis were Next Week. Hanker for Harry Potter. But -- are you prepared for the blockbuster of them all? WEBLOG: The Movie (a wonderchicken joint).

"Dow-burt" Versus "Dough-bear", And Other Mysteries

For the lawyer types: Peter Nordberg is webmastering a useful and well thought out site all about litigation under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., called Daubert On The Web. In addition to answering the great pronunciation question, Peter's signature graphic alone is worth the visit (a lawyer? trapped in a beaker), plus over 250 appellate decisions under Daubert (organized both by circuit and field of expertise), statistics and explanations regarding admissibility and exclusion affirmance rates, a user forum, and some slick "ideas . . . that the author wishes somebody else would try first." More like this, please!

Coffee, A Chili Dog, Or A TRO?

But why choose, when in sunny Southern California you can have it all? Legal Grind, with locations in Santa Monica, Tarzana and Inglewood, offers "coffee and counsel" for $25 a session, and an array of other basic legal services at a cost somewhat more suited to the café than the conference room. If those prices still would force your latte out your nose (in a manner generally frowned upon in café society), head over to Law Dogs in Van Nuys, where lawyer/owner Kim Pearman and colleagues dispense hot dogs for $2 and legal advice for free each Wednesday from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Should those leave your daily dose of "only in L.A." sightings unfulfilled, here's another: a helicopter has been chasing a Piper Cub across the skies outside my office, over Dodger Stadium, for the last twenty minutes. (Last fall we moved offices, and I traded "HOLLYWOOD" for "THINK BLUE.") This can mean one of two things: (1) someone's filming Swordfish II (uh, let's hope not), or (2) news-at-six slow speed chases have taken to the air...

Blawg Tuesday

  • Agent Hallstrom turns in Kevin Gregorius ("Who Cares What You Think?"). Kevin's last post was nearly a month ago (heavens forfend!), and Eric thinks he needs a little persuasion. Right up the Blawg Patrol's alley.
  • Agents Reynolds, Bashman and Svenson welcome Stuart Buck back to the Blawging Big House after a short-lived escape. As do I.
  • I finally got a chance to take in Frank Field's weblog ("FurdLog"), after reading his work filtered through Donna, and Frank joins our illustrious Academics.
  • Nice Doing Blog With You

    Rick Klau rounds up some good links on Blogs And Business Value, including the excellent John Foley article from yesterday's Information Week, Are You Blogging Yet?.

    Use It Or Lose It

    Declan McCullagh's Politech has two items today that impact the future of digital fair use: Senator Hollings' letter of July 19, 2002, to FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, encouraging the FCC to act "without legislation" to implement a "broadcast flag" system. Declan's c | net article about new bills planned to target peer-to-peer networks. [Politech post here]

    West KM

    "[W]hen a researcher finds a case of interest on Westlaw, if the case is also cited by any of the documents in the firm's internal archives, the firm's icon is automatically displayed on the case. The researcher can click the icon to review the list of internal documents. The researcher can then retrieve the full text of any of these internal documents from the firm's DMS to edit it, or incorporate portions of it into a new document." Genie Tyburski's TVC Alert points to this press release about a new knowledge management product from West. If this is just one thing the system can do, it's got my attention. (Now, if it can fold in material that may not be in the document management system -- how? got me -- I'll be really impressed.)

    Monday, July 22, 2002

    Split The Circuit Hearing Tomorrow reports that a congressional hearing is taking place tomorrow on the question of splitting the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and creating a new Twelfth Circuit. [Howard had a pointer to this story on Friday.] The hearing will be before the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, starting at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Audio is available during the time of the hearing from this link.

    Sunday, July 21, 2002

    WorldCom Files Chapter 11 - On A Sunday?

    You've no doubt already heard or read that WorldCom, Inc. has filed what is widely being reported as the largest bankruptcy proceeding in U.S. history. See, e.g., MSNBC. My father called up wondering how they pulled it off on a Sunday. Seems the digital era knows no weekends: the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York accepts filings via the ECF/PACER system, which lets registered attorneys file court documents 24/7. More about ECF (Electronic Case Files) is here, from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and here is a comprehensive list of courts which have implemented or are implementing the system. (Sadly, these factoids will do nothing to prop up the morning's markets; see --Update: Here is the Petition, in all its e-filed splendor. [Via FindLaw]

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