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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Gobble, Gobble

So says the baby. I say "thanks!" to Matt Round for our first ever, and most wonderful, digital baby gift (the new artwork at top), and to all of you for your great comments, emails, and gifts. We actually seem to have survived our first night home with Tyler, and better yet, so does he! All downhill from here. Uh, right?


Saturday, November 29, 2003

IT'S A BOY

Tyler Declan Howell. Born Thanksgiving afternoon, 1:22 p.m. 6 pounds, 4 ounces. 18 inches long. 19 hours, 22 minutes of labor. (Yes, that means I was in labor, without realizing it, when I last posted.)

More later, Papa Howell sez Tyler's hungry. (So what else is new???) This rocks, folks. Best three days I've ever had.


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

First Harvest

A colleague in the UK writes with a link to The Pilgrim Hall Museum, pointing out that we here across the pond appear to have adopted the English custom of celebrating the first harvest with feasting, games, and prayer.

A National Day of Mourning has been observed since 1970 as well, but I'd be hard pressed to find something to mourn at present. The baby is due in 10 days. (!!) B&B (the elder sibling; also a Sagittarius) hits its Terrible Twos on Friday. (Howard Bashman just beat me to posting about this, and found the links for the transcript and (Real) audio of my recent Life & Times segment. Amazing!) Having just cranked out an ardous batch of stuffing herself, my 94 year old grandmother has enjoined me from any form of cooking tomorrow, so Gelson's will be coming to dinner, along with some dear family and friends. The baby's room has a roof, and, finally, a closet. Furnishings are still sparse (ok, nonexistent), but since Doctors Searls, Weinberger, and Sears have me sold on co-sleeping anyway, I'm not panicked. Yet.

To top off these good tidings, the mail keeps sprinkling delightful Amazon boxes our way—from all of you! I'm having great fun playing with my husband's head:

So, you know this person?
That one? No, never met her/him/[insert best guess here].
And they're sending us baby gifts?
You got it.
[Quizzical stare.]
[Shrug. Sheepish grin.]

Anyway, it's fantastic, thanks for helping make this one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember.

There Is No Turkey
––"[T]he truth is I'm thrilled that there are a handful of confirmable people, who have spoken back to me in interesting ways, who I didn't know before I began this thing. What a gift!"

Today's New Blawg

David Maizenberg has good news. He and two compatriots have just launched The Blogbook – the Bluebook for Legal Blogging:

The Blogbook is an open-source, work-in-progress, for all and sundry (well, lawyer blog tech culture geeks anyway) to enjoy and mess with. So go post to it.

This project brought to you by the good folks at Airdrop, plus extra special editorial help from an actual legal publishing professional who shall remain pseudo-anonymous.

The approach David and friends are taking gives the Bluebook model an adhocratic kick by making the discussion (and any resulting guidelines) a collaborative, interactive, community effort. The FAQ, Citations, and Style sections have more information, and there's a provocative hypo awaiting comments in Ethics.


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

A DRM Free Post

Karen Coyle spoke about DRM last week as part of the Library of Congress Luminary Lectures series. Entitled The Technology of Copyright: Digital Rights Management, the presentation covered the following:

Without technological controls, digital documents are easily copied. Publishers of texts, music and video are looking to digital rights management (DRM) technology to allow them to distribute and sell their goods in digital format with a limited risk of piracy. DRM technologies in development today range from simple password control to elaborate models of trusted systems. They all exercise some control over the use of materials they protect. What will it mean to writers, publishers, readers and libraries to work with documents that are protected by technology? How does DRM interact with copyright law? Can we live with it? Can we survive without it?

The video of Coyle's 1 hour, 27 minute talk is available here (requires the RealOne Player, and dagnabbit, that might just tank this post's claim to DRM free status...). [Via UMUC's Digital Copyrights List]

Magnatune is a digital music download service on the shareware model: if you like what you hear, and/or want to download something more than a 128kb MP3, you buy it. See the Plan for the details, including the Creative Commons licensing. Magnatune says 50% of the purchase price goes to the artist, and that it's "not evil." [Via the Screen Savers]

Today's New Blawg

Dan Fingerman writes DTM. Dan's a recent Boston University School of Law grad and California Bar admittee, and worked as a summer associate in 2002 with Wiggin & Dana, the firm behind the Franchise Law Blog. Posts from the last month or so cover a wide variety of topics including law, technology, and culture: "Pesky spirits die hard, I guess." [Via the Blawg Ring]


Monday, November 24, 2003

Vetted

Little Red Corvette
Sweet Ride, Good Cause

My dad's been on me about public education issues since well before I became mother-to-be of his first grandchild. Now the rubber is meeting the road, so to speak, and he's got a Red Hot Corvette, four days lodging at the Little River Inn, and dining during your stay at legendary Mendocino area restaurants, for some lucky soul who puts up $100 to support MUSE: a program for the enrichment of music, arts, sciences, and athletic programs in Mendocino schools. More details here. (With only 3,000 tickets being offered, the odds of winning appear roughly equivalent to landing a spot on an MTV reality show, or experiencing ESP in space.)

Coming Out Party

Cindy Chick on WestLaw's new Results Plus, which she likens to Amazon's Search Inside the Book: "[I]t's fair to say that books are coming out of the closet. And none too soon."

Today's New Blawg

Sam, a 2L at the University of San Diego School of Law, writes Reversed and Remanded. [Via Blawg.org] Here's Sam on California's online application page for appointment to state office: "I would really prefer that the Director of the Office of Emergency Services not get the job because he happened to be surfing the web." Also, I liked his tag line so much ("Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, Turn.") I had to look it up.


Sunday, November 23, 2003

Today's New Blawg

Matt Morse has a brother, and his brother has a blawg. Adam Morse is associate counsel for the Brennan Center Democracy Program at NYU School of Law. At his Journal, Adam provides in-depth examinations of interesting and current judicial determinations (primarily those of the U.S. Supreme Court). His post on the recent Massachusetts same sex marriage case is a mini-treatise, full of deconstruction, analysis, predictions, and even a colorful historical reference. I watched both Meet the Press and Face the Nation tackle this topic this morning, and without question Adam's analysis was the more informative.


Saturday, November 22, 2003

Tying One On

Jerry Lawson and David Maizenberg are exploring the notion of Web Site Design As Necktie. Jerry draws a parallel between the necktie divide—those who pay for $5,000 Hermes, and those who would sooner hang themselves given the array of acceptable, better priced alternatives—and Web pages, concluding "[t]hat's where blogs are going to take web site design." David says not so fast: uniqueness, instant recognizability, and "branding" are becoming more, not less, important.

Me? I think they're both right. In Jerry's post I see reflected the fact the Web is still in its infancy, and part of the progression to the next level is the easy, out-of-the-box, idiot-proof ability to have complex online interactions and presence. It also reflects the growing RSS- and RDF-ification of text and other online media, the death of push (and rise of pull), and the semantic Web. In David's post, I see perhaps further into the future. Not to get too sci-fi on you, but in Neal Stephenson's Metaverse, off-the-shelf avatars ("Brandys" and "Clints") make participation (and deception) possible, while those concerned with their identity and credibility opt for something more unique, personal, and sophisticated. In other words, I think we're at the very beginning of all this. We'll start to see a continuum, and before we're done we'll see it all.

Today's New Blawg

Cindy Chick is Information Resources Manager, Knowledge Systems at Latham & Watkins. In addition to being a self-professed "case study in how to get on every spammer's e-mail list from here to China," Cindy writes LawLibTech, "a conversation on law library technology and knowledge management." Cindy readily recognizes the law firm knowledge management ramifications that can crop up in Dilbert when one pays close enough attention. If you're interested the convergence of law, technology, and knowledge management (and who isn't?), Cindy needs to be on your list of must-reads. [Via Genie Tyburski]


Friday, November 21, 2003

Encyclopedia Dumtannica

There really is a For Dummies book for everything, isn't there? (Well, not quite everything.)

Today's New Blawg

From Winston-Salem North Carolina, J. Kevin Morton writes the Disability Law Blog:

We've had a traditional website for about 5 years, and it's had its share of compliments. But it was so rarely updated that it went the way of other Websites of the Living Dead, made useless by outdated content. Look at your own site and see if you don't have a "last updated February 3, 1999" somewhere. Weblogs make it easy to update websites. So I've bought a new suit, and I'm hoping it fits. [...]

What is this site about? It's about Social Security disablity law and practice, though there's plenty of medical news, the odd woodworking story (I love woodworking), and a few hikes down rabbit trails regarding technology in my practice.

Kevin's posts are wide-ranging and informative. The new suit seems tailor made.


Thursday, November 20, 2003

It Never Rains, It Showers

Aw, folks, I'm extraordinarily touched by the notion of a virtual baby shower. Leave it to an intrepid blawger (and one of my all-time favorite people I've never met) to ferret out our Amazon wishlist of baby necessities. Really, it's amazing to go into an event like this buoyed by the tangible support and wisdom of folks I know because our blogs pal around together when we're not looking (and sometimes when we are). I can't thank you all enough.

In The Nick(olas?) Of Time

Given I am not far from giving birth, yet miles from settling on a name for the little nipper, imagine my delight at finding Baby's Named A Bad, Bad Thing, "[A] catalog of naming questions and suggestions posted on several different baby naming bulletin boards going back as far as early 2001." This, from "Part I: Brought to You by the Letter Y:"

We aren't having kids for another year or two, but we like Kellyna Nychole, Taryn Mykah and Mykenzie Kathryn for girls.

This woman was indicted under the Flagrant Over-Use of the Letters K and Y Act of 1983.

[Via Maccers, via Rick Bruner]

Today's New Blawg

In addition to being the creator of the Sapere Aude group blog from students at Indiana University's School of Law in Indianapolis, Joshua Claybourn has his own blog. Joshua writes about legal and political issues, without neglecting girlfriends past, present, and (perhaps) future.


Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Life & Times Segment Backgrounder (And Gratuitous Promo Shot Of Me, My Phone, And I)

Smile!
Say, "Cheesy!"

Ok, so we've established the supermodels are toast, and those within KCET's signal range are tuning in to my segment tonight, right? Well, even if not, here are some links on topics covered in the interview. (I have no idea if the related points will make their way into the final edit, but this is the stew of stuff I had in mind when Toni and I spoke.)

More Things To Sprinkle Around The Office

In addition to Blogger's observation that no working environment can have too many copies of Cluetrain lying about, some additional essentials (both via Rick Bruner) include:

Potential

Advice For The Bloglorn

Biz Stone, having provided sage counsel on how to avoid the apocalyptic collision of mom and blog, now tackles How Not to Get Fired Because of Your Blog. The Cluetrain Kool-Aid section is a howler:

Put a copy in the break room on top of the donut box, run out to the parking lot and stick one under your CEO's windshield wiper, stand outside the executive washroom with some mints and a basket of books, or just walk up to your manager and say, "Oh, and here's that book you wanted."

Meanwhile, Dooce (Heather Armstrong) describes an apocalyptic collision of mom-to-be and blog—the kind where, once again, a wealth of knowledge is not necessarily a good thing. At least it's reassuring to know someone is making progress toward Mid-East peace. (Bonus post: Belly Button Watch 2K3. Thanks, Hanan, for recognizing I'd find these irresistible.)

Today's New Blawg

Mark Loftus, a trial lawyer in Chicago, writes Trials and Tribulations. [Via Ernie Svenson] Without naming names or apparently disclosing confidences, Mark blogs about the cases he is handling in some detail, as well as the law that affects them. This is truly a trial lawyer's journal, and thus provides a series of vignettes and personal impressions about the legal system's function at that level.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

TV Me

I had fun last week meeting and doing an interview with Toni Guinyard of Los Angeles PBS station KCET. The segment is scheduled to air tomorrow on Life & Times at 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. PST:

CELL PHONE CAMERAS
What happens to your privacy when more and more cell phones are also cameras. Tony Guinyard explores the pros and cons of this new technology, and what you should be aware of.

A colleague was "kind" enough to point out that my television debut—not Bag and Baggage's of course; in all likelihood the unregenerate tangle of code will utterly upstage me—airs precisely opposite the third annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. C'mon—me, 8½ months pregnant, in a suit, or Karolina, not, and not (what is that thing, anyway??). Ahem. Well. There's always TiVo.

Barrett v. Rosenthal To Get A Second Look

Last month, in Barrett v. Rosenthal (PDF), the California Court of Appeal (First District, Division 2) reversed the Alameda County Superior Court's determination that the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA) immunized Ilena Rosenthal from defamation liability when she re-posted statements of a third party in an Internet newsgroup. (See the EFF's case archive.) Last week, the Court of Appeal agreed to take another look at its decision when it granted (11/10 docket entry) respondent Rosenthal's Petition for Rehearing. I haven't read the Petition and so don't know on what grounds rehearing was sought, but the San Francisco Chronicle is not optimistic about the chances for a substantive turnaround: "such reviews seldom change the results[, and] [a]n appeal to the state Supreme Court seems virtually certain...." [Via ILN]

Today's New Blawg

Craig Silverman, a 22 year prosecutor and defense lawyer, plans to blog the Kobe Bryant trial for ABC 7 News in Denver, CO: "In my job as legal analyst and in this blog, Channel 7 has given me the privilege and opportunity to observe and opine about the people and the law involved in this epic court battle." (Is this page a really a weblog? It certainly has those aspirations. It would probably behoove a major news outlet to eliminate more of the doubt about that on the technical front. Doing so would make the page more useful, too.)


Monday, November 17, 2003

Say It Loud: I'm Dry And I'm Proud

Andis Kaulins reacts to the Stewart Kirkpatrick article noted here last week: "Hoping that I will still be welcome in Ayrshire ..." So does The Curmudgeonly Clerk: "[I]f one is looking for legal news and commentary, the best that the blawgosphere has to offer is far better than the print media generally manages." (As Kevin Heller points out we're just feeding the hand that bites us, but as long as we stick to Scottish cuisine—with apologies to Gary T.!—I can live with that.)

Bottoms Up

Chris Geidner writes eloquently at En Banc In Defense of Student-Edited Law Reviews: "By giving tomorrow's lawyers this responsibility, new ideas—beneficial for all—might appear, ideas that could take the law in directions seen as necessary by today's law students but odd or tangential by those accustomed to the status quo."

Public Disputes (Round II: The Blawgers)

xrlq posts the Infotel C&D letter Justene Adamec recieved last week; 21 comments so far.

It's been about 18 months since Ernie Miller and I—with a dollop of Glenn Reynolds thrown in for good measure—were musing about how the public airing of prelitigation demand letters might affect dispute resolution as we know it. This current brouhaha is particularly interesting because it already has drawn so many legal professionals into the discussion. The participation and insights being provided remind me a little of Harvard's Openlaw project, coming together in an even more ad hoc manner. (See again Larry Lessig's Wired column on political blogs: "A managed community works about as well as a managed economy. So the challenge is to find a way to build community without the community feeling built.")

Reversive

Why hasn't someone done this before: The OneLook Reverse Dictionary? [Via Genie Tyburski] (Has someone done this before? It's like a thesaurus, but something about being a "reverse dictionary" elevates the coolness quotient about six ticks.)

John Allen Muhammad Is Guilty

So says a jury in Virginia Beach, and the sentencing phase of the trial is under way: "A jury of 12 Virginia Beach residents this morning found sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad guilty of capital murder, after deliberating about six hours. He could be sentenced to death." Kerry Sipe continues to blog real time courthouse coverage.

Today's New Blawg

Psst—wanna see three lawyers blogging? Then check out Digitus Impudicus, where you can learn all about rude Romans, nude laundry, and skewed doughnut nutritional assessments. [Via Howard; welcome home.]


Sunday, November 16, 2003

Today's New Blawg

Thoroughly Modern Monyca is a criminal defense attorney in New York City. [Via the Blawg Ring] Here's Monyca on anticipating the results of the New York Bar exam: "It's sort of like waiting for Santa Claus, only with fear." No worries, she passed; New Jersey too!

Wired 11.11

The November issue of Wired Magazine was chock full of good stuff, as I just got around to discovering. Some highly subjective highlights:


Saturday, November 15, 2003

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies...

Blogger has a helpful and only partially tongue in cheek "Official Stance" on the Mom issue, courtesy of Biz Stone: "Our experts here at Blogger Support have come up with a list of suggestions to help you navigate around the dreaded 'Mom Scenario' (or prevent it altogether)."

(My Mom's computer shy, but she likes it when I read posts to her occasionally. And show off pictures of her handiwork.)

Today's New Blawg

Displacement of Concepts is by a group of lecturers from the University of East Anglia and the Norwich Law School, writing about "technology, innovation, law, economics, cyberspace, intellectual property, and other things of interest to the humans inhabiting the information society." [Via Donna Wentworth] Very interesting stuff to this human, and most likely you too.

Blog Comment Liability Threatened

Justene Adamec: "I have a letter from an attorney threatening to sue me and 'my agents' for invasion of privacy, misrepresentation and interference with economic relations all because of the comments to this post." As Steve Glover points out in response to commentary from Right on the Left Beach [via Kevin Murphy], the post and its comments live on in Google's cache as (at present) the #2 result for "Infotel Publications." Some of my initial thoughts on how this kind of question might be affected by the 9th Circuit's Batzel v. Smith decision (PDF) are included here.

[Update] Unsurprisingly, lots of posts are flowing on this, and McGehee has a good round up.


Friday, November 14, 2003

Apropos Of Naming

Just noticed that Beth has named her Aibo "Whuffie." Oh my, that's good. And in pulling in that link, I see she's not alone...

Tick Tock

Tomorrow the baby is full term. While many folks sensibly get the nursery together some time in their second trimester, we seem to have skipped that step in order to finish up construction. The good news: there's now a room for BH and her/his necessaries. The bad news: it's a trifle on the spartan side...

The doctor now requires a weekly visit. And never before in 13 years of practice have I had to tie up sufficient loose ends to be out of the office for more than two weeks at a stretch (that was when I got married). All is thus a little daunting at the moment, but wonderful. Enormous thanks to all who have written to share hard won birthing and parenting wisdom, and just to express support and good wishes. It means the world to me.

Though next week will be my last in the office for awhile (I'm noticing how difficult it would be instead to say, "at work"), and there is much to get done there and on the home front, it's my plan to keep right on a-posting whenever time and connectivity permit. If things should go suddenly quiet here for a couple-few days—you'll know why!

And oh yeah—we're still completely out to lunch on 1) names, 2) whether BH is male or female, and 3) the requisite vitals: date and time of birth, and birth weight. Suggestions? Guesses? (As of last week, the doc thought the baby already was 5 ½ pounds, and they're supposed to gain ½ pound a week from this point.) My official due date is December 6. There's a B&B t-shirt in it for whoever is closest on 2 and 3, and I'll certainly come up with something (even) more glamorous for anyone who submits a name we actually use. (Fast forward five years: "Mommy, how'd you decide on my name?" "Well, Gnudist, ...")

A Technologist On Tort Reform

Marc Canter: "Slimeballs like this guy – need to just go away. [¶] I was on a board that got sued by Boies firm.¬† And there was nothing funny going on – except that they didn't hit their numbers and the stock was tubing."

Today's New Blawg

Well, it certainly was no picnic selecting which of the 46 blawgs currently awaiting TNB status would fit the twin requirements for today's selection: i.e., not achingly dull, and not a waste of cyberspace. There are many worthy contenders, but the B&B staff (no less diligent for being fictitious) have been busy tabulating results and comparing notes, and have chosen to feature:

Mithras, of the Fables of the Reconstruction blog. [Via Jonas] Mithras is "your basic, harmless Philadelphia pervert with a law degree who likes to beat people and talk about politics. Kind of like Ben Franklin, except not an Ambassador and I don't look good in half glasses." Whether you find Mithras a waste of cyberspace may depend on your political leanings and language tolerance, but "dull" is not a word that jumps immediately to mind. Through Mithras, one can find Zombies and an Interview with the PATRIOT Act, and, really, what more could one need?


Thursday, November 13, 2003

Today's New Blawg

Bradley Huggins Consulting Group writes Law Firm Management News. [Via the Blawg Ring] The site filters a wide variety of resources on employment, technology, and other management issues pertinent to running a law firm.

(Some might suggest I should have tried to pick a more scintillating TNB in response to Kirkpatrick's comment below. The on-deck circle will undergo some rigorous scrutiny with this in mind for tomorrow.)


Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Acquired Tastes

Stewart Kirkpatrick: "Lord help us, there are even blawgs, lawyers blogs, or – to use a more appropriate term – achingly dull wastes of cyberspace." Yes, well, not all haggis is good either.

Howard Does L.A.

And this while he's sojourning in Florida! There's a very nice profile of Howard Bashman and How Appealing in today's Daily Journal. (As is always the case with DJ articles, while I would dearly love to provide a link the paper does not make its articles available online except by subscription.) This follows just fifteen days after Tyler Cunningham's two Daily Journal articles on legal blogging. Today California; tomorrow—can we make it Tahiti?

Today's New Blawg

Kerry Sipe, online news coordinator for the Virginian-Pilot, is using his laptop and a WiFi connection to blog live from the Washington, D.C., area sniper trial of John Allen Muhammad. [Via Howard Bashman, Ernie Svenson] According to the latest entry, the defense team is up today: "John A. Muhammad's defense attorneys will begin to present their case at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday when court reconvenes after the Veterans Day holiday. At that time, Judge LeRoy Millette will rule on defense motions that the murder and terrorism charges against Muhammad be struck." Poynter's Howard Finberg has a great post, quoting Sipe, on Courtroom Coverage Convergence:

Since there was to be no TV or audio allowed by the court, I felt that real-time online reports would be the next best way to satisfy the intense interest in the trial. I have not seen it done in quite the intensive way I am trying to do it, though I did find one case on the Internet of a television station that did online reports of a trial. [...]

The blog had been up for only a few minutes yesterday when I began to get e-mails about it. I've heard from about a dozen readers who think it's great to get able to get news about the trial while it happens.

Poynter also links to the AP coverage, and its Convergence Chaser blog looks well worth revisiting. Ryan Pitts of the Dead Parrot Society likewise has a good report on "beat blogging."


Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Digital ID World Audio, Slides

Cory Doctorow: "The Digital Identity World has posted complete audio, in a variety of formats, of all the presentations, along with the slides and so forth. ... Link" Cory says he's pleased how our DRM panel fares in MP3 audio. Only the iPod will tell!

Folding Time

Held in Contempt's Heather:

I always scoffed in my head at those people who swore that they didn't have a spare second in their day when they had a baby, thinking to myself, all babies do is sleep! And eat! And poop! How much time could that take up? HAH! I was on crack, I say. Crack.

24 ½ days and counting...

Of Supreme Interest

A couple of tech industry issues are headed (in the first instance) and potentially headed (in the second) to the U.S. Supreme Court:

Intel v. AMD:

In this case, AMD seeks to use 28 U.S.C. Section 1782 to compel discovery of documents for use in an investigation currently being conducted in Europe for alleged antitrust violations. [SCOTUSBlog]

Intel, the world's biggest computer chip maker, is trying to beat back an attempt by rival AMD to get its hands on confidential Intel documents and pass them along to antitrust enforcers at the European Commission. [¶] AMD says the documents will bolster its claim that Intel uses anti-competitive tactics — such as illegal rebates, withholding technical information and threatening computer makers that use AMD products — to protect its market share in Europe. [the L.A. Times]

In re Aimster:

[T]he issues of law presented are:

1. Whether, under the Copyright Act and this Court's decision in Sony, Petitioner's provision of Internet service, obviously capable of noninfringing use, constitutes per se contributory infringement if there is some evidence of infringing use; and

2. If so, whether, or to what extent, a court may use its power under the Copyright Act's injunction clause to order Petitioner affirmatively to monitor and prohibit Internet communications and file attachments (encrypted by the sender and decrypted by the recipient), consistent with the Copyright Act's fair-use clause, and also with: (a) the First Amendment's speech, press and association clauses; (b) the Fifth Amendment's takings clause; and (c) the safe harbor clause of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. [Petition for Writ of Certiorari of John Deep, link added; via Ernest Miller and Derek Slater]

Today's New Blawg

The BlogBloke is a former litigator turned mediator, advocate, and "part-time journalist/geek." [Via the Blawg Ring] BB is also a Blogcritics contributor and has instructions for anyone seeking to add an RSS feed to a Blogger blog.


Monday, November 10, 2003

Shades Of Lexis And Westlaw

Penn State is among the first colleges to consider offering students "free" Napster access, by building the cost into a per-term technology fee. ("Getting in tune with colleges: Music services hope free downloads will lure students;" syndicated from the L.A. Times, Jon Healey) I guess law students should be happy there's no Kazaa equivalent for legal research; if there were, Lexis and Westlaw might not be so willing to underwrite student access in reliance on the paying customers they stand to gain with each graduating class.

Bring In 'Da Nuge, Bring In 'Da Funk

From the "off the deep end" department: "If voters can elect a wrestler and an actor as governor, why can't they elect a rock and roll guitar player, too? The Motor City Madman says there's a 50-50 chance he'll run." (Via the Oakland Press; link added. Don't forget your copy of Kill It & Grill It!)

Riverside Dining, Dashing

Hooray for Amazon's two new beta services: Gourmet Foods and Sporting Goods. Here's a related L.A. Times article. One of the participating vendors is Dan's Chocolates, with whom I've had good gift ordering experiences before. A few cool things about Dan's:

Another great participating vendor: Mendocino Mustard.

Today's New Blawg

The Yale Journal of Law & Technology writes YJoLT, the journal's weblog, where articles from the journal are posted with volume and page references, along with the ability to comment and discuss. In the current issue:

  • "Mine Your Own Business!"
  • The Case of Pharmaceutical Patents in Argentina
  • Message Deleted?
  • Copyright's Digital Reformulation

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Today's New Blawg

Disputation is written by a law student at Georgetown who, like me, is a bit perplexed by the legal situation set up on Episode 9 of the OC. (Among other things, there seems to be some confusion on the writers' part about who's the plaintiff.) Love the "snap jar notes." [Via Dispositive]

Much family, friend, and baby stuff going on here this weekend. (How did I forget to register for Panther?)


Saturday, November 08, 2003

Today's New Blawg

Heidi Bond is a 1L at Michigan who writes Letters of Marque. [Via the Blawg Ring] Heidi has decided to write her blawg under her own name, reasoning as follows:

The arguments against it go like this: If I criticize people, post snippets of conversation I find amusing, grouse about my classes, everything I say will be here for anyone to see. If people know who I am, I'll be blamed for what I write.

But it cuts two ways. Anonymity gets no credit, either. It's not that I expect adulation, but maybe—just maybe—I'll act like an adult if I'm doing it in my own name.

Expect to be pleasantly surprised by how silly adults act.

As one who indeed has been pleasantly surprised, I commend you to Heidi's blawg.


Friday, November 07, 2003

What Has Your Blawg Done For You, Your Clients, Your Profession, Lately?

Carloyn Elefant writes, "H-E-L-P! In two weeks, I'm scheduled to give a presentation on blogging to an audience of solo and small firm lawyers. For the initial research I've done, seems to me that for most solo and small firm lawyers, the million dollar question about blogging is 'what can it do for me?'" Jerry Lawson is Carolyn's co-presenter.

I'll expand the question before answering, because the benefits of weblogs in general, and blawgs in particular, are so multifaceted. They're not just good for lawyers. They're good for the clients and potential clients who read and benefit from lawyer weblogs. They're good for the profession, which (I know, you're shocked, simply shocked!) is widely (and perhaps justifiably) perceived as many bad things, from inscrutable to parasitic. A great many people have been asking me lately to explain some of these benefits in greater detail, and I have been trying to do so in various ways offline and within my firm. With a reminder that I wrote an article about these kinds of considerations toward the beginning of my life as a blawger, here are some of my more current thoughts on the subject.

Blawgs For Professional Development

One of the biggest benefits I derive from Bag and Baggage, and people are constantly surprised by this, is the way it keeps me informed as a lawyer. I guess it's non-obvious if you're not doing it. By this I mean, for the last two years I've found blogs to be incomparably more effective at keeping me up to speed on developments (societal, business, and legal) touching on my practice than the combination of newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and CLE events which used to serve this function for me on their own. The benefits of having information filtered by people you trust to recognize what you would probably find important if you read it firsthand are enormous. I used to sift through a mishmash of paper and online resources to make sure I knew quickly about developments that might affect my clients or my practice. I still check those things, but now they take a back seat to reading what some knowledgeable blogger already has written up. Another example is the availability of Continuing Legal Education from the actual educators. When legal scholars blog, and when they share what's going on in their courses (see John Palfrey), we can all audit the Ivy League and our other esteemed institutes of higher learning. Pretty neat.

Blawgs As Devoted, Low Cost, Personal PR Experts

Lawyers, clients, potential clients, the media, and so much of the world at large, rely on personal or search engine-generated recommendations for their information. By publishing consistently and currently on your areas of interest, expertise, and practice, you cannot avoid being on the radar. A blog is the equivalent of a 20-person PR staff, singularly devoted to you. Better still, there's no room for the "staffers" to misunderstand or misrepresent your message.

As I told our L.A. office associates recently, my husband is a powerfully effective client developer because he's a brilliant lawyer and a wonderful guy who also happens to love golf and belong to a club with a lot of business people who have ongoing legal needs. His perfect trial track record (no kidding, he's amazing) and occasional high-profile clients have from time to time over his 14 years in practice gotten him written about and/or quoted by journalists, featured on television, and (just once, I think) asked to speak on a subject relevant to his practice. To compare, I'm not one to chase a little white ball around. But in the almost 2 years I've been writing B&B, those kinds of things have happened for me at hyper-speed, in hyper-volume.

In addition to encouraging media and industry connections that might otherwise be impossible to come by, a blawg gives you the chance to demonstrate day after day to colleagues, clients, and potential clients that:

  1. You know what you're talking about, and
  2. You're someone they could see themselves working with when/as the need arises.

(There's an equal opportunity to come across as a blithering idiot, but I sure don't see much of that when I cruise through the blawgs of my colleagues over there on the blawgroll.)

Blawgs As Conversations

Yeah, ok, you're sick of hearing about Cluetrain from me. But have you read it? Have you read it lately? Then, have you looked around and noticed how it has come to life in so many ways since its publication?

The world of law is a big and mysterious one to those who are not inside. It's at least slightly less so to those who are. The more people in the legal field who blog, the better our ability to increase the respect and understanding of the law as a whole. The Dean campaign and participatory politics provide a valuable lesson. Despite the democratic form of government we're fortunate enough to enjoy in the U.S., people have been undeniably alienated and kept outside the process of electing a president. Dean and others, through the communications and connections technology now enables, are changing that. There's a parallel when it comes to the legal process. Everyone, inside and outside of the business world, has concern and confusion about how their behavior might fare under the scrutiny of courts and regulators. The more transparency the legal field provides, the more those potentially in need of legal services can come to see the profession and its professionals as Allies, not enemies.

Blawgs For Fun And Party Tricks

Don't discount the value of being able to share thoughts and photos quickly with friends and The World. There's still a lot of novelty to this, and people generally enjoy seeing "their name in lights"—even if it's just the tiny little glow of your blawg. And that glow might not be so tiny little. Your blawg likely will do considerably better than a conventional Web site in terms of inbound links, pagerank, and ensuring the things you've written will be well-placed in relevant search results.

Don't Just Take My Word For It

I got some great comments when I mentioned I was going to speak at the firm about blawging; go have a look. Erik Heels has been conducting and commenting on his real world experiment in changing the way he communicates professionally from the "old way" to the weblog way. Finally, a certain law school professor and administrator for whom I have great respect also suggested that lawyers today "have to live in two worlds, one built on a model of three dimensional information built on the culture of the book and one that is currently being built in cyberspace. The former can seem musty and irrelevant, the latter can seem half-baked. But each is there. In the latter case it is a good idea to be conversing with the architects and builders rather than with the observers. Your blawgs allow that to happen."

Today's New Blawg

Axel H. Horns is a "Patentanwalt (German Patent Attorney), European Patent Attorney as well as European Trade Mark Attorney." He is also a "Member of the Society for Computers and Law." [Via Blawg.org] Axel provides frequent and detailed accounts of what's going on in the European intellectual property community. Did you know the European Patent Office has a new President? Now you do.


Thursday, November 06, 2003

Use, Fair Or Foul

A divided copyright decision today from the 9th Circuit—Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. v. Passport Video, PDF; via Howard Bashman—is a good illustration of the mercurial nature of the fair use doctrine. The opinion considers the extent to which fair use entitled a filmmaker to incorporate copyrighted materials (film clips, photos, and music) into an exhaustive biography of Elvis Presley: The Definitive Elvis. Judge Tallman's majority opinion suggests the outcome was strongly influenced by the applicable standard of review, and the deference the Court of Appeals was required to afford the trial court's preliminary injunction findings: "Although we might view this case as closer than the district court saw it, we hold there was no abuse of discretion in the court's decision to grant Plaintiff's requested relief." Judge Noonan's dissent argues the transformative nature of much of the work and the public interest in a biography of Elvis should have played a greater role in the Court's application of the unpredictable doctrine.

My Secretary Can Kick Your Secretary's...Case Management Strategy

My wonderful assistant Adriane, a Karate sensei and mom of two in her spare time, just told me she wants to start a Karate blog. I thought I'd better mention that quickly, especially since she's throwing me my first ever baby shower, uh, now. It's best not to tick off a woman packing nunchucks.

I've never really been a big baby shower enthusiast, but I have to confess: this morning I was fascinated by the slick stroller tech on display outside Starbucks. This doesn't mean I don't still have Envy envy; it just means it's a strange, paradoxical world.

For a gripping, moving, and for someone who is staring down her due date, downright chilling, account of the arrival of Ari-son-of-Kos, get on over and read the Fishyshark: First Day At Home.

Today's New Blawg

Walter Hutchens teaches logistics, business and public policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business in College Park, MD. [Via Ernie Svenson] Walter's specialty is China, and his blog is "generally related to China's developing markets for stocks and other securities, particularly the laws and regulations purporting to govern them." In addition to being a former practicing lawyer and former Senior Communications Specialist for Apple, Walter probably can still recall the meaning of the phrase, "In hoc, Bra."


Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Blog On The Wall

Rick Bruner, the gang at Marketing Wonk, and friends, are covering the Ad:Tech conference in New York on the Ad:Tech Blog. Here are B.L. Ochman's notes from the Blogging for Business panel ("[B]logs humanize a company and give the sense that there are real live human beings behind the scenes"—let's hope they give more than just "the sense"), and Rick Bruner's related notes and links. I don't see coverage of John Battelle's session on e-communities, unfortunately, but I'm betting it was good. Rick Bruner does however report a friend's voicemail from the "Spammer's Party," which sounds every bit as nightmarish as you might imagine.

Too Long 'Til June

Spectacular news: not only is Howard Bashman now booked with 20 Questions interviewees through June, 2004, his latest volunteer is California's own Justice William W. Bedsworth, author of some of my favorite monthly reading in the form of his Criminal Waste of Space column. Justice Bedsworth is a remarkable man, and is poised to become the world's first jurist, appellate or otherwise—as far as I know, and I am perhaps unhealthily devoted to the topic—to write a regular weblog. (To paraphrase, "He has the technology...")

On The Horizon: Utah Court Feeds

Rory Perry, who was blogging last week from the Eighth National Court Technology Conference (CTC8), has this exciting bit of news: "[T]he Supreme Court of Utah will soon join West Virginia in providing access to its opinions via RSS." (Link added.)

Today's New Blawg

D.C. Toedt, "general counsel of a software company and a former partner in a big intellectual-property law firm," writes By No Other, Business Law Lessons and Stories. The following is from an interesting post on how a PowerPoint presentation was used to defeat assertions of trade secrecy:

Make an effort to label your confidential documents as "Confidential" or "Proprietary." If you don't, a judge might later use that as an excuse to deny your claim that the documents contain trade secrets — if you didn't treat the documents like trade secrets, why should the court?

(On the other hand, don't go overboard with your confidentiality stamp — the credibility of your secrecy assertions may well be diluted if you unthinkingly label the menu in the company cafeteria as confidential.)

I found D.C. yesterday via Google when running a quick search on IP Memes, a weekly newsletter from TechnoLawyer on intellectual property issues related to emerging technologies. Google told me that Nancy at the Stark County Law Library Blawg had mentioned that IP Memes had mentioned D.C.'s post mentioned above. Ya follow?

Good, because you'll no doubt want to know why I was sifting search results for IP Memes during my busy day yesterday. I've been an IP Memes fan and subscriber for awhile, and was thus was pleased and honored when its publisher, Neil Squillante, asked me to begin serving as one of its co-authors. He did so at the suggestion of the World's Most Connected Man, Buzz Bruggeman, someone I know purely because we both write these weblog thingys that tend too often to be dismissed as insignificant.

Some IP Memes logistics are still being worked out, but one thing I do know is my contributions also will be available for what hopefully will be your reading pleasure here at B&B.


Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Clue, Line 2

Ernie Svenson: "[A] caveman wouldn't regard a cellphone as a particularly significant tool, unless maybe he could use it to smash rocks."

Vote On Your Favorite Presidential Candidate (And Full Contact Sport)

AP, on the latest California recall election ("Voters to decide on lap dancing ban"): "The [Los Angeles] City Council must now decide whether to rescind [a recently enacted anti-lap dancing ordinance], place a referendum on the next citywide ballot in 2005 or add a question to the Democratic presidential primary in March. They have 20 days to decide what to do." (Emphasis added.)

That's What I Get For Pulling My Head Up For Five Minutes

I'd rather have remained oblivious to this news for just a little longer...

Be Vewy Vewy Quiet—We're Witing Bwiefs

Sorry so quiet around here, I'm more than a little buried this week. Be sure you haven't missed Donna Wentworth's comprehensive post about the Diebold flap, and the latest installment of Howard Bashman's 20 Questions, featuring the 8th Circuit's Richard S. Arnold: "The aspect of the job I like most is that all I have to do is do right. Every day when I come to work and pick up a file, that is my only job. Let right be done."

Also high on my recommendations list at the moment is Chris Lydon's two-part interview with Stirling Newberry. Regardless of whether it's linguistically accurate to use the term "open source politics," Stirling's discussion on the topic has broad implications beyond just politics. Legal institutions of all stripes should be paying attention to these considerations as well.

Dirty Little Details

Techdirt parses the recent Rulemaking as it dealt with Static Control's rejected exemption request, and the subsequent coverage of the Copyright Office's determinations: "Last week, soon after the Copyright Office made their four tiny exemptions to the DMCA, a story started spreading widely saying that the Copyright Office had said it was okay for companies to create chips that circumvent copy protection for use in printer cartridges. [...]" ("Lexmark DMCA Battle Far From Over")

Today's New Blawg

Several law students from the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis write Sapere aude ("Dare to be Wise"). There's much to like here: the students are apparently writing under their own names, and are both smart and funny. Nice work, Joshua, Jay, Lawren, Kevin, and Kelly!


Monday, November 03, 2003

New Arrivals

Son of Kos: Ari was born last night, Congratulations!!

Senator and presidential hopeful John Edwards will begin blogging today at Larry Lessig's. The Senator's September 26 appearance on the Bill Maher show was particularly good, and is available in transcript form.

Today's New Blawg

Christopher Cross, a student at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, writes Legal XXX—a play on his name, and unashamed hit bait. Chris has an announcement about a program tomorrow at his school:

DAVID BERNSTEIN AT LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL NOV. 4. The Loyola Law School Chapter of The Federalist Society is proud to present George Mason University School of Law professor David E. Bernstein on November 4, 2003 in Merrifield Hall on the Loyola Law School Campus in Downtown Los Angeles.

Professor Bernstein will be speaking and answering questions about his new book: You Can't Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws (CATO Institute 2003).

(Links added.) The talk is from 12:15 - 1:00 p.m., and Chris has more details over at his blog. Professor Bernstein now blogs at The Volokh Conspiracy.


Sunday, November 02, 2003

Today's New Blawg

A recent example of the growing popularity of blawgs in Germany is Alexander Hartmann's jurabilis. Alexander finished his studies at Wuerzburg law school and is working on his PhD in Berlin, doing a legal clerkship, and specializing in IP/IT. There's a JuraWiki too.

Jurabilis has an RSS feed as well, and I've been meaning to mention that David Opderbeck also has added a feed.

Mo' Better

Robert Schoenberger of the Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) is another reporter who apparently read last Tuesday's DMCA Rulemaking and Register's Recommendation before penning his article, "Ruling won't end Lexmark printer flap." He also got Robert Cringely to comment.

Hacking The Vote

Scott Duke Harris, in The Los Angeles Times Magazine ("Ballot Busters"): "If you like politics as usual, suffice it to say vote-trading isn't for you."


Saturday, November 01, 2003

Judicial Turmoil In The Philippines

Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. may be impeached, and Sassy is blogging it (when she is so inclined):

This is not about whether Davide is a good or evil man. This is simply about whether he used the Judiciary Development Fund to purchase luxury cars and to repair justices' vacation homes, contrary to the provisions of the law that created the Fund.

So is Dean Jorge Bocobo, and he has posted the complete Articles of Impeachment:

Since it is the first time a sitting Chief Justice has been impeached under the 1987 Constitution, and only the second after Erap's case to make it trial in the Philippine Senate, it is bound to be historic.

As Howard Bashman has noted, "In addition to blogging, Bocobo writes commentary for The Philippine Daily Inquirer."

They Were Bound To Arrive...

a variety of bibs
Yes, I own this.

upwardly mobile
He knew better.

Today's New Blawg

Bryan Gates, an attorney in North Carolina, writes I Respectfully Dissent [via Ernie Svenson]:

The great dirty secret of the corporate world is that whatever time they don't spend whining about frivolous lawsuits filed by consumers is devoted to suing each other over trivial things.

Bryan has a separate page ("Ask The Law Guy") where he answers reader questions about the law, the legal system, and legal problems, and also has an apparent fondness for both Atticus Finch and pugs. (Can it be long before the B&B blawgroll needs a Practicing, With Pugs sub?)

Paper, Or Paper?

Jeremy Blachman discusses "the myth of the paperless office," and much more, in his A-to-Z Guide to Callback Interviews.


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