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Denise Howell Denise Howell
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Dennis M. Kennedy Dennis M. Kennedy
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Tom Mighell Tom Mighell
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Marty Schwimmer Marty Schwimmer
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Ernest Svenson Ernest Svenson
( Profile | Archive )

Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at dhowell@gmail.com.

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at tmighell@swbell.net.

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at marty@schwimmerlegal.com.

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at esvenson@gmail.com.
About this blog
Between Lawyers provides just-in-time group commentary on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect. We take you behind the firewalls and conference room doors to show you how experienced lawyers deal with these issues and help you prepare for the new challenges we all face. For more, see our introductory post.
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Between Lawyers

March 3, 2008

The Lawyer's Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

The Lawyer's Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, the new book from Between Lawyers' own Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell is now now available for preorder at the ABA Web Store. There's a 15% discount if you preorder now.

The "official" launch of the book will be at the ABA TECHSHOW 2008, where Tom and Dennis will be speaking on the topic of collaboration tools, and will be happy to sign your copy of the book.

The book reflects the idea of collaboration that underlies the Between Lawyers blog.

Here's the book description from the ABA Web Store:

This first-of-its-kind guide for the legal profession shows you how to use standard technology you already have and the latest "Web 2.0" resources and other tech tools, like Google Docs, Microsoft Office and SharePoint, and Adobe Acrobat, to work more effectively on projects with colleagues, clients, co-counsel and even opposing counsel. In The Lawyer's Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, well-known legal technology authorities Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell provide a wealth of information useful to lawyers who are just beginning to try these tools, as well as tips and techniques for those lawyers with intermediate and advanced collaboration experience.

Collaboration technologies and tools are the most important current developments in legal technology and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Explained with minimal technical jargon, the book focuses on highly practical and usable ideas that you can put to work straight away.

With practical advice on how to use specific tools and concrete action steps to take, lawyers and law firms at all levels will benefit from working together better.

You'll learn:

+ The basics of collaboration and collaboration tools

+ How to select and implement tools and strategies

+ The best ways to collaborate on documents, cases, transactions, and projects

+ How to collaborate inside and outside the office

+ How to collaborate using tools you already have or own

Technology now makes it easier than ever to work with others -- this is the first guide dedicated to the special requirements of the legal world with the practical steps it takes to do it right.

I encourage you to preorder now and take advantage of the 15% discount or to consider ordering the book here if you are reading this at a later date.

Comments (77) | Category: BL News | Legal Technology | Virtual Lawyers | Web 2.0

September 18, 2007

Calling All Legal Tech MacGyvers - A Mini-contest

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

I'm planning to write an article about what I'm calling "MacGyver" technology tricks. I'm assuming that you are familiar with the MacGyver concept (or you can wikipedia it).

As an example, consider using a digital camera or cameraphone as a document scanner in a pinch (or sending a document as a fax to a nearby fax machine when you aren't able to print it any other way).

I'm looking for some good examples and wanted to get a little help from the readers of this blog.

Remember, the idea is not something like using the top of your laptop as a cutting board, but ways to use software and hardware in unexpected, but logical and useful ways, in a pinch when you don't have the normal tools available. Another example: using a video iPod to run your PowerPoint presentation when your laptop won't work with the projector. I'm also looking for something that the average lawyer would be able to do with gadgets, hardware and software (or Internet apps) readily at hand for most lawyers.

However, I'm not looking for examples like this one, because it requires that you have a specific device available.

You get the idea.

Let me know your best ideas by leaving a comment to this post or joining the Between Lawyers Facebook Group and leaving your recommendations as a response to the discussion thread there.

On an unrelated note, be sure to take a look at a great roundtable article on legal podcasts and lawyer podcasting in the latest issue of the ABA's Law Practice Today webzine, with Denis Howell, Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy among the participants.

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL on Tour | Legal Technology

August 25, 2007

If It's All About Respect, Why Do They Look So Foolish?

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Posted by Denise Howell

So — what should Nixon Peabody have done when its embarrassing firm non-theme song made its inevitable way onto the Web? (And into the atmosphere of countless homes and offices, as its hapless victims hum and mutter it against their will and better judgment?)

If they'd have asked me (or perhaps 95% of the over 1,000 people who have voted in the Volokh Conspiracy poll), I'd have told them the last thing they should be doing is invoking the DMCA. Instead I'd have recommended:


  • applying an appropriately liberal Creative Commons license,

  • holding a mashup contest, and

  • showcasing the winner and the top 9 runners up on the firm's home page.


Would make for more congenial search results and Wikipedia copy, at any rate. (But then again, at least the firm has a Wikipedia entry.)

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blawgs | Copyright | Creative Commons | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Intellectual Property and Technology Law | Law Is A Business | Law Practice Management | Leaks

August 19, 2007

Facebook for Lawyers?

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy have posted a new episode of their podcast, The Kennedy-Mighell Report (RSS feed here).

In this episode, Dennis and Tom discuss the use (or potential use) of Facebook by lawyers, giving some potential benefits and risks, practical tips, and observations about their experiments in using Facebook. They also talk about how they use the Google Reader for RSS feeds and Google Docs and Spreadsheets for simple collaborations. They also talk about the other podcasts they listen to and how they listen to them.

It's a good introduction for lawyers and other legal professionals to these topics.

You'll find the podcast episode here and there's an archive of earlier podcasts.

It's also a good time to remind you to check out Denise Howell's podcast - This Week in Law - on which you'll find some of the authors of the Between Lawyers blog appearing from time to time.

And, for Facebook members, we invite you to join the Between Lawyers Facebook group.

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL News | Legal Technology | Podcasting | RSS | Web 2.0

July 30, 2007

BlawgWorld 2007: An Introduction to the World of Blawgs

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

TechnoLawyer's new free eBook, BlawgWorld 2007, features a selected post from 77 different law-related blogs. It's a good introduction to the current state of blogging for everyone, no matter what your familiarity, or lack of familiarity, with blawgs. You'll even find a choice post from the Between Lawyers blog.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blawgs

July 26, 2007

Copyright thought balloon: YouTube vs. RSS

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Posted by Denise Howell

Consider and discuss the technical, legal, and/or policy differences, if any, between this and this.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (1) | Category: Copyright | Intellectual Property and Technology Law | RSS

Legal Issues Of Law And Commerce

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Posted by Denise Howell

I'll be on a panel at BlogHer this weekend called Professional Blogging: Art and Commerce

The other side of the professional blogging coin is looking at the business ramification of making money with your blogging. This session will cover the things to consider and that you may regret if you wait to long to address: copyright protection, tax ramifications, managing personal vs. paid-for blogging, your site policies, and blogging ethics.

Here are my top ten legal issues pertinent to this discussion; what are yours?

1. Communications policies (your own, or someone else's which may apply)

2. Intellectual property (your own and third parties')

3. Indirect liability for third party acts

4. Civility

5. Ethics

6. Privacy

7. E-commerce

8. Data ownership, responsibilities

9. Minors

10. Special considerations for regulated businesses/industries

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL on Tour | Blogging Policies | Copyright | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Intellectual Property and Technology Law | Participatory Law | Web 2.0

July 18, 2007

Announcing the New Between Lawyers Facebook Group

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

The untold story of this blog is that the Between Lawyers authors spend more time gabbing with each other via email than posting to the blog. During one of our recent quite extended email conversations, we decided experiment with and open up those discussions in a Facebook group so that friends/readers can also play along.

Without further adieu, you can now check out the Between Lawyers Facebook group.

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL Behind the Scenes | BL News

July 13, 2007

George Lenard On Facebooking Employment Candidates

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Posted by Denise Howell

Here are George Lenard's posts on the subject:

Employers Using Facebook for Background Checking: Is It Legal?

More on using facebook et al. in recruiting and hiring (Part II)

Employers Using Facebook for Background Checking, Part III

This might be better suited to Overlawyered than Between Lawyers, but I'm posting it here anyway because it's a great series of posts. One thing I don't see addressed: one of the most powerful features of Facebook (and a host of other social networking sites) is the fine-grained privacy control users have over the visibility their data. Often, only "friends" have access to the kinds of details George discusses. But, lots of people do make their data more generally visible. It's ironic that employment laws are such that though "the public" may be invited to view such information, lucrative damages awards or settlements could be associated with doing so in the context of employment or potential employment.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blawgs | Ethics and Technology | Privacy | Terms of Service | Web 2.0 | eDiscovery

July 10, 2007

Using Photos and Videos and the Role of the Creative Commons Licenses

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Denise Howell raises some questions for bloggers and others who embed YouTube and other videos into their blog posts. Even better, she offers some answers to the questions in her post "Embedding a Headache."

Shelley Powers does a great job of summing up some of the key issues and unanswered questions about the Creative Commons licenses in her post "Virgin Bites Creative Commons on the Butt." Highly recommended.

We discussed the Creative Commons licenses (and some of the issues Shelley raises) a few years ago when we started the Between Lawyers blog as an effort to show our readers how a group of lawyers would think about applying a Creative Commons license. Those posts are collected here. I also talked about Creative Commons license issues in the recent Episode 26 of the WordPress Podcast.

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Creative Commons

June 28, 2007

Agreeing To The Cloud

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Posted by Denise Howell

As more and better communication and collaboration functions move to the Web (under non-negotiated, vendor-centric terms of use), what are our obligations as both tech- and ethics-savvy lawyers? I for one am not about to give up Gmail. So, what's the best practice?


      Shun Web services, you simply can't control the data?

      Use Web services only when you have specific, confidentiality and reliability guaranteeing service level agreements?

      Use Web services liberally, but acquaint yourself with the applicable terms of use and make sure clients are amenable?


I lean toward #3. You?

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: E-Mail | Ethics and Technology | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Law 2.0 | Law Practice Management | Legal Technology | Practice of Law | Virtual Lawyers | Web 2.0

June 13, 2007

May 21, 2007

May 16, 2007

May 2, 2007

April 26, 2007

April 23, 2007

In Like With Your Lawyer

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Posted by Denise Howell

I was listening yesterday to the terrific CalacanisCast interview with Dan Albritton of iminlikewithyou.com, and was struck yet again by the way indicia of reputation, trustworthiness, and credibility are shifting and quantifying. I'm not sure what tomorrow's AV rating will look like, but I suspect it will be less subjective, more egalitarian, and more task-oriented.

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blawgs | Practice of Law | Predictions

April 19, 2007

April 8, 2007

Between Lawyers - Recent Podcasts

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Members of the Between Lawyers blog can be heard in a number of recent podcasts.

Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy have posted the latest episode #5 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, in which they cover the recent ABA TECHSHOW, legal technology trends for 2007, current developments in electronic discovery, and their upcoming book on collaboration tools for lawyers.

Denise Howell has posted the latest episode of This Week in Law, which includes fellow regular Ernie Svenson. An earlier episode feature Between Lawyers' Marty Schwimmer.


Technorati tags:

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL News | Blogging Legal Developments | Legal Technology | Podcasting | eDiscovery

April 5, 2007

March 29, 2007

March 19, 2007

Collaboration Tools for Lawyers - The Book

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Between Lawyers' own Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell are pleased to announce that they will be writing a book on collaboration tools that will be published in early 2008 by the American Bar Association. The book is tentatively titled: "Collaboration Tools for Lawyers: Essential Ways to Work Together with Colleagues, Clients and Even Opposing Counsel."

Nearly every lawyer finds that colleagues, co-counsel, clients and even opposing counsel use the Internet and technology to collaborate and work together on documents, projects and cases. In the simplest scenario, lawyers and clients use the "track changes" feature in Microsoft Word to work together on a document. Technology today lets lawyers take collaboration to the next level. Many legal technology tools now include collaborative elements.

At the same time, lawyers increasingly use the Internet in many ways to work together. From document sharing to videoconferencing, there are more tools than most lawyers can imagine for working together, online.

Two key trends are at play here. First, for years lawyers have understood the clear benefits of collaboration and working together as a routine matter. Second, the availability of simple, inexpensive (even free) collaboration technology has created an environment where working together makes sense to nearly every lawyer in nearly every firm. The push forward on both trends is likely to continue.

Two other important factors also come into play. First, business clients are routinely using technology to collaborate and will expect their lawyers to follow. Therefore, collaboration tools illustrate a classic example of a client-driven technology. Second, events in the world from increased travel costs to possible pandemics make it even more likely that these tools will be adopted by necessity.

To the extent lawyers have experimented with these tools, they may have the nagging feeling that they are simply touching the tip of the iceberg of what might be available to them and how they might use these tools to their benefit. We believe that they are right to feel that way, because it is undoubtedly true.

The book will provide intensely practical advice for lawyers and law firms wanting to take better advantage of these tools and the benefits they bring. It will take a look at how to use these tools wells, focus on both categories of tools and specific individual tools, and provide concrete action steps and techniques so that even the least tech-savvy lawyer can catch up with the early adopters and successful innovators.

Collaboration Tools for Lawyers: Essential New Ways to Work Together with Colleagues, Clients and Even Opposing Counsel, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell (expected publication date: early 2008)

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL News | Law 2.0 | Legal Technology | Web 2.0

March 18, 2007

March 15, 2007

More Questions About Recent Legal Marketing Restrictions

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Legal marketing guru Burkey Belser takes a few stabs at the recent New York and Florida efforts to restrict legal advertising and communications in his post "Rotten to the Core." I agree with his assessment that the law of unintended consequences will apply many times over with these rules and the risks of arbitrary enforcement are quite high.

The money quote:

One wonders if federal regulation of legal marketing will ever overtake the state-by-state model currently saddling the profession. So many firms have so many offices across so many state lines that the old regulatory model hardly makes sense anymore.

There's good practical advice in the post and a helpful chart you can download.

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Legal Ethics and Advertising

March 13, 2007

March 9, 2007

Podcast on the law of business communities

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Posted by Denise Howell

The conference call Mike Madison and I recorded earlier this week in anticipation of our session at Community 2.0 (more here and here) is now available as part of the Bag and Baggage Podcast or from the Future of Communities blog.  We talked about:

  • Defining community and loosely-joined individuals and interest groups
  • Community goals and governance (or lack thereof)
  • External innovation communities such as Procter & Gamble's and ownership issues
  • Intellectual and liability concerns for company-owned or associated communities
  • Whether an initiative similar to the Creative Commons movement has or is in the process of emerging
  • Ownership issues and risk-minimization around products or services that emerge from external ideas
  • Variations on open source licenses
  • Individual rights and protections for community contributors and participants
  • Anonymity and accountability
  • Nefarious community exploitation: gaming, hacking, spamming
  • Trust and reputation management
  • The use of trademark law to use and manage community involvement; selective enforcement, the expansion of certification marks
  • Insurance industry mechanisms and models
  • Defamation
  • Company-sponsored (and owned) communities, and the actions taken by participants who find the terms and conditions of such initiatives too draconian
  • "Innovator's dilemma" management and patent strategy and the tension between old, successful products and those developed with help from outsourced customer communities
  • Personal data ownership and the Attention Trust

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL on Tour | Blogging Legal Developments | Blogging Policies | Copyright | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Intellectual Property and Technology Law

March 8, 2007

March 7, 2007

Take Two: Public Conference Call On The Law Of Business Communities

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Posted by Denise Howell

Our rescheduled conference call in anticipation of Community 2.0 (details here) takes place today at 1:00 p.m. PST/3:00 p.m. EST.  Call-in details are here, please join us if you are interested.

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL on Tour | Blogging Legal Developments | Blogging Policies | Copyright | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Intellectual Property and Technology Law

February 24, 2007

Join us Monday for a public conference call on the law of business communities

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Posted by Denise Howell


In connection with our session at the the upcoming Community 2.0 conference, law professor Mike Madison and I will be hosting a public conference call on Monday, February 26 beginning at 1:00 p.m. PST, and we'd love your participation to help us hone in on the ownership considerations (IP; attention; identity), and issues of governance and liability, most critical to the creation, maintenance, and long-term health of business communities.  The call will be recorded and made available as a podcast from The Future of Communities blog.  You can join us as follows:

From Skype: +990008275785861

From a regular phone (long distance costs apply):
US: 1-605-475-8590

In Europe, call:
Germany 01805 00 7620
UK 0870 738 0763

The Conference Room Number: 5785861

Hope to chat with you then.

(Cross-posted to Bag and Baggage and Lawgarithms

[Update, Monday 2/26 @ 1:15 p.m.:] Unfortunately, we had problems with the conferencing service lined up to support this, so are having to reschedule. I'll post the new date, time, and call-in details once they're available, sorry for the delay.

+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL on Tour | Blogging Legal Developments | Blogging Policies | Copyright | Ethics, Decorum and Manners | Intellectual Property and Technology Law | Web 2.0

February 15, 2007

Wikis for Lawyers?

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy have published an introduction to wikis and a primer on how they might be used in the legal profession. The article is called "Wikis for the Legal Profession," and it appears in the the February 2007 issue of Law Practice Today.

Ken Adams explores the practical potential of using wikis for contract drafting in a piece called "What Are Wikis?" in the New York Law Journal today. Excellent article.

I agree with Ken's conclusion, but I think that the value of wikis will not come through their use as a drafting tool, per se, but as a way to collect the "knowledge" about how contracts are drafted, when you use certain clauses and why, and the like.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Law 2.0

February 11, 2007

January 8, 2007

New NY Advertising Rules Are Out There

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Well, the new New York advertising rules for lawyers are out. They are quite extensive. Fortunately, there are some analytical pieces and summaries out already ready.

As a good starting point, check out Allison Shields' extensive summary here. Larry Bodine does not mince words in his reaction. Carolyn Elefant at Law.com summarizes a few posts. John Caher takes a gentle approach in the New York Law Journal..

I'm sure we'll see more commentary later, but there's a lot to read and digest.

My first quick read gave my the odd feeling that I was reading a new Miranda marketing warning for legal marketing ("You have the right to remain silent. Anything resembling marketing that you or your law firm may do may be treated as an ethical violation."), but I'll reserve judgment until I can read the rules more closely.

Two thoughts: First, I think that my characterization of the proposed rules as "micromanaging" is even more true of the final rules. Second, I believe that this type of state regulation, which undoubtedly will be picked up by other states, all but begs the FTC to step into lawyer regulation.

I understand that the next item on the New York agenda is a lawyer dress code. ;-) Hmm, maybe that's not so far-fetched. Consider this quote from the Caher article:

Finally, the new rules ban advertising "techniques to obtain attention that demonstrate a clear and intentional lack of relevance to the selection of counsel, including the portrayal of lawyers exhibiting characteristics clearly unrelated to legal competence." That provision was added partially in response to advertisements run by a Long Island, N.Y., attorney who permitted herself to be filmed in provocative poses to tout her real estate practice. Those ads generated complaints from Long Island practitioners who noted that the attorney's cleavage had nothing to do with her legal abilities, officials said.

The one element of these new rules I really like is the use of the all-but-forgotten word "moniker." I assume that the rules on use of monikers may bring the end to Morrison Foerster use of the term of endearment "MoFo." Heh.

I'm quite curious to see what the response of New York lawyers will be to these rules.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Legal Ethics and Advertising

January 2, 2007

December 31, 2006