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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Bruce Marcus, one of the most-respected voices in legal marketing, has a very thoughtful analysis of the problems raised by New York's proposed regulation (or is it micromanagement?) of lawyer communications. His historical perspective is a welcome addition to this discussion and I hope that regulators will read and consider it, as will you.
The money quote:
To consider legal blogs as mere promotional devices is to ignore the significant contributions the legal bloggers make to the practice. And if, in the course of dissemination of information and informed opinion somebody gets the idea that one lawyer’s blog indicates that the blogger’s view of law is more thoughtful than the firm currently being used, there’s more benefit than harm – to both the profession and the clients.
Kevin O'Keefe reports that "FTC staffers, with the backing of commissioners, say they are concerned the changes are not specifically tailored to prevent deception and could instead suppress truthful, nonmisleading advertising."
The New York efforts are one more round in the continuing state-by-state trend of vague, micro-managing restraints on lawyers' speech which are all-but-impossible to understand, let alone comply with, and directed at "problems" that existing rules should cover and have many unintended consequences, the most unintended of which may be to bring the FTC or some other Federal inititatives into the regulation of lawyers. In the current environment, national rules promulgated by the FTC might well be better than the crazy-quilt of state regulations we are now seeing.
Food for thought: As Kevin O'Keefe says, "Strange that the FTC may have to protect consumers from lawyers passing restrictions supposedly to protect consumers. Looks to me like 'well entrenched lawyers' are passing restrictions to prevent younger lawyers from taking some of their legal work through education based marketing that helps consumers."
More details and comments on the proposed rules can be found here and here and here and here. My comments from a few months ago can be found here.
Let's discuss, because the expansive definitions in the New York rules mean, on their face, that the rules may apply to any lawyer anywhere with a web page, let alone a blog.
If we do say so ourselves, the course will be unlike any that has ever been taught. It is a course in persuasive, empathic argument in the Internet space. Throughout the course we will be studying many different media technologies to understand how their inherent characteristics and modes of distribution affect the arguments that are made using them. Students will be immersed in this study through project-based assignments in which they will be using these technologies to make their own arguments.
The course site has an introductory video to pique your interest.
There's nothing more fun than when a couple of us here at the Between Lawyers blog actually get the chance to get together in person.
Tom Mighell and I (Dennis Kennedy) just returned home from a presentation on electronic discovery (From Basics to Beyond) we did in Washington, DC for a law department.
It reminded me to mention the obvious. All of us at Between Lawyers are available, individually and in combinations, to speak on a variety of topics for your events, groups or organizations. We'll be posting more information about that soon, but, if interested, be sure to contact us to see if there are ways we might work together to present topics of interest.
This might sound a bit acronym-soupy and cryptic, but the proverbial lightbulb is over my head at the moment, and I think it will have more impact if you attempt to understand why yourself rather than having me explain. So first, please listen to the current episode of the Gillmor Gang:
Then: consider how a virtual law firm (or a very forward thinking conventional one) might be in the perfect position to leapfrog ahead by eliminating the CRM (customer relationship management) line item from its technology and marketing budgets, and instead adopting a client driven, "vendor relationship management" approach to business development.
WisBlawg's Bonnie Shucha reports that LexisNexis is now including a lengthy list of blogs (including this one) in its Newstex database. Yet another example of the paid online legal database companies tying their business models to the location of relevant information that already is online for free. Makes me wonder how long it will take before a well designed, ad-supported free legal search competitor comes in and seriously syphons off subscribers. Google undoubtedly does this already, even though it doesn't (yet) do vertical search.