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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
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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.

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Category Archives

August 25, 2005

Why Makes Love Last?

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Posted by Marty Schwimmer

I loved iTunes and I thought iTunes loved me.

But then I wanted to buy the song BREATHE ME (the song from the death montage from Six Feet Under), and iTunes told me that I couldn't unless I bought twelve other songs I didn't want.

Darling, our first fight.

Maximizing every short term advantage may not be the best long-term strategy.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Anger

March 30, 2005

Re: First Thing, Let's Kill All The Lawyers

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Posted by Denise Howell

A couple of quick responses:

  1. Marty's excellent post today is the kind of thing that, before this blog existed, we might have chewed over in email without ever seeing it expressed on the Web with such pure voice. It's good to see it here.
  2. On the ability of blogs by legal professionals to reduce widespread negative feelings about the law and lawyers, they won't solve the problem but they'll help. As the seats in the infinite auditorium continue to fill (to pilfer Ernie's recent metaphor), a more complete picture of the humans comprising the profession will be there and impossible to ignore. The stereotypes and hatred will get a run for their money. Of course, there will be jerks and lameheads too, and there will be a huge, mostly clumsy rush by lawyers and firms to adopt blogs for their much discussed and undeniable marketing power, without really understanding that what makes the good ones good is the kind of candor and accessiblity exemplified by Marty's post. Even so, as more of the constituent parts of the profession continue sharing what they know and who they are in this format, the harder it will be to generalize about how evil we are, the more accountable the jerks and lameheads will be forced to become, and the easier it will be to help clients do business and dissipate conflicts with fewer undue lawsuits and less undue rancor.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Anger | Blawgs | Ethics, Decorum and Manners

First Thing, Let's Kill All The Lawyers

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Posted by Marty Schwimmer

The first email I received today was a trackback to our intro post from 'Cynical Joe' who challenged us to stop navel-gazing about blogging and instead write about how 'insurance lawyers' 'compound the problem' and big firms do other bad things, etc.

Well, we had our reasons for choosing those topics first, but Joe has a point. Let's talk about something real.

His post reminded me of something.

Two years ago four of us bloggers (including Denise) were profiled in the ABA. Three of us (not including Denise) had Jewish surnames.

A white supremacist linked to the article on his website and discussed each of us in turn as further proof of What's Wrong With This Country (he had trouble proving that point with me because trademark law isn't one of the real seats of power). If you read between the lines, it seems that he had had some unpleasant run-in with lawyers in his life.

Last year I wrote a piece on the Trademark Blog. The nominal subject was Michael Moore but I was making an arcane point about trademark law.

Although the post didn't express a view on Moore himself, this prompted an email from someone calling me a greedy Jewish lawyer (my guess is that he assumed that I was pro-Moore, which I'm not).

I wrote back, not contesting the Jewish and Lawyer bit but asking him what I had done to make him think I was greedy.

He wrote back and indicated that I was from New York. Touche.

He further argued that (1) Jews should show more gratitude to the U.S. for protecting Israel; (2) the rising price of oil at the time proved that the Bush family did not control the price of oil; and, (3) in his past, he had also had a bad run-in with a lawyer. I dimly recall that in his view, a lawyer had cheated him out of an inheritance.

This from his work email at a large telecommunications company, where he appeared to have a middle-management position.

But, I don't want to talk about the Jewish thing, I want to talk about the lawyer thing.

A couple of years ago a beer company had a commercial that featured 'fantasy' TV shows. One was about lawyer rodeo, where a cowboy roped a lawyer.

Imagine that commercial where instead of a lawyer, any other identifiable member of society, perhaps a minority or a woman, was roped like an animal, and then the implicit hatred behind that commercial becomes apparent.

Is hatred of lawyers socially acceptable because of a belief that they have all the power?

Is hatred of lawyers prevalent because many encounters with the legal system are involuntary, and we resent people benefitting from our misfortune?

Does the hatred 'come with the territory' and we should just suck it up?

Well, to a certain extent, probably.

But socially acceptable hatred of a class isn't good for the hated or the haters.

For example, when proponents of 'tort reform' ram through what they characterize as 'anti-frivolous lawsuit' legislation, they are counting in part that voters will not view the proposals on the merits, but will instead support it because they hate 'the trial lawyers.'

And how many people have used the expression "let's not get the lawyers involved" not because they desired expediency but because, well, because they wanted to screw you.

OK, this blogosphere is inter-active. Let's talk about how and why lawyers are hated.

And let's talk about whether lawyers can, through their blogs, practice and promote judicious thought.

Comments (13) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Anger | Blawgs