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October 30, 2006

In Praise of Structure.

Do we lawyers know how to get things done, done right and done on time? Do we even value that? I wonder.

I am not talking here about the simple "keeping face" and survival requirements of meeting client deal or court deadlines, or even about the cliches of working hard, creative thinking, "out of the box", working smart or being persistent. I mean structure, a real standard, and "practicing structure" every day--the discipline of (1) having a plan or strategy for any one project, client or non-client, (2) meeting internal project deadlines no matter what, and (3) applying the will to work that plan and timetable.

"Structure" is not just the hard process of getting things done. It's a frame of mind and a value which must be sold to others in your shop--like the importance of making that 5 minute call to a client about a loose end at the end of the worst day you can remember, even while you could do it the next morning at 8:00. It's realizing that letting anything but emergency tasks "slide" makes you inefficient, unlikely to meet your real goals, and tired.

Do you get up early every day with a idea of what needs to be done on each project, and knowing the difference between "important" and "urgent"? Example: Monday is your deadline to have the final changes and notes to your web designer on your new firm website, an important but not urgent project you've talked about at internal meetings for months. So far, for once, you have been on track. But on Monday a longstanding client calls with two new projects; the new projects are exciting but not THAT urgent in the sense they need to cut into internal deadlines and other goals for Monday. You need to take some first steps, though, to get on top of the new matters for your client. After all, these folks are the main event.

Key ongoing internal project v. new client project. Which gets the most attention that day? Which slides? Answer: they both get attention, and neither slides. The website (long-term important) and the new client project (short-term important) are both critical projects. Years ago the Stephen Coveys and Edwards Demings out there pointed out that business people burn themselves out by waiting around only for "the urgent" in a kind of manic crisis management that keeps other important things from ever getting done or ONLY getting them done when they morph into a crisis. For lawyers, other examples would be only respecting deadlines like transaction closing dates and court-filing deadlines--to hell with everything else.

For a long time I've thought that American business schools and the training programs of global and often publicly-traded companies do a much, much better job than do law firms of training recruits to value and adhere to the structure of a plan on an item for action. It's almost as if law school and firms deem us all such "professionals" and "artists" that we are beyond learning skills of project planning and execution. What a crock. Not learning the value of pushing non-urgent but important things along at a steady pace has cost us dearly. As motivated as lawyers often are, our discipline for sticking to anything and seeing it through is often poor; again, unless it's urgent, we just don't see its value. Do our best clients run their businesses that way?

This attitude is the norm, and we lawyers--who rarely innovate or take a leadership position on anything in commerce--are just fine, thank you, with it. After all, "all the other law firms" are mediocre on the discipline of getting things done, and have "crisis-only" mentalities--why shouldn't we be that way? So we waste time blowing off important but longer term projects. Worst of all, we send to others in our firms, and especially to younger lawyers, the message: "No worries--just work on a barely adequate level; don't do things until you have to; and if it's not urgent, let it slide." As with client care and service, our standard is not only embarrassingly low, we are exporting that low standard internally whenever and wherever we can.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2006

Work-Life Balance This.

It's Sunday, near the end of October. This week offers us all a series of ancient harvest and life-death cycle observances with Pagan, Celtic, Roman and even Christian roots. Halloween (also called "Pooky Night" is some parts of Ireland) is just a faint shadow of this celebration of the awesome powers in the Cosmos.

U.S. kids of course love this week for its costumes and candy. Some cultures and religions commune a bit more seriously with the spirit world this week. But for me, a boring Anglo-Saxon Protestant who grew up in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, it's just Fall (and a chance to catch again on TV two of the funniest movies ever made: The Exorcist and The Shining).

So inspired and assisted by an e-mail from my college and, later, Washington, D.C. roommate--friend, Super-father, husband, thinker, doer, outdoorsman, environmentalist, Duke and Columbia graduate, man of letters, journalist and author of, among other things, the acclaimed The Trade Warriors: USTR and the American Crusade for Free Trade (by S. J. Dryden, Oxford University Press)--WAC? offers, in an audio reading by Robert Pinsky, and in print below, John Keats's (1795-1821) poem To Autumn. And I can't improve on my friend's introduction to the poem:

"Give it up for my man John Keats and his poem To Autumn!"


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom‑friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch‑eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er‑brimmed their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on the granary floor,
Thy hair soft‑lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or, on a half‑reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinéd flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider‑press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Aye, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too—
While barréd clouds bloom the soft‑dying day,
And touch the stubble‑plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full‑grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge‑crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden‑croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

September 19, 1819

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Writing Well: LH Wordsmith

From Arnie Herz at Legal Sanity, see "The Next Wave of Legal Sanity", and learn about LH Wordsmith. This is Lori Herz's new company. Arnie and his wife Lori have stayed on the cutting-edge of client service, good lawyering and practice management ideas. Both are fine thinkers and writers. And only two or three writers in the law blog community are as good as Lori. Period. If you or your clients can get Lori and LH Wordsmith to help with writing, jump at the opportunity.

Posted by JD Hull at 01:15 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2006

The Senate Race in Tennessee: "How would Jesus vote?"

Before getting knee-deep into private practice, WAC? worked twice--on both Senate and House sides for, respectively, a 'D' and then an 'R'--at the U.S. Congress, and this consumed 3.5 years. Despite this, I still like national politics, and have been in and out of it on some level, usually fundraising, usually for 'D's, ever since. (Wes Clark was my last gig). Like other baby boomers, I came of age as Republicans learned how to run and win elections, which really just happened a little more than 25 years ago. I even sat in, as a young associate lawyer on the clock for a firm client, on a string of "strategy" meetings conducted by the late Lee Atwater, the infamous GOP consultant, after I had left Capitol Hill. I remember feeling like a spy.

Today, I am still amazed that over the past 25 years Karl Rove and other real, hard-core infrastructure Republicans out of the Reagan era before Rove, a talented but flat-out mean and extremely exclusive lot who most Americans never meet, could dupe millions of the now "new" rank-and-file middle-class Republicans in the South, West, Midwest, and even working-class parts of the Northeast--voters they don't personally like, care about or would ever have coffee with--into voting Republican in the first place. Yes, it amazes me.

I don't hate Republicans. I grew up in serious 'R' country, and I vote 'R' a lot. And I am a lawyer, one who writes about meeting higher standards; competence, even when evil, thrills us all. The Lee Atwaters and Karl Roves have been very effective--and Democrats have spent years wondering what hit them in a mix of alarm and envy. 'R's learned how to recruit big-time business and legal talent. 'D's, with their "big tent", have seemed repeatedly like world-class screw-ups, even during the Clinton years. The last time "competence" was closely associated with a Democratic presidential campaign was in Teddy White's book The Making of a President, on the 1960 Kennedy victory.

But I am even more amazed that many middle-class Southerners who are "religious" (of any race) ever vote Republican, or that they even exist in great numbers. Reagan Republicanism is at heart a Yankee-Northeast/Orange County, California invention for (1) the wealthy (let's not define that--but I am thinking $2 million minimum net worth) who vote their pocket books (that's perfectly rational) or for (2) the limited number of true believers who really do believe in non-activist government (that constituency makes sense, too). There are people of true faith in any religion, and other spiritual beings; they quietly inspire, and we seem intuitively to know them when they're around us a while. But you don't meet that many. I know and like lots of genuine Republicans in several states, Southerners included, and hardly any of them, except for a zealot or morally pretentious jackass here and there, claim to be particularly devout, observant or religious. Some of my best friends, and nearly all of our firm's clients (i.e., the client GCs and reps), are sane 'R's.

You can't tell anyone how to vote. But naturally-occurring religious Republican Southerners? Who are these guys? I travel, and I'm not running into them. But maybe I am dead wrong about their very existence. See Salon's article "How Would Jesus Vote?", focusing on the "church-vote" component of the campaign of Democrat Harold Ford Jr., who is black, in the Tennessee Senate race, and how Ford may pick up a few of those coveted 'R' church votes. This grabbed me. Maybe white 'R's are in those pews--and Democrat Ford, with a Bush-Republican Congress backlash going for him, has a shot at those voters.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

"And then it dawned on me a minute into his opening that 'Racehorse' Flannigan, our trial counsel, was untried..."

Corporate counsel: Ever get That Sinking Feeling about your fire-breathing litigators after the trial starts? Do those guys just threaten on the phone, write letters and interrogatories and hold press conferences--or can they really try your company's case? Can they connect with a jury? Do they even like juries? How tough are they at 4:00 PM on the fourth day of trial before a hostile judge?

From Robert Ambrogi at Legal Blog Watch, here is "Is Courtroom Competence Going Kaput?", inspired by a report of the Boston Bar Association on the waning of both jury trials and trial lawyer competence. And Boston is not alone.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

Hill & Knowlton blog: Client Service Insights

My friend Pat Lamb of In Search of Perfect Client Service made me aware of Hill & Knowlton's blog Client Service Insights. WAC? is going to permanently link to this one. Clever and interesting, CSI just conducted and announced a "winner" of its First Annual Scariest Client Service Stories Contest in honor of Halloween. On the homepage currently: "Insight #1 - Client service excellence isn't about doing the things no one else can do; it's about doing the things anyone can do, but just don't." So simple, it's scary. Read that to yourself a couple of times. Then ask your brilliant young associates--the ones who like you were law review editors and still think it's all about being "smart"--to read it exactly 13 times. Aloud, in unison.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2006

Sensitive Litigation Moment #15: You gotta see (and hear) this...

It's the Mediator vBlog Project --a blogging first, and it has mediators Diane Levin of Boston and Geoff Sharp of Wellington, New Zealand written all over it. Be warned that, while Diane's video at the new Mediator vBlog Project site is clever, warm and inviting, Geoff's video, on his own blog, is brilliant--but cartoonish and extremely unsettling. I strongly suspect Geoff's not American, either. According to Diane, MvBP's mission is:

to take advantage of recent video sharing technology to post short video clips of mediators everywhere at work. The more 'live' the better. The site provides a platform for mediators from around the globe to share their skills by video. Simple really.

Posted by JD Hull at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2006

Civil perjury: If you can prove it, do you use it?

Coming soon. Bad lawsuits encourage lying under oath during discovery. WAC? will get to this one soon. In the meantime, see one of the best short pieces on judicial reform ever written, "Making Civil Justice Sane", by Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense. The article came out in June 2006. Howard suggests that judges be empowered to stop insubstantial suits at the beginning.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Talent and Elites in America: Which cities?

Los Angeles, NYC, Boston? DC, Seattle? From Adam Smith, Esq. (Bruce MacEwen), see "Is Your Firm Where 'The Brains' Are?", inspired by an article in October's The Atlantic Monthly. Look at the maps.

Posted by JD Hull at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

Points east, and Hermann the German.

Apart from items required for a few bad habits, I like very old paintings, sketches and maps. Especially old maps (more affordable)--so I buy them.....This, to the southeast, is Berlin. And this is Berlin-based Hermann the German and UPI International, both worrying about the exodus of educated and young Germans to other lands.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2006

Harvard Prof Kingsfield Lives!

He's holding forth right now at Blawg Review #80, and even WAC? is intimidated. Kingsfield has called on an absent Mr. Hull, who has left town, skipped class again. Also at BR is the Carnival of Capitalists (#159).

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Go-to lawyers.

Here's a great practical post I almost missed but quite a few others noticed. It's by Blawg Review mainstay Colin Samuels at Infamy or Praise and called "Eight (or Nine) Attributes of a Go-To Lawyer". Colin comments on and even adds to a list from an article in the June 2006 issue of Corporate Counsel by Daniel DiLucchio. Two key traits on the list are:

6. Willing to "put skin in the game" — Able to take a calculated risk with a client and communicate that he's standing behind him.

8. Sense of urgency — Shares the client's need to move quickly in a highly competitive environment.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2006

Amsterdam, languages and fun facts.

On a book/film project, and as a respite from contentious IP and environmental disputes back East, I'm likely headed to Amsterdam, a favorite European city. Amsterdam is poorly understood by Americans, with our oftimes Victorian and morally pretentious view of real life. This city is about beauty, great art, great food, healthy free-thinking people, and genuine class--not just the Sex Museum, social welfare, cathouses along canals in the de Wallen or smoking hash at the Betty Boop coffeehouse. Cosmopolitan, the Dutch like other languages. In the Netherlands, the official ones are Dutch and, in the north, Frisian (which many believe is the closest thing to Old English still spoken). But about 85% of the total population has basic knowledge of modern English. German and French spoken here, too.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Doing Business In China: The Basics.

From Seattle-based Dan Harris's China Law Blog, here is "Doing Business In China: The Basics Of The Basics".

Posted by JD Hull at 06:01 PM | Comments (0)

Speaking of Candor...

Speaking of KFB, political incorrectness, wild men, anti-weenies and just saying it, from Salon, here's an interesting piece about Edward Abbey, "Where Have You Gone, Edward Abbey"? Abbey (1927-1989) was a writer, essayist, radical environmentalist and thinking person's loose cannon who lived in the desert American southwest. He made conservatives and liberals nervous, and many wanted him put to sleep. People confuse Abbey with Edward Albee, a still-living playwright, when they see his name in print. Different guy.

Let's note that back in the day, WAC? and his college girlfriend--now a lawyer but despite this is still creative and able to think, speak and write--were charter subscribers to Ms. magazine. Ms. is a real American achievement, even if you hate it. To the then 2-year old "Mizz" Abbey wrote in 1973: "Some of us menfolks here in Winkelman [Arizona] ain't too happy with this magazine of yourn". He didn't like Texas, either, writing in 1954:

...it combines the bigotry and sheer animal ignorance of the Old South with the aggressive, ruthless, bustling, dollar-crazy brutality of the Yankee East and then attempts to hide this ugliness under a facade of mock-western play clothes stolen from a way of life that was crushed by Texanism over half a century ago. The trouble with Texas: it's ugly, noisy, mean-spirited, mediocre and false.

Today, and more than ever, Salon Salon writer Philip Connors concludes, "America needs the ornery writer".

Posted by JD Hull at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

Charon QC

Saturday is a particularly good day to visit my friend Charon QC. Here's a Brit who works harder than most of us Yanks, and has fun doing it. He's got a dang good WLB, too. WAC? has it on good authority that Charon loves the law, clients, hard work, counting his money, thinking, ideas, politics, reading, action, talking, sports, smoking, drinking and biking. Only Bill Clinton is better connected, or as dynamic and fun. Charon blogs at least once a day--but just for the bloody hell of it. Meet Mike Semple Piggot, Renaissance chap.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:09 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2006

The Kid From Brooklyn sounds off on 1st, 14th amendments.

It's here. See his website. Hear his other podcasts. Forget about his language. KFB, or Big Mike, provides a service. He is neither liberal nor conservative. He's just honest, and I wish lawyers all over the world had 1/3 of his courage rather than persisting in hiding behind our cocktail party civility and our prissy, overly-diplomatic facades. KFB may help not only to destroy the epidemic of political correctness--but also prompt lawyers to drop our weasel ways and just say it every once in a while.

Lawyers, as KFB has noted in other posts, need to get over themselves. In America, nearly anyone with a college degree can become a lawyer. And that has happened. Clients and juries are often way smarter than the attorneys involved. Which would be amusing--if it weren't for the fact that most of us aren't even that good at our practice areas, don't care about the profession, and never understood for longer than an hour that clients are the main event. It's all lip service and b.s. Clients and the general public notice it.

All over the world, lawyers have become an insular "club", diminishing in prestige, and with little interest in clients or the public good. The club for many lawyers has become a third-rate bowling alley with watered-down drinks, bad food and a lousy staff. None of us, including the inspiring exceptions, have ever been royalty. Now, it's getting worse. We are quite comfortable with mediocrity in lawyering, a stale and smug provincial culture, and a focus off our clients.

Posted by JD Hull at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

"And a thousand telephones that will not ring..."

That's from Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisted, which Johnny Winter also did--but without that weird police siren. How are GCs really finding firms these days? If your website doesn't hit them right, will that mean no rings? Do they use Google? Carolyn Elefant's new piece at Legal Blog Watch, "Corporate Counsel Using Web Sites and Search Engines to Find Outside Counsel", is fascinating, instructive and loud.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2006

Work-life balance is a dumb-ass issue.

[Note on 3/8/07: Life at the Bar by Julie Brown was a fabulous blog in October and its a fabulous blog now. WAC? just has a different take on the issue.]

There's another good post touching on the "work-life" issue, this one by Julie Brown at Life at the Bar. I'm not an expert, but here's what I know and think about work-life balance for lawyers, especially junior ones:

1. Practicing law is hard and demanding--even for brilliant, diligent and accomplished people. I've said this before. No big deal.

2. If you wanted just a job, you got into the wrong line of work.

3. WLB is "your" problem--not mine. Each one of us creates our own quality of life as we learn to lawyer, keep lawyering and serve clients.

4. If you are a job-hunting student or young lawyer expecting my firm to support a regime of work-life harmony, please try another shop. Your problem. We are happy and well-rounded people who work our asses off. It frightens us and makes us angry that you would ever think practicing law could be easy in the beginning. People twice as smart and as hardworking as you paid huge dues to be able to call himself or herself a "lawyer". Go away.

5. Color me Midwestern. It's privilege to work. It's a privilege to practice law.

Posted by JD Hull at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2006

Patrick Lamb: Law is a service business.

Like many other corporate lawyers and bloggers, when my friend Chicago trial lawyer Patrick Lamb of In Search Of Perfect Client Service weighs in on an issue, I listen carefully. And being mentioned by Patrick in one of his posts is just a wonderful bonus. See his recent post "Ball And Chain? Key To Freedom?" and his take on how current mobile communication technology (cell phones, Treos, etc.) can serve both (1) clients and (2) "work/life balance". Here are excerpts:

Law is a service business. If you don't want confront the demands created by being in a service business, then find something else to do. But having said that, these mobile [communications] devices allow one to be hiking in the mountains but still accessible for a critical call, as happened to me this summer. Neither my wife nor my kids would have preferred that I be stuck in my office.

Those who complain about having their "off hours" interrupted really are conceding that they would not have been accessible in the first place. Those who put clients in second place are going to find out that they don't have to worry about the problem any more.

Do read Pat's post.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

American Law Prof Blogs: Who's got the juice?

The top 30 are here, courtesy of UC Law's Paul Caron at his respected Tax Prof Blog. Caron collects some of the best law sites published.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2006

Amendments to Trademark Dilution Act becomes law.

On October 8, President Bush signed into law H.R. 683, the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006. The new law overturns the Supreme Court's requirement in the 2003 Moseley case--pitting the "Victoria's Secret" mark against "Victor's Little Secret"--that plaintiffs show "actual dilution" instead of a "likelihood of dilution." "Likelihood" is now enough, and injunctive relief is available before a "famous" mark is harmed. H.R. 683 was intended supposed to clarify the scope of protection afforded to "famous" marks under Section 43(c) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1125(c). For more, see a great site WAC? has been reading more and more: Legislating IP (an intellectual property law blog).

Posted by JD Hull at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

Altman Weil 2006 GC Survey is here.

Posted by JD Hull at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2006

The Kid From Brooklyn sounds off on honesty, candor.

Life's short, and diplomacy is over-used/abused. Sometimes we just need to say what we really mean. So if you're not working for the State Department--and maybe even if you are--here's some heart-felt good advice from www.thekidfrombrooklyn.com.

Posted by JD Hull at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

Blawg Review #79 - Tech Law Advisor

Kevin Heller's Tech Law Advisor hosts Blawg Review #79. This is a fine collection of the best recent blawg posts in the best format you'll see.

Posted by JD Hull at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2006

Ellen Bry: New Judge on Boston Legal

Later this Fall on ABC watch for the elegant Ellen Bry to play a judge in two episodes of Boston Legal. Ellen and I met at a Renaissance Weekend in 2003, and she was impressed that I don't watch television. She doesn't either; when she landed a guest role on TNT's The Closer last year, her LA friends and I had to explain it to her. We've conspired for 3 years, often without screaming at one another. I posted about the talented Ms. Bry back in March. She made me like Los Angeles.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

WAC?'s Usual 'Muscle Boutique' Rant Gains Currency?

From Justin Patten's Human Law, here is "The Shift In Power From The Big To The Small Firm", collecting other good posts. In a nutshell, my firm's experience has been that: for 90% of high-end corporate law work, boutique firms and firms under, say, 150 lawyers are preferred by, not just acceptable to, General Counsel at BigClients.

It's time for lawyers with the right credentials in firms of 150 down to 5 to get off your knees, quit bottom-feeding, chuck both your "niche" market thinking and your work-life balance nonsense (the first 8 to 10 years for associates, and lawyering done right after that, should be hard work for even the gifted), steal the good clients, provide outrageous service and get rich. Yours for the taking.

Hat tip to the omniscient Editor of Blawg Review for noticing.

Posted by JD Hull at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)

House of Lords Ruling Relaxes Brit Libel Laws.

Before lawyering got in the way, WAC? intended to write about an October 11 House of Lords decision which brings UK libel law--in which for centuries the burden has been on the defendant to prove the truth of a defamatory statement--closer to the U.S. actual malice standard. But Bob Ambrogi, collecting other good posts and articles, covered this wonderfully in "U.K. Libel Ruling a 'Resounding Victory'" at Law.com's Legal Blog Watch. The new British standard will protect defendant-journalists in libel cases provided that defamatory items are reported responsibly and in the public interest.

Posted by JD Hull at 05:03 AM | Comments (0)

Germans fight creeping Anglo terms.

Can you blame them? From Berlin-based Hermann the German.

Posted by JD Hull at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2006

WAC? Gratuitous Political Prediction: Bobby Shriver

Bobby Shriver, 52, Sargent Shriver's son and lawyer elected to the Santa Monica (California) City Council in 2004, will run for national office in the next 4 years.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

"5 Things You Shouldn’t Spend Money On When Starting a Business"

It's from Ben Yoskovitz's Instigator Blog. Thanks to BusinessPundit.com.

Posted by JD Hull at 04:05 PM | Comments (0)

Just say it: Why legalese is bad.

Posted by JD Hull at 03:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2006

"China's Leading Global Brands -- Are You Serious?"

Another Hall of Lame? See this one from from Dan Harris's China Law Blog. And see the comments. Dan, a fine and feisty trade lawyer, hit a nerve.

Posted by JD Hull at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2006

Blawg Review #78: Justin Patten's Human Law

British solicitor, blogger and tech consultant Justin Patten at Human Law is one of the consistently strongest voices in the blawgosphere. Justin, who "gets it", is a lawyer who my law firm and I have come to greatly respect. He's this week's host of Blawg Review with Blawg Review #78. Human Law is subtitled "Law, Technology and People". Don't miss this.

Posted by JD Hull at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

SLM 14:"Retained dignity" in preventing employee suits.

A very fine post by Jay Shepherd at his HR blog Gruntled Employees, called "New HR Metric: 'Retained Dignity'", squares with my theory that most lawsuits brought by employees are triggered by unclassy firings. For years, we've told our clients that the average lawsuit against them by an at-will employee is legally insubstantial and groundless--but it still takes $50,000 or so in fees to make it go away on a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. That lawsuit is fueled by anger and humilation, and lots of plaintiff's lawyers will take it. If your HR practices and managers are dumb and insensitive enough, you'll get a lot of these. Those fees add up.

Posted by JD Hull at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2006

Yale Law Meets Paris Hilton.

Law truly is a backstage pass to the world.

Do a Google search of "Paris Hilton" and "Del Bianco" together, and you'll get news coverage by everything from the technology section of The Washington Post to the "The Showbuzz" site at CBS News. Our DC-based of counsel Mark Del Bianco, a versatile telecommunications lawyer, has been in the middle of a hacking scandal in which previous hackee Paris Hilton may have been among the hackers. Actress Lindsay Lohan, who Hilton reportedly does not like, was one of the people whose voicemail was hacked. The calling card service provider, which Mark represents, terminated Hilton's account. From CBS's "The Showbuzz" "Paris Embroiled In Voicemail Scandal":

Del Bianco wouldn't comment on whether Hilton hacked into Lohan's voicemail, but he did say that [his client, the provider] plans to cooperate with any law enforcement investigation into the incident and added that the company has beefed up security.

And see Mark's article "Caller ID Spoofing and Network Security" at his blog, Broadbandlaw.info.

Posted by JD Hull at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)


AP: Amish Mourn Neighbor Who Killed 5 Girls.

Posted by JD Hull at 01:14 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2006

New HR Blog: Gruntled Employees

Gruntled Employees, a new management-side HR blog, seems to get it. My firm advises on employment matters and does related defense work. Boston-based employment litigator Jay Shepherd and his boutique firm understand that most employment disputes--and their expense--are ultimately rooted in weak or missing Human Resources departments and dumb management patterns with employees. See, e.g., "How To Save HR--an Introduction".

Posted by JD Hull at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

Sensitive Litigation Moment No. 13: "Weenie" Litigators?

Not surprisingly, Googling "weenie" with "lawyers" yields quite a few results. But the concept of "weenie" trial lawyers (of several nationalities) comes up more than expected. So, in the next few weeks, WAC? will investigate why and how litigators are often seen as "weenies", and build a catalogue of "weenie-litigator" anecdotes, letters, pleadings and transcripts.

And then we'll share them with you. WAC? is also thinking about a book, cheerfully edited by Holden Oliver, our new hire.

Unsolicited submissions are welcome. However, only the funniest and/or most pathetic weenie-litigator material will be considered, vetted and published (but so as not to any embarrass or injure any weenie-litigator persons or their families--mainly, usually). Send to jglass@hullmcguire.com. For ideas, see posts in Generation Weenie, Humorix and BrothersJudd.

Posted by JD Hull at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2006

Again: Do BigClients need BigLaw more than 10% of the time?

Re: the WAC? recent post "Do BigClients need BigLaw more than 10% of the time?", two of the bloggers who thoughtfully weighed in on it were Tom Collins at More Partner Income in "Big Law's Grip on Corporate Legal Fees is Weakening", and Dan Filler at Concurring Opinions in "In House Counsel And The Selection Of Law Firms".

Posted by JD Hull at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2006

The Kid From Brooklyn sounds off on client service, pricing.

He's here. WAC? is still in the desert with the beautiful people so this will just have to do.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

"Germans Mishandled Me".

True client service is a challenge everywhere WAC? goes, in every context. See Berlin-based Observing Hermann.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2006

KR Watch: You think the Pope, Korea and Foley are news?

According to the London press, at 62, Keith Richards has given up drugs--because they are too weak. And according to a gerontologist cited by the Baltimore Sun, "Richards should have died in 1995".

Posted by JD Hull at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2006

Blawg Review #77

Blawg Review #77, the Autumnal Edition of Blawg Review, is hosted by Patent Baristas in Cincinnati, one of Dan Hull's hometowns.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)