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January 31, 2007

Down to The Old Ebbitt...

Last night I was "stuck" in Washington DC, one of the few consistently interesting and civilized cities in the U.S. DC is my birthplace. I spent most of my career there, and I still have an office off Eye Street. So I left my hotel in the West End and went to the Old Ebbitt Grill on 15th Street near the White House to eat:

Twenty years ago, after quite a fight, they demolished the original Old Ebbitt, and the adjoining building, in which British soldiers, after setting a few fires in 1812, drank and gloated. And for generations after that (no fires, usually) at various times so did my dad, I, my best friend's mom, my DC friends, Peter Pan Georgetown grads with nicknames like "Baseball Bill" and "Cowboy", Dustin Hoffman, Carl Bernstein, Bill Murray, White House aides, reporters and lots of the usual serious DC werewolves with too much ambition and gall for polite company. The new Old Ebbitt is an ultra-slick and large but darkly-wooded palace--where I'm told I had a party just before I was briefly married in 1982. If you are in DC, just go there. The waitresses are still wonderful in their suspenders and red bow-ties. (If you abuse them in any way, make sure you tip $100.) You will hear some real "DC" conversations at the OEG--especially at the three long wooden bars there. And some wonderful, grandiose swearing--a dying American art form mercifully kept alive in the Beltway. Confidence, lots of it, is required at all times.

Posted by JD Hull at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2007

Legal London

In 2004 I was lucky enough have dinner with a friend, ex-California judge and lawyer-turned-barrister at Gray's Inn. Among the West's most enduring institutions and traditions, the Inns of Court make Yale's Skull and Bones seem like Chuck E. Cheese, Mattress Discounters or the downtown Pittsburgh "Y". They lie in the true heart of London, a city of uninterrupted commerce, vitality and ideas for nearly 2000 years. See this interesting glimpse (in 2 posts) of life as a member of the Inns of Court here and especially here at Tim Kevan's The Barrister Blog.

Posted by JD Hull at 06:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2007

Blawg Review #93: The Iluminati

BR #93 is by Kevin Thompson at Cyberlaw Central. Blawg Review continues to amaze and establish itself as Lawdom's Increasingly Global Weekly Review.

Posted by JD Hull at 03:14 AM | Comments (0)

Father Drinan (1920-2008)

Robert F. Drinan - Lawyer, Congressman, Irishman, Priest. He served as a Representative from Massachusetts 1971-1981.

Posted by JD Hull at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

Getting through culture clash

See "Working Globally" at Michelle Golden's Golden Practices.

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

That Genarlow Dude

Free Genarlow Wilson. And file this under I Like To Watch--and Film It, Too. See this interesting post about a high school kid who got 10 years in a Georgia slammer for filming girls having sex with him and his buddies, and related links, at That Lawyer Dude.

Posted by JD Hull at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2007

The Libby perjury case--and the "big" opening argument

Never underestimate the power of a great opening argument. If you are representing a defendant, an explosive start with a compellingly structured "lens" will sit with the jury for weeks--and can put the plaintiff on trial. See also yesterday's International Herald Tribune piece on defense counsel Ted Wells' booming opening statement in the Scooter Libby perjury trial re: the Plame CIA leak/outing--and the dangers of the blunderbuss opening in that case.

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

Business-Getter Summit: 14th Annual Marketing Partner Forum

Beginning today, Hildebrandt International hosts the 14th Annual Marketing Partner Forum: Innovative Marketing & Business Development in the 21st Century at the Four Seasons Aviara in San Diego. On the 25th, WAC? (Dan Hull) serves on a panel on the subject of how law firms can use the Internet to keep existing business clients and generate new ones. Blogs, podcasts and webinars will be discussed--and demonstrated--as part of the cyber-marketing mix. WAC?'s friend and inspirer Chicago trial lawyer Patrick Lamb, of In Search of Perfect Client Service, will serve as moderator. Other panelists are Larry Bodine of the LawMarketing Blog, David Bowerman of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP, Vickie Spang of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and J. Craig Williams of The Williams Law Firm, PC and May It Please The Court.

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

January 24, 2007

Good state court news

On a subject WAC? has posted on before--we believe popularly electing state judges degrades corporate multi-officed and non-U.S. clients (and all clients), their lawyers and the courts alike (see, e.g., here and here)--Walter Olson at Point of Law noticed that: "The Illinois Civil Justice League thinks the state would do better with an appointive process, rather than partisan elections as at present".


Posted by JD Hull at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

Weenies in the News: Former DA in Duke rape case charged with ethics violations; WAC? monkey shocked again, goes nuts, flies to Durham, NC, holds mindless, pointless, gratuitous and demented press conferences in copycat mode.

From the Associated Press, and an excerpt:

“If these allegations are true and if they don’t justify disbarment, then I’m not sure what does,” said Joseph Kennedy, a law professor at the University of North Carolina. “It’s hard for me to imagine a more serious set of allegations against a prosecutor.”

Posted by JD Hull at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

Club Ned (...with apologies to the great Ned Beatty)

WASHINGTON, DC - H.R. YMCA: U.S. House Passes Groundbreaking Emergency Fudgepacker Legislation Protecting Defenseless Pages. Can my new Democratic U.S. House trumpet something more substantive soon? When WAC? worked in Longworth HOB and Russell SOB, Page School kids were precocious young sharks and rich-kid bohemians who needed no protection whatsoever from anyone or anything in the Capitol Hill community. They needed $20 to buy beer, dope and smack, the number of the nearest brothel, or maybe a new bong from an Adams-Morgan headshop. Wake me up when the Dems are done.

Posted by JD Hull at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2007

Redux: Our Favorite Non-U.S. Blogs and....

Updated from our January 3 post--more have been added (and will continue be added) by our brilliant, precocious and frequently annoying new associate Holden "NantucketBoy" Oliver:

WAC? is a relatively new blog by practicing lawyers who are busy, a bit cranky, and very happy, thank you, just lawyering. We don't think bloggers are the New General Managers of the Universe or the only humans with new ideas or who know what's going on in world. We humbly view "What About Clients?" as a real-time way to convey ideas and events about (1) real, "beyond-lip-service" client service, (2) our new services economy-based world, and (3) international corporate law and litigation--as we experience all these things in actual practice every day. At heart, our blog is about relationships as the main event: as assets, as fun--and as money ($USD or other). WAC?'s writers and Hull McGuire's lawyers are serious business people and capitalists. We love working, we love clients and we want to get very rich.

And we don't pretend to monitor and evaluate the entire blogosphere, legal or non-legal. We are more than lucky to have won a 2006 Blawg Review award (for "Global Perspective"), our first full year of blogging, in view of the increase in quality blogs originating from or about jurisdictions and places other than the US. But we do have some favorite non-US blogs--again, legal weblogs from or about non-US jurisdictions--which in some cases seem to have been left out of mention in recent awards by more experienced and established bloggers, awarders and/or a few insular cyber-dweebs both in and out of the U.S.

So here, in no particular order, are the active and promising non-US blawgs (all in English or available in same) we strongly recommend--and recommend whether we "like" or agree with the bloggers and/or their politics and ideas. We could care less about that stuff, we aren't buds with any of these people, and our suggestions, hopefully, are based on merit alone. These 29 "global" (maybe "global" to you if you're an American) non-US blogs and sites have real substance and promise. Each expands and adds to the Conversation about Law and Business:

  • Going Global, Craig Maginnes
  • China Law Blog, Dan Harris and Steve Dickinson, Harris and Moure, pllc
  • Binary Law, Nick Holmes (England)
  • Geeklawyer (England)
  • Human Law, Justin Patten (England)
  • Corporate Blawg UK (UK)
  • TechnoLlama, Andrés Guadamuz (Scotland)
  • Charon QC, Mike Semple Piggot (England)
  • IPKat, Jeremy Phillips and Ilanah Simon (England)
  • Rob Hyndman (Canada)
  • Canadian Privacy Law Blog, David Fraser
  • Thoughts from a Management Lawyer, Michael Fitzgibbon (Canada)
  • The Adventure of Strategy, Rob Millard (South Africa and U.S.)
  • Jacobson Attorneys, Paul Jacobson (South Africa)
  • David Jacobson’s External Insights, David Jacobson (Australia)
  • Australian Regulatory Compliance Review, David Jacobson
  • Freedom to Differ, Peter Black (Australia)
  • mediator blah blah, Geoff Sharp (New Zealand)
  • Karel’s Legal Blog, Karel Frielink (Netherlands Antilles)
  • Lenz Blog, Dr. Karl-Friedrich Lenz (Japan)
  • Transnational Law Blog, Chris Cassidy & Travis Hodgkins (Hastings Law School)
  • Atlantic Review (non-legal/foreign policy) (Germany)
  • Transblawg, Margaret Marks (Germany)
  • Singapore Law Blog
  • Delia Venables (UK)
  • Slaw, Simon Fodden (Canada)
  • Asia Business Intelligence, Rich Kuslan (business coverage)
  • Harvard International Review
  • World Directory of Alternative Dispute Resolution Blogs, Diane Levin
  • There are hundreds of great non-US blawgs in English--most of which you can access through the above list--so we've certainly missed some. Send us your discoveries of strong and active non-US blawgs. We'll add them to this list or to our ever-growing list of non-US blawgs and blogs in the left-hand column of this site.

    Posted by Tom Welshonce at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

    January 22, 2007

    Blawg Review #92: Legal Andrew

    Blawg Review keeps getting better and better, and WAC? is always amazed at what the mysterious, ambitious anonymous Ed. can and will do. This week's host is Andrew Flusche, a wise, internationally-focused and business-savvy law student at Legal Andrew, with a fine review of some of January's best posts so far on: client service, productivity, getting organized, sane writing, IT developments, the wonders of social media, blogging for dollars, and more.

    Posted by JD Hull at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

    January 20, 2007

    Math on Management: Connections, Relationships, Money.

    In our new services world, making real connections (see Arnie Herz and Lisa Haneberg) with clients or GCs you "like" (see WAC?) lead to relationships, which are assets and money we must manage. WAC? gets it now. Manage your connections. Manage your money.

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

    Sore, important subject: "Loser Pays"

    There's an interesting collection of periodic posts (pro and con) over at Point of Law on adoption of a UK-type "loser pays" scheme in American courts: a touchy if not just plain raw subject with constitutional colors. The loser-pays issue in the U.S.--it balances the right to access to courts against the need to deter wasteful/shoddy litigation--routinely jangles nerves and triggers serious fights over which inefficencies a democracy should and shouldn't accomodate. But loser-pays schemes merit discussion in America by lawyers, judges, academics and pols of all political persuasions in the interest of (1) clients and (2) good lawyering. It's not merely a pet issue of the right. Y'all game to at least talk about it?

    Posted by JD Hull at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

    January 19, 2007

    Are blawgs that big a deal?

    Nearly Legal in UK asks the question. See the comments by some of England's leading blawgers.

    Posted by JD Hull at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

    January 15, 2007

    Blawg Review #91

    Blawg Review #91, or the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Blawg Review, is up at Greg Worthen's Public Defender Stuff. It's very nicely done, and included is an especially good MLK Day post and collection of materials at Talk Left - The Politics of Crime. BR #91 links to several other thoughtful posts made today.

    Posted by Tom Welshonce at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

    January 14, 2007

    Europe blah on Iraq speech, but German rent-a-protestor biz up.

    The Berlin-based Atlantic Review, a news digest on US-Europe affairs, collects posts on European reaction to last week's Bush Iraq speech, and other topics. Don't miss the Deutsche Welle piece on the German protestor rental industry AR found at DW-World.de.

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

    Hartley's Howling Point

    After you are done with Church, today's playoff games, meditating on a few Sam Hazo poems, good Jameson's, the Antler Dance, or whatever mantras you do Sundays, visit my well-traveled and truly internationally experienced friend Chuck Hartley, who I have known for a couple of years. A real Renaissance guy, Chuck has a unique background and set of skills too rich to explain here. He's a San Diego-based business lawyer with government diplomatic experience, a knowledge of things South American and African (he's lived and worked in La Paz, Bolivia and Lome, Togo, among other places), and several useful wisdoms beyond his years. His blog, The Howling Point, is interesting, personal and real.

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

    Church of the Customer

    It's Sunday. WAC?, a member of a law firm with all manner of religions and spiritual modes represented, and a lapsed Belfast Protestant and recovering narcissist himself, strongly urges all of you to attend the Church of the Customer Blog by Chicago-based consultant-authors Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. This will be good for your soul, your clients and your business. Church of the Customer is and has been one the better client-centric sites out there, with a special emphasis on the happy existing client as Asset.

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

    January 13, 2007

    So how does your office hit your clients?

    "How your office looks to your customers" is not a pedestrian subject. Your firm's offices, especially the part the client sees and hears in the first 60 seconds after arrival, says a lot about your firm. And we are so used to seeing the commons areas of our firms that we never see them as the client does. We don't see changes, oddities, signals of disorganization and chaos; the client always does, right down to the magazines you lay out, what they're about and how old they are. We need to think about this stuff. See Ann Macaulay's "Making Your Law Office Client-Friendly" at the Canadian Bar Association's Client Services CBA Practice Link.

    Update 1/12/07: Don't miss Michelle Golden's recent fabulous post on the same topic. Looks like my fellow Midwesterner Michelle has a telepathic effect on this blog.

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

    Kid from Brooklyn on Human Rights, 2nd Amendment.

    Here. Open windows, turn up speakers, earplug the kids.

    Posted by JD Hull at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

    January 10, 2007

    More Irish Guys

    "With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?"

    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) had a rare mind, wrote well, lived too short a life, and was one of those people who give humans a good name. He had mega-talent, moxie and a good heart. Years ago, I visted the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris to see the graves of Jim Morrison, Richard Wright, Chopin and others and learned that Wilde was there, too.

    Posted by JD Hull at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

    January 09, 2007

    Appreciated: "The Endurance".

    A bit late on this post, but still wanting to get in my two cents because I liked Julie Fleming Brown's idea and invitation to participate, I appreciate the lawyer who practices law day in and day out for years with the same joy, enthusiasm and dedication of a young lawyer 5 years out of law school and just begininng to "get it right". It's the religion of unrelenting good habit, and a kind of endurance: one as important as faith, fact, or love.

    Posted by JD Hull at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

    January 08, 2007

    A Big Mind: Ray Ward's Blawg Review #90

    For today, and maybe tomorrow, WAC? takes back some of the things it regularly laments about lawyers often being inherently anti-client, risk-averse and uncreative weenies, slugs and "robot pimps" (remember the latter expression from the movie The Paper Chase?). Sanely, Blawg Review has chosen New Orleans' Ray Ward to host a Colors of Carnival for this week's edition. Like the mystical Big Easy itself, Ray is a man of many parts, a rainbow of sensibilities. So BR #90 is for the Whole Goddamn Person--body, mind, soul, timesheet. Visit Ray at Minor Wisdom and inhale this one as you start the week.

    Posted by JD Hull at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

    City of Angels

    Los Angeles is an acquired taste, and one that stays with you. I'm here a lot, both business and pleasure--in a way it's too bad that out of ignorance 9 years ago I chose San Diego over LA as a place from which to service business clients in Southern California. Like me, LA is East coast at heart. Drive, confidence, a little flair, and even oddity, are more than okay here. You are always selling; don't hide your light, dude. In law and entertainment, LA is a complicated meritocracy of the hugest of egos and Super-talent from everywhere. It's nearly impossible to be "inappropriate". People swear wonderfully here, mainly as a way to vent or for comic relief. Watch an LA professional blow a tube and you'll hear passionate, funny and artfully profane rants you can't hear in Indianapolis, Columbus, or even DC.

    Posted by JD Hull at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

    January 05, 2007

    Must-Read Jay Shepherd Post: Clients Don't Like You...

    Most business people rightly think we lawyers are necessary evils, and at best tolerable if we slip back into our coffins before dawn. We lack business sense in most respects. And we don't communicate well with business clients. See from Jay Shepherd's Gruntled Employees "Why businesspeople hate lawyers".

    Posted by JD Hull at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

    January 04, 2007

    Back in DC, Foggy Bottom, and new girlfriend Nancy

    Today, nearing the end of my 4 week work-and-travelthon, I am getting ready to take a deposition in an oddball business case of a public figure, a person they once made a movie about. Hopefully, before I leave tomorrow night for LA, I will have time to get over to my old neighborhood on Capitol Hill--where I worked, played and learned for 15 years--to network a bit. My hotel in the West End is 3 blocks from my birthplace in Foggy Bottom: "old" George Washington Hospital, recently torn down without giving me a heads up. Washington Circle now looks funny, half-naked and amputated, with a southeastern empty lot which held GWH's main building for over 50 years...CNN just told me that Nancy Pelosi is the new Speaker--only in America, right? You couldn't ask for a more beautiful day in the District of Columbia, City of Energies 24/7. I miss living here.

    Posted by JD Hull at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)