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Blawg Review #106

Donington Park, in North West Leicestershire, England, first opened its gates 1931 as a motorcycle race course. Since that time, Donington has hosted MotoGP, the European Grand Prix, the British Touring Car Championship and even Ozzfest. Despite its prestige and renown, Donington still has “trackdays” where amateurs like myself can lay their rubber on that of top legends like Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.

While dropping my 750 GSX-R into and out of turns all day today at the racetrack, I concluded that bloggers are much like motorcycle racers. Among the tens of millions of spectators, there are but a precious few willing to take up the challenge themselves. While the A-listers do it for fame and fortune, the remaining 99% do it for the thrill and the wonderful people you meet along the way. It is those friends, both online and ontrack, to whom I dedicate this post.

In a salute to both bloggers and bikers, I have correlated each of this week’s blogs with a particularly fond memory of Donington Park. Enjoy!

Getting inside your head (Old Hairpin)

In Brain Management: Law Firm Leadership on the Neuro Frontier, Stephanie West Allen explains how our brains use control, communication and competence to guide our law firm management decisions. Trial Lawyer and jury consultant, Anne Reed, gives us a peek inside the heads of real live jurors in her analysis of the Nacchio case. Eric Turkewitz provides a somewhat more cerebral analysis of a medical malpractice case, suggesting meticulous economic vetting is critical.

Ronald Miller writes that juries tend to treat doctors favorably, suggesting that the incredibly low rate of the success of medical malpractice cases that go the distance is a result of insurance carriers being more eager to settle, rather than these types of cases being dogs. Scott Greenfield details the issues revolving around anti-social behavior and brain dysfunction and whether courts should consider brain dysfunction in sentencing.

Oops

Mishaps are inevitable. To reduce the likelihood of them happening to you, Walter Olson, in Overlawyered, offers some helpful Don’ts. For those of you who do not believe all potential mishaps are foreseeable, Walter suggests contacting the judge in this case for some insight.

Think you know how to date a contract? You might want to think again after reading Ken Adam’s blog post on Revenue Recognition and How You Date Contracts. Randy Braun concludes, with the help of the Naussau County Supreme Court that Chronic Sinusitus is not a disability under New York Law.

The Competition(the esses)

Patently O’s Dennis Crouch discusses submarine patents of the Living Dead, while Stephen Albainy-Jenei of Patent Baristas invites us to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day. Ilanah Simon of IPKat tells us about the first ever copyright trading floor opening in Ho Chi Minh City and Marty Schwimmer of The Trademark Blog summarizes the list of most valuable trademarks in the world.

Robert Scott provides his definition of Software Piracy in contrast to that of his arch nemesis, the Business Software Alliance, which appears to be rather aggressive in pursuing business for “overusing” licensed software. William Patry analyzes an exception to architectural copyright which allows homeowners to modify their homes.

Tight Turns (McLeans)

In his Law Practice Tips Blog, Jim Calloway foretells the Rise and Fall of the Dictation Tape. For my two cents, I agree that most law firms need to turn more quickly toward technology. I have thrown away $250+ a pop on multiple Olympus machines, at least one of which lasted less that two months. In my Tech for the Non-Tech lawyer, I suggest a Sony or some other more rugged, less expensive recorder.

The Pope has a hand in this week’s Blawg Review by abolishing limbo. No, Rush, you can still get drunk and dance low under the stick; this is (or was) the limbo between Heaven and Hell. With a single edict, the Vatican has tossed what is probably one of the greatest Blawg Review posts ever, into turmoil. The loss of limbo has forced Colin Samuels’ deft hand into dispelling Kevin O’Keefe, the Blawg Review Editor and Ross Rinkel out of Blawg Review #35 limbo, along with the infants, virtuous pagans and pre-Christian Jews.

Can an employer require a male-to-female transsexual, who has a female gender identity, to use a male-only shower room or dressing room? Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss examines this issue and more as they relate to a recently proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Leon Gettler discusses lawmakers legislating corporate social responsibility which large corporations do not seem to be adopting of their own volition.

Only in (Hollywood)

Texas. Mark Herrmann explains a Texas state court Vioxx decision pundits anticipate will preempt private party “failure to warn” claims against drug manufacturers based upon the alleged inadequacy of warnings previously approved by the FDA.

India. In his LawSites blog, Robert Ambrogi explains how to get United Kingdom legal advice at a 66% discount. I wonder what my local barrister blogger Tre Critelli would have to say about that.

Florida. Even if you are a firm specializing in representing motorcyclists, the Florida Bar wants to make sure logos used in your representations to the public are not untoward. But the question of what passes muster is obviously somewhat in the eye of the beholder. David Giacalone examines the Florida Bar’s apparently somewhat capricious rejection and acceptance of various law firms’ logos.

Hollywood. Professor and cyber copyright visionary Lawrence Lessig eulogizes the late Hollywood icon and model of a man, Jack Valenti.

True Originals

Enrico Schaefer explains how most law firms’ hourly billing model puts clients at odds with their attorneys. Think you know who owns the copyright on the Virginia Tech killer video? You might think again after reading the Volokh Conspiracy post. Law student Scott Felsenthal discusses the legality of Peer-to-Peer file sharing systems, like Limewire, under current copyright laws.

Jamie Spencer explains one of the biggest problems with the Texas criminal justice system. Texas actually sends some parolees back to prison after they have been acquitted of new charges brought against them. Jeff Lipshaw gives a great summary of the top ten reasons Lawyers should take up knitting.

Bloggers and racers know what kind of bloggers and racers they are. If you are unsure about what kind of lawyer you are, visit Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground. (I can’t decide if I am the lawyer who brings his/her breast pump to the office, or the lawyer with the shiny new gadget. But aren’t they the same thing?) Actually, as a patent attorney, I am very interested in Wordlab’s post on Oppendahl & Larson LLP’s domain name patents.com going on the auction block. If you have an extra $500K laying around, it might be something to think about.

In his award-winning student lawblog Lawyerlike, Ryan Austin provides those on the fence about entering law school some insight into how one might compare the various stages of lexmatriculation with various movies.

Jim Calloway gives us the heads up on an article by practice management advisor Ellen Freedman examining various law related document assembly packages.

Those wacky officials

If you do slip up and get something on your pants, be sure your dry cleaner offers “satisfaction guaranteed . . .” . . . and you have a judge bring them in for you. Ted Frank and Carolyn Elefant both posted good pieces on how to claim $65 million in damages, based upon the novel legal theory of “unclean pants.”

David Harlow examines Social Security and Medicare’s insatiable thirst for cash that legislators will increasingly attempt to slake with our tax dollars. Tami Cowden, in discussing common law, explains that the recent increase campaign contributions to judicial candidates may be more of a purchase than a wholly altruistic act. I would consider buying one myself, but black is just too difficult to keep dusted.

Al Nye The Lawyer Guy discusses the case of Mailee Jones, dean of admissions at MIT, outed and forced to resign for some creative writing on her resume and the case of a Judge and prosecutor facing disbarment for having sex in the judge’s chambers. I have had that happen to me several times – but it has always been in more of a metaphorical sense.

Nicole Black waxes philosophical on the untoward motivations of district attorney Mike Nifong in the Duke rape case. Eoin O’Dell’s call to arms seeks the European Union to take the lead in comporting centuries old copyright laws to the realities of online commerce.

Things are not all bad. Mike Masnik of Techdirt blogs about Judge Lee R. West forcing the RIAA to pay the attorney fees of litigants it incorrectly sued.

Special Thanks (Corner Workers)

Thanks to Connie Crosby, author of Blawg Review #105, for setting the bar so high and forcing me to play with my blog, rather than work last weekend. And special thanks to Colin Samuels of Infamy or Praise, Jen Burke and Derrick Hughes, for forwarding me so many great links to law blogs I might otherwise have missed.

Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

Brett Trout

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