Friday, January 05, 2007

from legal watch blog

Legal Blog Watch

Welcome FedCirc.us

Stephen Nipper announces here at his Invent Blog that he and his Re-think IP cohorts, Matt Buchanan and Doug Sorocco, have been busy. Again. This time it's an amazing project, FedCirc.us, a Web site that allows patent professionals to access, digest and manage patent caselaw innovation. And it's a truly amazing site, with all kinds of extras, like red case flags, case data boxes and the ability to search the site by tag clouds (you'll never look at another keycite again!)

When you look at what three patent attorneys, with different firms, in different parts of the country have accomplished with FedCirc.us, it makes you wonder how much Lexis or Westlaw could do with all of their resources if they ever thought to innovate.


Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 4, 2007 at 04:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'O' Is for Off!

"O" is the nickname for one of the world's most successful talk show hosts, and it could have been the logo for a 1,200-lawyer, billion-dollar global law firm. Instead, as both this article from The American Lawyer and this post from the WSJ Law Blog report, "O" is for off, as Orrick and Dewey Ballantine canceled plans for a merger.

The WSJ Law Blog suggests that defections from Dewey weakened the firm, making it a less desirable partner:

Orrick had wanted to join forces with Dewey in large part because of Dewey's strong M&A practice, but that practice had weakened in recent weeks. Earlier this week, the Law Blog reported that Michael Aiello, a former top mergers & acquisition partner at Dewey Ballantine had left the firm for cross-town competitor Weil, Gotshal & Manges. In December, the Law Blog reported that Jack Bodner, another former M&A partner at Dewey, had left for Covington & Burling in New York. Aiello and Bodner, lawyers say, were considered two of the top deputies to Morton Pierce, the head of Dewey's M&A practice.

And The American Lawyerarticle also notes that the firms hadn't been able to resolve the key issue of how many partners would have full equity status. It will be interesting to see how quickly either firm begins to play the field, in search of another match.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 4, 2007 at 03:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What a GC Might Ask

Listen up, law firms! Ron Friedmann of Prism Legal shares what he would ask outside counsel if he were a GC. Among Friedmann's questions:

    * Do you actively manage and budget matters?
    * What's your approach to managing discovery? (Hopefully, it's largely electronic and automated.)
    * How do you keep down the cost of transactions?
    * Do you regularly perform early case assessments?
    * Do you systematically assign lawyers to new matters? (Note -- GCs don't want to pay full fare for training newbies.)
    * What self-service options do you offer? I have many capable lawyers who work for me. I trust a lot of business managers jugdment. They can do a lot on their own given the right tools -- what do you offer?

Friedmann's list is fairly extensive, but it's clear that he's interested in cost control and  collaboration and current information. Are you delivering that to your clients?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 4, 2007 at 03:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Court Battle for Name Only

J. Craig Williams of May It Please The Court highlights a case that seems like a colossal waste of time and money: a battle over a baby's last name. As Williams writes:

Christy Wizner had three other children in her first marriage. She divorced, but kept her former husband's name. She and Chad Doherty had a child without being married to one another, and the child's birth certificate show Wizner as the child's last name. Chad sued to change the name to his own, among other things ...

Dad won at the trial level, but Mom appealed, and this decision was issued in the middle of December. Two years is a long time to go through life with your last name up in the air, but the court system is notoriously slow. That's why there are turtles under the columns and lamps throughout the U.S. Supreme Court. "The slow and deliberate pace of justice," according to wags at The Court. 

The court turned the decision into a history lesson, Williams tells us, beginning with the history of Anglo-Saxon naming customs and rituals, starting in 1066. Thereafter, the court established a 10-part test to decide which name the baby would get. And here, Mom won ... or at least until the baby's dad appeals to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 4, 2007 at 03:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Podcasting Still Lags as Law Firm Marketing Tool

Citing a survey of 46 major law firms conducted by the Primary Research Group, Larry Bodine reports on the results. The bottom line: 20 percent of firms have blogs, 60 percent have newsletters and only a measly 3 percent podcast.

As for the details, Bodine notes that firms with 20 or more practice areas were most likely to publish blogs, and nearly 40 percent in this category did so. As for conventional Web sites, firms spent a mean of $40,483 for a Web site overhaul, with median spending of $27,500. But firms are drawing traffic, with a mean of 27,462 visitors per month to the site. Still, newsletters remain most popular, with 60 percent of firms publishing newsletters.

What this survey tells me is that most clients still aren't fully adept with RSS feeds, nor do they enjoy podcasts. Consequently, they prefer newsletters to blogs. In time, however, more clients may begin to figure out that there are easier ways to keep up with blogs than visiting dozens of sites. And when they do, those firms with blogs will be way out in front.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 4, 2007 at 03:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saludos cordiales
Renato Sánchez 3586 dep 10
Santiago, Chile