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Blawg Review #119

Blawg  Review Law Blog blogging Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAs we mentioned last week, it’s now our turn to host Blawg Review, the roving carnival of legal blogs. So welcome to Blawg Review #119 — a most auspicious number.
Today, in case you hadn’t noticed, is Monday. We’re grumpy, and maybe you are too.
So the theme for this installment of Blawg Review is complaining. Whining, bitching, moaning — which lawyers are very good at. Indeed, many attorneys are better at complaining than they are at doing their jobs. Especially summer associates.
The rest of this cheery Blawg Review — a litany of laments, a pile of pet peeves — appears after the jump.


Susan Cartier Liebel, of Build A Solo Practice, is ticked off by (plaintiffs’) lawyers using airplane banners to advertise their services. Regulating lawyer advertising raises First Amendment concerns, notes Eric Turkewitz. But flying billboards sure are tacky!
Speaking of free speech, Professor Jon Siegel condemns New Zealand’s “blatant and pointless assault on free speech,” in the form of a law “prohibiting the use of images captured in its parliament for the purpose of ‘satire, ridicule, or denigration.'” Jon Stewart, consider yourself warned.
(So such using images for such purposes would be illegal. Or unlawful? Is there a difference? Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty) has the answers.)
Over at What About Clients?, Holden Oliver wishes a happy fifth birthday to Sarbanes-Oxley — which has, of course, been the subject of countless complaints from corporate America.
(And what about Reg FD, another notable financial-markets reform measure? Some thoughts from Mike Dillon, general counsel to Sun Microsystems, appear here.)
Holden Oliver’s co-blogger, Dan Hull, expresses frustration with the media. News outlets breathlessly report on Lindsay Lohan’s every misstep, but fail to note that Norman Borlaug, the noted American agronomist, is now only one of five people in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. (To find out the other four, click here.)
While we’re on the media, Skip Oliva of Overlawyered hates televised coverage of live police chases.
Which brings us to the new media. The Austin DWI Lawyer believes that reading blogs is fundamental. Steve Nipper presumably agrees, which is why he gets so peeved at blogs that don’t provide full RSS feeds.
Still on the blogosphere, Scott Greenfield vents as follows:

“It would make me happier if Simple Justice showed up in other blawgs with greater frequency, and in new blawgs more often. It would be nice to have more subscribers. It would be really nice if readers would leave comments…”

Paging Loyola 2L!
On a more serious note, Greenfield is also p.o.’d by the jurisprudence surrounding reverse Batson challenges. His post on the subject appears here.
Eugene Volokh’s doctrinal bête noire: when family court judges, applying the “best interests of the child” standard, ignore constitutional limits upon government action — such as the Equal Protection Clause, Free Exercise Clause, Establishment Clause, and Free Speech Clause.
These aren’t the only legal doctrines that drive lawyers up the wall. Here’s something from Ron Coleman of Likelihood of Confusion, attacking a legal theory that would permit extraterritorial application of the Lanham Act:

“It’s the same “way” the courts have jammed initial interest confusion and innumerable other plaintiff-friendly “readings” into the ever-broadening Lanham Act, even as IP law chokes the life out of creativity and innovation and makes everyone so scared of his shadow he dare not utter the words “Super Bowl Party” without a costly license from the NFL. Now, says Professor McCarthy, not only corporate America, but corporate Asia and, of course, Europe are also to be afforded a presumption of trademark rights in gross, unattached to any domestic usage even in the face of black-letter abandonment.”

Speaking of IP Law, Michael Atkins criticizes this dubiousness — trademark abuse that should horrify Harry Potter fans everywhere.
Intellectual property takes us into tech. The Connected Lawyer (Bryan Sims) details his frustration with running iTunes on a Windows machine and why Apple’s Windows version of iTunes does nothing to convince him to switch to a Mac:
Mac lovers, those are fighting words! But let’s keep it civil. Please don’t turn the comments into a high-tech lynch mob for an uppity PC user.
Speaking of matters technological, are you an Xbox 360 owner whose game discs were scratched by the console’s laser? If so, then check out this LawVibe.com post. South Florida attorney Jeffrey Ostrow is seeking class-action certification for a suit against Microsoft, on behalf of Xbox 360 owners whose disks were damaged. Damage may occur when the Xbox 360 is moved from horizontal to vertical, or vice versa, during play. “They don’t tell you not to move the tower,” said Ostrow.
Quit Whining Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog.jpgLet’s conclude with complaints about lawyerly life — a staple of these pages. Susan Cartier Liebel wants to know:

Do you ‘hum’ when you go to work? If you were to die tomorrow would you be happy with your professional life and is it personally well-lived?

Probably not, if you work in a law firm like the one described in Madeleine Begun Kane’s lawyer limerick. Maybe you need to ask yourself the question posed by Stephanie West Allen: What is the ethosphere of your law firm?
So does that mean you should ditch your law firm employer for the public sector? Well, be careful. NBS, of Nasty, Brutish & Short, urges you to look before you leap: “Taking a job that pays $30,000 a year when you have a law degree and $130,000 in student loans is ridiculous.”
And don’t forget that some government employers will subject you to drug testing, as Randy Braun, in a post entitled “Whiz” Kid, reminds us. Shy bladders need not apply.
Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.
Earlier: Programming Note: We’re Hosting Blawg Review (and Welcome Submissions)

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