Announcements

I have a confession to make.

Most of my friends are lawyers. Forrealz. To be sure, an increasing number of them, like me, no longer practice. But most of them still do, and I still like hanging with them.

When I would go to Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, or the federal district court across the channel in Southie, I would bump into classmates or colleagues more often than not. Later in my practice, it became increasingly common that I would already be friends with my opposing counsel. Some lawyers don’t like litigating against their friends, but I always did. It made it easier to get things done, and you didn’t have to waste time with unnecessary gamesmanship.

If you already had a level of trust with your opposing counsel, you could skip all the silly things that slow down litigation and make it more unpleasant. Discovery disputes, for example, drop down to zero. Settlement talks start sooner and are more meaningful. Extension requests are automatically given. Cases get resolved faster and easier.

But do you know who doesn’t like it when opposing lawyers are friendly with each other?

Find out who — plus big news about this column — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Small Firms, Big Lawyers: A Civil Practice”

Greetings from the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida. It’s lovely here (despite the presence of a few love bugs). We can see the ocean, hear the tides, and smell the salt air from our oceanfront balconies.

Three members of the Above the Law team — David Lat, Elie Mystal, and Chris Danzig — are down here to cover the first annual Legal Technology Leadership Summit. The Summit — hosted by ATL, the Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI), and the American Society of Digital Forensics & eDiscovery (ASDFED) — brings together thought leaders and decision makers from throughout the legal profession, including judges, academics, and senior in-house, law firm, and governmental lawyers.

You’ll be seeing coverage of the conference in these pages over the next few days. You can also follow the proceedings in real time over Twitter, through the feeds of our three correspondents — @DavidLat, @ElieNYC, @ChrisDanzig — or by searching for tweets collected under the #LTLSummit hashtag (by our reporters and by conference attendees).

You can read more about the Summit over at the conference website. Thanks to our distinguished speakers and generous sponsors for making this event possible.

Judge Peggy Ableman

Ed. note: Due to the Labor Day holiday, we’ll be on a reduced publication schedule today. We’ll be back to normal tomorrow. A restful and happy Labor Day to all!

* More about the Delaware benchslap that we covered last week (including the news that Judge Peggy Ableman’s pajama party did not go forward as proposed). [Delaware News-Journal]

* The federal government is suing 17 banks for almost $200 billion, blaming the banks for mortgage-backed securities that went bad. [Bloomberg]

* An interesting dissection of the legal fees that Dewey & LeBoeuf is running up as counsel on the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy. [New York Times]

Roger Clemens

* Roger Clemens will face a second trial next year. Lester Munson, the esteemed legal analyst, explains why. [ESPN]

* “From One Bankrupt Firm to Another: Brobeck Asks Heller For $471,000.” [Am Law Daily]

* AT&T faces a tricky balancing act in dealing with the Justice Department’s challenge of the T-Mobile deal. [New York Times]

* If you’re confused about the current role of lawyer-turned-entrepreneur Michael Arrington over at AOL, in the wake of AOL’s acquiring his TechCrunch site, you’re not alone. [Digits / Wall Street Journal]

Elie the bloggAARRRR!

Well, I’m alive. And, more importantly for you guys, I can see. Which means I can resume some of my writing duties. Mwahahaha.

But before we get back to our regular reindeer games, I need to ask you for some help. Without going into too many details, the picture on the right captures me on the first day of my recovery. Lined up behind my head are all the drugs I was told to take to get me to the point where I could half sit up and kind of smile ten days after I initially presented with “a cough and some labored breathing.”

Trust me, being a patient in an episode of House is no fun. The whole “nearly killing the patient three times” thing gets old quick. For regular watchers of the show, my episode was one of those: “He has this and that??? And the stuff we were giving him for the first thing exacerbated the other thing he had? My doctor, you’re brilliant because nobody could have possibly expected one person to have two things go wrong at the same time!” And like a patient in one of those episodes, I’m pretty thankful for my doctors overall. I can talk. I have still have two eyes. They figured it out in the end. No med mal suit coming from me (assuming no changes for the worse).

But, I was a lawyer. And I want to sue somebody because health care is not free and finding things to blame is just good sport. I want to go after my landlord, but I need some help in making it all fit together.

Let me explain….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Help Elie Sue”

Get excited, because the Legal Technology Leadership Summit is less than one week away. It is set to take place from September 6 – 8, on Amelia Island, Florida. You can access the full agenda here if you’d like to see the interesting programs that are in store for all Summit attendees.

It is only fitting that we would honor a leader in corporate legal technology at the Summit, so we are currently accepting nominations for the first Corporate Legal Technology Leadership Award. This award recognizes the legal department and the legal technology innovator(s) that identified a problem, championed a solution, and monitored the outcome. The individual winner of the award will receive a Dell Inspiron Duo Tablet PC + Audio Dock, as well as a plaque commemorating the award.

Corporate legal departments or the representatives of the department may submit nominations. There is no fee to enter. To submit a nomination, please complete the online form available here.

A special thanks to our generous Summit Ambassadors, who are making this event possible: Applied Discovery, Autonomy, Clearwell Systems (now a part of Symantec), Datacert, Dell, Ernst & Young, Falcon Discovery, FTI Technology, Guidance Software, Mitratech, Nextpoint, Nuix, Pangea3, Planet Data, ProSearch Strategies, QuisLex, Recommind, Robert Half eDiscovery Services, TCDI, Valora Technologies, and WestlawNext.

We would also like to thank our Law Firm Sponsors: Dorsey & Whitney, Shook Hardy & Bacon, WilmerHale, and Winston & Strawn.

Click here to register for the conference. We look forward to seeing you there.

Above the Law launched five years ago today, on August 30, 2006. If you like, you can take a trip down memory lane and read my letter from the editor, introducing ATL to the world.

Reaching this milestone is no small feat. If you think of Above the Law as a blog, this is a major accomplishment; in the words of one observer, the typical blog “has the lifespan of a fruitfly,” with most blogs being abandoned within a year. If you think of Above the Law as a business, this is also noteworthy; according to the Small Business Administration, new firms have about a 50 percent survival rate in the first five years.

So, on the occasion of our fifth anniversary — or “blogiversary,” as some say — we’d like to give thanks. We extend our deepest gratitude to our wonderful readers, our knowledgeable tipsters, our generous sponsors, our talented fellow journalists and bloggers, and our loyal friends. We couldn’t have made it this far without you.

That’s our main message, and you can stop reading here. If you’re interested, though, feel free to read on, as I identify five ways in which Above the Law has changed and evolved over the past half-decade.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Happy Fifth Birthday to Above the Law — and Our Thanks”

Some of you have been wondering about the whereabouts of our colleague, Elie Mystal. As several of you have noticed, he hasn’t written for these pages since last Tuesday.

No, Elie’s not still on vacation. Unfortunately, he’s on sick leave: he has been bedridden since Tuesday with tonsillitis and an acute sinus infection.

Either he’ll be back at work soon, or we’ll be reporting on one hell of a med mal suit. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Get excited, because the Legal Technology Leadership Summit is less than two weeks away. It is set to take place from September 6 – 8, on Amelia Island, Florida. You can access the full agenda here if you’d like to see the interesting programs that are in store for all Summit attendees.

It is only fitting that we would honor a leader in corporate legal technology at the Summit, so we are currently accepting nominations for the first Corporate Legal Technology Leadership Award. This award recognizes the legal department and the legal technology innovator(s) that identified a problem, championed a solution, and monitored the outcome. The individual winner of the award will receive a Dell Inspiron Duo Tablet PC + Audio Dock, as well as a plaque commemorating the award.

Corporate legal departments or the representatives of the department may submit nominations. There is no fee to enter. To submit a nomination, please complete the online form available here. Nominations must be received by August 31, 2011.

A special thanks to our generous Summit Ambassadors, who are making this event possible: Applied Discovery, Autonomy, Clearwell Systems (now a part of Symantec), Datacert, Dell, Ernst & Young, Falcon Discovery, FTI Technology, Guidance Software, Mitratech, Nextpoint, Nuix, Pangea3, Planet Data, ProSearch Strategies, QuisLex, Recommind, Robert Half eDiscovery Services, TCDI, Valora Technologies, and WestlawNext.

We would also like to thank our Law Firm Sponsors: Dorsey & Whitney, Shook Hardy & Bacon, WilmerHale, and Winston & Strawn.

Click here to register for the conference. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Legal Technology Leadership Summit will be taking place in three weeks, from September 6 – 8, on Amelia Island, Florida. Rooms are still available at the Ritz-Carlton, and conference attendees will be able to take advantage of our special rate at the hotel for just $199 a night. This extended offer EXPIRES TOMORROW, so take advantage of it soon.

If you’re interested in attending, check out the full agenda here, where you can see some of the conference highlights:

A special thanks to our generous Summit Ambassadors, who are making this event possible: Applied Discovery, Autonomy, Clearwell Systems (now a part of Symantec), Datacert, Dell, Ernst & Young, Falcon Discovery, FTI Technology, Guidance Software, Mitratech, Nextpoint, Nuix, Pangea3, Planet Data, ProSearch Strategies, QuisLex, Recommind, Robert Half eDiscovery Services, TCDI, Valora Technologies, and WestlawNext.

We would also like to thank our Law Firm Sponsors: Dorsey & Whitney, Shook Hardy & Bacon, WilmerHale, and Winston & Strawn.

Click here to register for the conference. We look forward to seeing you there.

UPDATE (7 PM): We have just received approval for Texas CLE credit. So for those of you keeping track, the Legal Technology Leadership Summit now offers CLE for Alabama, California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Our Legal Technology Leadership Summit is around the corner. It’s taking place from September 6 – 8 on Amelia Island, Florida. Check out the full agenda here, or take a look at the latest headlines, which identify some of the conference highlights:

Click here to register for the conference. We look forward to seeing you there.

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