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Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Small Firms, Big Lawyers, one of Above the Law’s new columns for small-firm lawyers.

I’m reporting to you live from Chicago at the 25th Annual ABA TechShow, where an amazing group of passionate lawyers from around the country have gathered to talk and teach about the future of law practice. While many of the programs deal with technology, the underlying theme seems to be that change is coming to our industry, and we should probably figure this stuff out before it’s too late.

As Elie reported yesterday, I had the chance to present at the IgniteLaw 2011 program, which made for a pre-Conference kickoff Sunday night. I’m not going to talk about my presentation here — suffice to say it included references to Blade Runner, cannibalistic English food, and Hale and Dorr’s WilmerHale’s invention of the billable hour in 1919. (That was the same year that Prohibition started. Coincidence? I think not.)

Instead, I’m going to talk about the constraints placed on every speaker — because they were frickin’ crazy.…

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The high priestess of liberal blogging: Arianna Huffington.

The gorgeous and glamorous Arianna Huffington, reigning empress of the liberal blogosphere, has been sued by some of her not-so-loyal subjects.

This morning, a group of unpaid bloggers for the Huffington Post, led by union organizer and journalist Jonathan Tasini, filed a class-action lawsuit against the HuffPo; its foundress, La Arianna; and media giant AOL, which bought HuffPo back in February. The gist of the lawsuit, as Tasini told Jeff Bercovici of Forbes, is that the site’s unpaid writers “must share in the value they create” — $315 million worth of value, based on what AOL paid for the Huffington Post.

As a writer myself, I’m all in favor of writers being paid for what they do. But the lawsuit against HuffPo strikes me as a bit dubious….

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I don’t know, just kind of laying on top of him. Not laying on top of him but straddling him. It was like a lap dance, you could say.

– a sophomore describing the “ethics symposium” hosted by Jack Rappaport, a business professor at Lasalle University. You can read more about Rappaport’s alleged activities over at Dealbreaker.


In the first and second parts of our Career Center “Tip of the Day” series, focused on how to evaluate a counteroffer, we covered the importance of re-evaluating your current employment situation and assessing what the new firm is offering you, to determine whether it addresses the issues/shortfalls of your current firm. Today we’ll discuss how to carefully analyze your firm’s counteroffer to see if it is really better than the new offer.

More on tip #3…

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Thanks to Ben Mezrich, David Fincher, and Aaron Sorkin, we all feel like we know the backstory of the creation of Facebook (shameless plug: please like the ATL Facebook page). It goes something like this: Mark Zuckerberg was a shady little brat, who screwed over his one friend while he was building what would become a multi-billion-dollar company. Roll credits.

Legally, just yesterday it seemed that Zuckerberg and Facebook were finally in the clear. The Ninth Circuit told the amazingly privileged Winkelvoss twins to go away, and it appeared that everybody could go back to masturbating to Facebook friends without worrying about who really owned the thing.

But not so fast. There is another outstanding Facebook lawsuit that has recently been amended and refiled in federal court. We’ve reported before on the claims of fraudster Paul Ceglia. Now he’s back, and he’s got some explosive new evidence to support his claims to 50% ownership in Facebook — as well as new counsel.

Is the evidence credible? It depends: do you trust DLA Piper?

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Remember that ironic message about the versatility of a law degree?

Now we bring you an ironic message about the value of a law degree….

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Matt Kluger

* Baker & McKenzie is being sued for $600 million. First they were the inspiration for Philadelphia. Then they gave me a cold offer. Now this? Horrific mistakes, all. [Sports Money / Forbes]

* Meanwhile, Bingham McCutchen is preemptively suing Frank McCourt for letting them screw him over so badly. [Los Angeles Times]

* The middleman in the Matthew Kluger brouhaha, Kenneth Robinson, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges. No word yet on whether he is a gay dad. [Bloomberg]

* The Ninth Circuit ruled that the most controversial parts of the Arizona immigration law will remain blocked. [Washington Post]

* A man was fired from his job as a part-time urine monitor because he was born a woman. He’s suing (with help from Gibson Dunn), but has already found new employment. As a package handler. [New York Times]

* Speaking of packages, this employment discrimination lawsuit filed against a Dallas law firm is struggling with penis ID. [ABA Journal]

* NFL owners and players have been ordered into mediation by a federal judge. Who gives a sh*t? It’s a great band, it’s a bad band. It’s like pizza, baby! [ESPN]

The Winklevoss twins might be hot -- but their case is not, according to the Ninth Circuit.

If you enjoyed The Social Network, then perhaps you should be grateful to Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The lawsuit they filed against Facebook and Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, gave rise to excellent entertainment. The movie wouldn’t have been possible without it.

But now the litigation is getting… old. And some people just want the Winklevoss twins to go away. Like three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In a ruling handed down today, rejecting the Winklevosses’s effort to overturn an earlier settlement with Facebook and Zuckerberg, the Ninth Circuit dispensed some stinging benchslaps. The opinion contains detailed and erudite analysis of both California contract law and federal securities law, but it can be summarized in four words: “Winklevii, STFU and GTFO.” (Feel free to use that in your headnotes, Westlaw and Lexis.)

Who wrote the opinion? None other than the ever-colorful Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, of course!

Let’s see what His Honor had to say — plus learn about additional Kozinski-related and movie-related news….

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Judge A.P. 'Pete' Fuller

* New Egyptian democracy is already putting critics in jail. Dammit Middle East, this is why we can’t have nice things. [Gawker]

* We must make sure this technology never gets into the hands of clients. [LawyerClock]

* So it appears that South Dakota actually does have one badass living and working there — but now they want to kick him off the bench! [WSJ Law Blog]

* I tried so hard to come up with a meta-joke to go along with Ben Kerschberg’s story about metadata — and then I realized that I did and it’s just not that funny. [Forbes]

* You know what really makes Eliot Spitzer look bad? Andrew Cuomo. [Truth on the Market]

* Our very own Jay Shepherd doesn’t want to bill in six-minute increments, but he can present under such time pressure. [ABA Journal]

* Something tells me the fake law firm of Cromwell & Goodwin is about to get some very real resumes résumés. [Am Law Daily]

* When I was a kid, the only things you had to worry about finding on Long Island beaches were hypodermic syringes. Ah, the good old days. [Village Voice]

* Congratulations to Blawg Review. As Admiral Adama says, “Sometimes you have to roll the hard six.” [Blawg Review]

* Hey kids, don’t forget to send us your Law Revue clips. Share your funny — surely you can do better than this guy — with the rest of the world. [Above the Law]

The satirical Onion News Network recently reported on new government funding for that “massive online surveillance program run by the CIA,” known as Facebook — dreamed up by “secret C.I.A. agent Mark Zuckerberg.” The report made light of how much information we’re willing to make available to a third party — information that we would never consider freely handing over to the feds. While funny, the report speaks to serious concerns about privacy. Civil liberties advocates like Christopher Soghoian and Nicholas Merrill worry about the ease with which the government can get access to the digital information we store with third-parties like Facebook, Yahoo!, and Google, as well as to the rich databases that our mobile phone providers have.

Should we call it the Tech.B.I. or the Dot.Com.I.A.?

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It’s actually worse than a bad mortgage…. You have to get rid of the future you wanted to pay off all the debt from the fancy school that was supposed to give you that future.

Peter Thiel, the billionaire entrepreneur, encouraging kids to drop out of school rather than go deeper into debt for education.

Choosing the next editor of the law review.

It so happens that we are right in the middle of election season for law review boards. At top law schools around the country, 2Ls who want to be Supreme Court clerks — or Supreme Court justices, or even presidents — are finding out if they’ll be able to include “Editor in Chief: Law Review” on their résumés for the rest of their lives. At less prestigious schools, 2Ls are hoping that a place on the editorial board of their school’s law review will help them get a job upon graduation.

(And people who are not on law review have another week or two to get hammered and enjoy the fledgling spring before they need to hunker down and cram for finals.)

The people involved in law review elections take the popularity contest selection process very seriously. At many places, the debates over whom to pick last well into the night, and the election takes many ballots before a winner is declared. The process at many places is so ritualistic, it’s a wonder that newly minted editors-in-chief don’t adopt new names when they win, just like the Popes. Can’t you see it now: Homosextius I of the Harvard Law Review?

Of course, if there are winners, there have to be losers. And some losers don’t take their losing lying down. Thanks to the magic of forwarded emails, we are able to bring you one such story of law-review-losing bitterness…

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