Social Networking Websites

Standing trial for allegedly stabbing your significant other to death is not where anyone wants to be. Being unable to afford your own atttorney adds a whole new layer of stress to the whole “on trial for murder” issue. Now, add to the mix a public defender who takes a photo of the underwear your family brought you to wear during trial and posts it to Facebook.

Bienvenido a Miami!

Oh yeah, we should mention that the lawyer here is a woman, and the murder defendant is a man. And the underpants were leopard print.

CHECK YOU ineffective assistance of counsel….

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If you use Facebook, you’ve probably noticed the sponsored stories that periodically pop up within the site. These (IMHO annoying) ads are an important part of Facebook’s revenue strategy. But recently, the company got sued over the stories, for allegedly violating the law by publicizing — but not paying — users who “like” certain advertisers, and not providing a way to opt out of the program. A settlement plan was recently announced. But uh oh, the federal judge handling the case rejected the settlement on Friday. Why?

Maybe something to do with the plaintiffs attorneys getting $10 million, the actual plaintiffs getting nothing, and an overall sense that left the judge wondering if the terms were “merely plucked from thin air”….

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Yesterday we covered the internet brouhaha over Progressive Insurance. The insurance company caught a lot of internet flak after comedian Matt Fisher wrote this provocative blog post: My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court. Outrage against Progressive’s apparent provision of a defense to the driver who killed Katie Fisher — even though Katie Fisher was Progressive’s insured, not that driver — went viral over social media (especially after actor Wil Wheaton got involved).

Now Progressive is paying up. The company has reached a settlement with the Fisher family.

We recently heard from Progressive’s PR firm, which sent us a statement on the Fisher case. What does Flo have to say for herself?

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Last time we checked in with Paul Ceglia — the Man Who Would Be King of Facebook — and his lawsuit claiming partial ownership of the social media giant, he was facing sanctions if he refused to provide Facebook with a very touchy document known as the Kasowitz letter.

Well, the production deadline has come and gone, and there’s no letter. You know what that means. All aboarrrd! Next stop, Benchslap City…

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Andrew Shirvell

* Andrew Shirvell questioned himself for over an hour today in defense of himself from Chris Armstrong’s defamation lawsuit. I’m telling you, life is so much easier when you don’t care about a person’s sexual orientation. [Detroit Free Press]

* It looks like Boies Schiller somehow filled the spot left by Elizabeth Wurtzel. [Thomson Reuters News and Insight]

* Election Law professor Rick Hasen is disappointed with the Pennsylvania voter ID decision today. [Election Law Blog]

* Grumpy baby boomer blogs angrily about law and life, a.k.a. my future. [Grumpy Baby Boomer]

* How to dress like a female lawyer from a television show. Funny, I didn’t know “breast implants” were a fashion accessory now. [Levo League]

* The Daily Caller dug up an article Michelle Obama wrote about critical race theory while at Harvard. She makes some pretty good points, especially considering the perspective of a young black person trying to deal with Harvard Law School in 1988. But I suspect the context of the article, the theory, the history, the university, and everything else will be missed by most of the readers of the Daily Caller. [Daily Caller]

* Here’s a new social network for law students. [Indiana Lawyer]

* Buy Tyler Coulson’s book (affiliate link), save a dog. You don’t want to kill puppies, do you? [PR Web]

* Lat is on a proposed SXSW panel about haw law firms should (and should not) be using Twitter and other social media. I hope firms don’t listen to him, because it’ll make my job easier. [SXSW PanelPicker]

If you were on the internet at all yesterday, you likely heard about this. Your mom probably posted it on her Facebook wall and a thousand of your tweeps probably hit you up on the Twitter to register their outrage. On Monday, a comedian by the name of Matt Fisher wrote a post on his tumblr account titled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court.” What resulted was an outpouring of rage and hive-minded moralizing that has become the internet’s stock in trade. A great injustice had been done and, dammit, the internet was going to save the day. Or at least tweet about the day. Even Wil Wheaton made an impassioned cameo in the great shoutathon, presumably because a cameo is the best Wil Wheaton can hope for these days.

And this great unwashed mass of outrage went to sleep last night and slept like babies, secure in the smug knowledge that they had done good. Of course, the picture that was so broadly painted yesterday didn’t do justice to anyone. Progressive Insurance is not evil and the Internet remains a cesspool of pornography and legal blog posts. Matt Fisher did a pretty solid number on Progressive Insurance; this is true. They’ve taken a great PR hit, and most coverage of the whole affair has quickly moved on from any sort of analysis of the actual claim itself to a much easier consideration of how, and in which ways, Progressive Insurance is royally f**ked.

This is a shame….

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Hey boss, plz stop thnx.

* Global agribusiness group Monsanto Co was awarded $1 billion in a patent infringement case against DuPont for improperly duplicating some kind of crazy seed technology. [New York Times]

* For particularly thick-headed employers who don’t understand it’s a bad idea to ask employees for Facebook passwords, now Illinois will fine them $200 for doing so. [Chicago Tribune]

* A federal judge in Washington sanctioned well-known plaintiff’s attorney Joy Ann Bull for filing grossly inflated fee statements. She was consequently asked to resign her partnership at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd. Welcome to the breadline! [LegalNewsline]

* Should a trial judge who is a Brooklyn Law grad recuse himself from a case against Brooklyn Law filed by Brooklyn Law alumni? Meh… [National Law Journal]

* As Ralph Baxter nears retirement, who will be chosen to lead Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe? [Am Law Daily]

* The Ninth Circuit already issued an injunction against Arizona’s new late-term abortion ban. Like they say, it’s all about shakin’ hands and killing kissin’ babies. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* The psychiatrist James Holmes was seeing at the University of Colorado was so alarmed by his behavior sometime before his alleged shooting spree that she notified the school’s “threat assessment team,” but apparently nothing was done. Looks like someone missed the assessment boat, by like, and ocean or two. [Denver Post]

Before you could turn a little bit of a blind eye (to children on websites like Facebook) but if this rule is adopted as proposed it will be significantly harder to do that.

– an anonymous privacy attorney, discussing the FTC’s proposed revision to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. The revision would explicitly make websites, mobile apps, and data brokers all responsible for third-party data collected about children.

Back in April, we began covering Twitter’s aggressive litigation against alleged online spammers. The company’s decision to initiate the case made waves, as Twitter declared it was going “straight to the source” of those who provided tools to spam Twitter and worsen its users’ experiences on the site.

In the months since, the case has taken a couple interesting turns. And one of the defendants won’t go down without a fight…

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Why do so many people who might want to harm someone else love to post about it online ahead of time? Not only is it a dumb strategic move — it alerts others to your allegedly nefarious plans, so a potential victim can escape the situation — it also makes it infinitely easier for law enforcement to, like, arrest and prosecute you.

We’ve heard this in various forms before, in regards to a possible mall shooting and laptop thief. But you would think a former prosecutor would know better than to allegedly threaten, via Facebook, to give his boss a whuppin’…

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