Social Networking Websites

This is my favorite time of year. The ABA TechShow and the Legal Marketing Association Conference will headline a slew of multi-day conferences for very successful lawyers, some with clients, to mix with very successful, genius, game-changing marketeers and tech hacks, some who don’t work from their dining room tables or live at home, while hanging out in vendor halls looking for free coffee and a sponsored meal in between listening to the next law futurist spew stats on how clients they don’t represent want to receive legal services or hire lawyers.

If you’re on Twitter (which I am, even though I say in my bio here that no client has ever asked me if I’m on Twitter — because I enjoy the genius commenters saying, “But you’re ON Twitter dude?”), you can follow the dribble enlightening thoughts by searching #ABATECHSHOW. (That’s a hashtag. See, I’m one with the future.) In the coming weeks, you’ll find #LMA13, or just look for a bunch of people predicting the future of law and crying about “why lawyers don’t listen” to them.

When you look through the tweets, disregarding the vendors begging you to “come visit” their booth for a free Tootsie Roll and a chance to win the most important tool for any lawyer, the iPad, and the requests from very successful professionals to “share a cab” from the airport, you’ll come to something like this….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Practice: Unverified Stats and the Future — It’s Marketeer Season!”

‘I’m stealing a #donut…I like stealing donuts…’

Yesterday, Judge Thomas Lipps handed down a guilty verdict in the Steubenville rape case. For those living entirely under a rock, the Steubenville rape case involved two teen football players in Ohio, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, who carried an overly intoxicated 16-year-old girl from party to party, sexually assaulting her along the way.

The case garnered national attention after multiple pictures and videos of the events — some callously indifferent and others actively supportive of the rape — surfaced on the Internet, and the slow initial response of law enforcement triggered accusations that the local sheriff, Fred Abdalla, attempted to cover up the assault to protect the Steubenville football team.

Others have more eloquently explored the implications of this case for attitudes about sexual violence and social media generally. But the events in Steubenville speak to a cultural shift that will lord over criminal law for the next generation: the compulsive desire of jackhole criminals to document everything makes them really easy to catch.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Steubenville Rape Verdict: The Future of Criminal Law In the Era of TTIWWOP”

One of our writers thought Billy Joel was saying, “We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning, said the worst attorney.”

– Comedian and television host Jimmy Fallon, commenting via Twitter on some of the world’s worst misheard lyrics.

(Do you know of any other entertaining, law-related misheard lyrics? Feel free to post them in the comments.)

I’m all for holding people accountable for their racist behavior.

But I also love children. I love allowing children to behave like children — nasty, violent children. Adults can be expected to behave with appropriate decorum, but you have to cut kids a little slack.

So what happens when an alleged racist I’m prone to hate happens to also be an alleged bully that I usually defend (from criminal prosecution)?

I’m not sure, but I’m not at all surprised that the state of New Jersey is where we find today’s moral quandary….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Teen Charged With Harassment Over Racist Tweet”

It sucks when your client is caught on video selling 99% pure meth to an undercover DEA agent. It sucks even more when he decides to turn in the kingpin in exchange for a shorter sentence, and the guy he names is also your client.

– An ex-Skadden lawyer turned criminal defense attorney.

Here’s a little fact that’ll make some of our readers feel old: Facebook, the world’s largest social media conglomerate, celebrated its ninth birthday yesterday. Being that it’s almost been around for a decade, the site’s been there with some of our younger readers throughout college, law school, bar exam hell, law jobs (or the lack thereof), engagements, weddings, babies, and more.

In celebration of Facebook’s birthday, the good people over at BuzzFeed did some stalking research on the site’s very first users, all 25 of them. As it turns out, some of them went on to become lawyers. But where did they go to law school, and which firms are they at today?

Let’s do something Facebook would never do — invade their privacy — and find out….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Some Of Facebook’s First Users Work In Biglaw, But Where?”

This is a post about the internet, and yes, it’s about small law firms.

You’re still in the race to page one of Google. Nothing is more important. It’s tiring. Your marketeer tells you that blogging is king. You don’t have time to blog, you need clients now — you aren’t interested in waiting for some client to think you had something interesting to say in your blog, and in turn, call your office, or some lawyer to read what you wrote and refer you a case.

Not a problem, says the marketeer. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as your website is linked throughout the posts, like this:

Recently, this Craptown family lawyer read about a father being held in contempt for failing to pay child support. This case was not in Craptown and did not involve a Craptown family lawyer. As a Craptown family lawyer, it is important that anyone in Craptown who has a problem with Craptown family law call a Craptown family lawyer. It is unclear whether the father sought the services of a Craptown family lawyer, but contempt is a bad thing and is a reason to seek out a Craptown family lawyer. So for those of you fathers that are broke, it may be time to call a Craptown family lawyer.

These blogs all suck, say nothing, and exist only based on the marketeer’s promise of clients finding you via Google and dropping off a pile of cash at your office. The authors are very very very proud of their prose, as the marketeers cheer on their attempts to game Google. “Hey man, that last post was great, you had 27 links to your website.”

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to the vast amounts of Biglaw associates who read every single word of this column under duress every single week while waiting for their next assignment, but for those small firm and solo practitioners, I have a question: Does it work?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Practice: Blogging And Other Social Media, Like A Search Engine Whore”

This guy deserves way more than $10.

A good chunk of America was Googling “class action” this weekend thanks to Facebook. Millions of the site’s users received an email in the last few days with the subject “Re: LEGAL NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION.” Those that didn’t immediately delete it as spam discovered they’re entitled to up to $10 from the social networking giant for putting them in “Sponsored Story” ads. That’s when Facebook takes something you Liked or a link you posted and uses it in an ad aimed at your friends. (So, word to the wise, never ever post a link on Facebook to a 55-gallon gallon drum of sex lube.)

Fraley v. Facebook, the class action lawsuit that could make a bunch of Facebook users a little richer and a bunch of class action lawyers (led by Robert Arns) a lot richer, was filed in California in 2011 by an enterprising group of plaintiffs led by seamstress Angel Fraley, shortly after “Sponsored Stories” launched. They claimed the company had violated the law by using their names and likenesses in ads without their permission and without paying them. (Lead plaintiff Fraley later dropped out of the suit citing Facebook lawyers’ aggressive tactics, which basically consisted of digging up embarrassing material about her from her profile page.)

Facebook and the plaintiffs settled the suit in December to the tune of $20 million. That $20 million is covering the class action lawyers’ fees ($7.5 million plus expenses), with the rest either being divvied up among approximately 125 million presumably-aggrieved Facebook users who appeared in Sponsored Stories ads, or, if the demand is too great, divided by a bunch of non-profits that work on privacy issues. If the amount of money divided by the number of claimants comes out to less than $4.99 each, the money goes to the non-profits, who surely must be in the midst of planning a major “Rock The Claim” campaign. Unfortunately, I can’t help out.

Continue reading at Forbes….

Orly Taitz

* Twitter ordered to out anti-Semitic users by a French court. France wants to know the names of the anti-Semites so they can surrender to them. [Thomson Reuters News & Insights]

* How are you feeling, Vermont Law School? Right now, you don’t look so good. [Constitutional Daily]

* Now you too can see why AIG decided to not sue the government that bailed them out. [Dealbreaker]

* Seems like these Catholic hospitals aren’t so strident about when life begins when there’s a malpractice lawsuit on the line. [Raw Story]

* Though, according to some Republicans, fetuses might still be evidence — evidence that rape victims should not be allowed to “tamper” with (what a wonderful little party the GOP has going there). [Gawker]

* Orly Taitz: Still Bats**t crazy. [Huffington Post]

* The Maryland State Police have to turn over racial profiling complaints to the NAACP. Man, wouldn’t that have made a good season of The Wire? “The Staties.” Carcetti would be Governor. McNulty would be getting away from it all by tending bar in the D.C. area, only to get sucked back in when he passes a state trooper arresting Bubs for driving while black through Takoma Park. [Baltimore Sun]

* The revised transcript from the day Justice Thomas spoke during oral arguments has arrived, and it seems his record for not having asked a single question from the bench is still intact. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

* The Seventh Circuit ruled on Indiana’s social media ban for sex offenders, and the internet’s filth will be pleased to know they can tweet about underage girls to their heart’s content. [National Law Journal]

* Propaganda from the dean of a state law school: lawyers from private schools are forcing taxpayers to bear the brunt of their higher debt loads with higher fees associated with their services. [Spokesman-Review]

* Rhode Island is now the only state in New England where same-sex couples can’t get married, but that may change as soon as the state Senate gets its act together, sooo… we may be waiting a while. [New York Times]

* It’ll be hard to document every suit filed against Lance Armstrong, but this one was amusing. Now people want their money back after buying his autobiography because they say it’s a work of fiction. [Bloomberg]

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