Technology

Emily Dickinson: poet — and legal scholar?

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul

– Emily Dickinson, quoted by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in today’s ruling, which approved a major e-book price-fixing settlement. Just yesterday, the case made headlines when Bob Kohn submitted an amicus brief — consisting entirely of cartoons.

If you don’t live on one of the coasts, you probably don’t know what Uber is.

If you do live on one of the coasts, but don’t know what Uber is, you are probably a poor who takes the subway everywhere and “walks” or something.

But if you do know what Uber is… it’s freaking awesome, isn’t it?

For the uninitiated, Uber is a smartphone app that allows you to call for a prepaid car to your immediate location. If this sounds like it’s not a big deal, then you’ve never tried to get a cab to get you the hell out of Brooklyn at 3:00 a.m. on a Saturday night.

I was first introduced to Uber by Mark Britton, the founder and CEO of Avvo. After meeting him for drinks, I was locked in the black-person hell of not being able to hail a cab and wondering if it was because of race, but trying not to look like I was wondering that in front of a white person. While I’m contemplating hurling an IED at the next on-duty cabbie who doesn’t stop, Britton calmly pulls out his phone and explains that with Uber, a livery cab will be sent to our location in minutes. We’ll be able to track our car with GPS and the whole thing is automatically paid for, including tip, through the phone.

Oh brave new world with such applications in it.

Now, Uber is trying to move from livery cars to yellow taxi cabs. It should be great, if not for all the pesky legal issues….

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Down in Charlotte, at the quadrennial “We Hate America” (spelled “Amercia”) Convention, the Communist Pander-Bears have released a 70-page Party Platform replete with dozens of references to specific pieces of legislation that no one necessarily understands to remind us of the scores of bills that the Democrats have failed to pass since 2008.

The Democrats don’t provide nearly as many bold changes to the legal structure of the country as the Republicans. But there are a few legal planks worth reviewing, though tragically little on the subject of porn. How dare they not respond to the strongest plank of the Republican platform?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pol Dancing: Democratic Platform Tragically Light On Porn Policy”

Any Tintin fans out there? How ’bout Frank Miller? No? Me neither.

No matter, because we may have a new genre of graphic novels to add to the canon that will specifically appeal to attorneys: the illustrated amicus brief. Yeah. That’s a thing now. happened.

For anyone who has ever been frustrated by a judge’s imposition of silly page limits, just follow the lead of Bob Kohn. He filed a brief regarding the Justice Department’s proposed settlement in the long-standing e-book (so appropriate, right?) price-fixing case involving Amazon, Apple, and some of America’s largest publishers.

Let’s take a look…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Why Write an Amicus Brief — When You Can Draw One Instead?”

* When in doubt, seek divine guidance and bet it all on black. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is going to be visiting Las Vegas this week, where he will attend a Red Mass and then head for the Strip. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

* After being limited on page length, a licensing expert opted to file a five-page cartoon brief in the Apple e-book case. This dude can retire, because he’s achieved legal baller status. [Bloomberg]

* James Hayes’s lawsuit over ICE’s alleged federal “frat house” has been sent to mediation for a possible settlement — but in real Greek life, he likely would’ve been peer pressured to de-pledge. [Washington Post]

* Bull’s-eye! Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack has recused himself from a personal injury case where he was alleged to have called a Cozen O’Connor partner a “piece of sh*t.” [New York Law Journal]

* The case of the missing asterisk: an Ohio Court of Appeals candidate was fined for wearing judge’s robes in her campaign flyers because she failed to indicate her judicial status or lack thereof. [National Law Journal]

* How much does it cost to cover up and then begrudgingly deal with a child sex abuse scandal? The tab thus far for Penn State University is about $17M — $4M of which went to legal services and defense. [CBS News]

* Despite Villanova Law’s admissions scandal, the dean reports that the school has admitted its “highest-quality” class ever. You know it’s hard to believe anything you say about your data, right? [Philadelphia Inquirer]

An article came out this week musing on solo practice from resident tech tweeter Niki Black. I felt bad there were no comments, so I thought I would write one.

From Black’s article: “Nowadays, however, it’s much easier to launch a solo practice with a minimal up front investment. All that’s really needed is a small amount of savings, a laptop, a smart phone, and an Internet connection.”

There you have it. We’re done here. All you basement-dwelling “my law school screwed me over by lying to me” bitter and broke lawyers now have the golden ticket: a few bucks in the bank, a quick trip to Best Buy, and voila — a solo practice is born. You heard it here — “[a]ll that’s really needed” is… tech!

And let’s not get into other necessities, like opening an operating and trust account, incorporating, learning the proper way to pay yourself and the IRS, securing appropriate insurances (life, health, disability), maybe having an address to receive mail that isn’t your parents’ house, figuring out how to properly organize and store client files that aren’t in the precious “cloud,” and understanding your state bar’s advertising rules.

I’m sure there are a few dozen other things I’ve missed, but hey, you can only handle so much, right?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Practice: Understanding Solo Practice Advice From Non-Full-Time Lawyers”

Mr. Plum in the observatory with the … Little Buddy?

Well, this is chilling. We’ve heard a lot recently about the privacy implications of warrantless wire tapping. But this is the first we’ve heard of a murder allegedly committed with the help of a GPS device designed to help parents keep track of their children.

A man is currently facing trial for allegedly shooting his wife’s lover after following her with a Little Buddy GPS device.

And to think, normal people feel bad after occasionally creeping around an ex’s Facebook profile….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Did This Alleged Murderer Get Some Help From a ‘Little Buddy’?”

Oh my god, he’s got a gun!

* Interim SLU Law Dean Tom Keefe said he’s nobody’s “butt boy.” Will that change if Father Lawrence Biondi succeeds in eliminating tenure? Your move, Keefe. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

* Defending one’s right to carry an AK-47 around a park is kind of like defending your right to drink milkshakes and eat waffle fries until your heart explodes. There’s no f**king point, other than really wanting to show you can. Except that milkshakes are delicious. Guns, not so much. [FindLaw]

* A penny saved is a penny earned grounds for a huge lawsuit. [Daily Business Review]

* Japan said Samsung didn’t infringe on Apple’s patents. Woooo. Three different Apple v. Samsung cases down, 10 million more countries to go. [Ars Technica]

* The TSA should seriously come out and say they just want to see us naked. Then at least we’d all be on the same page. [Threat Level / Wired]

* Ms. Spanjer, yeeeah, we’re sorry but you’re going to have to change your son’s name. As you’re probably aware, he’s deaf. I know, so sad. He’s a wonderful child, but when he signs his name, it looks like a gun. And, obviously, we have no tolerance for violence at this pre-school. [Jonathan Turley]

In a time when many law firms are relatively less stable than their employees would like, it’s definitely not good to hear about a Biglaw executive allegedly defrauding his firm out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But such is the world we live in. So let’s get to it: which former executive at Chicago-based Mayer Brown is facing pretty egregious fraud charges?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Mayer Brown’s Former CIO Charged With Defrauding the Firm Out of a Whole Bunch of Money”

After months of living under house arrest and frozen assets, Megaupload leader Kim Dotcom has finally won a multimillion dollar victory in New Zealand court — one that will unfreeze some of his money and allow him to sell off some of his luxury cars so he can pay his attorneys.

Not a glamorous win, by any means, but it is what it is.

The Justice Department’s prosecution has been riddled with problems almost from the case’s beginning, back in January. This is another setback in their attempts to curb file-sharing.

So how much of his money will Dotcom now be able to fork right over to his lawyers? And which cars can he sell?

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