Technology

Attorney Christopher T. Cicero has not had a great year.

It’s not like the general public needs more reasons to dislike attorneys, yet unfortunately, there’s always more fuel for the fire.

If you read the news, you might say they are boozers, they are arrogant, and they are tools. Now cynics can add “cherry-pickers” to that list.

The attorney in the following case acted like the d-bags in Call of Duty who just hide in the bushes the whole game, waiting for people to turn the corner straight into a faceful of buckshot.

Luckily, an Ohio appeals court called shenanigans….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ohio Attorney Sues Over Misleading Emails, Even Though He Wasn’t Misled”

The New York State Bar Association wants to avoid this.

Attorneys tend to be a work-hard, play-hard bunch. After all those long days, it can feel really nice to unwind with a Manhattan at the end of the day. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

That said, nobody wants to end up like Paul Newman’s character in The Verdict, a washed-up, alcoholic ambulance chaser. And it turns out the New York State Bar Association doesn’t want that either.

Last month, the association launched a new online portal for New York attorneys and law school students struggling with alcohol or drug addiction….

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There has been justifiably a lot of talk over the last few days about U.S. v. Jones, and the privacy issues it raises. Our editor emeritus Kashmir Hill was fortunate enough to hear oral arguments at the Supreme Court in person, alongside top legal reporters such as Jeffrey Toobin and Adam Liptak.

But when it comes to electronically tracking people, Jones is just the tip of the iceberg. Law enforcement also often follow American citizens through their cell phones. The practice has become so widespread that some magistrate judges are reconsidering their willingness to authorize it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judges Are Getting Concerned About ‘Undeniably Creative’ Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking”

Yesterday we brought you the story of a 2L at Cardozo Law School who has taken out Google ads promoting himself, in an attempt to find a summer associate job. Here’s what his ad looks like (as displayed to an Above the Law reader who alerted us to his campaign):

We reached out to Eric Einisman to ask him: What was he thinking?

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A reader alerted us to the following Google ad, which showed up in a Gmail sidebar next to a law-related email chain:

Whoa! Is this for real? Is a second-year student at Cardozo Law School actually advertising himself via text ads on Google, promoting himself as “[a] great choice for Summer Associate”?

Are Cardozo law students truly this desperate? Is this why the career services dean quit to teach yoga? Should Cardozo focus less on teaching students how to walk and more on teaching them how to conduct job searches?

Or is this too harsh an assessment? Let’s learn more about the 2L behind this unusual ad.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “One 2L’s Innovative Approach to Job Hunting”

When a tipster sent us an e-mail with the subject, “Court awards $700,000+ in sanctions for destruction of FB page,” I thought it sounded like it might be interesting. Because hey, that’s a lot of money.

I didn’t realize it would also be one of the most depressing legal news stories I’ve read since this tragic murder-suicide.

The three-quarters-of-a-million-dollar sanction award was levied against the widower of a woman killed in a car accident and the widower’s lawyer. The ruling was an abrupt table-turn for Isaiah Lester, who had previously won a $10 million wrongful death suit against the driver whose truck overturned and killed his wife.

Keep reading for the depressing details….

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On the other hand, It might be cool to have a pirate teacher.

The only things worse than obnoxious teenagers are the parents of obnoxious teenagers who still act like obnoxious teenagers themselves.

It is not hard to imagine an angsty teenager, angry at her school, hitting the ‘net and writing cruel words about a school employee on her blog. It’s also not hard to imagine word getting back to the school, and some unpleasant consequences for the student.

What just doesn’t compute is how that scenario translates to a four-year legal saga culminating in an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. And the lawsuit is spearheaded by the teen’s parents.

At least one mother-daughter team believes a 17-year-old’s right to call her teacher a douche bag online is of utmost First Amendment importance. Apparently the Supreme Court does not…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “SCOTUS Denies Cert in Teen’s D-Bag First Amendment Suit”

Remember how everyone used say, “Don’t post anything on Facebook you wouldn’t want your boss to see. But if you do, just make sure you set your privacy settings so that your boss can’t see.”

Well, things have changed. Now, when companies enter workman’s compensation or personal injury litigation, courts will sometimes order discovery on password-protected Facebook information.

On Thursday, a New York appeals court ruled that a company could not see the plaintiff’s protected data, but not simply because it was private. Let’s see what happened…

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New ATL columnist Brian Tannebaum.

So, looks like I’m going to hang out here for a little while writing weekly about small-firm and solo law practice issues. I’m as shocked as you are that I was asked to type over here – as I actually practice law, in a suit, in an office, with other humans, with a desk, and have real live clients who actually need legal services. I’ve done so for 17 years.

I’m also not the law review type. I wrote one sentence of a law review article in law school and threw it in the garbage. Since that day, no client has asked about my law review experience or cared when they were sitting next to me in a courtroom, so save your writing critique. To those who pay for advice from lawyers practicing 17 months, stop reading now. I can’t predict the future as it pertains to the practice of law, as the people doing that around the internet are mostly unfamiliar with the practice of law, and I can’t tell you how to be rich and famous via Twitter or a Facebook Fan Page.

Not to further disappoint, but I’m not here to play to the pajama-wearing, Starbucks-dwelling, sell-documents-and-pretend-I’m-a-lawyer-and-insist-this-is-how-all-law-will-be-practiced collection of lawyers. And to the resident cheetos-eating basement-dwelling “my law school sucks” whining anonymous commenting crowd here, start typing now – it will help drown out the possibility of you actually learning something….

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Four months ago, you revised your company’s policy on employees’ use of social media. The policy said all the right things: When employees use social media, they should respect the rights of others and treat people with dignity; obey the company’s code of business conduct; maintain corporate confidences; and so on.

Unbelievably, some recent communications from the National Labor Relations Board suggest that each of those provisions (except for the “and so on”) could actually cause your company some labor pains. Why?

Here’s the easy part: The National Labor Relations Act protects employees who engage in “concerted activities” for the employees’ “mutual aid or protection.” Those words apply across the workforce and are not limited to unionized employees. An employee acting solely on his or her own behalf is not engaging in “concerted activities.” On the other hand, consider an individual employee who is working with (or on the authority of) other employees, or is trying to induce a group of employees to act, or is bringing group complaints to the attention of management. The NLRA may protect all of those activities, and an employer may violate the NLRA if it maintains a rule that could reasonably “chill employees in the exercise of their” rights.

What does that mean for the three examples suggested in the opening paragraph of this post?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Inside Straight: Why Your Four-Month-Old Social Media Policy Is Obsolete”

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