* O.J. freshly squeezed by a second co-defendant. [AP via Athens Banner-Herald]
* Law professors get appointed to do everything. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Nevada holds off on an execution, waiting on SCOTUS. [Reno Gazette-Journal]
* Weiss pleads not guilty. [Jurist]
* iPoison. [PC World]
- Crime, Law Professors, Melvyn Weiss, Michael Vick, Milberg Weiss, Morning Docket, O.J. Simpson, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Technology
* O.J. freshly squeezed by a second co-defendant. [AP via Athens Banner-Herald]
Last week, USA Today ran an article about “Email-Free Fridays” or “Zero Email Fridays.” Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal ran pretty much the same article.
But it’s an interesting piece, and it relates to an issue that many of us confront: email overload. The problem is especially acute for lawyers at large law firms, but it’s not limited to their ranks.
From the WSJ:
A growing number of employers, including U.S. Cellular, Deloitte & Touche and Intel, are imposing or trying out “no email” Fridays or weekends. While the bans typically allow emailing clients and customers or responding to urgent matters, the normal flow of routine internal email is halted. Violators are hit with token fines, or just called out by the boss.
The limits aim to encourage more face-to-face and phone contact with customers and co-workers, raise productivity or just give employees a reprieve from the ever-rising email tide. Emails sent by individual corporate users are projected to increase 27% this year, to an average of 47 a day, up from 37 in 2006…. And one-third of users feel stressed by heavy email volume, according to a 2007 study…. Many check email as often as 30 to 40 times an hour, the study showed.
Managers complain that rather than confronting problems, employees use email to avoid them by passing issues back and forth in long message strings, like a hot potato. Email reduces face-to-face contact among co-workers and clients; terse, poorly phrased messages further strain those relationships. And it is spilling into weekends, chaining employees to computers when they should be relaxing.
So, are email-free Fridays a brilliant idea? Or is this policy just not feasible? Take our poll:
P.S. We’re hopelessly behind in our email. After we deal with a message, we file or delete it, leaving only pending items in our inbox. Right now our inbox contains 2,471 pending items.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of email we receive, we can’t respond personally to every message. If your email does require a response, and you haven’t heard from us for a while, please email us again, by way of friendly reminder. Or here’s a novel concept: try calling!
Fridays go from casual to e-mail-free [USA Today]
A Day Without Email Is Like… [Wall Street Journal]
- Antitrust, Celebrities, Health Care / Medicine, Morning Docket, Running, Shameless Plugs, Technology
* Politician busted for cheating in marathon. Seriously. [Sports Illustrated] [FN1]
* iPhone sued over exclusivity. [MSNBC]
* Hospital employees suspended for violating HIPAA after Clooney visit. [CNN]
* Suspected killer escapes to St. Martin, so far evades extradition. [CNN]
[FN1] Shameless plug: Speaking of marathons, David is running the New York City marathon next month, to raise funds for cancer research. If you’d be willing to support him with a tax-deductible donation, please click here.
Okay, we’re not necessarily proud of our law-firm Web site fetish, so forgive us for spilling a few pixels over the spanking-new page the folks at Gibson Dunn put up.
[Ed. note: Racy stuff, esp. for the Wall Street Journal! That sentence -- with its references to a "fetish," "spilling a few pixels" (hehe), and "spanking" -- is chock full of double entendres.]
We’re not sure it offers more or better content than the average firm site… but check out that design! We’re big fans, from the newspapery layout to the McSweeney’s-esque literary feel to the overall minimialist aesthetic….
Take, for instance, the six videos on firm diversity. There’s one entitled Out, with gay partners talking about their sexual orientation. And then there’s one called Red & Blue, about the firm’s political diversity, including an interview with former Congressman Mel Levine (Blue) and former Solictor General Ted Olson (Red)…
Unlike those rascals over at Quinn Emanuel, the GDC folks haven’t pulled their videos. And hopefully they will leave them up, even after we poke (gentle) fun of them.
Which we proceed to do, after the jump.
We aren’t the only ones having fun with the story of the Quinn Emanuel recruiting junket to Deer Valley. Check out this cartoon, over at The Recorder.
As noted by some commenters, Quinn Emanuel just launched a new, upgraded website. Sadly, the “Day in a Life of an Associate” video — which featured a fictional associate, a Yale and Stanford Law-educated hottie named “Ivy” (geddit?) — appears to have been pulled. (The site says that the video is “coming soon.”)
Some of the speculation about why the video was pulled is amusing. Check it out, after the jump.
- Biglaw, Boutique Law Firms, Copyright, Intellectual Property, Job Searches, Patents, Technology, Trademarks
Sometimes it seems like we talk about the same handful of general practice Biglaw shops again and again. So let’s mix things up a bit. Here’s a suggestion from a loyal reader:
I’m in the field of patent law. It might be interesting to post a Fall Recruiting Thread that discusses both patent boutiques (Finnegan Henderson, Fizpatrick Cella, Kenyon & Kenyon) and general practice firms with a strong IP practice (Kirkland, Irell, MoFo, Jones Day, Ropes & Gray).
Yes, it might. So here’s that post — an open thread in which people can talk about firms that specialize in or excel at intellectual property law.
(Last month we had a post dedicated to discussion of compensation issues at IP firms. But this open thread is intended to be broader, to go beyond pay to discuss quality of life, strong practice areas, type of work, etc. Enjoy.)
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: IP Firms
- Alberto Gonzales, Crime, Department of Justice, Kids, Lawyer of the Day, Perverts, Sex, Sex Scandals, Technology
During his tenure as attorney general, Alberto Gonzales made it a policy priority to “keep our children safe” from creeps on the internets.
As it turns out, at least one alleged creep worked for the DOJ:
A U.S. Justice Department official has been arrested on suspicion of traveling to Detroit over the weekend to have sex with a minor.
John David R. Atchison, 53, an assistant U.S. attorney from the northern district of Florida, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit Monday afternoon.
An undercover officer posed as a mother offering her child to Atchison for sex, according to police.
And it gets worse:
The detective, acting as the child’s mother, allegedly arranged a sexual encounter between Atchison and her 5-year-old daughter, police said….
The undercover detective expressed concern about physical injury to the 5-year-old girl as a result of the sexual activity. Detectives said Atchison responded, ” I am always gentle and loving; not to worry, no damage ever, no rough stuff ever. I only like it soft and nice.”
If convicted and sentenced to prison, Mr. Atchison can try that line out on his new friends behind bars. But whether they’ll give it to him “soft and nice” is open to question.
Federal Prosecutor Arrested In Child Sex Sting [ClickOnDetroit.com]
Our somewhat flagging coverage of the perks or fringe benefits of law firm life is getting reinvigorated, thanks to your suggestions. If you have an idea for a perk that merits discussion, please review our prior coverage (scroll down), to make sure we haven’t covered it already. If we haven’t, then please send your idea to us by email (subject line: “Biglaw Perk Watch”).
A tipster submitted this interesting topic:
[Y]ou should do a thread on firms that allow associates to participate in equity compensation schemes, i.e., purchase stock in clients. This is pretty common among the native Silicon Valley firms, but nowhere else, and is the only way I see any upside to practicing law!
This practice was very popular during the late 90′s tech boom. But that was before the tech bubble burst.
Do firms continue to do it today? If so, how lucrative can it be for participants? Can any associates who have taken advantage of this benefit describe how they made out financially?
Please discuss in the comments. Thanks.
Several readers drew our attention to this fascinating article from our local free weekly, the Washington City Paper:
Wanted: Gullible Lawyers
By Arin Greenwood
I was hired over e-mail. A boss I never met promised me $14,000 a month. How could I fall for that?
Two tipsters have done an especially good job teeing it up, so we’ll just quote from their plugs:
“Have you read this? Very entertaining story about a lot of people who got scammed on craigslist, a sizable portion of which were lawyers. Most interesting is the author’s take on what the goal of the scam was.”
“This is so interesting! Even if you don’t write about it (which you should: any story that includes a hapless and pathetic Columbia law grad, an Indian lesbian, Rupert Murdoch, and 15 lawyers embroiled in a scam de l’amour deserves the full treatment from ATL, no?), you just must read this! Delicious!”
We concur. It’s a bit long, but a wild (and worthwhile) story. Check it out here.