Previous month:
June 2008
Next month:
August 2008

The New York Legal Blog Round Up

Blawgs It's Monday and time for the weekly round up of posts from my fellow New York law bloggers:

Indignant Indigent:

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog:

New York Law Blog:

New York Personal Injury Law Blog:

SImple Justice:

Wait a Second!:

Define That Term #290

Dictionary_2 Last week's term was nonobviousness, which is defined as:

A requirement for obtaining a patent. An invention is nonobvious if it would be viewed as an unexpected or surprising development by someone skilled in the technology of the particular field. For example, Babe Ruth III invents an electronic device that can signal whether a pitch is a ball or a strike. Babe's patent application is rejected on the ground that similar technology has been developed for television commentators and that Babe's invention extending these prior art developments to the game itself is obvious (in patent-speak, it "lacks nonobviousness") and is therefore not patentable.

Edward WIest got it right!

Today's term is:


As always, no dictionaries, please.

There's a New NY Law Blog on the Block

Checkmark I'd like to welcome a new NY blawg to the blogosphere--Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman's New York Law Blog.  The firm's blog focuses on New York political and legal issues of interest to New York lawyers.

Recent posts include:

Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman, a Sui Generis sponsor, is a New York City law firm that provides in depth expertise in personal injury law.

Head on over to their blog and check it out!  It offers plenty of useful information for New York lawyers and an interesting, insightful perspective as well.

The New York Legal News Round Up

Latest_news It's Wednesday and time for the weekly round up of interesting law-related news headlines:

Social Media Latest Networking Tool for Lawyers

Drlogo11 This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Social Media Latest Networking Tool for Lawyers"

A pdf of the article can be found here and my past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.


Social Media Latest Networking Tool for Lawyers

“Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the con- struction of words, pictures, videos and audio. … Social media or social networking (one example of social media) has a number of characteristics that make it fundamentally different from traditional media such as newspapers, television, books and radio. Primarily, social media depends on interactions between people as the discussion and integration of words builds shared-meaning, using technology as a conduit.”

— Wikipedia entry for social media

All lawyers understand the importance of networking.

Interacting with colleagues, current clients and potential clients is a surefire way to increase business opportunities and referrals.

In the past, networking traditionally occurred in many forums, including events sponsored by bar associations or other professional organizations, on the golf course or while participating in community activities. Not all lawyers relished the concept of networking, but the general school of thought was that it was a necessary part of doing business, and staying cooped up in an office day in and day out was counterproductive to rainmaking.

With the recent explosion of social media and online networking opportunities, however, traditional notions regarding networking may no longer be applicable. The time-tested, traditional methods certainly still apply, but emerging social media technologies are expanding networking opportunities exponentially.

Social media appears in many forms, including e-mail, blogs, online forums and message boards. The ability to network with other lawyers and potential clients from the comfort of your office, on your own terms and your own schedule, is now a reality.

The only drawback to this new form of interaction is that it is not time tested, and its effectiveness has yet to be proven. Nevertheless, opportunities to network online are increasingly available and lawyers who ignore the possibilities do so to their own detriment.

Examples of social media applications that facilitate professional and social networking include Facebook, LinkedIn and, most recently, micro-blogs such as Twitter.

Facebook, likely the most well known of the three networking sites, originally launched as a social net- work for college students, but was opened to the public in September 2006. While it remains predominantly a social network- ing site, it can provide valuable professional networking opportunities for lawyers.

Over the last year, lawyers have flocked to Facebook in droves and created networking groups centered around various areas of practice. It is a cost-free and useful way to meet other lawyers from across the country and to re-connect with law school and undergraduate colleagues.

LinkedIn is a free online professional networking site that consists of a membership “of more than 20 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.” Its primary goal is to increase business opportunities for members by providing the ability to connect with potential clients, employees, employers and other members of their profession. LinkedIn has been around for a while now and shows promise. Only time will tell if it will live up to its potential as a professional networking resource.

One of the newer, emerging technologies seeing a huge amount of growth is Twitter. In my opinion, it is one of the most promising professional networking resources available.

Twitter is a free networking and micro-blogging service in which conversations occur in, at the most, 140-character snip- pets. Once a member, you can locate others with similar interests or backgrounds through a directory such as Twellow, then follow and reply to Twitter posts.

There has been a great influx of practicing and non-practicing lawyers onto Twitter in recent months, allowing for exchanges on topics such as recent court decisions and law practice management. In addition to facilitating law-related discussions, Twitter allows member to get a good feel for the people with whom they converse, since posts also include people’s thoughts regarding their day-to-day activities and current events.

Emerging social media technologies are leveling the playing field and changing the way lawyers interact and network. Time- tested and proven networking methods should not be abandoned, but astute attorneys will recognize the potential for increasing one’s professional network by taking advantage of free, online networking opportunities

The New York Legal Blog Round Up

Blawgs_2 It's Monday.  Yep, time to go back to work after a long holiday weekend--and time for the weekly round up of interesting posts from my fellow New York law bloggers:

A Buffalo Lawyer:

Indignant Indigent:

Internet Cases:

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog:

New York Civil Law:

New York Federal Criminal Practice:

Simple Justice:

The New York Legal News Round Up

Latest_news It's already the middle of a short work week, and time for the round up of interesting New York law-related headlines from the past week:

Is justice obtained if not consistently applied?

Drlogo11 This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Is justice obtained if not consistently applied?"

A pdf of the article can be found here and my past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.


Is justice obtained if not consistently applied?

The death penalty is one of the few issues with which I have difficulty reconciling my rather liberal criminal defense tendencies.

While the concept of the state executing another human being is repugnant to me, I find that on rare occasions the sordid facts of a highly disturbing case cause a little voice inside
my head to whisper convincingly, “if ever a case merited such a severe penalty, it’s this one.”

The recently decided U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Kennedy v. Louisiana, No. 07-343, is just such a case.

As a mother of two children, I am particularly repulsed by allegations of a rape committed against a defenseless and helpless child. The underlying facts of this case are heart wrenching. The victim was just eight years old when she was brutally raped by her stepfather, resulting in injuries so severe that she required emergency reparative surgery.

Of all the non-fatal cases that might warrant the death penalty, this reprehensible crime most certainly fits the bill. This poor child’s life will never be the same.

Not surprisingly, my feelings were mixed when I learned the court held that imposing the death penalty in child rape cases violated the Constitution. Specifically, the majority of the court concluded that the Eighth Amendment prevented Louisiana from imposing the death penalty for the rape of a child in cases where the crime did not result, nor was intended to result, in the death of the victim.

However, I began to experience an overwhelming sense of relief as I read the majority opinion. The decision was well grounded, both in policy and legal precedent. Despite the horrendous facts of the
case, the court made the correct determination and spared us, as a society, of the burden of attempting to navigate an untraversable slippery slope.

The crux of the issue was not of retribution, but rather, one of practical application. The court focused on the severity and finality of the death penalty and the likelihood that its application would prove to be anything but consistent in child rape cases:

“We find it difficult to identify standards that would guide the decision maker so the penalty is reserved for the most severe cases of child rape and yet not imposed in an arbitrary way… In this context, which involves a crime that in many cases will overwhelm a decent person’s judgment, we have no confidence that the imposition of the death penalty would not be so arbitrary as to be ‘freakis[h].’ … We cannot sanction this result when the harm to the victim, though grave, cannot be quantified in the same way as death of the victim. … Evolving standards of decency are difficult to reconcile with a regime that seeks to expand the death penalty to an area where standards to confine its use are indefinite and obscure.”

The potential for the arbitrary application of the death penalty in child rape cases is extraordinary. The lack of uniform implementation of such an irrevocable and final sentence would be anything but just. And justice simply cannot be assured in the absence of consistency.