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The New York Legal Blog Round Up

Blawgs Here's the belated weekly round up of interesting posts from my fellow New York law bloggers:

Coverage Counsel:

Indignant Indigent:

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog:

New York Civil Law:

New York Federal Criminal Practice:

Second Opinions:

The Sienko Law Office Blog:

The New York Legal News Round Up

Latest_news It's Wednesday and time for the weekly round up of interesting New York legal headlines:

Waking the Sleeping Giant

Drlogo11 The New York Blawg round up will occur on Thursday this week due to my hard drive crash yesterday.

In the meantime, this week's Daily Record column is entitled "Waking the Sleeping Giant" and is cross-posted at Practicing Law in the 21st Century.

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


Waking the Sleeping Giant

A year ago (a law firm) commissioned a song celebrating (their nomination as one of the best companies to work for)…
The law blog “Above the Law” put the song on youtube.
Merriment ensued.
Then (the firm) found out that people were laughing at them
So, they laughed and said “Yeah, it is a silly song.”
No, of course not.
So they started to act like a bunch lawyers.
They sent youtube a DMCA takedown notice.  Youtube took it down.
That got (the firm) some attention…
Heck, nobody was even sure it was real.  Until they lawyered up.

--YouTube video commentary (54,959 views as of 6/5/08)

    When I first started my New York law blog, Sui Generis, in November of 2006, very few lawyers knew what a “blog” was.  And, quite frankly, not many lawyers actually cared.

    Time has a way of changing things.  The increasing popularity of social media, including the indisputable and viral effect of blogs, has finally caused those at the top of the legal profession to sit up and take notice. 

    The major impetus behind this change has been a number of notable public relations disasters occurring over the last year involving large law firms, that were, at the time, unfamiliar with the social media landscape. 

    The most notable incident, described above, involved a large firm’s rather lawyerly response to the leak of a celebratory song commissioned by the firm.  In another case, a disgruntled associate’s parting email to her former employer, Paul Hastings, was leaked on the internet, causing untold amounts of negative publicity for the firm.

    These and other online public relations gaffes by large law firms over the past year have forced the legal profession to reluctantly acknowledge the existence and importance of blogs and other online social media, as evidenced by a recent New York Lawyer article: “Gossip Girls (and Boys): Blogs Bedeviling BigLaw.

    As explained in the article, “The immediacy — and, at times, the brutality — of the media form is presenting a challenge for firms that are wary of their private matters entering the public domain.”

    For that very reason, that article notes that many large law firms, now painfully cognizant of the viral effects of online media, are trying to track blogs and other social media in an attempt to engage in damage control.

    In response to the growing need to monitor social media, software companies have emerged which provide businesses with tools to track and measure what’s being said about their company online in real time, such as Techrigy, a locally-based technology start up.

    Techrigy provides SM2, a software solution, which allows businesses to search and analyze what is being said about their company and their competitors on blogs, message boards and forums, social networking sites, and video sharing sites such as YouTube.

    It’s inevitable.  Companies such as Techrigy will be in increasing demand as the importance of monitoring online discourse becomes more apparent to businesses with reputations to maintain.

    Technology is changing rapidly.  Information is being exchanged online in ways not previously encountered or envisioned. 

    The legal profession has always been somewhat slow to embrace change.  But, much like a slumbering giant, once awakened, it can be a force to be reckoned with.  So, let the reckoning begin.

Crash and Burn

Regretfully, my MacBook's hard drive crashed and burned last night, and as a result, I spent much of today remedying that distressing fact.

Alas, after experiencing a prolonged and painful withdrawal, all is better now, a new hard drive has been installed, and blogging will resume tomorrow, although posts will be one day off this week.

Thanks for understanding and for your continued readership!

Define That Term #285

Dictionary_2 Last week's term was dower and curtesy, which is defined as:

A surviving spouse's right to receive a set portion of the deceased spouse's estate -- usually one-third to one-half. Dower (not to be confused with a “dowry”) refers to the portion to which a surviving wife is entitled, while curtesy refers to what a man may claim. Until recently, these amounts differed in a number of states. However, because discrimination on the basis of sex is now illegal in most cases, most states have abolished dower and curtesy and generally provide the same benefits regardless of sex -- and this amount is often known simply as the statutory share. Under certain circumstances, a living spouse may not be able to sell or convey property that is subject to the other spouse’s dower and curtesy or statutory share rights.

Edward Wiest got it right!

Today's term is:

res nova.

As always, educated guesses are welcome.  Dictionaries are not.

JD Supra--Free Online Access to Legal Documents

Checkmark JD Supra is yet another great addition to the ever-expanding universe of web resources providing free online legal research.  It offers "free access to a constantly expanding database of legal documents (filings, decisions, forms, articles)."

The site allows you to search for documents by jurisdiction and allows you to limit search results to certain types of documents, depending on what your needs are.

The New York State database doesn't appear to be particular large at this point.  A generalized search(with no limitations as to the type of document) for "CPLR" yielded only four results. 

However,  as more New York practitioners participate, it will be likely become a useful and valuable resource.

It likewise provides lawyers with the ability to create an online presence by creating profiles at the site and posting information and documents at JD Supra within their areas of practice.

It's an interesting concept and a great resource.

Continue reading "JD Supra--Free Online Access to Legal Documents" »

The New York Legal News Round Up

Latest_news It's time for the round up interesting New York law-related headlines from the past week:

Flying the Friendly Skies

Drlogo11 This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Flying the Friendly Skies."

My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.


Flying the friendly skies

Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out
tomorrow. We’re bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800
hours. We’re coming in from the north, below their radar.

Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?

Ted Striker: I can't tell you that. It's classified.

— “Airplane!” (1980)

Over the last seven years, have any of your flights been delayed for hours on end with no explanation
whatsoever? Have you ever sprinted through a terminal past multiple fast food restaurants in an effort to catch your connecting flight, your stomach rumbling, knowing full well that you can’t stop — and that you'll be fed  no more than 10 peanuts during your mealtime flight?

Have you felt as if you were performing some sort of bizarre strip tease at the security checkpoints? Have you ever stood in an airport cursing the unhelpful and downright surly personnel under your breath, or even out loud?

I know I have.

That’s why Manhattan litigator Richard Roth is my hero. Why?

Because just last week he did what every red-blooded, frequent flying American has only dreamed of doing: He filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines to the tune of $1 million seeking compensation for sub-standard customer service. 

Roth claims that he and his family, including his 80-year-old mother, endured lengthy delays, overbooked flights, added expenses and lost luggage, only to arrive at their intended destination in Argentina three days later than scheduled.

According to his complaint, filed in supreme court in Manhattan, throughout the ordeal, he encountered “nasty,” “rude,” “obnoxious” and “totally disrespectful” airline employees, and
that the few that were courteous provided little, if any, effective assistance.

Roth seeks $21,000 for out of pocket expenses and $275,000 in compensatory damages for the emotional distress resulting from the sub-par treatment. The remainder of the amount sought
is for the recovery of punitive damages.

Some might think that filing a lawsuit is too extreme and that Roth is unnecessarily litigious. I would hazard to guess that those individuals are in the minority, since, for the
vast majority of people, air travel has become nothing short of torture. And, to add insult to injury, in an effort to recoup monies for rising fuel costs, airlines are now charging for checked baggage, advance seat selection and other amenities that were once taken for granted.

Since Sept. 11, the quality of air travel has declined drastically. Increasing levels of security have been haphazardly enacted in a knee-jerk fashion, with limited levels of effectiveness. Forbidden carry-on objects seem to change with the season, as does the level of disrobing required at security checkpoints. 

Recent studies show that, despite the increasingly intrusive security measures, forbidden items regularly make their way onto flights. And, despite millions upon millions of dollars of funding for security, young children without boarding passes are able to talk their way into supposedly secure areas, as occurred in the case of 10-year-old Temaj Booker at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last week.

So, I applaud you, Mr. Roth, for standing up for the little guy. For putting your foot down and refusing to be a doormat. For sending a message to the air travel industry and letting them know that air travelers the world over demand a return to the good old days, when flying the friendly skies was a phrase that actually meant something.

The New York Legal Blog Round Up

Blawgs It's Monday already, but have no fear, the weekly round up of posts from my fellow New York law bloggers is here:

Coverage Counsel:

Indignant Indigent:

Judgment Day:

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog:

New York Civil Law:

New York Personal Injury Law Blog:

Simple Justice:

Wait a Second!: