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Denise Howell Denise Howell
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Dennis M. Kennedy Dennis M. Kennedy
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Tom Mighell Tom Mighell
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Marty Schwimmer Marty Schwimmer
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Ernest Svenson Ernest Svenson
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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator at Reed Smith in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at dhowell@gmail.com.

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at tmighell@swbell.net.

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at marty@schwimmerlegal.com.

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at esvenson@gmail.com.
About this blog
Between Lawyers provides just-in-time group commentary on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect. We take you behind the firewalls and conference room doors to show you how experienced lawyers deal with these issues and help you prepare for the new challenges we all face. For more, see our introductory post.
Just Launched: Civic Minded, a group blog on the impact of the Internet on advocacy and the political process.

Between Lawyers

April 01, 2006

A One Sentence Corporate Blogging Policy?

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Julian at Exceller8ion has a great discussion of corporate blogging policies, the need for them and the forms they might take.

He concludes with a suggested one sentence corporate blogging policy:

When blogging: better to be a smart ass than a dumb ass.

You might have a little trouble getting your lawyer to sign off on that one, but Julian's discussion will help you think through what approach you do want to take.

In response, Heather Hamilton has a great post that gets to the root of the corporate blogging question with her post called "The difference between companies that WANT their employees to blog and companies that ALLOW their employees to blog."

The money quote:

It's not necessarily any one policy that concerns me but that, taken together, they seem to represent a fear of allowing employees to blog. As if to say: "we don't really want you to blog, but if you must, follow these vague rules". Telling people not to violate agreements they have signed? Duh! You can't disclose proprietary information? Duh! No obscene material? Wait while I delete a post I've been working on. I guess my position is that if you need to spell it out for people this plainly, you really don't trust them to blog in the first place and/or you need to raise your hiring bar. Are you trying to scare them off blogging? Giving yourself something to point to if you don't like what they say? I'm not trying to criticize any one company; I just don't buy into these extensive blogging policies.I prefer the "don't do anything stupid" policy, which assumes (hopefully based on proof) that you hire smart people.

Excellent contributions to the ongoing discussion of corporate blogging policies in the real world and the hidden dangers of adopting "standard" and draconian policies.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blogging Policies

Predictive Microcosms

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Posted by Denise Howell

Wired Magazine's April '06 issue has an appropriately engrossing series of articles about videogames. Particularly interesting for anyone who realizes that popular "recreational" technologies inevitably come to have critical significance in other arenas, including the workplace, a.k.a. (beam me up) The Enterprise:

  • You Play World of Warcraft? You're Hired!: "The day may not be far off when companies receive résumés that include a line reading 'level 60 tauren shaman in World of Warcraft.'"
  • When Virtual Worlds Collide: "All virtual worlds require a communication protocol that lets you talk with other people, a software platform that lets you build things on top of it, and a currency that enables trade. These three elements share one thing: a gravitational pull toward a common standard."

Also on point, Robert Scoble: Second Life +is+ an OS. (Hey, did you hear he's going to Google? Heh heh, heh heh, heh.)

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: MMORPGs | Technology

March 30, 2006

Behind the Scenes at Between Lawyers: Discussing Intellectual Property Run Amok

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Denise posted a "blink" the other day on the article called "Intellectual Property Run Amok" in Mother Jones.

In one of our occasional posts on what goes on behind the scenes at Between Lawyers in which we open the door on how lawyers really discuss legal issues of the day, here's the very learned discussion that ensued:

Dennis (note that Dennis did not realize that Denise had already posted on this topic):"Here's an interesting list on IP extremes [from Mother Jones mag], but when you read the blurb about John Cage below, it makes you wonder whether Marty might have been the lawyer in the case."
The blurb: "FOR INCLUDING a 60-second piece of silence on their album, the Planets were threatened with a lawsuit by the estate of composer John Cage, which said they’d ripped off his silent work 4’33”. The Planets countered that the estate failed to specify which 60 of the 273 seconds in Cage’s piece had been pilfered."
Marty: "I've never heard one of Cage's actual pieces. Are they 'dead air' or is the point that you hear the ambient noises (musicians sitting quietly)?"
Dennis: "Well, 4'33" is an anomalous work in Cage's canon - an intellectual witticism and a response of sorts to critics who thought his music was so darn weird. The answer to your question on the piece is, therefore, "yes." The intention of the silence would be to force you to reconsider what music, sound, silence and performance really are - a riff on Magritte's "Ceci n'est pas une Pipe" painting. It's kind of one trick pony, though, because you can only do something like that once. In its context, then, the lawyer's response to the lawsuit is the perfect artistic response and, in my mind, perhaps the artistic zenith of the legal profession in the last however many hundreds of years. Another contemporary analogy, of course, would be Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Excuse me, while I go crank that up and meditate on these artistic thoughts. Just my two cents."
Marty: "I guess my question really was, how did Cage's lawyers know that it was Cage's silence at all? Agreed that it is a truly great response."
Denise: (who noticed that neither Dennis nor Marty had been aware of her post on the topic) "Given that I blogged the Mother Jones List on BL, PLEASE blog at least some of the delightful context set forth in these emails there as well. (And don't be callin' ME no one trick pony, because there obviously are no limits to how many times I can persuasively urge you/all to "blog it.")"


Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: BL Behind the Scenes | Copyright | Humor

March 29, 2006

March 27, 2006

March 26, 2006

FeedFlare for Blawgs

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Jake Parrillo got my attention today with his post "Blawggers Getting Their Due." And not just by mentioning the Between Lawyers blog and several of our individual blogs.

What interested me were his comments on the possible uses of FeedBurner's new FeedFlare tool in connection with blawgs.

Jake says:

Brad Feld got all of us thinking about 'blawg'-focused FeedFlare.

Brad's idea was to add a Flare that would 'add a disclaimer' on each post that would be a small 'bio' link that would list the firm where the blawger is an attorney. That's a great start, but I'm sure there's bound to be more ideas. What about adding a Flare that would link back to the lawyer's latest publication?

The FeedFlare page suggests some other ideas as well.

Take a look and give it some thought. Let's collect and share ideas in the comments section for this post and we can get back to Jake with some good ideas. I agree with him that this idea has a lot of potential, especially if Rick Klau is involved.


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Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blawgs | RSS | Web 2.0

March 24, 2006

Jim Maule on Laptop Computers in Law School Classes

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Posted by Dennis M. Kennedy

Professor Jim Maule at the Mauled Again blog continues to make me wish that I could have taken a class with him. That might be the highest compliment I can give a law professor blog.

There's been a recent brouhaha in legal education after a law professor banned the use of laptop computers in her classes. It should surprise no one to find that I think this action is preposterous.

However, Professor Maule, in his post called "To Allow Laptops or Not to Allow Laptops: That is the Question," offers a thorough analysis of the issue that most people will find much more convincing that me just saying "Preposterous!"

The money quote:

One goal of legal education is to teach future lawyers that professionals need to be responsible. Teaching law students to be responsible requires more than denying them the opportunity to be irresponsible. It requires guiding them around the tempting distractions. If law faculty become too controlling, how are the students going to fend for themselves after graduation when the faculty isn’t there to control things for them?

The snarky ones out there might say, "Taking away laptops in law school will prepare students to work in those law firms that are busily trying to take laptops away from lawyers and have them only work on desktop computers." Some might think that I would be one of the snarky ones, but that's probably not the case.

Professor Maule, however, is a welcome voice of reason in this discussion. Highly recommended.

Let's discuss.

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Legal Education

March 23, 2006

March 22, 2006