May 2007 Archives

Boston Globe: Blogging defendant unmasked as "Flea"-settles case.

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Blogger unmasked, court case upended - The Boston Globe

By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff | May 31, 2007

It was a Perry Mason moment updated for the Internet age.
As Ivy League-educated pediatrician Robert P. Lindeman sat on the stand in Suffolk Superior Court this month, defending himself in a malpractice suit involving the death of a 12-year-old patient, the opposing counsel startled him with a question. Was Lindeman Flea?

Flea, jurors in the case didn't know, was the screen name for a blogger who had written often and at length about a trial remarkably similar to the one that was going on in the courtroom that day.In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff's case and the plaintiff's lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing.With the jury looking on in puzzlement, Lindeman admitted that he was, in fact, Flea.

The next morning, on May 15, he agreed to pay what members of Boston's tight-knit legal community describe as a substantial settlement -- case closed.


Entire article from BOSTON GLOBE

The way of the Mastodon

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the legal thing... by Mike Dillon firms serve primarily as aggregators of specialized legal expertise. The premise has been that by combining multiple legal disciplines you can provide “one stop shopping” for current and prospective clients. This structure previously made sense. If you were an individual or business with a legal problem, it wasn't efficient nor effective to try to identify an individual attorney with the technical skills that you required. So, you would turn to a law firm and rely on them to direct you to the appropriate attorney within their firm to solve your issue. The problem is that this model relies on growth (the need to add additional attorneys) to maintain profitability rather than focusing on efficiency gains. In this respect, it is at odds with what I need as a client and General Counsel.

As with so many things, the Internet is changing this business model. It is getting increasingly easier to move the aggregation function in-house. To find an attorney in a specialized area, I don't need to turn to a large law firm. Instead, I send out an email to my network of other in-house attorneys or within professional associations like the ACC and get referrals. Not only that, but I get true “customer feedback” that is more objective than what I would get from a firm. There is now a proliferation of materials available on the web – judicial opinions, legal commentary and press articles that also provide information about attorneys.

The result is that we are increasingly able to identify and engage specific legal talent directly.


Read the thought-provoking post by the GC of Sun MicroSystems--with comments.

Hat tip to Robert J. Ambrogi

Massachusetts New Yorker marriages ruling [Suffolk Superior Ct.]

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Sandra and Roberta Cote-Whitacre et al. v. Department of Public Health, Suffolk Superior Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, May 10, 2007 (order)

[ruling that a 1913 Massachusetts statute which forbids recognition of Massachusetts marriages of couples who are "expressly prohibited" from marrying in their home states only bars same-sex Massachusetts marriages of New York couples made after the New York Court of Appeals upheld a ban on New York same-sex marriage on July 6, 2006].

Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.

JURIST - Paper Chase

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JURIST - Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news weblog, powered by a team of 20 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.

Subscribe to Paper Chase by e-mail. JURIST offers a free once-a-day digest

US v. Amico, No. 03-1737

Convictions and sentences on charges arising from a mortgage fraud scheme are vacated as the district judge's handling of, and reaction to, his prior dealings with the government's main cooperating witness concerning a mortgage application for the judge created an appearance of partiality and recusal was required.

File format converter for Word released

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If you are often unable to open documents sent to you by someone using Office 2007 on a PC, help is here! MicroSoft just released a stand-alone Macintosh application that converts .docx documents - that is, documents saved by Word 2007 for Windows in the Office Open XML file format - into rich text format (RTF) documents so that they can be automatically opened in either Word 2004 or Word v.X.

To obtain this free application, click here.

The Times Law Panel: live debate

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The Times Law Panel: live debate-Business-Law-TimesOnline

The impact of the Blair years on the rule of law, the creation of the Ministry of Justice and the impacts of the Clementi reforms were the among the subjects under lively discussion at the first Times Law Panel live debate,
held at the College of Law's Bloomsbury campus in London in front of a crowd of students on Friday, May 18.

Click to listen:
Part I: Tony Blair and the rule of law

Part II: was the creation of a Ministry of Justice a mistake?

Part III: is Clementi overhyped?


Michael Smyth, Clifford Chance

Kirsty Brimelow, 187 Fleet Street Chambers

Katherine Gieve, Bindmans

Philippe Sands, QC, Matrix Chambers

Jonathan McCoy, Vodafone UK

Chair: Nigel Savage, chief executive of The College of Law


Hat Tip to Robert J. Ambrogi

IDEA grants parents independent, enforceable rights

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Argued: February 27, 2007 -- Decided: May 21, 2007
Opinion author: Kennedy

Respondent school district receives federal funds under
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Act or
IDEA), so it must provide children such as petitioner Winkelmans' son Jacob a 'free appropriate public education,' 20 U. S. C. sec. 1400(d)(1)(A), in accordance with an individualized education program (IEP) that the parents, school officials, and others develop as members of the student's IEP Team. Regarding Jacob's IEP as deficient, the Winkelmans unsuccessfully
appealed through IDEA's administrative review process.
Proceeding without counsel, they then filed a federal-court
complaint on their own behalf and on Jacob's behalf. The
District Court granted respondent judgment on the pleadings.

The Sixth Circuit entered an order dismissing the Winkelmans' subsequent appeal unless they obtained an attorney, citing Circuit precedent holding that because the right to a free appropriate public education belongs only to the child,and IDEA does not abrogate the common-law rule prohibiting nonlawyer parents from representing minor children, IDEA does not allow nonlawyer parents to proceed pro se in federal court.


1. IDEA grants parents independent, enforceable rights,
which are not limited to procedural and reimbursement-related matters but encompass the entitlement to a free appropriate public education for their child. Pp. 4-17.

Full Text

Value Billing

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Home Office Lawyer: Value Billing - What is it, and how is it done?

Allison C. Shields has agreed to be a guest poster for a series on Value Billing at Grant Griffiths' Home Office Lawyer. Both of these blogs are very informative and well worth subscribing to..

The concept of value billing has been getting an increasing amount of attention in the legal community recently. Allison discusses some of the issues and clarifies some of the basics about value billing.

The series will be broken into three parts: in this post, she’ll cover what value billing is and how to set expectations with clients at the outset of the engagement. In Part II, she’ll talk about how you determine the fee using value billing, and how to use options and change orders. Part III will wrap up the series with guarantees and an overview of the elements of value billing

NYSBA | Home

The New York State Unified Court System has new attorney advertising regulations, which went into effect February 1, 2007. As a service to its members, NYSBA has compiled a brief summary of the most significant changes, as well as a redlined version of the regulations, indicating how the amendments have changed the Code of Responsibility. A summary of Frequently Asked Questions also is available. Click the links below to review the changes:

Synopsis of Changes to Code of Professional Responsibility (PDF)

Redlined Version of Advertising Regulations(PDF)

Press Release Announcing Changes

Frequently Asked Questions About Changes to Lawyer Advertising Rules(PDF)


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BRINGO : Stop Talking to Machines and Talk to a Real Human

If you are tired of dialing 1-800 numbers and not being able to get through to a human, BRINGO cuts through all of that so you don't have to.

Here's how it works:

Find the company you'd like to call by category (credit cards, mortgages, loans, health care)

Enter your phone number.

Wait a few seconds while they navigate the phone tree.

BRINGO calls you back, pick up your phone and you're done. No more phone trees.

FTC: Office of General Counsel

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FTC Office of the General Counsel

OGC has developed a summary of the Commission’s legal authority, which outlines the statutes enforced by the FTC. The OGC also issues a quarterly Litigation Status Report, which summarizes the current status of pending court actions involving the Commission. OGC also plays an active role in advancing the development of the law, and, when appropriate, files amicus briefs for the Commission.


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BibMe - the fully automatic &; free bibliography maker (MLA, APA &; Chicago)

If you do any academic writing or research, your task just got easier. Search for a book, article, website, or film from their database, or enter the information yourself. Add it to your bibliography. Download your bibliography in either the MLA, APA, or Chicago formats and include it in your paper.

Yes, there are legal references, so try your hand at using it.

FindLaw Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 05/14/07

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Schriro v. Landrigan, No. 05-1575

In habeas proceedings in a death penalty case, a circuit court's decision remanding the case for an evidentiary hearing on an ineffective assistance claim is reversed where the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to grant respondent an evidentiary hearing. Even assuming the truth of all the facts respondent sought to prove at the evidentiary hearing at issue, he still could not be granted federal habeas relief because state courts' factual determination that respondent would not have allowed counsel to present any mitigating evidence at sentencing was not an unreasonable determination of the facts under the AEDPA, and the mitigating evidence he sought to introduce would not have changed the result. Read more...

Related Resources: • Additional Information, Briefs, and Resources on Schriro v. Landrigan


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Weebly - Website Creation Made Easy

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Photos, Videos, Maps, and more
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Quick, easy, drag & drop web site creation and its free. Content elements, such as videos, pictures, maps, and text are added to your website by simply dragging them from the Weebly bar to your webpage.

Try the live demo.


Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. v. Intuit Inc., No. 48
In case arising from a strategic alliance agreement between a discount brokerage and a financial software maker, reversal of order disqualifying defendant's attorneys from the case, requiring destruction of all notes from interview with former employee of plaintiff, and enjoining defense counsel from communicating the information they learned during the interview to others, is affirmed as disqualification of defense counsel is not warranted where measures were taken to steer clear of privileged or confidential information and, thus, adversary counsel may conduct ex parte interviews of an opposing party's former employee.


Bailey v. Fish & Neave, No. 61
In case involving the propriety of an amendment to a law firm partnership agreement affecting compensation to withdrawing partners and passed by a majority of the shares in interest of the partnership, dismissal of complaint brought by withdrawing partners is affirmed as, under the agreement, all questions related to the partnership may be decided by a majority vote and the partnership agreed to be bound by the "decision of the majority" on all partnership questions.


People v. Person, No. 66
Conviction and sentence for multiple counts of robbery in the first and second degrees are affirmed over claim that the trial court's preclusion of videotaped statements of defendant's accomplices was erroneous as a matter of law as Supreme Court failed to recognize that the jury could not reliably gauge the credibility of the witnesses without viewing their demeanor and hearing their voices during the police interviews.


People v. Rosas, No. 59
Conviction and sentence for first degree murder for causing the deaths of two individuals during the same criminal transaction are affirmed as the Appellate Division correctly held that the imposition of consecutive sentences on the first degree murder convictions violated Penal Law section 70.25 (1) and (2) since there was an identical "act" underlying both counts of murder in the first degree.

| No Comments | Legal and Technology Articles and Resources for Librarians, Lawyers and Law Firms

Our old friends at have redesigned their site and come up with a clean, neat new look. They continue to provide useful information; e.g., court rules and forms, along with interesting and useful articles.

Uberlawlibrarian Sabrina Pacifici continues to publish the site, which has convenient links to her beSpacific blog.


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MindMeister - think together

MindMeister brings the concept of mind mapping to the web, using its facilities for real-time collaboration to allow truly global brainstorming sessions.

Users can create, manage and share mind maps online and access them anytime, from anywhere. In brainstorming mode, fellow MindMeisters from around the world (or just in different rooms) can simultaneously work on the same mind map - and see each other's changes as they happen. Using integrated Skype calls, they can throw around new ideas and put them down on "paper" at the same time.

MindMeister supports all the standard features of a classic mind mapping tool - only online, and with as many simultaneous users as you like! There is a free LIVE DEMO on the home page


New York State Civil Service: "How to Conduct a Job Interview"

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How to Conduct a Job Interview サ Department of Civil Service

A job interview provides a valuable opportunity for you and the candidate to learn more about each other. Learning more about candidates will enable you to predict more accurately how each candidate might perform in the specific position to be filled. Candidates also have a right to learn about the job for which they are interviewed.

You can get the most from the interview by carefully planning in advance what you want to learn from candidates as well as what they will need to learn from you.

This very practical site has lists of questions you may not ask as a matter of law and questions you should ask to find the best person for the position. There are also helpful forms and checklists, sample interviews and advice on documentation.


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The Association of the Bar of the City of New York - Reports
- Publications - Press Releases - Forms

Employment Law Handbook for Non-Lawyers( PDF
format )

This handbook is designed to assist individuals who have legal questions about their rights in the workplace. Work, of course, is the place where we spend the majority of our waking lives, and frequently individuals believe that they have been treated unfairly and seek redress.

Most of the time, individuals are able to resolve work problems at work, and have no need for the intervention of the courts or an administrative agency. However, sometimes individuals are simply unable to resolve their work place problems and believe they need some sort of intervention. This pamphlet is designed to provide a brief introduction to those individuals who feel they have a
workplace problem and believe they require outside assistance.

It also serves as a fine synopsis of existng private employment law for the General Practitioner.

Women Lawyers and Obstacles to Leadership

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MIT Workplace Center

A Report of MIT Workplace Center Surveys on Comparative Career Decisions and Attrition Rates of Women and Men in Massachusetts Law Firms concludes that women lawyers jump off the partnership track at a much higher rate than their male counterparts, and the reason remains rooted in the "neo-traditional division of family labor" that leaves women bearing greater responsibility for children and households.

—Mona Harrington, MIT Workplace Center
—Helen Hsi, Sloan School of Management
—Spring 2007

Download full text of report


Hat Tip to Robert Ambrogi.


County of Chatauqua v. Civil Serv. Employees Ass'n, No. 55
In case involving effort to arbitrate grievances concerning layoffs and rights of displacement contained in a collective bargaining agreement, Appellate Division's granting of motion to compel arbitration is modified in part to stay arbitration of the layoff of certain employees, where such arbitration is precluded by public polity.


City of Long Beach v. Civil Serv. Employees Ass'n, No. 54
In a proceeding to stay two arbitrations demanded by respondent on behalf of several terminated provisional employees, order permanently staying arbitration is affirmed as the subject claims are not arbitrable under the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the parties.


People v. Chiddick, No. 56
In case involving burglary where defendant bit victim causing moderate pain, conviction and sentence for several charges including burglary and assault are affirmed as the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's finding that defendant caused "substantial pain" and therefore "physical injury" to his victim.


People v. Dukes, No. 63
County Court's dismissal of a sworn juror over defendant's objection is reversed where the court failed to determine that juror number three was grossly unqualified, or unqualified at all.


People v. Newton, No. 53
After conviction of sodomy in the third degree, defendant pleaded guilty to violation of probation with sentence as a second felony offender to indeterminate term is affirmed as the trial judge properly declined to instruct the jury on intoxication with respect to the charge of third-degree sodomy.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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