From the Interwebs

Here are some pieces from around the web that I’ve enjoyed reading recently.

Let’s talk about the green stuff. A lot of lawyers go into law to avoid sales. Others are in it to avoid business. Unfortunately for them, the good old days are gone, law firms are now businesses, and most lawyers need to spend time and energy developing new business. Still, it’s tough for a lot of us to talk frankly about money matters with our clients, but Pam Woldow makes the case in “Grubby Money” – Lawyers’ Reluctance to Talk About Fees that lawyers need to open the lines of communication and spend more time talking with our clients about money matters.

Re-engineering the business of law. There can be no doubt that the legal profession is going through a significant sea change. More than ever before, we’re facing pressures to continuously improve the efficiency and quality of our services, and most firms — maybe all firms — must innovate in order to survive. J. Stephen Poor, chairman of Seyfarth Shaw, makes the case for innovation in his Dealbook post Re-Engineering the Business of Law. It’s a good, short read.

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Here are some recent pieces from the web that I found interesting. Perhaps you will too.

How to read an online privacy policy. Does anyone really read privacy policies or website terms? Of course not. Who has the time? Well, that’s a bit of an overstatement, but as I noted in The E-Contracting Paradox: No One Reads Online Terms But Everyone Agrees to Them, very few people read online terms. But these terms often constitute binding contractual commitments, so it’s a good idea to know what you’re agreeing to. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse provides helpful hints in the Reading a Privacy Policy section of its Social Networking Privacy fact sheet as to what to look for when you read an online privacy policy.

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If you are still applying to law school, you might be an idiot. The title of this Above the Law article made me laugh out loud. Law schools have been taking a beating in the press lately as people are questioning the value of a law degree in today’s business world. The Above the Law piece discusses a recent Atlantic article about the recent drop in the number of law school applicants with high entrance exam scores and the much lower drop in applicants with low scores. Hat tip to Bradley Clark who tweets under the handle @BradleyBClark and blogs at the Texas Law Blog.

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Here are some recent tidbits from the web.

Lawyers need more sleep. The ABA Journal reported on a study sponsored by the Sleep’s mattress chain that found that lawyers are the second most sleep-deprived workers. We average seven hours of sleep a night. Loggers are the most sleep deprived and they get seven hours and 20 minutes of sleep a night. I think the real story here isn’t that lawyers sleep less than others, but that we all need more sleep.

Fast tweeting. The NASCAR season kicked off Monday night after the sport’s biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500, was postponed a day due to rain. Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a safety vehicle, which exploded (it was carrying 200 gallons of jet fuel), delaying the race for a couple of hours. In an impressive display of multi-tasking, fellow driver Brad Keselowski pulled out his smart phone, snapped a picture of the fire, and started tweeting while he was sitting in his car on the track. His tweets went viral, and he more than doubled his following during the delay. See this Mashable article for a full report.

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Here are a few things I’ve read lately. Maybe you’ll find them interesting too.

AT&T Throttling. AT&T has been throttling its heaviest users whose iPhone accounts were grandfathered under unlimited data plans when AT&T introduced tiered plans. The throttling affects its heaviest users and apparently slows data speeds to a crawl. An affected subscriber recently won an $850 judgment in small claims court in California. It’ll be interesting to see whether subscribers attempt to mount a class action suit and whether the class arbitration waiver in AT&T’s subscriber agreements holds up.

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Here are a few pieces from the Interwebs I found interesting. Maybe you will also….

Dine and Dash 101. There are two kinds of truffles. My favorite is made of chocolate and is a reasonably priced treat. The other is for those with a more talented palate and deeper pockets that I have. Truffle hunting is tedious business and truffles are extraordinarily expensive, as a diner at a Manhattan restaurant discovered when he ordered the pasta lunch special without inquiring about the price, which turned out to be $275. His story made the New York Times last month, and the ContractsProf Blog posted a quick lesson on the application of Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code to the situation.

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Here are a few pieces from the Internet I’ve enjoyed recently. You might want to take a peek.

What’s in a Name? A lot of people were surprised to learn from a Reuters story this week that there’s neither King nor Wood at the Chinese mega-firm King & Wood &mdash nor has there ever been. As I understand it, in the olden days, it was universally considered to be unethical for a law firm to use anything other than real life practicing lawyers in its name (or former real life practicing lawyers who have passed on). Apparently, there was a feeling that law firm clients are easily confused, and that feeling (and rule) still prevails in several states. Fortunately, law firms in Missouri are now free to operate under fictitious names, which paved the way for my favorite: leadfootspeedingticket.com. (Shameless plug.) It also simplifies things when the ten name partners can’t decide who should take one for the team and fall off the masthead.

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Here are a few recent pieces from the Interwebs I found interesting. You might want to take a peek, also.

Contracting on the Run. The ContractsProf Blog posted a short piece about a man who offered a couple some money to let him hide in their house while he was running from the police. They agreed, but called the police while he was sleeping. The fugitive sued the couple for breach of contract claiming damages suffered from being shot by the police. The case was dismissed.

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Here’s some interesting content from around the web….

Another Contract Typo. A couple of weeks ago I linked to a story about an apparent mistake in the contracts of several assistant NFL coaches that had the parties arguing over about $3 million. This week the ContractsProf Blog reports about an apparent typo in a condo’s offering plan and purchasing agreement, which allowed people to get out of their obligation to purchase condos after the value of the condos plummeted: A $16 Million Typo [File This in: Whoops!].

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Just Click No. I’ve written a decent amount about the adhesive nature of website terms of service and how it’s unseemly for contract law to pretend that people read and agree to them. Well, not everyone has to grin and bear it. If you have as much clout as the government, you might be able to wring out a few concessions as Bill Carleton reports in Amending Terms of Service: Pages from the Government’s Playbook.

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