From the Interwebs: Privacy, Law Firm Woes, Veil Piercing

From the Interwebs

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.

Are all law firms doomed to fail? Dewey & LeBoeuf has been in the news a lot lately as it slowly dies a public death. Scores of the large law firm’s partners have left over the last several months, leaving the firm in a fiscal crisis. In Law Firms’ White Shoe Blues Paul M. Barrett writes in Bloomberg Businessweek that Dewey’s woes aren’t an isolated event. Barrett argues that the shakeout at America’s law firms is long overdue as law firms have become too big for their britches, so to speak.

Two types of contractual indemnities. If I ever need evidence that the folks who pay attention to my online content enjoy an unexciting, yet intellectually interesting topic, I need look no further than to note the attention that some of the links I put out on Twitter receive. I was pleasantly surprised that people were interested in Alasdair Taylor’s piece about indemnification provisions in IT contracts. It’s a good piece, and I doubt people who clicked through to the article were disappointed.

Tips to avoid corporate veil piercing. One of the main reasons people do business through entities such as corporations and limited liability companies is to shield the owners’ assets from the company’s liabilities. It’s fairly well known that business owners should protect the liability shield from being pierced by observing corporate formalities and keeping personal finances separate from business finances. Sarah Sonday provides a number of additional tips on how to avoid veil piercing in Piercing the Corporate Veil: What Every Minnesota Business Owner, Member & Shareholder Should Know.

How much is enough? In the Above the Law post How Many Hours Do You Have to Work Before You Are ‘Busy’? Elie Mystal discusses the workload big firm associates are expected to have before they’re deemed busy enough to turn down additional work. A Quinn Emanuel partner’s email to the San Francisco office’s associates prompted the post. According to the email, which was forwarded to ATL, anyone billing less than 200 hours a month rated a three on a scale of one to five. Elie’s money quote on just how hard firms can work their associates still makes me laugh: “Way too many hours, and people start, you know, dying and stuff.”

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