TAG | bankruptcy

Sep 17, 2010

A Handy App for Bankruptcy Lawyers

A recently released iPhone and iPad app designed for bankruptcy lawyers, Bankruptcy II, describes itself as a “complete reference for the working bankruptcy attorney.” It is an overstatement to call it complete, because it does not have cases. Aside from that, however, it has pretty much everything else a bankruptcy lawyer could ask for — the [...]

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Mar 18, 2010

More on Whether to Scrap my Blog

My musings and those of Venkat Balasubramani over whether to shut down our blogs and start afresh with new ones garnered some attention from other legal bloggers, among them Bruce Carton today at Legal Blog Watch, Colin Samuels at Infamy or Praise, Kevin O’Keefe at Real Lawyers Have Blogs, and Ron Coleman at Likelihood of Confusion. Coincidentally, Coleman just faced a similar issue and decided to shut down one of his two blogs and focus on the other.

I also received a number of comments on my earlier post and a good number of thoughtful, helpful and kind e-mails.

I have not made a final decision, but I think Kevin made a lot of sense when he said not to focus on the name of the blog, but on the content and what you do with it. Were I to do it over again, I might choose another name. But having lived with this one for eight years, I might just stick with it.

I probably will shut down my second blog, Media Law. I may import its posts over to here or I may just leave it as is, with no further updates.

As for blogging platform, I do not intend to stay with Blogger. Instead, I will probably move to WordPress. I have used it elsewhere and really like it. The one feature of Blogger I will most miss is BlogThis!, a pop-up window that lets you grab the URL of and content from a Web page and compose your post. (Perhaps other platforms have this?)

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to write or comment. Your input has been very helpful to me.

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Feb 19, 2010

Two Friends, Two Deaths, One Day

I picked up the Boston Globe this morning and found the obituary of Dan Sharp, a friend, a lawyer and a former colleague when he and I worked together at Lawyers Weekly in the early 1990s. Seeing that his funeral was this morning, I jumped in my car and went. Afterward, when I returned to my office, I found an e-mail from the Virgin Islands bar notifying me of the death of Dave Dilts, a lawyer on St. Croix who was the first associate I ever hired when I had a law office on St. Thomas in the 1980s.

After Dan left Lawyers Weekly, he went on to establish a highly regarded law practice with his wife Elaine Whitfield Sharp. They became known internationally for their legal work on behalf of Louise Woodward, the then 19-year-old au pair convicted in 1997 in the death of the 8-month-old boy she was caring for. Dan was a tireless fighter for civil rights. Three years ago, when two of his cases were in the headlines on the same day, I sent him this e-mail:

After reading about two of your cases in the news today, it struck me how much I’ve come to respect your work as a lawyer — the cases you take, the work you put into them. Both … show the lengths you’ll go to for a client. As someone who knew you when and respected you when, I thought I’d let you know that you continue to have my respect.

Now I find out it was right around then that he learned he had a brain tumor, which he found for three years, continuing to practice law much of that time. Dan was an avid sailor, and at his funeral this morning, someone quoted him as applying to his life a lesson he learned on the water: “You can’t direct the wind, but you can adapt your sails.” A good thought to live by.

As for Dave Dilts, I know nothing more other than that he died Feb. 15 at his home on St. Croix. I hired him around 1986, when my solo practice on St. Thomas grew too busy for me to handle alone. He joined my office brimming with enthusiasm and intellect and also knew how to cook up a mean gumbo, thanks to his New Orleans roots. I last saw him two years ago, when I was on St. Croix to present a CLE program. I’m glad now that I took some time while I was there to visit him. We had beers and relived those days working together as young lawyers.

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Dec 22, 2009

The 2009 Law-related Blogging Awards

Lawyer and legal technologist Dennis Kennedy has published his annual law-related blogging awards, which he calls The Blawggies. I am happy to report that Lawyer2Lawyer, the podcast I cohost with J. Craig Williams, received the award for Best Legal Podcast — a notable achievement given that Dennis has his own outstanding podcast with Tom Mighell, The Kennedy-Mighell Report.

The honor is even greater because this is the fourth year in row that Dennis named Lawyer2Lawyer best podcast. He also awarded us Blawgies in 2008 (in a tie with Denise Howell’s This Week in Law), in 2007 and in 2006.

Both Lawyer2Lawyer and The Kennedy-Mighell Report are produced by the great folks at the Legal Talk Network.

Other Blawggie Award recipients for 2009:

Congratulations to all the honorees and thanks to Dennis. 

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Dec 6, 2009

My Review of Google Wave

Here is my prediction about Google Wave: It will be slow to catch on among legal professionals — but it will catch on. I explain in my review of Google Wave published in Law Technology News.

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Oct 26, 2009

Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference

Sorry that I will not be able to attend, because the ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference looks like it will be a great program. Check out the schedule and list of speakers. The conference is Nov. 12 and 13 in Philadelphia. Cost of the program ranges from $795 to $995 depending on your registration category.

Update: See here for information on a discount for readers of this blog. 

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Oct 6, 2009

On the Language of Death: Tiptoing through the Tulips

Back when I was a young journalism student, I handed in a story that said someone had “passed away.” My journalism professor nearly … well … killed me. “Pass away,” he bellowed, “is a weak euphemism used by those who let their discomfort with death get in the way of their reporting on it.”

“Not only that,” I remember him going on, “but ‘pass away’ suggests a transition to another place, a place that we, as journalists, are not able to confirm exists.”

Although I paraphrase, he and I really did have such an exchange. I think of it often these days because I have noticed that journalists — particularly broadcast journalists, and prominent ones at that — seem increasingly uncomfortable with saying that someone has died. Instead, they report that someone has passed away or, simply, has passed. I have even heard it used with reference to animals. Listen to the network news tonight, to NPR, or to your local news program. The epidemic use of passing away is killing off dying.

The other usage I see way too often is that someone died “unexpectedly.” Here comes that long-ago professor’s voice blasting to the surface of my memory: “While you can be certain that everyone will die, you have no way of knowing when a person will die — unless you are god. Thus, no death can be ‘expected’ and every death is ‘unexpected.’ To say so is to be redundant.”

What does this have to do with lawyers? Well, maybe I expect greater precision in language from journalists than from lawyers. But those in both professions are well advised to avoid euphemisms and call a spade a spade — even if the spade is in the hands of a gravedigger.

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Sep 8, 2009

New Jersey Courts Employ Social Media

Thanks to the blog Social Media Law Student for the heads-up about the announcement from the New Jersey judiciary that it is adopting an array of social-media tools to keep lawyers, litigants and the public better informed of court developments.

The court system now has a Twitter feed and uses text messages to send out breaking news alerts. These cover unscheduled court closings and other high priority information. The courts also now have three RSS feeds — one for news releases, one for notices to the bar, and a third for Supreme and Appellate Court opinions.

In addition, the court system has set up a Facebook page, where it will post press releases, court information and photos of court events, and a YouTube page, where it will post videos that offer lessons in using the courts.

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Sep 4, 2009

Weekend Special: Free iPhone Law School App

A few weeks ago in a post at Legal Blog Watch, I wrote about the new iPhone and iPod Touch app that ranks the 100 best law schools in the United States. The app, the Law School 100, is from LawTV Inc., the same company that publishes The Law School 100 on the Web.

Normally, the app sells for 99 cents. Today, I heard from Stan Chess, the company’s founder, that anyone who downloads the app over Labor Day weekend will get it for free. The free download starts at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and continues through 11:59 p.m. Monday.

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Sep 3, 2009

New Site for Sharing Legal Documents

I received an e-mail yesterday informing me of the launch of ExampleMotion, a Web site where lawyers can share — or even sell — pleadings, motions and other legal documents. Here is what the e-mail says:

ExampleMotion.com enables attorneys to share their pleadings and motions with one another online. Attorneys can log onto the site and upload their previously filed motions and pleadings, as well as download relevant samples that others have uploaded. ExampleMotion.com also allows users to store and organize their motions for free without sharing them. If a user shares uploaded documents, the price paid for any document downloaded is split between ExampleMotion.com and the attorney who originally uploaded the file, giving new value to files stored on practitioners’ hard drives.

The lawyer who uploads a document gets to set its download price, which is expected to range from free to $50. Initially, the site is focusing its efforts on California legal documents. It plans to expand into other states and welcomes attorneys from any state to upload documents now.

No account is required to search and preview documents. Documents can be searched by jurisdiction, type of law, stage of proceedings, and document type. If you choose to buy a document, you will then need to register. If you do not find the document you want, you can post a document request. It gets added to a browseable list of requests. If another user posts the document, you are notified by e-mail.

ExampleMotion was founded by two California attorneys, Valerio Romano and Daniel O’Shea.

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