Web week

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@ thelawyer. com.

Lawyer-related gobbledegook…
It was Thanksgiving in the US last week, so Web Week thought an investigation into what turkeys have offered the world of law was in order.

It turned out that “nearly all contract law concepts can be learned with turkey cases”, according to Meridith Miller, writing for ContractsProf Blog (http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog).

“In the US, this time of year is rough for the turkeys. It is also likely a rough time for purveyors of turkeys, especially if their contracts do not go as planned,” writes Miller.

She points us to a couple of turkey-related disputes that ended up in the US courts.

But Web Week’s favourite turkey-related piece of blogging has to come from The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/), which recognises that great lawyer Marcus Urann – the man who quit law to find fame as inventor of the canned log of cranberry sauce that our US friends so favour with their turkeys from way back in 1912. Maybe times as a lawyer weren’t as tough then? But as the The Journal says: “Lawyers are, indeed, something for which everyone around the Thanksgiving table should be thankful.”

… as a different type of bird causes scandal
While many were getting hot dinners, there were some in Boston who were simply getting hot under the collar thanks to a racy advert for suits in a Massachusetts legal magazine. The advert for tailor-made suits, which features a brunette wearing a suit jacket and not much more, has caused a ruckus in the Boston legal community.

A report in the Boston Globe (
http://www.boston.com/business/
globe/articles/2006/11/22/many_fume_over_hot_ad_in_lawyers_newspaper/}
features a reproduction of the advert for those interested in taking a first-hand look themselves before forming an opinion.

Some 20-odd readers contacted the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly to complain about the advert, which was defended by the magazine’s publisher David Yas. He called the advert “par-forthe-course in the fashion industry”, and labelled the critics “a bunch of self-important prudes”.

The row prompted the Women’s Bar Association to write in.

Yas, quoted in the Boston Globe, backed down from his earlier position. “We’re a lot different in tone and feel from fashion magazines, so people do see us differently and we should see ourselves differently,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s a balancing act, and the up side of this controversy was that it provided a forum for exactly this type of discussion.”

Web Week wonders what sort of reaction the advert would generate in The Lawyer?

What a load of blawgs
The legal blog is becoming an ever-increasing tool used by law firms, and while it is a popular outlet in the US, its popularity hasn’t really taken off in the UK, with a few notable exceptions.

Web Week, in its regular browsings for the best of the internet, stumbled across www.lexblog.com, a (predictably US) site devoted to helping law firms design, create and implement their own blogs.

“A legal blog establishes its author as a reliable, helpful authority on the subject matter, and builds and enhances the reputation of its publisher,” explains the website.

An interesting observation considering that the majority of legal blogs, or blawgs ( see what they’ve done there?), that Web Week comes across are still full of the exploits of boozed-up law students or the rantings of jilted lawyers.