30 April 2007
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.
The best new website that Web Week discovered this week is www.lawyer2b.com: "A legal career can be highly rewarding, but the route to qualifying as a lawyer is a minefield, with competition for places on training contracts and pupillages as fierce as ever. Thankfully, our website will help you navigate your way through university and life as a trainee solicitor or pupil (trainee barrister)."
•Hot on property
For those already qualified, and preferably into the real estate practice, check out www.GlobalRealEstateRadio.com. The website may look like it was built in the 1970s, but there's a stack of information on there, from real estate investment trusts to green building to urban revelopment.
•A hard day's conference
Last week Liverpool hosted the fifth International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution. According to the ICT4peace blog, this "was above all else, a chance to see Beatles memorabilia and have a pint at The Cavern".
But ICT4peace was obviously unimpressed: "I begin then with the worst. All of the ODR [online dispute resolution] systems showcased in Liverpool were around four years behind the curve of current developments in technology."
But better was to come: "As ever, the aisle, mens-room and hotel corridor conversations were the most delightful - such as dealing with the English barrister who came up to me and said that he loved my presentation, but thought that using Second Life for conflict transformation was quite silly given that cricket was a far better way of resolving disputes!"Everyone quoted their favourite Beatles songs during their presentations and intros, and I finally found one by John Lennon that captures the essence of what I've for years said at these Forums. Imagine."
•Judge takes cleaners to the cleaners
The Wall Street Journal's law blog at blogs.wsj.com/law had the intriguing headline: "Judge Sues Dry Cleaners for $65 million."
And the article doesn't let it down: "A few years back, Washington DC administrative law judge Roy Pearson sued his neighborhood dry cleaners for misplacing his pants. He's asking for $65,462,500 [£32.84m]. The alteration work on his pants cost $10.50 [£5.27].
"Pearson reportedly says he deserves the money for litigation costs, for 'mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort,' for the value of his time spent on the lawsuit, and for a replacement suit, according to court papers. The best detail: He's asking the cleaners to pay him $15,000 [£7,500] for leasing a car every weekend for 10 years. Why? Because he must find another cleaner and since he doesn't have a car, he says he has to rent one to get his clothes cleaned.
"How did he get to $65 million? DC's consumer protection law provides for damages of $1,500 [£750] per violation per day. So he computed 12 violations over 1,200 days times three defendants. In the words of columnist Marc Fisher, 'A pant leg here, a pant leg there, and soon, you're talking $65 million'.
"Chris Manning, attorney for Custom Cleaners, told the DCist that the case was, 'possibly the most amazing example of frivolous and ridiculous litigation'.
"A major point of legal contention: At the time it lost his pants, Custom Cleaners had two signs on its walls - 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' and 'Same Day Service'. The judge says he relied on these signs. According to the story, the Chungs have since removed the signs.
"The case is set for a June trial. The Law Blog has a call into Judge Pearson. If we hear back from him we'll let you know."
For more on lawyers and their pants, check Tulkinghorn next week.