16 July 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.
•Going down the psycho path
No matter which way you look at it, Adolf Hitler is not the kind of person you want to be associated with. This goes for lawyers and pretty much everyone else on the planet.
Leading Indian firm Fox Mandal thinks otherwise. On its new website (www.legal circle.com) the firm proudly displays inspirational quotes on leadership from a variety of historical figures.
Hitler pops up on the 'Services we provide' section with the following top tip: "The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category."
It makes you wonder what services Fox Mandal intends to provide. The advice may well be useful to anyone with plans to build a large empire through force, but not if you just need someone to proofread a patent.
The firm's military ambitions are further highlighted with this baffling piece of advice from General 'Stormin' Norman' Schwarzkopf: "Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy."
That gem appears on the 'Quality control and standards' section, presumably put there by someone with a strong character.
Fox Mandal still has time to change the quotes if it so wishes - the site only had nine hits at the time of going to press.
•Money for old Pope
The law may be full of frustrated writers and artists, but at least one has made the breakthrough. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog (http://blogs. wsj.com/law) has reported on Roger Crane, a partner at US firm Nixon Peabody, who has written a play.
After 10 years of trying to get The Last Confession on the stage, Crane has hit the big time, with his play being performed at London's Haymarket Theatre.
According to the blog, Crane wrote his play in between business trips for fun. He chose the life and death of Pope John Paul I as subject matter, who died after spending little more than a month as Pope.
Poirot star and luvvie David Suchet has donned the big white hat to play the Pope in the West End production.
Crane's play debuted at the Chichester Festival and was hailed by The Daily Telegraph as a "brilliant tale of venom in the Vatican... a conspiracy thriller and murder mystery that manages the rare feat of being as intelligent as it is entertaining".
But Crane's time in the limelight might last little longer than Pope John Paul I himself. The Times said of the Haymarket production: "It looks a little mechanical, the cogs and wheels of its plot workings plainly visible as it advances speculative theories surrounding the untimely demise of the 'smiling Pope' John Paul I."
Oh well, there's always the day job.
Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) might have started a trend when it launched an office in virtual reality world Second Life.
Dutch firm Faasen & Partners (http://www.fplaw.nl) has followed its lead to become the first firm on the Continent to launch in the non-existent land.
According to virtual world blog Ambling in Second Life (http://slambling.blogspot.com), Faasen has set up in style.
The firm's virtual office boasts three islands, with free yacht cruises between the different buildings.
Faasen has it all. The blog says: "Certainly all the features one would expect are here: a movie about the company; an auditorium for presentations; a number of areas for formal meetings and some informal chat zones.
"Oh, and of course a freebie: here in the form of a scuba diving kit, which makes a nice change from T-shirts."
Free imaginary scuba diving kit. Beat that FFW.