30 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.
•Chequebook for Facebook?Lawyers at Allen & Overy (A&O) successfully used the ruse of business networking to overturn the ban on internet networking site Facebook at work, but US lawyers take the whole thing more seriously.
At A&O Facebook is more likely to be used to organise pub crawls, but US firms are busy thinking of ways to extract money out of clients via the medium of Facebook.
The Legal Blog Watch at Law.com (http://legalblogwatch. typepad.com/) comments on the growing use of the site in US law firms to get chummy with clients.
It says: "People like to deal with people they feel comfortable with.
"Professional networks emphasize one's professional skills. Social networks like Facebook emphasize the personal touches."
That may be true, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned boozy lunch followed by a drunken sleep in a taxi nine hours later.
The blog continues: "And more importantly, even if you don't get that new client or account, if you've built a relationship with a prospect, at least you can feel that you've come away with a new friend even if you didn't win the business."
How sweet. What started as a forum for 15-year-olds to swap opinions on Emo albums has been taken over by the corporate law brigade.
This is a worrying development. Soon in-house counsel will complain about being charged $100 for a Facebook poke from an equity partner.
•Giving law firms a bad nameLaw firm names have for years been the source of much puerile amusement - so there's no reason to stop now.
Law blog Concurring Opinions (www.concurringopinions. com) recently listed its top five:
1. Low Ball & Lynch
2. Harness Dickey & Pierce
3. Cummings & Lockwood
4. Lawless & Lawless
5. Johnson & Cox
The post received a flood of comments, each with their own law firm addition. Here are the top five alternative nominations:
1. Ruff & Ready
2. Lowe Price Leblanc & Becker
3. Payne & Fears
4. You Me
5. Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba
The poster for the last suggestion added: "We thought Bubba was the collections guy."
•Hard day at the orificeOn the outside, IP law might not seem like the place to be for sexual perversion, but a new blog has changed all that.
The blog, X-Rated Patents (http://www.x-ratedpatents.com/), describes itself as "information about new x-rated patents for the geeky pervert in all of us!".
Although its readers might object to being called geeky perverts, it does live up to its billing. It's perhaps the only worksafe website to feature a gallery of dildos and sex dolls.
Mixed in with all the usual stuff are a lot of fairly confusing patents - the Portable Electronic Penile Aneurysm Enhancer is one example.
Perhaps the most baffling is the Internal Implement Allotropy Sexual Aid Utensil Universal-Disk. The marketing department will have fun coming up with a catchy strap-line for that one. Whatever it does.
•Not addressed for successA rise in domain name disputes has accompanied the rise in the spread of the internet. But there are a few domain names out there that no one will want to go anywhere near.
Tech Knowledgy Blog (http://techknowledgyblog.square space.com) came up with a few examples.
Speedofart.com and Penis land.net sound like websites you wouldn't want IT to find on your work computer, but they are legitimate sites for companies Speed of Art and Pen Island.
If you were planning a holiday at a US lake, you might click onto www.gotahoe.com, or if you need somewhere to leave your kids you could look up www.molestationnursery.com. That's Mole Station Native Nursery in Australia, in case you were wondering.
The best example is tech company www.ipanywhere.com. Not a website to name out loud.