17 September 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. Ifyou want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@ thelawyer. com.
•In tune with the needs of clientsFew songs come with this sort of disclaimer: "Warning: potential side effects could include nausea and/or gastrointestinal discomfort resulting from excessive lateral eye movement as well as instantaneous imbedding of all major employment law principles deep inside the cerebral cortex."
That sales pitch comes courtesy of Manpower general counsel Mark Toth, who has set up a new blog (http://man powerblogs.com/). Toth has managed to combine his love for songwriting with his love of employment law to create a song.
The lyrics don't do it full justice, it is actually quite a catchy tune.
Employment law can be easy,If you listen you surely won't fail,We wrote you this song, so please sing along,If you don't, you could end up in jail.
Don't put things off 'til tomorrow,Yes, investigate right away,Don't procrastinate cause the more that you wait,The more that you may have to pay.
[Chorus] So remember this song and you'll never go wrongWe wish you the best on your journeysYou'll stay out of courtAnd won't have to pay no attorneys.
Be honest consistent and fair nowBe ethical trustworthy and trueLet your conscience be king, yeahDon't do anything your mum wouldn't want you to do.
Toth's blog is a lot more entertaining than many law blogs out there. His turn as Elvis singing to a doughnut in a video explaining employment mistakes has to be seen to be believed.
•Holiday jobToth's Manpower blog contrasts sharply with the serious musings from Sun general counsel Mike Dillon (http:// blogs.sun. com/Dillon/) on his blog The Legal Thing. Dillon seems to have trouble getting away from work when he should be at play. He writes: "I was recently at a Susan Tedeschi concert. (If you've never seen her - go! Trust me on this one.)""It was my third time watching her perform and as I listened to her trade riffs with the amazing blues guitarist Derek Trucks a thought occurred: 'How did I first hear of her?'"This prompts a deep look into the distribution of digital rights on the internet. So what started as maybe a light-hearted post about a night out ends with: "Without doubt, the traditional music industry is being severely impacted by the digitization of content, including greater music piracy."
Even a holiday doesn't help.
He writes: "I just returned from vacation. Along with several friends, I kayaked through the northern reaches of Baffin Island, dodging icebergs and narwhals.
"One topic during the trip was the impact of mobile connectivity on modern life. Does it improve or degrade the way we live?"We suggest that if you're on holiday in the Arctic, what you really should be asking yourself is how many pairs of underwear you need to put on to avoid a bad case of frostbite. Take a break Mike, forget the internet!
•No bonus roundThere will be a lot of unopened bottles of champagne over at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft's restructuring group.
According to the blog at USA Today (http://blogs.usatoday.com/), the judge in the bankruptcy case of Northwest Airlines has denied the firm a $3.5m (£1.73bn) bonus for its work for the beleaguered airline.
Judge Gropper said that for the lawyers to deserve a so-called fee enhancement, their work should have a remarkable result that couldn't be expected from lawyers being paid their regular fees. Apparently, $500 (£247) an hour is compensation enough.
It's not all bad news for the lawyers however. Gropper approved a total bill of $118.8m (£58.6m) in fees and $5.4m (£2.66m) in expenses, spread among 22 firms. That should just about buy enough champagne to last until Christmas.