1 October 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.
#Ad nauseamYou know there's nothing happening at your law firm when it sends out press releases announcing a new ad campaign. But no news is good news for Boston titan Foley Hoag, which is trying to lose its 'who are they?' tag with an ambitious new advertising campaign (www.foleyhoag.com).
The confident press release says: "'It became obvious to us in developing a new marketing communications programme that we would need to reach beyond the typical advertising used by law firms,' said Foley Hoag managing partner Robert Sanoff in describing the new ads."
The revolutionary advertisements feature black-and-white pictures of people in suits in bizarre positions.
The release continues: "In one photo, two men in fedoras stand on either ends of a fulcrum, looking out at opposite vistas of a vast forest wilderness against a cloudless sky. The face of a third man stares back toward the viewer through an open triangle on which the beam holding the other two is perfectly balanced. 'Perspective is not just a matter of what you see, but how you see it,' reads the headline.
"Definitely not typical lawyerly advice."
No, that's advice you can find in a dictionary.
#Prisoner ends up with egg on his faceLawyers who want to boost their credibility in court will do well to avoid the mistake of New Hampshire prison inmate Charles Wolffe, who attached a hard-boiled egg to his court filings.
According to law news website Above the Law (www.above thelaw.com), Wolffe attached the egg to protest against being served non-kosher food in prison. He was claiming $10m (£4.94m) in damages.
The egg did not help his case. US District Court Judge James Muirhead dispatched the case in style - that is, Dr Seuss style: "I do not like eggs in the file. I do not like them in any style. I will not take them fried or boiled. I will not take them poached or broiled. I will not take them soft or scrambled Despite an argument well-rambled. No fan I am, of the egg at hand. Destroy that egg! Today! Today! Today I say! Without delay!"Wolffe's big mistake was to forget to staple some parsley or ketchup sachets to the documents to make them more palatable to the judge.
#Auntie puts law on the lineThe BBC has finally decided to make its Radio 4 legal affairs programme Law in Action available as a podcast (www.bbc.co.uk/lawinaction).
The programme usually goes out at 4pm on Tuesdays, which is not the best time if your listeners are all in full-time employment at law firms.
According to programme producer Hugh Levinson, this week's edition will feature a look back at the age discrimination law and an exclusive on the law on paedophile grooming. Nice.
#Trouser snakeIt is time now to remember those less fortunate, such as Soo and Jin Nam Chung of Washington DC. You may remember that they were the subject of a $54m (£26.67m) lawsuit when DC administrative judge Roy Pearson lost his suit trousers at their dry-cleaners. They must have been damn good trousers.
Luckily for them, Pearson's claim failed. Less luckily, they have had to close two of their three dry cleaners due to "the revenue losses and emotional toll resulting from the Pearson v Chung lawsuit". The news comes courtesy of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog (http://blogs.wsj.com/law), which quotes a press release from Christopher Manning, the lawyer for the Chungs.
Manning tugs at the heartstrings: "This family had poured its heart and soul into their dry-cleaning stores only to have their dreams crushed by Roy Pearson's lawsuit."
Despite their court win, the Chungs will have to cling on to their last Happy Cleaners store with both hands. Pearson's appeal is due to be heard next year. $54m buys a lot of trousers.