Web week

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.

•Publicity puntLaw firms tout branded pens, paper and rubbers like they were sweeties. But which law firm or lawyer has come up with a publicity stunt that Carlsberg (the “Probably the best lager in the world” people) would be proud of?

According to the self-professed online legal tabloid www.abovethelaw.com, it should have been Nixon Peabody, which penned a catchy ditty to celebrate being listed in the Fortune 100’s ‘Best Places to Work’ leaderboard.

The wonderfully cheesy 1980s kitsch tune is accompanied by the sparkling lyrics: “Everyone’s a winner at Nixon Peabody. It’s all about the team, it’s all about respect and revolves around integrity.”

Hmmm… catchy.

But alas, this was not an advert – abovethelaw.com, posting last Tuesday (28 August), reckoned that if it was it would have been the best in the world. That accolade, however, went to a poster from US lawyer Peter John.

The trial attorney from O’Neil Legal, dubbing himself Peter ‘P’Ta Mon’ John, uses the post to disclaim that he’s giving out legal advice, but says: “Do not drink, smoke, use, or carry any drugs in your vehicle. Do not carry guns in your vehicle especially in the presence of drugs.”

No sh*t, Sherlock.

•Fit with a riddleLisa Murtagh, a 27-year-old associate at magic circle firm Clifford Chance‘s New York office, has been crowned the 48th Rose of Tralee.

As reported on The Wall Street Journal’s blog (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/) last Thursday (30 August), The Irish Times wrote: “With her red hair, Manhattan address and high-flying job as an attorney, the skiing enthusiast was inevitably being compared to Miranda from Sex and the City, although image-wise she was more of a Nicole Kidman or Maureen O’Hara lookalike.”

Clearly Murtagh would be all ablush with such flattering comments, but apparently the Rose of Tralee is not a beauty pageant – well, that’s what the associate told The Wall Street Journal.

Murtagh said: “It’s like winning Miss America or Miss USA, but it’s not a beauty pageant. I can’t stress that enough.”

The interviewer quizzed: “But you wear a tiara?”To which Murtagh replied: “Yes, we wear a tiara, but it’s not a beauty pageant.”

Right, we get it. So does David Childs in a tiara have any possibility of winning next year?

•Divorce remorseThere was news for divorce lawyers last week as the Office of National Statistics (www. statistics.gov.uk) revealed that the divorce rate is at its lowest for 22 years.

Apparently some 132,562 couples split in 2006 – the equivalent to 12.2 of every 1,000 married couples. This was 7 per cent lower than the previous year, when 13.1 couples split out of every 1,000.

Perhaps the high-profile divorce proceedings of Chris Tarrant from his wife Ingrid or the very public parting of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney could rebut this claim, but as we know the Government is never wrong.

According to the website Family Lore (www.familylore. co.uk), which has the catchy slogan “Random thoughts of a family lawyer”, last Thursday (30 August) was a sad day for divorce lawyers.

It stated: “Assuming that you take the view that ‘marriage is a good thing’, this appears to be good news, save perhaps for us divorce lawyers…”The comments, posted by John Bolch, are accompanied by a sketch that would pull at the heart strings of any family lawyer. The cartoon shows a lonely divorce lawyer, unshaven and in his suit, holding out a paper cup with a billboard around his neck stating: “Spare a penny for an unemployed divorce lawyer.”

Spare a penny? Yeah right.