Web week 14/08/06

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.

Pleasure and pain

The Liverpool Echo had the scoop on the most bizzare legal story of the week at icliver pool.icnetwork.co.uk. The paper reported that a prostitute took her Merseyside client to court after he refused to pay her.

The Echo reported: “Unemployed Matthew Bushell told her he could not afford £720 for their six-hour romp because his obsession with phone sex lines and escorts had made him bankrupt.”

Quite what the police were doing trying to enforce such a bill is not made clear.

“Tracy Harper reported him to police who charged him with dishonestly obtaining sexual services by falsely agreeing to pay. Bushell pleaded guilty.

Prosecutor Paul Maxwell read out a statement from Ms Harper, who was not in court, saying she was a mature student who fell in to escort work after spotting an advert in her local newspaper.”

The Echo failed to mention which esteemed “local newspaper” advertised the job.

To add further pain, the bankrupt Bushell was also ordered to pay £65 court costs.

Get Carter

Speculation linking former Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter with the top job at ITV got www.ofcomwatch. co.uk very excited. It said: “Ofcom need to create clear and bright lines between itself and the industry that it regulates. If ITV were to employ Carter it would make a mockery of this notion and poison (to some extent) Ofcom’s relationships with ITV’s competitors.

“But the underlying problem is structural and has nothing in particular to do with Stephen Carter’s departure from Ofcom. It’s a simple fact: Ofcom is structured – in many important respects – to resemble a corporation, not a public regulator. So, it was simply a matter of time before Ofcom got slammed in the press for doing the types of things that are acceptable for private firms, but odious in the field of public regulation.”

The site concluded: “By the way – ITV is completely unwatchable. Period. They don’t need Stephen Carter. They need Barry Diller.”

Rotten Apple

The US authorities’ investigation of companies’ share-option schemes is taking up almost as much blogspace as BetOnSports right now. Law.com reports that current and former Apple executives are hiring lawyers to deal with the investigation of irregularities in its granting of share options.

Apple’s former general counsel Nancy Heinen has hired defence lawyers Cristina Arguedas and Miles Ehrlich to represent her in connection with the investigation. Apple has hired George Riley, a partner with O’Melveny & Myers, to represent it before the government.

In-house insight

Mike Dillon, the general counsel for Sun Microsystems, launched a blog on 9 August. It is probably the first blog launched by a Fortune 500 general counsel. The first post at blogs.sun.com/Dillon read: “In the future, I’ll share with you my observations on life as a GC, my views on a variety of legal issues and business trends and my thoughts about what makes this company so unique. Given the sensitive nature of much that I do and my professional obligations as a licensed attorney, it will be at times challenging to be as open as I would like. But, I’ll do my best. Like I said, this should be interesting.

“I’ll also give you an idea of what it is like to ‘do the legal thing’ in-house. The title comes from what are known in my world as the ‘Reebok Rules’. Written by that company’s former GC, Jack Douglass, III, they describe rules for being a successful in-house attorney.

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