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Archived Since:April 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

State Wins Casino Battle Against Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribe

The Skirmish in Doubtful Canyon, which left 10 Apache dead on May 3, 1864, was the last Indian battle in what would become the history of New Mexico. The Apaches attacked a company of California soldiers there, ending about two hours later when the last Indian fled. But more......

Why Litigators Should Have a Professional Ringtone

Litigators beware: Do you know what your ringtone sounds like? Are you sure a prankster child, colleague, or office nemesis, hasn't turned your ringtone into a duck, or something more nefarious? Obviously, you don't want embarrassing sounds coming from your pocket during a meeting, or worse, while you're in......

Pleading for the Public: How Readable Is Your Writing?

When drafting a pleading, most practitioners focus on proving their case to a judge, and never give a second thought about the general public as an audience. This may seem like the right strategy, but there are certainly some advantages to simplifying your legal writing so that the general......

Court Agrees With Ball Park in Hot Dog Fight

Just a few days after the most popular hot dog eating holiday in the country, the legal fight between two titans of the hot dog industry came one step closer to reaching a final resolution. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued their order in the closely watched Parks......

Why Aren't STEM Majors Going to Law School?

What is it with lawyers and math? It's one of the oldest jokes in the profession that lawyers went to law school because they were no good at math. As it turns out, it's no joke. According to statistics, math students score the highest on law school admission tests but......

Publishers Escape Liability in E-Book Antitrust Case

A federal appeals court said book publishers violated antitrust laws by conspiring to change prices for ebooks, but they did not injure the retailers who sued them over it. In Diesel eBooks v. Simon & Schuster, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said the retailers could not prove......

Should Judges Be More Skeptical of Forensics?

"I'm free," Anthony Wright proclaimed. "I thank God for science." Wright was exonerated of murder last year after 25 years in prison. He was the 344th person in the United States to be exonerated by DNA evidence. This month, judges at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Judicial Council learned more......

When Pleading Do You Write plaintiff, Plaintiff, or PLAINTIFF?

Your legal writing style, believe it or not, matters. Judges, and their clerks, appreciate clear writing devoid of unnecessary terms and phrases. However, when it comes to legal writing, court and local rules, and even individual judges' standing orders, tend to focus on formatting, citation, presentation of exhibits, and......

The Good, the Bad, and the Employee Reference Lawsuit

When a call comes in requesting an employment reference, employers often say too little out of fear of lawsuits. To make matters worse, gone are the days of writing your worst employee a glowing reference, a la Bartleby, the Scrivener, so you don't have to feel guilty about kicking......

Court Splits Baby Food Case Against Gerber

A federal appeals court threw out claims that Gerber deceived consumers about its baby food, but said the plaintiff may sue for unfair competition. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded Bruton v. Gerber Food Products. The appeals panel said the......

Solo Lawyers: Tips for Working on Your Summer Vacation

'Working vacation' is an oxymoron, especially for solo attorneys. So why do we plunge head first into the ritual? It's like starting a journey, knowing that you'll never get to your destination. But such is the attorney's fate, and so we soldier on with our lattes in life. Here......

Top Three Niche Practice Areas for Tech-Savvy Lawyers

Are you a lawyer that knows the difference between a motherboard and a mother goose? Can you write a page of simple HTML while chewing gum at the same time? Can you effortlessly pilot a drone through flaming hoops of fire? If so, you might be one of those "tech-savvy"......

Are There Advantages to Going to a Big City Law School?

If you always wanted to move to a particular big city, choosing a law school located there could be a great way to start laying down your roots. In addition to potentially meeting some local students, professors, and lawyers, it'll be simple to network among your motley class of......

GC Tips for Serving as an Expert Witness

Marc Firestone, general counsel for Phillip Morris, told Congressional representatives that illegal tobacco dealers rob governments of up to $50 billion in tax revenue each year. "Criminals are the only promoters of the global illegal tobacco trade," he reported to the United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in......

Lawyer on the Lam Spotted in New Mexico

Attorney Eric Conn, awaiting his sentence for a $550 million disability fraud scheme, was not about to trade in his pinstripes for prison stripes. Before he got to the courthouse, he cut-off his ankle monitor and kept on driving. He had planned it long before authorities figured out he......

District Court Judge's Retweet Doesn't Require Recusal, Nor Reversal

In a recent decision by a three judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, judges that use Twitter got a little bit more clarity on when Tweeting violates judicial ethics. The case involved an appeal of a motion for relief from judgment filed by Sierra Pacific Industries,......

Can You Bill Your Clients for Software?

There's rarely much debate over whether attorneys are justified in passing through case related expenses and other case related costs to their clients. Good retainer agreements hold clients liable for attorney fees, attorney expenses, and case costs. However, attorneys sometimes wonder where a piece of software, or a smartphone......

Time to Raise Your Billable Rate?

When is it time to raise your billable rate? When you want to buy a new BMW. Just kidding, sort of. Deciding when to raise your rates depends on a number of factors, but always involves calculating the bottom line: how much do you need to stay in business?......

Professional Development Behind Company Lines

Professional development is a major key to success, not just for lawyers, but also across many industries. Many firms and organizations happily pay for professional development that is related to your position, or to help you advance within the firm or company. Some will even provide employees with their own......

A Preview of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Movie

When it comes to movies based on real life, viewers must allow for some literary license. Even in the upcoming biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the justice would grant Felicity Jones some flexibility in portraying her. After all, the actress is English. One thing is certain, however. The movie,......

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