Informative Articles, Interesting Blogs.....

Our guest blogger today is Celia Elwell - back with another useful column of Informative Articles and Interesting Blogs:

Legal Articles & Blogs:

2011 a transformative year” for workplace
class action litigation
, by Ashley Post, InsideCounsel
http://bit.ly/wE1eT1

D.C. Judge Orders Deloitte To Court In Subpoena Dispute,
posted by Mike Scarcella, The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times
http://bit.ly/ydRSeL

Piggybacking on Students' Free LEXIS Access by Practitioners: "No
can do" says Utah State Bar
, Law Librarian Blog
http://bit.ly/wWMHeF

Stop Online Piracy Act Wants Biglaw Support; Biglaw Says, Aw,
Hell No’
by Christopher Danzig, Above the Law Blog
http://bit.ly/zlOlXZ

What Employers and Employees Should Understand About Conducting
Background Checks
, by Jason Shinn, Michigan Employment Law
Advisor
http://bit.ly/xDCynq

The Best of the Best of the Best - The 2011 ABA Journal Blawg
100
, by Jason Shinn, Michigan Employment Law Advisor
http://bit.ly/vQHd3k


Litigation Tips & Techniques:

Did Mark
Cuban's Attorney Just File Greatest Legal Scoreboard Ever in Ross Perot Jr.
Case?,
by Robert Wilonsky, The Dallas Observer Blog
http://bit.ly/lvHt1h

His First Jury Trial, by
Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips
http://bit.ly/oXf6U9

Plaintiff “Entitled” to Search Non-Party’s Personal Hard
Drive Pursuant to Modified Subpoena
, by K&L Gates Electronic Discovery
Law Blog
http://bit.ly/wKq3TM

Local Rules, Forms and Guidelines of United States District
Courts Addressing E-Discovery Issues
, by K&L Gates Electronic Discovery
Law Blog
http://bit.ly/wCsiY8

Current Listing of States That Have Enacted E-Discovery
Rules
, by K&L Gates Electronic Discovery Law Blog
http://bit.ly/wpBvYI

Examining Witnesses: Tips from Pace Law Library, by Evan
Schaeffer, The Trial Practice Tips Blog
http://bit.ly/AD81yU

Legal Writing and Research:

Competitive Intelligence - A Selective
Resource Guide - Completely Updated - December 2011
, by Sabrina I.
Pacifici, LLRX.com
(Extremely comprehensive - a “must” bookmark)
http://www.llrx.com/features/ciguide.htm

Locating the Law - A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians,
by Southern California Association of Law Libraries (with hat tip to Bill
Statsky!)
http://bit.ly/x1Cfic

Writing Clear and Effective Legal Prose - When to Use the Passive
Voice
, by George P. Gopen, ABA Law Practice (with hat tip to Raymond
Ward, the (new) legal writer!)
http://bit.ly/vpFHH9

Your Honor, could you repeat that . . . in plain language?,
Writing Matters, by E-Write’s Leslie O’Flahavan
http://bit.ly/zPmgh9


Website Explores the Evolution of Law and Language at Supreme
Court
, by Marcia Coyle, Law Technology News
http://bit.ly/zYikCr

Exemplary Legal Writing - 2011 Honorees, by the Green Bag
Almanac & Reader
http://www.greenbag.org/green_bag_press/almanacs/almanacs.html

CEOExpress (great one-stop site to find all types of handy
links for research, travel, news, etc.)
http://www.ceoexpress.com/default.asp

LawyerExpress (Like CEOExpress above, but with legal slant. See
“user manual” link at bottom of page to maximize use.)
http://www.ceoexpress.com/default.asp

Technology Tips and Tricks:

Review: iPad at Work by David Sparks -
excellent book for attorneys using an iPad
, by iPhone J.D.
http://bit.ly/yNUzug

Ten Essential Classes of Websites for Lawyers, by Jim
Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog
(Another “must” bookmark!)
http://bit.ly/vQ7x7F

Six Tips to Safeguard Your Mobile Devices, by Albert
Barsocchini, Law Technology News
http://bit.ly/xwKPfo

TRUSTe's 2011 Website Privacy Index, by Law Librarian Blog
(with hat tip to Sabrina I. Pacifici!)
http://bit.ly/wDYr82

Law Office Management & Ethics:

Social Media Networking For Lawyers: A
Practical Guide to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogging
, by Simon
Chester and Daniel Del Gobbo, ABA’s Law Practice
http://bit.ly/v4qApW

Social Media Management Tools, by Jim Calloway and Catherine
Sanders Reach, ABA’s GP Solo
http://bit.ly/zlOlXZ


"Biglaw Plods Towards Mastodon's Fate"

Goodness, gracious, this is a remarkable discussion about the future of big law firms! Thanks to lawyer, author, & blogger Robert J. Ambrogi for highlighting it in Legal Blog Watch:

"When the general counsel of a major corporation says that the current model of the large law firm is heading towards extinction, ears perk up throughout the legal industry. That is precisely what happened after Sun Microsystems GC Mike Dillon wrote on his blog last week that Biglaw is going The Way of the Mastodon. His thesis is that large law firms exist primarily as aggregators of specialized legal expertise -- by combining multiple legal disciplines, firms can provide 'one stop shopping' for their clients. That used to make sense, in the days before the Internet when it was inefficient for a company to hunt down all the specialized legal talent it might need. But with the Internet, the model is changed, Dillon says."

If you work for a big law firm, I strongly recommend reading the entire post!


"MySpace Helps Attorneys Find Clients"

Smart, very smart! This Legal Technology article describes what kinds of firms & clients might benefit from a page on MySpace:

"When Missouri City, Texas, entertainment lawyer Leslie Warren Cross launched a MySpace.com page in 2006, he wanted a way to provide up-and-coming musicians basic information about the legalities of music contracts.

"But Cross says that as he acquired 'friends' on his MySpace page, he realized the Internet social networking site is a great marketing tool for his firm, Les Cross & Associates, and a way to stay in contact with his vagabond musician clients. 

[snip]

"Deborah McMurray, chief executive officer of Content Pilot in Dallas, who gives marketing advice to firms, says she wouldn't recommend MySpace to the large Texas firms.

"'It might be appealing to the 20-something, the Gen X, Gen Y group, in terms of connecting with their friends or keeping in touch with law school classmates and that kind of thing, but I don't envision major law firms — major business-to-business law firms -- thinking that would be a new source of new business,' McMurray says."

A search for "lawyers" on MySpace retrieved these results....


"Some Job Hunters Are What They Post"

But you already know this, right? If not, I recommend reading this article from LawJobs.com very closely (particularly if you're looking for a new job):

"Plug a prospective employee's name into Google or any other Internet search engine, and you might be surprised at what you find. Web pages may tell hiring attorneys that the person they just interviewed wrote for an undergraduate newspaper or belonged to a specific sorority, but the Web may also reveal the recent interviewee's drink of choice and dating status.

"The advent of social networking Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Friendster have added a wealth of previously personal information to the Internet, some of which job seekers may prefer to keep private and out of an employer's hands.

[snip]

"No more is an interviewer's information about a job seeker limited to a résumé, cover letter and professional references. Now, it seems that Google [& other search engines] can produce more information about a person than his or her FBI file. And therein lies the rub."

BTW, a perfect example of how easy it is to find information on the web is the answer to this detail: "Author Michael D. Mann is a litigation associate in the New York office of a major law firm that asked not to be disclosed."


Paralegal's Commentary on Court's Patent Ruling

Yeah, this news is about an important ruling by the Supremes, but it's also very nice to see an experienced paralegal being quoted:

"When the Supreme Court of the United States ruled for KSR in the case of KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. [link added], it also served notice to the software industry that major changes may be afoot in both the granting and protecting of existing software patents.

"For several years now, software patents have frequently been seen by many as stifling innovation, granting intellectual property claims for ideas that had been around for decades and awarding the companies that hold them hundreds of millions of dollars—such as in RIM vs. NTP—even when the patents themselves have been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

"Now, as Pamela Jones, editor of the intellectual property law news site Groklaw, noted, 'The standout paragraph' in the decision written by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy read:

    'We build and create by bringing to the tangible and palpable reality around us new works based on instinct, simple logic, ordinary inferences, extraordinary ideas, and sometimes even genius. These advances, once part of our shared knowledge, define a new threshold from which innovation starts once more. And as progress beginning from higher levels of achievement is expected in the normal course, the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws. Were it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts.'

"Jones, a paralegal, observed, 'The court has raised the obviousness bar, or as they probably view it put it back where the founding fathers meant it to be.'"


"EDD-ucating Yourself About Electronic Discovery"

Not a new article  (Oct. 2006) from the ABA's Law Practice Today, but someone just pointed out that it says something nice about this blog. (How did I miss that!?)

"It was back in July 2004 (http://www.abanet.org/lpm/lpt/articles/slc07041.html) when Tom published the first Strongest Links article on the subject of electronic discovery as part of an influential EDD-themed issue of Law Practice Today.  Since that time, the electronic evidence landscape has changed considerably, and EDD is more important that ever.  With December 1 -- the date the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will take effect -- fast approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit those links, and provide an update to those of you who are still learning about the intricacies of e-discovery.  Which, really, is probably all of us.

[snip]

"Weblogs -- Surprisingly, there have not been a lot of weblogs on the subject of EDD.  However, those weblogs that do discuss the topic are terrific

[snip]

"The Estrin Report is a group blog created for professional paralegals that often covers electronic discovery topics."

If you're a litigation paralegal, be sure to read the complete article -- it's chock-full of very helpful links!

As as regular readers know, The Estrin Report is all about finding & posting news & other items of interest to you! Your comments, suggestions, even complaints, are appreciated.


Paralegal's "Obama" MySpace Page

Only in the brand-new world of user-managed online politics could news like this be reported:

"The manager of an unofficial Barack Obama MySpace page tells MTV News how the campaign took his URL.

"'They took it ... they just took it from me.'

"That was how Joe Anthony described what happened this week when the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama took control of the unofficial MySpace page Anthony set up in Obama's name in November of 2004.

"Granted, though clearly labeled as unofficial, the site has the valuable URL www.MySpace.com/barackobama and when the Obama camp approached Anthony in March to discuss working with them, the conversations were initially cordial.

"But in an interview with MTV News — one of only two he's given this week — Anthony described how things quickly fell apart and he was left on the sidelines as the Obama campaign took over the site he estimates he spent 5 to 10 hours a day building up.

[snip]

"Anthony, who works as a paralegal in Los Angeles, said he had been maintaining the site on his own since 2004, building it up to the point where it had 100,000 friends and incubating a lively debate about all things Obama. He began working with the campaign in March, but the relationship grew rocky and when, according to him, MySpace began having Obama's profile randomly pop up as a 'Cool New Person' last month, the number of friends jumped to 160,000 within a matter of weeks, drastically increasing Anthony's workload."

Looks like Anthony has been able to keep some of the fruits of his labors...


"Patently Obvious?"

Another excellent post to Legal Blog Watch by lawyer & blogger Robert J. Ambrogi [links listed below from original post]:

"Tons of reaction among bloggers to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in KSR v. Teleflex. Rather than attempt to summarize it all, I offer these samples.

You can find more links to articles about this bombshell opinion in the complete post. Happy reading, all you patent paralegals!


SF Paralegal Manages MyDeathSpace Website

Well, this is certainly a different way to expand beyond a day job as a paralegal:

"Before the public saw the faces or learned the names of the victims from last week's Virginia Tech massacre, thousands of college students across the country were already starting to mourn the dead at a Web site called MyDeathSpace.com.

"Created in 2005 by Mike Patterson, the 25-year-old San Francisco paralegal says he started MyDeathSpace with the aim of creating a cautionary tool that could show teenagers, with stark and brutal honesty, how other kids their age were dying in their area (namely through car accidents, drunk-driving-related crashes, drug overdoses, etc.)."


"Virginia Tech Tragedy and the Law"

A compilation of legal & factual issues surrounding this tragic event has been posted on Legal Blog Watch by lawyer & blogger Carolyn Elefant:

"As our nation continues to mourn the victims of the senseless Virginia Tech massacre, many bloggers' thoughts turn to the question of whether this tragedy could have prevented or whether others like it can be prevented in the future.  While now's not the time to assign blame (and indeed, without additional information, we really can't make any definitive judgments), here's a list of some of the issues that will be generating additional discussion in the weeks to come..."

Three such issues include Restrictions on universities, Gun Control Laws, & The Limits of Technology.