Quote of the Day - The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful.
Cabo Wabo and Mango MargaritasOK, every once in awhile, I get to take a vacation from the office, but I try not to take a vacation from the blog. So, this is one of those times. I'm in a nice, cool internet cafe called cabo m@il in downtown Cabo San Lucas, BCS at Av. Lazaro Cardenas #1 Esq. Zaragoza Int. Plaza Aramburo. How's that for a shameless plug? No, I didn't get free time on the internet to post, but it's shameless nonetheless.
It's warm, just about 82 degrees, with a nice breeze off the Pacific Ocean. I'm enjoying it quite nicely, thank you very much.
Of course, and admittedly, the Mango margaritas help a little. I'm here with the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association for a series of legal seminars.
Wipe that smirk off your face. I actually spoke on Law Office Technology.
Like I said, wipe that smirk off your face. I really did.
I can prove it, too. If you'd like, just let me know, and I'll send you the outline.
Otherwise, just kick back and have another Mango Margarita. You'll feel a lot better. Or, you can just have the I Can't Drive 55 drink at Cabo Wabo.
That ought to take care of things.
Third Time's a Charm?This case has wandered around the court system for some time. In fact, it's been up to the US Supreme Court twice, and three times ruled on by a local appellate court.
Now, the victory may be in the hands of the insurance company. Plaintiff won a $165K lawsuit against an insurance company, plus $10 million in punitives. Not happy with the result, the insurance company appealed. First time, the court reduced the award to $1.7 million in punitives. Still not happy, the insurer appealed again.
This time, the appellate court may have gotten the Supreme Court's message. They reduced the punitive damage award to $360,000.
Wanna bet they'll appeal again?
Other Insurance Clauses Limited in Scope"Other insurance" clauses may be a thing of the past. Typically used to prevent multiple recoveries, carriers have started using the clauses as a sword to eliminate coverage for insureds. In a case decided Monday, the California Court of Appeals held that other insurance clauses cannot be used to defeat coverage, and carriers must contribute to defend their insureds.
Score another one for the good guys.
Resumes Are For DummiesRarely do law blogs discuss the economics of law, but after BloggerCon II, I realized that most bloggers, including law blawgs, don't really focus on the monetary aspect of blogging.
Bloggers write because they love to, not because they want to make money at it. At least that's my observation.
Here's a new twist, dubbed Resumes Are for Dummies. What better way to showcase your resume than through a blog? In fact, here's one that addresses the very subject: law economics. Cruise on over to Adam Smith, Esq., named after the noted Scottish economist. Interestingly, there's another blog out there with the same name, and a Congressman.
But, this one's about law firm economics. It's written by a not-yet so much noted (somewhat, I suspect) Scottish economist, Bruce MacEwen. It's worth your time if you're at all interested in how law firms handle (or don't) economic issues.
Plus, it's better than a resume if you're looking for someone with Bruce's talents.
DDT - Once Banned, Now Back in Your Favorite FoodsRemember the pesticide DDT? It was banned by the USEPA in 1972. Now, we find we're still living with it some 32 years later here in LA, off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
You would hardly know it looking off the coast. But, what settled to the sea floor has now moved up the food chain. And perhaps most important, it has gotten into the fish, which we eat.
The government is in the process of cleaning it up. Rather than remove the DDT, however, the plan is to cap it and leave it in place.
Perhaps they're making progress. You can see the sea floor the way it was, with part of the cap in place (that red line is a worm), and also part way. This pilot project covered only about 1% of the affected area, and took over 100 barge loads of sand.
I thought that sand moved around pretty quickly on the ocean floor, but then again, I'm only a scuba diver, not a scientist. What do I know?
Burned Houses Still Charged Full Insurance PremiumYa gotta love insurance companies. After houses burned down from the 2003 fires, five insurers wanted to recoup their losses.
So bad that they continued to charge full premiums, even though the houses no longer existed, a new, proposed class-action lawsuit alleges.
The insurers who were sued include Allstate, Farmers Insurance, and Safeco.
Remember now, you're in good hands.
How To Make $521 million DisappearYou may not have heard of this company, but you've likely used their software to view this page. Eolas took on Microsoft because Microsoft allegedly incorporated Eolas software into the Internet Explorer browser. Microsoft was not happy.
The initials stand for "Embedded Objects Linked Across Systems" and is also the Gaelic
word for "Knowledge." You have to know the company is run by a university (University of California) professor.
The little company won. Big. $521 million microsmackeroonies. One of the most interesting parts of this case was how the jury reached that number. How do you calculate the value of a part of a whole, when the part itself has virtually no value standing alone? But that's not the only unique aspect of the case.
The tables have turned, though. The USPTO invalidated Eolas' patent. This invalidation review has been conducted less than 160 times in the entire history of the U.S. Patent Office, according to Larry Evans, former Chief Patent Counsel for BP and Sohio.
You can see the original patent, or at least what's left of it and $521 million, now up in smoke.
Two-timing Mistress/Wife Heads to PrisonTwice before I've covered this story, and this post will likely be the last on the subject. Our two-timing mistress and wife was found guilty of murder in the first degree (she had intended to have her husband killed by her lover, but her husband's business partner was the one who ended up dead). Now she's been sentenced.
To twenty-five years to life. Lee Ann Reidel will spend a long time contemplating her role in this tragedy that affected multiple lives.