Quote of the Day - “We were driving down the street one day, and said, 'We gotta learn to rap if we're gonna be in music today.' I was a paralegal, she was working in a hair salon. Now we're a million-dollar-a-year business and fly all over the country. We're also going to be in Vegas on a permanent basis beginning in April, going back and forth from Phoenix every week. We'll be hooking up with that new George Clooney hotel he's building there.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Covers Paralegals and the EconomyLayoffs at law firms and the recession seem to be putting a heavier load on paralegals to assist busy attorneys. Many paralegals are taking on huge projects, while working long hours and burning the midnight oil. Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Bob Ambrogi as we welcome guests, Linda J. Wolf, ACP the current President of NALA and Christine Parizo a PACE Registered Paralegal to discuss the work of a paralegal through the present economic crisis.
New Gizmo Gadget Review: Verizon's Network Extender
Like many others who have cell phone service, MIPTC's cell phone does not work inside my house. There are conspiracy theorists who posit the cell phone companies plan it that way so they can get us to buy land line services, too, but I have a different theory: NIMBY - not in my backyard.
We all want cell phone service in our homes and small businesses, but we're not willing to look at the cell phone tower that gets us that coverage. Indeed, here in Orange County (or "The OC" to just about everyone else who doesn't live here and thinks that we all have plastic surgery and all the women here look and act like The Real Housewives of Orange County). One aspect of that television show is true: it is a resort area and looks like one, so inevitably there are few cell phone towers.
Like Coto de Caza, the cause celebre of The OC, another ritzy area known as Newport Coast is notorious for poor cell phone service, as are many other areas around the county, including my home, which is not in any ritzy area. But no longer.
Verizon just came out with its Network Extender, which essentially is a cell phone tower in your home or small business in a small black box no bigger than a netbook computer with a small, three-inch high GPS antenna attached to it. It plugs into your house's broadband Internet connection and viola, you have cell phone service where you didn't have it before.
It has an operating area just under a 40 foot circumference, and you must come within 15 feet of it to first connect to it. Plus, you can specify which cell phones will have access to your router, so your neighbors won't be able to bog down your in-house network. Personal accounts can make those settings online, business accounts have to call in to specify the cell phones that have access. I set mine to a closed network, with only two cell phones allowed to attach to it, although you can specify up to 50. There is one channel reserved for emergency 911 calls that any cell phone from any carrier can access.
It's a slightly expensive ($250) nifty little device that solved a nagging problem for me, one that I highly recommend. You can ask for and receive a discount from the list price. Sprint has a similar device, but unlike Verizon, charges a monthly fee to use that company's extender. Verizon's device is a one-time cost and doesn't add to your monthly bill, with the exception that you'll probably make and receive more calls from your home.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Talks About Life After LawFreezing salaries and even layoffs are a couple ways firms are dealing with their present economic situation, while law students look ahead to a potentially grim future. Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Bob Ambrogi as we welcome William D. Henderson, Associate Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Attorney Paul J. Semenza, a Trial Attorney, formerly with the Law Office of Arthur E. Levine, to discuss life after lawyering. They will hear a real life story from a trial attorney who has experienced the ups and downs after a layoff and look at the present economy and its impact on law firms, large & small.
Behind Lawyer2Lawyer: The Legal Talk Network
For the last three years, Bob Ambrogi and I have been the voices you hear on the Legal Talk Network, but what you probably don't know is who's behind the scenes making it all happen. The show is actually produced in Boston, where the Legal Talk Network is located. Lu Ann Reeb and Scott Hess founded the company and run the entire show. Both are private pilots to boot.
They fly planes out of the Norwood Airport, and Scott loves to tinker with plane and helicopter engines when he's not keeping all of the Legal Talk Network's high-end television and radio equipment humming. They also produce television shows for lawyers, some of which are featured on national media and on YouTube and have put together the finest settlement videos I've ever seen.
The Boston Business Journal just ran this article on Lu, which will give you a glimpse into Lu and her team.
LTN is staffed by the capable Kate Kenny, our Assistant Producer who lines up our guests each week and writes the Lawyer2Lawyer script for us. Audio Engineer Mike Hochman mans the mixer board and edits our gaffes out to make us sound professional. LTN recently added Deb Curran as its Director of Sales and Business Development, and she has located our long-lost sponsors and brought a new dimension to the show - profitability. It's the teamwork at the Legal Talk Network that pulls it all together.
The true glory is not in front of the microphone.
Lawyer2Lawyer Internet Radio Honors The 200th Birthday Of America's 16th President
Abraham Lincoln has become synonymous with the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Bob Ambrogi as we welcome Lincoln historians Professor Paul Finkelman from the Albany Law School and Professor Jennifer L. Weber, assistant professor of history at the University of Kansas, to discuss the legacy of the first Republican president on his 200th birthday.
Give a click below and listen to this historic program
Author's Guild v. Google Settlement Discussion In LA Tonight
The Author's Guild will host an event tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City for its members to meet and greet, as well as explain the mechanics of its settlement with Google over alleged copyright violations for scanning and making available copyrighted books. Not all members agree with the settlement, believing instead that copyrights are meant to be shared, so it should be a lively disussion. Look for me tonight - I'll be the guy with the closely-cropped, almostly-grey beard.
The settlement promises to get ad revenue funds from Google into the hands of publishers and authors. For out-of-print authors, the settlement is a boon - they will receive 100% of the publisher/author split. Google will retain 37% of the revenue and the Book Rights Registry will take a small fee, with the rest split 65% to the author and 35% to the publisher for in-print books. Some $125 million will reportedly be distributed by Google to authors and publishers.
For in-print books, both the publisher and the author must agree in order to allow Google to scan the book and make it searchable. Out-of-print authors can also opt-out by going to the Book Registry. MIPTC's book, How to Get Sued, is not scanned by Google because Kaplan Publishing (well, and me too) wants you to buy it from a bookseller or online, say at Amazon.
Colorado Lawmaker Upset Over Anti-Smoking Ad: You Be The Judge
Anti-smoking efforts across the country led to banishing cigarettes and cigars in airplanes, buildings, restaurants and a host of other places. The ban is supported by many (including MIPTC) and vilified by smokers. As part of the overall anti-smoking campaign, various advocacy groups have created ads intended to turn the tide against smoking.
Although this advertisement is apparently not objectionable to Colorado lawmaker Don Marostica, R-Loveland, one of my favorite anti-smoking ads is,
Mr. Marostica was, however, offended by this anti-smoking ad from Britain's Department of Health, NHS Choices:
The text in the ad reads: "Smoking damages the tissues in your penis. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. Some of them damage your arteries, including the parts that keep you hard. If they go floppy, so do you. Still want to inhale?" NHS's website offers further information. Advertisements in England and Europe tend to be more direct than advertisements on the U.S. side of the pond, but this ad seems tame in comparison to some European ads I've seen, and certainly not as offensive as death.
According to Tim Hoover's blog, PoliticsWest, in the Denver Post, second-term Representative Marostica said to fellow member of the Colorado House of Representatives, "I want to alert all of you, the material is so offensive I can't put it up on the screen." Health lobbyist Stephanie Steinberg, the Executive Director of Smoke-Free Gaming of Colorado showed the ad to members of Mr. Marostica's staff, who thought it was funny and asked for copies. The Representative has asked the Colorado House Speaker to determine whether the circulation of the ad to his 19-year-old staffers was an ethical breach or just bad judgment, according to the Rocky Mountain News in an article entitled: "Did Smoking Flier Hit Below The Belt?"
For her part in the fracas, Ms. Steinberg is nonplussed according to the RMN, "That's hysterical. I have pictures of diseased lungs. Would he be offended by that, too? I'm a health advocate, and I want to talk about health." All Colorado lawmakers will likely receive copies of the ad courtesy of Ms. Steinberg. She might want to include this American ad featuring a modern version of the Marlboro Man, who died in 1992 from lung cancer:
Perhaps part of the Representative's frustration arises from his efforts to introduce a bill to allow cigar bars to open, creating a loophole in Colorado's inside-a-building smoking ban. Opponents to the bill claim it would create an exception that would swallow the whole and allow restaurants to allow smoking.
Like all issues, the answer likely falls somewhere in the middle. As part of the Noble Experiment attempted around the world, America tried and suffered through prohibition for thirteen supposedly dry years starting in 1920, only to find speakeasys open up across the country. When you try to ban a popular vice, those who enjoy it will find a way to do so, even if illegally. Realizing the foolishness and our ineffective efforts to ban the consumption of alcohol, prohibition was repealed. We don't need to go that far with the smoking ban. Allowing separate cigar and cigarette speakeasys is a fair accommodation to those who wish to smoke.
Representative Marostica's efforts to allow cigar smokers to congregate together to enjoy a cigar and perhaps a scotch should be applauded, and Colorado, like California, may want to consider and debate the language of a bill to allow like-minded people to smoke inside a building - as long as it does not affect those who wish to refrain from smoking or be exposed to second-hand smoke.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em - as long as you're outside or inside not bothering someone who doesn't want to smoke or be exposed to second-hand smoke.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Discusses Justice Ginsburg's Health ScareJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently underwent surgery for "early-stage" pancreatic cancer. While everyone is concerned about Justice Ginsburg's health first, there is also speculation about a possible opening on the U.S. Supreme Court if she retires early. Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger Robert Ambrogi along with Attorney Patricia A. Millett from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and contributor to the SCOTUSblog together with Professor Cruz Reynoso from UC Davis School of Law and former California Supreme Court Justice, to discuss the impact on the high court and how the Obama adminstration would fill a possible vacancy.