Archives: Around the Blogs

May 02, 2005

Blawg Review #4


Welcome to Law & Entrepreneurship News for Blawg Review #4. This blog is powered by law students at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Things have been a bit slow around here lately, as the students are immersed in final examinations, so we are thrilled to have the Blawg Review this week.

Let me begin with a question: Do a disproportionate number of blawgers use Blogger? Having recently hosted the Carnival of the Capitalists, I can tell you that those business folks have mostly hopped off the Blogger train. I suspect that lack of funds (law students) and lack of technical prowess (some of the rest) explains the difference, though I am just speculating.

Ok, I know you're anxious, so let's get to the posts ...

Law Schools

Jeremy Blachman, on the eve of his graduation from Harvard Law School, confesses the dirty little secret of all new law school graduates -- law school teaches you nothing about the law. Colin Samuels, ten years removed from law school, consoles Jeremy: "You know more than you think you know." and "Much of what you know is useless in the real world, but will be impossible to forget."

My co-blogger Christine Hurt at Conglomerate asks, "Are Law Schools Family Friendly?" So how about this for irony: in her post, Christine observes, "Outside of class time, I am available whenever a child ... has a dentist appointment...." Then, look what happened this morning!

Robert Ambrogi suggests that at least two law professors would not have made the Legal Affairs list of "Top 20 Legal Thinkers in America" had is not been for their famous blogs. Another, Larry Lessig, would have made the list without his blog, but not without the internet. (Did anyone else notice the heavy University of Chicago representation on this list?)

Arthur Andersen

The Dark Goddess of Replevin -- who wins the award for coolest blawg name -- has learned this from the Arthur Andersen and Enron prosecutions: shred early and often.

For those who are interested in the Arthur Andersen case before the Supreme Court, I have a short primer on the legal issues (albeit with a horrible prognostication about the Supreme Court ... criminal law isn't my thing) and an update on the oral argument, with thoughts on SOX.

Intellectual Property Law

Stephen Albainy-Jenei of Patent Baristas -- which would get my vote in any blawg design contest -- discusses the proposed Bioshield II bill in a post entitled "Bioshield Bill Would Provide Drug Patent Term Extension". That bill as originally drafted would have added a wild card provision that could add up to two years to the exclusive patent term for a drug. For a major drug, those two years could be worth billions of dollar in revenue. The draft language in the new bill has now been changed to require the winner of a contract to name the designated drug within 180 days of receiving the contract.

Bloggers have been noticing Wal-mart's efforts to stop online criticism, and Evan Brown of describes a recent arbitration victory for Wal-mart in his post, "Wal-mart on the Domain Name War Path".

War Stuff

Publius at Ex Post offers another in a series of posts about the debate between John Yoo and Jeremy Waldron on torture. In Power of the Presidency, Marbury, and Torture, Publius wonders about the framework for the constitutionality of presidential action. Professor Yoo noted in the debate that there can be situations where Congress not only has failed to regulate, but could not regulate the President. This post, and the discussion in the comments is aimed at fleshing out this very important idea that has seen shorter shrift in the debate.

Last week seems to have been the week for things believed extinct to resurface. On Thursday, it was the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, but two days earlier heralded a rare Supreme Court sighting of the Curtiss-Wright doctrine of presidential supremacy in foreign affairs.  As explained by Julian Ku at Opinio Juris, the Court's return  to the doctrine after two decades, in an opinion written by Justice Thomas, may indicate the depth of Court support for deference in foreign policy matters to the Executive Branch and may point to the Court's future direction in cases involving enforcement of international court judgements and conduct of military tribunals. (Thanks to Colin Samuels for submitting this post.)

The Centrist -- a UCLA law student who gets big kudos from me for having participated in the Whad'ya Know Quiz -- is writing on Jag Central about the death sentence handed out by a military panel against double murderer Army SGT Hasan Akbar. The Centrist is also an Army Captain, and he helpfully explains the next steps in Akbar's appeals process.


You can make of this heading what you will, but here are two posts about the California legislature, which seems to have a lot of time on its hands.

So Cal Lawyer describes efforts to ban "pay per view" hunting.

E. L. Eversman at AutoMuse provides an "Update on California Crash Parts Bill." Now, I will confess that I needed more than an update, because I had never heard of this bill, but this is interesting. According to E. L.,  "The Certified Aftermarket Parts Association and insurers seek to create an “affirmative action” program to force consumers to accept inferior imitation crash parts in their vehicles’ repairs rather than providing and paying for original equipment manufacture (Ford, GM, Toyota, etc.) parts." E.L. even finds a way to squeeze in the debate about Social Security!

Canon Law

Two entries here, neither about canon law per se, but both about things Catholic. (We could have had another post in this category had Steve Bainbridge submitted this week. See here and here and here and here, for example.)

In a guest post at Notes from the (Legal) Underground, Abnu (a former altar boy) describes the ancient doctrine known as "benefit of clergy" and its relation to the priest sex-abuse scandals. He concludes: "As long as the Church views sexual abuse of children by clergy as a moral failure, a breach of the vow of chastity, even a cardinal sin, it is a matter for confession, penitence, forgiveness and absolution."

Meanwhile, KipEsquire at Stitch in Haste follows up with this question: "Should the U.S. Indict the Pope?" Why not? The prosecutors of Martha Stewart and Arthur Andersen probably have some free time.

Speaking of abortion ... (I realize that we weren't speaking of abortion, but I couldn't find another more appropriate category for this post), Sean Sirrine at Objective Justice describes that Florida case in which the Florida Department of Children and Families is claiming that they have the authority to require a court to decide if a 13 year-old may have an abortion. According to Sean, a juvenile court that delayed the abortion and ordered a psychological evaluation will be overturned by the higher Florida courts.

Legal Research Services

Yes, we actually have two posts about legal research services, and in my book, that merits a separate category.

Nivine Zakhari at Tech Law Geek asks "How long before clients catch on to the fact that online legal research is supported by offshore resources that hardly charge the hourly rates many lawyers dream of collecting? Could this be what Tom DeLay found to be so 'incredibly outrageous'?"

Our friend Denise Howell at Bag and Baggage follows up on the story about Supreme Court justices doing their own internet research, linking to a story about HighBeam's gift of reasearch services to the high court. Denise wonders whether there are any ethical constraints on the acceptance of complimentary memberships by the judiciary.

Law Practice

Evan Schaeffer at Notes from the (Legal) Underground offers some advice to young lawyers, expressing his frustrations with underhanded litigation tactics and suggesting that the U.S. model of adversarial litigation should be "transformed from the ground up." Evan is so hot under the collar that contract murder is not out of the question. Here is my advice to Evan and his correspondent: become a transactional lawyer. Or better yet, a law professor. You will still have frustrations, but nothing that will drive you to murder.

I am embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of Law Day until reading David Giacalone's informative post at f/k/a. David not only teaches about the creation of Law Day by President Eisenhower, but offers some commentary on lawyers. Read the whole post, and get some haiku as a bonus.

Raffi Melkonian praises apprenticeship (not the Donald Trump way) over at Crescat Sententia: "If I was opening a restaurant, I'd go apprentice for five or six years in a classical french restaurant. A good lawyer ought to cut his or her teeth on the work of better lawyers for at least that amount of time."

The self-proclaimed Greatest American Lawyer -- who is formally anonymous, but gives plenty of tips as to his identity -- suggests that the "billable hour obsession" and unhappiness are joined at the hip, and "unhappiness is a function of lack of purpose.."

Carolyn Elefant blogs as  My Shingle, and last week she compared marketing by large firms (McMarketing) with marketing by small firms or solo lawyers. Here is the teaser: "It's pretty clear that law marketing has invaded large firm practice - and guess what?  They're all doing the same thing."

Anthony Cerminaro at BizzBangBuzz describes "How to Buy a Business in 10 [not so] Easy Steps."

Ron Friedmann at Prism Legal Consulting suggests that corporate counsel should use blogs as "legal radar."

Lawyers are famously mathphobic, but George at his eponymous blog is using some math skills he learned in grade school to debunk the EEOC's sexual harrassment statistics against Burger King. If you ask me, Burger King should be charged with "human harrassment" for that so-called food they sell, but that's another post.


Jeremy Richey offers a satire about tort reformers and plaintiff's law.

Dwayne at Law School tells the strange tale of a misdirected email and Reinder Eekhof's quest to rule the world. (Ok, I made that last part up)

Administrative Stuff

Thanks to Felix the Cat on Flickr for the original photo of the United States Supreme Court, a modification of which appears at the top of this post.

Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

Posted by Gordon Smith at 10:18 AM in Around the Blogs | Permalink | TrackBack

April 04, 2005

Welcome to the Carnival of the Capitalists!!!


Law & Entrepreneurship News is pleased to be hosting Carnival of the Capitalists. This site is a collaborative project involving Professor Gordon Smith (that's me) and students at the University of Wisconsin Law School. We provide links and commentary on recent developments relating to law and entrepreneurship, and we hope that you find reasons to return here often.

Before we go to the entries in this week's Carnival, a word from our sponsor:

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is brought to you by Mantra Brand Consulting. Our "Brand Humanity" series of web seminars will look at high-level strategies to tactical “how-to’s” of opening dialogues with employees and customers using new technologies like blogs, wikis and forums. The series will also help business managers navigate the blogosphere and better manage their brands in a highly networked marketplace. You can enroll here.

That is a new development with the Carnival, and we appreciate Mantra Brand Consulting's support. Now, on to the posts ...

Featured Posts

I read every entry in this week's Carnival, and these were my favorites. The selections are completely idiosyncratic, but I make no apologies.

The Interested Participant is always intriguing, and this week he is writing about outsourcing in "U.S. Student Tutoring Outsourced to India," which discusses outsourcing tutoring services and phone sex to India. Yes, you read that correctly.

Even if Christine Hurt were not my co-blogger at Conglomerate, I would want to feature her post Is Hypocrisy Ethical?, which springboards off the firing of two Bank of America employees for "unethical, but not illegal" behavior. Christine examines corporations that fire employees for "morality reasons" even when laws are not violated nor rules broken.

Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends concludes that "Independent Coffeehouses Understand Their Market." This is an interesting short post describing a cafe crawl of coffeehouses in Cleveland. (Nice alliteration!) Plus this bonus: click through the photo for a slideshow! Although this event was not intended for marketing purposes, the end result is an example of a fabulous, low cost, new millenium marketing piece for independent coffeehouses in a local market.

Warren Meyer at the Coyote Blog offers "Case Studies on the Minimum Wage" from Warren's own business. This is a nice break from the usual abstractions about this perpetual hot-button issue.


Travis McMenimon at Odyssey of the Mind recounts a talk by Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, star of (Who can forget Travis wants you to remember Kaleil's most important piece of entrepreneurial advice, which is steeped in centuries of philosophical thinking...

Jeff Cornwall of The Entrepreneurial Mind addresses the topic of "Bank Mergers and Small Business," admonishing entrepreneurs, "Pay attention to your banking relationship."

Social Security Reform

In Treasury Secretary Snow at FLIR Systems, Kyle Markley at Cap'n Arbyte's relates his experience as a blogger at this media event on Social Security reform.

Jim Glass at wades into the Social Security debate with "Social Security, future economic growth, and stock returns," a thought provoking and contrarian take on the recent paper by Dean Baker, Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman. If investment returns fall, then reform becomes urgent soon to prevent the resulting larger funding gap from forcing big benefit cuts and tax increases in the future.

Micha Ghertner at Catallarchy addresses "Trust And The Spontaneous Order Of Money." The word "trust" does double duty here, as the topic is the Social Security Trust Fund. Micha provides an account of how trusting a decentralized network of millions of individual actors is more reliable than trusting a monopoly like the US government to fund social security.


Barry L. Ritholtz at The Big Picture discusses "(Why) You Suck at Investing." The short answer: "you just ain't built for it." You should read the whole thing for a more complete analysis, but what I really want to know is how Barry knew that I am a terrible investor.

David Strahlberg at The Media Stock Blog analyzes the split of Disney and Miramax and discusses its implications for the Weinsteins and "independent" film-making at Disney.

Ezra Marbach of The China Stock Blog wonders, "Time to re-consider China?" In the month of March, two stock funds tracking China outperformed a major emerging market index. The post suggests that the time might be right once again for international investors to take a look at China.

David Jackson of Internet Stock Blog describes how "Free financial content threatens YHOO, TSCM and other portals/news sites." The money line: "lower barriers to web publishing (using off-the-shelf blogging sofware), rising quality, and ease of aggregation due to RSS are providing the tools for the creation of next generation finance portals."

Individ writes about Uranium For Plowshares: Another Hot Commodity, discussing the uranium market, prices, and stocks, and some background on the geology of Uranium deposits.

Mover Mike is writing about "Derivatives!," collecting a host of bad-news derivatives stories about Freddie Mac, AIG, and others.


Writing from Lovely Deseret at a blog called Hit Coffee, Will Truman  offers "Turnover and Out," which explores the issue (and gives accounts) of unavoidable turnover and how companies deal with it.

Ironman at Political Calculations has a post entitled "Project Managing to Win," from which you would not guess that this is a deconstruction of "The Apprentice." But it is, and it is worth a read.

Ankesh Kothari at Marketing eYe offers "Mistake to Money," the story of how a a waldrobe malfunction led to crazy profits for a company that sells prom dresses. (I'm just glad that my daughter didn't buy this one!)

Lisa Haneberg at Management Craft writes about "Fuzzy Success." According to Lisa, fuzzy can be good! Great management is often a small, indirect, or abstract act. Leaders who define their success in terms of completed tasks deprive themselves of the success and satisfaction that can come from more facilitative and indirect acts.

John Dmohowski at Drakeview presents CPO added to Mahogany Row, which looks at "Chief Project Officers," a new C-level role within organizations seeking to align their project management activities with their strategy.  According to John, this may not be the best approach for organizations that are process oriented.

Rosa Say at Talking Story with Say Leadership Coaching offers some tips on meetings with "Another take on Meetings: The 5-Point Plan." Here are the taglines: "Have a meeting. Get something done. Enjoy the experience. All three phrases do belong together. I love meetings." You can read the whole thing for yourself and decide whether Rosa is sane.

Steve Shu of Steve Shu's Blog (who did you expect?) relates a "Personal Experience: How MBAs and Non-Profits Can "Profit" From One Another."

Skip Angel at Random Thoughts from a CTO discusses "'Stop doing' Lists, do you have them?" In Good to Great, Jim Collins writes that great companies have better focus by knowing not just what to do but also what not to do. He recommends starting a "Stop doing" List. This post explores some of the challenges of an organization to say No and add to this kind of list.


Adam Siegrist at Techronization offers "The Convergence Factor," a post about how phones are increasingly becoming fashion items that people purchase for looks. It also gives a sneak preview into what is going to happen in the cell phone industry over the next 12 months, including 3 Megapixel cameras and full MP3 players included with a phone in a single device. According to Adam, these markets are converging, and he wonders: are you ready?

Martin Lindeskog at EGO thinks "Voice Over Internet Protocol" will be one of the big internet trends this year.

Barry Welford at The Other Bloke's Blog presents "Psst: Heard The One About The New Internet Search Directory." This is one of today's posts that caused me to click further. Barry writes about specialized Internet Directories, a little history and a little about the future. Worth a look.


mad anthony at his eponymous blog responds to Best Buy getting rid of rebates. Anthony examines the proposal, offers a potential rationale, and explains why, unlike most people, he loves rebates. (The reason surprised me, so you might want to take a look.)

David Foster of Chicago Boyz asks what you would do if you were running Sears Holdings, the company that resulted from the merger of K-Mart and Sears. No answers provided, but you can register your own thoughts in the comments.

International Business

Steve Conover at The Skeptical Optimist posts on Debt Thermometer: A rankings shuffle. Fascinating graphics on current debtloads of various countries.


Christopher Bailey at The Alchemy of Soulful Work is contemplating the best airline I have never flown in "JetBlue's Cultivation of a Soulful Workplace." Here is the teaser: "Knowing that David Neeleman's business philosophy is guided by his experiences serving the poor makes me MORE likely to fly his airline than United or American (frankly, I have no idea who runs either of these companies) and far more dedicated to helping this company maintain it's mission."

Mario of AnumatiNews explains "How To Value A Brand." According to Mario, "what this amounts to in most cases is little more than a thought experiment," but he does a nice job of breaking down the pieces of the analysis.

Steve Pavlina at Steve Pavlina's Blog examines "Marketing From Your Conscience." This intrigues me: "Eventually I figured out that when people said, 'I don’t know how to do marketing,' what they’re really saying is, 'I don’t want to market this product because deep down I know people would be better off not buying it....'" If you like that, read the whole post.

Peter Caputa at pc4media writes about "Shortcut Marketing. But What About the Feedback? This post briefly discusses some of the ways that companies (read: Marqui) have tried to use blogs to market themselves and have failed because they've taken shortcuts. It also goes into how some of these attempts were also attempts at soliciting feedback for the company and solicits entrepreneurs and bloggers to join me in an experiment in using blogs as feedback tools for companies to help them improve their products.

Wayne Hurlbert at Blog Business World has some thoughts about "Blog posting frequency and other dilemmas." Only three times a week? Read Wayne for an explanation.

By way of personal marketing, Josh Cohen at Multiple Mentality offers thoughts on ways to make your resumes and cover letters just a little bit better.

Heather Burke of Pro Wrestling Impact spells out "The ABCs of Promoting Your League."

Jim Logan at JSLogan describes "Step-by-Step Sales": "If you can’t envision the steps necessary to get from where you are to where you ultimately need to be, the chances of getting there are just that…chances." Not bad advice for life generally.


In "Kudlow's great point can be made even better," the South Park Pundit suggests that Lawrence Kudlow's "pro-business" ideas are not ideas that most large-company CEO's embrace. SPP suggests that when Kudlow says "pro-business," he really means pro-worker, pro-prosperity, pro-employment growth, pro-entrepreneurship, pro-fairness, and pro-meritocracy. According to SPP, Kudlow (and indeed Republicans) could win more converts if they explained how their policies help consumers and disappoint executives.

Chan Eddy at Weekend Pundit discusses "The Cost Of Housing," arguing that the cost of housing is no longer affordable to the average wage earner. It's not a question of wages not keeping up with the price of housing but the cost of housing going up faster than the rate of inflation. Why is this?

Matthew at TriggerFinger discusses Conflicting Interests: Taxation, illegal immigration, and liberty and introduces me to a genre of blogging I had not encountered before: gunblogging.

Insert-Name-Here at Insert-Blog-Here presents "Basic Economics" in six easy-to-remember rules.

Business Ethics

Joe Kristan at Roth & Company Tax Update asks the provacative question: "Do you fire a thief who helps you cheat on taxes?" Check here for some thoughts on a Tax Court case that illustrates the perils of dealing with a problem accomplice.

Director Mitch at The Window Manager offers HBS Case Study Input, providing his thoughts on an ethics case study for an HBS student.

Humor and Trivia

Will Franklin at offers Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 3, this time on whale oil. He observes that the price of a gallon of whale oil, widely used for heat and light and so on, in the 1850s, was higher than a gallon of "rock oil" gasoline today, both in real dollars and in constant dollars.

Anita Campbell at The RFID Weblog links to a spoof on the congressional steroids hearings in For a Bit of RFIDHumor.... In this rendering, Congress holds hearings on bar codes using steroids to become RFID tags (a play on words, as RFID has been called "bar codes on sterioids"). RFID stands for radio frequency identification technology, and its use has accelerated dramatically as companies like Wal-Mart have mandated that all suppliers use it to track inventory they ship to Wal-Mart.

And, finally, this post from Lip-sticking, which defies categorization: "Jane Gets Organized" is a post from the archives that "reflects the on-going desire for human beings to organize--themselves, their sock drawers, and their businesses. But, really what we need to do is organize our human connections to each other, and the rest will fall into place."

Thanks for reading. We hope that you enjoyed this week's Carnival. Next week's Carnival stop: TJ's (Excellent) Weblog.

P.S. Thanks to killbyte on Flickr for the excellent image at the top of this post.

P.P.S. Somehow I failed to note that Law & Entrepreneurship News will be hosting Blawg Review, the new carnival of the law bloggers, on May 2. The Blawg Review will launch next week at Notes from the (Legal) Underground, and Conglomerate will host on May 9.

Posted by Gordon Smith at 10:53 PM in Around the Blogs | Permalink | TrackBack

January 03, 2005

Carnival of the Capitalists: January 3, 2005

Lisa at Management Craft is hosting Carnival of the Capitalists this week. Nick's post on women-owned businesses is featured.

Posted by Gordon Smith at 09:02 AM in Around the Blogs | Permalink | TrackBack

November 01, 2004

Carnival of the Capitalists is Up!

Will Pate has posted this week's Carnival of the Capitalists. Our own Brian Buchanan is the first featured post for Law & Entrepreneurship News. Nice work, Brian. Don't forget to check out the other posts at Will's.

Posted by Gordon Smith at 01:10 AM in Around the Blogs | Permalink | TrackBack

October 26, 2004

Proposition 71

We in Wisconsin have one eye on Proposition 71 in California, which would establish the "California Institute for Regenerative Medicine" to regulate and fund stem cell research. Jeff Nolan quotes an opposition view from Mitch Kapor. Dan Gillmor is also against. Same for Steve Bainbridge, who quotes extensively from Francis Fukuyama. For more information, check here (pro) and here (con). The most recent Field Poll shows Proposition 71 out front 46% to 39%.

Posted by Gordon Smith at 09:39 PM in Around the Blogs | Permalink | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

On Copyrighting

Brad at Feld Thoughts is wondering about copyrighting PowerPoint slides:

As I was sitting in the audience, I noticed one thing that kept annoying me. A number of the presentations said Copyright "SOMETHING_OTHER_THAN_2004" in the footer. I've noticed this a lot recently, as footers seems to have "Copyright 2002", "Copyright 11/02" or simply "4/12/03". You'd think that PowerPoint would have an autocorrect rule for "Copyright."

Perhaps a more pertinent question is why people use the copyright symbol or the word "copyright" at all. Copyright protection exists as soon as a work is created in fixed form, and copyright notice has not been required since 1989, though the perception of the need for such notice is widespread. Despite the lack of a notice requirement, the use of copyright notices is common as a means of alerting people about the intention of the work's owner to assert copyright protection. It also may have an evidentiary function, especially in cases where there is a claim of innocent infringement.

This is cross-posted on Venturpreneur.

Posted by Gordon Smith at 12:38 AM in Around the Blogs | Permalink | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

The Next Napster

Fred over at A VC is talking about "exploding TV." If you are looking for the next battles in copyright, this looks like a safe bet:

I believe "digital television" will play out largely like digital music. At first the content owners (like the musicians) will be held back out of loyalties to the cable MSOs (like the record labels). Content owners will not make their content available for download legally. But consumers will want to get their TV truly "on demand" and they will use Bit Torrent or whatever other technology becomes available just like Napster, Morpheus, and Kazaa were used to get music on demand.

Posted by Gordon Smith at 11:14 PM in Around the Blogs | Permalink | TrackBack