Stuff You Should Know, Volume 29

By 5-4 decision, the Supreme yesterday put an end to consumer class actions in AT&T v. Concepcion, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law prohibiting contracts of adhesion.  The court held that “contracts” imposed by corporations allowing only arbitration of individual disputes are okey-dokey, and that if you don’t like the deal, go find a multinational corporation to provide cellphone services that will negotiate every term and condition of the deal with you individually.

Or else, each and every person who contracts for service can bring their own arbitration action for the $12,49 that the corporation overcharged.  Imagine how much work that will be for AT&T if 27 million people file for individual arbitration at once!  Now if we can just get all those people to go along with the plan.

In Scranton, Chief Dan Duffy is in big trouble with the police union because he arrested a drug dealer.  Via Overlawyered,

[T]he police union has filed a grievance with the state collective bargaining board over a drug arrest made by police chief Dan Duffy in March, “because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was ‘off duty’ when the March 20 arrest was made.

When the rank and file get pissed off at the chief for stealing one of their busts, you get the sense that they just don’t have enough crime in Scranton to go around.  So if you’re inclined to be a criminal, you may want to consider Scranton as the land of opportunity.

Via Mike Masnick at  Techdirt, the question is posed whether it’s rude to link to another person’s post without first obtaining permission.  

 Earlier this week, I wrote an analysis of some silly claims from Canadian IP lawyer James Gannon’s sarcastic suggestion that copying money is just like copying content. Gannon stopped by in our comments… and oddly did not respond to a single point that I raised about his faulty analysis. Instead, he only commented to claim that it was somehow rude or discourteous of me to link to his piece and to discuss it without first asking for permission. I found this somewhat shocking. I’ve never heard that it’s common courtesy to ask before you link to someone. Yet Gannon insisted that most people who link to him first ask his permission and he suggests, snidely, that his readership has higher “standards” in regards to how they view content.

Gannon, who may well be a closet curling fan like fellow Canadian, The Trial Warrior, Antonin Pribetic (who I expect to vehemently deny it, as usual), may be on to something.  From now on, I expect that my readership will hold itself to higher standards as well and obtain my permission before linking to my posts.  This is especially true if you disagree with me. 

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine law school,  has discovered that the United States Supreme Court ignored prosecutorial misconduct, writing it “has sent a disturbing message that it just doesn’t realize that there is a serious problem that infects our criminal justice system.”  Nice to see that Erwin has finally figured it out too.

Frank Ramos of Miami’s Clarke Silverglate (relationship to my pal Harvey unknown) has started a blog to provide tips for young lawyers. He offers numerous great writing tips, but the one that caught my eye was the “Frozen Pizza” rule.

While at the supermarket, I went down the frozen pizza aisle. Not having bought a frozen pizza since my law school days, I was overwhelmed at the selection. There was DiGiorno, Tombstone, Red Baron, Amy’s and Kashi’s. There was organic, low-fat, thick, thin, healthy and indulgent. It occurred to me while standing there that there were similarities between me selecting a frozen pizza and an in-house counsel selecting a firm. My decision came down to value, which economists have an equation for – quality over cost. I wanted a flavorful pizza with quality ingredients at a good price. Likewise, in-house counsel are looking for quality service (strong work product, responsive counsel, good outcomes) at a reasonable cost (lower billable rates or possibly alternative billing arrangements). When working on a matter, remember that the client you are working for wants a positive outcome and does not want to pay too much for it.

It should also be noted that clients prefer their outcomes with pepperoni.

The  other George Wallace writes at his other blog, Declarations and Exclusions, that anyone engaged in the Business of Law is at risk.  No, not because law is not just a business, but because Ed Poll has registered it as his very own.



Yesterday, a comment came in on my post from earlier this month on  marketing legal services.  The commenter was Ed Poll of Edward Poll & Associates, Inc., of Venice, California, proprietor of  LawBiz.com and other law firm management-related enterprises.


Here, in full, is the text of Mr. Poll’s comment:



As a marketer, you know how important branding is … and use of another’s brand and registered mark is not appropriate. I can only surmise, then, that your use of my brand in your post was a result of lack of knowledge.  The Business of Law(r) is my registered mark since 1995.  In the future, should you want to use it, please provide attribution.  Thanks.


Unlike the snipping other George Wallace, I believe in respecting another man’s registered mark.  Accordingly, I have registered the mark “Ed Poll” for the use of internet idiot, and fully expect it to be honored by all.  To do otherwise is not appropriate.  And by the way, if you want to link to me in order to provide proper attribution, you will need my permission first.

8 comments on “Stuff You Should Know, Volume 29

  1. Antonin I Pribetic

    If I didn’t know better, this post resembles a proto-Blawg Review effort.

    Blawg posts, like sausages, are best shared as links. Speaking of sausages and other European-inspired cuisine, as a naturalized Canadian of Croatian heritage, I decline to post my birth certificate to prove my love of cured meats and dislike of curling.

  2. SHG

    Ha!  You fell into my trap so easily.  So you just happen to know off the top of your head the unique pattern of the Norwegian curling team’s pants?  And have a photo of the American curling team, also known as janitors at PS 137, at the ready?

    How could this be, Mr. I Hate Curling?  I think we know the answer.

  3. Antonin I Pribetic

    I saw this twit recently via @wiselaw (Garry Wise):

    TORONTO LAW BLOGGER MEETUP – Reminder: It’s [tonight], April 28, 2011 – 7:30 p.m. Location: Fionn MacCool’s – 310 Front St. West, Toronto.

    To all the Canadian law bloggers who follow Mark C. Robins on Twitter and invited him to attend this event, I am deeply disappointed that you either don’t know or don’t care that he’s blacklisted on all Canadian sex trade websites. For shame.

Comments are closed.