THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS . . . The positive reviews of my two podcasts about advanced deposition techniques are much appreciated--
Prolific blawger Evan Schaeffer is about to publish a book entitled Deposition Checklists and Strategies. If it is as good as his posts and podcasts on depositions it should be a great addition to your library.
Please allow me to gush . . .. Evan Schaeffer at The Illinois Trial Practice Weblog has recently posted his second installment of his podcast on advanced deposition techniques (see here). I have listened to the excellent podcast and, again, Evan offers valuable suggestions to both young and experienced attorneys. Hopefully, Evan will inspire other experienced attorneys to publish similar type of podcasts.
THE WEEKLY LAW SCHOOL ROUNDUP . . . The Weekly Law School Roundup alternates between Legal Underground and divine angst, where Kristine has posted this week's Weekly Law School Roundup #45. The next installment will appear here next Sunday, so be sure to check back.
GADGET UPDATE: The Nintendo Wii . . . Are you a lawyer who's tired of playing video games with those old-fashioned two-handed controllers? Then perhaps you need this--
It's the Nintendo Wii. Not only will it keep you entertained with its revolutionary new motion-sensing technology, but it comes bundled -- for absolutely free -- with a new set of words that are certain to become a cherished part of your vocabulary. Wii, Wii Remote, Nunchuck, Nunchuck controller, this and much more. Remember, you have nothing to fear from these new words. Since you've already mastered legalese, it goes without saying you have a giant brain. You'll be able to master the Wii with less than half of it, allowing you to prepare for trial at the same time. Only $250.
NEW SEARCH ENGINE FOR LAW-RELATED WEBLOGS . . . I just stumbled on BlawgSearch, a new search engine for law-related weblogs that also allows you to view posts by tag or category. It was created by Justia.
NEW ABA ETHICS OPINION ON METADATA . . . Here's how the ABA describes its new metadata opinion in a press release: "Lawyers who receive electronic documents are free to look for and use information hidden in metadata –- information embedded in electronically produced documents –- even if the documents were provided by an opposing lawyer, according to a new ethics opinion from the American Bar Association."
Though allowing full use of metadata seems to be the only sensible view, the press release points out that "the opinion is contrary to the view of some legal ethics authorities, which have found it ethically impermissible as a matter of honesty for lawyers to search documents they receive from other lawyers for metadata or to use what they find."
The ABA's opinion is summarized in its opening paragraph:
The Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not contain any specific prohibition against a lawyer's reviewing and using embedded information in electronic documents, whether received from opposing counsel, an adverse party, or an agent of an adverse party. A lawyer who is concerned about the possibility of sending, producing, or providing to opposing counsel a document that contains or might contain metadata, or who wishes to take some action to reduce or remove the potentially harmful consequences of its dissemination, may be able to limit the likelihood of its transmission by "scrubbing" metadata from documents or by sending a different version of the document without the embedded information.
In the text of the opinion, the authors note that one issue is outside its scope, namely, the issue of whether the disclosure of metadata might sometimes be considered "inadvertent," thereby obligating the person with the metadata to put the sender on notice that he has it.
I've written about the ethics of metadata at length in both weblog posts and in my Discovery Resources columns with Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Links are included below. Although the ABA ethics opinion doesn't end the debate, it's an important step forward.
Related posts here and at the Illinois Trial Practice Weblog:
This election destroyed a popular Karl Rove myth. The truth is that trial attorneys are winning, attacks on trial attorneys are backfiring and opponents of the civil justice system are losing.
Is Haber right? Did the anti-lawyer rhetoric backfire on the pro-business interest groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?
Here in the area around St. Louis, which includes Madison County, Illinois, voters have been inundated for months with anti-lawyer rhetoric, including the Please Don't Feed the Trial Lawyers ad campaign. Given all the money that was spent, how did the anti-lawyer candidates in Southern Illinois fare last week?
In short, they lost.
This was especially true in the judicial races. Here's how a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put it, writing about the Illinois judicial races: "As the battle over courts climbs to new political heights, Election Day proved to be a rout for Democrats as GOP judicial candidates were defeated across the board."
One expert attributed the "rout" to the high concentration of Democrats in Southern Illinois. Perhaps, but I'm more of the mind of someone else quoted in the Post-Dispatch article, Bruce Kohen, the President-Elect of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
""Court reform' is the word that they use," he said, speaking of pro-business interest groups. "(The wide win) is a blow to their attempts to buy the judiciary."
Whether they're trying to buy the judiciary or not, the pro-business, anti-lawyer interest groups lost. For this lawyer, it was a welcome result.
But it's no time to gloat. Wasn't it just two years ago that things seemed so grim? The debate about tort "reform" continues. I'm not sure that one mid-term election means all that much.
The first two episodes of This Week in Law have included Ernest Svenson, Cathy Kirkman, and others. The most recent episode includes a discussion of the regulation of lawyer weblogs by bar associations. As you might guess, the participants were not too keen on the idea . . . (I'm not too keen on iteither.)