The Common Scold

The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!

NoLa's Green Matters: Not Perfect, But Very Good.

TedbanksNew Orleans -- Consultant/attorney Theodore Banks (right), who spent the bulk of his career as a leader in Kraft Food's legal department, set the tone at the Green Matters conference as he reminded the audience that to successfully promote environment-friendly programs, everyone must remember that "the perfect is the enemy of the good."

Translation: take comfort in small steps, and don't get upset when big goals aren't (immediately) met. That advice probably sums up not just the ambitious Green Matters program, but the current temperature of "going green" within the legal profession. The conference drew high-level speakers, but not as many attendees (about 100) as the organizers would have liked, to discuss topics that most lawyers may nod their heads about but aren't (yet) taking serious steps to address.

The event was organized by Monty and Kathleen Lunn, he a long-time fixture in the legal technology world (formerly with Elite and Huron); she an effective veteran of politics. The couple recently moved back to New Orleans after living in California and Pennsylvania. (Tom O'Connor, another legal tech gray-beard, now director of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center, also was an organizer).

Originally named Green Legal Matters and scheduled for April, it was postponed until this week, with a much broader agenda. That was a wise decision, because what has made this event so terrific is the cross-section of participants from government and the legal profession. Like an excellent fusion restaurant that marries exotic flavors, the combination is fiery and inspiring, if slightly imperfect.

Greensburg New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu kicked off the event Wednesday, one of several mayors who brought all the green talk down to earth, literally. At a compelling Thursday lunch presentation, four mayors discussed how they are implementing and coping with green initiatives, including   Mayor Bob Dixon of Greenburg, Kansas -- which was just about obliviated on May 4, 2007, when a tornado wiped out 95% of the city. Rather than abandon the georgraphy, the town decided to live up to its name, and recreate itself as a eco-strong city. (The process has been documented by a fascinating television series  on Planet Green.) New Jersey City's mayor Jerrammiah Healy told how he turned to litigation to reclaim soiled abandoned land in his small metropolis that is a gateway to New York City, and negotiated with the land's corporate owners to restore it to usable, income-producing venues that improved the city and provided jobs and residences to its citizens.

DornAsmall Despite the conference's moniker change, the event retained its strong legal undercurrent. Susan Dorn, (right) GC of the U.S. Green Building Council, gave the Thursday keynote, outlining the current status of the powerful NGO that created and maintains the popular LEEDs rating system. She discussed a hot-button issue among the legal and architecture crowd: challenges to LEED certifications, and the perishability of those credentials, as LEED certification requirements are  often now built into to development contracts.

Merwinsmall Rather than do the usual top-executive fly-in/fly-out, Dorn stayed all day, and her presence at  an afternoon session generated some deliciously polite friction with the speakers during "When Green Goes Wrong: Liability and De-Certification Litigation," with Haynes Boone lawyers Bruce Merwin (left) and Bradley Carson (See twitter.com/lawtechnews or #lgmn).

Brandtsmall Legal technology consultant (and ILTA leader) Jeff Brandt (left) lead off a pragmatic program on "The Greening of the CIO," describing how CIOs can make small but significant changes in their organizations that can reap significant energy savings, from virtualized servers to replacing equipment earlier rather than later to take advantage of technology improvements. The panel also featured IBM's Florence Hudson, who gets the energizer bunny award for appearing on three panels (so far), and is literally a rocket scientist. She is the energy/environment/cloud computing wizard at IBM talked about her company's global efforts.

Hudson was also a last minute addition to Banks' corporate panel, which also featured GC Elaine Reilly of DuPont, Gillian van Muyden, GC of redevelopment for  Glendale, Calif., and a mesmerizing presentation by Walmart's senior director of environmental compliance, Richard Dailey.

Just as in e-discovery, in the end, it probably will take corporate counsel's insistent to push law firms into green action, observed several audience members, who resonated to the message of the corporate leaders panel.

Ultimately, the GCs told their colleagues,  no one in the legal profession will buy into green if it costs money -- and that's the current perception. To succeed, to be accepted, green must actually be green, e.g, create money.

Dailey gave an example about how Walmart previously paid a lot of money to get rid of the cardboard boxes that housed incoming products for its shelves. Now, he said, Walmart gets more than $1 million in revenue by selling the cardboard to recyclers. Green efforts, he pronounced, "are not sustainable if they don't make business sense."

Walmart's green efforts, said Dailey, have helped dramatically turn around the company's reputation, (which was blemished in the past by bad press, especially about prior labor practices that adversely affected single parents and women). The company now invests in solar and wind options, efficient buildings, fleet improvements, and fuel cells, and even recycles oil and grease from fryers into fuel, he said.

Transparency is crucial, said Dailey.  "We articulate our goals publicly," he noted, and said  that posture drives business. Dailey said the company is not afraid to use its massive power (1.5 million employees) to influence vendors and customers to go green. As an example, he cites the company's campaign for CLF light bulbs, with 137 million sold so far, he notes.

Banks shared the story of an unsuccessful effort to switch Kraft's salad dressing containers to recyclable plastic, which cost five cents more than glass. "Good intentions are not enough. It has to work."

The conference continues today with more sessions ranging from practical ways to green a law office; to greenwashing; to more panels on LEED litigation. This morning, I will be joined by consultants George Socha, Tom O'Connor, and Andrew Adkins, to discuss "Green E-Discovery." Our message will reiterate that "the perfect is the enemy of the good," hopefully reduce some of the fear and anxiety about EDD, and show how using technology can indeed help lawyers produce better, faster, cheaper legal services -- that are also green.

Greensburg picture courtesy of wikipedia.

October 15, 2010 in Climate Change: Katrina, Oil, etc. , Green Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Green Matters Conference: Susan Dorn

DornAsmallNew Orleans -- Susan Dorn, general counsel of the U.S. Green Building Council and its affiliated Green Building Certification Institute, was this morning's keynote speaker at the Green Matters Conference in New Orleans.

The conference (which previously was Green Legal Matters) is taking place through Friday in New Orleans, rescheduled (and with an expanded agenda, to address government, legal, and architecture issues) from its original April calendar slot. 

Dorn outlined USGBC's current status and agendas, noting that about 25% of all U.S. new construction projects are going "green," with 35,000 registered for LEED certification evaluation, and 17,000 organizations are participating in USGBC.  

The agency expects 30,000 attendees at its November Greenbuild conference in Chicago, which will also draw 1,400 exhibitors, she said. The conference will include a three-hour session addressing "all things green legal," said Dorn. 

On the legal agenda, Dorn said there is an effort underway to revamp LEED indemnity clauses, and create a new "Appointment of Agent" form to identify project owners and improve indemnity for contractors and others. USGBC, she said, is making "one last push" to simplify agreements and "put them in plain English." 

They are also evaluting the certification challenge process to make sure submittals and documentation is truthful and accurate -- but notes that the challenge process is not designed to be a dispute resolution service.

A related issue is the perishability of certification. They are considering a two-year limit to challenges. "LEED certification is date-stamped," she explained, and does not extend indefinitely into the future, she notes, due to the continually changing and improving technologies and protocols.  

Interest in LEED certification is expanding internationally, she reported. A new program to address international is expected to launch this year.  An initial roundtable is in the works, with 14 nations already pledged to participate. 

Another key project is green schools, says Dorn, who told the audience about a successful pilot project held here in New Orleans. Green schools address not just health and learning issues, but also cut costs, she said. A new Center for Green Schools has been established at the USGC. 

The agency is also considering requiring conformity with Energy Star protocols, which currently are requested on a voluntary basis. 

October 14, 2010 in Climate Change: Katrina, Oil, etc. , Green Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

FTC Green Guides Revisions

I turn the microphone over to Minneapolis' (where I wish I was today) Melissa Krasnow, of Dorsey & Whitney:

Greenleaf "Today, the Federal Trade Commission proposed revisions to the “Green Guides,” the guidance that it gives marketers to help them avoid making misleading environmental claims, including marketers’ use of product certifications and seals of approval, “renewable energy” claims, “renewable materials” claims, and “carbon offset” claims. The FTC is seeking public comment on the proposed changes until December 10, 2010, after which it will decide which changes to make final. Here is a link to additional information.

October 6, 2010 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


4768307266_e9066d614b In our July issue of Law Technology News, in "Prairie, Flowering," Nicole Hansen details how Thomson Reuters Legal helped restore 10 acres of its 297 at its Eagan, Minn., campus. Hansen, part of TRL's communications team, says the plot, with the help of experts, was plowed, tilled, and weed-treated before it went dormant last winter, to prepare it for planting this spring.

TRL spent about $10,000 -- mostly on wildflower seeds, which were spread by 50 volunteers during a May 27 ceremony -- but expects to recoup the costs because those acres will no longer require maintenance. It will take about four years before the plot matures into a full prairie, with six-foot-tall grasses and the wildflowers, writes Hansen.

TRL's blog, Legal Currents, reports on our story, and also includes links to photos of the seeding party, including the one above featuring TRL's eep John Shaughnessy tossin' seeds.

July 8, 2010 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Interesting post by Anna Maria Virzi on ClickZ, "BP Oil Spill Fuels Legal Marketing Machines," about how enterprising lawyers are using web tools to market their services to businesses and individuals affected by the Gulf Coast mess. And how BP itself is using the same tactics to try to salvage its image.

Searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing for "oil spill" this week show that law firms dominate the sponsored listiOilngs in search engine results, she notes.

BP is also using paid search for reputation management, "directing people to www.bp.com/gulfofmexicoresponse to learn about the company's response to the oil spill,"  writes Virzi, who analyzes and compares some of the web advertising that various firms are using to establish their expertise and   rustworthiness, and dodge any "carpetbagger" labels.

Hat tip: Bill Pollak.

May 25, 2010 in Breaking News, Climate Change: Katrina, Oil, etc. , Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


In the spirit of all things green on Parade Day in New York City, here a few kewl gadgets that you might rationalize buying as honoring St. Patrick. We took a quick visit to ThinkGeek and found the gems below.

JuiceBar Portable Solar Charger: No, it's not "the newest health drink franchise trend sweeping the country," says ThinkGeek. This one is "full of electronic gadget juice," and provides you extra battery zip. Its internal lithium-ion battery can be recharged via USB connection or built-in solar panel (a penny under $50).

• Dr. Timmy's Micro Hand-cranked LED Torch: A bit bigger than a quarter, this flashlight could (seriously) save your life in a disaster where there's no electricity anywhere (under $5).

Coffee Cup Power Inverter: Tired of loose wires getting in the way of your car's shifter? This sits in your beverage holder, and provides two 120-volt AC outlets ($29.99).

Kill-A-Watt: Connect your appliances to this device (about the size of a PDA) and determine how energy-efficient they are. It might be time to replace them with Energy Star upgrades ($24.99).

Dissolving Travel Toiletries: Packets of shampoo, body wash, and hand soap sheets that aren't liquid so you don't have to hassle with TSA, and they dissolve instantly to provide their stated use ($4.99 to $12.99).


• Finally, the piece de resistance: you can hide your cables in the Grassy Lawn Charging Station. No, I am not making this up — but alas, this is temporarily out of stock, so patience is golden (hmmm, I think that is silence ... whatever).

Anyway, it "provides you with realistic artificial grass to cushion your gadgets while they charge," says ThinkGeek. "A compartment underneath hides all of the power adapters and cables." The box is 11" x 7" x 4.35".

I want to go to there!

March 17, 2010 in Distractions :), Green Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


JbJon Bream is in town, the first East Coast stop on the tour for his latest book, Neil Diamond is Forever. His timing is impeccable -- he's in NYC just in time to join me tonight for game 1 of the playoffs. It's especially sweet, because -- after one of the most amazing games ever played (for me, topped only by the Aaron Boone 2003 ALDS game) -- the Yankees are facing the Twins.

NeilBream has been the music critic at the Mpls. Star-Tribune for more than 30 years -- the longest tenure of any daily newspaper music critic other than Joel Selvin at the SF Chron, (and technically, Selvin has retired .) Bream also contributes to Law Technology News (his next article, "Greening Greene Espel" will appear in our November issue). 

JB and I go back to our cub days at the Minnesota Daily, where he hired me to be the first "girl" to cover rock and roll at the 43,000-circ newspaper. It was heady times -- our editor was Paul Brainerd, who went on to found Aldus Pagemaker, coin the term "desktop publishing," and become a close friend-of-Bill (not Clinton).

Late last night, JB  taped a segment for the Joey Reynolds show on WOR710 radio. Before he headed over to the studio, we watched the tiebreaker game at the Mudville 9 Saloon, a funky, friendly sports bar. The cordial staff warmly welcomed us all the way through the 12th inning walk-off climax. (Not many NYC restaurants would let you occupy a table for 3-1/2 hours over a $40 dinner!) It was a blast, and a suitable substitute for being in the Dome -- with enthusiastic constituents of both Twins and Tigers camps. 

Bream's last tome was a coffee table extravaganza, Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin, and his first was Prince: Inside the Purple Reign. The 160-page Diamond book is a feast for the singer's  fans, and chronicles his career from early struggles to sold-out arenas. Jon draws heavily from his many interviews with Diamond since 1976, and the books is crammed full of photos of memorabilia, such as concert programs, posters, backstage passes, etc.

Red Sox fans may be surprised to learn that "Sweet Caroline," the anthem of Fenway 8th innings, "was inspired by a photo of 11-year-old Caroline Kennedy." It has become the singer's most covered song, Bream says -- with Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Ray Coniff and Waylon Jennings among those who have recorded the very annoying ditty. (Go Yankees).

More on Bream's book tour:

Vintagerock.com interview.

Pastemagazine.com article by C. Lee.

BC (Blog Critics) review by J. Gardner.

October 7, 2009 in Books, Distractions :), Green Law, People | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #061209

Mailbox I'm just about ready to head out to Charlie Haas' 7:30 p.m. book reading at the Barnes & Noble in the Village (396 6th @ 8th) for his new book, The Enthusiast... but before I dash out the door, need to catch up on some incoming!

Attorney Paul Levine  also has a new novel out -- Illegal -- and he introduces a new "trouble-prone hero," Jimmy (Royal) Payne. It's a tale set in the California desert that tells the plight of a 12-year-old boy whose mom disappears during a border crossing. It was inspired by real events, says Levine. "A thriller with a social conscience, the book combines the moral decay of Chinatown with the sudden violence of No Country for Old Men," he says.

ARUBIN • Audrey Rubin checks in to announce the launch of her new website, Rubin Solutions. (Sigh, will they never learn -- but at least it rhymes!) (Audrey: NO SOLUTIONS!!!!!! It's the most abused word in the English language.) Chicago-based Rubin (right) served as COO for seven years at Wildman Harrold Allen and Dixon, and at Butler Rubin Saltarelli and Boyd.

• Clifford Chance's Sally King chimes in with a request to spread the word about a petition to help pass legislation that would protect women from "drive thru" mastectomies. Check it out here. This is really important -- and doesn't impact just women. Men, sign it too! Your mothers, wives, daughters and friends will appreciate your support.

• Frederick Hertz, my pal from SFO, also has a new book, which debuts in July  from NOLO, with Emily Doskow: Making it Legal: A Guide to Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Parnterships & Civil Unions. Here's an interview with Hertz: Part 1 and Part 2.  (The book's not showing up on the Nolo site). 

• And we are not done with new books: Perry Binder says Unlocking Your Rubber Room will motivate you to achieve professional satisfaction, and is based on his courtroom and classroom experiences. (He's now a legal studies professor at Georgia State Univ. 

• Mais Oui! The Association of Legal Administrators has launched a French version of its website, available here.  It features French language introductions to key ino, special resources, and links to the English language section of ALA's main website.

• Perry Segal wants you to know about his blog, E-Discovery Insights, which covers EDD from a California lawyer's perspective.

• Adobe's Rick Borstein found this post from Matthew Buchanan about virtual letterhead to be a very green idea, (with a hat tip to Stephen Nipper). 

OK, all for now... I'm off to hear about Henry Bay!

June 12, 2009 in Books, EDD: E-Discovery, Good Works, Green Law, People, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #050109

Email Catchin' up with the inbox:

• Andy Adkins, of the Univ. of Florida (Gainsville) found this amazing update of Captain Sully's seaplane adventure: Download Hudson. It's even better than the ones I previously posted.

• Barkley Court Reporters check in to tell us  that -- as of March -- it has planted 10,000 trees on behalf of clients, as part of its "Green" program that encourages litigators to put transcripts in online repositories include of printing them on paper. Pat Barkley wrote about the program in LTN's Green Law column in July, 2007. 

• Brooke Keyser of RainMaker also checks in with a progress report, about the "Pay it Forward" challenge issued by James Hammond. (We wrote about it last month.) To date, RainMaker has awarded $127,850 in economic assistance funds, of the $1 million it has pledged, she says, and saw a 273% increase in traffic to its website. More than 1,000 firms expressed interest in the program, she says. The first firm to participate is Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, says RainMaker. 

• Angelique Schaffer of Thomson Reuters reminds me to post this video from the WestBlog produced at this winter's LegalTech New York, (#LTNY) with yours truly pontificating on all things legal tech.

Blogosphere Updates:

• John Grisely reports that that he is building up the resource section of his blog, Mesothelioma Questions. 

• Andreana Pentaris wants you to konw about a new website, LawFirms.com. It devotes articles and resources to a vareity of legal topics, running from criminal defense to bankruptcy, and also has a blog, Legal Research Guides.

• Danielle Walker reports that  E-Lessoned Learned ( eLLblog) has been revamped.

• A.J. Levy -- who  writes the Out of the Box Lawyering blog forwards this post about some creative uses for Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software. He also alerts us to a new blog targeting lawyers who use iPhones.

May 1, 2009 in Diversity, EDD: E-Discovery, Good Works, Green Law, LTNY09, People, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBOX #090119

Mail As the snow falls in NYC, catchin' up on the incoming: 

* Adobe's Rick Borstein checks in to let us know that he's been working with Evermap.com, "to get a special plug-in for Acrobat so that users can write directly on PDFs. This helps firms to save time and avoid printing.There’s an article on my blog and a video demo," here.  This is for users of Tablet PCs.

* Shawnna Childress of Women in EDiscovery have an option for those of you who can't attend the sold-out LTN Awards Dinner on Feb 2 (Monday) during LTNY: They are presenting a reception, along with the National Association of Women Lawyers, to support the Susan G Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer. It will be held at the New York Hilton, in Concourse A, from 6 pm to 8 p.m. Drinks, appetizers and entertainment will be provided, and they are asking for a minimum donation of  $25. Check out details here -- or e-mail here  with your RSVP.

* John Hochfelder wants you to know that he has launched a new blog, New York Injury Cases Blog, that offers news and analysis of pain-and-suffering verdicts and settlements. A good complement to Eric Turkewitz' New York Personal Injury Lawyer Blog.

* Nigel Murray of  Trilantic is participating a "Band of Brothers Bike Ride," to be held in May, which will ride the 340-mile route of the Allies' liberation of France in 1945. It will raise money for Help for Heroes, which supports young men and women who have lost limbs during combat. You can help him reach his goal of raising 2,000 pounds -- details here.

* United Airlines is expected to announce the availability of broadband wi-fi on its transcontinental "P.S." flights from  NY to California. Check out Chicago Trib story here.  Hat tip to mom for seeing it first. Whoopeee (altho this will cut into my movie-watching time.)

January 19, 2009 in Good Works, Green Law, Technology, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Green A guest post from Shawnna Childress, of Navigant Consulting (and Women in eDiscovery):

The name of the game in 2009 is “Saving Money”.  Going Green is a natural answer to saving your firm or corporation thousands.  Particularly in the United States, saving money on energy costs is the primary motivating factor causing corporations to ramp up their Green IT initiatives.

Overseas, we are seeing corporations going green to improve their brand’s image. It is the “cool” thing to do in Europe.

Here are a few simple things you can do to become Green and affect your bottom line:

1)       Switch off your computer when leaving the office (The average computer electricity costs $150 on the low-end to $450 on the high-end to run each year.  You can easily save $300 per year per computer if you turn your computer off at night.  Here is the actual math if you want to get down to the true mathematics of the equation.).

Watts x  Hours Used

   x  Cost per kilowatt-hour = Total Cost


2)       Even better, use a power strip to plug in all your equipment and pull the plug each night (this confirms that not even the smallest amount of electricity is being used in your office while you are away).

3)       Better yet, you could buy a “Smart Strip” for around $30. This special power strip monitors electricity use in each plug and shuts off the ones that have been idle for a period of time.

4)       Print double-sided (imagine how much $$ you’ll save in paper costs).

5)       Set your computers on energy-savings settings

6)       If you're going to be away from your desk for more than 15 minutes, turn off your computer monitor. Monitors easily use over half of the total energy used to run a computer. (Please note that screen savers do not save any energy so it is better to put your computer in “sleep” or “stand-by” mode with a blank screen while away. Unfortunately, it takes just as much energy to make your screen saver shoot stars at you as it does to run a word processing program.)

7)       Choose a laptop over a desktop when possible.  Laptop computers use up to 90% less energy than desktop computers.

8)       Consolidate your Servers.

9)       Set up Virtual Servers so multiple offices can use the same server.

10)   Fix your in-house data center leaks…unfortunately almost everyone has them (i.e. clean coils, clean ducts, make sure the thermostats are installed in an effective area, make sure your valves are not failing, check your cooling systems to confirm that the right amount of coolant is coming out, etc…)

11)   Practice proper disposal and recycling of technology (One idea…give your old company cell phones to a Domestic Violence Shelter.  To call 911, cell phones don’t need a subscription to a service; therefore, they give the inactive cell phones to their female clients so they can call 911 as needed.) 

If you have more Green ideas your firm or corporation has put into practice, please let us know by commenting on this article.

January 17, 2009 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #070608

MailboxCatching up with incoming e-mail!

* Bob Johnston, of the Executive Council in NYC, checks in to tell us that if you were unable to attend the recent (excellent) program about "Green IT" you can watch highlights online here.

I attended the program, and was especially impressed with Microsoft's chief environmental strategist, Robert Bernard. Also speaking: Dell Inc.'s Head of Environmental Affairs, Michael Murphy; 1E's CEO and CTO, Sumir Karayi; Weber Shandwick's EVP and Cleantech guru, Paul Jensen, and Brian Dumaine, discussing his new book, The Plot to Save the Planet - How Visionary Entrepreneurs and Corporate Titans are Creating Real Solutions to Global Warming."

* The American Lawyer's Richard Peck alerts us that K&L Gates is now the official name of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis. The firm also announced the 7/1 merger with Kennedy Covington.

* Change of the guard: Leah Bilotta has handed the marketing manager reins at RainMaker Software Inc. to Matthew Altemus, former Marketing Associate. Bilotta has accepted another position and is relocating to Saratoga Springs, New York. It's been a pleasure working with Leah, and we wish her well. Welcome, Matt.

* Michigan's Enrico Schaefer reports on a new website design for his firm, Traverse Legal, www.traverselegal.com.  "Note that the blogs are fully-integrated into the remainder of the law firm website. There is no distinction in design, colors, logos, etc. between the nine distinct blogs which each capture a distinct practice area of the firm.  Note that the homepage pulls in the last three posts from each blog, creating rotating dynamic content."

* Ari Kaplan notes that his new book, The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development, has been published by Thomson West.

* Lindsey Goodrich, of Chesapeake Interlink Ltd., checks in to tell us that there's a new website for Needles case management software. It offers a new look, an updated menu structure, additional features and information, with a more comprehensive organization of content areas. "We wanted pages that exhibited a high-tech, sophisticated, animated, engaging, and dynamic web presence," says marketing director Mary Ellen Bellusci.

* Whoppee! UAL's Ted is gone, and UAL is going Star Alliance with Continental. My mom found this article in USA Today by David Grossman about the great news that UAL has executed Ted -- it's discount program that tried to compete with the likes of Southwest. I hated Ted from the outset, and was always stuck on it when I traveled to Phoenix -- and always tried to manuveur my itinerary to avoid it, so I'm thrilled. I'm also thrilled that UAL had the good sense, when merger talks failed, to set up Star Alliance status with Continental, which has a superb reputation (and yes, is the official airline of the Yankees, for what that's worth, so I see a lot of their ads). It always drove me nuts when I was at Sky Harbor to have to walk right past the Continental nonstop Phx/Newark flight when I was headed to the Ted flights and a miserable 12 hour trip home with connections.

* Finally, Susannah Smith offers two gems: First, this link to Eco*Systems, which offers "green" trade show exhibits etc.

And this "BallGirl" video, which has many folks buzzing about whether it's real or faked: Download Ballgirl.wmv. Says Susannnah: "This is from my close friend Jack Rains who was chair of the Houston-Harris County Sports Authority when the  (now) Minute Maid Stadium was built."

It's an absolute hoot! 

July 6, 2008 in Distractions :), Green Law, Law Firm Management, Marketing, People, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


21320666_3We've been  putting the final touches on the upcoming, first-time ever  Law Technology News Presents FutureTech  at LegalTech West Coast.

We're calling it "The Trifecta" inside ALM, because it's the first time  we've conceived an effort that includes a live presentation, podcasts, and an LTN report.

And I'm updating this post today (June 4) with exciting news: FutureTech will be sponsored by BlueArc, a San Jose-based company that provides "high performance unified network storage systems to enterprise markets, as well as data intensive markets, such as electronic discovery, entertainment, federal government, higher education, internet services, oil and gas and life sciences."

Bluearc_4 BlueArc supports "both network attached storage, or NAS, and storage area network, or SAN, services on a converged network storage platform." We're thrilled to have them as our sponsor of FutureTech!

Here's the 411:

1. Live: Day-long FutureTech track presentation at LegalTech West Coast (L.A.) on Friday, June 27.

2. Podcasts: Podcast package of six standalone presentations, for our Law Technology Now   podcasts (created in partnership with Law.com and Legal Talk Network).

3. Law Technology News (print/digital/website): We'll run a “FutureTech" story, in the August 2008 edition, based on the topics in the track.

FutureTech Live Program at LegalTech West Coast

Panel description: The legal profession is undergoing a dramatic change as firms face a future where clients expect “better, faster, cheaper” legal services, demand use of technology, and require accountability. No longer can law firms be run behind closed doors, managed like private clubs. Today’s firms must compete to win — and retain — business, and are expected to demonstrate the same priorities as their clients: for quality work, diversity, cost management, and responsiveness. This track will explore how firms and clients are responding to these challenges. 

Law Technology News’ editor-in-chief Monica Bay  will moderate all panels

1. Sell Your Tech 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
It’s no longer enough for firms to win business based on legal skills alone. Today’s savvy firms realize that they must offer top-line technology to win and keep clients. Our panelist will share how their firms have integrated technology tools, such as extranets and wikis, to increase collaboration and better serve their clients’ expectations.

Doug Caddell  —  CIO, Foley & Lardner.
Rob Kahn — Director, Business Development, Fenwick & West
Robin Solomon – Firmwide Knowledge Manager, Heller Ehrman

Green Law 1:30-3 pm
It’s Not Easy Going Green.... Or is It? Using technology tools to create a “green” workplace will not only lower your energy consumption, it will increase productivity, morale, profits, improve lifestyles and health, cut costs, and help you get, and keep, new clients. How your organization can establish a program, from leadership needed to concrete programs that work.

Alvidas Jasin, Director of Business Development, Thompson Hine
Bruce Lymburn, Partner, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean
Tony Hoke, Global Technology Purchasing/Asset Manager, Morrison & Foerster

TomorrowLand  3:30-5 pm

Where is legal community headed, and what challenges does it face, as technology becomes embedded in every facet of our lives? From delivering the best possible legal services to our clients; to providing opportunities to excel in the workplace and at home; to confronting the challenges of competing interests in a global economy; it’s a heady challenge to move forward. Named for the iconic futuristic venue at Disneyland, this panel will showcase six legal technology leaders who will forecast what lies ahead — and where opportunities may abound.
J. Craig Williams – Partner, The Williams Lindberg Law Firm  (Tech & Law in Multi-jurisdictional Practices)
Craig Ball – Consultant/Attorney (Crystal Ball: Future of E-Discovery)
Douglas Caddell — CIO, Foley & Lardner (Next Generation – Systems & People)
Peter Hsiao — Head, Land Use & Environmental law Group, Morrison & Foerster (CleanTech)
Tom Baldwin — Chief Knowledge Officer, Reed Smith (Relationship Capital) 
Judith Flournoy – CIO, Loeb & Loeb  (Leadership)

I got the idea for the TomorrowLand sessions from TED (Technology Entertainment Design) -- the Silicon Valley think tank that produces amazing conferences where speakers are allowed exactly 18 minutes to talk. That's it. 18 minutes.

I loved the concept, so I'm trying this format (15 minutes) for the third session of the track -- AND -- we are going to tape them to create "Almost Live from LegalTech West Coast" -- six standalone podcasts for my Law Technology Now series (a joint project between Law.com & Legal Talk Network -- you can even subscribe on iTunes!

Finally, the LTN component: We'll produce at least one article in the August LTN, which will be available in print, digital and website versions.

We are tremendously excited about this first-ever Live/Podcast/Print/Digital/Website effort, and we hope you will join us at LegalTech West Coast, on June 27. And listen, and read! About the only media we're NOT doing (yet) is TV -- but don't rule that out for the future. Let me know what you think!

June 4, 2008 in Conventions, Meetings, Live Programs, EDD: E-Discovery, Green Law, Law Firm Management, People, Technology, Webinars, Podcasts, Programs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Green Adobe's Rick Borstein spotted this article from Ecopreneurist, a primer on 10 ways that organizations can start to go green, by  Megan Prusynski:

Among the tips:

Need some shelves for your office and don’t have a budget for new furnishings? You never know what you might find on freecycle. One person’s junk is definitely another’s treasure. If you have a large company, you could even organize an office-wide barter party, where everyone brings items they don’t use any more to swap for things they might need from others. When you upgrade your office equipment after years of use, pass it on if it’s still useful. List it on freecycle or donate it to a charity that may need it.


April 21, 2008 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MAILBOX #041308

Checkin' the inbox after my Twin Cities trip:
Barcamp * Peter Buck, the ever-hip San Francisco-based "chief technical architect" at Baker Robbins & Co., wants to give you a heads up if you are planning to attend Interwoven's upcoming Gear UP 2008 conference later this month. He's inviting you to participate in a one hour Interwoven/BRCO "Mini Bar Camp" Thursday April 24, from 9:30-10:30 am PST. (It's limited to folks planning to attend Gear Up 2008.)

I'm new to this whole BarCamp concept but here's wikipedia's explanation.

Buck and Neil Araujo will serve as session leaders and they'll screen the topics and choose five attendee leaders to lead discussions. Confused? E-mail Buck, who, btw, is the author of a terrific article in the next issue of LTN, about wikis. (I'll add a  link when the issues goes live.)

* Bruce Marcus is upset about an add that appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

* Bruce MacEwen  reviews Altman Weil's Legal Transformation Study, released late last month. Four possible scenarios for delivery of legal services between now and 2020 are outlined, including:

Blue-Chip Mega-Mania: A model that emphasizes the global consolidation of legal service providers and the dominance of giant law firms with vast global presence and offerings spanning all legal areas.

-Expertopia: A scenario that envisions the increasing complexity of the law and challenges of corporations operating in multiple environments worldwide, thereby placing a premium on specialization and expert-driven cultures at legal services organizations.

E-Marketplace: A model built on the premise that technology will be a catalyst, but not the core, for an industry transformation in which an array of Web-based technologies will make information more available and expert judgment more valuable.

Techno-Law: A scenario that contemplates rising corporate investment in automation capabilities throughout the legal services industry, leaving only the high-end services to be delivered by legal professionals and potentially requiring a complete reconstruction of the traditional business models in the legal services industry.

Disclosure: ALM has just bought Altman Weil Publications.

* Stuart Brodsky checks in to let us know he's left his spot as National Program Manager, Commercial Properties, for the EPA's Energy Star program:

Anna Stark at the EPA will be continuing to coordinate outreach to you and your peers. To smooth her transition, we are requesting that any questions you would have for me be forwarded to Sandra Khananusit (khananusit@icfi.com) at ICFI International. ICF will review your inquiry and identify if it should be immediately addressed by EPA, or managed by one of the many consulting support team members who have gotten to know many of you so well over the years.

I'll update you when Stuart lets us know his next gig.

Fox * "Ed Post" of BlawgReview, with a hat tip to Kevin O'Keefe, spotted this breaking news about the Yankees and NY's Belluck & Fox law firm. :) Check out the firm's URL: www.homerunlegal.com. (They do mesothelioma and other PI cases).

April 13, 2008 in Baseball / Yankees, Green Law, Law Firm Management, Marketing, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #040708


Joe Howie reports that the latest edition of the Association of Litigation Support Professionals' ALSP Update newsletter is available here. It includes an overview of ARMA Int'l (records/info mgmt), and an advisory about new North Carolina regulations for forensics folks (e.g., licensing requires that you've been a licensed PI for 3 years). The group is also developing an EDD checklist.

* Seattle's Kevin O'Keefe has released his "State of the AmLaw 200 Blogosphere Report," which notes significant growth in blogging. Last year, says O'Keefe, only 39 firms were blogging. Today, he sez,  more than 25% have jumped on the bandwagon, and 10% have multiple blogs. Special thanks, also, to KOK, for including moi in his series of Q&As, by Rob La Gatta.

* Maureen Richmond, of NorthLich,  wants to be sure you know about the Diversity "Call to Action" Summit that will be held April 24-23 in Scottsdale. It will bring together about 100 managing partners, GC and chief legal officers to address this challenge. Among the speakers is  Supreme Ct. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. 411 here.

* Aloha: Ed Jorcyzk, global director of tech for Morrison & Foerster, has hung up his hat... opting for the lure of balmy waves. He's debating a new lifestyle in either Hawaii or Ft. Lauderdale, so we'll letcha know when he next checks in. In the meantime, CIO Jo Haraf has stalled her pending departure for a few months. Never a dull moment at MoFo.

* Only in NoLa: Tom O'Connor brings us news of the "Stella-Yella-Thon," that was part of the annual Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans. Toooooo kewl. I'm headed to NoLa shortly to join Tom and the Crescent City gang for the Louisiana Bar's Solo and Small Firm Conference. May 8-9. Can't wait.

* JoAnna Forshee, of Envision Agency, reports that Legal Marketing News has been retired, and replaced with www.InsideLegal.com newsletter. It covers U.S. and U.K. legal events, marketing tips, PR practices, etc.

* Stephanie Peck Hall, of CompuLaw, is raising money to fight pancreatic cancer -- which also took the life of our ALM colleague Jim Giordano last year. To help her reach her goal, visit her website here.

* Bruce Marcus checks in with a reminder that his latest "Bruce Marcus Letter on Professional Services" is available here. The current issue includes a downloadable white paper, "Productivity: A Primer for the Competitive Firm."

* Kraft Kennedy's Michael Kraft spotted this BBC video about a car that runs on air. Now that's going green! 

* And speaking of green, Carrie Brown offers info about the Green Event Summit, scheduled for (of course) San Francisco, June 12-13.

* David Lat notes that it's not a good idea to try to board a plane with bomb-making materials. (Hat tip to "Ed Post" of Blawg Review.)

* Speaking of Ed, he wants you to know about BlawgReview #152 (TechnoLawyer!) Check it out here.

* Annie Martel, webmaster of Templateswise invites you to visit her site which offers free templates for Microsoft Corp. PowerPoint presentations.

* Chicago's Ron Stevens forwards this lament on behalf of all Cubs fans: Download cubs-futility-20080323.doc 

April 7, 2008 in Green Law, Marketing, People, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Stpday_2Just arrived at ABA TechShow late Friday.... I'm presenting Saturday morning (i.e., today) on one of two "Green" panels... Do stop by if you're in the 'hood (Chicago Hilton):

Abatechsow_001_2 * Lara Pearson and Arthur Harrington (left) will present "Meeting the ABA EPA Law Office Climate Challenge, from 8:30 am - 9:30 a.m., then I will join them for the 9:45 panel, "Small Footprint - Big Impact:" Improving Client Services with Sustainable Practices. (Northwest 3).

* After our panel, stick around for the ABA TechShow's signature panel, "60 Sites in 60 Minutes," which closes out the event, and features Craig Ball (LTN's EDD columnist), TechShow chair Tom Mighell, and D.C.'s own Reid Trautz  in the Grand Ballroom.

Can't attend? No prob: Check out the blog reports:

* The aforementioned Tom Mighell.

* Robert Ambrogi on Law.com's  LegalBlogWatch offers links.

* Larry Bodine is blogging (and also on assignment for LTN, scoping out the latest social media issues -- keep an eye out for his report in the April Law Technology News).

Kevinokeefe * Kevin O'Keefe's (right) team is also live-blogging, with a very interesting concept -- Rob La Gatta is interviewing some of the tech community's leaders, including Jim Calloway, of the Oklahoma bar;  Aviva  Cuyler, who just launched JD Supra; and Ed Poll, of LawBiz, among many others.

O'Keefe's LexBlog and The ABA Journal (Ed Adams & Molly McDonough) co-sponsored a Beer for Blawgers get together Friday, which was a lot of fun, and O'Keefe even used his live blogging feature to alert folks that the venue had to move to a different lobby bar, due to overcrowding with green-bedecked revelers gathering at the original site (Kitty O'Shea's) to kick off the St. Patrick's Day Chicago celebrations. Chicago LOVES St. Patrick's Day -- and its annual huge parade will take place Sunday.

Other live bloggers:

* ABA TechShow Buzz * Dennis Kennedy


March 15, 2008 in Conventions, Meetings, Live Programs, Green Law, People, Travel, Webinars, Podcasts, Programs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #080122

21803632Just sent February LTN to bed, now dealin' with the flurry of activity before LegalTech New York, but want to play catch-up with da ol' in-box:

• Kudos to Susman Godfrey, one of four law firms selected by The National Law Journal for its 2008 Pro Bono Awards. "The firm represented, to the tune of $2M in billable hours, the Texas Cities for Clean Air Coalition in its successful efforts to block 10 new coal-burning power plants that would contribute to global climate change."

• More kudos,
to The Blawg Review, for its Blawg Review of the Year, won by Colin Samuels for the third year in a row. Runners up: Eric Turkewitz' very clever riff on the NY Marathon, and in third place, Deliberations, by Anne Reed.

• Peggy Weshler of ILTA wants you to know about the upcoming Insight 2008 program that will be held April 15, at the Hilton London Bridge Hotel.  Vendors: the deadline to sign up as a sponsor is Friday 1/25.

• Alvidas Jasin, who will join the podium with me at the "It's Not Easy Being Green... Or Is It?" panel at the CIO Forum during LTNY, was elated to learn that Thompson Hine's marketing dept. came in 5th in the "MLF 50" roster, from ALM's Marketing the Law Firm newsletter. Jasin is the head of bizdev at the firm, based in Cleveland. Proskauer Rose took first place.   

• Ross Kodner was impressed with this InfoWorld article "Why XP Must Be Saved." (Note, you have to scroll down on the link to Ross' blog to find the post).

Ernest Paul, director of ClueSystems Internet Consulting, checks in to let us know about his E Legal Secure blog, covering legal industry outsourcing.

• eWeek has an hilarious way to kill time at airports, etc., with 10 games. Check them out here.

• Were you as surprised as I was to learn that CompUSA is going under? They sure got a lot of my disposable income over the years.

• Almost last but not least .... the holidays may be well over but this holiday card is just too funny to wait until next year. From my pal Mary Kay Lawless, click here.

• Bright Lights: This has nothing to do with tech, but after SI columnist (boy do we miss him) Rick Reilly kept raving about Friday Night Lights, I finally checked out the NBC drama. Even if you hate football (which I do), it's flat-out awesome. Amazing writing, subtle and nuanced, it is really, really good television. I actually watched my first football game a couple weeks ago, hoping the NY Giants would smash those Pats. I might actually WATCH my first SuperBowl this year, but I still hate football. I don't enjoy a sport that involves paralysis, too much testosterone, and shoving. (Yeah, yeah, rocket fuel. I get it. Baseball's not perfect.)

Go Giants (but try not to break any bones while you are at it.)

How many days til P&C report????

January 23, 2008 in Green Law, Law Firm Management, Marketing, People, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


20056302 Our colleagues in the UK have recently launched BusinessGreen, a terrific new website that is loaded with news, articles, webinars, links, a blog, and other resources to help your organization reduce its "carbon footprint."

Among recent items:
UK battery recycling rules on horizon
Cheat sheet on carbon offsetting
Cisco's plan to make departments responsible for carbon quotas
Green computing

Check it out!

January 2, 2008 in Green Law, Law Firm Management | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


36659798 Call it green, call it inexpensive, call it creative, but I just LOVE getting (and sending) holiday e-cards. And it's a hoot to see how the technology is getting so sophisticated that you can even personalize the cards.

I just sent a batch out from Hallmark.com (inspired by Ross Kodner's hysterical Thanksgiving card, which is no longer on the website -- an ode to mashed potatoes), and I've long been a fan of www.pacprod.com's goofy options, that allow you to construct cards with various elements including music.

Several firms, including MoFo, are using e-cards to announce not just holiday wishes but charitable donations, including Loeb & Loeb, and Sonnenschein.   Most (Arnold & Porter) even permit individual notes within the card itself, or as an intro or end-note!

My law school, the University of San Francisco, really went all out with a slide show with music that made me a bit homesick, its exact intent.

Even beisbol gets in on it. The Yankees sent out an absolutely wonderful one a year or two ago, with NYY "snowflakes" covering Yankee Stadium's field. Here's this year's version (be sure to disable your pop-up blocker).  Almost as nice is the lyrical message from the Orioles.

Send/get a favorite? Send me the link and I'll post 'em.

I'm heading out.... back to Kauai (Hey, I need 9,000 miles to stay in Premier Exec!),  so Melekalikimaka to you! Stay warm, stay healthy, enjoy companionship and solitude, noise and quiet, and don't forget to eat some peppermint ice cream.

P.S. I can't leave you without sharing this "ad" for Stanford University. (Hat tip to brother Bill).

Update: Everybody's ga ga about Office Max's Elf Yourself, including the gang at Legal Talk Network and the Three Musketeers (aka, Bruce Dorner, Dan Coolidge & Ross Kodner. United's Mileage Plus offers an elegant ad card, here.  Here's eSentio Technologies' card.


December 17, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Good Works, Green Law, Technology | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Green_mashupFrom our colleagues at The Legal Intelligencer, "Buying & Using Greener Computers." (Hat tip to Law.com's Sean Doherty):

By Brian R. Harris

We hear a lot these days about how a little action by each of us can go a long way in helping preserve the environment for all of us, and that extends to the use of technology as well. By selecting certain types of components and utilizing certain practices we can reduce energy consumption and hazardous materials, thus doing a small part in the larger campaign for a greener tomorrow.

An organization taking the lead on this front is the Green Electronics Council (GEC), a nonprofit organization formed to identify what companies and individuals can do in the design, manufacture and use of technology to create a more healthy environment.

One of the big programs that the GEC has started is the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), which is "designed to help institutional purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop computers, notebook computers and monitors based on their environmental attributes."

EPEAT evaluates products on a three-tier level based on the reduction or elimination of environmentally sensitive materials, materials selection, design for end of life, product longevity/life cycle extension, energy conservation, end-of-life management, corporate performance and packaging, according to the GEC.

These products are then given a bronze, silver or gold seal, showing the level of compliance the product has attained.

The IEEE Standards Association, a worldwide standards-setting organization, has also adopted IEEE 1680, "Standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products," in conjunction with EPEAT.

But from a practical standpoint, what can an individual do other than look for machines that carry these ratings? Dell, one of the leading manufacturers of computers, has posted on its Web site a series of tips designed to provide consumers with guidance on the efficient use of computers.

Among the tips, Dell is suggesting the following, although I have some concerns about some of them, as I've pointed out:

Buy a computer that grows with you. In other words, don't buy a supercomputer if you don't need all of that power.

Buy refurbished products. Refurbished computers save on resources, and can also be purchased at discount. Personally, I don't like refurbished products, as there is usually a reason the product failed in the first place. But for the most part refurbished products from reputable manufacturers have undergone strict testing and have a full warranty.

Use Energy Star-compliant computers and monitors. These products have been designed to reduce energy use when dormant.

Turn it off. Dell suggests turning off the machine when not in use. I may be old-fashioned, but I don't like this suggestion. The environmental impact for turning the machine off is obvious, but I prefer to keep my PCs running continuously, as I have a lot less problems. My current PC has been on for almost three years. I would suggest turning off to avoid overheating.

Enable power management. Personally, I don't like this feature either, as I have found problems resuming from hibernation, but it's a good feature to use for a laptop that is on battery.

Skip the screen saver. Screen savers don't save any energy. I would just turn the monitor off when not in use.

Be a smart printer. Edit on-screen, or use the flip side of paper for drafts.

Extend your computer's life: Dell suggests donating it to a nonprofit organization, reusing the computer's parts in a different machine, or taking it to a recycling center. Dell now offers free recycling of old Dell computers, or any brand with the purchase of a new Dell computer.

Besides the ratings mentioned above, there are a few other things to consider when purchasing a new computer. Laptops can consume up to five times less power than a desktop machine, and most laptops these days rival the power and features that desktops have. (Prices are still somewhat higher, though.)

If a laptop is not practical, then a small form factor (SFF) computer can still help cut down on electricity usage. SFF PCs often use some components originally intended for laptops. The one negative on SFFs are that the expandability is limited, so you may not be able to add additional graphics cards, additional memory or additional hard drives.

The monitor you choose can also help in the reduction of energy. The old standard cathode ray tube monitors, while less expensive, can use up to three times the power of an LCD monitor.

And if you are very serious about power consumption, consider the kit from Solatron Technologies (http://www.solatrontechnologies.com), which will power your computer, monitor and printer running only on solar power. While not cheap, at close to $4,000, the energy savings over the years will eventually pay for itself, as well as give you a clear conscience.

Brian R. Harris is the director of information technology for the ALM Pennsylvania division and the former editor-in-chief of The Legal Intelligencer. Technology questions can be sent to Harris at bharris@alm.com.

December 7, 2007 in Green Law, Technology | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #120107

20856404Mark Osborn, of LexisNexis, checks in with the news that his company has created an Environment and Climate Change center on lexis.com. It's designed to help companies and their law firms better understand the relevant law, prepare for changes, and respond to litigation. Check it out here.  Press release: Download LN1201.doc

•  Survey Says: Osborn also reports that LN has surveyed corporate counsel about the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and found that 44% say their companies were not prepared when the amendents went into effect but made progress during 2007: Download ACC-LNSurvey.doc.

The ABA Journal has declared its Blawg 100, in an article by Molly McDonough and Sarah Randag, and is asking folks to vote now for their favorite. I'm still smarting that neither this blog, nor our new EDD Update blog, made the list, but congrats to those who did, including:

* Our colleagues at Legal Times for The BLT (one of my favorite blog names around, the acroynm stands for The Blog of the Legal Times). 

        * Lu Ann Reeb and the gang at Legal Talk Network, home of both Lawyer2Lawyer (Bob Ambrogi & J. Craig Williams) and the brand new, launching this week, Legal Technology Now (avec moi) -- as well as both Bob's and Craig's blogs (  Robert Ambrogi's LawSites and May It Please the Court)

*Blawg Review (a member of our Law.com network)

* Ernie the Attorney (Ernie Svenson) and Adam Smith, Esq. (Bruce MacEwen), Larry Bodine's LawMarketing Blog (all of LTN's edit board)

•  Russ Curtis, LTN's photo editor, was part of the San Francisco team that helped rescue oil-drenched birds after the oil spill in the SF Bay last month. Check out his insta-blog, here.

December 3, 2007 in Good Works, Green Law, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


20691198Campers: It's that time again -- the deadline to nominate a firm or law dept for our 2008 LTN Awards is pumpkin day! Don't get spooked by seeing your biggest competitor heading to the podium to accept that beautiful star award. Don't be a ghost fading from the spotlight! Get the credit that's due to you and your organization!  And btw: you aren't limited to nominating your own organization (Vendors! Take note!).

Our goal is to find the very best projects and people in law firms and law depts -- and to give them a deserved acknowledgement from our legal community!

It's a simple process: just download this form to nominate your organization in these six categories:

• I.T. Director   
• Champion of Technology   
• Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Law Firm
• Most Innovative Use of Technology by an In-House Legal Department 
• Most Innovative Use of Technology During a Trial 
• Most Innovative Use of Technology For a Pro Bono Project (including Green Law projects).

The candidates will be evaluated by an independent team of three experts, all members of the LTN Editorial Advisory Board.

Remember: it's like the lottery: you can't win, if you aren't nominated!

More 411 here. Or call Kevin Iredell, at 800 888 8300. (PS: He can also help you if you are trying to vote on the online Vendor Awards ballot and don't have your Sub ID). Email him at kiredell AT alm.com.)

October 15, 2007 in Good Works, Green Law, Law Firm Management, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Cleantech The first Israel CleanTech Conference will be held Oct. 30 in Tel Aviv, Israel. I'd never heard the term "Clean Tech," before, so I asked MoFo's Oz Benamram what it means.

The short version: "Technologies that harness renewable materials and energy sources, dramatically reduce the use of natural resources, and significantly cut or eliminate emissions and wastes."

Here's how Morrison & Foerster  defines its practice area:

We are innovators in the world of Cleantech for more than 30 years. In this time, we have represented a broad range of investors, emerging companies, and established companies developing new technologies and pioneering new approaches to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and sustainably use water and other natural resources. Morrison & Foerster’s Cleantech attorneys are dedicated to representing clients in these evolving industries, and we combine our knowledge of the underlying science, technologies, and regulations to offer counsel with the depth and expertise needed to succeed.

Ozb Anyway, the conference will be produced by MoFo, Ernst & Young Israel and the  CleanTech Venture Network. MoFo speakers will include Michele Corash, Michael Jacobs, and  Oz Benamram (left).

The conference will cover the latest trends in the CleanTech industry and facilitate discussions regarding possible partnerships and investment opportunities, says Benamram, who is a member of ALM's LegalTech advisory board. For a full agenda and more information, click here.

September 29, 2007 in Green Law, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #072107

Mailbox The latest from my in-box:

* Greening Law: Equitrac Corp. has announced a new discount program, designed to encourage firms to participate in the new ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge, designed to reduce paper consumption and waste by adopting best practices in office paper management.

Equitrac says it will directly support the ABA-EPA program by offering a 10% discount on its Professional 5 Print Tracking Options to all law firms that adopt the Challenge’s best practices in office paper management. The Pro 5 system helps users track scanned, copied, faxed and printed documents along with call accounting and disbursement capture for discovery and recovery of client billable expenses, it explains.

ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge recognizes law firms that participate in EPA’s WasteWise program and institute at least two of the following practices for office paper management: ensuring at least 90% of all paper purchased is made up of recycled content, instituting a policy for double-sided copy and printing of drafts and internal documents, and recycling 90% or more of all discarded office paper, file folders and envelopes.

* Mo Green: San Francisco Bay Area law firm Cooper, White & Cooper says a green practice area has been a part of the firm for 30 years, "but in response to popular demand, they have made it an official group." The "new" Green Practice Group includes seven partners and is being co-lead by Kristen Thall Peters and Dee Ware. 411 here.

* Change your Outlook: After 13 years in the legal tech community, Peter Ozolin (who started with Legal Anywhere, and has had various posts in firms and with venddors) has moved to Bend, Ore., and joined Beaverton, Ore.'s Remote Technologies. E-mail here.

*Saturday funny: You might think twice about taking a vacation, after viewing Dan Guttman's recent post on Larry Bodine's LawMarketing Listserve. Here are two examples of what faced "victims" upon return to the office: (Click to enlarge)

08_2    02_2

July 21, 2007 in Green Law, Law Firm Management, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Alvidas_jasin_ltla_07_2Just a quick first report from Los Angeles, where LegalTech West Coast has been an absolute whirlwind. Congrats to Henry Dicker and his team for a terrific event -- with attendance up 85% from last year's LA show! WOW!

We were absolutely thrilled that our first "Green Law: A Leadership Challenge" was a standing-room-only success!

Despite the short obligatory tech problems, we got off to a roaring presentation, launched by Alvidas Jasin (right), biz dev director at Thompson Hine. He set the stage with a mini-version of Al Gore's slide show from An Inconvenient Truth. His presentation gave an overview of some of the key science in the climate crisis.

Alvidas' March Green Law column, "One Light at a Time," which details his training experience and offers tips for firms, is here.

Tony_hoke_lt_la07_1_2 Tony Hoke was a sub for MoFo's global technology director Ed Jorczyk-- and did a SUPER job in his very first public speaking gig as he detailed some of the programs at Morrison & Foerster. Hoke focused his presentation on specific projects that our IT community can launch -- to use technology to reduce firm costs, improve the workspace, and be environmentally responsible.

Among his tips:

* Replace CRT monitors with LCD flat screens, which require less desk space, last longer, reduce emitted heat, and consume less power. Annual MoFo savings: 619 megawatts, or enough energy to run 58 American homes.

* Use third-party recyclers to donate used equipment to non-profits.

* Use remanufactured toner cartridges and prevent 7.2 tons of empty cartridges from going to landfill.

* Consolidate servers and use "virtual" servers, which saves 830 megawatts of power, the equivalent of energy required to run 78 homes.

Tony's PowerPoint is here: Download LTWCGL3.PPT
Tony's April LTN Green Law column, "Waste Not, Want Not," here.

Bruce Lymburn, partner at Wendel Rosen focused on the leadership issues of creating a "green" program at your firm or company. Among his pointers, he suggested that firms be sure to include both attorneys and support staff in planning; be patient; appeal to both altruism and the economic benefits, and follow established programs (such as the Bay Area's Green Business Program. Wendel Rosen hired a consultant to help them craft their plan, he said. 

Bruce's PowerPoint is here: Download LTWC-GL2.PPT
May LTN Green Law column, "Leading the Evolution," here.

Matthew Heartney, a partner at Arnold & Porter, talked about how his firm was instrumental in working with the ABA and EPA to create a Climate Challenge for law firms. A&P served as a "beta" for developing the policies, and the firm focused much of its efforts on paper issues. Partner Jonathan Martel, who is very active in the ABA's environmental law section, took the lead, said Heartney.

Lawyers,  he notes, use about 20,000-100,000 pieces of paper every year; equalling up to 100 billion profession-wide, which generates up to 4.2 million tons of C02 emissions every year. Among the ways this can be reduced: use recycled paper; duplex printing; reduced d.p.i. settings. Law firms that meet these goals will be recognized as a Climate Challenge Partner in the ABA program, he says. The ABA program also offers two other components, "Green Power Partnership," and "Energy Star" -- offering tips to reduce energy consumption.

Matthew's PowerPoint is here: Download LTWCGL4.PPT
June LTN Green Law column, about the ABA program, by Jonathan Martel, here.

Fioslogo_2  Special, warm thanks to Fios Inc. for going above and beyond in sponsoring the lunch. The provided a wonderful buffett lunch, with locally grown produce, and several terrific giveaways (including a great boat tote bag).

Update: If you missed the LT West Coast Green Law panel, I'll be moderating another at August's ILTA. Watch here for 411.

Update 2: Here's a link to all the powerpoints.

Photo by Russ Curtis.

June 21, 2007 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A jam-packed agenda for my short visit to Chi-Town, but I have loved every minute of it, and want to share some of the details and highlights, with huge thanks to all:

Rosen_3Monday, Jackie Colbeth and I met up with Lisa Rosen, of Rosen Technology Resources Inc., which has won two LTN Vendor awards. She filled us in on the latest developments on her company, which offers ALCoder, software that helps users easily code
e-discovery documents. It's an agnostic product that plays well with others, including both Summation and Concordance transcript management products, she explained. It was fascinating to learn about how she has developed her company from scratch -- she's one of the few women who own technology companies.

Lisa picked the restaurant, Nick's Fishmarket, which was the perfect venue for a business lunch. Try the roasted salmon, with sweet Asian BBQ sauce. Highly recommended!

Next on the agenda, David Baker, principal of Baker Robbins & Company, which was recently acquired by Thomson Corp. Baker is a fascinating guy, who not only runs the company, but teaches astronomy every spring to grammar school kids, and is pursuing his Ph.D in astro-physics online. We had a lively discussion about where e-discovery is going, and nuances of litigation support. (See below post for more on Baker.)

Tuesday's itinerary started with a visit with the always-energetic Audrey Rubin, who is now COO at Wildman Harrold, a relatively recent move for her. She gave me tons of story ideas as we talked about the tech issues that face mid-sized firms, especially in the areas of security, spam, and practice management. The 200-atty firm focuses on litigation, biz transactions and IP, and I appreciated her subtle analysis of the forces that mid-sized firms are dealing with these days.

Then I dashed over to not one, but two back-to-back lunches: the first with Catherine Sanders Reach, at the Backstage Bistro, run by the students at the Chicago Culinary Institute (which reminded me of my days in San Francisco, when our offices at The Recorder were above the California Culinary Academy). She's director of the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Center, and a long-time LTN editorial board member. We dove into nuances of the emerging Green Law area, and how firms are taking a leadership role in fighting global warming -- including discussion of the ABA's new Climate Challenge for law firms -- a joint ABA/EPA project that has been spearheaded by the ABA's section on environment, energy and resources, and its law practice management section.

My second lunch (actually, to accurate, coffee and dessert) was with James Farley, who is channel account manager of WinScribe -- which offers digital dictation software. At the lovely Mid-Day Club (fabulous views). Jackie, Jim and I had a fascinating discussion about the changing role of digital dictation within law firms (as opposed to health care organizations) -- and how law firm culture is affecting adoption... It's kinda ironic, because in some cases digital dictation is either embraced -- or resisted -- by young lawyers. We talked about how it is going beyond mere document prep, as Enrico Schaefer wrote recently in LTN.

AndycroppedWednesday, I had planned to train out to the bucolic suburbs (Glen Ellyn) to have coffee with edit board member Larry Bodine, but we decided to raincheck it cuz timing was just too tight. Good thing, because I would have missed my lunch with LTN board member Andy Jurczyk, CIO of Sonnenschein , thanks to Microsoft. Why, you ask? Well it's another "it's a feature, not a bug" irritating "tool" of Microsoft's Outlook/Entourage -- which somehow decided to automatically "adjust" my 11:30 lunch to 12:30 in my calendars once I arrived in Chicago. Andy knows I'm punctual, so when I failed to show up at the Capital Grill by 11:30, he called me to check up on me. Fortunately, I was just a few minutes away, so it didn't cut into our wonderful lunch.

Andy's suggestion: ALWAYS type the time of your meeting into the subject line of your appt -- don't rely on the automatic time feature... so you don't get punked by this "feature."

Andy's one of my SharePoint gurus, and he graciously spent a good chunk of our conversation increasing my "knowledge base." :)

Goresmall_2The nightcap: Al Gore's aforementioned appearance at the Jewish United Fund's Lawyer & Govt. Agencies dinner. I was impressed with how Gore tailored his talk directly to his audience, unlike so many speakers who just deliver the same speech over and over. (Although his opening jokes are recycled, but still funny.) His message ended with themes that related both to his new book and climate crisis efforts (see below) but was fresh throughout, and after the prepared presentation he took about 15 minutes of questions.

The organizers cleverly handled the overflow crowd by having Gore deliver the speech in one room, then move to the second room for the Q&A. (Video in both rooms, obviously).

Atedsmall_2Hannahsmall_5 Thanks to Ted Banks and wife Cheryl Banks (right) and their lovely family, for including me -- and also to Seyfarth's Hanna Widlus (left) and her hubby (I didn't catch his name -- and solo David Jasmer and his wife (ditto), and Joyce Kagan Charmatz (Keep Chicago Beautiful) for great conversations.

Headin' back home. Thanks, Chi-town!!

June 6, 2007 in Green Law, Law Firm Management, People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Ticket_2 The hottest ticket in Chicago is a charity fundraiser. Lawyers and firm executives are tripping over each other to get a seat at the United Jewish Fund's annual Lawyers and Government Agencies dinner tonight at the Hyatt Regency.

Why? Two words: Al Gore -- tonight's speaker. He's currently promoting his new book, The Assault on Reason, his latest effort after the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, which galvanized many people (including me) about the perils of global warming. (And lead to the launch of Law Technology News' popular Green Law column in February.)

Gore2_2The organization got so many requests for seats that they had to send out an apologetic note telling members that they're at capacity already and can't accept any further reservations -- and that there will be no walk-ins.

Audrey Rubin, COO of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, says she's never seen a reaction like this for a charity dinner, and that everyone in town has been scrambling to get a seat.

Ted Banks, GC of Kraft Foods, graciously invited me to join his table, and I can't wait!

Here's the organization's elevator pitch:

The Jewish United Fund's The JUF Lawyers Division offers colleagues the opportunity to connect with more than 6,000 attorneys: from judges to in-house corporate counsel, from solo practitioners to the small, medium, and large-sized law firms, from the city to the suburbs, and from associates to managing partners. In addition to the Annual Dinner and the Lawyer/Law Student Reception, the Legal Programming Committee organizes educational events, which improve Industry and Jewish knowledge.

Of course, I'll have a full report here.

June 6, 2007 in Good Works, Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #070525

21383962Been a bit crazed, so time to play catch-up:

*Our latest Law.com EDD (electronic data discovery) webinar is now available for your enjoyment. Check out Forms of Production here. It was a great discussion, thanks to LTN edit board members Craig Ball (LTN's EDD columnist and an Austin-based consultant/litigator) and George Socha (Socha Consulting) and Thomas Allman, senior counsel of Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw (who will keynote LegalTech West Coast in L.A. next month). Special thanks to our sponsor, Zantaz.

*Green Law: I'm so thrilled to be moderating our first-ever "Green Law" panel, an offshoot of LTN's wildly popular Green Law column that we launched in February. (I've been flooded with pitches for the new column, thank you to everybody.)

Anyway, Fios Inc. just signed up to sponsor the panel, "Green Law: A Leadership Challenge," which will be held June 20 at 12:15-1:25 p.m. and I know that Debbie Caldwell and her enthusiastic crew, headed up by Kate Kockler, are figuring out some wonderful surprises for the box lunches.

I'm so excited about the panelists. Each of their firms has been featured on LTN's Green Law column this spring:  Alvidas Jasin, of Thompson Hine (March issue LTN); Ed Jorczyk, Morrison & Foerster (April issue); Bruce Lymburn, Wendel Rosen (May issue); and Matthew Heartney, Arnold & Porter (June issue). We'll be talking about how to get a Green program going at YOUR law firm or company, to help it save money, create a better worksite, and reduce carbon "footprints."

One caveat: our room holds ONLY 40 people -- so be sure to get there early because it will be first-come, first-served.

* Thom Singer's new mini-book, written with Leslie Morris, is now available. The ABC's of Networking, from Danville, Calif.'s New Year Publishing, offers insights on everything from A (Attitude) to XYZ ("There is no end to networking.") There's also some bonus material at the end. (e.g., tips on throwing parties -- including which days of the week are best.) Much of the book's advice won't surprise you, but like batting practice, reading it is good for the muscle memory, and it's perfect for newbies in their marketing posts.

* Should law schools be more like B-schools? I'd certain voice a rousing yes. Check out a post on the TaxProf blog where Robert Rhee argues they'd be a lot more relevant to real life and the business-side of running firms. Let's turn the mic over for a minute:

Legal education is in need of reform. ... I suggest that law schools can learn a good deal from their academic cousins, business schools. Each discipline is different, and thus a comparison has limits. That said, both are professional schools with a mission to teach a set of skills required by overlapping markets. Based on my experiences as a student in law school and business school, and now a law school professor, I wish to highlight two differences: a tight and focused program, ... [and] more diverse teaching methods.

* CIO Joan Barrow checks in with news that she's looking for someone to fill a new IT spot at Dickstein Shapiro in D.C.: 

I am looking to hire a very experienced network person to be my Sr. Director of IT Infrastructure.  I am looking for someone with solid operations experience who can stabilize and run the operations side of things so that I can focus on strategy, BPR, and litigation support.  Any referrals will be more than welcome.  We are not looking for law firm experience, so if you know anyone from your non-legal professional networks, I'd love to talk to them. ...If you know a good headhunter for this type of position, that would be great information too.  The job is based in DC, and we are open to relos.

* From Chicago: McGuireWoods' Kenneth Dort has been re-elected to the board of the  non-profit International Technology Law Association. Dort is a partner in the firm’s technology and business department, and is one of 11 Americans who sit on the 30-member board.

* Welcome to the blawg-o-sphere:  Robert Price, former CEO of Control Data Corp. and author of Eye for Innovation (Yale University Press, 2005), has launched a new blog, named after his book. Check it out here.

* Change Yer Outlook: Darby & Darby is moving over the weekend to to 7 World Trade Center in NYC, reports managing principal; Andrew Baum. 411 here.

* Rainmaking Conference:  The Rainmaker Institute, a marketing firm that targets legal professionals, has scheduled a two-day Rainmaker Retreat on June 15-16 in Las Vegas.  411 here.

May 25, 2007 in Green Law, Marketing, People, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


20469572 Attn New Yorkers: Tomorrow, wear a blue shirt (I'll don Yankees blue, of course) and convene at noon, at Battery Park in front of Castle Clinton (#1 train to South Ferry; #4 or #5 to Bowling Green, R/W to Whitehall Station) to help create a human chain of people -- a sea of people if you will --- who will create two lines to dramatize how lower Manhattan's coastline could be redefined by rising sea levels from global warming.

The event is being organized by author Bill McKibben and will be part of the StepItUP 2007 rallies across the country. The Natural Resources Defense Council is behind it too.  411 here.

Update: I was unable to attend, but here's The New York Times' article about the event.

April 13, 2007 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAIL BAG #040607

20810225_2 Linda Will, director of information resources at Mpls-based Dorsey & Whitney, checks in with news that she's written the lead story in the January issue of Legal Information Alert. It doesn't appear to be up online yet, but if it does, I'll provide a link. Will wrote about "Reflections of a Mad Cybrarian: The State of Our Profession." Among her comments, she sees that information resource centers (née libraries) still rank about fourth or fifth on law firm budget line items, and as a big line item, are "therefore perpetually under scrutiny." But, she observes, "the pain of the annnual budget seems to be paling."

LindaHer thoughtful article tackles a wide range of topics, including contract negotiating, content and training, and technology and marketing. She discusses some of the dilemmas faced by information vendors, including Thomson West and LexisNexis, who have bought up so many companies recently that integration isn't complete, and it's sometimes hard for librarians to know who to talk to about what product. And she predicts that her peers will have an increasing role in  marketing and business intelligence.

"There is a critical distinction between being part of the technology conduit and actually analyzing information critical to firm leadership. Because of our understanding of both content, and our firm's culture, many of us have become heads of knowledge management."

To get a copy, contact Legal Information Alert.

* Two important stories via the Law.com bloggers, as cited by Bob Ambrogi:

1. Chubb has apparently changed its mind about insuring firm-generated blogs. But it's all still as murky as a double-espresso, caveats Bob.

Fence 2.  The NY State Bar Assn may loosen its rules to allow out-of-state lawyers (especially GC) to practice in-state. This is a battle I have been screaming about for more than a decade, and we first wrote about in Law Technology News with a great article by John McGuckin, GC of Union Bank, who is a past-prez of the Association of Corp. Counsel.

Robin Sparkman and her Corporate Counsel magazine team just broke a fascinating story about how so many GCs are not "properly" licensed. I've ALWAYS thought that we should have "Drivers' License Jurisdiction" -- i.e., if you are admitted ANYWHERE in the U.S. you should be able to practice in any state.

And I think the ONLY reason why there's resistance is that the bars fear a loss in revenue if they can't keep their stranglehold on our membership fees.

But how, in the days of global communication and jet airplanes, can they legitimately claim these silly jurisdiction rules. What active lawyer doesn't regularly cross state lines?

Brook_2 * Burned in April: Remember the Chinese curse, "May you live an interesting life?" Well, our pal Brook Boehmler has certainly been cursed. I'll turn the microphone over to him, while sending him our warmest wishes:

April Fools Day found me sitting in the sun in California while my third floor home in Branson was on fire. All 10 condos were completely destroyed. I thank God that my kids weren’t there and nobody was hurt.

While everyone said that I should start over with my life, I really wasn’t planning on the literal meaning. I came back to Branson the first of February, after having a great experience in Chicago with kCura. While I had planned on getting more involved with my family and relationships, I hadn’t planned on figuring out how to deal with insurance companies.

I hope everyone is doing well and as we approach a time of renewal and rebirth, I say my blessings every morning for friends, family, faith and a future so bright...I have to wear shades.

1101070409_400 * Speaking of Sun: Time Magazine's April 9 "Special Double Issue" has a cover story: "The Global Warming Survival Guide: 51 Things You Can Do." Read the story here.

And if you live in the New York City metropolitan area, the Natural Resources Defense Council wants you to mark your calendar for Saturday, April 14. If you can show up at noon, at Battery Park (in front of Castle Clinton), dressed in blue, you can be part of the "sea of people" who will dramatize "how lower Manhattan's coastline could be redefined when submerged by rising sea levels from global warming." Sign up here to let them know you are coming. The event is being spearheaded by eco-author Bill McKibben.

*And the United Nations report came out today. Here's the 411.

* California, here we come! Keep that calendar open -- and mark Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21, for LegalTech West Coast! At 12:15 p.m. on 6/20, please join me for a very special program (with a brown bag lunch), "Green Law: A Leadership Challenge."

We have an absolutely fantastic panel lined up for you!  Our speakers will be:

• Matthew Heartney, partner, Arnold & Porter (LA)
• Bruce Lymburn, partner, Wendel, Rosen, Black & Rosen (Oakland)
• Edward Jorczyk, director, global technology, Morrison & Foerster (SF)
• Alvidas Jasin, director of business development, Thompson Hine (Cleveland)

I'll be moderating this stellar panel, and we've got a great agenda: We'll focus on how our legal tech community is ideally positioned to take a leadership role as well all confront the challenges of global warming and the climate crisis. The good news: being environmentally responsible is good for your firm's (or company's) bottom line! Our panelists will share how they use technology to reduce costs, improve facilities, create a more healthful envirnoment, and increase morale -- and how "Green Law" is becoming a thriving practice area.

LTWC will be held at the Los Angeles convention center, for more 411 please visit www.legaltechshow.com.

* Speaking of Minnesota, it's time for me to sign off and go pack my bags... I'm headed to the Twin Cities for our fourth annual Twins/Yanks fest, and to visit some of the fabulous tech community folks for a few days. Ironically, I suspect it will be warmer in the Dome than it was last night at the fffffrrrriiiiggggid Yankee Stadium. CYA!!!

April 6, 2007 in Good Works, Green Law, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


21354406 I turn the microphone over to ALM's Tony Mauro, of Legal Times:

Adding its voice to growing alarm over global warming, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take a fresh look at the problem with an eye toward regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from cars.
The 5-4 ruling in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency is a sharp rebuke to the Bush administration, which argued that such gases are not air pollutants under the meaning of the Clean Air Act. The EPA also said that even if it did have the authority to regulate new cars’ emission of greenhouse gases, it would choose not to, because the problem is being addressed in other ways.
The Court’s newest justices, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito Jr., both dissented.

Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the Court, said the Clean Air Act gives the EPA authority over greenhouse-gas emissions, adding that the only way the EPA could refuse to act is if it now determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change.

The Court also rejected the government’s argument that because other countries like India and China are poised to increase greenhouse-gas emissions, any EPA action on domestic cars would have a trivial impact. “A reduction in domestic emissions would slow the pace of global emissions increases, no matter what happens elsewhere,” wrote Stevens.
The decision took an unusually broad view of standing—usually a major obstacle in environmental lawsuits—by finding that, even though warming is a diffuse global problem, Massachusetts has already been significantly injured. “These rising seas have already begun to swallow Massachusetts’ coastal land,” Stevens wrote.

Groups that sided with Massachusetts immediately applauded the decision as one of the most important environmental rulings in history. The finding that carbon dioxide—one of the gases at issue—is an air pollutant could also have implications for coal-fired power plants and other environmental issues.
“Today is a great day for the environment,” says Howard Fox, a lawyer for Earthjustice. “The Supreme Court has reaffirmed what we have been saying all along: The Clean Air Act gives EPA authority to fight global warming. The EPA must act immediately and issue regulations that limit greenhouse gases from motor vehicles that contribute to global warming.”

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says, “EPA can no longer hide behind the fiction that it lacks any regulatory authority to address the problem of global warming.”

In a statement, the EPA indicated that it is assessing its next step. But it also defended the actions it has already taken on the issue: “The Bush administration has an unparalleled financial, international, and domestic commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Bush administration has spent over $35 billion on climate change programs—more than any other country in the world.”

Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which filed a brief in support of the Bush administration’s stance, issued a statement Monday calling for a “national, federal, economy-wide approach to addressing greenhouse gases. This decision says that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be part of this process.”

The decision laid bare sharp divisions among the justices over the issue of standing, as well as whether the Court should have anything to say at all about the environment.

Roberts led the Court’s conservative wing in dissent.

“Global warming may be a ‘crisis,’ even ‘the most pressing environmental problem of our time,’ ” Roberts wrote, quoting from the brief by Massachusetts and other petitioners. “It is not a problem, however, that has escaped the attention of policymakers in the executive and legislative branches of our government.”

Roberts also described as “pure conjecture” any connection between global warming and the loss of Massachusetts coastal land.

Also dissenting were Justices Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.
“The Court’s alarm over global warming may or may not be justified, but it ought not to distort the outcome of this litigation,” wrote Scalia in a separate dissent. “No matter how important the underlying policy issues at stake, this Court has no business substituting its own desired outcome for the reasoned judgment of the responsible agency.”

In a second environmental ruling Monday, the Court ruled against Duke Energy Corp. in a dispute over the effect of modification of its power plants in compliance with clean-air rules. In a unanimous decision by Justice David Souter, the Court in Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp. said the company’s modification triggered the requirement that the plants meet new, not old standards for reducing emissions.

“This is a huge win for clean air,” said Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp in a statement. “The Court ruled unanimously that companies have to use the latest cost effective technology to reduce pollution when they upgrade their plants. This is not a legal abstraction—it means we’ll have cleaner air and less childhood asthma.”

Tony Mauro can be contacted at tmauro AT alm.com.

Reaction: Environmental Defense on Mass. case here. On Duke here.

Legal Times' BLT blog item here.

Update 3/3: Robert Ambrogi notes the intense interest among blawgers here.

April 2, 2007 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


PowerOur upcoming April issue of Law Technology News has two articles that discuss a hot trend in our legal tech world: virtual servers -- a way to use software to maximize use of your hardware. (It should be up online early next week.)  They are not only efficient ways to maximize your resources, but virtual servers also help you run a green operation.

In the same vein, Tuesday's issue of The Wall Street Journal, has a tasty article by Jim Carlton, "IT Managers Make a Power Play," that talks about a range of efforts IT staff are doing to cut energy costs. Among its points:

* Surveyor, from Verdiem Corp., automatically turns off despktops when they aren't in use. This is different from screen savers, which shut off monitors to save screen life, but actually use more current, he explains.

* "Thin Client" barebone PC terminals can slash power usage by a third, says Charlton, citing the experience of the Verizon Wireless call center.

*Hewlett Packard Co. expects to drop its power consumption by 25% over three years, by consolidating its servers and data centers.

* Intel Corp. says its Dual-Core Intel Xeon 7100 microprocessors for servers triples performance.

* Microsoft Corp. has beefed up its "sleep" feature in Vista.  "PCs draw as much as 100 watts of power even when they aren't in use, compared with as little as three or four in sleep mode," writes Charlton.

March 28, 2007 in Green Law, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAIL BAG #031507

MailboxJ. Craig Williams is NOT a happy camper! He upgraded his firm's LexisNexis Time Matters software and can't seem to resolve the glitches. I'll turn the mic to him:

... Perhaps one of the most annoying problems is the billing interface.  Every time we open a completed slip, the dollar amount drops to zero.

That's a bit of a problem for a law firm that sends invoices to its clients each month. Even though our clients don't complain, it really has a disastrous effect on cash flow. But that's not the only problem. Despite Lexis' claims that the upgrade fixes the software's bugs, even the best of intentions go wrong - things that worked in prior versions don't work in this new version. Ouch.  Please, don't get me started - there are a host of other problems, as well - but too long a list for this post.

We've made the billing interface suggestion to Lexis numerous times, asking them to fix the bug, but with no results. 

Read more here.  And Bob Ambrogi's writeup here.

* Wendy Ampolsk, editorial director of ALM's Law Journal Newsletters, has launched a blog. Check it out here.  Her inaugural post, "Author! Author!" details how our newletter division is structured and picks its articles. Here's a link to LJN's edit board roster. Welcome to ALM's blawg-o-sphere, Wendy!

* Citi Cards has jumped on the green bandwagon. The company promises to plant a tree on behalf of all of its cardholders who switch to e-mailed (paperless) statements.

*Speaking of green, The New York Times ran a very measured, thoughtful article yesterday about Al Gore and his global warming crusade, "From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype." An interesting discussion about the interplay between politicians and scientists, and whether or not Gore's too much of an alarmist. Worth a read -- but doesn't stop me for a nanosecond from drinking the Kool-Aid about the very-real threat of global warming.


*Larry Savell, of N.Y.'s Chadbourne & Parke, has published this primer on electronic transcript management technology on Law.com.  He concentrates his practice on products liability and media law litigation defense.

*Online recruiter Dice has released this IT salary survey which sez salaries have spiked 5.6%, but there's still a gender gap: women earn almost 10% less than their male colleagues. :(

March 15, 2007 in Green Law, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


SigwNow this I did not expect: Sports Illustrated has gone green, devoting the cover of its 3/12 issue to a report on how global warming could change the face of sports -- "As the Planet Changes, so do the Games We Play."

Basically, sez SI, you can kiss goodbye games at in the Bay Areas of San Francisco and Tampa -- e.g.,  AT&T Park, Candlestick (a.k.a. Monster Park), Oakland Coliseum (McAfee), Raymond James stadium (and across the street, Legends Stadium) and St. Pete, and most currently-coastal Fla. venues. (No doubt, other waterfront venues, including Yankee Stadium.)

SI goes on to write about the impact on golf, skiing, etc. For example, it has a chart of how many days less will the average ski season last in the U.S. -- by 2025, and 2050. Tahoe's Heavenly and Kirkland can expect 29 fewer ski days by 2050, it reports.

And even beisbol bats are vulnerable -- warmer climates threaten the quality of ash trees in the Adirondack region of NY -- and the climate has fueled the invasion of emerald ash borer bugs, which snip the tubes that carry nutrients through the trees. The USDA is so concerned, sez SI, "that it's collecting ash DNA should the tree be wiped out."

March 8, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Save the bears! The National Resources Defense Council is trying to raise money to put this ad on TV  to help protect artic polar bears who are especially threatened by global warming.

They are pushing to get the advertisement up and running while the public comments are being taken over the next 30 days.

Polarbearsos_header_1For more info about:

* the TV ad campaign: click here.

* The science behind the threat to the bears here.

* What you can do to fight global warming: here

* About polar bears here.

* What families can do together here.

*Update 3/19: They did it! They reaised enough money -- so the ads start today on CNN. Click here for the schedule (it's a bit hard to find, but in the middle of the page).

March 7, 2007 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #030207

Mail_18 Jo Haraf checks in to let you know that Morrison & Foerster has a great job available:

"MoFo has an open position in our firm-wide technology group in San Francisco. The new manager will have a small team but with big impact and visibility.  Heck, the prior incumbent (Ed Jorczyk) is now the firm's global director of technology and supervisor to this position."
For more 411 click here.

* San Francisco's Mister Thorne (Mister is really his first name) reports that he's created a new blog, "set in style," that includes a discussion about why female lawyers are often called "women attorneys" and males are just called "attorneys."  Check it out here.

* Bob Ambrogi's recent column about peanut allergies and the law apparently triggered some interest! Check this out.

*Jobst Elster, of the Envision Agency, forwards this story about Richard Branson (the Virgin Airlines maverick)'s offer of a $25M prize for anyone who can come up with a way to "scrub" the atmosphere of global-warming C02. Hey! Why not?

March 2, 2007 in Green Law, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #070220

Crum_t_04Terry Crum stopped by last week, and LTN news editor Claire Duffett and I took him across the street to Country for a catch-up lunch.

Crum, former CIO at Jones Day, has come out of retirement to join the New York office of Deloitte, where he is now a director, focusing on analytic and forensic technology, and forensic and dispute services. Crum sez he'll be focusing on the general counsel crowd, and will spend a lot of time in NYC and D.C. -- so he has no plans to move from his Virginia digs. E-mail him here (spam protected). It's nice to have him back among the legal tech fold.

Toureiffel_2  *More changes to your Outlook: The delightful Nina Pervychine checks in from Paris (tough gig, eh?) with news that she has become global IT project manager at Salans.  We can all send our slightly-jealous congratulations to her here!

* Global law firm KM survey: My colleagues over at ALM Research have released their 2006 knowledge management survey, conducted with Curve Consulting (Gretta Rusanow). Among the "key challenges," they found that most firms do not have a KM committee; and that processes are not in place to support everyone at the firm contributing to a KM system. "Lawyers are unlikely to receive fee relieif or billable hour credit for contributing to KM," writes Rusanow, who notes that only 13 percent of firms are tracking ROI. Click here for more 411.

Liebel_1 * Solo advice: Susan Cartier Liebel, who writes a weekly column for our Connecticut Law Tribune on solo and small firm practice issues, has a blog with a great tagline: Build A Solo Practice - "Newly Minted or Well Seasoned, Dedicated to Helping You Create and Grow Your Practice." Somehow, that makes me think of lamb chops, but I must be hungry. Check it out here.   (It's got a kewl Reader Poll, too!)

* Jim Hassett says he rarely writes on tech issues on his marketing blog, but he's so frustrated about his client relationship management software he wants to scream. (See the Feb. 14 post if the Permalink isn't working properly.) Perhaps you can give him some advice?

*No Asshole Rules: This story from The American Lawyer is a hoot -- and practical. Is there anyone alive who hasn't had to work with a jerk?

Leboeuf_denny_1 * Vesna Jaksic of The National Law Journal profiles Denny LeBoeuf (right), who is chair of the board that oversees New Orleans' public defender office. Can you think of a more challenging position? But she sees it as a miracle-about-to-happen, reports Jaksic:

"I think this is going to be a destination office for young lawyers who want to do public defense in the years to come," said LeBoeuf, a veteran criminal defense attorney. "And no one would have said that before Katrina."

But New Orleans has a way to go before LeBoeuf's "miracle" sees the light of day.

Only about half of the needed 70 public defenders have been hired. Judges' patience sometimes wears thin, leading one to recently jail a public defender because no one from his office showed up in court. And Hurricane Katrina's impact lingers everywhere, whether it's residents' stress levels, businesses' limited hours or the city's damaged roads.

*Just in time for Mardi Gras week, Zagat has published the 2007 Best of New Orleans.

* Crichton Brouhaha: There's still buzz in the global warming circles about Michael Crichton's pissing contest with Michael Crowley of The New Republic. After Crowley challenged Crichton's arguments that global warming was a hoax, Crichton retaliated in his most recent novel Next - which contains a character who is a child molester named Mick Crowley who is a Washington-based columnist. Read about it here. NPR feed here.

Cfb2_1  * Speaking of GW: Seth Godin is challenging all the bloggers to join the campaign to switch out your lightbulbs to those cute, curly compact flourescent bulbs that save a ton of money and cut nasty emmissions.

I've done it  -- how 'bout you?

Xm_logo * This one I like: I'm still fighting like an angry cat about the proposed DirecTV monopoly over Extra Innings, but today's announcement (long expected) that XM Radio and Sirius will merge is music to my ears! That can't happen fast enough for me. I'm an extremely loyal XM Radio fan!  Love the MLB coverage!  Here's the NY Times article. Here's Andrew Ross Sorkin's DealBook item.  Washington Post.

February 20, 2007 in Baseball / Yankees, Good Works, Green Law, People, Technology, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Pollchart Holly Michael and the LexisNexis gang conducted a survey of 200 attendees at LTNY, with fascinating results. Among them:

* Attorneys rank e-discovery as the main legal issue facing the judicial system in 2007. While 35% of participants believed EDD will be the most contested issue this year, only 12% felt immigration will be the main concern and 10% felt identity theft would be the next hottest topic.  Privacy, individual rights/civil liberties and tort reform were also listed as top concerns.

*More than 75% of attorneys do not believe that the power shift in the U.S. Congress with change they way they approach business in 2007.  Even though the new Democratically-controlled Congress could change the government’s approach to hotly-debated issues such as health care, education, foreign policy and immigration, the survey results show that the majority of attorneys in the U.S. do not think that their work will be affected by potential change.

*Attorneys are overly optimistic that their firm could quickly recover from a natural disaster or terrorist act. Nearly 75% of attorneys think their firm can quickly recover from a natural disaster or terrorist act. According to FEMA and the Business Network of Emergency Resources (Bnet), most businesses do not have a solid emergency or recovery plan in place. Bnet also reports that 93% of companies that experience a significant data loss are out of business within five years, and 44% of companies that lose records in a disaster never resume business. Even so, majority of businesses spend less than 3% of their total budget on business recovery planning.

*Attorneys today rank e-mail as the most indispensable business tool. Nearly 60% of attorneys reported that they cannot live without their email.  Twelve percent claimed their PDA device as another “need-to-have” technology, while cell phones, company databases and laptops also made the top five list.

*Our survey shows that you have your work cut out for you to get the legal community thinking green. An overwhelming 75% of law firms have not implemented new policies to fight the growing concern of global warming.  In the survey, only half of respondents indicated they have a recycling program in place at work to help combat global warming.

February 8, 2007 in Green Law, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAIL BAG #012707

Mail_17 We just finished closing the February-issue LTN close, and we're gearing up for LegalTech New York, which actually started for me yesterday (Friday).

FTI Consulting held its RingTail User Group conference over at 3 Times Square (aka the Reuters Building). [Interesting sidenote: Many New Yorkers have no clue where "3 Times Sq." is, and the building does not have a visible address. Maybe it thinks it's a hip bar that wants to disguise its address, but even some of the cabbies have trouble finding it -- which wasn't fun when the windchill factor was below zero... but I digress...]

Anyway... The Ringtail crowd was kind enough to invite me to keynote the meeting, and were very warm and delightful. I spoke about "Fear Factor," how the changes in the profession -- the shift from "private club" management to corporate management models -- is so difficult for some lawyers, especially when it comes to adopting technology. We spent a bit o' time on EDD and the Socha Survey, and I ended with what will soon be a familiar refrain: the need for our profession to take a leadership role in "Green Law" -- the use of technology to reduce costs, increase profits and be environmentally responsible.

Special thanks to Ed Pfromer, managing director; David Remnitz, senior managing director and practice leader, and Mike Raley, marketing manager, as well as Jobst Elster, of Envision Agency, for the generous opportunity.

Turning now to da mail bag:

Gwimage_1 * Laurie David checks in with an advisory about a Virtual March  to protect Polar Bears from global warning... Among those onboard, besides yours truly, are Chase Utley of the Phillies, James Taylor, Cheryl Crow, Senator John McCain, Walter Cronkite, etc. Join, and tell a friend, here.

* Arnie Herz sent me a nice note about LTN's new Green Law column, and sez he's already onboard, and this month is replacing his Audi with a Prius. Yeah! (Sneak preview of the column here: Download green_law0201.pdf )

* The ever-charming Lisa Solomon reports that her The Billable Hour Co. has opened a music store offering CDs by and for members of the legal profession. Among the offerings, The Bar & Grill Singers (a group of practicing attorneys in Austin) with three CDs —A Time to Grill, Grilling Me Softly and Licensed to Grill.

* Marcel Hobizal of Equivalent Data, says the company has just released its NeedleFinder software. You can check it out here.

* Larry Kohn checks in to let us know that he's posted some helpful marketing and management tips on his blog, Kohn Communications. 

*Anybody who flies United knows that its San Francisco airport is hands down, the worst place for connections. Unlike most other airports, too many gate agents are flat-out surly and rude. (I had yet another snotty agent hassle me enroute home from Kauai last month.) But anyway -- UAL is trying to appease the elite level fliers with some improvements. They are relocating the Premier area to Door 1 - near the south end of Terminal 3, and adding new "premium boarding lanes at all SFO gates "to give you front-of-the-line access, whenever you choose to board the flight. ... this separate boarding lane concept will be implemented at our remaining four hubs by mid-year... and at approximately 40 airports at which we operate by the end of 2007."

OK.. I'm off to the Hilton... CYA soon!

P.S. If you, like me, are in California - Group 1 and scrambling to get those bias and substance abuse last-minute credits, check out Law.com's CLE Law Center. I listened to two very interesting programs, painlessly, right over my computer!

January 27, 2007 in Green Law, Marketing, People, Technology, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MAILBAG #011107

BinaryWow, an almost binary date! 011107 (hey, if you squint the 7 looks like a ... oh never mind :)

Anyway, here's today's inbox!

* James Seff, one of my favorite San Franciscans, knocks on the door to introduce a new consultant at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman:

"I am delighted to tell you that, as of January 2, Jerry Jolly, the recently retired and very well regarded director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, joined our Wine, Beer & Spirits team as a consultant.  Jerry will not only counsel our clients regarding ABC issues, but is available to discuss practice before other State of California agencies (the heads of many of which he knows) and to address ABC issues arising in other states."

What a perfect name for a wine expert! Jolly will be based in the firm's Sacramento office, says Seff. The firm's press release is downloadable here: Download press_release.pdf

* Amy Juers is excited to announce the launch of Legal Edge Marketing, based in Minneapolis:

Legal Edge Marketing, a full-service marketing and public relations company serving the needs of vendors targeting the legal market. Its staff consists of several well-regarded marketing professionals in the legal industry, many formerly with LegalVoice, Inc.  Legal services, software and hardware vendors will benefit from their many years of experience.

*The Editor 'n 'Chef of Blawg Review found this hysterical site , Crooks & Liars, where the Simpsons Take on Global Warming.

* Andy Kazeniac, of Compete Inc., alerts us to his company's tracking of traffic to green websites, here.

January 11, 2007 in Green Law, Marketing, People, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Green1_4Not just one, but two members of our legal technology community (perhaps more?) are headed to Nashville to take part in a three-day training session so that they can present Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth slideshow to new audiences.

Cleveland's Alvidas Jasin, biz dev director at Thompson Hine, and Oakland, Calif. consultant Stewart Levine are among the 1,000 people chosen for the event.  (Anybody else? E-mail me!)

And Bay Area attorney Larry Lessig is also on board with this issue. During this TED Talk presentation, about a year ago, Gore mentions that Lessig is helping with copyright/trademark issues to allow people to re-mix the slide shows to suit their individual style. So I checked out Lessig's blog.

Says Lessig:

[The slideshow] is — by far — the most extraordinary lecture I have ever seen anyone give about anything. And I’ve now seen the film, An Inconvenient Truth, twice.

I will rarely ask favors of those who read here. But this is one. No issue is as important. I doubt you will ever see an argument as compelling. And though this is a beautiful and passionate film, it is, in the end, an argument that gets built upon the ethic that guides at least some conversation in places like this — facts, reason and a bit of persuasion.

... You’ll see me credited at the end. I gave some advice re: fair use (you can’t believe the insanity filmmakers live with). And some might notice that Guggenheim is on the board of Creative Commons. But none of that is behind this recommendation: Even if you want to reject the argument, understand it first. This is a perfect opportunity to understand it.

... If there were an obvious way to put everything else aside and work on this, I would. Meanwhile, please see the film.

P.S. Who ever thought Al Gore could be so funny? Check out the intro to TED talk above. And Alvidas forwards this giggler from The Onion poking fun at Gore:

January 7, 2007 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Green1_2 Last fall, Business 2.0's Jeff Nachtigal wrote a terrific article (also picked up in Fortune) about San Jose's Adobe Systems Inc.'s efforts to run an environmentally-friendly operation.

You may recall my pledge last week to devote at least one post a month to global warming issues. So here's my first "Be Green" post of '07, focusing on a member of our own technology community.

In the Sept. article, Business 2.0 declared that Adobe is "The Greenest Office in America," and -- as Al Gore asserts in An Inconvenient Truth -- shows it is possible to do good and save money too. Sez B2.0: "Adobe has turned its headquarter into a towering example of environmentalism -- and is saving millions of dollars in the process."

Let's look at a couple examples:

B2_green_cleaner * Automatic facets save water waste. Cost: $110K, annual savings: $24K.
* Waterless rinals cost about $35K, save almost $15K a year.
* Timed outages: For $150 bucks, (yes, only $150) the company reduced the operating hours of garage exhaust fans and outdoor lighting -- and saves $68K a year.
* Compact fluorescent lights cost $11K, and save $105K a year.
* All toxic janitorial supplies have been replaced with earth-friendly products. (Click on image to enlarge).
* Adobe offers secure bike parking -- and an $80/monthly subsidy -- to employees who do not drive to work.
* Motion sensors control lights.
* Composting -- containers hook onto trash cans to separate food waste from regular garbage. 

Adobe retrofitted its existing office towers (about 1 million sq. feet), and reduced its electricity use by about 35% and gas consumptoin by 41% (since 2001) -- despite increasing its headcount by 80%.  Adobe invested about $1.1 million in savings, including about $350K in energy rebates, reports B2.0.

The efforts did not go unnoticed. Last month, Adobe scored a third platinum award from the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council.

More on Adobe's environment accomplishments:

San Jose Mercury News: "Platinum is the New Green," by Katherine Conrad.

Photo of Adobe's janitorial service: William Porter, Business 2.0.

January 2, 2007 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Gore_2 My close friends know that I avoid political discussions whenever possible, partly because as a journalist I must be Little Ms. Switzerland-neutral, but much more so because I grew up in a household where any divergence from an extreme right-wing posture was considered blasphemy -- and I hated to listen to the parental lectures. As a teenager in the generation-gap 60s, I quickly learned to keep my mouth shut and/or deftly change the subject at the family dinner table.

But even today, I don't enjoy "debates" about politics, and I'm hopelessly cynical about politicians. If pushed, I'd probably define myself as a moderate middle-of-the-road blue stater: socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and downright Libertarian on issues like the First Amendment and separation of church and state. Probably a typical New Yorker.

I started hearing good things about the new movie, An Inconvenient Truth, but to be honest -- resisted seeing it because I figured if Al Gore was behind it, it would probably be preachy and overtly political. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Well, last Tuesday, about four hours into my 11 to Kauai, I had already read all my magazines and decided it was time for a movie. United's PS service offers DVD players and a choice of about 8 discs to business class travelers, and lo and behold, there it was. I figured, "what the hell," if it's awful I can just jettison the disk, so I turned it on. And was mesmerized all the way through this AMAZING movie.

Forget ALL your preconceptions about Al Gore. GET THIS MOVIE!  It's incredible, and is packed with science, documentation, images, etc. (Yes, there are a few moments of self-indulgent whining about the election, but you can hit mute if you are a Republican for that section).  Its message is: "pay attention everybody, this isn't about politics -- it's not about borders --- it's not about countries -- it's about the pure survival of our planet." It's incredibly well done, with minimal partisanship -- just science, science, science.

The bottom line: Whether we are blue state or red, we all need to be GREEN. I was absolutely positively blown away by this film. When I got off the plane, I wanted to march right over to the nearest Ford dealership and order a hybrid. (Seriously, I WILL order my next Escape at Millerton Ford as a hybrid.)

I've been thinking a lot lately about how blessed I am, and how much I want to do more for the causes I believe in. More than just write checks. I've always supported music, domestic violence programs, animal protection, and health and sports charities, but as much as I believe in environmental charities, they've been lower on my pro bono agenda. Not any more. My focus in 2006 was dominated by Katrina -- well, guess what -- Katrina is part of this issue. I'm pledging in 2007 to focus a good chunk of my time and effort (and money) on environmental issues. For starters, I'm going to devote at least one post a month here to global warming issues.

Gore talks about how he's using word-of-mouth to educate people about this critical cause. Let me propose this: See the movie. If you, like me, see it as a huge wakeup call, then buy the DVD. (You can get it for $19.99 on Amazon). Play it for your family, and then give it to a friend and ask them to do the same. (Yes, yes, be sure you are properly complying with licensing agreements). Spread the word. Talk about it at parties. If you are a blogger, blog it. Ask your firm to contribute. Talk to your schools about educating your kids. Etc. Etc. Etc.  It's called viral marketing. Let's do this.

Here's some 411 to start:

Buy the DVD (Amazon link) here.

Watch the trailer here.

The science here.

Educator's companion info here.

Take action (what you can do) here.

Sign the petition (and encourage others) here.

Ten simple things you can do, here.

December 23, 2006 in Green Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Clock_4I was puzzled about the time change between Hawaii and NYC (I thot it was six hours, but it's five -- probably something to do with no daylight savings -- so I googled "New York City time" and came upon this way-kewl site: www.timeanddate.com.  Mighty handy!

Kauaialarmclock_1 One of the things I actually really love about being in Hawaii with family members is that I stay on East Coast time -- and get up around 4 a.m., when everybody else is zonked out. I love the silence -- and the gently perfumed air. (I am a bit surprised that it's actually been pleasantly cool -- it's usually always around 82 degrees).

I can do a little work, surf a few cyber-waves, and enjoy the amazing quiet and Van Gogh starry skies. 

Kauai06_018_1And as the sun arrives, I'm serenaded by my own Kauai alarm (above left: click on image to enlarge).

More photos here.

* Catching up on da in-box: LTN edit board member Larry Bodine checks in to let you know that he and Michael Cummings will be presenting "Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan for 2007," in Chicago, Jan. 13. Here's the 411:

Download chicago_conference_press_release.doc

* Margaret Daisley, of ALM's research dept., forwards this interesting Law Librarians blog post about a recent Global Security Survey.

*Rick Georges suggests that you might want to re-think that New Year's resolution to upgrade to Vista.

*Try a towel? OK, call me cynical, but sometimes product warnings approach the ridiculous. I have a new phone (Motorola Q) and I'm skimming the instruction book. Under "use and care" it says: "Don't try to dry your phone in a microwave oven."  Really. REALLY. I couldn't make that up. Could ANYONE over the age of 4 be so stupid as to think they could dry a phone in ANY oven?

That's my cue to put down the tech toys, I mean, tools -- go wake up ma, and head the Taurus to Wailua and get on that fern grove river boat.

December 22, 2006 in Green Law, Marketing, People, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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