Blawg Review

It's not just a blog carnival; it's the law! ~ a fool in the forest

Happy Howell-o-ween

I was working in the lab, late last night,
When my eyes beheld, an eerie sight.
For this monster from its blawg began to rise,
And suddenly, to my surprise,

She did a Howell-o-ween mash-up Blawg Review.

Now everything's cool, Howell's a part of the band
And her monster mash is the hit of the land,
For you the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door tell them Denise sent you.

Previewing Blawg Review #30

Howelloween—Denise Howell is hosting Blawg Review #30. Verrrrrry spooky!

Denise Howell needs no introduction around the blawgosphere. One of the leading legal podcasters, Denise has her own show, "Sound Policy" at IT Conversations. Her stylish blog, Bag and Baggage, online since 2001, is considered a "must-read" by lawyers, law students and law professors, alike. She knows 'em all; and everyone loves her blawg.

Did you know she coined the word "blawg" for law blog? Of course, you did. But did you know she doesn't likely have nationwide common law trademark rights in the term? That, according Marty Schwimmer one of her colleagues at Between Lawyers. Anyway, she would never keep such a good name to herself, even if she could have. She's such a wonderful blawgmother to us all.

Denise is taking us trick or treating with her this Halloween. Are you coming out with us?

Carnival of the Capitalists #107

Carnival of the Capitalists
Blawg Review, the official carnival of law bloggers, is pleased to host this Carnival of the Capitalists #107 plus a special Blawg Review #29, a "business law" issue celebrating the second anniversary of Carnival of the Capitalists.

Blawg Review was started by some lawyers who blog and others who have participated in Carnival of the Capitalists over the past two years. We owe a lot to Jay Solo and Rob May for the inspiration, and trailblazing the blog carnival concept for business professionals.

This is not the first Carnival of the Capitalists hosted by lawyers, and more have already signed on to host future editions.

Hosting Carnival of the Capitalists #107 and Blawg Review #29 together on the same weblog this week, we hope to introduce our law blog followers to the always informative and often entertaining CotC, and to introduce business blog readers to a good selection of blawgs, recommended reading for everyone interested in business, economics, law, and money quotes.

Okay, just show me the money quotes without the blaw blaw blaw.

Just wait a sec. We must emphasize in itallics that the opinions expressed herein are those of the bloggers cited and are not presented as those of anyone associated with Blawg Review, nor are they endorsed by this publication or its affiliates.

The reader hereby confirms by clicking any link in this post that s/he/it has read this legal disclaimer and agrees to forgive everyone associated with Blawg Review for any economic loss or brain damage resulting from reading this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists or mistaking for business, investment or legal advice, which it's not, anything written on this website or anywhere on the Internet linked therefrom, and your smileage may vary.

Carnival of the Capitalists #107, the best business bloggage.

American Express OPEN hired three veteran business bloggers for an offline/online event that started with anchorwoman Jane Pauley interviewing billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson live before 2000+ small business owners in Miami on October 18.

Following that live event, the discussion continued on all three blogs, with moderator Clay Shirky posing a question of interest to small business owners, each day. The blogger panelists each answer the question posed and discuss what it means to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Here's a sampling of some of the blogging around both the live and online events, which was kindly submitted for Carnival of the Capitalists by Anita Campbell, one of the participants in this unprecedented event. If you're interested in following the entire program, she suggests following the conversation at Technorati: OPEN Adventures.
Business Pundit Rob May's post "Why American Express gets Blogging" is a good place to get oriented.

On Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog, you can read the transcript of Jane Pauley's interview of Sir Richard Branson. It's fascinating reading and original content.

From Anita Campbell's Small Business Trends blog, you might want to check out "Adventures in Entrepreneurship: Managing Change". This is one of the panel questions the three blogger panelists were asked by Clay Shirky, the moderator.
Brian Gongol submits:
Lifesaving Through Economic Growth

When viewed as a lifesaving tool, growth-oriented economics gains a moral authority its opponents often overlook. Growth in the world's poor countries generally requires two ingredients: Access to free trade and the rule of law, particularly as it applies to property law.
Mark at SportsBiz discusses the marketing activity of Chivas USA, an expansion franchise of MLS, which has directed its activities exclusively at Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who are familiar with its parent club, a famous Mexican soccer club:
Chivas USA: The Power of a Brand

It appears that a new business model may be developing: leverage an existing brand into the United States and appeal to the American immigrant community.
Tom Kirkendall at Houston's Clear Thinkers has this scoop:
Selling socially responsible ice cream

...about the socially-responsible nonsense that Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream spews while selling its quite good -- but unhealthy (i.e., socially irresponsible) -- ice cream.
George, at Fat Pitch Fiancials, begins:
30 Days to Becoming a Better Investor

November is going to be a manic month of investment knowledge and wisdom here at Fat Pitch Financials. I hope to make November the month that we all become better investors by learning at least one new thing each and every day from each other.
Gautam Ghosh on Management offers advice about:
Building Your Organizational Quotient

There are three things you need to be aware about when you think of your career in an organization.
Modern Marketing, by Collaborate PR & Marketing, asks:
What Is Open Source Marketing?

The buzz of meeting like-minded people from all over the world: the fun of sharing ideas, however crazy or leftfield; the feelings of empowerment; the can-do, pioneering freedom. It’s these social, entrepreneurial values that are driving Open Source among gamers, petrol heads, food lovers, film fans, musicians, sports junkies, globetrotters and almost every other area of modern culture. Just like TV did 50 years ago.
The Truth by Scott explains:
Why Capitalism Doesn't Work

You know the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? I know something that's so broken that you don't want to fix it. In fact, it also works so well that you can't fix it. I'm talking about Capitalism. But before you denounce me as a Commie or Anti-American or just dismiss me as a kook, hear me out.
Free Money Finance discovers:
20 Ways to Save on a Shoestring

So again we see that how much you make is not the greatest determinant of your net worth -- how much you save is the key! Stay tuned and we'll continue this series to give you some ideas on how just how to do that!
Jane Dough, who's blogging the ongoing chronicle of a single 30-something Bostonian who is seeking enlightenment and control of her Net Worth at Boston Gal's Open Wallet, takes a test to find out:
How does my household balance sheet stack up against typical U.S. households?

My Net Worth seems to place me in the "Middle Class" category which is good I guess (at least I am not poor!). I seem to have more cash assets than most and less bonds and stocks/retirement money. Perhaps I should start to shift from focusing just on saving money and instead start exploring more ways to invest my money.
Jeffrey Strain at Personal Finance Advice offers advice:
The Best Investment You Can Make

While saving money may not be in vogue when it comes to an "investment strategy," it comes with a number of qualities that most investments would love to have. Here are some of the reasons that saving money is the best investment you can make.
Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy thinks:
Millionaires are not necessary good models

The Millionaire Next Door, a popular book, argues that saving is the way to become rich. Which is true, but misleading. The less money we spend, the more we save, and the richer we are likely to be. But the goal should be to maximize happiness, not wealth.
Frank at Hello, Dollar! wants to share ideas:
Long-Term Financial Plan

Lately I've been working on creating a comprehensive long-term financial plan. As much as I think and learn about personal finance, I have yet to put all of my goals and plans down in one place. So I thought I'd do it here, and maybe we can learn something from each other.
On a blog called The Real Returns, this Moneywise blogger calculates:
Impact of P/E ratios on Long-term Returns

Is market overvalued? If the time is on your side, paying 40% higher P/E will reduce your returns over the 40 years by only 1%.
Martin Lindeskog at EGO shares some thoughts on the bidding for AOL's web portal:
EGO Portal

When I heard about the bidding for America Online's web portal (AOL ), my initial reaction was similar to the first paragraph of Dawn C. Chmielewski's article, AOL is the belle of the ball again.
One of the most highly-regarded law blogs, beSpacific, has accurate, focused law and technology news, including a recent Executive Summary from the Guidewire Group Market Cycle Survey, October 2005: Blogging in the Enterprise:
Enterprise Blogging Catches On

Corporations of all sizes across a wide array of industries are adopting blogging technologies and practices. 89% of respondents are either blogging or are planning to blog.
Christopher Carfi at The Social Customer Manifesto asks:
Who's Listens To Blogs? Andreesen, Bradbury, Rhodes, Sifry, Wyman...

It's not easy for a "company" to do this. It's so easy for a person to do this. Companies (despite their legal existence as "entities") really can't do anything on their own. They don't walk. They don't talk. They don't bathe. They can't communicate.

People communicate. That's where relationships happen. Between people.
Elisa Camahort at the Worker Bees Blog discusses comment spam with a commenter:
Bloggers getting more and more restrictive with comments, and it's bad for blogging business

And it's definitely not good for blogging business.
Triple Pundit exclaims:
Treasure America ANWR Video is Out - Have a Look!

3P followed the adventures of the Treasure America team this summer as we visited the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in search of economic arguments against opening the refuge to oil development.
Professor Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has some good ideas:
Some 21st Century Ideas on Energy and Employment

With gas prices skyrocketing, people are looking once again at ways to save energy. Unfortunately, while high gas prices bring back memories of the 1970s, the policy solutions that some people are bringing forth seem about as dated as shag carpets and leisure suits.
Tony Gill at the Gill Blog specializes in Workplace Continuity and has been writing about telework as a business continuity strategy:
Connecting Telework to Broadband, BCM and Gas Prices

I came across a piece the other day that was just fascinating, as the primary basis for justifying telework was made by correlating the costs of broadband with the cost of gas.
The Wired GC is thinking ahead:
Flu Pandemic and Disaster Planning

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have provided real-time stress testing for the disaster planning of many businesses. Not all have fared well; many are now doing things differently.

Amid the stories about a possible worldwide flu pandemic, one planning difference becomes apparent: while hurricanes and other severe natural forces impact people and physical structures, the flu only hits people. And keeps hitting–a flu pandemic comes in waves and can last for months.
David Foster at Photon Courier has some interesting stories about the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort at Norfolk Southern and at UPS:
The right way to run a railroad (or anything else)

The aspects of organizational culture demonstrated by NS and UPS are strongly related to the factors that allowed the British fleet to achieve dominance over the French and Spanish fleets in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
Goggalor, one of The Young Conservatives, explains:
The Liberal Agenda On Economics

The liberal mindset, when it comes to economics, primarily consists of the need to compensate for those who are unable, or refuse, to amass the amount of wealth completely necessary to exist in today’s world.
Henry Stern at InsureBlog takes a look though:
A New Transparency...

We all know that carriers negotiate prices with providers, and we have some vague notion that these prices are significantly less than the “street rate” that doctors (and others) charge patients who either don’t have insurance, or aren’t in-network. Until now, though, we had no idea what those costs really are.
Big Picture Guy at Big Picture, Small Office presents:
Bonus Baby

When it comes to giving bonuses, our Board will stop at nothing.
Steve Pavlina's Personal Development Blog has Steve pondering:
What Is Productivity?

Find a person who knows and embraces their life’s purpose, and you’ll find a truly productive person. But in the absence of purpose, you’ll find busy-ness, but never productivity — the volume of output created might as well be tossed on the trash heap.
The Never Work Alone group examines:
Theory of Constraints in public education

Never Work Alone is a blog where you'll find great advice for management and leadership related problems. Each week we post a problem and a summary of the response from the great community of managers and leaders over at the Never Work Alone Google group.
Tim Worstall at his eponymous blog uses the breathtaking stupidity in the National Health Service to provide a basic lesson in management.
Stupid, Stupid.

I know I criticize the National Health Service a lot, regarding it as producer driven and a bureaucratic nightmare. But I’m also willing to admit that the management itself can be guilty of the most crass stupidity.
Jack Yoest shares his personal experience and insights:
Ford, Hardee's and Government: Vendor Management

My public sector experience was somewhat different from the recent initiatives by Ford and Hardee's to improve operating margins by reducing the number of suppliers.
Join in the discussion to grow a profitable business at JSLogan, where Jim Logan asks:
When's The Last Time You Purchased From Your Own Company?

The idea is to walk in the shoes of your customer and test every aspect of presenting your offering and serving a customer - a concept I believe is worth repeating.
Adrian Savage at The Coyote Within, a blog for sharing insights and thoughts into how to survive and prosper in a harsh world, shares some insights and thoughts about:
Quitting Time

One of the greatest gifts is to recognize when you're in the wrong place, or doing the wrong things, then find the courage to stop whatever that is and make a change without guilt or regret.
Skip Angel at Random Thoughts from a CTO has some random thoughts:
Create Your Destiny

Some people would think of destiny as one of those mystical things. That the stars aligned and good things happened to you. Others would think of a calling, that you did something that triggered a path to greatness -- your destiny. Others believe that destiny will come to them, they just need to get a sign from somewhere. Others believe that your life is determined for you, or pre-destined. I think there is yet another way to destiny.
Rosa Say at Talking Story with Say Leadership Coaching says:
Doing the right thing. Bravery at what cost?

Folks, this stinks. More than ever before, I am convinced that to be a truly great manager requires considerable bravery, and the willingness to say, "I'll take my chances, for I believe that if I do right by this person, they won’t sue me. Even if they do, I'll be able to sleep at night." Unfortunately it does take pure courage and bravery, for the higher up the organizational hierarchy you go, the less managers are feeling the company will stand behind them and foot the bill if they do get sued.
Toni Straka, The Prudent Investor, is counting down:
Greenspan: 100 Days To Go - And Then?

The countdown for Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's last 100 days in office has begun. While the White House has said it will name his successor by mid-November it has to be doubted whether the new chairman will change the style of inaccessibility all chairmen have adopted since the foundationof the Fed. More transparency would be welcome. There is no other public body/authority in the world that keeps the public at such a distance as the Fed does. But the style "We speak, you listen and there is no time for any questions," could backfire in a world of globalized financial markets.
Joe Kristan at Roth & Company Tax Update looks at:
Tax Reform - Plan A

The President's Tax Reform Panel is getting ready to issue its recommendations. This post discusses the proposals, and why they will go nowhere.
Daniel Solove, group blogging with professors about the Law, the Universe, and Everything at Concurring Opinions, thinks about the future:
When Google is King

We are entering the age of the Google Empire.
Professor Dale Oesterle at Business Law Prof Blog is watching stocks:
Google Trading at All-Time High

I'm sure investors don't mind when the stock rockets up, but inevitably Google will one day fall short of estimates, and its stock will rocket down.
Professor Victor Fleischer, at the Conglomerate blog, isn't impressed with the recent stock price pop, for different reasons:
Time to Short GOOG? (At least until tomorrow)

I never cease to be astonished by the amount of gamesmanship still tolerated by the accounting rules.
For those of us, lawyers included, who are less adept with numbers than tax law professors, Anita Campbell at Facteon Online Factoring has found a handy one-page cheat sheet about basic accounting concepts:
Valuable Accounting Cheat Sheet

Have you ever wondered the proper way to do certain accounting functions?
The gurus with the free naming and branding service at Wordlab present Sony's new smart phone:
Sony Muggles Name Smartphone

So, we wondered what moniker the naming wizards at Sony would conjure up for their latest smartphone, codenamed Hermione. Something really, really smart, even clever, perhaps, magical. While geeks feverishly waited to get their sweaty little hands on the new phone with its magical powers, all we wanted was the name. Give us the name, dammit.
John Walkenbach at J-Walk Blog points us to some tips on:
How To Improve Your Business

A fascinating success story at The 700 Club: Stepping Up to the Challenge.
Barak, at IRIS: Information Regarding Israel's Security, presents an economic analysis consistent with a political perspective:
Why 'Energy Independence' Is Mostly Poppycock-But Doesn't Have to Be

Any lowering of U.S. demand would temporarily depress prices, which would cause a global increase in consumption which would at least partially undermine any initial cost reductions. There are, however, some worthwhile steps that can be taken to lower the amount of petrodollars funnelled into terrorism.
Joshua Sharf at View From a Height tells us how happy this make him:
Southwest Plants in Denver - But Can It Grow?

Southwest Airlines has announced plans to come to Denver, after a twenty-year absence. Since fares historically begin dropping on the announcement that Southwest plans to enter a market, I can't begin to tell you how happy this makes me.
Barry Welford at The Other Bloke's Blog serves this freshly baked:
Montreal Bagel Blog

Montreal Bagels are known world-wide. They're also one of the food items on which there's lots of debate. Who makes the best Montreal bagel? Is the Montreal bagel better than the New York bagel? Marketers know that to have such interest in a product is a critical step in making the sale. AIDA - Awareness > Interest > Desire > Action. That's the recipe for success.
Patent Baristas serve up fresh brew and news:
Of Tamiflu And Generic Things

Perhaps to avoid a public relations nightmare as well as a showdown on compulsory licensing for its drug, Roche now says it will sublicense Tamiflu production to any company that can produce it in sufficient quantities - now that just about every country is trying to stockpile the drug. Forty countries have placed orders with Roche so far and the company has been under pressure to allow others to produce Tamiflu so demand can be met. Some countries, such as Argentina, have said they will produce their own version of Tamiflu.
Ruy Diaz at Western Resistance has more news analysis about Tamiflu:
US: Schumer the Terrible Attacks Economic Liberty

That is, Roche is being punished for its remarkable success in developing Tamiflu--no good deed goes unpunished. (Don't be fooled by the verb 'calls' used on the story; Schumer didn't 'call', he threatened Roche.)
Ironman at Political Calculations figures:
Byrd's Tariff Feeds Fat Cats

...examining how the actions of a self-interested politician and the corporations who learned how to exploit the system created at the behest of lobbyists provides some really good insight into the modern political process...
The anonymous economist at Different River considers the recently passed Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which restricts the ability of municipalities to sue gun manufacturers for damages caused by criminal misuse of products:
Regulation by Lawsuit?

Now obviously it's preposterous to claim that the gun industry is actually "unregulated." It's one of the most regulated manufacturing industries there is, right up there with pharmaceuticals and automobiles.
Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground takes a bite out of fast-food company shield laws:
Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger!

You go, House! Meanwhile, I'll ask the question I asked in April: "Where Are the Promised Obesity Lawsuits?" As far as I know, it's still true that most plaintiffs' lawyers have no more interest in suing the food industry for obesity than they do in eating a Big Mac.
George's Employment Blawg finds restaurant managers overworked and underpaid:
Reducing Long Hours Worked by Restaurant Managers

Restaurant managers, including those at chains like McDonalds and Hooters, are among the salaried employees who routinely work many hours of overtime without receiving any overtime premium.
David Daniels at Technology & Business Reinvention says:
It's All About Service

Trade shows are hard work but a necessary component to raising awareness for a growing company in a short couple of days. A well managed show makes it so much easier. So with the rapid adoption of the Web/Blogosphere and Internet Communications tools taking business away from trade shows you'd think that show managers would know better and compete with service and value. They haven't made the connection yet. Leaving the door open to astute service oriented companies.
Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber points to an article in the New York Times about a well-known ad agency executive who said there aren’t many female creative executives (the people who come up with ad campaigns) because they aren't up to the job, and got pilloried by bloggers before losing his:
Creative Reasoning

As for "Death by blog," I guess there’s some irony watching the world’s top ad guy radically misjudge consumer sentiment.
Yvonne DiVita at Lipsticking gives a big kiss to dads:
Jane Gets Emotional About Dads

As we see more and more women demanding equality, standing up for each other, finally getting noticed for their brains -- instead of their emotions, Jane wishes to say a word for those emotions -- the emotions that helped us fall in love with the men in our lives...and thereby, to create a family.
Economist Gary Becker and Judge Richard Posner go head-to-head on US immigration policy at the Becker-Posner Blog, and find themselves substantially in agreement:
Many More Skilled Immigrants - Becker

To me it seems like a win-win situation for the US to admit annually a million or more skilled professionals with permanent green cards that allow them eventually to become American citizens. Permanent rather than temporary admissions of the H-1B type have many advantages to the US as well as to the foreign professionals.

Skilled Immigrants - Posner Comment

I am puzzled by the political opposition to increasing the quotas for highly skilled immigrants. The average worker is benefited by immigrants who have skills much greater than his own, because they increase U.S. productivity (so the average worker benefits as a consumer and he may even benefit as a worker if his employer's greater productivity increases the employer's demand for workers) and he does not compete with them; they are in different job categories. And as Becker points out, restricting immigration of highly skilled workers increases the incentive of U.S. firms to outsource production to countries containing such workers; and outsourcing, by exporting jobs, harms the employees of those firms.
Guarino, whose orientation is conservative/republican, thinks his party is failing the American people is in the area of free trade and globalization:
Big Box Mart

Monday night, I saw on CNN a remarkable animated piece that captures in a vivid way the whole issue of globalization for American workers. The piece was, all at once, hilarious and poignant. Ordinarily I do not post anything that contains vulgarities; but this piece does, so be forewarned. Nonetheless, I want to provide a link to it because it depicts in a special way the truth of our current state of affairs, with obvious implications for the Piedmont Triad.

Go to, and watch "Big Box Mart".
interim a blog on business in India, with a global outlook:
The fire under the bonnet, IT staffing

In Indias services sector, this is the model that works. Get hungry best in class employees, set them free on the job (almost). Critics abound on the kind of work that gets done in Indias IT sector and are not entirely unfounded, but the amount of exposure and empowerment an associate gets is perhaps unheard of in many other industries.
Independent Conservative repeats what needs to be said again:
FedEx chief says European over-regulation is bad for business!

How much longer will people complain about China, India and other countries before they realize that many jobs are being given to other areas because in many cases we have over bound the hands of corporate executives? I think it may be a long time for some! A company needs to be able to make changes as needed to be competitive! Otherwise the leading companies in the world will no longer be American! Then where will Liberals get funding for their social programs, with no rich executives to tax?
Michael Cale at Financial Methods has details of a paper published by The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which contains material for both sides of the political aisle:
Ten Myths of Social Security Reform

The report doesn't address the issue of immigration and Social Security reform, but the two are linked. As the retiree population grows, industrialized nations will quietly compete for young immigrant labor. This is a difficult position to advocate politically, especially if domestic unemployment is high. The US is in the best position to draw immigrants, but this is a difficult position to publicly endorse due to concerns over terrorism.
Mike Pechar at Interested-Participant has good news for Chinese food lovers:
Finger Lickin' Chinese

Food giant KFC, owned by Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc., recently opened a milestone franchise in Shanghai, bringing the total KFC outlets in China to 1,500. The new outlet is a drive-in, only the second drive-in in all of China after Beijing. Interestingly, Beijing also has the distinction of hosting the largest KFC restaurant in the world in Tiananmen Square.
Ian Hamet at Banana Oil! blogs:
The Fountainhead in Chinese!

Looks like the typical Chinese media-wide blast of the same news, but that means a lot of people have been introduced to the book.
James D. Hamilton, who is Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego, produces Econbrowser, where his analysis of current economic news engages commenters in lengthy discussion:
GM losses and other economic news

No matter how amazing your accomplishments, it's always nice to try to set your goals even higher. I was pretty impressed when General Motors managed to lose $1.2 billion on its North American operations in the second quarter of this year. But yesterday GM announced it had outdone even this, losing $1.6 billion on its North American operations in the third quarter.
Drawing on his pre-law "Communications Arts" major, J. Craig Williams raises the bar at May it Please the Court with his new Internet Radio Show, Coast to Coast, which he co-hosts on the Legal Talk Network:
Coast To Coast Internet Radio Program On Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection

The new Coast to Coast internet radio program, with my co-host Robert Ambrogi, discusses the new Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. We take up the discussion of this new bankruptcy law that has both the bankruptcy courts and bankruptcy attorneys' offices swamped.
David Giacalone at f/k/a, a website advocating one-breath poetry & breathless punditry with haikuEsq, f/k/a ethicalEsq, serves potluck:
realtors and legislators are selling you out

However, realtor associations have found a sword against discount brokers and a shield against the antitrust laws: They've been successfully lobbying state legislators, who have dutifully enacted so-called "minimum service laws" (in the name of consumer protection, of course), which require brokers to provide a broad set of services, regardless of whether the consumer wants or needs them.
Dan Melson at Searchlight Crusade has "consumer information from those who know the system" and he offers this installment from a complete list of segments at the bottom of the post:
The Good Faith Estimate (Part II)

One of the most common tricks I've seen is for loan officers to tell clients and prospective clients they can roll the costs into the loan so they don't have to come up with cash. Despite being told this is what the client intends to do, they then give you, the client a payment quote in the third column here based upon you paying all of these costs out of your pocket - with the Check You Need To Have. In short, they're acting like all those closing costs have mysteriously vanished somewhere, like they're lurking in the Bermuda Triangle waiting to ambush some poor unsuspecting sap who will never be seen again. This poor sap is you. You're going to pay them somehow. They generally can be rolled into the loan, but make sure the loan provider gives you a payment based upon real numbers. Most people shop for a loan based upon payment because they don't know any better. This gives loan providers incentive to play games here, and the vast majority do.
Evelyn Rodriguez writes passionately at Crossroads Dispatches about:
Fusing the Business of Your Soul with the Soul of Your Business

My sense is that if you read this blog that perhaps business is your Kuru, your Forest as well (but the main thread that ties readers together is this sense of adventuring and questing, rather than retreating from the hero(ine)'s journey).
A Fool in the Forest, attorney George M. Wallace, presents:
Vinous Vignettes

Aussie Reptiles Against Drunk Diving
Stompin' in the Foothills
A Sad Soap Opera at Sanford
Fred Wine Goes With Everything
That was serious fun. Thanks to Rob and Jay for letting us host Carnival of the Capitalists this week. And thanks to everyone who participated with us, especially you, our readers. If you've got a blog of your own, you might continue your participation in this linkfest by picking your favorite post from this week's editon and blogging about it, too, with a hat tip to our Carnival of the Capitalists #107. A big thanks to those of you who reward our efforts with link love or other social gestures from your blogs to ours. If you like what we've put together here, please send your peeps to check us out.

Before you leave us, today, please check out the latest Blawg Review, which is freshly linked at the top right corner of this website under the heading "Read the Current Issue" in red. You might be surprised to find more carnival goodness for you there.

Blawg Review #29

The First Law Review
Blawg Review is hosting Carnival of the Capitalists #107 this week, along with this Blawg Review #29, a "business law" special to help celebrate CotC's second anniversary of business blogging.

Blawg Review is the blog carnival for everyone interested in law; a travelling post including links and commentary on the best recent law blog articles, hosted by a different blogger every week.

The word "blawg" was coined by appellate attorney and blawgmother Denise Howell of Bag & Baggage, who is, coincidentally, next week's host of Blawg Review. The name is a pun on Law Review periodicals published at law schools, such as the Harvard Law Review.

The anonymous editor of Blawg Review, who probably could have "made law review" but would have preferred being the "editor" of some law journal online had the Internet been invented, announced this project in a cheeky guest post on Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground: "Oh yeah, it's over for Law Review." It's been uphill ever since.

From humble beginnings, Blawg Review reached the pinnacle of the legal journalism food-chain, and was gobbled up by affiliated with the blog network. Blawg Review continues as a collaboration of the worldwide community of lawyers, law students and law professors; an independent law blog project administered by an Editor in Chief with help from well-known Contributing Editors, including Kevin Heller, Evan Schaeffer and Michael Cernovich.

Unlike most other blog carnivals, which rely almost exclusively on submissions, Blawg Review looks at the best posts of many different law blogs collected from various sources each week. This is the only carnival I know that has Contributing Editors, each of whom submits at least 5 recommended posts every week, collectively sourcing at least 20 "peer-reviewed" posts for the Blawg Review host to consider.

The host of each Blawg Review decides if any or all of the recommended posts are suitable for inclusion, along with about 10 posts which the host is encouraged to source and select. The host's personal selections usually include several that reflect the character and subject interests of the host blawg, recognizing that the regular readership of that weblog should find some of the usual content, and new readers of the blog via Blawg Review ought to get some sense of the unique perspective and subject interests of the host.

To these recommendations and selections are added most of those posts submitted by law bloggers on their own behalf. It's the essence of a blog carnival that it provides a forum for bloggers to submit their own posts they think meet the standards and subject matter of that blog carnvial and the character and interests of the host, so we encourage Blawg Review hosts to err on the side of including most submissions, and to discuss any questionable submissions with the Editor. In the end, the host always has the final cut.

The unique role of the Contributing Editors is intended to ensure that excellent recommendations are drawn from a wide range of law blogs, and not just from a cadre of regular participants. At the same time, Blawg Review benefits from the widest possible participation and relies on submissions and recommendations from many different law bloggers, so submit early and often following our easy Submission Guidelines.

This week, your contributing editors and participating law bloggers turn their attention to the best blawg posts at the intersection of law and business.

Blawg Review #29 is organized for easy reading and clicking through. Each review has a link to the main page of the law blog, and another to the permalink of the article on the title as written by the author, along with a "money quote" pulled from the post to encourage you to check out the full article. Our theme this week is Dean Prosser's legal maxim:

Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?

Professor Gordon Smith gets into a vociferous discussion with Beldar and other commenters on the Conglomerate blog following this post:
The Supreme Court on Business Issues

Looking at what we are told about her practice history, my guess is that Harriet Miers is fluent in the language and customs of business people in the United States. Although her practice was not extraordinary, it was solid. On the other hand, she does not seem at all passionate about business law. When she is not engaged in billable work, she mostly pursues politics, not business. When she writes and teaches, her focus is on litigation and legal ethics, not business law.
Professor Bainbridge, who has registered his .com as a service mark, writes a lot about Harriet Miers these days. You might want to read more of his considered opinions after you check out these links we found especially interesting for this special "business law" issue:
Miers and Business Law

Miers and the Economics of Adjudication

Over at TCS, I've published a column entitled Where Might Harriet Miers Make Her Mark? No, the piece is not another anti-Miers screed; I'm saving those for the blog. I viewed this piece as a mini-scholarly project and, as with all my scholarship, I tried very hard to let the model go where it wanted, even if it ends up with predictions I find politically unpalatable.
Professor Larry Ribstein at Ideoblog is concerned about the wealth Harriet Miers hasn't accumulated:
Miers and business, again

...I’ve seen nothing to change my mind, but something to make me worry even more: Miers’ investing. As discussed here, she apparently hasn't yet recognized the wonders of the portfolio theory. This makes me wonder whether how much sophistication Miers will bring to judging complex business issues.
Matt Bodie at PrawfsBlawg wraps up this discussion about:
Harriet Miers and the "Good for Business" Question

To me, Harriet Miers doesn't look like a pro-business nominee; she looks like a big-law-firm nominee. There's a difference. Big law firms are likely to cater to big, institutional clients on a variety of matters. To generalize a bit, they bill by the hour, spend a lot of time and attention on matters, and prize their client relationships. They are influential in local and state bar associations. They may like business, but they like the practice of law as well. So in the areas that a wide range of businesses might most be looking for help -- tort reform, damage caps, harsher pleading requirements -- a big-firm nominee (with ABA leadership experience) might feel a twinge in restricting or limiting the role of lawyers in the process.
We can only assume Harriet Miers has strong opinions about this. Bruce MacEwen at Adam Smith, Esq., whose blog is an inquiry into the economics of law firms, polls his audience:
Yea or Nay on the Billable Hour

Will the billable hour ever lose its dominance?

One Man's Thoughts on the Billable Hour

...the demise of the billable hour, if it ever comes, will be primarily client-driven. I am less confident that the precise contours of the Post Billable Hour World will follow Jim's template, but it's both a carefully specified model and one that has been proven to work in other professional-service contexts.
The Greatest American Lawyer has some thoughts on:
Client Service: Law Firm Client Surveys

The failure to survey clients, I believe, is largely intentional by most law firms who spend a lot of energy keeping clients in the dark about their cases, strategy, budgets and expected results. Most traditional hourly billing firms don't have any inclination to solicit feedback from their clients because they have no intention of provoking change.
At Houston's Clear Thinkers, attorney Tom Kirkendall is having trouble reconciling disparate senetences for white collar crimes, pleading:
Help me understand this

Something is seriously out of whack here.
Professor Peter J. Henning at the White Collar Crime Blog notes changes in the timing strategies of prosecutions:
"Real Time Enforcement" - The New Prosecution Approach?

In the past white collar cases were noted for taking significant time for investigation and prosecution. Long grand jury sessions would peruse documents and prosecutors would often spend time working up the ladder to eventually prosecute high-ups.

This may be changing in some parts of the country. Noted in this post here , David Nahmias, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, used the term "real time enforcement. This can be considered a move in a direction toward proceeding with prosecutions at a quicker speed.
Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog has little yellow dots on it, and now he's worried about your color printer:
Your Color Printer Turns Government Snitch

It sounds bizarre, but did you know that your color printer has likely been modified to provide information about your use of it to law enforcement? Yes, I know. I couldn't believe it either.
Blogger George and Lawyer George at George's Employment Blawg is beside himself about gender discrimination and sexual harassment:
Dial To Pay $3M for Strength Test with Disparate Impact on Women

A common sense approach to using a physical test that simulates a job activity for purposes of screening applicants for a manual position may well be shot down for having a disparate impact on women, as the Dial Corporation recently learned the hard way.

Mixed Messages on Sexual Harassment — and a Movie Too

Is the problem of sexual harassment getting better or worse? Should women complain to management about it more or less? Are victims better off staying on the job to fight or quitting and moving on?
Tom Collins at refers to an article in the September 26, 2005, issue of The National Law Journal titled, “How Women Can Develop Business", by Karen Bush and Elaine Metlin:
Women Rainmakers

Rainmaking is relationship building and most discussions of rainmaking approach it from a guy standpoint. Yet the role of women in the top ranks of law firms and businesses is increasing.

Differences can be strengths rather than weaknesses. As the authors of the Law Journal put it, "By leveraging some of their differences as strengths, women attorneys may discover some innovative, effective and decidedly non-traditional approaches to developing business."
Ted Frank at Overlawyered tries to set the record straight about:
Urban legends and Stella Liebeck and the McDonald's coffee case

Amazingly, rather than argue that the tort system shouldn't be judged by the occasional outlier, the litigation lobby has succeeded in persuading some in the media and on the left that the Liebeck case is actually an aspirational result for the tort system, and, not only that, but that anyone who says otherwise is just a foolish right-winger buying into "urban legends"...
Professor Dale Oesterle at Business Law Prof Blog highlights:
Shareholder Democracy

A lot of bantering has gone on this past year about increasing shareholder democracy, especially with respect to the election of directors (shareholder access to the ballot, majority voting for election of directors). Obviously, this bantering presupposes that shareholder democracy should be increased. What has struck me is that does not seem to be the message coming from the marketplace. There are many publicly traded "totalitarian regimes" out there, i.e., public companies that are controlled by one or a few shareholders. Google is perhaps the best known example.
Marc Mayerson at Insurance Scrawl takes a look at recent case law on the ratio between the punitive damages and the compensatory damages:
It’s Good to Be a Bad Insurance Company in America

Verily, I recognize that Benjamin Franklin helped establish the insurance industry in this country, but it does not seem likely that he or the other founders of the Republic would have intended to clothe this one class of businesses with such special, constitutional protection.
Jonathan B. Wilson looks at the recent guns and cheeseburgers legislation coming out of Congress and sees something interesting:
A Leading Predictor of Tort Reform?

The close timing of the ILR's announcement and the passage of these two bills suggests a close coordination between the ILR and Congressional leadership. Congress does not leap at every pronouncement of the Chamber, but rather it may be that the Chamber knew that action was forthcoming and timed their announcement to magnify the appearance of their involvement. If so, their announcement is something of a leading indicator of Congressional action.
Lance Koonce, writing at the Privacy and Security Law Blog, is concerned about:
Inadvertent Disclosure of Business Secrets Through Intellectual Property Filings

While theft of trade secrets tends to garner more prominent headlines, there are also a number of ways in which a company can lose control of its secrets that are unintentional, and often preventable.
Big Ron Coleman is understandably worried about name confusion with the big guy at Likelihood of Confusion:
Scientology Returns to its IP-Abusive Ways

This foray into trademark, however, is evidently something new. It won't be as easy — copyright has a sharper teeth than trademark, notably statutory damages and the notice-and-takedown provisions of the DMCA, which don’t apply to trademark infringement (real or imagined). So far the websites have been standing fast — but then again, so did the Cult Awareness center. Something to watch, and worry about.
J. Craig Williams at May it Please the Court has recovered from hosting Blawg Review #28, and is ready to get back on the horse with a submission to our Carnival of the Capitalists, and this post for Blawg Review:
Trademark Infringement Claim Rides Off Into The Sunset

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, unless the horse is the famous ... polo pony?
Denise Howell at Bag and Baggage, who's hosting Blawg Review #30 next week on Halloween, treats us to:
Pumpkin Seasoning

Also a big deal to my son at the moment is Charles Schulz's Halloween mainstay, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Thirty-nine years old and still going strong, that one. I wish I could consult with a Schulz scholar on whether the author was embroiled in some nasty breach of contract dispute at the time of its creation. In addition to Sally's "I'll sue!" and "You owe me restitution!" when she realizes the Great Pumpkin just ain't gonna show and she's missed out on "tricks or treats," there's this priceless dialogue between Lucy and Charlie Brown over the annual football-pulling ritual:

CB: I guess if you have a signed document in your possession you can't go wrong. This year I'm really gonna kick that football... (Whummpp!)

L: Peculiar thing about that document — it was never notarized.
Heh. Indeed. [nod to Glenn Reynolds]

Well, that's your Blawg Review for this week. A special thanks to everyone who read through to the end. Hopefully, you enjoyed the links we selected this week. It was a bit of work putting this all together, but very gratifying if you're still with us.

I'm really quite proud of myself for getting two blog carnivals posted before the Monday deadlines, or not a minute too soon, depending on your interpretation of deadlines.

UPDATE: Note to host, before self-congratulations, make sure you haven't left anyone out who took the time to submit a good post.

E.L. Eversman at AutoMuse was not amused:
Justice for Sale?

Bainbridge blogs incessantly about Harriet and why she would be a terrible choice, and that gets total coverage, but someone points out, "Hey, a justice on the Illinois Supreme Court blatantly violated his own court's rules on when a judge must not participate in a decision and that participation dealt with reversing a Billion Dollar decision in favor of consumers", and that goes completely ignored? I interview Monroe Freedman, only the most famous legal ethicist in the country, about the topic (who was aghast, I might add, at what the Justice did) and no one thinks that's worthy of a cite?
Mea culpa.

Please check out Blawg Review every week for information about the next Monday's host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues. And, while you're in the carnival spirit, you might want to look for opportunities to participate in upcoming editions of Carnival of the Capitalists, as a contributor or host. It's really good for business.

CotC @ Blawg Review

Carnival of the Capitalists, the blog carnival for business, recently celebrated its second anniversary. CotC founders Rob May and Jay Solo marked this achievement with two special editions, last week's at BusinessPundit and today's at Accidental Verbosity. And next week we're hosting Carnival of the Capitalists #107, here on the Blawg Review website, along with our very own Blawg Review #29.

"Heh," Professor Glenn Reynolds might say, "this should be interesting—lawyers hosting Carnival of the Capitalists." Trust us, it's been done before. Professor Bainbridge hosted CotC way back in '03. And another business law professor, Gordon Smith, hosted Carnival of the Capitalists twice; first at Conglomerate, where he blogs with other profs, and later on Law & Entrepreneurship News, where he blogs with his law students. A general counsel turned entrepreneur and small business consultant, Anita Campbell, hosted CotC in 2004 and 2005 on Small Business Trends, where she examines the forces driving small and midsize business. And recently, Douglas Sorocco put together a very impressive Carnvial of the Capitalists with legal bloggers from different law firms, Stephen Nipper and J. Matthew Buchanan, at their group blawg, Rethink(IP).

Lawyers have done it before, and they'll do it again.
"It's our natural environment, to read things on the Web, to read news stories, and to have something to say," said Ann Althouse, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin who posts her views at Compared with spending a year writing a law review article, she said, blogging is fun.
Watch for more lawyers having fun with Carnival of the Capitalists at Patent Baristas on January 23, 2006, and at PHOSITA on January 30, 2006. Heh, they had so much fun hosting Carnival of the Capitalists at Rethink(IP) a few weeks ago, they're rethinking it again on June 6, 2006. It's not too early for other business-minded lawyers to schedule a date to host Carnival of the Capitalists in the third and fourth quarters of '06.

Those of you who have already hosted Carnival of the Capitalists or Blawg Review might think this anonymous editor—promising to host two blog carnivals on the same day—has gone completely mad. That may be, but there's money in this madness. Carnival of the Capitalists, which often links posts of interest to the legally-minded, was the inspiration for Blawg Review. And there's a lot being written on blawgs these days that might be interesting to business owners and advisors—it's not free legal advice, mind you, but it's free—so you might as well stop by and check 'em out.

Join us here next Monday, when we'll celebrate two years of Carnival of the Capitalists with a law blogger's presentation of CotC plus a special "business law" issue of Blawg Review. It should be interesting.

Previewing Blawg Review #28

May it Please the Court, a phrase frequently uttered by supplicant barristers, is the title of the wonderful weblog of legal news and observations by trial lawyer J. Craig Williams.

The new design for this blawg has a traditionally inspired legal motif including a curmudgeonly judge in a powdered wig, who will speak to you if you disturb him with a click of your mouse. The solicitor's quill that dips into the inkwell and magically writes "May it Please the Court" on the blog masthead is a stroke of genius. This imaginative law blog will probably be among the nominees for Best Blawg Design at the annual Blawg Review Awards hosted here on the last Monday of the year.

Now that the engaging web design has established the atmosphere, settle down for a good read of extraordinary legal insight and analysis served up regularly by one of the leading lawyers in the blawgosphere. J. Craig Williams' law practice focuses in the areas of complex business litigation with emphasis on environmental, real estate, land-use and computer matters and their respective insurance coverage and related tort issues. May it Please the Court, his exercise in personal legal journalism, provides a forum for informal dialogue with his readership on a wide range of legal topics of interest beyond his practice specialties.

While the graphic design of his blawg pays homage to legal traditions, the technical applications deployed by Williams are state of the art. Beyond RSS Feeds and site search, which are de rigueur, this amazing blog is available in nine languages and regularly features audio podcasts of broadcast journalism quality. Drawing on his pre-law "Communications Arts" major, Craig Williams raises the bar with his new Internet Radio Show Coast to Coast, which he co-hosts on the Legal Talk Network with another law-journo expert, Robert Ambrogi.

For those who've read this preview right to the end, your editor offers these bonus links for your entertainment:

May it please the court via The Atlantic
May it please the court via Bloom Blog

And be sure to check out Blawg Review #28, by J. Craig Williams.

Blawg Review & Weblogs Inc.

Two internet deals came together this week, perhaps beginning a trend, with big media companies taking an interest in blog networks.

First announced was the sale of Weblogs Inc. to AOL, the internet division of Time-Warner, in a deal rumored to be worth $25 Million:
"Weblogs is delighted to join up with AOL, and in so doing, we've reached a milestone in the development of citizen media," Jason McCabe Calacanis, co-founder and CEO of Weblogs said. "Weblogs has made great strides over the past two years building high-profile blogs. Yet, we realized that taking our network to the next level required a partner not only with a significant audience, but the advertising expertise to leverage it. In AOL, we found the ideal company to join."
For many of the same reasons, we are pleased to announce today that Blawg Review has affiliated with an online division of ALM, a leading integrated media company serving legal, real estate, financial and business professionals.

Blawg Review is the collaboration of a worldwide community of lawyers, law students and law professors; a law blog project administered by an Editor in Chief with help from well-known Contributing Editors, including Kevin Heller, Evan Schaeffer and Michael Cernovich.

Insiders to the deal describe it as a win for the bloggers and media publishers as well. ALM adds to its network of affiliated bloggers a unique portal with access to the greater community of law blog readers, while participants in Blawg Review get broader exposure of their blawgs to the traditional media audience of tens of thousands of subscribers to ALM's print and online services for the legal profession.

ALM's is the leading legal news and information network online, connecting legal professionals to more than 20 award-winning national and regional legal publications online, including The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, New York Law Journal and Legal Times, and delivering top legal news electronically to a growing national and global audience of subscribers each day on The Newswire.

Blogging expert B.L. Ochman told TechNewsWorld that the Weblogs acquisition positions AOL to move into the blogging spotlight, adding, "I think you are going to see a lot more of this. It's a fantastic sign for new media in general because it indicates that there is more mainstream acceptance of the fact that there is some influential content out there that's worth reading."

We appreciate that ALM saw that in Blawg Review, and think they got a great deal. We're happy, too.

Previewing Blawg Review #27

Our special host for Blawg Review #27 at Legal Blog Watch is the incomparable Lisa Stone, originator of BlogHer. A blogger and a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, she also blogged the Democratic National Convention for the Los Angeles Times.

A Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2001-2002, Lisa Stone has over 14 years experience in writing, editing, producing and creating content.
Established in 1938, the Nieman program is the oldest mid-career fellowship for journalism in the world. The fellowships are awarded to working journalists of particular accomplishment and promise for an academic year of study in any part of the University.
As a blogger for American Lawyer Media's blog network, she now writes Legal Blog Watch a.k.a. Inside Opinions: Legal Blogs.

Lisa has recently been invited as the only female blogger, and the only American, to join a jury of internationally recongnized blog journalists for The Bobs, Deutsche Welle International's Weblog Awards 2005, "The Best of the Blogs". Who are they to say who's best?

She is plenty bright, and she's got as much judicial experience as Harriet Miers, so we're pleased to nominate Lisa to host Blawg Review #27. Seriously now, there's a special reason Lisa Stone is hosting our carnival of law bloggers next, but you'll have to read Legal Blog Watch on Monday to find out what's new.


It seems, on first impression, as if lawyer and poet must surely exist in different universes of thought, feeling, and practice. And for many lawyers and poets there must be truth embodied in this crude impression–the law leads north and poetry south, to follow one is to give up the other. Yet, lawyers write poetry, and poets practice law. Should we be surprised to learn that lawyers, by training and craft, attuned to the nuance and power of language, and to the clever deployment of language as rhetoric and drama, write poetry? We may have grown accustomed, in this era of John Grisham and Scott Turow, to the idea of the lawyer as novelist, but there is still some mystery, even a sense of wonderment, at the idea of a person both poet and lawyer.

Perhaps there is no reason to think so grandly of our poets or so badly of our lawyers. The celebration of the one and the damnation of the other becomes rather confused when we find a man or woman embracing both. Perhaps we misunderstand our poets, in the way we do lawyers, because we know so little of their practices, their language, and their contribution to a literate society. Whatever the relative merits and worth of lawyers and poets, we are fast becoming a society which knows far more about its lawyers than about its poets. (We know it to be the exceptional reader and person who reads poetry, and claims to learn from it, to depend on it to hone sensibilities and chart a path in the world.) With our great ignorance (if not active disdain) of poetry, how can it continue to play a part in our literary lives? What makes poetry, and thus the poet, special, different, marginal, misunderstood, ignored?

We may find that the poet, like the lawyer, sees the world in a nuanced way that demands it be addressed with a special language, language that calls attention to itself and sets itself apart by form, rhythm, and practice. Both poetry and law are acquired taste, all the more surprising, to have such tastes acquired by a single person.
Professor James R. Elkins, of West Virginia University's College of Law, writes that on his website Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry, where David Giacalone is one of many such persons discovered.
David A. Giacalone graduated from Harvard Law School in 1976 and is now retired (from a solo practice as an attorney and mediator). Giacalone spent over a decade in antitrust law at the Federal Trade Commission, before turning to family law. He currently lives in upstate New York. Giacalone's weblog -- f/k/a -- features haiku and law-related commentary (with the hope of interesting more lawyers in haiku). Giacalone's haiku can be found in his dagosan's scrapbook archives.
David is a familiar old friend to many of us lawyers who blog—his alter-ego, Prof. Yabut, a bane to students unschooled in the law—yet he remains undiscovered to some who are new to the blawgosphere. No appreciation of this online world of lawyers, law students, law professors and pundits, writing about the law, their lives and loves, is complete without reading this anti-blogger's uniquely creative blawg, f/k/a___one-breath poetry & breathless punditry with haikuEsq, formerly known as ethicalEsq.

Beyond poetry and punditry, ethicalEsq Archives is probably the largest collection of client-oriented legal ethics materials on the Internet, if not the entire planet.