Blawg Review

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

The Carnival of Trust

We've hosted the Carnival of Trust before. It was here on the Blawg Review blog that the founder of the Carnival of Trust, Charles Green, took the show on the road in August 2007, letting us host the first of these trust carnivals away from the big top at Trust Matters. The Carnival of Trust has had a great tour since then, over the past three years, stopping along the way at some great law blogs familiar to our readers.

Last month's Carnival of Trust hosted by lawyer Doug Cornelius is a tough act to follow--what with the circus clowns and all--so if we're gonna try to trump that performance, we should probably open with the King, in Las Vegas, and Cirque du Soleil.

The performers of Cirque du Soleil exemplify professionalism and trust. Opening with "Jailhouse Rock" is a nod to the lawyers in the house and regular followers of Blawg Review, the blog carnival for everyone interested in the law. Ending with "Suspicious Minds" reflects the larger view of trust that is the scope of the Carnival of Trust.

Now, without further ado, let's get on with the show!

Where better to start than at Trust Matters, as Charles H. Green and Rich Sternhell have co-written a couple of posts about restoring trust and confidence in business. In their post titled CNBC Asks Experts How to Improve Confidence in Business: Hmmm.. Sternhell and Green look critically at a recent panel discussion of experts in the mainstream media. In a follow-up post to that constructive criticism, these trusted advisors offer their recommendations for Restoring Trust and Confidence in Business. "Talk about a simple, succinct recipe for restoring trust in business!" adds Don Peppers, of Peppers & Rogers, in the comments on Trust Matters.

Do journalists collude with one another on how to "spin" stories? On developing "talking points," just like politicians? Do they share ideas on some kind of JournaList? David Warren discusses The Trust Thing.

Ruth Suehle, a writer and editor for Brand Communications + Design at Red Hat, blogging on, has some interesting thoughts on Trust, transparency, and WikiLeaks: Who gets to have control?

In an article on Salon headlined Project Vigilant and the government/corporate destruction of privacy, Glenn Greenwald writes, "Project Vigilant is but one manifestation of a booming and unaccountable industry: groups which collect vast amounts of highly informative data about American citizens -- particularly their Internet activities -- and then sell it or otherwise furnish it to the U.S. Government."

Though social-networking sites like Facebook are growing in popularity, they are not necessarily satisfying their customers, according to a recent survey. David Toussaint wrote a very interesting article about how he got disappeared by Facebook, leaving him feeling rather, well, unsatisfied to say the least.

Facebook is about transparency. What about those who would choose anonymity?

Mike Wokasch, on Pharma Reform, a blog about transforming pharmaceutical companies in an era of healthcare reform, writes that Perceptions of the Pharmaceutical Industry can make Normal Business Practices seem Unethical or Illegal. He says, "It all boils down to a lack of trust and credibility. The industry can’t even credibly defend itself to maintain normal business practices because there are just too many cases that demonstrate companies are willing to betray this trust and take advantage of the market for financial gain. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t seem to be too concerned or you would have seen a dramatic change in behavior." In the comments to this blog post, Charlie Green adds, "You can blame lawyers, PR people, marketers, or general management: but until pharma stops focusing on preventing risk, and instead gets comfortable with telling the truth, they will not earn the reputation for trust and credibility that you rightly suggest they need."

What should business-minded lawyers advise when their corporate clients ask what to do when a bribe is suggested to get a deal done? Alexandra Wrage, President of TRACE, wrote on The Huffington Post an interesting article about Bribery as a Business Strategy.

Chris Brogan, co-author of Trust Agents, wrote an interesting blog post about How Trust Agents Empower Business Benefits. Comments ensued.

"Sales organizations at companies like Xerox, IBM, and the Chicago Blackhawks consider customer-centricity in every part of the sales cycle, from prospecting to lead management to post-sale activities," writes Elizabeth Glagowski at 1to1 Media, in an interesting article about The Customer-Focused Sales Cycle. Apple, not so much.

Brian Galvin at Aria tells a story about trust in customer service and in a subsequent blog post titled Trust, but Verify tells of another situation from his consulting career where a similar type of situation was occurring, and where it was fixed simply and effectively.

Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross, on, asks, "Is Civility a Reputation Driver?"

John Gapper, at BusinessDay, wrote about how not to salvage a corporate reputation with reference to BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward. "Not everything Hayward did was wrong, and nor was poor public relations the only cause of his downfall. Hayward’s fate was sealed when BP’s early plans to cap its well failed, leaving oil still spewing. As one of BP’s advisers argues: 'This is not a PR disaster; it’s a disaster.'"

Bret Simmons wrote an interesting post Leadership Integrity, Value Congruence, and Employee Engagement with thoughtful links to related subjects: "Leaders with integrity in the eyes of their employees speak and act in ways consistent with what employees value. The leader’s personal behavior reflects values congruent with employee values. As leaders inspire others to enact their best selves and stretch for higher and higher levels of performance, they never expect values to be compromised, and they never accept compromise in their own behavior or in the behavior of others they have been given the privilege to lead." How many lawyers have leadership integrity, as viewed through the eyes of their partners, associates, employees, and clients?

When will you trust someone again? Art Markman, a cognitive scientist at the University of Texas whose research spans a range of topics in the way people think, says attitudes affect beliefs by making them more coherent. "There is even evidence that these mechanisms are at work in juries making decisions about court cases," writes Markman writes in Psychology Today. "Dan Keith Holyoak and Dan Simon studied people playing the role of jurors in a 1999 paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. They found that as jurors came to believe that someone was guilty, they focused more on evidence consistent with guilt than on evidence consistent with innocence. Conversely, as jurors came to believe that someone was innocent, they relied more on information consistent with innocence than on evidence consistent with guilt."

Professor Mark Liberman, an expert in linguistics at UPenn, who with his colleagues at Language Log long ago helped us lawyers agree to disagree on the use of the portmanteau word "blawg" for law blog, has an entertaining post this week about the art of conversation. Bloggers and commenters alike will appreciate the included blog post "Conversation" in which Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams wrote, "...I believed that conversation was a process by which I could demonstrate my cleverness, complain about what was bugging me, and argue with people in order to teach them how dumb they were." Sound like a blawger?

Peter Friedman, Associate Professor, Legal Analysis & Writing, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, wrote provocatively, Own your words. Anonymity is cowardice, and cowards aren’t known for their wisdom. The ongoing discussion in the comments to that post is why we read lawyers who blog, including those we trust who remain anonymous, wisely. Professor Friedman's follow-up post, Anonymous online writing: bad writing that wouldn’t see the light of day if the writer knew readers could match the words to the person, continues the discussion of anonymous blogging with often insightful and sometimes incendiary commentary. You thought law blogs would be boring?

Well, then you don't read Simple Justice religiously and haven't met the new Scott Greenfield, No More Mister Nice Guy.

That's it for the Carnival of Trust. No, really, that's it.

Elvis has left the building but there's more blog carnival goodness for you at Trust Matters, where our good friend and mentor Charlie Green is hosting Blawg Review #275.