Monthly Archives: July 2006

Software Upgrades!

Firefox (and while you are at it, get the new version of the scrapbook plug-in now with the ability to highlight and edit web pages before you save them!).

And, an update giving some long-needed entry into heretofore secret MS Office internals.

Posted in Sufficiently Advanced Technology | 1 Comment

What Skill Set for Tomorrow’s Lawyers?

In The social job market, Alex Halavais points to and discusses some thinking about the skill set that tomorrow’s engineers will need. If you presume an outsourced world, it’s different from what they are getting today — much more foreign language and culture, interpersonal skills, and (remote) management.

I wonder what the similar skill set should be for tomorrow’s lawyer.

  • The languages and sensitivity to globalization issues, foreign, comparative and international law, are almost conventional wisdom already, although execution lags.
  • ADR is a big part of the package.
  • Using technology is big, although understanding the technology is not, sadly, nearly so obviously necessary unless one’s specialization touches it directly.
  • I’ve blogged previously about the importance of basic statistics.
  • Many people believe that given the increased specialization of our profession, the law schools should start helping students specialize earlier. Two signs of this trend are certificates for JD’s and the profusion on (money making!) LL.M programs. Here, I’m agnostic. I think that there’s a fine case to be made that the push to specialization in practice actually increases the need for law schools to ensure that their graduates have a decent generalist grounding, for they may never have another chance at it. And both the realities of practice and of malpractice show that lawyers at least need to be able to identify (but not necessarily solve single-handedly) issues outside their specialties before it is too late.
Posted in Law School | 1 Comment

Bob Glushko Has a Blog

Bob Glushko is an original and deep thinker about structured information flows (think XML and its bigger relatives). And he’s smart. But he has a blog anyway. It’s called “Doc or Die” and shared with Tim McGrath.

Posted in Blogs | 1 Comment

Of Special Interest to UM Students

This news story about a recent legal decision will have a special resonance for many UM law students who, in their first-year “Elements” course, spend a good deal of time pondering the law relating to the ownership of engagement rings post pre-marital breakups.

Judge Rules Fiance Can Keep $40,000 Engagement Ring: A New York judge ruled that a woman who dumped her allegedly cheating fiance can keep her $40,000 engagement ring, reports the New York Post (link unavailable).

Jilted men are normally legally entitled to get their rings back because they’re considered conditional gifts. But Judge Rolando Acosta ruled that because Brian Callahan was still technically married to another woman when he proposed to the Dana Clyburn Parker, he couldn’t get back the 3.41-carat round ideal-cut diamond ring.

“When one of the parties is married, an agreement to marry is void as against public policy,” said the judge.

Posted in U.Miami | 1 Comment

ACLU (Not EFF) NSA Case Dismissed

It seems that the ACLU case with Studs Terkel as a lead plaintiff has been dismissed for some combination of lack of standing and national security grounds:

JURIST – Paper Chase: Illinois lawsuit over NSA phone records turnover dismissed: A federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday dismissed [ACLU press release] a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Illinois [advocacy website] on behalf of state residents against AT&T [corporate website] for allegedly turning over phone records to the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] as part of its domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. US District Judge Matthew Kennelly [official profile] noted that the plaintiffs, including author Studs Terkel [JURIST report], lacked standing to bring the complaint since they had no evidence that their records were given to the NSA. Kennelly based his ruling on preventing the federal government’s intelligence procedures from being revealed to terrorists.

Don’t confuse this with the superficially similar case against the NSA brought by the EFF, which survived its first challenge and is still pending.

Posted in Civil Liberties | Leave a comment

Learning to Love DRM

Ed Felton has a guest blogger who hasn’t wasted much time shaking things up. In Rethinking DRM Dystopia David Robinson points out that so far ‘the market’ (by which he seems to mean the actions of a Very Large Company with a dominant position in one market and a cunning plan to leverage itself into domination into a related one) blunts the effects of DRM in the downloadable music sector. Maybe, he muses, capitalism will correct for the worst excess of DRM as a more general matter?

I confess I’m not persuaded much by this argument since I don’t think this example would be generalizable without the existence of the Very Large Company backed by a huge pot of money. I think the iTunes etc. sector is an currently a DRM anomaly, and the fights over anti-consumer hardware HDTV and ‘trusted computing’ are more the usual case.

But it’s an interesting essay, and definitely food for thought.

Posted in Law: Copyright and DMCA | Leave a comment