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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 10, 2006

Blawg Review #52

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:01 am

Tomorrow, April 11, 2006, is Blawg Review’s first anniversary (see

Blawg Review #1, at The Legal Underground).  Congratulations to

the named and nameless ones who have made it possible, and

nurtured BR into an institution that (a) gave this weblog a very nice

(stress-inducing) award, and (b) gave f/k/a the honor of rounding out

the first-year run of the original law[yer] weblog “carnival.”  If there are

further horns to be blown about this Blawg Review milestone, we should

let its Editor do it.


digital age —

aging digits

at the keyboard







If you’ve been here often, just skip down to that little picture of

Carolyn Elefant for Blawg Review substance.  If you’re new here,

click on the About page to learn how we evolved from ethicalEsq

to f/k/a and came upon “our” [Your Editor and his often unruly alter

egos] three-pronged mission:

(1) Nudge lawyers to put their client’s interests first for real 

rather than riches or “dignity” (see the ethicalEsq  archives)


(2) Bring the pleasures of real haiku to folk who never knew,

forgot, or just want more. 


(3) Allow the clowns, curmudgeons, and other characters inside

the Editor to express themselves, despite thirty years lugging

around a law degree. (for example, see Prof. Yabut’s Favorites)


tagging along

with an ice cream cone

the senior partner





the accused teen
and his lawyer…
dressed for spring  



first date

she groans with pleasure

. . . at my puns




                                                                                           boy writing flip


Scrolling down our homepage will give you a good taste of what it’s like

around here (except that the four-part series on Contingency Fees is even

more thoughtful and provocative than usual).   This Blawg Review edition

is set up like most of our posts: a lot of white space, a little organization,

some graphic images for contrast, and a bunch of haiku (which relate humans

to nature) and senryu (which focus on human nature), touched off with occasional

insights and/or wise-cracks from the alterred egos.  So, don’t expect techno-

wizardry, cinematic or literary erudition, or even naked bodies.


Spring arrives —


melting on the dashboard




Here we go Blawg Review #52:



General PraiseBob Ambrogi and Carolyn Elefant are doing a great
job with their new assignments at’s Inside Opinions.  They
cull the most interesting-substantive posts from the stable,
plus other weblogs, giving helpful excerpts, often along with their
own reaction to the issue or news.    I wish they would leave posts on
the homepage longer, for those who can’t get back as often as we’d like. 
(And, is that Comment function working, or is it just me?)  In between

Blawg Reviews, Bob and Carolyn help keep us focused on the best in

lawyer weblogs.


using his nose
the dog searches
the violets

       translated by David G. Lanoue


tiny check  When I grow up, I’d like to have a weblog like the Volokh Conspiracy

Every single day, you can find interesting, substantive posts on topical

law issues, written by Prof. Eugene and his distinguished cabal.  They

don’t just toss out opinions or quips; you get reasoning and even legal

citations.  If I could read only one weblog for legal substance, it would

be VC — even though I tend to think of myself as more liberal (and sen-

sitive) than most of the contributors.  [my alter egos are aghast at their

Editor gushing; it does not happen often]


“eschewSN”  eschew obfuscation

After learning about Georgia’s lewd language law last week,

it was a relief to find out from Prof. V that the DeKalb County 

prosecutor realized the statute had been declared unconstitu-

tional in 1990, and dropped the case against Denise Grier,

whose bumper sticker read “I’m Tired Of All The BUSHit.”


General Prays: More weighty, is Eugene Volokh’s discussion of the

March 14, 2006 Resolution by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors,

which urges “Cardinal William Levada, in his capacity has head of the

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, to withdraw his

discriminatory and defamatory directive that Catholic Charities of the

Archdiocese of San Francisco stop placing children in need of adoption

with homosexual households.”  Thomas More Law Center has filed a

lawsuit, on behalf of Catholics in S.F., seeking to strike down the Reso-

lution under the First Amendment, as an attack on a particular religion

or religious belief.  (also, see Religion Clause & Mirror of Justice)  This

raises important and difficult legal and political issues.  While others have

merely stated the claims on both sides, Prof. V. explains both why he

believes the Resolution is constitutionally permissible and why he none-

theless finds it troubling. 



What would Henry Drummond or 

Matthew Harrison Brady say?


good friday

the scarecrow gets

a new straw hat



Prof Grace  Grace Plays:   Speaking of Catholics, RiskProf Martin Grace wonders

Do Catholics Get a Better Deal on Life Insurance?  Having recently covered other

insurance risk classification issues, Martin uses his customary humor to explore

the ramifications of a new study showing “a positive relationship between regular

church attendance and life span.”   Naturally, he weighs the opportunity costs of

Church attendance and exercising to increase life span — and combining the two. 

[exorcising is not explore, however]


squinting to see him —

another generation

sent to right field



Gosh, Professor:  Christine Hurt, at the Conglomerate Law Blog, brought up an

intriguing professor-student issue this week, in On Poaching & Transfer Law Students,


“Does anyone out there have a policy of not writing letters

of recommendation for students seeking transfers to higher

ranking law schools?  I do not, but I have heard strong argu-

ments from people I admire that they have begun refusing

writing these letters of recommendation.”

The Comments, from professors and students, are quite varied. 

William Henderson of Indiana Law does some major axe grinding,

and is quite willing to keep law students right where they are, in

order to stop those evil Top 15 law schools from poaching.


                              What would Charles W. Kingsfield say?


Good Point/ Good Pointer:  A number of webloggers pointed us to articles

or studies of interest this past week. 

Solo Cheerleader-in-chief Carolyn Elefant reminds readers in the post

The Solo Majority that “a majority of firms in the U.S. are solo and small

practices, a whopping 89 percent in fact.”  Carolyn points to the article

Small Shops Do the Heavy Lifting  (NYLJ, April 6, 2006), by Lovely Dhillon

who explains why “Solo and small-firm practitioners, who comprise so

much of our legal profession and perform so much of the legal work for

people in every nook and cranny of America, deserve to be adequately

trained, supported and mentored.”



PesciAsVinny  Evan Schaeffer’s Illinois Trial Practice Weblog summarizes

and points to “Video Can Be Risky Business“– an article at Law Technology

News, by James McKenna and Jo Haraf.   Brandon Bass offers a calming

Comment. What would Vincent Gambini say? 



tiny check At, Walter Olson does a round-up on wrongful birth cases,

and Ted Frank points to a guest post at Legal Underground that clearly rankled

him.  The anonymous young writer was complaining about people who

complain about lawyers.  Ted replied (sounding a lot like ethicalEsq —

for example, see here and here):

“I’ve long said that attorneys upset that their profession is held

up to ridicule would have much less of a problem if attorneys were

more concerned about the behavior that led to the ridicule than about

the ridicule itself.”


There are scores of Comments at the Legal Underground

post.  Not much fun, though. 


new paperback —
the sun sets
without me





Responding to student requests, Prof. Steve Bainbridge has listed

with the idea of putting class learning about corporate law and

governance into a real-world context.


after the verdict
the tireless lawyer speaks
in falling snow 



HR Lawyers’ Blogger Chris Mckinney points to an npr story on the “Importance of

. . . . Slowing Down.”  The “rest step” practice of a professional mountain climber

has a haiku-vian feel to it. 


tiny check Prof. Bainbridge also gave of this photograph this week. BainbridgeCorks



school photo

the frown my sister

grew into



penumbra 2004 haiku contest, hon. men



law office picnic —

the ump consults

his Blackberry





[More] Good Posts:



Using his head at Declarations & Exclusions, George Wallace fills us in

on three Appellate cases from California that deal with assumption of risk

in sports activities.  “espn meets courtTV” discusses the Avila intentional

beanball case, plus a ski hydrant decision and a personal trainer suit.


April chill —

Wakefield’s knuckleball



           Paul David Mena




tiny check In Katrina Revisited, Robert Ambrogi reminds us of the importance of disaster

planning, with a pointer to Steve Terrell’s Hoosier Lawyer, which focuses on the recent 

mess in Indianapolis, and another to both a special issue of Law Technology News,

on Katrina’s impact, and to this week’s Coast to Coast, podcast, which focuses on

New Orleans’ legal community.


the city recovers
by restaurant


blown away by the hurricane
every stripper
I knew



help with mistakes                                                                                                     


Michael Harris at George’s Employment Blawg has put together the latest in a series of

Forget the Search Engine Optimization strategies of the big law firms, Michael has made

their website the search engine favorite for anyone interested in  “OFCCP Definition Internet


tiny check  My only plea to George and Michael: “Help the ignorant

who aren’t familiar with your acronyms.”  Clicking on 5 posts

did not reveal the meaning of “OFCCP,”  so I finally Googled

it. (For the similarly clueless: it’s The Department of Labor’s

Employment Standards Administration’s Office of Federal

Contract Compliance Programs.






one glass of wine –
Google keeps asking
“Did you mean _____?”




tiny check  It’s great seeing the wonderful placement weblogs can

achieve in search engine results. Our Inadvertent Searchee

pages are filled with amazing examples of 1st place results

for f/k/afrom weblog culture>, lawyer value billing>, and




past their peak –

boomers’ first date






Thompson of Cyberlaw Central voices his hope that the important

Net Neutrality issue can be resolved based on a discussion of its merits,

rather than stereotyping it as a “Republicans versus Democrats” fight.

Kevin gives a quick description of the actors and issues. [the skeptics

here at f/k/a haven’t seen any reasons yet to think that Kevin’s noble

wish will come true]  


                                                                                                    briefcase women neg small flip


Up to PAR is the weblog of the Project for Attorney Retention, in Washington, D.C.   

On March 31, Cynthia Calvert posted “New Partner Classes: Good News and Bad News.”

The Project has been taking a close look at whether firms are actually retaining and

advancing women lawyers.  They see mixed evidence this year.  Firms say they are

trying to retain and advance women, but are they really doing it?  Evidence from the

number of women promoted to partner this year is mixed.   The latest report states

“If the women aren’t staying at the firms long enough to make partner, the

issue isn’t the pipeline but rather the culture at the law firms. “

[The f/k/a gang continues to believe that women refusing to stay in large law firms

may be a sign of their wisdom and advanced priorities.  And see Prof. B.] 


“witherspoonAsWoods” What would Elle Woods say” 


fallen blossoms —


just another tree





mom’s arthritis

acting up again–

I take two Advil




 dagosan  – Roadrunner Haiku Journal (V:4, Nov. 2005) 


jailbird neg 


In “Burn in the U.S.A, “Norm Pattis of Crime & Federalism gives us a criminal

defense lawyer’s perspective on the death penalty — seen through the smokey

glass of the Zacarias Moussaoui case.  As usual, Norm has a unique way of

looking at issues he cares about greatly.


                                                             What would Arthur Kirkland say?  PacinoAsKirkland  

first murder trial–
the D.A. arrives
in new gloves  




his quiet funeral—

a man who did

most of the talking



tiny check Two thoughtful posts dealt with a topic frequently discussed at this weblog —

alternatives to the billable hour.  Of course, we’re a little bit skeptical that changing

the pricing format will make much difference without changing the profit goals of

law firms and their lawyers.  [see, e.g., the value-billing babysitter (March 23, 2006)

and chronomentrophobia (Jan. 7, 2005)]   But, I digress. 


                                                                                                               less than eq s


Greatest American Lawyer, who always takes a balanced approach to the subject, wrote 

Is It The Hourly Bill Or The Lack Of Budget Which Is Most Harmful To The Client Relation-

ship?”  GAL tells us how his firm handles billing various matters and explains why he’s

come to believe that maximum bugets on projects may be the solution to the hourly

billing crisis.


                                   tiny check  What would Atticus Finch say?  MockingbirdPeck


Meanwhile, Dan Hull at What About Clients? writes about Exemplar Law Partners,

the fixed-price-only Boston law firm.  The post Catching Up With Exemplar Law:

“No Hourly Bills, No Hourly Bull,” is quite up-beat, and starts up a lively debate

in the Comments section on the viability of a fixed-price model in a world where

good talent is very expensive (and not much interested in taking risks or less




her eyes narrow,

seeing for the first time

my little house




boy writing neg   Before we go, here are a few pointers from the f/k/a Gang.  Prof Yabut

is always complaining about being stuck here in Schenectady, NY.  He found the

series this week from Scotland and Wales by J. Craig Williams to be a great

change of pace.   We all learned some interesting history, too.


the train picks up speed

in a paper coffee cup

concentric waves



       haikuEsq is usually reluctant to delve into poetry that has more than three

to five lines.  However, he recommends the humorous, PG-13-rated, “constitutional

law” poetry of the anonymous Canadian law student who haunts the Lawyerlike weblog.  

The Annual Joel Bakan Constitutional Poetry Contest is the inspiration.


city lights —

the brightest are all

selling something



       Your humble editor thinks Are Law Firms Manageable? at David Maister’s Passion

deserves the attention of many of the folk reading this weblog.  Some of you might also

want to check out the Whisper weblog’s discussion of the difference between branding

and advertising.  [Then, check out our rather jaundiced perspective on law firm branding

in Brand LEX — just how is the client better-served?]


up late update (3PM): Just got back to my keyboard after my

first “all nighter” in a very long time.  A few things are clear, now

that I’ve had my first mug of coffee of the day:

(1) Ben Cowgill’s soloblawg did finally go public very

early this morning (it hadn’t the last time I looked). Ben’s

reputation for putting together excellent content and

resources, bodes well for this new venture, which will

provide information of interest to solo and small firms, 

and “focus to a large degree on legal technology and

the Internet-leveraged practice of law.”  Best wishes

to Ben on this newest venture (and thanks for your

kind words about this edition of Blawg Review).


early Alzheimer’s

she says she’ll have . . .

the usual


  John Stevenson

   from Quiet Enough


(2) I forgot to mention my hope that 3L Epiphany will

reconsider the decision to leave “inactive” weblogs out

of its very helpful legal weblog taxonomy.  With the internet

being as close to eternal as things get on this planet, even 

“inactive” sites can be the source of useful information and

historical perspective.  Sure, indicate that a weblog has been

“inactive since ______”, but don’t leave sites like BeldarBlog 

or The Curmudgeonly Clerk out of the main categories of

the Taxonomy.


and our related post.


                                                                     the verdict  NewmanVerdictG 


(4) BWD: Blogging While Drowsy leads to many infractions, inclu-

ding my omitting a pointer to Dennis Kennedy’s April 4th post on

associates’ salaries and the Wired GC’s hyphenated word “price-

fixing.” [Related post: check out the results to Adam Smith, Esq‘s

poll “Are Associate Salaries Justified?] Although I wish Dennis

had not added “I’m just raising the question to see what people

think, not necesarily as a reflection of my own opinion,” I am

pleased to see him point out examples of recent  “ratcheting up

of the ‘protections’ of the legal profession from within” — leading to

[and, sorry Carolyn, but I refuse to use the newest cliche “money

quote”] the question:  

“Is the legal profession begging for outside (governmental)

investigation, intervention and antitrust regulation?”


the son who

argues everything

I study his face in a puddle


Sadly, we think, in a nation with such a fragmented system of attorney

regulation (and with so much politcal influence held by the legal profes-

sion over many of the consumer advocates most likely to otherwise lead 

a charge), outside intervention — such as that recently begun in UK

seems highly unlikely. 



me in one hand

a belt in the other

dads sings a lullaby




(5) If this old trustbuster had been more awake, he would have pointed

his arthritic digits at Dan Crane’s Antitrust and Presidential Politics post

at Antitrust Review.  Dan points out that one Italian candidate for Prime

Minister, Romano Prodi (an economics professor, I believe), has made 

antitrust law a major campaign issue.  Dan then goes on to show how 

little antitrust comes up in the public discourse of American presidents.  

“dgITsm”  Let me take this opportunity to point out yet again

that the Editor of f/k/a is NOT the David Giacalone who worked

for Mr. Berlusconi and is alleged to have “received a personal 

payment of more than $300,000 for his part in having the so-called

Mammi Law enacted favoring Berlusoni’s media empire. (The Nation

Emperor of the Air,” Nov. 11, 1999) [even The Nation misspells our

name!]  Berlusconi’s Giacalone has a website, policamente scorretto,

which means “politically incorrect” in Italian. 





On the other hand, Berlusconi’s Giacalone has been known to

insist that, back in 1971, he was not this David Giacalone.


one button undone

in the clerk’s blouse    I let her

steal my change






I forget my side

of the argument





stepping on

sidewalk ants     the boy

everyone bullies




George Swede – Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000) 





tiny check   Next week’s Host will be tax professor Jim Maule of Mauled Again.  Jim has taken

a good look at the issue Is It Time to License Tax Return Preparers?, setting out many

of the pluses and minuses of regulating these service providers.


The beetle I righted

flies straight into

a cobweb



old dog and master


for the tiny spot of shade




storm alert

every kind of cloud

in one sky



white to pink–
who painted the clouds while
we shopped for wine?




“tinyredcheck”  Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions

how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.


p.s. Sorry we got this posted so late.  Sure hope no one was

inconvenienced (other than your very sleepy Editor).


his death notice . . .

the get-well card

still in my briefcase





all-nighter —

not the fun kind






                                                                                              computer weary



1 Comment

  1. […] We want to congratulate “Ed” for his perseverance, as demonstrated by the unveiling today of Blawg Review #100 (March 18, 2007- yes, a very unlawyerly day before his deadline).  Blawg Review 100 focuses on the 90 or so weblogs that have hosted its law-weblog carnival, picking a recent posting of note from each site.  Because f/k/a hosted Blawg Review #52, Ed was kind enough to point his readers to my recent posting there, “no professional courtesy? shark bites lawyer,” which may interest lawyer-phobic (and shark fearing) self-helpers.   The early posting gives you a chance to peruse it at your leisure on the late-winter Sunday. [Disclaimer: Yes, we do have a soft spot in our hearts for Blawg Review, as it named shlep the Best Law Blog in the Public Interest, in the Blawg Review Awards 2006.] […]

    Comment by shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » law librarians: they’re hot and cool — March 18, 2007 @ 12:58 pm

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