Morrison’s Morsels #15

Non-competes as non-starters for in-house lawyers. Just after touching on BASF’s contretemps getting its lawyers to agree not to join competitors, I ran across an Illinois decision that interprets Rule 5.6 of the Rules of Professional Conduct for a law firm lawyer, Stevens v. Rooks, Pitts and Poust, 225 Ill.Dec. 48, 682 NE.2d 1125 (1st Dist. 1997).

Frequency of independent counsel hired by boards. A piece in Global Corporate Governance Guide 2004 by Gordon Kaiser of Squire Sanders & Dempsey cites to a Corporate Board Magazine survey in early 2003. That survey “indicated that more than 35 per cent of boards had hired their own lawyer as an advisor since Sarbarnes-Oxley was implemented” (See my two posts on July 25, 2005 about independent counsel.). It cannot be determined from the squib whether those board counsel were standing retentions, regularly used or whether some of them were single-issue retentions.

Complexity theory – its origins at the Santa Fe Institute. In the 1990’s a group of diverse thinkers at the Santa Fe Institute began to grapple with the concepts of complexity (Wilson Quarterly, Vol. 30, Winter 2006 at 19). “Their shared focus was an effort to understand the common underlying structural and behavioral features of complex systems that display properties such as self-organization.” Law departments are complex, but I haven’t seen how the theory explains anything about them.(See my post of Sept. 10, 2005 on emergent properties of innovation.)

Prescience on RSS feeds. “Content-consolidation tools such as OnePage allow users to avoid having to go back to sites over and over to retrieve information by enabling them to build customized Web pages that draw needed information dynamically from many sites.” Michael Porter,

Strategy and the Internet

, Harvard Bus. Review, March 2001. Note that Porter wrote this five years ago

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