Rees Morrison’s Morsels #116 – additions to earlier posts and short takes

More poll results about the positions of readers – have you taken the poll? Since about July 15th, 81 readers have taken my little poll about positions. As of Aug. 11th, poll takers from law departments rose from 58% to 63%; those from law firms dropped from 22% to 16%; and service providers stayed close, 14% to 16% (See my post of Aug. 3, 2009: first results from the poll.).

Wikipedia as a source of information about legal department vendors. I discovered this resource when someone clicked through to this blog from the Exari entry. How many other vendors have a Wikipedia page (See my post of Dec. 31, 2007: Wikipedia has no entry about legal department administrators.)?

Kenneth Arrow’s impossibility theorem torpedoes collective evaluations of law firms. Take a deep breath: “Arrow’s disturbing impossibility theorem has implications for the entire process of aggregating choices. In effect, one cannot achieve collectively rational choices by aggregating the individual choices of people with diverse values and preferences.” I quote this snippet from William Breit and Barry Hirsch, Lives of the Laureates – Twenty-three Nobel Economists (MIT 2009) at 216 (Douglass C. North speaking). If in-house counsel differ in their values and preferences, and they do, then their choices of outside counsel as expressed in evaluations, let alone collective evaluations, can never be reconciled (See my post of June 9, 2009: collective, shared evaluations of firms.).

Catallactics, a praxeological theory. Catallactics describes “the way the free market system reaches exchange ratios and prices.” To quote this blazingly obvious point does no more than confirm what we all know: law departments and law firms drive Cadillacs. William Breit and Barry Hirsch, Lives of the Laureates – Twenty-three Nobel Economists (MIT 2009) at 138 (James Buchanan speaking). As for whether catallactics are praxeological, well, that’s obvious if you are Nobel laureate.

Translate only key provisions of contracts in a foreign language. A lawyer I interviewed mentioned how she handles important contracts that are not in English. If a contract is in a foreign language, she asks for bullet-point summaries of the main points (See my post of June 5, 2009: translating documents with 7 references.)

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