Articles Posted in This Blog

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Not one to eat, shoot and leave, I wish to leave my imprint on law department management in the full regalia of grammatical grace. Toward that end, my powerful search software ferreted out these bibelot:

Plural of general counsel (See my post of March 22, 2006: proper plural of “general counsel”; April 28, 2010 #3: to the same point and cites authority; Nov. 30, 2010 #3: Fowlers lends support; March 3, 2011: an example contrary to my conclusion; and Sept. 28, 2010 #5: verb agreement with “in-house counsel”.).

Proper usage of law and legal (See my post of May 24, 2005: one view of the difference between “law department” and “legal department”; Jan. 4, 2008 #3: Google Blog Search results; Nov. 1, 2008: BlogPulse references to the two terms; April 20, 2009: Google Trends and numbers of references; July 7, 2009 #4: Jux2 searches of the terms; Nov. 7, 2010 #2: favors the compound noun law department; and Oct. 7, 2010 #5: “law” as a noun and “legal” as an adjective.).

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A portent of the future: apps on tablet computers for in-house lawyers, supported by SAP and Tata Consulting (Oct. 10, 2011)

Two big players and the advent of tablets and apps for law departments.

Sumptuary laws in 14th century Florence and their echoes in outside counsel guidelines on disbursements (Oct. 14, 2011)

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More law department sales. Vendors, let me know of your successes. I still hope to announce license arrangements. So, to prime the pump, note that LexisNexis CounselLink was chosen by Fannie Mae and Hawaiian Electric, according to Met. Corp. Counsel, Nov. 2011 at 41.

Arguments by analogy are fallacies. “Almost any analogy between any two things contains some grain of truth, but one cannot tell what that is until one has an independent explanation for what is analogous to what, and why.” David Deutsch elaborates on this point in The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World (Viking 2011) at 371. A well-run law department is a sewing machine requires the reader to step back and know all kinds of fundamentals about both sides of that analogic metaphor (See my post of Oct. 12, 2010: the fundamental cognitive function of metaphors.).

Eigenvectors and matrix mathematics. A matrix would be a table of the five law firms you paid the most during the past five years. The first column names the firm and the five columns to the right give for each year the ranking of the firm, where a 1 means it was paid the most that year, a 2 the second most, and so on. The 5X5 table is a matrix and mathematical tools can calculate the “score” of each firm. That score is the so-called “first-rank” eigenvector. Eigenvectors are useful for sophisticated mathematical functions, we learn from John D. Barrow, 100 Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know: Math Explains Your World (Norton 2008) at 223-24, who gives an example of a matrix (See my post of Oct. 29, 2011: matrices.).

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Some things to do differently on the second iteration of a fixed-fee arrangement (Sept. 5, 2011)

Four recommendations for what to do differently to improve the second process and outcome.

Social-choice theory, Arrow’s impossibility theorem, and group decision-making (Sept. 5, 2011)

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Many blogs and websites have directed readers here and I have thank over a hundred of them in previous posts (See my post of Nov. 15, 2009: history of this series; Jan. 4, 2010: seventh set; May 28, 2010: eighth set; and Jan. 18, 2011: ninth set of referral sites.). Here are 14 more of recent vintage and current appreciation.

  1. Acritas (Lisa Hart)
  2. AMS Legal Solutions (Larry Bridgestone)
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QR (Quick Response) codes are everywhere these days. A QR code (in effect a barcode for mobile phones) will link to a piece of text, a phone number, an SMS message or URL.

Law department lawyers will increasingly see them in publications. For vendors and law firms the URL is probably the most useful option as it allows them to link to a chunk of material, such as case studies, background information or other forms of sales and marketing collateral, that there isn’t space for in an ad. But URLs are awkward to enter for smart phone users. So, QR codes are also starting to crop up, such as on business cards as they can provide links to supplemental information. Further, As long as the URL that the QR code links to remains the same, the web content can be updated and revised as frequently as required.

I read about QR codes in Charles Christian;s Legal Technology Insider and borrowed heavily from his write up for this post. I even tried my own QR for this blog.

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Why is “bet the company litigation” (aka “bet-the-company litigation”) consistently among the most popular search terms for those who arrive at my blog? On October 26th I looked on SiteMeter under Referring Search Words Ranked by Visits. Number one (13 searches) was the unhyphenated version and number seven (8 searches) was the hyphenated form.

I have used the terms a few times in posts, mostly with criticisms attached (See my post of Dec. 5, 2005: an estimate of fees spent in the UK; Feb. 28, 2006 chastising the over-use of term; April 27, 2008: big suits not suitable for AFAs; Jan. 18, 2009: some data on stock price effects of law suits; April 1, 2009: data from another study on median damages; June 17, 2009: legal risks much less important than operational and financial; July 28, 2009: girdle-the-globe transactions and bet-the-company litigation as blue moon events; and April 9, 2010: rare events.).

The popularity of the term may because it is an idiom, and non-litigators don’t know what it refers to: what I might term prevail-or-wail lawsuits.