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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #52 – additions to earlier posts

Schwag of a general counsel. According to Corp. Counsel, Vol. 14, July 2007 at 62, the General Counsel of Saks Inc. enjoys an unusual perk. Michael Brizel gets a 30 percent discount at the company’s flagship Manhattan store (See my post of March 6, 2007 about a GC’s wine allowance.).

Relocation of a law department. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 14, July 2007 at 62, mentions that Saks recently relocated its headquarters and law department from Alabama to New York City. A number of lawyers decided not to relocate, which is always a risk for a law department – or for some general counsel a benefit as it removes underperformers (See my posts of May 27, 2007 about Royal Dutch Shell and its relocation of lawyers; and June 14, 2007 about cost savings from relocation to less-expensive places.).

Collect diversity data and thereby discriminate? Nat’l L.J., Vol. 29, July 9, 2007 at 69, discusses the use of e-billing systems to collect data on law-firm diversity. That sounds progressive, doesn’t it? But every silver lining has a cloud: “Some law firms claim that the new diversity tracking programs raise potential discrimination issues, since participating firms have to provide information on the ethnicity and gender of their lawyers” (See my posts of Oct. 29, 2005 on diversity as a factor in choosing counsel; Sept. 4, 2005 and Sept. 4, 2006 on definitions of “minority” and “diverse;” and March 17, 2006 on “do as I say, not as I do.”).

Law specific search-engines. A piece in the Economist, July 14, 2007 at 70, raises the question of whether there might some day be law-specific search-engines. Their search algorithms, taxonomies, presentation and content would zero in on the concerns and vocabulary of lawyers. Such sites already exist for engineers, health-care providers, fitness fans, and other special interests. Already, a number of law-related portals exist (See my post of April 1, 2007regarding law-related portals.), but so far lawyers seem content to use generalist search engines.