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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #62 – Additions to earlier posts

Another GC in a vendor’s ad. Catherine Stempien, the general counsel of Duke Energy, graces the ad of Mitratech in InsideCounsel, Jan. 2008 at 34 (See my post of May 27, 2007 about general counsel in advertisements.).

More than 3,000 references on this blawg to prior posts. On Jan. 14, 2008, when there were 2,901 posts on this blog, I counted how many times I have referred back to a single post or several posts. There are 2,069 single references back and, if I assume two posts referred to in the multiple referrals – which significantly under-states the actual number – at least 1,482 multiple references back. I have written about why I have not linked to the earlier posts, and now that I realize there have been at a bare minimum 3,551 of them, I am even more confirmed in my decision (See my post of June 16, 2007.).

A depressing thought about the redistributive aspect of litigation. On the order of a third of all law department spending goes to litigation (See my post of Oct. 24, 2007.). According to Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook, The Winner-Take-All Society (Penguin Books 1995) at 16, litigation “usually does less to create new wealth than to redistribute existing wealth.” To be sure, IP litigation may alter how wealth is created, but most lawsuits merely shuffle money around, after siphoning off the lawyers’ share. To think that much of the huge effort to manage outside counsel results in no net social gain!

The “fallacy of misplaced concreteness.” “It results from neglecting factors that cannot be excluded from the concrete situation and that are of an order of magnitude and relevancy that make it imperative to consider them.” From Charles P. Curtis, Jr., and Ferris Greensleet, The Practical Cogitator (Houghton Mifflin 1962) at 294, quoting L. J. Henderson. When people describe what a law department has done, they always – and necessarily – leave out many important aspects of the situation. We overly simplify (See my post of Jan. 1, 2008 about complexity.).