Published on:

Rees Morrison’s Morsels #111 – additions to earlier posts and short takes

Environmental nudges on e-mails. I like this message at the bottom of emails (See my post of Dec. 26, 2008 #4:: huge, wasteful disclaimer in the footer of every e-mail from a company.). “Please consider the environment before printing this email or attachments, and print double-sided in draft mode when printing is necessary.”

A good statement of what revenue should mean in benchmark studies. For its Fortune 500 issue, the magazine defines “revenue” this way. “Revenue figures include consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations but exclude excise taxes. For banks, revenue is the sum of gross interest income and grows non-interest income. For insurance companies, revenue includes premium and an annuity income, investment income, realized capital gains or losses, and other income but excludes deposits.” These definitions come from Fortune, July 20, 2009 at F-8 (See my post of Aug. 21, 2008: total legal spend as percent of revenue with 9 references and one metapost.). Benchmark studies of legal departments should adopt a similar, consistent definition.

Massive legal department at Homeland Security. According to Corp. Counsel, July 2009, at 16, Ivan Fong, the new general counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will oversee 1,700 attorneys (See my post of Nov. 6, 2005: large legal groups in government agencies; and Feb. 16, 2009: FBI has 180 lawyers.).

Z-scores to standardize attributes. When you use this procedure, you ensure that simple differences in metrics do not lead to certain attributes overwhelming others and potentially masking differences among firms when you do a cluster analysis. A Z-score analysis compares different metrics in terms of standards of deviations (See my post of July 30, 2009: cluster analysis.).

Garnishment. Having written nothing about garnishment, I resolutely step in and assert that legal departments should not deal with garnishments (See my post of April 9, 2008: quasi-legal tasks with 14 references.).