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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #114 – additions to earlier posts and short takes

This blog footnoted in a treatise, in Blue Book citation form! Proudly I hail a citation to a post on this blog in a leading treatise, nothing less than Robert Haig, Ed., Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel (Thomson Reuters/West 2009 Supp.), Vol. 1, Chapter 7 at §7.2. Paul Kaleta, the general counsel of Alcoa, cites this blog as “But see Morrison, Posts on LawDepartmentManagement Blog (February 20, 2005)(discussing a possible greater role in the future for the corporate procurement function in retaining outside counsel).” Not too shabby, although compulsive law review beavers might need to add some notation for exactly which post it was on that day.

The utility of standard deviations. I hadn’t realized how many posts have explained and applied this versatile statistical tool (See my post of Oct. 24, 2005: standard deviation and bell curves; Nov. 13, 2005: fractals and standard deviations; Jan. 17, 2006: Black-Scholes uses standard deviations; Nov. 6, 2006: primer on standard deviations; Feb. 19, 2007: a measure of volatility; March 23, 2007: moments; Sept. 9, 2008 #1: Bayesian statistics and standard deviations; March 12, 2009: compare benchmarks; and Aug. 4, 2009: standard deviations let you compare metrics from different scales.).

Tracking pro bono time. Abbott Lab’s 162 attorneys logged 3,450 pro bono hours in 2008, 2,850 in 2007 and 1,770 in 2006 for a three-year total of more than 8,000 hours. That pace means about 20 hours per attorney per year. The data comes from Richard Acello, Nat’l L.J., Aug. 6, 2009.

Spending on lobbying compared to on law firms in the US. Peter Leeson, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates (Princeton Univ. 2009) at 191, cites for the fact that in 2007 private parties in the United States spent more than $2.8 billion on lobbying. If US companies spent roughly $100 billion on external counsel that year, the 30:1 ratio of legal to lobbying gives a sense of their relative budgetary importance (See my post of Aug. 21, 2008: government relations with 6 references.).