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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #158: posts longa, morsels breva

Spot awards not appropriate for lawyers? I heard the view that spot bonuses are not appropriate for lawyers. “It’s not a very professional way to deal with lawyers!” I don’t agree. Since promotions are rare and turnover low, general counsel need some treats in the bag to hand out (See my post of Nov. 8, 2007: on-the-spot awards; and July 28, 2008: hard decisions to award spot bonuses.).

Total amount of spending by law departments
. Ken Cutshaw’s column in the ACC Docket, Sept. 2011 at 22, refers to “the $60 billion global legal services market.” I wrote Ken but he has not supplied the backup for that number. Then I read in the brochure for the Litigation Summit and Exposition, to be held Nov. 15-16, 2011 at 9: It is estimated that Fortune 500 Companies spend more than $200 Billion a year on litigation.” No source given and no believability possible (See my post of March 29, 2009: “The US corporate legal services market generates $96B per year in spending.”).

U.S. decisions reported each year. According to Legal Comm. & Rhetoric, Fall 2011 at 100, n. 40, there are “200,000 new American cases reported each year from 600 courts.” Need we say more about the constant development and the likely increasing complexity of the law? Yes, because some decisions clarify, simplify, and resolve areas of law (See my post of Feb. 16, 2006: more than 4,000,000 state and federal decisions.). Even so, the deluge of decisions awes us.

Robert’s Rules of Order to encourage comments in a meeting. “No one can speak twice till everyone who wants to has spoken once.” This would be quite a rule in meetings. It would push people to think carefully before they spoke, but it might also push them to throw in everything once they get the microphone. This technique comes from the Harv. Bus. Rev., Sept. 2011 at 92 (See my post of Feb. 18, 2009: ten ways to hear from everyone in a group.).

Ample apps. The Economist, Oct. 8, 2011 at 9, astounded me with its report that the ten largest app stores offer more than 1.2 million apps! Most of them are games, weather services, variations for social networks, maps, music-related – not business and professional. Still, they give people access to information, simply, cheaply, and easily, on their users increasingly powerful smart phones. Websites don’t look good on tiny screens so the programs relied on by in-house lawyers don’ translate well to them (See my post of Sept. 26, 2011: mobile apps.).