Category Archives: Blawg Review

Is it time for a No Asshole Rule for Blawg Review?

No asshole rule by Bob SuttonIn 2007 management science expert Bob Sutton wrote The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, a book that dared name the toxic problem that bedevils the modern workplace. His book described ways to identify and neutralize assholes and ultimately immunize your business against them.

The latest edition of Blawg Review, the weekly review of the best in legal blogging, makes me wonder whether Sutton’s ideas may have a different application.

Blawg Review, usually known for the collegiality that once inspired me to declare it an “18th century coffeehouse for the digital age“, takes a dark turn this week. Hosted by the notorious and anonymous Geeklawyer, Blawg Review #203, replete with images from Victorian era pornography and cheap swipes at legal bloggers, leads me to ask, is it time for a No Asshole Rule for Blawg Review?

Caution: this edition of Blawg Review is not workplace safe — unless you happen to work in a brothel. Click through with caution.

Blawg Review #181

Blawg Review #181 celebrates Conflict Resolution Day

Welcome to Blawg Review #181, celebrating International Conflict Resolution Day.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Blawg Review, allow me a brief introduction. Hosted each week by a different blogger, Blawg Review highlights noteworthy legal blogging, sharing the pleasure of discovery of insight, news, and commentary sampled across the spectrum of legal practice.

In preparation for my turn as host, I did a little research into the significance of this particular date, October 13. I turned to that sometimes unreliable, always entertaining, font of 21st century wisdom, Wikipedia, for some answers, and learned that in 1582, thanks to the implementation of the Gregorian calendar that year, October 13 did not exist in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

That’s somehow fitting for a presentation of Blawg Review that celebrates Conflict Resolution Day. Conflict, after all, can be like that. It can make us fiercely wish for entire days to vanish, and that the events that mar them vanish with them. Resolution though looks determinedly ahead; we can’t undo the past, but we can at least undo its results by the choices we make today.

Mediation? Or litigation? That’s how some might frame the choice among dispute resolution methods. With Blawg Review #181, you can have it both ways. Since I’m a mediator, half of this presentation of Blawg Review will commemorate International Conflict Resolution Day by presenting posts relating to conflict resolution, ADR, and negotiation. And, since I’m also a card-carrying member of the Massachusetts bar, the other half will review the best in legal blogging on topics other than ADR. Mediation, litigation — which do you prefer? I’ll let you be the judge (or arbitrator, if you’d rather).

However, to get you in the mood for either mediating or litigating, I invite you first to watch this classic Monty Python sketch, “The Argument”:

http://www.youtube.com/v/teMlv3ripSM&hl=en&fs=1

1. International Conflict Resolution Day: related posts on ADR, negotiation, and conflict resolution

In thinking about the significance of Conflict Resolution Day, I was struck by a post written by Bob Sutton at Work Matters, “Touch People With The Better Angels of Your Nature“, as he reflected on words U.S. president Abraham Lincoln spoke during his first inaugural address at a time when the U.S. was divided, North against South:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Sutton writes, “I think it is excellent advice. Nastiness sometimes leads to short-term wins, but the long-term costs are usually horrible.” If only we could all be touched by our own better angels.

You and your better angel may in fact like to attend one or more of the free events honoring Conflict Resolution Day to be held this week. Tom Kosakowski at The Ombuds Blog alerts readers that the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) has two free teleconferences planned: one on “Conflict Resolution, Democracy, and Policymaking: Lessons and Challenges”, and the second on “Working for Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding: How Can I Make a Better World?”, geared toward undergraduate and graduate students. You can get more information about these and other Conflict Resolution Day events or find out how to register by visiting ACR’s web site.

If you’re interested in finding out what role the internet and technology can play in resolving disputes, then sign up for ODR Cyberweek 2008, an all-online conference featuring demonstrations, discussions, and other events exploring the application of technology to dispute resolution, negotiation, and more, running from October 13 – 17, 2008. Registration is entirely free. (Bonus for the eco-conscious: because it’s all online, you can keep your carbon footprint small.)

Last year I celebrated Conflict Resolution Day online with my friend Geoff Sharp, a barrister and mediator from New Zealand, with a special double-hemisphere edition of Blawg Review. Geoff, an accomplished blogger known for punchy, no-holds-barred posts like last week’s “Counsel, strap on a pair!“, has just been singled out for a special and well-deserved honor: he has been named LEADR Australasian Fellow for 2008-2010. LEADR is an Australasian, not-for-profit membership organization that promotes and facilitates the use of consensual dispute resolution processes. Congratulations, Geoff.

Cognitive Daily, a cognitive psychology blog, shares the results of a recent survey it conducted about a popular illusion that depicts a dancer spinning. The illusion, created by Nobuyuki Kayahara, does not, contrary to popular belief, prove whether you’re right-brained or left-brained. What makes it so fascinating is that some people perceive her to spin clockwise, some counter-clockwise, and some are able to reverse the direction in which they see her spin. I find optical illusions useful in teaching negotiation or conflict resolution skills, since they remind us of the unreliability of our senses, and that it is always possible to see things differently, even when you and I find ourselves looking at precisely the same thing.

Nobuyuki Kayahara's spinning woman illusionThe illusion appears on your right — which way do you see her spin?

Nothing ignites conflict faster than ill-chosen words or a lack of common courtesy. David Giacalone, the poet and retired mediator who publishes f/k/a, a blog combining “breathless punditry” with “one-breath poetry”, asks, “Who are you calling ‘dearie’?“, as he examines the phenomenon known as “elderspeak” — the terms of endearment the well-intentioned use to address (and offend) elders. Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice soberly shares “A Lawyer’s Lesson About Inflammatory Rhetoric“. And Eric Turkewitz at New York Personal Injury Law Blog says, “I’m Sorry You’re A Jerk (Lawyering 101: Professionalism)“.

When mistakes happen, conflict resolution can produce apologies and reconciliation. Yet fear of civil litigation can stand in the way of disclosure and apology — although movements across a number of fields are pushing to change that. Slaw reports on “New Proposed Apology Legislation in Ontario” designed to promote accountability and patient safety, together with the speedy resolution of civil disputes, among other goals. With apologies for mistakes in mind, Richard Webb at the Health Care ADR Blog muses, “Do Doctors Confess Errors Only When Caught?

There would probably be far less need for apologies if only people would stop using technology when drunk. Peter Black, of Freedom to Differ, points toDrunks outsmart Google,” an article he’s written for the Courier-Mail that mocks Mail Goggles, Google’s effort to create an email tool that verifies that users intend to send an email by requiring them to correctly complete a few math problems first.

Trust is integral to negotiating or working things out. Trust gets transactions done and people talking. Charles Green of Trust Matters, and a host of an earlier edition of Blawg Review, served as host this past week to another blog carnival, the esteemed Carnival of Trust, for October 2008, where he rounds up the top ten posts that deal with trust across a range of issues, including leadership, influencing, and politics. Elsewhere on his blog Green asks, “Do Lawyers Behave Rationally?“, as he looks at the zero-sum games that a little relationship building can avoid.

Blogs about ADR abound these days. The newest addition to the steadily growing ADR blogosphere is Real Divorce Mediation, published by experienced civil litigator and mediator Nancy Hudgins, who also blogs at Civil Negotiation and Mediation, and collaborative lawyer Debra Synovec. (If you’re curious to sample the wide range of blogs devoted to ADR, conflict resolution, and negotiation, visit the blog I created to track them world-wide, ADRblogs.com.)

Speaking of global concerns, Victoria Pynchon at Settle It Now Negotiation Blog considers weighty matters affecting women world-wide in “Armed Conflict and Sexual Assault.”

At CKA Mediation and Arbitration Blog, Chris Annunziata wonders, “What, exactly, does the mediator DO?” and has some answers. But not only humans have a talent for mediation: French mediator Dominique Lopez-Eychenie, who writes the French language blog ADR-Blog de la Mediation, describes how dogs make effective mediators in work involving youths.

Arbitration was a hot topic this week among bloggers. John DeGroote, who draws on his years of experience as chief litigation counsel for a global company as he writes the blog Settlement Perspectives, gives advice on “Non-Binding Arbitration: Get Your Day in Court Without One Day in Court“. And InhouseBlog offers a comprehensive “Corporate Counsel’s Guide to International Arbitration“.

Richard D. Tuschman, writing for Florida Employment & Immigration Law Blog, considers mandatory arbitration agreements in the workplace in “Eleventh Circuit Upholds ‘Open Door’ Dispute Resolution Policy and Compels Arbitration“, and explains why he generally prefers to “duke it out in court rather than in front of an arbitrator.” And the Womble Carlyle Team at Fair Labor Standards Act Law, warns of the hidden rocks off arbitration’s coast in “Rough Seas for Long John Silver’s“, concluding that “If you … think arbitration is a preferable means of dispute resolution, consider the voyage of [Long John Silver's] through five courts… Beyond here there be dragons!” Finally, Dan Hull at What About Clients? sees just two advantages to arbitration in “Recession: Litigation, litigation, litigation–but different this time” (don’t miss Dan’s bonus practice tip).

Speaking of litigation, in “Earthcomber Sues TechCrunch Out Of Spite, Pisses Me Off Personally“, Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch tells us what he thinks about filing suit as a negotiation tactic: “…suing someone to get them to return your calls is not exactly a sign of brilliance.” And Justin Patten of Human Law predicts that financial necessity will drive more disputants to mediation over litigation.

One advantage to disputants that mediation offers over litigation is this: it allows those who are directly involved in the dispute and most knowledgeable about the facts and the issues involved — namely the disputants themselves — to be in charge of designing the resolution — rather than leaving the outcome in the hands of a judge and jury who may well know bupkes about the subject matter of the dispute. In “Supreme Court Balancing“, Patterico’s Pontifications illustrates this brilliantly, reporting on a Supreme Court case involving the use by the Navy of sonar that might interfere with the ability of marine mammals to navigate, in which Justice Stephen Breyer commented:

You are asking us who know nothing about whales and less about the military to start reading all these documents to try to figure out who’s right in the case where the other side says the other side is totally unreasonable.

Yup. Exactly my point.

Just as filing suit has its limitations as a tactic in negotiation, so, too, do fisticuffs as a tool for resolving disputes. Sometimes though a punch in the nose can produce some small satisfaction (although not, as a general rule, for the recipient of such attention), as Colin Samuels at Infamy or Praise reports in his weekly feature “Thank God It’s Schadenfreude” (motto: “this week’s joy in the misfortune of others”): “Richard Fuld, the disgraced head of Lehman Brothers, was punched in the face in the office gym amid the bank’s collapse…”

I’ll wrap up this section with two final posts. As you probably know, mediators are all for bringing people together. How heartwarming therefore to note that Sweet Hot Justice is offering advice for lawyers negotiating with romance in “Online Dating for Lawyers: A Primer” — but, alas, also breaks some bad news to lovelorn litigators: “Guess who finds lawyers sexy and funny and cool? No one. Not even other lawyers.” (Um, gulp, but what about mediators?) On the subject of romance, Carolyn Elefant, writing for Legal Blog Watch, reports on newlywed lawyers who celebrated their wedding by spending a year traveling the globe together and recounting their adventures on their blog, One Year on Earth. (The FAQs on the couples’ site answer all questions but the one I was most interested in: how did they resolve the inevitable disputes with each other en route?)

2. Posts on law and legal issues

Now here’s the rest — posts on legal issues and ideas, the business of law, and legal miscellany.

The following posts cover legal issues, decisions, and trends in the law.

In “Before Carcieri v. Kempthorne, It’s Olson v. LarisaThe Wall Street Journal‘s Law Blog reports that lawyers just might need a mediator to settle a dispute over who gets to argue a case before the Supreme Court — the lawyer involved with the case for 10 years or an attorney who’s argued 49 Supreme Court cases.

Above the Law selects as its “Lawsuit of the Day” a suit brought against cosmetics and haircare giant L’Oreal by a blonde claiming to have been traumatized when a hair coloring mishap transformed her into a brunette.

Traverse Legal shares a transcript of a radio interview on “Online Trademark Infringement: The Unauthorized Use of Trademarks as Keywords for Online Advertisements“. And Drug and Device Law reviews the “Principles Of Aggravated … Er … Aggregated Litigation“.

Sheppard Mullin’s Intellectual Property Law Blog explains how “Two Recent Decisions Reframe the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] Discussion” and may well predict how hotly contested issues regarding the use of copyrighted works in user-generated content on the Internet will be resolved. Jillian Weiss of Transgender Workplace Diversity warns of pitfalls of the Human Rights Commission’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates companies on their diversity leadership with regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Not one to shy away from a debate, Joel Schoenmeyer at Death and Taxes provides “A Rebuttal Re. Probate Investors“, responding point by point to a reader’s reaction to one of his earlier posts.

The following posts cover the business and practice of law:

The Greatest American Lawyer confirms it: “Despite What They Say, Size Does Matter…” — at least when it comes to competitiveness. The verdict: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Large companies cannot compete.” Dan Hull and his colleagues at What About Clients? know something about that. Mark Beese of Leadership for Lawyers once wrote that “Large and regional law firms should quake at the thought of small, nimble, expert, high-service firms like Dan’s“. This week at WAC?, Holden Oliver graphically demonstrates “What your clients will do–and your firm needs to do” to thrive in uncertain economic times.

Law21 warns “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet“, seeing ominous signs ahead in tough economic times, both for corporate law firms and law students seeking loans. Of course as markets falter and economies totter at disaster’s brink, many depend upon access to information and news. The Times Online has rounded up a list of “Top ten blogs to read during the banking crisis“, naming, among others, The Becker-Posner Blog, published by jurist Richard Posner with economics professor Gary Becker.

In “Clients Are Extraordinarily Understanding“, Bruce MacEwan at Adam Smith, Esq., asks whether 19th century notions of conflicts make sense in a 21st century world: “In what other profession would going to the most qualified expert raise the hint of the shadow of the bizarre notion of ‘conflicts?’”

Robert Ambrogi at Legal Blog Watch invokes images of infamous Captain Renault and “Casablanca” with “Survey Shocker: Lawyers Hate Stress“, a report on a recent survey of 300 lawyers by staffing firm Robert Half Legal, which, in Ambrogi’s words, does little more than “round up the usual suspects” as the causes of lawyer job dissatisfaction. (For an alternate view, Tammy Lenski at Conflict Zen offers a mediator’s take on stress.) Stephanie West Allen of Idealawg links to a law review article that reveals the path to “Finding Interior Peace In the Ordinary Practice of Law“.

Of course anyone contemplating a career move should partake of the wisdom George Lenard offers in a post on his eponymous Employment Blawg, “Staying Afloat in a Sea of Sinking Markets: Help for Career Changes During Hard Times“.

Executive Women’s Networking Blog advances a ringing defense of women’s initiatives and explains “Why Women’s Initiatives Work” when they focus on “increasing a women’s access to potential clients through internal and external networking and strengthening leadership skills through mentoring”. And The Greatest American Lawyer explains how the internet and a talent for the generation of quality content give lawyers an opportunity equivalent to — nay, more powerful than — “Standing at a Podium as a Lawyer in Front of 100,000 People and Yelling My Marketing Message“. (Prudent bloggers, however, may wish to purchase “BlogInsure: New Insurance for Bloggers“, now available, as Eric Goldman reports.)

I’ll now wrap things up with some legal miscellany:

Pink has become an almost universally recognized symbol for breast cancer awareness. Two blogs bring different thoughts to the meaning of pink, with Likelihood of Confusion contemplating Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos in pink packaging in “Think Pink“, and Crooked Timber pondering how culture shapes the way people discuss and cope with cancer in “Pink“.

Last but not least, grieving baseball fan Kevin O’Keefe at Real Lawyers Have Blogs laments that “Presidential candidates offer no solutions to Cubs’ failures“.

This takes me to the end of Blawg Review #181. Next week Dave Gulbransen will do the honors at his blog, Preaching to the Perverted.

[Important update:To my embarrassment, I have discovered that I inadvertently overlooked the fact that today is Canadian Thanksgiving Day. I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies to my friends to the north. To correct this unfortunate oversight, I'm adding to this presentation of Blawg Review the following posts from these excellent Canadian law blogs: According to Michael Geist, "ISP Tax May Be The Next Big Culture Funding Fight". David Fraser, who publishes Canadian Privacy Law Blog, reports on "Calculating the cost of reading online privacy policies". Law is Cool, a law school blog and podcast, announces the good news that "Canada Has Its Own Voice on the International Scene". The Vancouver Law Librarian Blog considers "Legal In-sourcing", while Connie Crosby writing for Slaw.ca lets you know that "Your Seat is Waiting! New Business Conferences Starting Online Now". Finally, The Court has some thoughts on a provocative topic: "Privacy and investigative dumpster diving: R. v. Patrick". Happy Thanksgiving Day, Canada!]

In closing, I’d like to give thanks to my better angels — the anonymous Editor of Blawg Review; my Blawg Review sherpa, Colin Samuels; the newest member of the Blawg Review team, Vickie Pynchon; and you, my reader.

It wouldn’t be right to salute Conflict Resolution Day without mentioning one of the world’s best known advocates for peace. Last Thursday, October 9, would have been John Lennon’s 68th birthday. Feel free to sing along:

http://www.youtube.com/v/EhuLu6M-Li0&hl=en&fs=1
Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

Mediation Channel to host Blawg Review, celebrate Conflict Resolution Day

On Monday, October 13, I’ll be hosting Blawg Review, the weekly review of the best in legal blogging. I’ll be taking the opportunity to salute International Conflict Resolution Day, celebrated this year on Thursday, October 16. This marks the fourth time I’ve served as a Blawg Review host — readers may recall that last year I teamed up with Geoff Sharp to deliver a double-hemisphere edition of Blawg Review.

Blawg Review itself is a weekly miracle, a monument to dedication and perseverance. Under the guidance of its anonymous editor, Blawg Review presents the many facets of legal blogging, refracted through the lens of each week’s host. Kaleidoscope-like, at each turn Blawg Review reveals new patterns as it shows us the life and art of law. With each host, the colors shift and new shapes emerge.

Blawg Review, in short, dazzles. Consider the efforts of these recent hosts:

  • This week, Andis Kaulins, an American expat, hosts the exuberant Blawg Review #180 at his blog Law Pundit based in Germany and celebrates German-American Day in style.
  • Securing Innovation, an American intellectual property blog, found delight in the commonplace by honoring the invention of the ballpoint pen with Blawg Review #179.
  • The innovative Peter Black presented Blawg Review #178 from Australia at his blog, Freedom to Differ, becoming the first host ever to use the social networking service Twitter to deliver Blawg Review throughout the day to his readers.

As usual, I have very tough acts to follow.

You’re invited to submit a post for inclusion in Blawg Review #181. Or, perhaps, you may decide you’d like to play Blawg Review host yourself one day

Small Business Trends hosts Blawg Review 177

Get back to business with Blawg Review 177Anita Campbell, editor of Small Business Trends, an online publication covering trends and new directions that affect the small business owner, describes herself as “an entrepreneur at heart almost her entire life”.

Anita really understands that small business owners have big ambitions and wants to help them succeed.  Her enthusiasm for her subject matter and her depth of knowledge make her the ideal host for the “Back to Business” edition of Blawg Review, the weekly review of the best in blogging on law and legal issues.

Highlights of Blawg Review #177 include a tutorial on Twitter, a popular social networking tool; a new slant on web site bio pages; and a one-stop resource for tax information for small business owners.

International Literacy Day celebrated at Blawg Review No. 176

International Literacy DayMy son graduated in June from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a double major in legal studies and philosophy.  As you might imagine, he’s an avid reader who enjoys the lively exchange of ideas, particularly around our family’s kitchen table during visits home. Over Labor Day weekend, while we were grilling steaks together, he asked me a question: why isn’t there a constitutional right to education in the U.S.?

I thought it a good question. Why not indeed? Given how important education is to human growth and potential, to political and social stability, to vanquishing poverty, and to participation in democracy itself, there should be.

Although education is not enumerated (yet) in the U.S. constitution, it has been honored in other ways.  The United Nations, recognizing the critical role education plays in transforming individuals and society, established International Literacy Day, observed on September 8. Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, author of the blog Legal Literacy, salutes International Literacy Day in the latest edition of Blawg Review, the weekly review of the best in legal blogging.

Hasl-Kelchner writes,

Literacy can’t function in a vacuum.  It must be nurtured before it can flourish, and thrive, and enrich us.  Celebrate literacy.  Ignorance of anykind is dangerous.  It can turn our daily playing field into a mine field.  Literacy, on the other hand, lets us successfully navigate the dangers and gives us the freedom to succeed.  It feeds the mind, the heart, and the soul.

I think my son would agree.

5 blogs and 5 blawgers

5 great blogsTo meme or not to meme, that is the question.

Memes are single units of culture — ideas, behavior, customs, or trends — transmitted virally from one individual to the next.  On the internet, memes often spread and propagate through blogs, whose very nature makes them ideal for the viral transmission that memes depend upon to survive.

Between you and me, I am no fan of blog-memes.  They function like chain letters: when a blogger is “tagged” with a meme, he or she must respond in a designated way and pass the meme along, “tagging” other bloggers who in turn must contaminate still others with the meme.

I do acknowledge some positive things about blog-memes.  They don’t arrive with the predictions of doom commonly associated with chain letters, which promise misfortune or even death to those who break the chain.  And memes at bottom are impromptu games — a burst of spontaneity and playfulness — a welcome relief after the tedium of blogging about weightier topics. In short, they’re fun.

Why the reflection on memes? It seems I’ve been tagged by Ed., the anonymous Editor of Blawg Review to participate in a meme of his own making, inspired by the recent celebration of Blog Day on August 31:

The idea is to post links to five great blogs (other than law blogs) on your blawg and tag five of your favorite blawgers to do the same under the post title ’5 Blogs & 5 Blawgers’.

Since there is little I wouldn’t do for Ed., this is one meme I am only too happy to take part in.

Here then are 5 great blogs:

  • The Map Room.  I have always loved maps, which not only describe and measure the terrain to be traversed but are also culturally constructed, reflecting the wondrous geography of human minds and hearts. Maps depict places that exist in the world as well as those that exist in our imaginations only. This blog covers all those territories.
  • Neuromarketing.  Motto: “Where Brain Science and Marketing Meet”.  I’ll let author Roger Dooley do the talking: “We cover both breaking news about relevant brain research as well as ‘big picture’ topics like ethical dilemmas posed by cutting-edge technology.” Fascinating, well-written, and fun.
  • Ethics Newsline. This thoughtful and engaging blog serves as a “weekly digest of worldwide ethics news”. “Jane Austen’s Globalism: Three Lenses for the Future” is but one example of the kind of exemplary writing this blog is known for.
  • Sociological Images. By showing visitors the images that media relentlessly bombard us with, this blog holds up a mirror to stereotypes, judgments, and cultural constructions and depictions of gender, race, religion, sexuality, and more. Not always workplace safe so browse with care.
  • Small Business Trends.  A wonderful blog that generously offers smart advice for small business owners like you and me — like this recent article on using Google’s free tools to spot trends on the web.

And now to tag 5 unsuspecting blawgers:

First, my fellow Blawg Review virgins, Victoria Pynchon, Stephanie West Allen, and Gini Nelson. Next, my neighbor, Bob Ambrogi. And last but by no means least, Dan Hull.

Friends, may your blogs prosper whether you choose to meme or not.

Blawg Review goes for the gold with Olympic themes (or Olympic size)

Blawg Review goes for the gold with Olympic themes (and size)Blawg Review, a weekly roaming blog carnival focusing on law and justice, spotlights the best in legal blogging. Each week a different blogger plays host. It is a truly Olympian feat, demanding preparation, commitment, and hard work, yielding rewards for both host and reader, while behind each host stands Blawg Review‘s anonymous editor.

This month, in honor of the Olympic games in Beijing, the presentations of Blawg Review have possessed Olympic themes (or, in one case, an Olympic length). They are:

  • Blawg Review #173, hosted by Chicago IP Litigation Blog, relies upon the elements of a world-record swim to frame the presentation. Highlights include advice on avoiding people traps at networking events, a report of one public library that allows kids to rent R-rated movies, and analysis of the Russia-Georgia conflict.
  • Blawg Review #172, hosted by Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, is an Olympic-themed Blawg Review, and includes a brief but fascinating history of the origin of the Olympic games. In addition to finding links to more serious content, you’ll also learn of the ACLU’s avowed commitment to protect your right to wear a mullet.
  • Blawg Review #171, presented by IP ADR Blog, celebrates virgins, as mediator Victoria Pynchon serves as host of Blawg Review for the first time. This Olympic-sized edition of Blawg Review was so lengthy, it needed its own executive summary.

This coming Monday, Texas Appellate Law Blog hosts Blawg Review #174.

[Update: Blawg Review #174 is now available at Texas Appellate Law Blog. It's a refreshingly theme-free edition of Blawg Review.]

Mediator Victoria Pynchon hosts Blawg Review for first time on IP ADR Blog

Mediator loses her cherry hosting Blawg Review for first timeThey say you never forget your first time.

And something tells me that Victoria Pynchon, mediator and author of the negotiation blog Settle It Now, will leave us all with plenty to remember as she plays first-time host to Blawg Review this coming Monday at her second home, IP ADR Blog.

Blawg Review, for those of you not familiar with it, is a weekly review of the best in legal blogging hosted each week by a different blogger, who each present a unique perspective on law, legal issues, and legal scholarshiptopics which affect mediators, too.

Want to know the identities of the other Blawg Review virgins? The anonymous editor of Blawg Review kisses and tells. Meanwhile, let’s all see what we can do to make Vickie’s first time really special — visit IP ADR Blog on Monday, August 4, and, if you’re a blogger, give her some link love.

[Update: Blawg Review #171, the Virgin Edition, is now up at IP ADR Blog. It is indeed as memorable as one could wish a first time to be.]

(Photo credit: Camila Schnaibel.)

Blawg Review #169 discusses branding: why shout when you can whisper?

Take charge of the conversation with your brandSince 2005 I’ve been a devoted supporter of Blawg Review, the weekly review of the best in legal blogging. It isn’t just for lawyers — the ideas, analyses of news, and viewpoints you’ll find there are relevant to anyone who seeks intelligent conversation about legal issues or smart tips on the business of running a practice — law or ADR.

Blawg Review #169, this week’s edition, continues the Blawg Review tradition. Playing host is Whisper, a brand strategy consulting firm.

What is branding? Whisper captures it neatly:

Defining why you are, so that you become the only logical choice for what you offer.

Whisper’s approach to brand strategy is simple:

Whisper is founded on one big idea: “The key to any effective marketing, branding or advertising effort is to change and take ownership of the conversation.”

Helping people shape and take ownership of the conversation is something we mediators know plenty about. But branding our work and branding ourselves? — not so much, as my colleague Tammy Lenski has pointed out. Whisper, however, has a lot to teach us. Blawg Review #169 presents examples of effective branding and shares Whisper’s philosophy of strategic brand building.

You can still catch last week’s presentation of Blawg Review, when West Virginia Business Litigation served as host. Next Monday New York criminal defense blog Simple Justice will do the honors.

Europe seizes control of Blawg Review

America loses control of Blawg ReviewFirst they tried to take our beer.

Now they’ve taken over Blawg Review.

For the past three weeks, Blawg Review, the weekly review of the best in legal blogging, has been hosted by [gasp] foreign bloggers.

First there was the Irish legal blog, cearta.ie, beguiling our hearts with Blawg Review #164, a literary tribute to Bloomsday, the celebration of James Joyce and his masterwork, Ulysses.

Then last week, faster than you could say “freedom fries“, French-law.net deployed Gallic sophistication and charm to seduce us with Blawg Review #165.

And now, smashing into Blawg Review like a nuclear blast or a particle beam death ray, comes Blawg Review #166, detonated by an anonymous English barrister known only as GeekLawyer. Replete with foul language and links to pornographic images, Blawg Review #166 recalls to mind the words uttered to redbaiting U.S. senator Joseph McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

The reign of terror ends this coming Monday, July 7, when control of Blawg Review is restored to American hands and Jonathan Frieden hosts Blawg Review #167 at E-Commerce Law.

Whether we get to keep our beer, however, remains to be seen.