law firms that are removing information about associates from their websites — e.g., any
biographical and contact information. Well, why don’t we webloggers do something about it?
Don’t we have these high-tech pulpits, bulletin boards, file cabinets? Don’t we get some pretty
snazzy search engine results?
Seems to me, we could use weblog-power to undo the undue depersonalization of associates.
We could post lists of the associates working at the various offending law firms, including as
much information as we can get about each lawyer. Then, search engines would find the info
and make it available to those wanting to identify the lawyers at a particular firm, or wanting
to contact a particular associate, or one with particular areas of expertise.
Naturally, the anonymized associates would be expected to get this information,
(in as complete, up to date and usable form as possible) to their favorite weblog editors. If
the nameless ones can’t be bothered, or can’t figure out how to do this, maybe being merely
Ms. or Mr. X, Esq is all the identification they merit.
I know this wall scribbler’s
update (March 14, 2005): Kevin Heller at TechLawAdvisor has offered his website as a platform for “decloaking” associates who have been ”disappeared” by their law firm websites
#200,000: Meanwhile, one new associate in California has found herself in the media
spotlight, and is far from anonymous – Danika Vittitoe, a 2004 graduate of UC’s Hastings College
of the Law, in San Francisco, works in the litigation department at Arnold & Porter in Los Angeles.
No, she’s not famous for any big mistakes or scandals. On Jan. 11, 2004, she was enrolled as
Attorney No. 200,000, by the State Bar. According to the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 21,
2005), Ms. Vittitoe described her status as No. 200,000 as being “‘a little embarrassing,” but “said
there’s nothing wrong with being a lawyer.” [rousing endorsement, eh?]
A&P does provide vita and contact information for each of its attorneys, including associate Vittitoe.
The consumer nanny in me was a little bit surprised to see Litigation listed as Danika’s “Field of
Expertise.” I don’t know when the page was written, but “expertise” sounds a bit grandiose for
someone who joined the Bar 14 months ago today. “Field of Practice” seems more apt.
“A B C D E F…”
March 11, 2005
One or twice a year, I read or hear tributes to a man who has died, and I think: “judgeBarnes”
“I wish I could leave such a legacy, for having touched lives in a positive and
personal way.” I do not know Rowland W. Barnes, but the words of his colleagues
and friends today, reacting to his death on the bench in an Atlanta courtroom shooting,
gave me that feeling. Rowland Barnes sounds like the kind of lawyer and judge that I
would be grateful to know as a colleague and to have as a friend. (see 11alive.com,
colleagues say, “March 11, 2004)
Judge Barnes, it is way to soon for your eulogies; your death is tragic, but your life
surely was not.
I learned about Judge Barnes’ death in a particularly webloggish way.
Checking the “came from” page of my StatCounter, early this afternoon,
I was puzzled that so many visitors were coming from Google queries for
“Judge Rowland W. Barnes.” You see, I mentioned Judge Barnes in a post
about the Atlanta lawyer-tax-case fee fight, which was before Judge Barnes.
I then remembered a news alert on the radio about an Atlanta judge being killed
in his courtroom, and I checked Google News to confirm the victim.
death draws nearer…
the death bell
tolls at the temple…
music two centuries old—
the color flows
out of the tea bag
another day of snow–
the statue’s fingers
her hospital room–
snow filling the small field
next to the big one
except, “her hospital room“ from The Heron’s Nest (May 2001)
new eyeglasses –
there’s a duck,
or a boot, on the ice
[March 11, 2005]
Mr. Retained Rights, Mike Cernovich has jumped to the conclusion that the American
justice system is to blame for the public’s jumping to conclusions about Matt Hale and
the Lefkow murders. Michael paints a scenario where law enforcers ended up convicting
Hale because they only looked for evidence that would prove Hale’s guilt. If that’s how
Michael’s mind works, I’m pleased that he is not a prosecutor or police detective. The ones
I know — even if they have a prime suspect, or want the public to think so — keep their minds
and options open. Surely, the media gets to speculate about who a perp might be. And,
surely, the American public has retained the right to jump to conclusions. There’s too many
real problems to work on, Mike, for you to be grieving or “losing fiath” because of the Lefkow
case, where Hale was never arrested and the case has apparently been solved.
Prof. Bainbridge noted a couple days ago that Democrats have big problems with Catholic
voters. He ended by saying
”Perhaps more worrisome, however, is the prospect of the further division
between the parties between people of faith and the non-religious. I’m not sure
that’s a good thing. Indeed, I’m pretty sure it isn’t.
I don’t think such a division would be good for the country. But, I believe it would quickly
backfire on the Republican Party, should they give the impression that they only want
“people of faith” who are “fundamentalists” — accepting a certain brand of orthodoxy and
related political agenda. Moderate believers might head back to the Democrats in droves.
I agree with Monica Bay’s stance against web-payola: individual webloggers cannot
retain their reputation for independence if they take anything from vendors in exchange for
coverage of a product. Like her commentor, Matt McCarrick, The Litigation Support Guy,
I believe there is no blanket answer to the question “are wegloggers journalists?” Like a
telephone, Xerox copier, or pencil, the technology is used by many different people for
man different reasons. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be a journalist, nor have any pretense
that you are, to heed Monica’s rule “don’t do it!” If you want a reputation for objectivity, you
must be staunchly independent. Disc jockeys weren’t journalists when they created the payola
scandals of the ’50s and ’60s.
Many Americans are lazy grasshoppers. A recent study discussed in yesterday’s New York
Times shows that many of us use cellphones as phone books — never writing down information
for contacting people in any other place. (NYT, “Think of a Number … Come On, Think!,”
March 10, 2005) This means, oh-my-god!, that losing a cellphone becomes a social catastrophe.
It also means — thanks to speed-dialing — that many of us have not bothered to memorize anyone’s
phone number for a long time. Since loss of memory comes with my chronic illness and my advancing
age, but can be staved off by exercising my brain’s memory cells, I’m pleased to say that I have not
speed-dialed anyone in at least 8 years. Like those worker-ants, we techno-retros have our memory
cupboards well-stocked, while the grasshoppers fiddle away their capacity to produce important
numbers as needed.
Don’t miss Walter Olson’s coverage of an Illinois lawyer who ended up suing himself.
Martin Grace has an explanatory post on the new Texas Medmal study. Ted Frank ofers a very “rx”
different perspective here.
If anyone needs further proof that George Wallace is the king of weblog punditry, please go
here. Of course, some curmudgeons would say that many of our lawyer-Fool’s headlines deserve