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Around the Blawgosphere: Lawyer Runs Down Stolen Phone; Bankruptcy Judge Notes 'Epic Fail'


The Force Was with Him

Three teens swiping cellphones in San Francisco picked the wrong target last week. They also targeted the wrong device, solo David Newdorf told Legal Pad’s Ginny LaRoe.

Newdorf was restrained by one teen while another took his “crappy two-year-old Motorola Droid” rather than his iPad 2, he said. But the marathoner, “wearing a suit and, fortunately, Rockport shoes,” gave chase. He ran behind the teens, shouting for police all the while, caught up to them, and made eye contact with the teen holding his phone, who handed it over. “It was all Jedi mind control and scaring,” Newdorf told Legal Pad.

Once he retrieved the phone, he continued his foot chase while snapping pictures and communicating with police, who eventually arrested the teens. Newdorf has since tweeted updates about the mugging. In the latest, he says a San Francisco judge released the teen suspects to home detention and ordered them to go to school. “Hope they do,” Newdorf tweeted.


‘An Epic Fail’

Above the Law’s Staci Zaretsky made note of the federal bankruptcy court opinion In re: James Spickelmier and Katherin Spickelmier (PDF) concluding that the debtors’ attorneys should be sanctioned.

Judge Bruce Markell wrote in the opinion that the debtors’ lawyer came to a show cause hearing 15 minutes late, not aware of what had been filed in the case or the contents of the show cause order. “It was painful for all in the courtroom, from the client who saw his money being wasted, to the court staff who all too often had seen similar performances from the same attorney, to the court who had to endure silences—sometimes approaching 30 seconds—as [the lawyer] attempted to understand and answer the court’s questions from information on his computer screen. Were there ever a time to use “fail,” as the contemporary vernacular permits, it is now, and in reference to this deplorable display of legal representation: it was an epic fail.” He then ordered the debtors’ law firm to disgorge all fees that their clients paid them in the case.

Zaretsky noted that Markell is “known for taking lawyers to task” in his opinions. Indeed, back in 2010, Markell imposed a $10,000 sanction on a “sequaciously servile lawyer [who] does whatever the client wants and then cites that client’s command as a shield to the improper actions.” In 2008, a Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist called him a “tough hombre.”


Driven to Distractions?

At The Careerist, Vivia Chen noted a Marie Claire interview with Sallie Krawcheck, a former president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and this statement of Krawcheck’s in particular: “If you look around Wall Street and corporate America, we’re putting women on diversity councils; we’re putting them in mentoring programs; we’re giving them special leadership training, telling them how to ask for promotions—but we are not promoting them. My goodness, we’re just making women busier.”

Chen admits she herself has often wondered: “How do people who bill 2,000 hours a year also manage to participate in all those programs?”

Orrick partner Patricia Gillette has shared a similar sentiment with Chen before and has herself written about how women in the legal profession need to become better at self-promotion. This time, she tells Chen that it’s not that women lawyers are wasting time being on committees—only perhaps that they should get on committees with genuine policy-making powers. “Then mentoring, part-time, maternity, and equal pay issues will have some chance of being solved,” Gillette said.


On Target?

LexBlog’s Kevin O’Keefe writes at Real Lawyers Have Blogs about a new LinkedIn feature called Targeted Updates.

“You can deliver highly relevant content (maybe a blog post) to targeted audiences,” O’Keefe writes. “You can target industry, size of company, location, you name it. Rather than spam everyone on your ‘list,’ you can identify the audience who would the information most helpful. Your audience will receive the updates in the updates on their LinkedIn home page.”

The feature also allows you to see which connections (demographically speaking) read what content of yours and when, O’Keefe writes.

O’Keefe also notes LinkedIn’s tips (PDF) on creating engaging updates, which O’Keefe is less enamored of. “It feels a little dirty to me to break down engagement into a science as LinkedIn does in these tips,” he writes. “I say get comfortable with what feels right on the engagement side and see how your audience is responding. Ask clients, your employees, and others who may be receiving the content what they think. Does it feel spammy?”

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