Around the Blawgosphere: Blogger Running for Texas High Court; The New iPad; 'The Solo Tax'

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Judge Not

Houston criminal defense lawyer Mark Bennett announced Sunday at Defending People that he is running for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 7 on the Libertarian ticket.

“When I learned that the Libertarian Party of Texas needed a candidate for one statewide office to have a full ticket, and that the office was right in my bailiwick—not politics, but criminal law—an office that ought to be beyond partisan politics, an office that is polluted by the two-party system, and an office in which I could do real and lasting good, I knew that was the race for me,” Bennett wrote.

Bennett notes in his second post at Bennett, Dissenting that in the 2008 Court of Criminal Appeals elections, each Libertarian candidate was more than 3.5 million votes behind the winning Republican incumbents. “Take from that what lesson you will about my chances of prevailing; clearly, the Libertarian candidate in a race for a seat on the Court of Criminal Appeals faces a steep uphill battle,” Bennett wrote.

Bennett’s announcement was noted in a post at Simple Justice—the blog that New York City criminal defense lawyer Scott Greenfield announced Feb. 13 was closing up shop. Greenfield, apparently the Brett Favre of blogging retirement, has completely relapsed in the meantime, cranking out a couple of posts every day this week. “Truth be told, I was bored,” Greenfield wrote of his hiatus in another Simple Justice post Thursday.

Lawyers and the Latest iPad

Bloggers see lots for lawyers to love about the new iPad announced Wednesday and going on sale Friday, March 16. New Orleans lawyer Jeff Richardson writes at iPhone J.D. that he’s hopeful that the new iPad’s faster processor will mean an enhanced experience when he uses the Note Taker HD app that lets him use a stylus to take handwritten notes on his iPad. “More speed would make that app and others like it feel more like you are directly writing on the screen,” Richardson writes.

Richardson is also excited that the new iPad supports voice dictation, “so you don’t need to use a third-party app like Dragon Dictation to accomplish this. Writing e-mails and editing documents are a huge part of my daily use of the iPad, and having voice dictation will make those tasks easier.”

Technolawyer notes the new iPad’s 264 pixels per inch retina display. “Put simply, the new iPad’s display is sharper than a typical LCD monitor, which should make it even more popular among lawyers for reviewing documents.”

Meanwhile, at FutureLawyer, St. Petersburg, Fla., solo Rick Georges noted an Informationweek column and said that Apple made unfair criticisms of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1—saying that Twitter looks much better on an iPad (not if you use Tweetcaster Pro on your Samsung, Georges says) and that its quad core chip is faster. “Bottom line, choice of tablet is still a matter of preference, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is thinner and lighter than all three iPads, and it is, for now, until next week, the only one with a 4G option. Don’t you love competition?”

‘The Solo Tax’

Washington, D.C., solo Carolyn Elefant wrote at My Shingle this week about what she calls “the solo tax”—the phenomenon of solos being unable to benefit from economies of scale ending up paying more than their larger-firm counterparts for the same goods and services.

“I wouldn’t complain if companies allowed solos to ‘buddy up’ and divvy up the price of these services so that we could at least receive the same per-unit rate as larger operations,” Elefant wrote. “But in most cases, vendors don’t permit independent law firms to share costs.”

And solos are sometimes resistant to banding together to try to share resources. “My experience organizing with other solos has been less than stellar as it’s difficult to gather a core group,” Elefant writes. “As for coordinating a group where one member would attend a conference and share the knowledge with others, none of the solos whom I’ve tried to collaborate with were interested in this approach. In my view, the more preferable solution is for service providers to offer significant discounts to solos.”

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