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Blogger: Law firm homepages are losing significance | Will SCOTUS ruling affect Spider-Man rights?

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Kevin O’Keefe at Real Lawyers Have Blogs notes an Atlantic article about sharply declining traffic to the New York Times’ homepage (based on the recently leaked internal review of Times digital strategy). Readers are increasingly reaching news sites by way of links from social media sites to individual stories rather than visiting the homepage first.

“The death of homepages on law firm websites is likely to be much the same,” O’Keefe writes. “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs reflect the interests of the community as a whole. This community, through citing and sharing the type of content they like, will control how often your website is viewed and what people view on your site. It’s this community who will decide what is of interest on your site, not you. Until now, people came in through the well-designed and branded foyer of your law firm. Now people are coming in through the windows, backdoors, and cracks.” Marketers will have to rethink how to control messaging and branding.

SCOTUS and Spider-Man

This week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer found that the lawsuit of Paula Petrella—daughter of biographer Frank “Peter” Petrella—over an alleged violation of a screenplay copyright was not time-barred. Petrella’s father was the biographer of Jake LaMotta, on whose life the film Raging Bull is based, and she had sued movie studios profiting from DVD and Blu-ray sales of Raging Bull.

The ruling has buoyed the hopes of Stan Lee Media Inc, which has been fighting a losing battle over the rights to Spider-Man, Hollywood Reporter blog Hollywood, Esq. reported.

A recent res judicata argument by Disney “relies on a March 2010 ruling from a New York district court that dismissed a copyright infringement claim as time-barred,” SLMI general counsel Michael Wolk told Hollywood, Esq. “But two days ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a copyright claim seeking relief based on conduct taking place within three years before a lawsuit is filed is not the ‘same’ as an older copyright claim seeking relief based on older conduct taking place more than three years ago.”

Disney and SLMI lawyers were in court just last week arguing over whether should have the chance to proceed with its claim that it’s the real owner of Spider-Man, Eriq Gardner wrote at Hollywood, Esq. “The oral hearing happened before the Supreme Court ruling, but now that it’s come down, SLMI’s lawyers have submitted a letter drawing the judge’s attention to it. Disney hasn’t yet responded to our request for comment, but has told the judge that the Supreme Court decision has ‘no bearing’ on the case.”

Breaking Bad-inspired scholarship

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reported that the New Mexico Law Review—published by students at the University of New Mexico School of Law—is planning a Breaking Bad-themed issue. (Unfortunately for those who might wish to contribute, the deadline for 1,000-word abstracts was Thursday, May 22.)

“The show’s story of a chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin posed a number of legal questions, like: What’s the difference between a criminal lawyer and a criminal lawyer?” Jacob Gershman wrote at Law Blog.

Breaking Bad implicates a number of significant legal and social issues, including the war on drugs, morality and the law, and ethical attorney behavior, among other critical topics,” the editorial board wrote in its call for papers (PDF).

Any law topic related to the show was welcome, but the board suggested some examples:

• The application of the Fourth Amendment to drug crimes under the New Mexico and/or U.S. constitutions.
• Ethical duties of lawyers to clients Involved in drugs or sophisticated crimes.

Be excellent, not perfect

Lawyer coach Judi Cohen says she used to be a perfectionist when she was a solo practitioner. “I thought every piece of work I did had to be perfect, and couldn’t leave my desk until it was,” she wrote at Solo Practice University. “I also thought this was a perfect way to run a practice law, but it was not. … Perfection is an illusion. It is also the mother of paranoia, procrastination and smugness.”

She changed her mindset and decided to strive for excellence rather than perfection, trying to focus on what you’ve done right rather than what you’ve done wrong, and befriending your own imperfection.

“There’s one more thing to watch out for if you’re a perfectionist: self-satisfaction,” Cohen adds. “As much as we hate to admit it, we perfectionists are happy when someone else fails. We look at their loss and think, ‘Whew! At least it wasn’t me.’ Excellent solos don’t do this. When an excellent lawyer (who’s not a perfectionist) sees someone fail, especially if the ‘win’ is theirs, they remember that the loss could have been theirs. Then they ask, ‘How can I reach out? How can I let my opponent know that my celebration isn’t at her expense?’”

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