Around the Blawgosphere: Pinterest Business Card Fishbowl; Legal Foundation of 'Downton Abbey'

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Pin and Win

Carolyn Elefant—Washington, D.C., solo and Pinterest member—has invited My Shingle readers to ” ‘drop’ your business card into the MyShingle Online Fishbowl at Pinterest.” Those who participate by Thursday, March 15, will be entered into a raffle for one of two Amazon gift cards. Several of those who have already participated have included, along with the photos of their business cards, short narratives on why they made the conventional or unusual choices they made.

Elefant thinks the platform for exchanging business cards will accomplish two things. “First, a virtual fishbowl provides a chance to openly and leisurely examine colleagues’ business cards for inspiration, without the embarrassment of actually reaching into the bowl for a surreptitious peek (Just admit that you’ve done that before!),” Elefant wrote. “Further, if you see a card you like, and the owner shared information on the designer and/or printer, you can contact the company directly (though submission of vendor information is optional, if you loved your designer, this is a chance to give ‘em a shout-out!). Second, exchanging business cards can serve as an icebreaker; a way to start a conversation and learn more about colleagues. To spark some interaction, the submission form asks you to share some of the inspiration behind your chosen business card design.”

Estate of Affairs

The State Bar of Michigan’s SBM Blog acknowledged the season finale of British hit TV show Downton Abbey by offering an explanation for why first-born Mary Crawley cannot claim title to the estate of her father, the Earl of Grantham, or inherit her American mother’s fortune.

As far as the estate and title, male primogeniture is standing in Mary Crawley’s way. As far as why Mary can’t inherit her mother’s wealth, the site relies on a New York Review of Books story asserting that the money “has been contractually incorporated into the comital entail in perpetuity” which “endows both title and estate exclusively to heirs male.”

The blog goes on to speculate about future episodes. “Will Season 3 bring us any legal intrigue related to the entail, or will the focus turn to the peculiarities of the English criminal law in the 1920s, as the forces of good try to spring the long-suffering batman [John] Bates from prison?”

How Do You Like Your Coffee?

At 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, Ryan McClead, Fulbright & Jaworski’s knowledge systems administrator, empathizes with attorneys hesitant to change their work processes when he considers how he makes coffee. He boils water on the stove, grinds his beans by hand, places a filter filled with the grounds over his mug and pours the water (“hot, but no longer boiling!”) over the filter. “You can argue until you are blue in the face that this ritual is a waste of time, that I would be much more productive if I threw a couple of scoops of store ground coffee into an automatic drip maker and set the timer to wake me up on Saturday morning,” McClead writes. “And while intellectually I understand the words you are saying, I can’t imagine ever giving up my mill and drip filter. Because it’s not really about the coffee, it’s about the process.”

McClead thinks that lawyers seemingly inexplicably resistant to new, efficient IT solutions are like him and his coffee. “When I waltz in with a great new product that I think will make their life so much easier, they hear, ‘I’m going to destroy your process’ and they react just as I would if you said, ‘I’m giving you a brand new single-cup coffee machine for home!’ I don’t want a push button solution for my Saturday morning coffee, but a more efficient hand mill, a better quality filter, or a high performance kettle might be a welcome addition to my current process, making me more efficient without destroying the ritual that I have evolved over years of practice.”

Speaking of Coffee …

On Monday, Abnormal Use noted that 20 years ago Feb. 27, “79-year-old Stella Liebeck ordered what would become the most famous cup of hot coffee in America.” Liebeck’s lawsuit against McDonald’s went to trial in 1994, and the rest is history. The blog suggests that anyone wanting to reminisce about the case check out its Stella Liebeck McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case FAQ.

Meanwhile, earlier last month, a hot coffee lawsuit reminiscent of Liebeck’s was filed against Burger King, LegalNewsline reported. A drive-thru patron in Philadelphia alleges in her suit that she suffered burns and nerve damage when a worker did not properly secure the lid to her coffee.

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