Around the Blawgosphere: The 'Lawyer Brain' and Parenting; Should Firms Blaze Two Trails to the Top?

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When JDs Know Best

At Lawyerist, U.S. Bank attorney Andy Mergendahl acknowledges that having a “lawyer brain” can be harmful in many interpersonal situations. But he also sees where it can be an advantage in parenting—particularly in dealing with disputes between children.

“For example, when rough play leads to a broken lamp in the living room, the lawyer brain can help you keep your cool instead of just flipping out,” Mergendahl wrote. “And if you decide to investigate the events that led up to the lamp breaking, you can separate the persons of interest and interview them, then compare their stories, re-interview (whether this is interrogation depends as much on your goals as on your interviewing style), and then decide on your response.

“I think my kids appreciate it when I try to figure out what really happened, and that they get to provide their version of events. It’s also fun to teach them that some arguments don’t really work, like the tu quoque logical fallacy, or that ad hominem attack are counterproductive.”

Two Ways to the Top

At Above the Law, Aon chief counsel Mark Hermann suggests that law firms follow the lead of information technology and research firms that have created dual career tracks. “These firms needed both great scientists and great managers,” Hermann wrote. “Great scientists, however, were being undervalued” as those with managerial skills were elevated above those who were often better scientists.

The solution was to create a dual career-path model. You could rise through the ranks the traditional way—by managing people and controlling a profit and loss center. “But the second path was the innovative one: Lead specified projects; work with key clients; generate new ideas; prosper equally!”

The way Hermann sees it, law firms and law departments have the same problem as those tech firms—there are brilliant practitioners who don’t care to manage people (or, in the case of law firms, aren’t rainmakers). He urges his readers to suggest such a structure at their firm or corporation. “And, depending on the career path you prefer, you may have invented a future for yourself more attractive than the one you that you envisioned yesterday.”

The Naked City

Since last year, Not-So Private Parts blogger Kashmir Hill has been keeping tabs on Hunter Moore, who asked users to submit nude photos of themselves or others along with a link to the pictured person’s Facebook, MySpace or Twitter page–and then posted the photo and contact information together at his IsAnyoneUp website. Moore shut the site down in April, but told Hill that he plans to relaunch, probably in January.

Moore told Hill that the relaunched IsAnyoneUp will in some cases include home addresses of the nude individuals pictured. “I’m in a different mindset every day. I’m trolling,” he told Hill. “I’m still going to do the addresses but for my critics and people coming after me legally. … Address posting won’t be open to the public, but it depends on the situation. If a dude rapes a girl and this is her way of getting back at him, then I’ll publish his address.”

Hill says University of Maryland law professor Danielle Citron has pointed out that while the Communications Decency Act protects Moore from liability for the things his users post, the act wouldn’t shield him from criminal prosecution. “There’s an argument to be made that he’d be aiding and abetting cyberstalkers [by posting home addresses],” Citron told Hill. “It’s amazing what’s he saying out loud. If your purpose is to help stalkers find their victims, that will hurt him when a jury is trying to make a finding of criminal intent.”

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