In the spirit of our upcoming month of humor (starting next week) we are trying something a little different on the round up today. Each item is written with a more comedic approach than usual, sticking to our formula that we use for the martindale.com Connected Lawcast (Larry King Live for Lawyers meets The Daily Show with John Stewart). Hope you enjoy!
Copywriting for Lawyers: How to Write for Social Media (Free Ebook)
And now for something completely different … this is the one semi-serious update in this post.
Did you ever wonder why your law blog lacks a large and loyal following? If you do have a readership, does it sometimes feel stale?
In either case, there is a simple solution for gaining more readers while keeping the writing informative, authoritative, and exciting.
In this 31 page eBook, Martindale.com Connected Community Manager, Mike Mintz (that’s me) provides his personal view on how lawyers can write great copy for social media.
Click here to get your copy.
A Humorous Look at Lawyers and the Law: LawFAILS (August/September 2011)
The practice of law can be pretty funny sometimes. No seriously. From the lesbian couple that broke up and then successfully sued their sperm donor for child support to the music publishers who sued a musician for stealing their client’s “silent song” (no music, lyrics, or sound!) and then settled for six-figures out of court, we’re going to cover as many as we can through the end of the summer.
Look for podcasts, videos, and posts about the ridiculous, funny, and outrageous lawsuits and cases out there.
You are invited to take part in the insanity, and submit your own take on these wacky “law fails.”
You can be certain there will be plenty of lawyer jokes…
Click here to start the hilarity.
Will new tobacco warning labels be effective in preventing people from smoking?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved nine new cigarette warning labels to be displayed on tobacco products. The warnings are graphic, gruesome and shocking, and include images like a sewn-up corpse and a person smoking out of a hole in the neck. It appears the FDA is following the tactics used by countries like China, where warning labels state bluntly, “smoking causes death.” Of course China has one of the highest rates of smokers per capita so harsh warnings are viewed by smokers as challenges, and the new graphics meant to revolt will become collectible.
Click here to see what others think and add your own two cents.
Should Norway reconsider its stance on the death penalty given recent mass murder?
Anders Behring Breivik, who has been arrested on charges of murdering over 75 people in Norway, could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence under the current Norwegian criminal justice system.
The people of Norway are in a fury, and what do people do when they are in a fury? They start Facebook groups. That’s right, a number of anti-Breivik Facebook groups have popped up calling for his execution. Should Norway reconsider it’s stance on the death penalty for mass murderers? Did I mention there was Facebook group?
Click here to see what people are saying on Facebook about mass murderers in Norway.
Video Taped Executions: Evidence of the Cruelty of the Death Penalty or Sick Snuff Films?
A man in Georgia, Andrew DeYoung, was executed last week after he was convicted of killing his parents and sister. DeYoung was put to death by lethal injection after his appeals were turned down. The execution was video recorded upon the request of another Georgia death row inmate, who is seeking evidence of problems with the state’s lethal-injection procedures. Have video-taped executions been used in other jurisdictions to successfully fight death penalty legislation?
Click here to watch the video (just kidding; but you can share your views)
Italian law would ban women from wearing veils/covering faces in public.
The Italian parliamentary commission approved a draft law that would ban women from covering their faces in public. Specifically, the draft passed by the constitutional affairs commission would ban women from wearing a veil, a burqa, a naqib or any other material that covers a woman’s face. The law cites security reasons and confusion among Milanese fashion moguls over how to make such coverings work with their autumn collections.
Click here to comment.
Delta Air Lines and US Airways announce tax refunds for fliers who flew while federal ticket taxes were suspended.
Some aviation ticket taxes expired on July 23 when the U.S. Congress did not reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is responsible for collecting the ticket tax revenue. Despite the suspension Delta and US Airways continued to collect the tax. When people asked for their money back on the imaginary tax that didn’t exist, the airlines pointed the finger at the IRS telling passengers to contact them about the refund. The IRS than advised passengers to contact the airlines, who then pointed passengers to the Smurfs. The result: if you need to issue refunds for an imaginary tax you shouldn’t have collected in the first place, blame it on the little, shirtless guys in blue.
Click here to let us know who you think should pay.
Are safety precautions in the U.S. national parks adequate to prevent personal injuries and deaths?
We all know that hikers lack common sense, so when three hikers ignored warning signs, climbed over a guard rail at the top of the 317-foot high Vernal Fall on Tuesday and waded into the Merced River a few dozen feet from the drop, no one thought the wiser. Until they plummetted over the edge of the falls. Now they are presumed dead and people are questioning whether the park should have done more (neon has been mentioned). The Yosemite National Park officials stated that they have no plans to add new warning signs or additional protections to the area and further stated that the railing and sign were adequate. Despite the hikers’ assumption of risk in climbing over the guard railing and ignoring the signs, are the safety precautions implemented in the U.S. national parks adequate?
Click here to see what other lawyers think.
A city in Rhode Island, USA files for bankruptcy. Are other municipalities or jurisdictions at risk?
The state-appointed receiver for Central Falls, Rhode Island filed for bankruptcy on behalf of the city on August 1. The step was a last resort after city taxes were raised and city services were “cut to the bone.” In addition, municipal retirees and current workers refused to agree on any deep or voluntary cuts to their pensions and benefits. Although municipal bankruptcies are rare, Jefferson County, Alabama and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are considering similar steps. The governor of Rhode Island acknowledged that although the move was a difficult one to make, it was necessary given the city’s dire financial situation. How can bankruptcies in similar municipalities be avoided?
Click here to share you suggestions.
Hot New Group: Tax Litigatiors
I know what you’re thinking: he just used “hot” and “tax litigators” in the same headline. Well this new group lead by Ronald I. Heller, director of Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris, Attorneys At Law, A Law Corporation already has 10-members and some good conversations, including the one above about the airline tax.
Request to join this private group today.
Tips on Bad Boy Carveouts: Don’t Overlook These (Surprising?) Sources of Liability
Member Keith Mullen writes: “Recourse against individual owners or sponsors (and\or their operating companies) is a significant leverage point for any lender in a distressed commercial real estate loan.
Both CMBS loans and portfolio loans (typically life company) technically are “non-recourse” in that the lender agrees to look to the collateral for the ultimate recovery of the loan. However, the loan documents “carve out” or reserve liability in the event certain events occur, or if certain loan document provisions are not followed. These liability events or provisions are called “bad boy carveouts.”
Generally, courts are tending to enforce bad boy provisions very literally, exactly as written – and have not accepted arguments (or readings of the provisions, statutes or other case law) to allow bad boy guarantors (or indemnitors) to avoid liability.
The “deal” is the deal; and it could be a big deal.”
Click here to read the rest of Keith’s post.
That’s it for today’s Connected Round Up, and remember:
- Members can get in on these discussions and more by clicking the links and commenting.
- Non-members can check see all these discussions, but need to register to comment – it’s 100% free.
Keep an eye out for LawFAILS, coming next week.
Click here to let us know who you think should pay.