Blawg Review #177

Welcome to edition #177 of Blawg Review.  Blawg Review is a roundup of law blog posts — otherwise known as a blog carnival.

Back to business is the theme for this edition of Blawg Review.  In it we get the lawyers’ input on key business issues.

This is my third time hosting Blawg Review.  It’s a special honor for a business blog to host the roundup of law bloggers.  There are so many excellent law blogs (I’ve always said, lawyers are some of the best and most interesting bloggers).

OK, let’s get started:


    • Performance Reviews — JD Hull at What About Clients has a test for performance reviews:  the employee should be so good that he or she could walk away tomorrow and steal the firm’s best clients.  You could apply the sa|:me test to employees in PR agencies, accounting firms and other professional service firms.
  • Office Romances — The Manpower Employment blawg points out 4 lessons learned about an office romance gone wrong resulting in post-break-up harassment.  In my former life I was involved in 2 such situations from the employer’s standpoint, and both were extremely difficult. And one involved. an attempted suicide.
  • Sex Discrimination — Employment attorney John B. Phillips brings us a sobering piece on just how far we haven’t come in America with regard to sex discrimination.  “Under the law preventing sex discrimination, you can’t take into account how many children a woman has, their ages, their teenage pregnancies, or their disabilities.”
  • End of Secret Union Ballots — The Ohio Employer’s Law blog wants to know if you are ready for the return of unions?  Attempts to pass legislation dispensing with the secret ballot are in Jon Hyman’s words “undemocratic.”


  • Twitter — Who says lawyers don’t know anything about marketing?  Turns out, they’re using Twitter!  JD Scoop has put together a list of lawyer Twitter users, and the count currently stands at 247, and climbing.  (And check out the main part of their site, JDSupra, which is a document sharing site for the legal profession, itself a form of marketing for lawyers.)
  • More Twitter —Grant Griffiths at Blog for Profit even has a tutorial on how to use Twitter as a lawyer.  I would add that virtually everything he talks about applies equally well to other professionals and entrepreneurs, too.
  • What, More Twitter? — At the risk of this edition of Blawg Review going down in history  as the “Twitter Edition,” don’t let me ignore Kevin O’Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs.  He writes how lawyers can use Twitter for customer service.
  • The Downside of Twitter — Carolyn Elefant of MyShingle points out the “odd voyeuristic quality to Twitter” and how no one ever tweets about having just burned dinner.
  • LinkedIn — But wait!  Even LinkedIn might be a bad idea for employers.  Danielle at Concurring Opinions outlines a situation in which LinkedIn might be used to trick someone into downloading malware onto a computer.  The scenario sounds a little Machiavellian … but then, lawyers are trained to anticipate what evil lurks in the hearts of man.
  • Reputation Management — Andrea Schneider of the ADR Prof Blog points to a Bar Journal article that suggests thinking about your professional reputation as a savings account. “Add a little to it each year and it can make you rich over time.”
  • Bio Pages — Bio pages are an often overlooked marketing opportunity, as Legal Antics points out.

icon-search Online

  • Link-selling Scandal? — FindLaw was outed by a disgruntled ex-employee for selling links, a Google no-no.  One person has dubbed it Linkgate.  Monica Bay at The Common Scold has a fascinating thread playing out, replete with a legal industry Deep Throat, an investigative reporter, and denials from a company executive.
  • Mediation Meets Web 2.0 — Elie Mystal at Above the Law points out a new site,, which allows the world to weigh in on personal disputes.  The vote isn’t binding of course, but perhaps it beats the usual he said/she said method.  Should we look for a business version at the next Demo conference?

icon-productivityBusiness Operations

  • Contracts — Business lawyer Rush Nigut at IowaBiz points out the number one axiom you must remember about agreements in business.  Read the post to find out what it is.
  • Outsourcing Loyalty — Charles H. Green at Trust Matters comments on the absurdity of the current trend of outsourcing loyalty programs.  “But in our rush to turn business functions into business processes, then modularize and outsource them, we occasionally overdo it.”
  • Productivity Tip — Matt Homann at the [Non]Billable Hour points out the productivity of a larger computer monitor and larger notepad.
  • Excellent Tax Resource — Mitchell Port at the California Tax Attorney Blog points out a resource for small businesses and the self-employed in a surprising place:  the excellent IRS website.  He explains some of the highlights.  I agree that the IRS site is a very good resource — bookmark it!
  • Duty to Warn —  Did you know that you might have a duty to warn customers of foreseeable dangers in your products?  Mark Hermann of the Drug and Device blog applauds a recent court case that held the line and did not expand the duty to warn beyond its current boundaries.

intellectual-propertyIntellectual Property

  • Patents — The lunacy in our current patent system here in the United States is never more visible and ironic, as in a post by Mike Masnick. “So, here we have a lawyer who has repeatedly tried to silence critics with questionable use of copyright law, suing a patent system defender who throws around insults and lies like they’re going out of fashion. These two were made for each other,” Read it.
  • Trademarking a Sound — Did you know you can trademark a sound?  India just got its very first trademarked  sound, the Yahoo Yodel.   Dave Wieneke at has the story and also a link to soundmarks at the U.S. Patent Office.
  • Royalties for Patent Infringement — When a patent is infringed, the wronged party may be entitled to royalties.  At Patently-O, Dennis Crouch discusses a method for calculating royalties.

icon-worldEconomy and Trade

  • Subprime Mortgage Mess — Kevin LaCroix handicaps the odds of a shareholder suit in the Fannie Mae /Freddie Mac takeovers.  He also has a link to a running tally of shareholders lawsuits against financial institutions in the wake of the subprime mortgage mess.
  • Net Neutrality and Open Internet —  The free flow of information can promote international trade; the restriction of information puts power in the hands of a few.  Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin spoke about the free flow of information, including Net Neutrality, at a recent conference.

Thanks to all who contributed!  If your submissions weren’t included, it’s no reflection on quality.  I had numerous other blog articles to choose from, but chose those whose subject matter was most relevant to a small business audience.

Blawg Review is special because it is a peer-reviewed roundup of the best the blogosphere has to offer in law blog posts.  “Ed,” the anonymous Editor of Blawg Review and his two Sherpas, Diane Levin and Colin Samuels, coordinate each week’s roundup by offering up suggestions for which blog posts to include. Many thanks to the three of them.

Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues. 

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.