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‘Social Media for Lawyers:Twitter Edition’ Please RT

Adrian Dayton’s timely book on Twitter for the Legal Profession:   Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition  is a ‘must-read’ for all law  firms.

Indeed, it should be studied avidly, not only by lawyers, but also by any professional service firm that wants to grow its business fast using Web 2.0 techniques.

As a successful New York attorney turned social media guru, Dayton deals with his subject comprehensively and with an easy authority.

He begins by dismissing, with an unanswerable charm, the main excuses that the legal profession commonly gives for avoiding Twitter. Indeed, in a world where the High Court in London has recently authorised the service of formal legal proceedings by Twitter, it is difficult to understand how anyone can now fail to see the relevance of Twitter to the legal profession.

Musings on a Mediation

Picture the Scene

Our defendant clients had been involved in long-running proceedings involving complex copyright issues.  There were 10 parties involved in the proceedings some with cross claims against each other.

The legal issues were numerous and complex and the contentions that would have to be determined in court included: Who was the true copyright owner? Had there been joint authorship? Had there been copying? If so, what was the precise extent of the copying? Was similar ‘look and feel’ enough to establish copying? To what extent did the judgment in Navitaire Inc –v- Easyjet (No3) 1725 (Ch) (2005) ECC30 impact on the issues? The question of the personal liability of directors for any infringements by their companies would also have to be adjudicated as well as some very opaque issues of fact.

Developing Ninja Lawyer Skills

As I was dancing an idle fly across my corruscating Twitterstream a few days ago, I hooked a tweet from @idealawg on mindfulness for lawyers. It struck a chord. I RT’d it immediately with a deft roll-cast, thus:

Mindfulness tweet

The University of Miami Law School is teaching law students the art of mindfulness for lawyers  offering its students what it calls ‘a robust contemplative practices offering’ and, a few days ago, The Florida Bar News publicised a Mindfulness Program designed to help lawyers to ‘live in the moment’ on the thesis that contemplative practices for lawyers are key for the effective study and practice of the law.

Green Beliefs? You Are Fired!

GoGreen-main_FullNot anymore. Yesterday, Sir Michael Burton made a ground-breaking ruling in the UK Employment Tribunal that the claimant’s “green beliefs” deserved as much protection in the workplace as that accorded to religious views. 

But when does a belief become ‘a philosophical belief’ of the kind that may give rise to a discrimination claim?

Nick Lakeland was interviewed live recently on Candian Radio(the Dave Rutherford Show) and you can hear the entire interview  here.

Tim Nicholson claimed that he was unfairly made redundant from his position as Head of Sustainability at Grainger (apparently the UK’s largest residential landlord) and that he was discriminated against because of his beliefs about man-made climate change.

The Politics of Binge Drinking

beerpumpsThe Labour Government promised that the Licensing Act 2003 would foster a ‘continental-style’ cafe culture and bring an end to binge drinking.

Has it actually worked?

Er……not yet!

Police chiefs think that the changes have simply moved alcohol-related disorder into the early hours of the morning and have increased or, at least, failed to change, levels of drink-fuelled incidents.

Business Legal Security: 50 Point Check-list

business-legal-advice 

This is a non-exhaustive 50 point checklist designed to help you avoid some very common legal pitfalls and maximise the legal security of your business.

  1. Make sure that legal ownership assets used in the business are actually owned by the business.
  2. Get written copyright assignments from designers, authors, software and web developers and appropriate warranties of originality.
  3. Check the terms and conditions of third party suppliers of services to ensure you legally own any deliverables they create.
  4. Do not rely on a terminable licence for key business assets; take an assignment or a perpetual royalty-free licence.

Thinking of Retiring? Forget it!

retirementLots in the news today about everyone having to work longer before getting their State Pension.

Not entirely unexpected as the present Government has already laid plans to make us struggle at the coal face until men hit 66 and women 65.

But that was all before billions were paid to shore up our banking system and the next Government, of whatever hue, is going to have to deal with a massive black hole in the country’s finances. Pensions are one of the biggest problems (and don’t get me started on workplace pension schemes – a topic for another day!).

Twervice by Tweet….and the Sub Judice Rule

Twitter_256x256The High Court in London willingly concludes that UK legal proceedings can validly be served….by Tweet!

Already dubbed the Blaney Blarney Order, a UK Court held yesterday that an injunction restraining a Twitter imposter posing as an established Twitter blogger and right-wing political commentator could be served on the impostor using Twitter. Seasoned Tweeters like @London_Law_Firm will just shrug and say “So? …Why not! Perfectly sensible”.

After all, legal proceedings may be served by email and by fax.

It is amusing that a social web medium with such an inconsequential name as ‘Twitter’ should so quickly become a recognised part of the social and legal fabric of society and enshirined as such By Order of the Court!

Fired? You Must be Furious!

compromise-agreements-feeligsAs of Monday, injured feelings will cost UK employers a lot more!

Employees who are unfairly dismissed, particularly in discrimination cases, often get an ‘injury to feelings’ award.

The case establishing the principle was the well-known 2005 case of Vento -v- Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.

There has been considerable debate since 2005 as to whether an ‘injury to feeling’ award should be index-linked to allow for inflation. Employment Lawyers have assumed they should be and their views have been confirmed in the Employment Appeal Tribunal case of Da’Bell -v- NSPCC which has just been decided in past 2 days.

The Queen of PreNups…Congratulations, Maeve!

Our heartiest congratulations to Maeve for her magnificent performance on the BBC TV Breakfast Show on Saturday morning.

The Queen of PreNups

Maeve O'Higgins Queen of PreNups

Whisked away by BBC chauffeur to Shepherd’s Bush before dawn, Maeve pulled off a masterful ‘double bill’ performance at 6.10am and again, as a panellist, at 7.10am, dealing most skilfully with all questions thrown at her by Charlie Stayt in spite of the unearthly hour, the glare of the TV cameras and her national audience.

 Maeve is now undeniably the Queen of PreNups  in the UK….!

Hits on our Pre-Nuptial Agreement Site  increased by 250% as a result!

Well done, Maeve!!!!!!

Compromise Agreements – Valid or Void?

Employers should beware.

The compromise agreements they are currently handing out like confetti to departing employees may well not be valid, particularly if the Employee has not had proper independent legal advice.

Compromise agreements are part of everyday life for Employers in this era of mass redundancies because getting the Employee to sign one means that the termination payment is accepted in full and final settlement and the Employer cannot be sued later. In this sense they are there to protect the Employer.

Contesting A Will Becomes Fashionable

Full marks! Dangerous, Invincible and Bad…but at least the King of Pop made a Will  …though it hasn’t stopped mother Katherine Jackson, allegedly egged on by father Joe (totally ignored in the Will ), from mounting a legal challenge and contesting a will that leaves everything to The Michael Jackson Family Trust.

Contesting a Will

She is seeking to wrest control of the USD500 million estate from the executors appointed by the Will, notwithstanding a ‘no contest’ clause in the Will that disinherits any beneficiary who challenges its validity or its terms.

It will no doubt be a thriller and there will be blood on the dance floor at the end of it all.  Ho, Ho.

Pitcher’s, Pimm’s – Match Point?

pitchers-pimms-1Well?  What is one to think?

“Pitcher’s, Pimms, Passing Off…” –  sounds like a hopscotch chant!

Sainsbury’s takes on major supplier Diageo with what might be considered to be a knock-off copy of its iconic Pimms’ brand and at the height of the thirsty Britsh summer. Same bottle shape, same label silhouette, same label lay-out same ‘san serif’ font, same colour….same ‘get-up’?

Archbishop Passing Off is already robing up behind the drinks counter to enter the unholy fray with his ‘holy trinity’ of Reputation, Confusion and Damage but who will survive the refining fire of this test?

Chris Sherliker’s Twitter Interview

I recently had the pleasure of being a guest of www.22tweets.com,  an online Twitter Interview that tweets you 22 questions that you tweet back answers to.

We are @London_Law_Firm on Twitter. 

As a huge fan of Twitter, I absolutely loved this innovative use of Twitter, and found the succinctness of the 140 character limitation remarkably refreshing, if somewhat challenging!

Chris Sherliker’s Twitterview in Full…..

@London_Law_Firm thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @London_Law_Firm?
Hi, Lance! I am the ‘voice’ of our firm on T. Lawyer, Husband, Father, Web Marketer, Dog Owner, Fisherman, Artist. Renaissance Man!

Good Business Legal Advice: Open Questions…Early Review

At Silverman Sherliker, we specialise in giving good, timely, business legal advice. Entrepreneurship is in the DNA of the firm. Our clients like that approach.

Getting good business legal advice is easy but you do need to ask for it and, most importantly, you need to ask for it EARLY. So whether it is a new start-up, a commercial investment or a new collaborative initiative -get yourself over here as early on in your project as you reasonably can.