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Blawg Review #173

Posted in Legal News

Last week’s Olympic edition Blawg Review focused on the medals. Building on that, this week I discuss the elements of a world record swim. If you were watching last week, instead of blogging, you saw 20 of them in the Olympic pool; seven by Mr. Phelps.



Nothing is more critical than preparation. A big part of preparation is tightening your stroke and cutting out unnecessary motion. Reese Morrison, at the Law Department Management blog, discusses blunt suggestions for trimming legal bills.


Endless hours in the pool alone are not enough, you need a good coach. Business development coach Cordell Parvin provides an excellent three part series at his Law Consulting Blogone, two, and three – on persistence, an important element of any Olympic training program. In an Olympic caliber display of persistence, Drug & Device Law had an exhaustive post discussing and classifying each medical device preemption case since the landmark Supreme Court decision in Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 128 S. Ct. 999 (2008).


You also need a support network to help you get through all of the pool time. Bruce Allen, at Marketing Catalyst, teaches us how to avoid the cocktail conversation you cannot escape from at a networking event. At Copyblogger, John Morrow explains that content is no longer king in the blogosphere, you need friends. And he teaches you how to get them. At BlawgIT, Brett Trout – who is a fighter, not a swimmer – has an interesting post about how to work together as a community to thwart webjackings (the hijacking of a website). And Mediation Channel’s Diane Levin discusses the social side of blogging, and reading blogs.


Of course, if you do not have time to practice you will never set the record. So, you need a job, or at least some cash. On that note, Harmful Error posts the great news that loan forgiveness programs were expanded this week for legal aid lawyers, state prosecutors and public defenders. 


The Suit

The clothes make the man (or the woman). This year the go-to duds were Speedo’s LZR suits. Patent Librarian Michael White tells us that, no surprise, Speedo patented the LZRIPKat expands on swimming patents, providing a broader view of Olympics-related patents.



As a guy who swam for a lot of years and practiced hard throughout, I can tell you not everyone has what it takes to set world records. The closest I came was getting beat by an Olympian and world record holder. Of course, you might be less impressed by my loss if you knew that at the time his Olympic medals were four or five decades old, and I was 19. At Idealawg, Stephanie West Allen discusses the traits that make entrepreneurs entrepreneurial.

                                                                     Mental Focus

One of the big stories on Phelps this week was how he thinks of nothing but not losing during a race. At Litigation & Trial, Maxwell Kennerly tells us that you have to know when you are sweating the details more than your client would want by over emphasizing proof-reading. Of course, even Kennerly agrees that some details matter. 

                                                                  Knowing the Rules 

You have to know the rules. Turn wrong or break the rules for your stroke and beating a record by ten seconds will not matter. At the Legal Juice, John Mesirow reports that kids at the Lake County Florida library are allowed to rent R-rated movies because they believe it is an unconstitutional delegation of authority for the Motion Picture Association of America’s guidelines for determining obscenity. I am sure kids from all over that area are flocking to the Lake County library because the rules are on their side, at least for now.


Filewrapper reports on a Federal Circuit decision holding that copyright infringement, and not just breach of contract, when the terms of an open source license governing the copyrighted material are breached. For more on this major decision in the IP world, check out: BLT; Law Pundit; and Patently-O.


Seattle Trademark Lawyer Mike Graham shows the consequences of not following the rules using two Western District of Washington opinions.


Ethan Lieb, guest blogging at Freakonomics, argues that we need to change the rules requiring unanimous juries. And the WSJ Law Blog discusses a judge and a juror who clashed over jury nullification.

The Start

A bad start is hard to recover from, especially when you are chasing the fastest time ever. Evan Schaeffer shows how to open well at trial at the Illinois Trial Practice Weblog, and he links to Trial Theatre’s opening statement quiz.


Coming off the wall in a turn is the fastest a swimmer goes during a race. So, you need good turns. IntLawGrrls discuss how to turn around the conflict between Georgia and Russia (sorry the turns section was tough).


Legal Literacy discusses Whole Foods’ turned around (or recalled) beef and looks behind the scenes at how it happened and Whole Foods’ impressively quick response.


The Finish

Do you do an extra stroke or do you glide in hard? Always a tough question, but the .01 seconds the decision costs you can mean the race and the record.

At his E.D. Texas Weblog, Michael Smith reports that while the E.D. Texas started out as a rocket docket, particularly for patents, it has now slowed down and let many other districts catch it with a time to trial of 24 – 30 months.


The Law and Magic Blog reminds us that we cannot always win, and that trying to rig the system to guarantee wins – he is talking about the stock market, but it holds true for the pool – is dangerous work.


At the IP ADR Blog, Victoria Pynchon praises several Perkins Coie attorneys who went the distance for their pro bono clients at Gitmo and earned the clients’ respect for providing them an able defense.


** Images provided via a Creative Commons license by A. Dawson or Andre from Flicker. **


Next week’s Blawg Review will be at fellow LexBlog site, the Texas Appellate Law Blog.


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

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