Law Blog Week in Review: A Supreme Court Litigator Writes to a Porn Star’s Lawyer

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Each weekend, I round up the best law blog posts I have found during the previous week. You can help by sending me links using our contact form, starting discussions in the Lab, or tweeting the link to @lawyerist. Or just tell me what I missed in the comments.

Innovating Carefully

Jordan Furlong points out something obvious about the startup world: the “Cambrian explosion of innovative new businesses is occurring contemporaneously with a mass extinction: failed startups overwhelmingly outnumber successful ones.” Meanwhile, some lawyers are excitedly trying to emulate startups in law practice. (Logikcull’s Andy Wilson even started a series on running a law firm like a SaaS company.)

Jordan says “Failure is built into innovation. It’s a feature, not a bug.” But failure means some very different things in a legal context. Legal startups have to innovate more carefully, because there is more at stake than just stock value and customer who might be inconvenienced if the company shuts down. [Law21]

Should We Get Rid of Trust Accounts?

Carolyn Elefant, being provocative, says trust accounts are a relic and we don’t need them. [My Shingle]

This Message Is Privileged and Confidential

89% of lawyers use email to communicate with clients or privileged third parties. (I assume the other 11% are using flag semaphore.) Of those, says Bob Ambrogi,

Asked what precautions they take when sending privileged communications via email, 77 percent said that they include the confidentiality statement.

You’ve got to be kidding me. First, those messages are all but ineffective, anyway. Second, we’re still talking about whether Dropbox is secure? Dropbox is Fort Knox by comparison. [LawSites]

More Reasons to Avoid FindLaw for Law Firm Websites

Full disclosure: Lawyerist builds law-firm websites, so criticizing other companies that build websites might seem like a conflict. So I’ll let Lee Rosen do the talking:

FindLaw is the subject of many, many strong opinions. After listening to input, my take is to stay far away from it. I avoid it like MERS.

Also, it’s really really expensive. [Divorce Discourse]

Tom Goldstein Writes to a Porn Star’s Lawyer

My favorite legal writing of all time is Marc Randazza’s response brief in Beck v. Eiland-Hall (pdf; read it), but Tom Goldstein’s (yes, that one) response to the demand letter of a porn star who slipped and twisted her ankle is in the same league. It’s worth reading from beginning to end, but Goldstein really builds to a crescendo at the end:

If she sues, the complaint will be sanctionably frivolous. Your client should just box up almost every last bit of her property (please exclude all videos and photographs, as well as the seemingly inevitable small yappy dog) and drop it off with you in safe-keeping for Mr. Bilzerian. After he receives the judgment in his favor, he will have it all delivered to him. Then he will probably blow it up with a mortar in the desert.

I enjoyed our brief correspondence.

That closing is the lawyer’s equivalent of dropping the mic. I’m filing the entire letter away in the hope that, someday, a client who has been threatened with an equally-ridiculous lawsuit will contact me so I can gleefully plagiarize Goldstein’s letter. [Lowering the Bar]

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Featured image: “Concept of fear with businessman like an ostrich” from Shutterstock.

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  • LondonTrainee

    Regarding the last item, to be fair to the porn star she didn’t slip and twist her ankle, she was thrown of a roof.

    Video NSFW (sorry I couldn’t find a better source for the video, I didn’t try very hard):
    http://www.sickchirpse.com/dan-bilzerian-throws-naked-girl-off-a-roof/2/

    That being said, it was a brilliant piece of legal writing. How would you even formulate a response to that?