Law Blog Week in Review: “North American Legal Principles,” Clearspire’s Clients, and Word v. WordPerfect


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.

“North American Legal Principles”

New online dispute resolution service eQuibbly promises that “Unlike in government courts, your case won’t be decided based on a technicality or a rule that doesn’t make sense.” Okay, so what rules will it use? I promise I’m not making this up:

Cases on eQuibbly are decided based on North American legal principles … not the technical laws of any one state or province. Examples of North American legal principles include: the right for private parties to enter into private contracts; a contract consists of voluntary promises between competent parties to do, or not to do, something, which the law will enforce; freedom of speech; equality before the law; separation of church and state, et cetera.

Et cetera it actually says. I’ll just let Scott Greenfield handle this. [Simple Justice]

The Ethical Implications of Clearspire’s Failure

Carolyn Elefant writes about the ethical fallout from Clearspire’s fall/pivot:

From an ethics perspective – if that actually matters – Clearspire also flunks. When a law firm acts as a laboratory, that means it’s also using the firm’s clients as guinea pigs.

Maybe Clearspire’s corporate clients were sufficiently sophisticated to give informed consent to being guinea pigs, but whatever happened at Clearspire does demonstrate that, when it comes to legal startups, failure means a lot more than it does for your average Kickstarter project. [My Shingle]

One Thing You Should Know Before Hanging Out Your Shingle

Lee Rosen’s “6 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Hung Out My Shingle” is worth reading just for the first thing on his list:

Hiring help doesn’t always increase your take-home pay. In fact, all too often, it decreases your share of the money. I meet way too many lawyers who are working way too hard to support their team rather than themselves.

[Divorce Discourse]

Word v. WordPerfect

At Above the Law, Jeff Bennion tackles the somehow-still-happening debate about Word v. WordPerfect. He points out that “There is nothing that you can put on a page using WordPerfect that you cannot also put on the page in the same place with Word.”


Except that’s also a pretty good reason to just go ahead and use whatever the heck you want. However, Bennion attempts to point out, and as Barron Henley pointed out the other days, if you don’t like using Word, there is a good chance you probably don’t know how to use it very well. [Above the Law]

Losing Legal Jobs

In April and May, reports James Levy, the legal sector has lost about 2,800 jobs, and legal jobs are at the lowest point since the beginning of the year. I thought we were supposed to be heading for a legal job surplus, not a (downward) market adjustment. [Legal Skills Prof Blog]

Featured image: “Strict verdict” from Shutterstock.


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  • static

    I hear AOL email addresses are the new cool thing.

  • George Wrong

    I still use WordPerfect if I don’t need to use Word. And I don’t have an aol, earthlink, or prodigy email address. I use CompuServe (just kidding – does that even still exist? – though I am old enough to have been on both CompuServe and AOL through dialup in the early 1990s). Reveal codes in WordPerfect is so helpful. The only thing I can think of that Word does better is track changes.