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05/19/06

MySpace for Attorneys


The popularity of MySpace, the Internet hangout spot for teens and young adults, has prompted scores of clones across the Internet. Now the idea has been co-opted by Chris Rempel and Kevin Cross, creators of Lawbby.com, where attorneys can interface with other legal professionals online.

MySpace for Attorneys


Lawyers can create individualized profiles, write blogs, make friends and place job postings and relevant ads for free. The site's creators claim it will revolutionize the way attorneys network.

British Law Society fined
The Law Society, a regulatory and representative body for solicitors in England and Wales, has been slapped with a fine of over $ 400,000 for not failing to handle client complaints adequately. The fine levied by the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner, Zahida Manzoor, comes after deliberations over the proper time table for the handling of public complaints.

Manzoor was appointed Legal Services Complaints Commissioner in 2004 to set targets for handling complaints and resolving consumer dissatisfaction. She has the powers to impose fines of up to one million dollars for non-compliance. The Law society, however, claims the fine is unreasonable.

Disaster preparedness
Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., a commercial law firm with more than one hundred attorneys practicing in offices throughout Florida and the world, has posted a 12-point Communication Hurricane Preparedness Checklist, which will help professionals and elected boards prepare their communities for storm-related disasters. The Checklist is available online at www.hurricane-recovery.com.

The firm provides disaster-related services to clients and the Florida general public. They received a Thomson Elite award in recognition of a client-service initiative launched during the devastating hurricanes that hit Florida during a six-week period in 2004.

Canada within reach of US patent litigation
Canadian organizations with significant operations and clients in the United States now stand susceptible to U.S. patent litigation.

While IP protection once only applied to tangible inventions, it now also covers applications concerned with business methods, like check processing, bond trading and systems for tracking the market value of life insurance policies. The number of U.S. patent applications relating to financial institutions has risen phenomenally. From less than 50 applications a few years back, it has moved to more than 600 a year, though many are in dispute.

Citigroup has been among the most aggressive in registering patents, registering about 200. Canadian financial institutions have been a slower in catching up.

Becker and Poliakoff

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