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October 29 2007 Legal Blog Roundup

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Lawyers in Texarkana, Texas, take note: you can no longer refer to the opposing plaintiff in court as a "patent troll." The reason? According to U.S. District Judge David J. Folsom, who is currently presiding over the much-anticipated Cybergym v. ICON Health & Fitness trial, the term "has no probative value and would unduly prejudice the Plaintiff." The trial naturally deals with a dispute over the patents of certain exercise machines made by ICON as part of its line of products, which the plaintiff maintains violates its patents. Let's hope the trial ends soon so our long national nightmare will finally be over.

Charles C. Papy III and Harvey W. Gurland Jr. penned an interesting column in the Daily Business Review titled "At Firms with 'No Jerks' Rules, Abusive Attorneys Need Not Apply." The article isn't especially eye-opening, but it does reiterate some good points regarding how to deal with the jerks in the office (you know who you are). Yelling, cursing, insults, and other obviously rude behaviors are quick ways to kill your career, not just your interview or your initial days on the job. Check out the advice at

Valentine's Day is just around the corner — well, maybe several corners, but that doesn't mean you won't appreciate this semi-touching story of a Los Angeles trial lawyer named Paul Mills who recently reunited with his first job and first love in Manhattan. He used to be known as a poet in New York by the pen name Poez, whose heart yearned for a then little-known singer named Suzanne Vega (yes, that one) who never replied to his marriage proposal. Years later, after both moved on to successful careers and Vega got married and later divorced, Mills sent her a message on her website, and she responded — in a big way. The story ends in romantic Hollywood fashion with the couple rekindling their romance and marrying so many years later. The New York Times reported the tale on its site at

And finally, there is a nameless blogger on the East Coast who is a recent law school graduate and maintains a very interesting blog called 4L. He's got a very interesting, if melancholy, entry on the virtues of research and how it's playing an important role in his clerkship. Of course, those of you who value a thorough array of varying opinions will be dismayed to learn that your legal work in the "real world" becomes less comprehensive and more tailored to your clients' limited needs. Read about it at

Happy trick-or-treating,

The Judge

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