Thursday, October 30, 2014

Announcing the "Baseball and the Law" Trivia Champ And Crossword Solution

Congratulations to our Baseball and the Law Trivia Crossword Winner Alex Samuel!
Alex is an IP attorney from Concord, NH. He is a 2012 graduate of the University of New Hampshire Law School. Alex was the first person to submit a completed crossword with all the correct answers.

I will leave the puzzle active for those of you who want to continue enjoying the challenge.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

World Series Extra: Enter the LAW AND BASEBALL Trivia Contest

Over the course of my career I have had the great fortune to work at several law firms and work with lawyers who made important contributions to  "the law of baseball."
I thought it would be fun to celebrate the 2014 World Series with a LAW AND BASEBALL Crossword Trivia Contest.
Rules of the Game: The first person to send me a copy of the completed crossword (or a list of correct answers to the questions below) at will be declared the  "Dewey B Strategic  Law and  Baseball Trivia  Champion." The winners name will be prominently displayed on this blog when the answers are posted at the conclusion of the contest.
Good Luck and enjoy the fun!

Please note: Due to a numbering error in the puzzle. I have had to regenerate the puzzle. The clues and answers are the same but the numbering is different than in the version which was posted this morning,
Access the Crossword Click  here to access an interactive version of the crossword.
The Clues:

3. In testifying before Congress, this Supreme Court nominee compared the role of a judge to that of an umpire.
7. The baseball player and manager who was banned from baseball for betting on his team.
8. 19th century lawyer and US President who played an early version of baseball and built a ball field called the "white lot" behind the White House.
9. A 2002 study by this agency determined that metal bats are not more dangerous than wood bats. (abr.)
11. Players cannot prevent the use of their own names and statistics in Fantasy Baseball due to this Constitutional guarantee.
12. The first patent dispute involving baseball equipment related to this item.1
3. Major League Baseball had to purchase their current internet domain from this Amlaw 100 law law firm.
17. The only lawyer to have a major league baseball stadium named after him.
19. If a pitcher intentionally hits a batter in the head with a baseball he can technically be charged with this crime.
20. The controversial reserve clause system which bound players to teams indefinitely was replaced by a new system called __________.
23. An early version of the rules of baseball were called the _______________ Rules.
24. The illegal practice of selling game tickets for more than their “face value.”
25. Movie featuring the trial of Shoeless Joe Jackson and other members of the Chicago “Black Sox’”.
26. He caught Barry Bonds 73rd home run ball…then dropped it. …then he sued Hayashi… then he sued his lawyer!
27. The World Series was cancelled in 1994 because of this players union action.
28. Lawyer and Former US Senator who led the investigation of steroid use in baseball.
    1. The modern “right of publicity” was outlined in an opinion regarding these baseball related items.
    2. The only US President who was co-owner of a major league Baseball team
    4. This law school dropout was the first US President to be issued a Presidential Pass by MLB.
    5. Justice Holmes wrote that the Sherman Act did not apply to baseball because baseball teams were not engaged in_________ .
    6. Attorney J Bruce Henderson brought 17 lawsuits to keep this team from building their stadium.
    10. Supreme Court Justice who as a federal District Court Judge issued the injunction “which saved baseball”
    14. The legal principle which prevents a spectator who is hit by a baseball from suing the team or the stadium.
    15. Lawyer and former NY Governor who was signed as an outfielder for the Pittsburg Pirates before attending law school.
    16. Lawyer, baseball player and manager who pioneered the racial integration of Major League Baseball by signing Jackie Robinson.
    18. NYU Law Grad who started his sports broadcasting career with a radio show about NY little league baseball players.
    21. Public Law 105-297 is named for this baseball player.
    22. An “illegal” move by a pitcher that entitles a runner to advance.
    29. Lawyer who became the first commissioner of baseball.
The winner of the triva crossword and puzzle solution is posted at this link.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Shark Tank" Law and "Decomplexification" at the COLPM 2014 Futures Conference

2014 Futures ConferenceLast Friday I had the honor of being named a “Fellow” in the College of Law Practice Management at their annual meeting and  2014 Futures Conference at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.  The conference  examined the continuum legal disruption/dysfunction across law schools, law firms and pro bono/public interest law.

Change Hasn't Come Easily

Michael Mills of Neota Logic summed up the challenge of dislodging paradigms:

13 Takeaways/ Insights from the Law Futures Summit

  •    Law firms have been in the business of selling hours, not results. Clients are interested in  buying results
  •     Map your strategy to the clients values
  •      The law IS a code and it CAN be programmed.
  •    The marginal cost of delivery of legal services should be decreasing.         
  •    Innovation in law firms is met with "Massive Passive Resistance".
  •    Law firms have been in the business of selling hours, not results. Clients are interested in  buying results
  •    It is time for law firms to embrace prevention over crisis management.
  •    Tiny law small consumer driven solutions. No lawyers involved. People make decisions differently than companies.
  •   Emerging Law  will prevent the need for high cost legal solutions. Move from fire fighting to prevention. Zero defects rather than heroic solutions.
  •    In house lawyers are the primary drivers of change in the legal profession.
  •   Performance metrics bring credibility, force discipline and precision.
  •   Define need, understand process, measure effectiveness, reduce risk.
  •   Legal Services for the poor.  Old Question was how do we pick the right 20% to serve. New Question – How do we serve them all?
The Law Futures "Shark Tank" 

 The most exciting part of the Futures Conference was engaging in a "Shark Tank" style team event focused on developing a new products to solve legal problems or improve service.

  It was a wild mash up of creativity:  Flash-mob juries, crowd sourced legal solutions, flying law squads, legal help kiosks on street corners or grocery stores, geospacially enabled self help and legal referral, legal chat rooms, apps, self help diagnostic kits, freemium models, cloud based legal translations, virtual, legal emergency rooms. Think legal services with elements of Uber, Angie's List, Walmart and WebMD.


Speaker Jeff Carr's call for "decomplexification" of law became a recurring theme.The conference reminded me of environmental scientist  Amory Lovins  comment about the dangers of over executing solutions or “ cutting butter with a chainsaw.”  Could our civil justice system work better if there was more focus on preventing legal engagements and finding simpler, more immediate solutions for the middle class as well as  the hoards of people waiting in line for public service lawyers? In the words of Ron Friedmann it may be time to "practice less law" by inventing new solutions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Law Firms Listen Up: Link Rot and Reference Rot Present Serious Risk Management and Associate Training Issues

 "Works of Scholarship have long cited primary sources or academic works to provide sources for facts to incorporate previous scholarship, and to bolster arguments. The ideal citation connects an interested reader to what the author references, making it easy to track, down, verify and learn more from the indicated sources." from Perma: Scoping and addressing the problem of link and reference rot in legal citations.

 Link Rot and Reference Rot: Beyond Inconvenience to Malpractice
  • Link rot refers to the obvious and easily identifiable phenomenon of broken links. When the linking page is missing we see the ubiquitous 404 error. message.
  • Reference rot is a more insidious problem. In "reference rot" the link still works, but the content of the page has changed. The principle or facts cited may have materially changed and new content may even contradict the original proposition being cited.

 In legal scholarship the problem is confined to the (not insignificant) inconvenience of tracking down an unavailable source. In litigation or in transactional practice, the inability to retrieve sources of facts cited to support a client brief or transactional deal has serious legal implications. Could a firm lose a case on appeal? Could a firm be accused of malpractice? Could reputations and careers be hung on the frail branch of a 404 error?
 Until I read the "Perma" article this week I was only aware of the concept of "link rot." I had heard about the sobering statistic that 49% of sources cited by the United States Supreme Court no longer link to the original content or page.
But the concept of "reference rot" made my hair stand on end... the implications for academic scholarship are significant, but the implications for law firms could be devastating. What happens when a law firm submits a brief citing a scientific study, a government report, an Open Web data set or a press release from a company website that completely vanishes or is materially altered? Can you imagine the young associate who has to face down the withering stare of a partner as (s)he explains that a key source has disappeared or contradicts the proposition for which it was cited? 

 Last March Jonathan Zittrain, Kendra Alter and Lawrence Lessig published Perma: Scoping and addressing the problem of link and reference rot in legal citations in Harvard Law Review. Contrary to popular belief, the authors point out that it is sometimes easier to find print sources which predate the Internet than to find  "born digital" references which no longer reside at their original URL. The problems are not confined to the obvious scenarios: Companies get sold and merge - and so do their websites. Private bloggers lose interest in their obsessions. Non-profit organizations, lose funding or lose focus. A webmaster loses their job or gets promoted... Even government websites as prestigious as the White House and the Department of Justice have removed and altered web content without indicating that a document has been revised and/ or replaced with a new version. The Internet is littered with the equivalent of "space junk" and law firms -- like the Supreme Court will find themselves unable to easily locate or recover the original Open Web sources, cited in their documents.
Worst of all --a cited website could potentially include altered content which contradicts the statements for which was originally referenced. There is a risk management/malpractice elephant in the room.  No one has yet developed software to redline and track changes on the Internet, but law firms need to consider what processes or tools they can employ to mitigate the consequences of the mutable and transient ocean of web content. Products such as Icyte, capture copies of web pages which you can store in a personal account, but what is a complex organization to do?

Possible Implications: 
1. It is time to require citations to open web sources to have date and time stamps.
2. The Internet can't be continuously 'redlined" to highlight changes over time, someone needs to develop this killer app.

2. Associates need to read and validate all cited authority. They may get to the website and find that the content has changed.

3. Law firms need to develop standard protocols for preserving cited pages. If Open Web sources are used they should be preserved as a PDF-type file  and associated with the citing document.
4. Do we need a "citation exception" to copyright law? Maintaining access to a source could require the copying of a volume of source material beyond what is normally considered “fair use.” If we can't count on website owners to preserve access  to digital content or to “redline” changes we need a legal way to preserve  whole websites, treatises, documents and datasets.
5.Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Lexis, Westlaw, Wolters Kluwer and BLaw offer  a mighty bulwark against an ocean of 404 errors. Their ability to offer permanent access to multiple versions of cited sources will provide an important value add over Open Web sources.

6. Digital Object Identifiers may offer a solution to determine if  a source has been replaced.
7. Bad URLs and transient web content will increase demand for librarian sleuths and knowledge management professionals.
8. The Perma Project is targeted at creating permanent access to legal documents. Law firms face the challenge of cobbling together technologies and processes which will assure permanent access to wide universe of non-legal content which they rely on in the course of litigation and transactional analysis. Information professionals should be tasked with developing standard protocols by examining practice needs, processes and available technologies to assure preservation of cited sources.
 Learn More About Link and Reference Rot

On October 24th Georgetown Law Library is hosting a program:404/File Not Found: Link Rot, Legal Citation and Projects to Preserve Precedent. Speakers include  Jonathan Zittrain one of the authors of the Perma article, Roger Skalbeck of Georgetown, Ed Walters of Fastcase and Mary Alice Baisch, Superintendent of Documents of the USGPO.  Unfortunately I will travelling and not be able to attend this program.   Roger Skalbeck   has agreed to author a guest blogpost on this very important Conference.
A Researcher Finds the Following notice for the website which was cited in a Supreme Court Decision:

404 Error - File Not Found

Aren't you glad you didn't cite to this webpage in the Supreme Court Reporter at Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 131 S.Ct. 2729, 2749 n.14 (2011). If you had, like Justice Alito did, the original content would long since have disappeared and someone else might have come along and purchased the domain in order to make a comment about the transience of linked information in the internet age.

And if you quoted this in the NY Times, will you do a correction for the now changed text?
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