@douglassorocco

April 27th, 2010

Douglas J. Sorocco

Director and Shareholder, Dunlap Codding

Author of Phosita intellectual property law blog

Former Chairman, Board of Directors of the Spina Bifida Association of America

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Today we’re tweeting with @douglassorocco, Oklahoma City IP attorney by day, crusading do-gooder by night

  1. @douglassorocco thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @douglassorocco?
    I’m a mashup of tech geek, chemist, patent atty, photog, woodworker, husband and father. Also passionate about volunteerism.
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  2. Don’t think any interviewees have described themselves as “mashups” before…. Tell us about your law practice.
    It’s always interesting – I work with the most creative, eccentric, innovative and passionate people. My day is rarely dull.
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    My clients are concentrated at opposite ends of the spectrum – either very large legacy companies or start ups…
    All are typically looking to disrupt status quo – either with new technologies, fresh innovations or wicked cool ideas.
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  4. Interesting. And what’s the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Predictability and no surprises – law is never predictable and that is true in IP and tech law more than anywhere. Constant change…
    My goal is to be as solid as possible – no surprise bills, no surprise deadlines, nothing silly that would make life harder.
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  5. Am sure they appreciate that. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    “It’s a partnership” and “How can I make you a hero?” – 2 things that convey my respect for what they do and my ultimate goal.
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  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I represent @pictometryintl – the challenge of keeping up with fast paced technology and being a shepherd of their tech and brand.
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  7. Sorry, distracted looking at @pictometryintl website…. Cool stuff. Why do your clients hire you?
    I give a damn and take respons. If I say it – I do it & keep my word. I am a real person with a life outside law. Approachable.
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  8. What’s the next big frontier of IP law? Who will be most affected by it?
    Social media (what else?) – int’l enforcement. Virtual innovation. How does a constitutional principle evolve for Internet era?
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  9. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Laying groundwork for end of recession – pinpoint focus on innovation and protecting it. Market differentiation…
    Not historically “typical” – but in this econ, a laser focus on deriving value from the innovation and & IP is big key component.
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  10. Tell us about your work as Chair of the Spina Bifida Association of America. What was your greatest accomplishment?
    As an indiv born with spina bifida – truly rewarding to see young people growing up with hope for a better, more inclusive, life…
    From a policy perspective – increasing the knowledge of folic acid in decreasing incidence of spina bifida in U.S. & abroad…
    And making sure – every – woman of childbearing age knows to take that folic acid prior to conceiving.
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  11. Kudos for your efforts. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I help protect reputations and creativity. I work with inventors to facilitate the transition from white board to marketplace.
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  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I believe it was in 2008 – although my tweets were sparse. Wanted to engage in the convo. Now – basically have same goal …
    …to engage and converse with people I would not otherwise come into contact with. My own global “brain trust”.
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  13. Makes sense. You blog at Phosita (http://bit.ly/f6Oe (expand)). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    Started 1/2004 – it is the “People” mag of IP info. Goal was to have fun – info, simple IP explanations, and snark. =)
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Significant – i.e., meeting people, developing long term mutual friendships, and a referral network of people I trust and trust me…
    Same as with a local “face 2 face” network – but everyone is spread around world. #ignitelaw talk about it http://bit.ly/aSdJvT (expand)
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  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    ~ 15% – a lot of support to our young professionals to do it – e.g., @emilyecampbell – supporting @igniteokc, @swokc etc.
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  16. Time well spent…. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Pressure on “big firms” from smaller, regional firms – e.g., we can compete with coastal firms even though we are in OKC …
    okc’s low cost of living equals lower costs and our “real people” culture makes us enjoyable to work with…
    We do things big firms can’t b/c of their rigid structure. Our clients feel like we live across street and have “skin in the game”
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Different! =) Boutique firms and solo attorneys will be the envy of the profession – efficient , decisive counseling – no memos!
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Something in the arts –an architect or photographer. Maybe a cabinet maker etc. Useful or practical wares. =)
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    I cared and left world with more than I took. I loved and was loved. I had a lot of fun and I had the biggest mancave in world…
    Finally – that I wore out my body and was on the last bit of energy when I waved goodbye!
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Sleep! I travel a lot (60%) – so, I enjoy my home time – reading, wrestling with toddler son, and a beer with my wife on our porch.
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Do the unthinkable – if “is is always done this way” do it differently and promote the hell out of it…
    Clients are looking for the “wow” – be your own boss. Read folks like @nipper, @jmattbuchanan, @matthoman, @ipstrategist…
    They have struck out on different paths and created a place for themselves in the world. They provide value by being different.
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  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Read a business book! Nothing will be easy – and someone will do what you do or want to do for less and in a better way…
    If you treat law like any other business (innovate, client/customer service, good product, delight) you will succeed & be useful. =)

Great advice. Thanks very much for tweeting with me; I enjoyed interviewing you very much.

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@vbalasubramani 2.0

April 22nd, 2010

Venkat Balasubramani

Founder, Focal PLLC

Author of Spam Notes

Blogger at Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Law Blog

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Today we’re tweeting with @vbalasubramani, Seattle-based internet-tech lawyer and author of the blog “Spam Notes”

One of our first twitterviewees one year ago, @vbalasubramani has returned to 22 Tweets to help us celebrate our first anniversary

  1. @vbalasubramani thank you for joining us again on Twitter. For those who weren’t here a year ago: who is @vbalasubramani?
    thanks Lance, and good to be back! I’m a Seattle-based lawyer, and blogger @ blog.ericgoldman.org & @ spamnotes.com
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  2. What does your practice look like today? Is it different from last year? How?
    it’s similar – covers the range of online issues. I did start a firm (w/a partner)..this has been great
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  3. Congrats! How have internet / spam laws changed over the past year? What does that mean for your clients?
    online rules are fluid .. privacy is a looming issue, as it was last year; platforms (FB) are becoming more relevant
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  4. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that (the new) typical?
    online disputes have been particularly active, content scraping, cybersquatting/domain name issues, the usual
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  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    litigation is uncertain, time consuming, and often unfair – always explore a business solution
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  6. That clearly hasn’t changed over the past year…. Why do your clients hire you?
    because I am a prolific twit? kidding .. quality work, efficient, responsive, creative & interested in the space?
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  7. How do you describe your work to someone you meet at a cocktail party?
    tough ? (not many cocktail parties in Seattle that I go to) I represent internet/media companies in disputes & advise them on risk
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  8. You need to get out more…. How has the economic crisis affected your clients?
    ha! most are doing ok .. everyone is trying to save $$, but this has resulted in more work coming my way
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  9. How have your marketing objectives evolved over the past year? What’s driving that evolution?
    I enjoy blogging, but I’d like to create more client-friendly content..the social web has helped me see how this may be useful
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  10. What do you consider to be the biggest change in the legal profession over the past 12 months?
    law firms finally realized they don’t hold all the cards vis a vis clients..also a basic change in the young lawyer’s place
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  11. Indeed. If you had last year to do all over again, what would you do differently? Why?
    turn away more work and be much more selective – the intangible (non-monetary) effects of the work you do are significant!
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  12. Interesting. You recently blogged about making a “clean break” from your blog to start a new 1. How did that end up?
    I’ve been blogging at Prof. Goldman’s blog, which rocks (hope to continue that) .. I may launch another blog as well
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  13. You touched on this earlier: how has your social media and social networking activity evolved over the past year?
    lots more Twitter! I’m pretty unstructured about SM, I’ve tried to regulate it, but that’s not my personality
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  14. Have you seen any impact on referrals and/or client engagements coming from your Web 2.0 activities?
    no direct retention or referrals, but that’s not my goal – I do it for fun, to stay informed, and chat with folks
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  15. Last year “a loss of confidence in the system” = most sig issue facing legal profession. Still true? Why or why not?
    fair statement, the client/firm/associate/billable hour dynamic has (unresolved) issues..the basic structure needs tweaking
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  16. What’s the next big frontier of technology for the legal profession?
    telepresence? – inexpensive technology that ‘simulates’ face-to-face?..minority report?..there’s always the iPad :-)
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    for starters I may be retired ;-) .. types of matters that typically go to a lawyer may narrow, lots of private resolution
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  18. Retire? Sounds like a set-up for the next question…. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    own a restaurant, or a B&B, maybe have a cooking show or magazine (better yet a blog – I hear this pays!)?
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  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    as a contributor and a positive force
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    Travel, yoga, enjoy family, food and cooking
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  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    opportunities always exist in downturn..get experience..blogging is a great way to immerse yourself & demonstrate commitment
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  22. And our last question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today
    be wary of echo chamber advice, focus on the fundamentals (esp. writing), enjoy life outside of the law – thanks Lance!

Great advice. Thanks again for coming back for a follow-up twitterview. It was a pleasure to tweet with you again.

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@Prutschi

April 13th, 2010

Edward Prutschi

Toronto Criminal Lawyer

Partner, Adler Bytensky Prutschi

Author of “The Crime Traveller,” Precedent Magazine

Blawger on Slaw.ca

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Today we’re tweeting w/ Toronto crim lawyer, occasional blawger at Slaw.ca & author of “The Crime Traveller” for Precedent @Prutschi

  1. @Prutschi thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Prutschi?
    Criminal defence lawyer. Amateur travel writer (@CrimeTraveller). Tech geek. Father. The order depends on the day.
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  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    We have 3 partners, 3 associates and a student. Together, we defend shoplifting to murder and everything in between.
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  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    My “typical” client is hard-working, middle class, and has never been in trouble with police before.
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  4. And what is the single most important legal issue affecting that “typical” client?
    Combination of access to justice (legal fees are expensive) and bail conditions (which are often worse than the potential sentence).
    That was cheating. I chose two. Sorry. :)
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  5. Happy to let it slide… Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I acted for a mortgage broker in a multi-million $ mortgage fraud. His career was obviously on the line. Acquitted.
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  6. Congrats to both of you. Why do your clients hire you?
    Clients take comfort from our combination of experience, professionalism, tenacity and compassion.
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  7. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    Clients must trust my professionalism while still being a partner in the litigation. I need honesty & realism in order to help them.
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  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Domestic assaults and impaired driving (#DUI). These are common, vigorously prosecuted, and form a big chunk of our work.
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  9. What led you to start your own firm with your current partners?
    We all hail from big commercial firms. We were looking to help clients when the stakes were highest – criminal law.
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  10. Well it sounds like it was the right move. How do you market your practice?
    Mostly by referral from non-criminal lawyers. Word of mouth from satisfied clients. And our website – www.CrimLawCanada.com.
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  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I keep the system honest so that if you’re ever caught up in it (& don’t assume you won’t be), u can count on a fair trial.
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  12. You blog occasionally at Slaw.ca (http://bit.ly/d5IoHs). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
    Slaw is mostly lawyers but I consider my audience anyone interested in mature discussions on difficult criminal law issues…
    …I challenge people to think critically about how our system works and what “fairness” means in the broadest sense.
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  13. Are there others in your firm as plugged in to Web 2.0 as you are? Was that a conscious decision?
    As the youngest partner, I’m a natural fit for Web 2.0. The others ignore it but our incoming student (@JoelWelch) is on board.
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  14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    Impact has been indirect. Web 2.0 has helped garner media attention which in turn has led to name recognition and client calls.
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  15. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
    I think about my brand constantly but it only takes 10min/day to tweet something meaningful or 2hrs/mth to develop a good blog post.
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  16. Good points. Let’s switch gears: What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    In criminal law it’s the government’s misguided “get tough on crime” policies. They make great sound bites but terrible law.
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  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Lawyers will catch up to where the rest of the world is today technologically. Of course that will still leave us 10yrs behind. ;)
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  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    Be a travel journalist/photographer and call myself The Crime Traveller. Oh wait. I already do that. @CrimeTraveller.
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  19. I thought that sounded familiar…. How do you want to be remembered?
    As someone passionate about justice and committed to fairness who was respected equally by crown prosecutors, judges and clients.
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  20. What do you do when you’re not working (or traveling or taking travel photos or writing about travel…)?
    Play with my daughters or blow off steam through my love of video games (my home office sports an #XBox, #PS3 and #Wii).
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  21. Sounds like fun…. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Network constantly. Understand your brand. Leverage new technology/media. Treat every person you meet as a future referral source.
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  22. And our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Take every practicum/clinical opportunity you can. Seek out courses taught by practitioners. Volunteer in the field.

That’s good advice. Thank you very much for tweeting with me today; I enjoyed learning about you and your practice.

Thank you for the interview. It was great sharing the twitterverse with your followers today.

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22 Tweets from 22 Blawgs: Blawg Review #257

April 4th, 2010

22 Tweets hosted Blawg Review #257 last week, and put together a special version of Blawg Review: each blawger whose post was listed was interviewed. A one-question interview. In a tweet.

The responses received have been compiled below to create 22 Tweets’ first 22-lawyer twitterview:

  1. @charonqc What would you say is the most significant issue facing the legal profession today? Can it be resolved? How?
    @22twts Survival in a rapidly changing legal services market is major issue and pricing – as crime barristers are finding. Adapt or die?
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  2. @chinahearsay What’s the legal story behind the Google pullout of China? Will there be a public dispute? Who has the upper hand?
    [response not yet received]
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  3. @danharris Can foreign companies doing business in China expect short-term repercussions from Google and Rio Tinto?
    @22twts No repurcussions for biz FROM Google & Rio Tinto, but should put them on their guard.
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  4. @smbayard How important are safe harbors for ISPs to the development of emerging economies in general and the BRIC economies in particular?
    [response not yet received]
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  5. @jayshep Do you ever turn down work because a potential client just doesn’t get value billing? How do you convince the ones on the edge?
    @22twts In 3+ yrs, only 2% of prospects expressly chose hourly billing vs going with our fixed fees. Clients get it, want it.
    Convincing clients about fixed fees = educating them about value to them of solving problem, not amount of hours or work
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  6. @cruiselaw You represent a diverse group of people in your practice. What is the single most important legal issue affecting your clients?
    @22twts Blawg Review #257 http://bit.ly/cJn6lU Most important legal issues for cruise law clients?
    most important issue for crew members is liability for ship injuries and bad medical care . . .
    . . . . otherwise cruise lines abandon sick and injured crew in Jamaica, Trinidad, Honduras, India.
    Most important issue for cruise passengers is liability for sexual assaults, overboards, and other crimes . . .
    . . . justice is fleeting for victims on foreign flagged cruise ships in international waters after cruise line cover up.
    -
  7. @PaulBKennedy You blog about a diverse range subjects. What are your objectives for your blog? Are you meeting them? How have they evolved?
    @22twts My blog is a creative outlet for me. If a prospective client wants to know what I’m about — they can read my blog and find out.
    When I first started the blog there were some marketing goals — but as the blog evolved, so did my idea of what I wanted out it.
    As long as I enjoy putting material out there, the blog is serving its purpose.
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  8. @jonathanturley How do you decide which client representations to take on? Are you attracted to them by the legal issues or the people?
    [response not yet received]
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  9. @lawandbaseball Why did you become a lawyer? Have your views changed since you’ve been practicing?
    @22Twts I became a lawyer because I thought I could help the many people I saw getting screwed by the judicial system. That hasn’t changed.
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  10. @RonColeman What’s the next big battlefield of intellectual property law? How will it help define the next decade?
    RT @22twts: What’s the next big battlefield of IP law? | Big issues in each of TM, (c) and patent. “IP” is an artificial category.
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  11. @loweringthebar Was it hard to convince your firm’s leadership to let you blog? Are there ever editorial conflicts? How are they resolved?
    @22twts I would probably not have been able to convince them had I actually asked for permission first. Strongly recommend not doing so.
    Once established, reveal blog existence, point out world has not ended. Success of strategy depends on not doing anything stupid.
    In the case of a humor blog, being relatively funny helps a lot. Editorial conflicts mostly avoided by common sense/self-censorship.
    Have usually been successful at this. (Tourette’s a real problem though.) Also, law firm not mentioned much at first. Build slowly.
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  12. @bmarler Will the Health Care reform legislation have any impact on victims of food-borne illnesses? On the regulation of food producers?
    @22twts – Good Questions – Answer – http://bit.ly/azL93X
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  13. @btannebaum What will the legal ethics landscape look like in 10 years? Will the profession be struggling with the same issues it is today?
    @22twts in 10 yrs state Bars will have realized overregulation of social media failed & we’ll have one rule for all lawyer communication.
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  14. @turkewitz You’re an active Web 2.0 participant. What specific impact on business, if any, have you see from your online activities?
    Does Blogging Bring Clients?http://bit.ly/9QJ74V @lancegodard#sm
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  15. @lawbaron You review law schools on your site. What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    @22Twts At times you may feel you are the dumbest in class. You are not. Well, technically someone has to be the dumbest. Maybe it is you.
    I encourage law students to enroll in your school’s clinic programs. It will give you a wonderful advantage.
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  16. @popehat You’ve been blogging for a long time, on a very wide range of topics. What drives your blogging? Does it make you a better lawyer?
    @22twts I blog because I enjoy the community, particularly with my co-bloggers and regular commenters.
    Also, because it’s an opportunity to be creative, be more genuinely expressive, and be satisfyingly blunt. Can’t do that in a brief
    I suppose I do it because I don’t have the time or the guts to write a book. Plus, I just want attention.
    Does it make me a better lawyer? Well, I think it sharpens my writing and analytical skills, when done with care. Also…
    … it exposes me to issues that I might not otherwise read about. Sometimes those are useful in making creative arguments.
    Finally, it helps me meet very smart lawyers I can learn from. But no clients. I blog semi-anonymously, very much on purpose.
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  17. @RickHorowitz What can society do to help kids like your client whose mental health issues land them in jail? More funding? Better training?
    @22twts I’ll drop everything to get to your unsolicited request for pro bono consultation as soon as I handle the stuff I wanted to do.
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  18. @gideonstrumpet What would you say is the most difficult aspect of being a public defender?
    @22twts Lucky enough not to have the more popular PD problems: funding, excessive caseload, etc.
    Most difficult aspect, then, is fighting the presumption of guilt that most criminal defendants “enjoy”.
    Not content with answering that in 140 chars, I wrote a bit more: http://bit.ly/bi133Y
    -
  19. @ScottGreenfield What’s the most significant challenge facing lawyers today? How is it changing the profession? Is there a fix?
    @22Twts Deal: Most significant problem is downward ethical spiral of marketing, putting lawyers in hotpants.
    Fix is backlash against scorched earth marketing, resurgence of dignity, integrity, excellence and honor.
    If enough lawyers stand up for professionalism, we can stop the race to the bottom and earn back the public’s respect.
    Lest we forget this vision of the future. http://bit.ly/1hcZKr
    -
  20. @prutschi Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had. What was it about? Why was it important?
    @22twts I recently acted for a former NFL player (now runs a children’s charity) wrongly accused in a gun case. Reputation meant everything.
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  21. @MarkWBennett The SCOTUS stay is clearly a win for Skinner, but what does mean for the rest of us? Why is it a “triumph of civil litigation”
    @22twts It’s a triumph of civil litigation because civil litigation achieved something in a criminal case that criminal litigation couldn’t.
    For the rest of us, Skinner’s stay is a reminder of the role of the Law of Requisite Variety in the practice of law.
    -
  22. @stephkimbro You must meet many potential clients who worry about VLO security. What’s the one thing that convinces them to hire you?
    @22twts I let clients to my VLO know that their homepage uses same tech banks & govt. agencies use to encrypt & secure data.

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