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On 11/6/2019 at 9:12 PM, FBG26 said:
On 10/18/2019 at 12:37 PM, -fish- said:
On 10/18/2019 at 12:01 PM, FBG26 said:

I've got a phone screening interview for an in-house patent role next week! Haven't interviewed in a number of years, so I'm excited but also nervous. 

Good luck.   Phone screening sounds great.   No need for pants.

And on to the in-person interviews. Bring it! 

Got the job! Starting after the new year. Moving in house will be a big change and I'm really looking forward to it.

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On 11/7/2019 at 1:22 PM, CletiusMaximus said:

I learned early on, as I think most lawyers do, to always always always own your mistakes, fall on your sword, don't blame your staff, accept full consequences immediately, apologize to the Court and counsel and ask for forgiveness.  I've had to do that a few times over the past 25 years and it is always appreciated if handled professionally.

 

 

Same rule I give my witnesses.  "Always tell the truth"

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On 11/22/2019 at 4:59 PM, Henry Ford said:

For the reason I stated above, I have never filed for an Appellate Court to require a ruling despite many chances and I do not regret it. Things may be different around you but Louisiana judges are a vindictive bunch. 

What does that have to do with you in Mississippi?

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Question for my lawyer friends:

Amazon filed a sealed protest against the Pentagon's awarding the JEDI contract to Microsoft.

Today, a federal judge summarized that the lawsuit alleges that Amazon believes Trump's anti-Amazon bias impacted the Pentagon's decision.

What is the rule about sealing a case, and how that affects who and when can publicly comment?

Does it matter if it is the plaintiff who files a sealed case vs the court itself? Is it because some of the hearings went forward and that becomes part of the public record?

What's the deal, here?

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11 hours ago, Stompin' Tom Connors said:

Question for my lawyer friends:

Amazon filed a sealed protest against the Pentagon's awarding the JEDI contract to Microsoft.

Today, a federal judge summarized that the lawsuit alleges that Amazon believes Trump's anti-Amazon bias impacted the Pentagon's decision.

What is the rule about sealing a case, and how that affects who and when can publicly comment?

Does it matter if it is the plaintiff who files a sealed case vs the court itself? Is it because some of the hearings went forward and that becomes part of the public record?

What's the deal, here?

In the court of claims, if a party moves to file under seal, it is typical to later file a redacted public copy. 
 

Filing under seal isn’t a gag order on the case, although the parties likely have a protective order which sets their obligations to protect confidential business information (which bids are full of, of course). 

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14 hours ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

I'm still giggling over "306 million gay boys."  I like to imagine that he's literally demanding 306 million homosexual youths.

I'm hearing that in the voice of the guy from The Hangover. 

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2 hours ago, Poke_4_Life said:

 

Hey Oats, do you really drive a damn Honda???

Regardless, thanks guys for posting this. I'm stll relatively new at my office, but, with some hesitation, I shared the link and pleading (my office actually just finished dealing with some opposing counsel craziness where he sued the lawyer from my firm directly in a contract case) and now the entire office is in laughter. 

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On 11/14/2019 at 10:21 AM, Henry Ford said:

I absolutely do not want to turn this thread into a political one, and only wish to discuss the legal concept.

There is a vein or artery in my neck and every time someone says "Don't believe hearsay, believe the transcript!" in relation to the impeachment hearings, that vein threatens to explode and kill me.

Imagine being a criminal attorney and hearing the, "there's no evidence whatsoever" and the "there's no firsthand information" BS. 

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16 hours ago, Otis said:

Same rule I give my witnesses.  "Always tell the truth"

I was in a situation early in my career where the truth wasn't the right answer in this sort of situation and I learned that, instead, whenever in doubt, a lawyer should just accept sole responsibility. 

I was a first year public defender. I appeared almost exclsusively in front of the same two judges. It was just misdemeanor stuff and I probably averaged a trial per week (and, as a result, I got phenomenal trial experience working cases that I really couldn't screw up too much) and at any given time I had a couple of dozen set. Naturally, it was very common for trials to get continued for witness availiability issues, over-setting, or because settlement seemed likely. It was therefore common practice to informally communicate with court clerks and the state on the day of trial to figure out if a trial was actually going. It was then commonplace for us to rely on these informal conversations when releasing witnesses or telling defendants not to appear (we'd get a formal order setting the new date shortly therafter). 

In one particular trial I had filed a motion to continue a day or two in advance because, IIRC, I had a witness availability issue. I had reached out to the prosecutor who indicated he opposed. I put his opposition on my motion. We didn't receive a ruling. The trial was set in the afternoon and both the prosecutor and I had witnesses driving multiple hours to attend. That morning, with consent from the prosecutor, I called the court to inquire about the motion. The conversation went like this. 

Me: Good morning, it's [Woz] and I'm calling about the X case set for trial this afternoon. I had filed..

Clerk: Continued.

Me: The judge granted my motion to continue? Are you...

Clerk: Yep. Continued. 

Me: Okay. Thanks. 

I call the prosecutor and informally tell him. He releases his witnesses and I release mine. However, we don't get the order to continue so we're confused. We both still had to be at court for other matters so we go into the court hearing as scheduled. Judge takes the bench and, to our surprise, asks if we're ready to proceed. Prosecutor, who is in a tough spot, has to say no and that he released his witness from his subpoena. Judge obviously asks why. At that point I stand to answer for the prosecutor and explain that the prosecutor reasonably relied on my say so that the matter was continued. I further explain that I had called the court and was advised it was continued. We then have this exchange: 

Judge: The state objected. Why would I have then granted the continuance? 

Me: (stammering) Judge, I don't know, but I called and identified the case and the clerk said it was continued...

Judge: I know you called. I spoke to my clerk and she says she specifically told you it was not continued. Are you calling her a liar? 

Me: Well, no, but she said...

Judge: Did you mishear her? 

Prosecutor (whispering to me): Just say you misheard...

Me: Judge I swore an oath to tell the truth and she said continued and I even asked twice..

Judge (interrupting): My clerk wouldn't lie to me. And, unfortunately, because of your actions I now have no choice but to continue this case. 

The judge then proceeds to pick a date he knows I was out of the office. It's been eleven years since it happened and, while I have done a lot to repair the damage caused I am pretty sure the judge still holds that incident somewhat against me. I would have been for better off just conceding that I may have misheard the clerk, taking the blame, and not insisting on the truth if the truth didn't get me anywhere with the judge. 

 

Edited by Zow
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4 hours ago, Henry Ford said:

Huh.  That’s... interesting. 

I know some of the attorneys involved and I do quite a bit of bad faith litigation against Allstate.    I'm absolutely bringing this up next chance I get.

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6 minutes ago, -fish- said:

I know some of the attorneys involved and I do quite a bit of bad faith litigation against Allstate.    I'm absolutely bringing this up next chance I get.

Yeah, I do a lot of bad faith against Allstate, too.  I'll have to bring this to the attention of opposing counsel next time he or she thinks I'm out of line with a demand.

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19 hours ago, BigJim® said:

Can’t find any updates re: the outcome of the order to appear Nov 13... are there any?

Yeah, briefly, he produced the death certificate, which was for a different date than the status conference (a few days off, I believe).  He sort of argued that he was in mourning and got mixed up on his dates.  Judge Seibel ended his contempt so he didn't incur any more charges, but refused to vacate her previous two contempt orders, so they remain a matter of record, and she referred him to the (New York state) Grievance Committee.  

Interestingly, I have appeared in front of her twice (nothing major - no trials, just motions) and I thought she was terrific and very mild-mannered.  I would never have picked her to be the judge in this sort of situation (I'm certainly not saying she was wrong - I'm just surprised she did what she did).  Reading the orders in the case I think she was influenced heavily by his conduct in the case as a whole, which validated his reputation.   

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4 hours ago, -fish- said:

I know some of the attorneys involved and I do quite a bit of bad faith litigation against Allstate.    I'm absolutely bringing this up next chance I get.

Wow, Twilight Zone here - I am familiar with almost everyone involved in this one too (except the plaintiff's lawyer - never heard of him).

Set for an order to show cause hearing on December 16, with parties (both plaintiffs and an Allstate rep) to appear in person.   

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1 hour ago, Aerial Assault said:

Wow, Twilight Zone here - I am familiar with almost everyone involved in this one too (except the plaintiff's lawyer - never heard of him).

Set for an order to show cause hearing on December 16, with parties (both plaintiffs and an Allstate rep) to appear in person.   

So who’s going to the hearing?  Someone has to go. 

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Silly question for any VA attorneys in here.

We have a person who is not a teacher in our school system, but works with the marching band and it's students. We found out that they had an issue with alcohol at age 19 (10 years ago) which has resulted in their 'lowering' to being only able to assist, not to 'chaperone.' The Band Director has asked for a bunch of parents to write basically a recommendation letter, and this will assist in their being brought back up to 'full' stature.

My question is shouldn't ~10 years have wiped this off his record? I mean he didn't kill anyone, or have some sort of sexual assault on his record.

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On 11/22/2019 at 3:44 PM, chet said:

I've posted about this before but in order to not provide enough info to identify the case, I'm not going to provide explicit info.  I'd appreciate it if people didn't attempt to "dox" the case.

I'm involved in a case where a judge made a ruling and according to most with knowledge in the area, the judge made a mistake.  The original ruling was over two years ago and everything else in the case has ground to a halt pending resolution of that issue.  Over the summer, the judge heard arguments from both sides in an apparent attempt to make a final ruling on the issue.  Our legal team thought he'd rule in 3 weeks but we've heard nothing ~5 months later.  WTF?  This is more of a vent than a question but I'd appreciate thoughts on this situation.  

The judge just ruled in our favor!  Hopefully onto trial!!!

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6 hours ago, thecatch said:

The article I’m reading about the hearing is pretty awesome too (Law360). Apparently the attorney hid in the stands for the first part of the hearing before standing up and announcing his presence. 

Read the same article.  The judge asked “were you HIDING???”

:lmao:

 

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  • 1 month later...

No intention to make this political.  Watching the impeachment hearings and I'm shocked at how bad both Sekulow and Cippolone are at oral argument.  Setting aside their strategy and whether they said things that were inconsistent with basic facts, neither managed to construct a coherent argument and both came off unprepared and unprofessional.  I argue against better attorneys every week in superior court.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm general counsel for a building owner that needs a new elevator.   Elevator service company is in my state.   Actual installation of new elevator will need to be done by national company based on the east coast.  

We negotiate the terms of the installation with the local elevator service company.   National company comes back with changes, but the changes don't work under our state's statutes and case law.   Client asks me to work it out with the national company's counsel.  Speak to that counsel who is based on the east coast.  They aren't licensed in this state and haven't consulted with anyone in this state, and are wholly unfamiliar with our specific laws that we're trying to contract around.   We get nowhere.  I mention that they should consult with local counsel, and question why they're practicing law here without being licensed here to begin with.  Causes a huge problem. 

 Question:  when you're general counsel for a national company and you drill down to negotiating state-specific language with an entity based in another state relating to a contract under that state's laws, are you engaged in the unlicensed practice of law since you aren't licensed there?

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8 minutes ago, -fish- said:

I'm general counsel for a building owner that needs a new elevator.   Elevator service company is in my state.   Actual installation of new elevator will need to be done by national company based on the east coast.  

We negotiate the terms of the installation with the local elevator service company.   National company comes back with changes, but the changes don't work under our state's statutes and case law.   Client asks me to work it out with the national company's counsel.  Speak to that counsel who is based on the east coast.  They aren't licensed in this state and haven't consulted with anyone in this state, and are wholly unfamiliar with our specific laws that we're trying to contract around.   We get nowhere.  I mention that they should consult with local counsel, and question why they're practicing law here without being licensed here to begin with.  Causes a huge problem. 

 Question:  when you're general counsel for a national company and you drill down to negotiating state-specific language with an entity based in another state relating to a contract under that state's laws, are you engaged in the unlicensed practice of law since you aren't licensed there?

If your state's law governs the contract, I wouldn't touch that negotiation with a ten foot pole if I weren't admitted in that state.

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1 hour ago, -fish- said:

I'm general counsel for a building owner that needs a new elevator.   Elevator service company is in my state.   Actual installation of new elevator will need to be done by national company based on the east coast.  

We negotiate the terms of the installation with the local elevator service company.   National company comes back with changes, but the changes don't work under our state's statutes and case law.   Client asks me to work it out with the national company's counsel.  Speak to that counsel who is based on the east coast.  They aren't licensed in this state and haven't consulted with anyone in this state, and are wholly unfamiliar with our specific laws that we're trying to contract around.   We get nowhere.  I mention that they should consult with local counsel, and question why they're practicing law here without being licensed here to begin with.  Causes a huge problem. 

 Question:  when you're general counsel for a national company and you drill down to negotiating state-specific language with an entity based in another state relating to a contract under that state's laws, are you engaged in the unlicensed practice of law since you aren't licensed there?

I assume you've already asked Otis?

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1 hour ago, -fish- said:

I'm general counsel for a building owner that needs a new elevator.   Elevator service company is in my state.   Actual installation of new elevator will need to be done by national company based on the east coast.  

We negotiate the terms of the installation with the local elevator service company.   National company comes back with changes, but the changes don't work under our state's statutes and case law.   Client asks me to work it out with the national company's counsel.  Speak to that counsel who is based on the east coast.  They aren't licensed in this state and haven't consulted with anyone in this state, and are wholly unfamiliar with our specific laws that we're trying to contract around.   We get nowhere.  I mention that they should consult with local counsel, and question why they're practicing law here without being licensed here to begin with.  Causes a huge problem. 

 Question:  when you're general counsel for a national company and you drill down to negotiating state-specific language with an entity based in another state relating to a contract under that state's laws, are you engaged in the unlicensed practice of law since you aren't licensed there?

The short answer in most cases is - no.  The ABA rules on unauthorized practice of law specifically address in-house lawyers practicing in multiple states where they are not admitted.  There are some restrictions, but it is allowed for the most part.  I worked in-house at an international company for about 8 years and negotiated contracts governed by at least 40 different states and probably a dozen different countries during my time there.  It may have been malpractice, but I don't think there is any problem under the ethics rules.  If you consider a large service provider or manufacturer with sales offices across the country, there would really be almost no reason to have an in-house contracts/leasing legal team if you had to hire lawyers in every state anyway.

 

 

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1 hour ago, CletiusMaximus said:

The short answer in most cases is - no.  The ABA rules on unauthorized practice of law specifically address in-house lawyers practicing in multiple states where they are not admitted.  There are some restrictions, but it is allowed for the most part.  I worked in-house at an international company for about 8 years and negotiated contracts governed by at least 40 different states and probably a dozen different countries during my time there.  It may have been malpractice, but I don't think there is any problem under the ethics rules.  If you consider a large service provider or manufacturer with sales offices across the country, there would really be almost no reason to have an in-house contracts/leasing legal team if you had to hire lawyers in every state anyway.

 

 

Devil's advocate: Sure there would.  To oversee the use of counsel all over the country.  Which is why most in-house for multinational and many for multi-state don't really do much of the day-to-day work themselves. 

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13 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Devil's advocate: Sure there would.  To oversee the use of in-house counsel all over the country.  Which is why most in-house for multinational and many for multi-state don't really do much of the day-to-day work themselves. 

I'm sure every company is different and there are many different ways to run a legal department. In my experience, its pretty rare for a company to have dedicated lawyers in every state or even in more than a few locations.  In most cases, I think corporate legal departments are pretty much centralized in one location, where the C-guys are.  I'm not sure whether that is what you're suggesting by the phrase, "in-house counsel all over the country" - but would say I've never seen a company that has that set up (other than I suppose insurance companies?)  Also, I think many in-house legal departments do most if not all of the day-to-day stuff themselves. One of the main features of having an in-house legal department is to avoid hiring outside counsel except where absolutely necessary - litigation, very large, specialized transactions, and specialty practices.

 

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41 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I'm sure every company is different and there are many different ways to run a legal department. In my experience, its pretty rare for a company to have dedicated lawyers in every state or even in more than a few locations.  In most cases, I think corporate legal departments are pretty much centralized in one location, where the C-guys are.  I'm not sure whether that is what you're suggesting by the phrase, "in-house counsel all over the country" - but would say I've never seen a company that has that set up (other than I suppose insurance companies?)  Also, I think many in-house legal departments do most if not all of the day-to-day stuff themselves. One of the main features of having an in-house legal department is to avoid hiring outside counsel except where absolutely necessary - litigation, very large, specialized transactions, and specialty practices.

 

What I’m suggesting by “in house counsel all over the country” is “I didn’t proofread this.”

Edit: Obviously I'm not transactional, but there is support for the idea that a contract that is governed by the law of a particular state and where the object of the contract will happen in that state constitutes work performed in that state.  Things have been changing for some years; I still wouldn't touch it.

In answer to the actual question asked, the Model Rule specifically exempts in-house counsel and government attorneys from those considerations.

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Our civil rules specifically define negotiating contract terms as the practice of law.  We also prohibit the unlicensed practice of law.  Can't see how negotiating contract terms on a contract governed by state law isn't unlicensed practice of law.

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On 1/21/2020 at 3:18 PM, -fish- said:

No intention to make this political.  Watching the impeachment hearings and I'm shocked at how bad both Sekulow and Cippolone are at oral argument.  Setting aside their strategy and whether they said things that were inconsistent with basic facts, neither managed to construct a coherent argument and both came off unprepared and unprofessional.  I argue against better attorneys every week in superior court.

Been meaning to find someone other than my wife to discuss this with and who might care. 
 

Again, who cares about politics, but I think Schiff has been absolutely phenomenal. Just a wildly good orator and stand-up lawyer. I could watch him close all day. I basically watched as much of him as I could. I didn’t know him from a hole in the wall before all this impeachment stuff, but man is he good. So smart, articulate, smooth, powerful.  He changes cadence And pitch and volume, he does rhythm and repetition, he’s just so very good. He’s also obviously brilliant and has such an deep but still not over the top vocabulary that he can command on the fly; he’s facile with the facts and the arguments.  Just really freaking impressive. Again, also don’t want to make this political; but I thought he blew away every other lawyer in these proceedings by a good margin. I’ve seen some of the best American College of Trial Lawyers guys get up and do their thing — Schiff was as good as them, and I agree that the average lawyer in one of my cases would bury those Trump team lawyers.  Hell, Otis would bury them in a jury trial. And I’m dumb-ish. 

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And yes, I obviously have developed a minor man crush on Schiff. I’m just always fascinated with really talented stand-up lawyers because I think it’s something that’s really hard to do well, and most people out there just don’t have the natural gift. So when I see a good one, I take note, and try to crib what I can for the future.  

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21 minutes ago, -fish- said:

Our civil rules specifically define negotiating contract terms as the practice of law.  We also prohibit the unlicensed practice of law.  Can't see how negotiating contract terms on a contract governed by state law isn't unlicensed practice of law.

What if a lawyer in Illinois is negotiating a financing transaction for a Chicago business, the main bank and its lawyers are based in NY and the credit agreement is governed by Delaware law? How many lawyers does each party need to retain?

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3 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

What if a lawyer in Illinois is negotiating a financing transaction for a Chicago business, the main bank and its lawyers are based in NY and the credit agreement is governed by Delaware law? How many lawyers does each party need to retain?

Dunno.   I assume it depends on the laws of Illinois, New York and Delaware.

I represented a California investor in a case involving a Hawaii property and a contractor incorporated in Nevada.   Hawaii rules required that I be admitted pro hac vice to mediate the case.  In a similar situation in California, an out-of-state attorney was held to have been practicing unlawfully when he represented his client at mediation in California.  

What we have is a contract in this state, the work is in this state, the property is in this state, the property owner is in this state, the venue is in this state, the choice of law is this state's laws, and an attorney from another state admits that she's negotiating changes to the contract without knowledge of this state's laws and without consulting an attorney licensed here. 

Under this state's case law interpreting this state's statutes, her changes that are being blindly made would invalidate negotiated terms of the contract since they violate our statutes without a proper acknowledgement and waiver.  She has refused to agree to the acknowledgement and waiver because she doesn't understand them, since they're specific to our statutes.  There is no "standard" non state-specific language that can replace them under our case law.  

Negotiating contract terms is defined in our civil rules as practicing law.    Our statute defines a "Nonlawyer" as a person to whom this state's supreme court has granted a limited authorization to practice law but who practices law outside that authorization, and a person who is not an active member in good standing of the state bar, including persons who are disbarred or suspended from membership.

This attorney has not been approved, on a limited basis or otherwise, to practice law in this state by our supreme court.   That is defined as unlawful practice by a Nonlawyer, a gross misdemeanor.   Seems like a problem for them.

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