Monday, February 13, 2006

Blawg Review #44

Welcome to Blawg Review #44 coming to you from "Wild and Wonderful" West Virginia. Although the traditional Mountaineer slogan of Wild and Wonderful is being changed to "Open for Business," (which has come under attack) it still rings true for most West Virginians. If a state economic makeover is in order, why not consider thinking outside the blog and go with "Open for Wild and Wonderful Blogging." Consider the fact that Capitol Insiders went high tech without anyone knowing about it.

West Virginia is often negatively portrayed in the national media, most recently due to the coal mining disasters at Sago and Aracoma. However, take a look at Rick Lee's On Location with Rick Lee, who promotes a better image of West Virginia and what it offers. If you enjoy photo bloggers be sure to check out Rick's fun "Thursday Night Is Grocery Night" posts.

Whether by intention or by Freudian slip, the Blawg Review editor in his introductory post referred to my health care blog or blawg as "Health Care Law Bob." In the interest of mediating the ongoing dispute and discussion of blog vs. blawg -- all blawgs, blogs or other online web logs written by lawyers shall now be referred to as "bobs." Personally, I like the ring of Bob Review, Real Lawyers Have Bobs, Bag and Bobbage and f/k/a . . . blog d/b/a bob. (As an aside, I just want credit for coining the term dogger.)

B is for Ballard, SeattleOFrosty R"B"C

So . . . on with "Who Let the Bob's Out?"

neon b (wbrc) efore getting to the rest of the posts submitted to this week's edition of Bob Review, following are some interesting health care related blog posts.

Sean Sirrine at Objective Justice posted Hospital Requires Patient to Sue to Receive her Medical Records, discussing a bizarre medical malpractice case in which a Florida woman has been required by Orlando Regional Healthcare Systems to sue them in order to find out why all her limbs were amputated when she went to a hospital to give birth to her son.

Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath have shown the vulnerability of the health care system in America. Concerned for Charity Hospital, a new blog about Charity Hospital in New Orleans, issues a warning to those headed to Mardi Gras who might need medical treatment.

Nick Jacobs, the CEO at Windber Medical Center and regular blogger at Nick's Blog, guest posts at Hospital Impact. His End-of-Life Care Healthcare will end the life of healthcare indicates why we all need to discuss with each other, our families and our nation end of life care issues and the impact on the health care system. Nick's Blog, the first known hospital CEO blog, is an excellent example of how blogs can be used by a CEO to communicate to staff, employees, customers (or in this case patients) and the community.

While mentioning end of life care issues, Dennis Kennedy points out the importance of end of life IT planning in What Happens to Blogs, Email and the Rest of Your Online Presence When You Die?

Walter Olson at Overlawyered posts that No One Is Being Force Fed Soda, where he quotes sources against regulating food advertising aimed at children. Olson also mentions in his post the Mountain Mama syndrome and the CDC's investigation of why West Virginian adults rank 3rd nationally in adult obesity. My suggestion, start playing Dance, Dance Revolution with the kids.

If you like "blawg," then you'll love "consolidoperability." As the health care industry moves toward the national and state mandates for interoperability of electronic health care systems, there is likely to be more IT health vendor consolidation. iHealthBeat doesn't have a blog or an RSS feed, but they do have a weekly newsletter that is a great source for the Internet's impact on health care. For example, are you interested in the future of Google and health care? Read Jane Sarasohn-Kahn's thought provoking commentary titled "Paging Dr. Google."

In This Judge Knows How Our Students Feel, the HealthLawProf Blog highlights how many in the health care industry feel about the Medicare regulations. U.S. District Judge Sam Crow called Medicare regulations "complex, confusing and arguably incoherent at times" while sentencing three individuals who overbilled Medicare for more expensive motorized wheelchairs and seat cushions.

For more on the complexity of our health care system read Balkinization's post, When is a Bill Signed by the President, Not a Law, dealing with the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and a snafu related to language in the bill involving the Medicare payment for DME equipment.

L eisure time for lawyers? Check out Bruce MacEwen's post Can't I Trade Some Of This Money For A Week Off? at Adam Smith, Esq., discussing the negative impact the billable hour system has on productivity and what he refers to as the "plasticity" of legal services. For the original perspective on the article that appeared in the Economist, read ProfessorBainbridge's perspective.

Are you tired of receiving junk faxes about that cruise that you can't take because you have to bill more hours? J. Craig Williams at May It Please The Court reports, "after receiving over 1,000 faxes in a three-year period, Travel Agent Sherman Gottlieb was, and he decided to do something about it." Gottlieb sued Carnival Cruise Lines under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and seeks to recover in excess of $500,000.

o ver at the Richmond IP Blog there is discussion of Dual Copyright Approach Protects Directors and Playwrights and an article appearing in the New York Times tackling the issue of whether directors are entitled to copyright protection for their staging of dramatic works.

The Insurance Scrawl by Marc Mayerson presents analysis and commentary on the insurer's duty to defend, a policy holder's right to select counsel and the inherent conflict issues arising between insurer and insured. The post titled Fettering the Insurer's Privilege to Control the Defense It is Duty Bound to Provide analyzes a recent 4th Circuit case, Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. Ben Arnold-Sunbelt Beverage Co., where the court "rejected the argument that an insurer’s reservation of the right to deny coverage called for prophylactic protection of the interest of the insured by allowing it to select counsel of it's choice to defend at the insurer’s expense."

G - one letter Mail, instant messaging, wikis, blogs, social networking, online news aggregators, social bookmarking and other hosted means of communication and knowledge management are being used more and more by professionals and business employees. Denise Howell of Bag & Baggage raises some excellent points over at Between Lawyers about the practical impact the growing use of hosted communication and knowledge management systems will have on businesses faced with litigation and e-discovery. The post mentions the proactive approach being taken by some larger companies to manage e-discovery and speculates whether Web 2.0 companies are ready for the onslaught of subpoenas duces tecum that are bound to come their direction.

In from the Wall Street Journal Blog, the Flying Shrimp Verdict has made its way ashore. If this case had been tried in West Virginia, the plaintiff might have had a chance.


for you, b! ig Law Bobbing conference set for April. Kevin Heller talks about Big Law Laying Claim to Blawging at the Blog Law and Blogging for Lawyers Conference, scheduled for April 20 & 21 in San Francisco and co-chaired by Dennis Crouch of Patently-O: Patent Law Blog. Kevin O'Keefe mentions the conference as the "first comprehensive CLE to look at blogging both as a legal marketing tool for attorneys and as a legal area." It will be interesting to see how large law firms and institutional blogs evolve over the next couple of years.

Bill Gardner, who hosts Law Firm IT: "The View From the Server Room," follows up on a post by Robert Ambrogi and links to Got Shells, warning law firms about Google's new desktop search features. Bill also has an excellent instructions for those wanting to incorporate Technorati tag features into Blogger using a Grease Monkey script.

Hollywood BOWL esson #1 for demand letters in the age of email and the blogosphere -- take a cautious and thoughtful approach to what you write. Marty Schwimmer at the Trademark Blog has been following the developing story of Jason Calacanis' blogs at Weblogs, Inc. Network using the "For Dummies" trademark. Schwimmer posts a followup comment to his Trademark Attribution For Dummies post, noting that BuzzMachine is now organizing a protest encouraging bloggers to end their posts with FOR DUMMIES.

Ray Ward demonstrates why the CAP LOCKS KEY IS THE MOST OBNOXIOUS KEY ON YOUR KEYBOARD in his post IF YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS, STOP IT! at Minor Wisdom.

Focus on Marketing DNA. Larry Bodine at the Legal Marketing Blog provides some practical advice to analyze your firm's marketing DNA.

Aa lthough all of us are probably considered "edge cases" among our non-blogging lawyer peers, the mass marketing and commodization of blogging is coming. Kevin O'Keefe at Real Lawyers Have Blogs reports on the phenomenal growth of blogs from 2003 through 2006 and looks to the past to try to stay ahead in the future.

Jim Calloway provides a link to some great common sense tips for appellate lawyers at his Law Practice Tips Blog.

W ork Bobs. Are your employees bobbing? In Employment Lawyers' Poll on Employee Blogging, Denise Howell looks at a recent survey by employment lawyers on employee blogging. Howell details the results of a poll by the Employment Law Alliance on "Blogging and the American Workplace." The survey revealed that work related blogs proliferate with at least 5% of U.S. workers blogging and 15% of U.S. employers having "specific policies addressing work-related blogging." Howell identifies potential pitfalls to the survey. For example, it may not address the vast gray area between "purely personal blogging" and "officially sanctioned blogging."

Opinionistas provides the perspective of an experienced executive legal secretary who anonymously blogs as Ramblings of a Green Yogurt.

G lib lawyer life? You betcha. Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground shows us our true colors by uploading a copy of the Coloring Book for Lawyers in Coloring Book Satirizes Lawyer's Glib Life.

For those of you practicing (or driving) in California be sure to stop by Declarations and Exclusions post, Dangling Propositions, looking at automobile insurance rate regulation under California Proposition 103.

Letter photos courtesy of Spell it with Flickr.

Next week's Bob Review will be hosted by Patrick Lamb over at In Search of Perfect Client Service, who recently discussed the personal approach to law firm branding. Patrick, next week inquiring minds will want to know? Where are you sporting the Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP logo?

Bob Review f/k/a
Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.

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