There was an intervention of sorts in the Toolbox household the other day to wrench TB away from an hours-long pursuit of five-in-a-row, four-in-a-row, magic crosses and power boosts. No amount of persuasion seemed able to dislodge TB from staring at the next screen of Internet game Bejeweled. After all, it's the most unconditional support you can get in one minute ("Good! Excellent! Spectacular!"), where never is heard a discouraging word. It was only when Toolbox saw that one of its Facebook friends had scored 580,000 to Toolbox's paltry 203,000 that Toolbox broke the spell. And what a spell it was. To think that all someone had to do to cast that spell was write a program and then get a licensing deal to peddle it. It's enough to make you want to shutter your eNewsletter and start developing games.
Toolbox is relieved to report that while a good portion of society is but one or two checks from bankruptcy, Toolbox is at least three, perhaps five, away. And that puts Toolbox on the good side of Chapter 7, into which individuals who are on the other side (as in, so hopelessly in hock that they have to liquidate most of their possessions) are deposited when that last paycheck doesn't go far enough. And in this economy (it'll be really nice someday when nobody has to say "and in this economy" anymore), that's a lot of people. So much so that PLI developed a new seminar to deal with the practice needs of lawyers who deal with consumer and small business bankruptcy. It is from the course materials for that program that this week's first download comes.
PLI: What can we learn about the future of law firms from how they have
weathered the economic downturn?
ARTHUR B. CULVAHOUSE, JR.: It is no longer news that law firms are facing an array of challenges in the face of this difficult economy. The most recent statistics from The National Law Journal depict the largest decline in headcount among the top 250 US law firms since that publication began compiling such data — a 4% year-over-year decline. But the fact that there are 5,259 fewer lawyers working at NLJ 250 firms is merely confirmation of what we already know to be true: the old law firm model is going the way of the floppy disk. Or, to put it in less dramatic terms, the prevailing law firm business model is in need of significant overhaul. In response to this upheaval, many firms have been exploring new and better ways to reinvent the law firm-client paradigm (see attached, A Shift That Can Benefit Us All, Corporate Counsel, October 16, 2009 by Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr.).
PLI: What is Remanufacturing? And can you describe the
remanufacturing process and how it benefits sustainability efforts?
DR. NABIL NASR: Remanufacturing (often shortened to "reman") is commonly described as the process of disassembly of products during which parts are cleaned, repaired, or replaced, and then reassembled to "like-new" or "better-than-new" condition. In some cases, remanufacturing also adds upgraded components that were not available at the time of original manufacture; an upgraded microprocessor would be one such example. In general, there are six process steps required in remanufacturing in order to bring a product back to "like-new" condition:
Financial report in which companies classify cash receipts and payments as having stemmed from operating, investing or financing activities.
As a former litigator, Toolbox maintains a soft spot for the finer art of fighting it out. There's nothing quite like papering the other side to death, right? Then again, Toolbox also sat on arbitration panels, and well, there's nothing like disposing of three disputes in eight hours and watching parties walk away contentedly, if not as multi- millionaires. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) continues to be the next big thing, and even while we wait for everyone to beat their swords into plowshares, whatever that means, new lawyers can help the cause along by being familiar with what the ADR systems have to offer their clients-to-be.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results," or so Benjamin Franklin once said. So why is it that all through Charles A. Weiss's career of "negotiating license agreements and mediating, arbitrating, or litigating disputes involving them, the same types of provisions seem to cause a disproportionate amount of the trouble[?]" Well, it's not because we're all insane or because your clients are insane, though you may sometimes think they are, and they may sometimes think you are. It's because if you haven't seen a particular issue in a tricky licensing matter, you're likely to have the same problems everyone else has encountered in the past. And with more and more of the world's output consisting of licensable intellectual property, well there are just more opportunities for these issues to rear their ugly little heads.
PLI: More fundamentally, is there any public policy reason for the FCC
now to be meddling with something as wildly successful as
broadband Internet services?
W. KENNETH FERREE: There is no evidence of a market failure in the broadband market.
PLI: Can you give us an FCC regulatory update?
W. KENNETH FERREE: The FCC is venturing into a new regulatory frontier. On October 22, 2009, the FCC opened a rulemaking proceeding that promises to reshape the way we think about and use the Internet.
Financial report that shows how much a company earns during a specified
period of time (generally, a quarter or year).