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Information for Lawyers, Ideas for Journalists: Week of June 18

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Lawyers and social media marketingOur weekly roundup of legal news links, legal PR client news and story ideas

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

The law and advanced tools for communicating continue to converge — and collide — on the Internet.

In this week’s roundup I’ve highlighted several stories that demonstrate how lawyers are leveraging the Internet, social media and emerging technology in their legal PR and marketing efforts.

In some cases, it is the Internet or tech companies who are using the law as a tool.

But first, client news.

LMM Client News

A sex discrimination class action lawsuit against Roto-Rooter has been allowed to proceed. Last week, a federal judge denied the company’s motion to dismiss the$5 million case, which claims that the plumbing giant denied promotions to women. The Simon Law Firm represents the plaintiffs, and one of the firm’s lawyers, Erich Vieth, was quoted in this article in Law 360, reprinted on Forbes.com.

Notable Links for Lawyers

Amazon patents social networking systemAmazon Patents Social Networking System, Winks at Facebook

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has awarded Amazon a social networking-related patent. Mashable’s Stan Schroeder writes that if you replace the word “system” in the patent language with “Facebook” it reveals “how flawed the U.S. patent system is.”

Divorce Apps for iPhoneDallas Divorce Lawyer and Dallas App Developer Team Up for iPhone DIY Divorce Apps

A Dallas divorce lawyer and an app developer have teamed up to offer two divorce-related apps, each priced at $9.99. One tracks the cost of divorce and helps track key information. The other helps create an inventory of assets and liabilities. The story, by Victor Godinez, originally appeared in The Dallas Morning News and was highlighted on Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites.

Quebec Bar Association Website Quebec Bar Association Redesigns Its Website – Adds Virtual Tour Guide

Slaw’s Michel-Adrien Sheppard reports that the Quebec Bar Association has revamped its website. The site, which features a virtual guide tour, aims to provide information to both lawyers and the general public in clear, simplified language. Sheppard says the bar association is also active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and co-produces a TV show.

Social networking and law firmsUsing Social Networking as Legal Tool

The Wall Street Journal’s Nathan Koppel writes that law firms are devoting more resources to cultivating an online presence. In addition to traditional websites, firms are also developing niche websites and sites that have the look and feel of forums and news sites.

Twitter strategy for lawyersHow to: Build a Twitter Strategy for Your Business

When it comes to leveraging social media for business purposes, a clear strategy makes sense. Writing for Mashable, Megan Berry outlines the five questions every business should ask and answer before  developing a comprehensive Twitter strategy.


Story Ideas for Business, Consumer and Law Reporters, Writers and Bloggers

Pet Provisions

Certainly, there are people who prefer the companionship of their pets over relatives. But can a dog, cat, horse or snake — the reptilian sort, that is — inherit property?

With the recent news that Conchita, the beloved Chihuahua of Miami heiress Gail Posner, who, with two other dogs  has been bequeathed the right to live in an $8.3 million mansion and a $3 million trust fund was set aside to take care of her needs, the question becomes, “Is that legal?” If it isn’t, are there any steps a pet owner can take to ensure that an animal is provided for in the event the owner dies?

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