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Information for Lawyers, Ideas for Journalists: Week of June 4

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Legal newsOur weekly roundup of legal news links, legal PR client news and story ideas

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

In the U.S. today caps a four-day work week. Missouri lawyers planning to attend the Solo & Small Firm Conference next week will enjoy another compressed week.

I will be attending, and blogging and tweeting from, the Solo & Small Firm Conference, scheduled for June 12-14 at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you’re one of the approximately 800 lawyers who plan to attend, let me know. It would be great to meet you.

More about the conference next week. Right now, client news and notable links.

LMM Client News

A $3 million wrongful death settlement obtained by Jim Lemonds and Andrea McNairy, of St. Louis-based Brown & Crouppen, and Greg Roberts of The Roberts Law Firm, was highlighted in this week’s Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

Notable Links for Lawyers

The Fall

Jeff Smith: A Political Tragedy in Three Acts

Opening with a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald — “Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy” — St. Louis Magazine’s Jeannette Cooperman chronicles the downfall of Missouri state Sen. Jeff Smith. Once a rising star in Missouri politics and the subject of a documentary, Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? Smith is now serving a prison sentence of a year and one day on federal obstruction of justice charges.

Venting Online, Consumers Can Find Themselves in Court

A critic who airs complaints online may find him- or herself the target of an old-fashioned lawsuit. The New York Times’ Dan Frosch explains how strategic lawsuits against public participation — or meritless defamation claims — are raising the ire of some First Amendment lawyers.

Marrying Out: One in Seven Marriages Is Interracial or Interethnic

A new report from the Pew Research Center reveals that a record number of new marriages in the United States were between spouses of different races or ethnicities. The study also indicates that most Americans approve of racial or ethnic intermarriage.

In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s law prohibiting interracial marriages in the landmark case Loving v. Virginia.

Report from the ODR Conference in Buenos Aires

David Bilinsky attended the first South American conference on online dispute resolution. In a post on the Canadian legal blog, he highlights the five major themes that emerged from the conference, including the need to educate about ODR, questions about whether ODR will grow within the legal system or parallel to it, the types of disputes heard and the potential benefit ODR promises to Third World Countries.

How Lawyers Are Using Social Media for Real Results

Mashable’s Matt Silverman highlights how increasing numbers of lawyer are using social media to network, obtain business and raise their profiles nationwide.

Manage Service of Process via the Cloud

A web-based tool that allows legal professionals to manage every stage of service of process is featured on Robert Ambrogi’s Law Sites blog.

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

Gagged by the Doctor

In addition to highlighting the problem of SLAPP suits, the New York Times story mentioned above notes that some physicians are requiring their patients to sign agreements that give the physician more control over what patients post online.

It would be interesting to know how many doctors are asking their patients to give up the right to speak out, whether any breach of contract suits stemming from the practice have been filed and what the public policy ramifications of such a move might be.

Have any links to suggest? Give them a mention in our comments section. And if you have any recommendations for next week, feel free to e-mail them to me.

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