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Information for Lawyers, Ideas for Journalists: Week of May 14

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Our weekly roundup of PR client news, notable links and story ideas

By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.

It has been a busy week.

On Tuesday, Thompson Coburn hosted its annual Women’s Event. The networking event is a draw for women representing the business, law, civic and academic communities.

The venue was St. Louis’ Third Degree Glass Factory. Among the crowd were two Missouri Court of Appeals judges, two St. Louis County judges and Pamela Raymond, owner of the Raymond Experience and contributor to Girls’ Guide to the Galaxy.

And on Thursday, Focus St. Louis presented its annual What’s Right with the Region awards. Congratulations to the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma for being honored in the category of Improving Racial Equality and Social Justice.

LMM Client News

Butsch Simeri Fields LLC and two other law firms have filed a federal class action lawsuit against Farmland Foods in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The suit alleges that Farmland failed to pay employees at its Milan, Mo., processing plant for “donning and doffing” time — the time they spent getting into and out of safety gear, cleaning it and walking to and from their workstations.

San Francisco Bay Area attorney Madan Ahluwalia has begun posting summaries of his Saturday-morning radio show, Your Attorney on Radio, on his website. For a schedule of upcoming topics, visit the broadcast calendar page.

Notable Links for Lawyers

‘If Mama’s Not Happy…’

Did you know that the new health care law in the United States requires employers with 50 or more workers to provide reasonable breaks to nursing mothers who need to express milk? An article by James Napoli and Lynda Noggle for Corporate Counsel discusses the new provisions, which are effective immediately.

Full-Body Scanners Still Raise Many Legal Concerns

Canadian lawyer Yosie Saint-Cyr discusses the privacy and human rights concerns raised by “virtual strips searches,” noting that the concerns are more than academic. This past February, airport security staff in London circulated naked images of a film star from India.

Effectively Marketing a Solo or Small Firm Practice

Writing for the New York Law Journal, lawyers Deborah Hrbek and Jill Miller stress the importance of proactive marketing for the success of your firm. Among their many tips: the need to identify your target market and create a brand.

Networking Effectively: Who Knows You?

Dr. Benjamin Akandé, dean of Webster University’s school of business and technology, presented a seminar on how to network, whether you’re in a room full of professionals or working at Starbucks. Tracy E. Williams III sums up the presentation for the post on Consortium Finance Network. (Special thanks to The Saint Louis Social Media Week in Review for highlighting the entry.)

Making a Place for Yourself in the Blogosphere, Part 2

For his second installment on blogging for TechNewsWorld, writer Brian R. Hook outlines ways to help your blog grow and thrive. Quality content, cultivating an audience and using social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to drive traffic are just a few of the topics discussed.

Start an Embedded YouTube Video at a Certain Timestamp

If you’ve got a blog and you’re embedding video, this tip from Matt Cutts on his Google, Gadgets and SEO site is a gem. Use it when you want a snippet of the video, not the whole thing.

Story Ideas for Business and Law Reporters, Writers and Bloggers

New Mom, New Rights?

As I mentioned in the notable-links section, federal law on breastfeeding in the workplace has changed. Has your company put into place policies to comply with the new health care law requiring accommodations for employers with more than 50 workers? Are you a new mother wondering about your rights in the workplace?

Is Your Office Prepared for an Emergency?

This past week, as tornadoes touched down across the Midwest, the issue of how to protect workers, clients, customers and even schoolchildren was brought to the fore. In Oklahoma, truck stop employees scrambled to find a haven for customers as a tornado bore down. Bad weather in Wichita activated a communications system that rerouted school buses filled with children to the nearest school to take shelter.

Whether the emergency is caused by a tornado, fire or workplace violence, are firms and businesses putting together – and communicating – contingency plans? Are there any liability risks associated with not having a plan, poorly executing a plan or putting in place a ‘bad’ plan?

A Service of Note

Joe Greco, the owner of Legal Technology LLC, a St. Louis-based company that provides trial technology and multimedia services to lawyers, is offering his high-tech trial services to clients on a sliding fee scale based on the dollar value of the case. For more information, contact Greco at 314-831-0700.

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.

Have a great weekend!

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