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In New York there has been the long-running battle between lodging middleman Airbnb and the state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. What seems like light years ago he sent a subpoena to Airbnb for identification data about a number of hosts. Until recently, Airbnb pushed back.
Finally, Airbnb agreed to provide data about 130 hosts on September 2, 2014 - that is, today. Those hosts were notified, reports Julia Marsh in the New York Post, on August 22, 2014. Twenty-one of them, without disclosing their identity, are now suing Airbnb to block that disclosure. They succeeded on that point. Through their lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey they contend violation of privacy and that Airbnb changed the terms of that without notifying the hosts. Here is the Post coverage.
So, neither Airbnb nor the NY AG looks good in this latest twist in the subpoena story.
However, as long as those renting out can make a buck and those doing the renting can save a buck, Airbnb will continue to grow. On that trajectory, though, it will have to cave more to state and local laws.
As for the office of the NY AG, it will have to figure out how to factor in the public relations implications of taking on the sharing economy. The legal issues are seeming more legitimate. But, as we know, law has usually been subjected to public policy issues. And those matters reflect the will of the people.
In The Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Smith reports that the three were the law schools at the University of Iowa, Roger Williams, and Penn State. However, the cost still isn't cheap.
For example, at Iowa, residents pay $21,965 tuition annually and nonresidents $39,500. Add on to that living expenses, including transportation home. But, still, now the entering class numbers 141 versus 93 last academic year. Here is the WSJ analysis (sub. req.)
Perhaps the family business is law and therefore their slot is already made. They may plan a political career and a law degree is useful. Combined with an MBA, that JD could give them an edge in business. I have no regrets sampling the study of law as a 1L at Harvard.
However, the risk of joblessness as well as underemployment continues to increase as the business of law downsizes, both B2B and B2C. So, it's no surprise law schools are also finding themselves under stress. In Abovethelaw.com (ATL), Elie Mystal reports two new developments. Here you can read his article.
Through a tipster, ATL found out that at Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon, the dean Jennifer J. Johnson announced that the Legal Clinic will be eliminated. That is because of budget issues. That means less opportunity for law students to practice law.
The second development is that Concordia Law School, started in 2012, did not get provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA). No, the ABA didn't say "no." Instead it indicated that it would have a fact-finding group investigate the situation. Meanwhile, Concordia JDs cannot take the bar in most states. Consequently, about half of its 3Ls and 2Ls have exited. Some have transferred to other law schools. Others simply remain in limbo, waiting to find out what happens.
These turns of events should make those considering attending law school cautious.
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Medical doctors (MDs) and lawyers aren't the only ones with regrets about what educational path they had chosen. Here is one of the growing number of articles on why MDs are so dissatisfied (sub. req.)
According to PayScale, 10 groups of BAs also wished they had done it differently. Among what they decided they shouldn't have majored in were Criminal Justice and English Language and Literature, which left them underemployed. Here is that coverage in MSN Money.
Why this should be of concern to already underemployed and unemployed JDs is that BAs in both categories have taken jobs as paralegals. That means that's no longer a possible parking place for JDs until they figure out what's next.
A BA paralegal could be preferred by employers. The BAs can be paid less than a JD. And there will less bellyaching about this or that. It's likely they will stick with the organization for much longer than a JD.
Of course, we all know that for any number of reasons, way before the Crash of 2007, JDs took jobs as paralegals in various kinds of law practices, especially real estate. Although the pay wasn't great, there was a comfort zone. So, they tended to stay on. Now, with BAs available and eager for those spots, there might be fewer of them for JDs.
A writing test will be required. So, if that doesn't sit right with you, don't answer this ad.
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For example, did the healthcare personnel warn Joan Rivers of the risks involved in any procedure when one is over-80?
What is the standard level of care and was that maintained?
How were the patient's vital signs monitored?
What actions and how quickly were they taken when she stopped breathing?
What were the types and quality of care by emergency personnel?
What we do know, and what is probably sending a chill through all parts of the medical community, is that the family is now considering legal action. Enterprising lawyers are likely figuring out how they can configure a package of services briefing healthcare workers about the liability of treating the geriatric patient. Obviously, there is a need to practice defensive medicine. Should, for example, the healthcare provider have recommended (and maybe that was done) that Rivers not undergo any elective procedure and, then, refused to perform any (which was not done)?
The Daily News, tracking this developing story, notes that there is a possibility that the comic's "motor skills may be compromised." Instead of a happy ending to this emergency, Rivers could wind up a vegetable or in a wheelchair. Here is the Daily News coverage.
Rivers now becomes a possible legal story. If there is litigation, it could become a seminal case in geriatric medicine. The end results could include a dramatic fall-off in the number of medical doctors willing to have those over-65 as patients.
Document reviewers who get their assignments via official temp agencies are among the 2.8 million who earn a living that way. The statistic comes from the research conducted by the National Employment Law Project. Its report is "Temped Out," which you can read here.
But, those 2.8 million are only the tip of the iceberg. Essentially we are all temps. Tenured professors and equity partners are getting the boot just like document reviewers when a project ends.
The search for so-called job security is as foolish a quest as a Baby Boomer like myself chasing a youthful appearance. We may look younger than our age but the world still perceives as a "old" and discriminates accordingly.
As temps, the only sensible strategy to keep working is to seek out, do, and leverage assignments which will get us more work. Doing work solely to receive a paycheck will quickly render us unmarketable.
Demand keeps mututating. To present what the marketplace needs we can only hunt for the kind of work which provides the knowledg base, skills, and contacts employers and clients/customers will pony up money for.
Will robots be doing more and more of document review? If that seems in the near future, then lawyers have to find another niche to focus on. The process to get there could require a short-term reduction in immediate compensation. Or, you will have to pick up another kind of work simultaneously.
As a work issue, this is one of the few in which there is not a generational divide. Members of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, and Generations X, Y, and Z are all temps. Assuming otherwise is delusion.
Mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) can be a plus for lawyers. That's especially the situation since the work involves close attention to details and the soundness of arguments. You keep checking. However, OCD can become an incapacitating syndrome, as it did for lawyer Susan Richman.
Richman's ordeal began when she found a mouse in her apartment. Eventually she was investing daily about 8 hours "detoxing" the place. Here she is featured in Huffington Post.
In polite society most people won't tell you. They will just distance themselves. In professional life, clients and even vendors will simply flee, without the real explanation.
Several weeks ago, I bumped up against a case of OCD. The personal injury lawyer, much like Bill Marler at Marler Clark, wanted to "own" a category within a certain niche in the law. The Marler Clark firm might be said to "own" foodborne diseases. I agreed to assist this lawyer whose vision was to be the dominant national brandname in one kind of medical malpractive. The first focus was his website.
Sweet Jesus, save us from lawyers with OCD. Within about an hour of the agreement, there was a flood of emails. There were other digital communications via another kind of platform. There were several calls. There were continual changes in the direction of the strategy and the tactics. There was much intense feedback on the material I produced.
Thinking like a lawyer, within about 36 hours I figured out a way to exit the relationship. I contended a breach of contract, itemized the cost of tasks done, and offered to return what was left from the deposit on the assignment. I got away. Flashbacks from that experience still scare me.
Did I dare suggest to him that he had OCD? It would have served no useful purpose. He assumed he is taking care of business, with more attention to details than lesser lawyers. Should state bar associations be on the lookout for OCD, just as they do for substance abuse and bipolar conditions? That might be overdue.