"Now that the tech industry is cool, the pretty people are taking over, flooding out of top-tier universities with MBAs and social graces and carefully coiffed hair, shouldering the misfits and weirdos out of the way." - Jon Evans, "Beware The Pretty People," TechCrunch, February 28, 2015. Here is that article.
Clearly, with litigation practices getting kicked to the curve, lawyers are rushing to the transactional end. Some of the most lucrative of that work is connected to tech.
But to bag that business, lawyers can no longer be simply very smart. Heck, so many of the tech crowd can match any brain wattage. Lawyers will be expected to be able to blend in with the Pretty People.
Here on the West Coast, where my communications boutique has been based for 11 months, I have had to upgrade my social graces. That's the price of entry for doing business here in the land of well-funded startups. For example, like the Pretty People, I have learned to listen, be calm, smirk slightly at stupidity (and not hammer the SOB) and assume that wealth will come my way.
That has entailed shape-shifting. I had to shed the hyper-frenetic New York Metro ethos of stress. Yes, we are all cool here. Lawyers who want a piece of the action will have to contract will a top executive coach.
"Publicity hasn't jeopardized Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsamaev's right to an impartial jury, a federal appeals panel says, and jury selection and opening statements can proceed next week as scheduled ..." - AP and reprinted in USA Today, February 28, 2015. Here is the article.
Essentially, with the exception of dissenter, Judge Juan Torruella, the appeals court decided that knowledge was not necessarily prejudice. Sure, many in the jury pool might have known someone impacted by the bombing. However, that does not automatically indicate that they have made up their mind about the defendant's guilt.
What might have hovered over this whole defense move for a change of venue is the history of the Timothy McVeigh trial. Because so many had been affected by the bombing of the government building in Oklahoma, the trial had been moved in Colorado. However, despite that, he was still convicted and sentenced to death. The execution had been carried out.
Judge Torruella did agree with the defense. He contended that both the direct knowledge of what had gone down that day and the intense media coverage made it impossible to select an impartial jury.
" ... [In Britain] suicide rates rose by 4% between 2012 and 2013, and the rise was due mainly to one group: men over 30." The Economist, "A Worrying Trend," February 27, 2015. Here is the article.
Suicide isn't only an epidemic among American college students, lawyers, medical doctors and, recently, those in financial services. Middle-aged men in Britain are also falling into that black hole of despair.
The causes seem to be primarily economy, reports The Economist. Those include unemployment, wage deflation, zero-hour contracting and debt.
There was a time, not so long ago when families and those who cared could lift the mood of a loved one by saying and meaning it: It's only money. But that isn't used much any more. Money is the line between having a roof over one's head and being homeless. Cross that line and there may be no coming back to a sheltered life, literally. There are fewer safety nets to cushion a downward financial trajectory.
"I'm afraid of becoming homeless." That's what professionals of all generations confide to me. Perhaps homelessness, though, isn't all that bad. There are many in 12-step programs who were and still are homeless. They seem to get by okay. No, I haven't met the homeless who did check out.
It might prevent suicides to do a documentary on homelessness which demonstrates that one can survive it, both temporary and permanent.
During testimony in "Pao v. Kleiner Perkins," former partner Trae Vassallo identified herself as having "thought leadership in connected devices." Here is the coverage of that trial by Colleen Taylor in Tech Crunch.
At Legal Tech, the meme of Information Governance, especially for connected devices, dominated. Recently the Federal Trade Commission had published a report on the Internet of Things. Here you can read it.
The message of that FTC report, loud and clear, is that consumers will reject innovation in connected devices unless they can be assured of security and privacy. And, tech developments are driven by consumers.
Lawyers know they need a niche. Well, the niche to be in is connected devices, both in terms of companies producing and using them and on the consumer side. In a CCMI Survey, 73 percent of the executives interviewed indicated that mobility was at the "top of mind."
This week I am navigating my way ghostwriting four articles on mobility. It's in my financial and personal branding self-interest to get that niche information down cold. Once I do, I'm much more marketable.
"David Ganek, the founder of now-closed hedge fund Level Global, is suing the FBI and Southern District prosecutors in New York after the government's 2010 raid resulted in shutting down his now $4 billion firm." - Julia La Roche, Business Insider, February 26, 2015. Here is the article.
We knew there would be huge ramifications from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to overturn two insider trading convictions. One of them was for former Level Global cofounder, Anthony Chiasson.
Well, this lawsuit is then no surprise. After all, the movement against alleged insider traders involved plenty of big fish. They don't lose everything they got with a philosophical shrug.
Ganek contends the FBI decision to raid his office was based on a fabrication. The end result was that he shuttered the business and 65 employees lost their jobs. Many were unable to find comparable ones. That's understandable, given the tarnishing to Level Global's reputation.
This lawsuit will be closely watched. One reason, of course, is because it likely was filed with the Appeals Court decision in mind. That verdict has been controversial. Secondly, it's never easy to sue any part of the U.S. government. And, third, it is taking on the team led by Preet Baharara.
I haven't met a lawyer who fretted enough about being cool. At least, not yet.
However, the yearning to be part of the in-whatever is what makes us human - and able to put in operation the law of attraction. The law schools which offered tutorials in essentials of cool could boost their job-placement rankings. And attract those who would have enrolled elsewhere. The game is now all about getting and keeping work.
The classic example of uncool is, of course, Saul Goodman. An emotional mess, he assumes that he has to be totally focused on survival. Had he been cool, like his brother Chuck, he might have not had to go to scheming extremes.
One media outlet in the legal sector should offer a complimentary cool makeover, everything from hair to etiquette. To win, you need to argue persuasively and in detail how that will increase your ability to get a job, a promotion or clients.
" ... a recent OSU university study [of online bullying found] ... only 10 percent of the students who noticed the abuse directly intervened, either by confronting the bully online or helping the victim." - John Biggs, "Study: Most People Won't Stop Online Bullies," TechCrunch, February 26, 2015. Here is the article.
That's the bad news. The good news is that about 70 percent of those who didn't directly intervene later reported the bully, when given the opportunity.
For those with the resources, the solution may be to activate third parties to take on the bullies. That would be most effective if those in the loop bully the bullies. We know from experience and research bullies cave when there is push-back.