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Cal Attorney Nexus is moving

May 3, 2010

We are moving!  From now on, follow us at http://calattorneynexus.blogspot.com/

Second Life Creator Being Sued for Allegedly Confiscating Virtual Property

April 30, 2010

Would you purchase virtual property with real world money?   What if you purchased the property with your hard earned money, paid monthly fees on it, and then all of a sudden your property is stealthily confiscated?  Do California consumer protection laws apply to confiscation of virtual property?  Where would one seek recourse?  What are your damages??

This case raises more questions than answers…literally.   I mean look at the first paragraph of this post.  I’d say the tone here is part incredulity and part fascination.  Who buys virtual land, and what value is added to virtual land by “developing” it?  Can you add value to virtual land?  What does one do with the virtual land?  According to an interview in the LA Times, architect David Denton uses his virtual land as a virtual meeting place where he can meet with “avatar equipped” clients.

San Francisco based Linden Research, Inc., the creator of Second Life, has been sued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The complaint alleges: “Defendant Linden has quietly gone about doing so by removing, one by one, the representations of ownership on its website yet providing no compensation to those that it induced under the false promises of ownership.  Despite the quiet removal of such representations over time, Defendants’ prior representations continue to proliferate and cause consumers to believe that when they purchase land in Second Life, they own it.  For example, to this day, the publicly monitored and edited Wikipedia entry for Second Life continues to state that consumers can “own” land in Second Life.

This will be a case worth following.

Courthouse News Service has a more detailed summary here.

And here is the Complaint (pdf) in its entirety.

Yes! Mysterious iPhone Finder Identified…and Lawyered Up

April 30, 2010

Yesterday I was wondering about why the media wasn’t equally as focused on discovering the identity of the guy who found and sold the top secret iPhone to Gizmodo.  Well, someone was wondering the same thing because Wired.com has identified the man as Brian Hogan of Redwood City.  Through his attorney, Jeffrey Bornstein, Hogan states that Gizmodo assured him it was okay to share the phone with the “tech press.”

I guess Brian took the law of finders keepers a little too literally…similar to the guy in the Yahoo law fail posting from last month.

It gets better.  Brian had a little help shopping the iPhone around to technology blogs.  Sage Robert Wallower, a UC Berkeley student, helped Brian Hogan to contact technology sites.  Mr. Wallower has given CNET what is probably the best statement so far in the entire saga.  He said he “didn’t see [the iPhone] or touch it in any manner” but knows “who found it,” adding, “I need to speak to a lawyer … I think I have said too much.”

Did you hear that Bay Area attorneys?

Apple v. Gizmodo

April 29, 2010

Jason Chen, editor at center of iphone controversy

Silicon Valley used to be called the Valley of Hearts Delight – and it is.  The Valley boasts a temperate Mediterranean climate, comfortable sunshine, and fertile soil that will grow any seed you throw down.  The Valley was essentially a beautiful agricultural area.  Now the Valley produces technology.  There is so much brain power crammed into the Bay Area it’s enough to make your head explode…or at least make you wonder at the innovation, the triumphs, and now the drama.

Apple’s mailing address is cute: 1 Infinite Loop.  So cute!  It is also located in one of my favorite Bay Area cities: Cupertino, California.  Cupertino is a small and now a semi-famous city as media outlets chew, chew, and rechew the Apple and Gizmodo story.

You’d have to be living under a rock (or maybe you’re just prepping for trial) not to know about the Apple and Gizmodo … ehem … situation.  A tipster found a super secret version of an unreleased iphone 4 and then sold it to Gawker who subsequently posted it on their technology blog Gizmodo.  Now there are rumors of a criminal probe and plenty of smack talking against Gizmodo.  Then there were the reports of a search warrant to search Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s home.  Gizmodo objects to the search and seizure of Chen’s computers, and a nationwide debate is ignited over whether journalist shield laws should apply to Gizmodo.  Cue a flurry of status updates from Apple loyalists saying Chen and his compatriots should be tarred and feathered…or worse.

I have to say that wherever Jason Chen’s parents are…they must be either very proud or trying to keep their heads low.  In case you haven’t seen his iphone 4 expose video…here it is.

And now everyone from Facebook commentators to CNET is providing his two cents on whether the search warrant was valid.

Frankly, those articles have left me kind of bored.  I’m more interested in knowing what friends of the California Attorney Nexus think.  So, what is your take on the issues?  1) Was the search warrant of Chen’s home valid?  2) Will the rumored “criminal investigations” amount to anything or are they just part of the Apple publicity machine?  3) What happened to the guy who actually sold the top secret iphone?  Apparently he’s like the fog because he has all but disappeared from public discussion.  As with any good legal analysis…you better back it up!

Dealing with Employment Gaps on Your Resume

April 15, 2010

Inside Counsel published an article about dealing with resume gaps and 2009 end dates.  The article gives some practical advice, but I think some of it should be taken with a grain of salt.  For example, the article states that recruiters or employers will frown upon entering “solo practice” to fill a resume gap because “some readers will conclude that you are engaged in typical solo work: real estate house closings, wills and trusts, etc.  This does not help your candidacy.”  Really? Isn’t it better to be doing something with your license? What is the better option?

The article certainly does have an opinion as to what the better options are. They are as follows:

1) Obtain an of counsel or special counsel title with a name brand law firm. Obviously, not everyone can simply call a “name brand” law firm and ask to be of counsel.  However, if you do have the experience and chops to do so, I think this is a great idea.

2) Project work with a legal department. If you read between the lines, the article suggests listing doc review experience…except the article also discourages candidates from indicating explicitly that they were doing doc review.

“For example:  ‘Microsoft. Working on-site intellectual property project reporting to Assistant General Counsel via staffing firm.’ Make sure the entry cannot be mistaken for low level document review work.” (The article does warn to obtain permission prior to listing a client such as Microsoft on your resume.)

I’m sure there are a variety of opinions on this topic.  I’ve heard other pedigree-minded attorneys say that it’s good to name drop your connections with big law, even if the connection was through doc review.  What’s your opinion?

3) High level non-legal work. The article suggests volunteering for a U.S. Senate campaign.  More realistically is volunteering for high profile non-profits such as United Way or the Red Cross…and even better is doing non-profit legal work.

Let’s hear your take on the article which can be found here.

Hotwire’s Travel Ticker: Say “Yes” to a Vacation

April 14, 2010

It’s probably safe to say that when one first begins a legal career, it’s more difficult to take vacations – depending on your job of course.  Working in litigation perpetually seems to put your travel plans in limbo.  Anyone with a high billing requirement probably feels the same way.  However, despite the obstacles to taking a proper vacation, perhaps the best advice I received when I first started out was simply to take a darn vacation.  The premise being that I needed to be proactive in setting aside time for a vacation because no one else was going to say: hey, you look like you’ve been put through the ringer…you should take a vacation.  I was warned not to let the years go by only to turn around and find that the majority of my time had been devoted to work.  Obviously we have to work hard; I think working hard is part and parcel of being an attorney, but as another sage expounded: you gotta check yourself before you wreck yourself.

In honor of all this advice, I wanted to highlight a great website from Hotwire, one of my favorite travel websites.  Hotwire’s Travel Ticker has a clean interface with four main categories: 1) ways to go, 2) places to go, 3) reasons to go, and 4) a savings searcher.

The site highlights travel deals such as a $226 one-way Lufthansa airfare deal to Europe.   Also featured are sweet hotel deals, packages, and cruises.  Think of it as status updates but with travel deals from all the other major travel websites.  (Travelocity, Expedia, Kayak, etc.)

Only have a weekend?  Fine.  Hit up the Weekend Getaway tab and be tantalized by offers such as 50% off a Conde Nast Gold List resort.

Happy traveling.

Google changes name…to Topeka?

April 1, 2010

Um…what just happened?  I was looking something up and went to Google.  Then I saw this:

So I clicked on said icon and found this.

I’m a bit flummoxed right now.

(April fools!)  Courtesy of Google.