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Bar News - November 3, 2006

The Wire

Many New Hampshire law firms are producing e-newsletters and articles published online that provide clients and other subscribers with timely, topical information on legal developments in specific practice areas. The Wire is a new column which will highlight such items and items of interest from national firms as well.


The Pros and Cons of Electronic Patent Filing


“On March 17 [2006] the United States Patent Office introduced its new Web EFS [Electronic Filing System]….Old EFS versions were such abominations that only about 2 percent of applications were filed electronically….In contrast, the new system is easy to use and fast, even in comparison to traditional paper filings. Ease of use and the ability to file applications at 11:50 p.m. may make the lives of patent attorneys and paralegals easier…, but how does the new system affect their clients?”


To find out more, go to:

“Electronic Filing: Work Horse or Paper Tiger?,” article by patent attorney Andrew P. Cernota

APC Newsletter, Summer 2006

Maine & Asmus



BlackBerrys and Overtime


“…[E]mployers should be wary of blackberry usage by non-exempt employees. ‘It’s naive to think that giving a BlackBerry or any other PDA or cell phone, for that matter, to a non-exempt employee won’t lend itself to them saying they’re doing work after hours,’ said [Littler’s Jeremy] Roth. ‘And in the case of a BlackBerry, they can prove it.’”


To find out more, go to:

“New BlackBerry Battle Looms,” San Diego Daily Transcript article, interview of employment attorney Jeremy Roth, Oct. 6, 2006

Littler Mendelson (San Francisco-based firm)



Who Is Liable for Overweight Vehicles?


“Because the language of many states’ statutes penalizes the operation of an overweight vehicle rather than the loading, carriers are liable for fines, regardless of whether they or someone else loaded the truck. Among the states that penalize the operation of an overweight vehicle are New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. However, other states seem to penalize entities that participate in the loading of an overweight truck….”


To find out more, go to:

“Who’s Liable for Overweight Truck Fines?,” article by commercial litigation attorney John-Mark Turner, July 2006

Good Company: 2006 Boston Special Edition

Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green



Lack of Admission Doesn’t Mean ‘Imposter’ in Mass.

“A criminal attorney’s lack of admission in the state where the criminal trial took place did not amount to ineffective assistance of counsel. There may be justification for a per se rule requiring a new trial when a criminal defendant is unknowingly represented by a lawyer imposter, but not where the attorney has established training and competence credentials and merely is not licensed in the jurisdiction.  Commonwealth v. Melo, Massachusetts App. Ct., August 9, 2006.”


To find out more, go to:

“Unauthorized Practice of Law Does Not Justify New Trial for the Defendant”

Professional Liability Law Update, August 2006

Nelson, Kinder, Mosseau, & Saturley


Statute of Limitations for Lawyers?


“….An article in The Seattle Times about the ‘graying of the bar’ was noticed by blawgers around the country. Noting that 66 percent of the members of the Washington State Bar are 41 or older, and that 10 percent are over 60, the article declared that ‘incompetence due to declining skills, failure to keep pace or dwindling mental acuity may soon rise in the legal profession.’ That seems overblown enough, but a second item described a new regulation in India (where legal work is increasingly being outsourced) stating that if you are not licensed by the age of 45 you cannot become an advocate. ‘We don’t want the Bar to become parking lots for retirees,’ one official was quoted as saying.

….I disagree. In my consulting I’ve seen little difference in the number and complexity of matters that older and younger lawyers alike handle….”

To find out more, go to:

 “Should Lawyers Face a Statute of Limitations?,” article by Ed Poll, attorney and author of Attorney & Law Firm Guide to The Business of Law, 2nd ed.

Lawbiz Tips e-zine, July 2006

Lawbiz Management Company, California-based consultancy



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