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Bar News - September 21, 2007

Notes from a Messy Desk



Gripes about Meetings
Most workers agree with Dilbert: most meetings waste time. A recent survey found that disorganization is the greatest gripe about meetings, far outpointing tardiness. The following results point the way to better meetings:


The survey yielded a “top 10” business meeting Ouch Point list, as follows:


  1. Disorganized, rambling
    meetings           27%
  2. People who interrupt peers
    and try to dominate meetings      17%
  3. Cell phone interruptions  16%
  4. People who fall asleep
    in meetings       9%
  5. Meetings with no
    bathroom breaks            8%
  6. Long meetings without
    refreshments     6%
  7. People leaving early or
    arriving late        5%
  8. People who check their Black
    Berry devices during meetings     5%
  9. Meetings starting late     4%
  10. No written recap of the
    meeting outcomes         4%


Uncovered by Insurance

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that standard homeowners insurance protects them from a wide array of perils, according to new research by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.


In fact, typical property and liability policies don’t cover home damage from floods, earthquakes, water line breaks, termites, mold and several other perils, large and small. The survey found that 33 percent of U.S. heads of household, who own a home and have homeowners insurance, incorrectly believe flood damages would be covered by a standard homeowners’ or property and liability policy.

            Other homeowner misunderstandings were:

  • 68 percent think vehicles such as cars, boats and motorcycles stolen from or damaged on their property are covered.
  • 51 percent think damages from a break in the water line on their property supplying water to their home are covered.
  • 35 percent think damages from earthquakes are covered.
  • 34 percent think damages from mold are covered.

            Twenty-four percent of respondents indicated their policies insured their homes for the actual cash value, while 64 percent said their policies covered the replacement cost.

            Lastly, 28 percent of respondents reported they were more concerned today than they were five years ago about being the target of a lawsuit.


Juries in Japan

Did you know that juries don’t exist in Japan? A New York Times article (July 6, 2007) reports that mock trials are being held across the country in hopes of helping the Japanese overcome their reluctance to express opinions in public and question authority.  When implemented, citizens will be chosen randomly to sit on the bench next to judges to decide cases and sentences. Judges and jurors will be granted one vote with which to decide cases by a majority. Jurors will be permitted to question the judge, and through votes, overrule the judges. Proponents of this system believe it will further develop Japan’s judicial process and democracy. However, public polls show that 80 percent of citizens do not favor the change and do not wish to serve as jurors.


Get a Life

A third of all Americans don’t take all of the vacation time they’ve earned, according to a recent survey by and published in the Christian Science Monitor. And as many as 23 percent of Americans still check voice-mail or e-mail while on vacation, up from 16 percent just two years ago.


If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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