f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

August 26, 2007

an unthemely response (and sexy antitrust models, too)

Filed under: lawyer news or ethics,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 4:33 pm

H-H-H August weather may not be adequate justification for this mostly-frivolous and slightly soggy Saturday Sunday posting, but it’s the only excuse I have.

Above the Crowd?: The 600-lawyer firm Nixon Peabody [NP] just wanted to celebrate it’s inclusion in the Forbes 2007 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, when it commissioned the (tacky-dorky) commemorative song, “Everyone’s A Winner At Nixon Peabody“. But, when the music video appeared at YouTube and on the legal tabloid Above the Law, NP quickly showed it doesn’t play well with others, nor have a corporate sense of humor, or any PR common sense. As a result, Nixon Peabody has brought a ton of e-shame, infamy and ridicule upon itself in the space of a mere two days. You can recapture David Lat’s unfolding story at Above the Law: “Someone Deserves To Be Shot Over This” (Aug. 23, 2007); “Nixon Peabody: This Is Not a Love Theme Song” (Aug. 23, 2007).

microphoneG NP came down hard on Lat, crying that the song [which got 10,000 listens in 12 hours] was never meant to be public, is certainly not a “theme song” nor advertising subject to ethics rules, was obtained illegitimately by Lat, and must be taken down. Lat complied, but don’t fear:

The story and Nixon Peabody’s diminished reputation spread rapidly across the blawigverse: see, e.g., Orin Kerr at Volokh Conspiracy, asking what NP should have done in “Law Firms, the Blogosphere, and Unexpected Attention;” Denise Howell at Bag and Baggage, who wonders why NP isn’t simply “celebrating the high camp and silliness;” and Carolyn Elefant at LegalBlogWatch, who noted that “Nixon Peabody reacted the way any humorless, stuffed-shirt stereotype of a BigLaw firm would.” Lat is compiling a LinkWrap of posts about the story.

SoapBox Too Low for Above the Law? [update: 8:30 PM: David Lat has graciously contacted me about the problem I had getting my Comments accepted at his weblog. He said:

Hi David. I have no idea as to why your comment didn’t appear — I certainly didn’t censor or unpublish it, and it didn’t show up in the Spam comment filter either (which I check periodically to publish comments that erroneously get marked as spam).

Lately we’ve been having some problems with comments disappearing. Maybe try posting again? And if you ever have a comment problem, just email me to let me know.


As far as I’m concerned, that answers my questions satisfactorily, and I am going to remove my whiny complaint from this posting. I’m pleased to know that David is not censoring [my] Comments. I’ve written about this issue before (e.g., here and here, and there); the proprietor of a weblog has every “right” to disallow particular Comments or trackbacks, but I expect successful, high-profile webloggers to have sufficient self-confidence to be able to take civilized, good faith, non-defamatory disagreement or kidding. Meanwhile, if you haven’t read Lat’s “Biglaw Perk Watch: Nap Rooms?” and my reaction, “nap room ethics for lawyers” (Aug. 22, 2007), check them out.

the son who
argues everything
I study his face in a puddle

I forget my side
of the argument

……………………………………….. by George SwedeAlmost Unseen

antitrustDVD Competitive Humor. Nobody expected Antitrust: the Movie (2001) to be a comedy; and, if you watch AAI’s antitrust primer “Fair Fight in the Marketplace,” today on WETA in D.C., you won’t get many belly laughs. But, that sad reality did not deter me from trying to motivate my blog-buddies Hanno Kaiser, David Fischer and Manfred Gabriel at the excellent “Antitrust Review” weblog to help spread a little antitrust (or even competition policy) humor across cyberspace.

My crusade was spurred by an entry on this website’s SlimStat page that showed a visitor had Googled <lawyer jokes antitrust> on Friday morning. While the first substantive result went to an f/k/a posting from April 1, 2006 (featuring a tale about the American Antitrust Institute), I thoroughly searched the first three pages of Google results and Antitrust Review was nowhere to be found.

That brought me to write to Hanno, David and Manfred (no jokes about humorous names please!) in an email note that urged them to assert their rightful place in the annals of antitrust humor. You’ll have to tell me whether my efforts were successful. Yesterday, the following post appeared at Antitrust Review, with the title “Antitrust Humor, Lawyer Jokes and Sex” (Aug. 25, 2007):

“In an doomed effort to one-up Antitrust Review, long-time and good friend of Antitrust Review David Giacalone recently bragged that a Google search for antitrust and lawyer jokes reveals that his (excellent) website is number one (substantively) while Antitrust Review is nowhere to be found (despite posts involving Stephan Colbert and April Fools Day).

“We’re happy for f/k/a … Seriously we are. Because we are first in antitrust and sexy (as if you didn’t already know that).

“To paraphrase Right Said Fred: Antitrust Review is too sexy for this blog, too sexy for this blog, so sexy it hurts.”

The f/k/a Gang admits that the posting “Hot Sexy Models“, which propelled Antitrust Review to the top of Google’s <antitrust sexy>search results is impressive. (And, yes, we lingered a bit longer than usual at their site that day, and emailed the URL more than is our custom.) But, with insight gained from spending my late 20’s through late 30’s in the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission, I repeat my advice to David, Hanno and Manfred:

“Male antitrust lawyers need all the help they can get on the social scene. Women greatly prefer men with a sense of humor over men who ogle over and/or post photos of sexy women on their websites.”

one button undone
in the clerk’s blouse I let her
steal my change

peering into
the deep well, two boys
talk about girls

A sigh from her
then one from me —
two pages turn

………………………………………………………… by George Swede
“one button undone” – Almost Unseen (2000)
“A sigh from her” – Frogpond XX/2
“peering into” – The Heron¹s Nest

Let’s hope the Antitrust Review collaborators will soon conspire to keep us all in stitches. For now, you might go to Daryl Cagle’s Political Cartoon Directory to find humor on your favorite antitrust or competition case or subject. Here at f/k/a, we get a lot of smiles from the search engine queries that bring visitors to this weblog, and we used to regularly share discovered gems with our readers through the Inadvertent Searchee pages. Our little correspondence with the Antitrust Review editors this weekend, inspired me to update some of those Google and Yahoo search results to see how f/k/a is doing these days (with no SEO manipulations, I might add) on the search engine results front.

Here are some of the results. An f/k/a post is the:

one glass of wine –
Google keeps asking
“Did you mean _____?”

past their peak –
boomers’ first date
…………………………… by dagosan

The beetle I righted
flies straight into
a cobweb

…………………………………. by George Swede

Editor’s note & update (Aug. 27, 2007), 8 AM: I just reGoogled <antitrust sexy> and got a very big surprise, and smile; the post you are reading right now is the:

update (11 AM, Aug. 26): Well, my campaign to move Antitrust Review to the top of the heap for matters of antitrust humor has been remarkably successful. As of 11 AM this morning, Antitrust Review holds the #1 spot for Google search results for both <antitrust lawyer jokes> and <antitrust humor>, while f/k/a is still on top for <antitrust and sexy>. David Fischer and his joint venturers may have to change their tune about sex vs. humor. The mystery of the Google Search Algorithm continues.

DriveNowTalkLaterN    But, seriously: Driving While Phoning Is Stupid: We interrupt this unserious post for a quick reminder of one of our society’s most irresponsible cardinal sins –DWP, Driving While Phoning. It does not happen often enough but.,law enforcement agencies across New York State (which bans the use of hand-held cellphones while driving) will “enforce the law against driving and using a cell phone from Sunday through Friday next week as part of the ‘Taking Action Against Driver Distraction’ campaign.” See, e.g., “Unsafe at any speed — for all drivers: Chemung County, Elmira officers to set example on cell phone use while driving” (Elmira Star-Gazette, Aug. 24, 2007). Columnist Jim Pfiffer explains:

“Most people acknowledge that driver distractions, from dialing a phone to putting on makeup in the rearview mirror, are dangerous. Cell phones are one of the biggest distractions. Here’s proof: In 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that driver inattention led to 25 percent of reported crashes. Three years later, as cell phone use increased tenfold, that number jumped to 80 percent.”

And, this makes great sense: “Elmira police officers and Chemung County Sheriff’s Department have told their officers to pull over to the side of the road when using cell phones for non-emergency purposes. It’s not safe, and it’s a public relations nightmare.” And, see “No typing, talking behind the wheel? Bill would restrict cell phone use” (The Ann-Arbor News, Aug. 22, 2007), which has this amazing statistic (about adults!!):

‘A recent AAA “poll indicated that two out of three adults who drive a car and have used text messaging had read text messages or e-mails while they were driving, and 57 percent said they have sent text messages or e-mails from behind the wheel’.”

Click to get Car Talk‘s Talk Later bumper sticker.DriveNowTalkLaterG

dagSicilianAfro Are Law Firms Cooler & More Tolerant Than the Fashion World? You decide, after a fashion expert from Glamour magazine advised black lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb not to wear afros or dreadlocks: See “Bloggers Fan the Fury Over Hairstyle Advice to Cleary’s African-American Lawyers” (Aug. 27, 2007); “Cleary Gottlieb Has a Bad Hair Day: Talk about a fashion don’t” (Aug. 1, 2007), both from The American Lawyer/Law.com, by Vivia Chen. Of course, some lawyers have spent decades being cool — such as Yolo County (California) Public Defender Barry Melton, formerly of Country Joe & the Fish (via Arbitrary & Capricious; hat tip again to the Edster). But, I have one final, shocking confession to close out this post: despite the Sicilian ‘Fro of his youth (see 1971 mug shot), Your Editor was never really very cool.


rain on
my bald spot —
recalling dry-scalp Aprils

. . . ……………. . by david giacalone (a/k/a dagosan), photo by Mama G.

See original, enlarged image haiga at MagnaPoets Japanese Form.


  1. I think some bloggers will not allow posts that include a link back to the commenter’s blog. I am not sure why because it is one way to add to the blogosphere conversation. I think it comes from an attitude of contraction (as opposed to expansiveness). Hey, there are enough readers out there for everyone. And, besides that, if you want to grow your readership, just watch _The Secret_. (That last thought was not serious.)

    Comment by Stephanie West Allen — August 26, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

  2. yes… i agree with stephanie.

    Comment by zero — July 29, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

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