Sometimes, a legal blogger has to hunt for topics to write about. And sometimes they’re delivered through the philly.com RSS news feed:
Master negotiators say the negotiation doesn’t truly begin until the parties reach impasse. Back at the dawn of my negotiation career, this made as much sense to me as a zen koan. You know, like the sound of one hand clapping. Eight years after leaving legal practice, hundreds of mediations, scores of speaking and training gigs and dozens of consulting clients later, I know from experience that the word “no” signals the beginning, not the end, of any value-creating negotiation.
Public safety officials are becoming increasingly concerned about a new cellphone-related hazard. This time it’s not the problem of driver distraction, which has prompted numerous states to restrict, or even ban, texting or handheld phone use while driving. No, in this case it’s pedestrian cellphone users who are getting run over in greater and greater numbers due to pedestrian distraction.
The FBI recently launched an initiative to curb the growing rise of trade secret and other intellectual property theft. The FBI estimates that U.S. companies have suffered over $13 billion in economic losses since October 2011 attributed to intellectual property theft, which includes the estimated future market value of stolen trade secrets. With a website dedicated to educating the public about intellectual property theft, in May 2012, the FBI took the unconventional approach of launching billboards in nine U.S. cities with the message “Protect America’s Trade Secrets”.
LXBN TV: Illinois’ Social Network Password Law May Inhibit Legitimate Business Activities—Littler’s Philip Gordon
The Illinois Senate and House passed a bill that will soon make their state the second in the country to have a law prohibiting employers from asking employees for their credentials to social networking sites. While this surely makes employees happy, the law and ones like it have the potential to inhibit legitimate business activities. On today’s episode of LXBN TV, Philip Gordon—Chair of the Privacy and Data Protection Practice Group at Littler—explains the basics of Illinois law, how it could potentially inhibit businesses and where we might find some kind of happy medium. Gordon is an author on Littler’s Workplace Privacy Counsel blog.
One of the other sessions that we covered during our LMA recap was about using video. There aren’t many law firms doing it right now (or doing it well, for that matter), and is it really just another fad? Tim Corcoran says no – video is on the rise, not just on your PCs, but on other devices as well. Buyers are making purchasing decisions emotionally, and then justify these decisions using logic afterwards. Video helps people to connect with you and gives them a sense of loyalty.
Giddyap! It’s been a short week, but we have tons to talk about in the labor and employment law world! Thinking out loud about the impact of yesterday’s DOMA decision on the Family and Medical Leave Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit* held yesterday that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Section 3 provides that, for purposes of benefits under federal law, “marriage” is defined as the union of one man and one woman.
The National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday on requests for review in two separate representation cases involving retail stores. The two rulings, when read together, may suggest that the Board is primed to eliminate special industry and occupation rules, such as the long-standing presumption for store-wide bargaining units in retail stores, used to determine appropriate bargaining units.
Another chapter in the Corn Refiners Association quest for a new name for high fructose corn syrup has been written, this time by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which this week denied a petition by the CRA to allow the use of “corn sugar” as an alternate common or usual name for HFCS. (Previous DuetsBlog coverage here and here.)