Friday, January 31, 2003

the perfect cup of coffee halfway between luke warm and steaming....

...leeches all the moisture from your mouth on the first sip...

...wakes you up first, from the bitter jolt, and then later from the caffeine...

makes Friday mornings happen.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

year of the blues

On September 12, 2002, the United States Senate resolved that the period of time from February 1, 2003 to February 1, 2004 has been designated as the Year of the Blues:

Designating the year beginning February 1, 2003, as the `Year of the Blues'.

Whereas blues music is the most influential form of American roots music, with its impact heard around the world in rock and roll, jazz, rhythm and blues, country, and even classical music;

Whereas the blues is a national historic treasure, which needs to be preserved, studied, and documented for future generations;

Whereas the blues is an important documentation of African-American culture in the twentieth century;

Whereas the various forms of the blues document twentieth-century American history during the Great Depression and in the areas of race relations, pop culture, and the migration of the United States from a rural, agricultural society to an urban, industrialized Nation;

Whereas the blues is the most celebrated form of American roots music, with hundreds of festivals held and millions of new or reissued blues albums released each year in the United States;

Whereas the blues and blues musicians from the United States, whether old or new, male or female, are recognized and revered worldwide as unique and important ambassadors of the United States and its music;

Whereas it is important to educate the young people of the United States to understand that the music that they listen to today has its roots and traditions in the blues;

Whereas there are many living legends of the blues in the United States who need to be recognized and to have their story captured and preserved for future generations; and

Whereas the year 2003 is the centennial anniversary of when W.C. Handy, a classically-trained musician, heard the blues for the first time, in a train station in Mississippi, thus enabling him to compose the first blues music to distribute throughout the United States, which led to him being named `Father of the Blues': Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates the year beginning February 1, 2003, as the `Year of the Blues'; and

(2) requests that the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe the `Year of the Blues' with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and educational programs.
More on some of the programs celebrating the Blues in the U.S., from the New York Sun.

While we will be celebrating the Blues in the United States, British musicians have their own blues to contend with. While there was some good news for them, in the announcement of a program to help unemployed musicians find work under a program called the New Deal for Musicians, there was also some bad news. A silent protest was held on Monday outside of Parliment by hundreds of gagged musicians over a licensing bill that may threaten to keep music out of British Pubs. Seems like a matter of giving with one hand, and taking away with the other.
protect your identity

A reporter from the local paper, the Wilmington News Journal, was recently the victim of identity theft. He describes his experience in a painful blow-by-blow description of the fight to reclaim his name. The article's sidebar has some good suggestions on how you can help protect your identity. He also wrote a companion piece on efforts to make it more difficult for people to appropriate social security numbers and other vulnerable information.

While there is some very useful information in the News Journal articles on identity theft, sometimes you just have to wonder about how fragile the whole credit reporting system is. Especially when you read about a woman who is fighting the credit agencies to prove to them that she is not dead, as their records indicate.
legal XML update

A new committee has been formed to help created standards for the sharing of criminal record information between criminal justice agencies. The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has been working to develop standards in the use of XML for a wide range of industries. While some of those links are pretty technical, the implications behind this news is that the standards being developed would enable information that is being declassified more quickly under the Homeland Security Information Sharing Act of 2002 to be communicated faster with local law enforcement agencies.
driving the environment

The success of a move to hybrid cars is going to rely upon public acceptance, and the auto manufacturers making an actual effort to bring the vehicles to the people. A New York Times article titled Hybrid Cars Are Catching On brings a bit of optimism with it.
state of the union

In case you missed it, and didn't intend to, here's the full transcript for the State of the Union Address, from President Bush.
in-house counsel

It is looking like in-house counsel will be tasked with going up the ladder, rather than mandatory noisy withdrawals, when faced with internal illegal contact.

Got it?

Not final... just the latest scoop.
job posting

Position available with Delaware Intercorp, Inc., for a dynamic, educated, detail oriented applicant, as an Incorporation Specialist. Salary and benefits negotiable and reflecting the applicant's experience and abilities. Contact Alan at:

Saturday, January 25, 2003

name change

What do we really know about our neighbors to the south? The United Mexican States are considering changing their name to Mexico.
federal regulations

A fairly new site, from the federal government, can help us keep an eye on regulations coming from federal agencies, and give us information on how to comment upon regulations that have been opened for public comment. The site is I'll be adding it to our sidebar. (via talkleft)
bad neighborhoods

Is your web site located in a bad neighborhood? Chances are that if you have a web site, the server that it is hosted upon is home to a few other sites. You may have little or no control over the content of those sites. You may not even be aware that those sites exist. It's possible that one of your neighbors might believe that they can exhibit humor, satire, irony, or parody on their pages. They may try to do so.

Imagine that one of your web neighbors decides to create a parody of a large corporation, and the reaction to that "exercise" in free speech is to have every single one of the sites on your server, and the other machines owned by your web host disconnected from the web by their backbone provider. Your host has lost its connection to the web, and so have you. The company that felt they were being defamed used a threat of an action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which resulted in the backbone provider cutting off access to your site.

What exactly is the relationship between copyright law and defamation? Where does the line get crossed when parody is seen as defamation? Was the Digital Millennium Copyright Act meant to be used in this manner? See the Village Voice's article Dow v. Thing, subtitled A Free-Speech Infringement That's Worse Than Censorship.

Friday, January 24, 2003

state of the state

Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner presented her State of the State address before the Delaware General Assembly today. Amongst the initiatives that she discussed was one that I found very interesting. She is calling for a "technology court to hear disputes in areas such as trademark, copyright and intellectual property law where changes in computerization are outpacing old laws." Under this plan, new procedures would be implemented in Delaware's Chancery Court to empower it "to hear disputes in the area of technology-related commerce." The full text of her address can be seen here. (Spanish version)
american indian studies

Harvard Law School has added a chair in American Indian law, which is being endowed by the Oneida Indian Nation.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Bollywood actress Preity Zinta testifies on the influence of organized crime in the Indian film industry.

Associated Press columnist Rachel Beck explores why some businesses filing for bankruptcy hand out bonuses to managers and other executives.

In Japan, it appears that Ridiculous names work against their bearers. I'm puzzling over the opening line which states:
The Chinese characters people can use for personal names are limited to those specified by the government. Responding to wishes from the public, the Justice Ministry now seems set to add many more characters to the list to allow their use for given names.

A short blurb about Who Killed Woody Allen? describes how one theatrical troupe snared a victory from the jaws of defeat. More here, and the official site here.

An interesting look at a court revisiting settlement issues in a suit that involved the death of a professional wrestler who fell while making an entry into a ring suspended from a safety harness.
cartoon characters declared non human

The Wall Street Journal reports upon a decision of a judge in the U.S. Court of International Trade, who has held that comics characters from the Marvel Universe, notably those from the X-Men series, aren't human, and the duty imposed upon their import from China would be at a lower rate than if they were.

A six-year-old battle between Marvel Comics and the U.S. Customs Office has hinged upon the distinction between human and nonhuman for the action figures (a term which probably holds other connotations completely, and is only used here in a generic sense). A human figurine would be considered a "doll." A nonhuman figure is a "toy." The tariff rates for dolls is higher than for toys.

What some fans of the series find ironic is that the storylines often emphasize the humanity of the characters, and that they are ordinary people gifted, or cursed, with extraordinary abilities. In these days of cloning controversies, in vitro fertilization, and cybernetic implants, the question "what is human" may be one facing judges in a legal context more often. Those decisions may have more impact than the cost of importing figurines from China to the US. What has me stumped though, is why there would be different rates for toys and dolls under the U.S. tariff code?
probation and the web

A condition of probation that is becoming more common in many jurisdictions would prohibit probationers from using the internet, or monitor their use of the net. The New York Times looks at this issue, and how it is being handled in different federal districts.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

navigation patent claim

Might a patent cover the way links on a web site point to other pages on that site? ZDNet UK is reporting about a letter sent to a museum site, apparently from an American Telecommunications company asking for licensing fees that could equal up to five percent of the company's revenue annually. The patent referred to in the letter, titled "structured document browser" is here, and the museum site includes links to the patent infringement notice they received here.

Monday, January 20, 2003

llc, lp, llp, lllp, s corporation, c corporation, partnership, proprietorship... what are all these things?!

Many of these types of entities have similarities, and some are glaringly different.

An LLC is a Limited Liability Corporation, which may have pass through taxation like a partnership, liability protection like a corporation, and flexible structure.

A Limited Partnership (LP) is used to limit the authority of one or more of the partners.

A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) limits the liability of the partners as to each others' negligent acts.

An LLLP is a Limited Liability Limited Partnership, limiting the liability of one or more partners from the negligence of another partner while at the same time limiting the authority of one or more partners.

An S Corporation is a little less flexible than an LLC, but can have the similar flow through taxation and asset protection.

A C Corporation [sic] is not very flexible in form, but the strongest asset protection and high in expense deduction qualifications (but dividends get taxed twice).

A partnership is very flexible and doesn't protect at all, as is a proprietorship (but is it not a partnership of one?).

The differences and similarities between these vehicles could fill books. So don't rely upon this very general lineup as if it were a scholarly treatise. What is needed, in determining how to structure your enterprise, is an evaluation of your goals, assets, liabilities, business plan, and tax considerations.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

family medical leave

Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a federal case that involves a claim that the State of Nevada violated the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
public opinion and juries

A lobbyist talks to Forbes Magazine about shifts in public opinion regarding fast food chains, and what they could mean to the restaurants in obesity cases.
comic free speech

Free speech and humor. What role does obscenity play in comedy? Lenny Bruce pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on stage in front of an audience, and what wasn't. NPR chronicles his efforts in an article called 'The Trials of Lenny Bruce'
3 quick links about karaoke

Outcome satisfies karaoke inventor

Japanese karaoke fans sing the blues

New Filing – Top Tunes
the first state, for gambling

Delaware, Rhode Island, and West Virginia are at the forefront of an explosion waiting to happen. At least that's the thinking of Joe Bob Briggs, who claims that Slot Wars will break out, and within ten years, no one within the United States will be more than "50 miles from a slot machine." He could be right. Delaware has benefitted from having laws allowing slot machines at racetracks. But, what happens when surrounding states allow similar endeavors?

Seventy percent of Australia will soon be underwater (by act of law). Adds new meaning to the phrase "down under."

Sunday, January 12, 2003


Time magazine named three whistleblowers as their people of the year in 2002. An article in an Australian newspaper, Let's encourage whistleblowing, looks at efforts in that Country to have people report problems under whistleblowing statutes and discusses the history of whistleblowing protection in the United States.

Next week, the US Supreme Court will look at a whistleblowing case involving the filing of a False Claims Act complaint against a county.
The False Claims Act says any "person" found to have obtained federal funding through untrue statements is liable for fines up to $10,000 and must repay the government three times the amount fraudulently obtained.

The question before the Supreme Court is whether "person" can apply to a county, said Chandler's attorney, Judson H. Miner of Chicago.
Will the Supreme Court uphold the decision to apply the law against a county? It's possible.

The False Claims Act does apply to companies that do business with the federal government or which receive federal subsidies. The best way for a business to avoid a False Claims Act suit is to set up programs that eliminate, or drastically reduce the possibility of a need for whistleblowing in the first place. See: Why Should Your Company Establish an Effective Corporate Compliance Program?
daughters in business

There's an article in USA Today on family owned businesses that shows an interesting challenge to glass ceilings everywhere. Many small business owners are considering passing control of their companies to their daughters.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

copyright and Japanese comic books

There's a large and growing market in Japan for comic books based upon characters created by others. While it's possible that the original creators might successfully bring copyright infringement suits against the creators of these works, such suits have been very rare. Maybe that's partly because the industry is benefitting tremendously from the existence of these books.

A Red Herring article penned by Larry Lessig takes a look at this phenomena. See Copy cats and robotic dogs: What lawyers can learn from comic books.. The focus of the article is upon a paper written by Temple Law professor Salil Mehra, which looks at the practice from a business perspective.

The article Copyright and Comics in Japan: Does Law Explain Why All the Cartoons My Kid Watches are Japanese Imports? will be appearing in the Rutgers Law Review and is available online here. If you're interested in copyright, fair use, artistic creation, and the business aspects of creative works, it's definitely worth the time reading Professor Mehra's article. And, while there are a lot of footnotes that you might be tempted to skip over, there are some great lines amongst them.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Vernon Jordan visits Delaware

Wilmington was visited Wednesday night by civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, who spoke at Wilmington's Theatre N at Nemours, and was presented the Key to the City by Mayor Jim Baker. If you missed the opportunity to hear him speak, the Smithsonian Associates has a realaudio recording of a speech he gave at the Smithsonian Institute from November of 2001 online entitled The Life and Times of Vernon Jordan.
noted blog

Congratulations to Kevin J. Heller, Esq, at the Tech Law Advisor, for being named a blog of note over on the front page of blogger.

We're adding the Tech Law Advisor to our blog roll, as well as Stuart Levine's Tax & Business Law Commentary, Jerry Lawson's Internet Tools for Lawyers, James I. Harlan, Jr.'s Harlan's IP Law Blog, and Rita's Res Ipsa Loquitur.
copyright infringement everywhere?

A story that caught my eye this morning has me wondering just how wide the scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) might be. Is the manufacture of replacement toner cartridges a violation of the Act?
Cindy Cohn, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group in San Francisco that's one of the chief critics of section 1201 of the DMCA, said she expected more cases like the one brought by Lexmark.

"We have long said that the DMCA's potential use as an anticompetitive tool has been great," Cohn said. "Now we're seeing it happen."
It is time to sharpen those pencils, and start writing reply comments to the Library of Congress about the DMCA.
indexing the web

I'm still too busy reading Google's reply to a motion for temporary injunction, and motion to dismiss to formulate an opinion upon the legal dispute between Google and portal/ad network SearchKing. It's all Lawmeme's fault, over at Yale Law School. Lawmeme has made the 40 page long reply and 10 page long motion available, along with some very insightful analysis and commentary. (Just what is the practical difference between an injunction and a temporary injunction? See the article.) Thanks guys.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

class action settlement benefits schools, privacy rights groups

A subsidiary of settled several class action law suits in 2001, and money from the settlement is being awarded to seventeen different law schools and privacy rights groups.

One of the recipients is the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). To get an idea of what the EFF does, there's an excellent interview with Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred Von Lohmann on the pages of Techfocus. He covers a number of topics, including file sharing, copyright, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, from the perspective of a copyright lawyer working towards a balanced approach to protecting intellectual property
so larry, what is a series llc?

A Series LLC is first, an LLC (Limited Liability Company). LLC's enjoy the good things about both corporations and partnerships, such as: flow through taxation like a partnership; and a liability shield like a corporation. There are many other characteristics, but that is good for now.

The "Series" aspect is that you can create an LLC which is only one company but has lots of individual and distinguishable parts that act somewhat as if they were different companies. And so, if you have more than one enterprise going you can separate them, but save money with a Series LLC as opposed to having completely different corporate entities for each. As I said on a previous entry, the primary savings in cost is the administrative costs.

Many persons also use this vehicle to separate personal assets from liabilities that they may have, thus protecting their assets from some lawsuits. Other persons utilize Series LLC's as a way to organize their estate and lessen or eliminate estate and inheritance taxes.

What are the other differences between an LLC and a Corporation, or a Partnership? And what about Limited Liability Partnerships? Tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

is my delaware series llc valid in other states?


The U. S. Constitution provides that each State must give full faith and credit to those official acts of the other States. The creation of a corporation is an act of the Secretary of State of the particular State, and therefore must be honored in the other States. So even in States where such an entity cannot be created, it can exist if brought to that State from a State where it was lawfully created.

For example, people will sometimes fly to Las Vegas to get married because of less restrictive residency and time requirements. That marriage is then lawful in all of the States because the States are required to honor that act of the State of Nevada. (Here in Delaware, our Las Vegas is a wedding chapel just across the border, in Elkton, Maryland - or so I have been told).

I have frequently been asked to create Delaware LLC's to be merged with already existing single owner (member) Florida corporations so that the clients can have a single member LLC, in Florida. This is because, as I am told by my Florida colleagues, Florida does not permit a single member LLC. Florida requires that there be at least two owners/members. But by bringing in a single member Delaware LLC, it is legal to operate in Florida.

And so, even if a State's law specifically forbids a Series LLC, you can bring your Delaware Series LLC with you.

What is a Series LLC, anyway? More on that tomorrow.

Monday, January 06, 2003

the kgb and piracy

Former KGB agents are working with a music distribution group to provide watermarking for digital recordings. The technology would allow digital works to be traced back to their origins.
publishing Tolkien's Beowulf

The BBC News looks at the six year struggle faced by Professor Michael Drout to publish a manuscript written by J.R.R. Tolkien from 1936. One difficulty he faced was from Tolkien's estate, which is trying to avoid having people exploit the memory of the author.
the series llc as a family business - estate restructuring tool

We are frequently asked if a Delaware Series LLC can be utilized to consolidate various closely held business enterprises, while maintaining the liability insulation from each separate enterprise.


LLC's differ from regular corporations in their ability to provide 'flow-through' taxation, skipping the double taxation of the traditional corporation, but providing the same level of asset protection. The Delaware Series LLC is a variant of an LLC, established by 6 Del.C. 18-215.

The Delaware Series LLC is a particularly attractive option in planning/restructuring family businesses for some clients. We find that the clients can save money and effort by utilizing these structures to provide a unified management scheme for their holdings. And, as long as they are structured and managed properly, the assets owned by each series are insulated from the liabilities of the other series.

The financial savings are usually to be found on the administrative side, such as annual franchise taxes, registered agent fees, accounting fees, business licenses, creation costs. The extreme permutations of this process have prompted some writers to claim Series LLC's to be the future destruction of the tax code. And yet, so few people are utilizing these structures, and it is difficult to find professionals who are up to speed on them.

Next up, tomorrow ... the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, as to how Delaware Series LLC's are to be treated in other States.

Saturday, January 04, 2003

juries and terrorism

Terrorism and juries. Is there a problem with the mix?

When it comes to petit juries, maybe. An article from the New York Times looks back at a trial against terrorists (reg. req'd) which started in December, 2000. The author managed to find most of the anonymous jury, and asked the jurors questions about their deliberations. The article could be looked at as an argument for having military tribunals hear terrorism cases.

But the information gleaned during interviews from nine of the twelve jurors could also be helpful in instructing participants in future terrorism cases in civilian proceedings. Are the concerns raised from this particular case really that much different from cases where defendants may be part of organized crime?

A slight different matter, but still related, is the involvement of a grand jury. An article on the web site of the University of Dayton looks at federal grand juries, and the benefits of their use for investigating terrorism cases.
playing hardball

MSNBC's Hardball College Tour will be coming to Delaware on January 15th, with Delaware's US Senator Joseph Biden as a special guest. The show will be telecast live from the University of Delaware's Mitchell Hall at 9:00 pm. (Campus map here) The show is free to the public, and the hall will open at 7:30. Guests for previous stops on the tour included Governor Jesse Ventura, Rep. Dick Armey, John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore.
never never land or public domain?

Peter Pan is property. Or is he? When does an artistic creation become part of the public domain? Does that depend upon its time and place of creation? Publication? Whether or not the expression was used in a series of works, spread out over time? If one of those later works is still under copyright?

The Standford Law School Center for Internet and Society is representing the author of a book that involves a modern day rescue of Peter Pan from Neverland. Will the Center be able to save the author and Peter Pan from Never Never Land? They filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in a California Federal Court on December 20th, asking the Court to hold that Peter Pan is in the public domain in the United States, and to enable Emily Somma to have her book published.
buying harmony

Last week, I just didn't get my bid in on time over at eBay to purchase the California town of Bridgeville. The winning bid for the town was $1.8 million from an undentified buyer. I guess time will tell if it was a good purchase, or a utopia that just wasn't meant to be, sort of like New Harmony, Indiana, which was sold in 1824 for $135,000.

Friday, January 03, 2003

turn off your car lights

If you're driving through Seattle, and you decide to park, make sure that you turn your lights off. (via blogdex)
next generation state web sites

The Stamford Advocate is reporting that Connecticut has relaunched its web site at a new location, and with a new focus. The new address is, and the shift has been from providing information to supplying services.
"This next-generation state Web site is moving from an information-based site to a more service-based portal," she said. "It's organized around the user rather than the state bureaucracy."

The launch of the new portal coincides with the redesign of a handful of individual state agency Web sites, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, that allow residents to do more on the Internet.
I like the Connecticut redesign, and reorganization a lot, and I'm hoping that just maybe the folks running Delaware's pages will take a peek and gather some ideas.
sailors needed in delaware

The call has been sent out to muster a volunteer crew for Delaware's tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel. Training is provided, and a course starts on January 11th.

The ship originally set sail in 1637 (Cannon shot and midi audio warning -- you may want to turn your volume down low) to a destination that would become New Sweden, and eventually Delaware.

If you have the time, volunteering to sail the tall ship sounds like a considerable amount of fun, and work. Enthusiastic visitors are welcomed, too!
didn't I see you online?

An interesting business practice has been adopted by a car rental agency in the UK. When you pick up a car that you've rented from, they take a picture of you. If the car is more than 15 days past due, the picture goes up on their overdue cars page. Ananova reported on the first success of this practice back in November. A technology report from the BBC looks at that as one example of how images of ourselves may end up appearing in places that we don't want them to be.
recycled frogs?

Mark Twain's writing career sprang into life with a tale overheard in a bar, which he captured on paper and sold as his first short story. The story behind the tale has lead to an annual frog jumping contest, first held in 1928. Frogtown is home to the 39th District Agricultural Association and the Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee. The very first year, 15,000 people showed up. Thousands still attend.

What happens when the contest ends? Or, as the Napa News asks, "What to do with 2,000 slightly used frogs?"
Mary Robinson in Delaware

On January 20th, the City of Wilmington will play host to President Mary Robinson, who is this year's guest speaker at the Primo Lecture Series. Her presentation, entitled Today's Challenges in Achieving Human Rights, will begin at 7:00 pm at The Playhouse Theatre of The Hotel du Pont.

President Robinson won the 2002 Sydney Peace Prize in early November. The Guardian UK named her as one of their Women of the Year in 2002. She left her position as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in September. (An April interview with a reporter from the Village Voice focuses upon her decision to leave the UN.)

The former High Commissioner moved to the United Nations after serving seven distinquished years as the President of Ireland. She was named the laureate of the 2000 Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, and awarded the 1999 J. William Fulbright Prize.

In November, Oxfam International named her their Honorary President around the same time that she was being awarded the Sydney Prize.

The Primo Lecture Series is named for The Right Reverend Quintin E. Primo, Jr., and its focus is to "uproot racial discrimination and injustice, and to promote racial reconciliation at all levels of society."
DE blog article takes off

The recent Wilmington News Journal article regarding Delaware Blogs went global with a reprinting in USA Today.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

invasion delaware?

If you're from Delaware, and you haven't heard of the Free State Project, you may want to know that they have your home State scouted out as a possible takeover target. The project is:
a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S., where they may work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government.
An August, 2002 report from a Virginia attorney discusses the many reasons why Delaware is the best choice for the success of the movement. A Delawarean filed a new report in December explaining other reasons why Delaware is an ideal candidate for the Free State Project.
good words, bad words

Lake Superior State University and the American Dialect Society should play each other in softball, or at the very least, compete against one another in a spelling bee. They seem to be working at cross purposes. The University just published their 2003 list of banished words. The Society will choose their favorite amongst all of the new words coined this year, to determine a Word of the Year from this group. And yes, there is at least one phrase that is on both the banished list, and the American Dialect Society's list from 2002. I'm fond of one of last year's phrases -- second-hand speech. as a word of the year. The term stands for "cell phone conversations heard by others in public places."
smyrna and dover upgrade

The Wilmington News Journal reported today that the web sites for Smyrna and Dover have recently been given new looks. They have. We linked to the Dover web site a few weeks back, and the new version is considerably more interesting looking. I hadn't visited Smyrna's site in a while, but I'm considering sending them some ideas on what else they might want to do with their new site. If you're from those towns, and you have comments and ideas about their online presence, let them know.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

small businesses on tv

If you haven't seen Craigslist before, you've been missing out on something worth taking a peek at. Craigslist has spread out to seventeen different geographical locations, centering around cities in North America. The closest to us is Philadelphia, and it sometimes includes events, jobs, and other opportunities in Delaware.

One that looked like it might be fun to respond to is dated December 22, 2002, and is a call for small businesses (less than 20 employees) to contact the makers of a new documentary television program about American small businesses. While there is no compensation, it does present the possibility of nation-wide exposure on TV.
crime spider

It's a bit of a mystery as to who the web master is for the topical directory Crime Spider. A paragraph on the front page of the site states that this directory of crime, criminal justice, and law enforcement sites was created to help him or her conduct research for the crime stories and thrillers that he or she writes. If you like true crime books, CSI style forensics, or criminal law, there are loads of interesting links at Crime Spider.
emails to attorneys points to an Arizona State Bar Opinion with a rare dissent. The opinion focuses upon an attorney's obligations regarding unsolicited emails that they may received, and disclaimers that should be posted on law firm web sites for individual attorney's email addresses. Should an attorney be held to a duty of confidentiality when receiving an email out of the blue?
Delaware Riverkeepers

The Delaware River runs from the base of the Catskill Mountains to the Delaware Bay. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) is a nonprofit organization working in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to help protect and restore the Delaware River and its tributary watersheds. The DRN is involved in advocacy all along the Delaware's watershed. Their web site describes how you can become a member of the network, or a student intern or volunteer. The Delaware Riverkeeper since 1996 is Maya K. van Rossum, who received her Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law; and a Masters of Law degree in Corporate Finance from Widener University School of Law.
pardon me

What does it mean to be pardoned by the Governor? Not a whole lot. Not nearly as much as having your innocent criminal record expunged. And innocent is the key. A pardon is something that may be granted to someone who is guilty of a crime. This does not erase the fact that the person committed the crime, nor does it erase her record. In Delaware, it is merely an acceptance of the apology of the criminal.

An expungment, on the other hand, is an erasure of the record of someone who was not adjudicated guilty of a crime. They were either acquitted, or their case was dismissed. If a person has no other criminal record, and they fall into this category, then they may be granted an expungment order which erases clean their record. They can legally even deny that they were arrested on that expunged charge.

There is a huge difference between these two processes. As shown in the News Journal, where an individual tries to get his civil rights back after a pardon, just to find out that a pardon doesn't mean much.