The Lawyer Ledger

The latest updates on business litigation, business, and appellate law.

You’re Not in Kansas Anymore (even though you thought you were)

A forum selection clause in a contract can be a powerful tool. It essentially means that any lawsuit arising out of the contract must be filed in the jurisdiction specified in the contract. This can mean the difference between a company that does business across the country (or world) litigating cases in numerous jurisdictions or…

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The Value of a Good Plumber

I’ve used the same plumber for 10-years. The owner of the bike shop I regularly use recommended him to me. The first time he came to my house my dog (a 100-pound all black German Shepard) chased him down the street and the plumber had to jump on the hood of his truck to escape…

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When Someone Else Has to Pay for Your Lawyer

There are times when someone else has to pay for your lawyer. Most countries in the world follow the English rule on attorney’s fees. This means the losing party has to pay the winning party’s attorney’s fees. The United States is the exception. We follow the American rule (makes sense). The American rule means each…

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The High Price of Do-It-Yourself

Over the past few years, pre-printed legal forms have become widely available at office supply stores and on the Internet. LegalZoom operates a website that offers various legal forms that allow customers to prepare various documents including those necessary to start a business, rent a house or draft a will. Their website is fairly sophisticated…

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$23.6 Billion in Punitive Damages

A Florida jury recently awarded $23.6 billion in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for causing the smoking-related death of a longtime smoker. The jury also awarded $16.8 million in compensatory damages. Because the punitive damage award is so disproportionate to the award of compensatory damages, it’s almost a certainty that the trial court…

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The Robot Lawyers are Coming

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post about a Silicon Valley start-up that is developing a law firm that will automate some of the routine tasks that lawyers perform. The firm is developing software using artificial intelligence that will automate certain routine but complicated legal tasks – like fundraising from venture capitalists and…

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