opinions, everybody's got one...
Saturday, December 28, 2002
Darrell Lambert is a 19 year-old who spent ten years in the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster and 37 merit badges. Last month, he was asked to leave the Boy Scouts because he admitted to being an atheist. On Monday, he filed an appeal with the organization. After reading Darrell Lambert's Appeal Letter to the Scouts, I find myself hoping that they give some serious thought to his words and reconsider their decision. It's an impressive letter that shows a tremendous strength of character and a considerable amount of class.
In many ways, the world wide web is like the wild, wild west, though some would disagree with that statement. There's a freedom and an anarchy that many people love, and many others find confusing or even distressing. An Associated Press article called More fences coming as Internet outgrows its innocence takes a look at some of the structures evolving in the online world which may limit access to different parts of the web. There are some interesting comments from people involved in the growth of the web, including a few from Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain.
An Atlantic Monthly article from 30 years ago looks at jury selection for the Pentagon Papers Trial. The case posed some "very special problems" during the jury selection process.
I am frequently asked why more than half of the Fortune 500 companies have made the choice to incorporate in Delaware. Why Delaware? What is so special about Delaware?
Delaware has developed a public-private partnership between the Delaware Secretary of State ? Division of Corporations, Delaware?s Attorneys, and the private Registered Agent firms. This partnership involves a highly integrated system of cooperation which takes the best of each participant. From the Government, we contribute stability, impartiality, and the strength of the State.
Delaware Attorneys contribute legal analysis and drafting so as to keep the laws up to date and accurate. The private Registered Agent firms inject a no-nonsense business analysis and application to the equation to make sure things actually work. The Registered Agent firms are in daily contact with the Division of Corporations, and many of them can actually enter and read the incorporation data directly onto and from the Division?s computer system via dedicated direct line networking.
We have formal meetings, quarterly and annually, so as to keep everyone in the industry fully abreast of the pulse of the Delaware incorporation process and the changes we are consistently implementing. And as in business, if something needs immediate action it happens in Delaware. This process has the full support of the Delaware Legislature, as it is in a large part responsible for Delaware?s ability to avoid a State sales tax.
The public-private partnership is really the key to how Delaware stays in the forefront of this industry. The resulting laws and structures that fine tune the incorporation and corporate litigation arenas trim the fat, costs, and delays that you will find in other States.
Here is an excerpt from the Division of Corporation?s site as to how this trimming makes Delaware a lean, mean, corporate machine:
Businesses choose Delaware not for one single reason, but because we provide a complete package of incorporations services including:
Modern and flexible corporate laws;So, there is no one ?holy grail? answer to the question, why Delaware, unless it is that we have a comprehensive and detailed system for managing it efficiently.
Oh, and did I mention? It?s less expensive.
one more excuse fails
Wilmington's mayor announced that the City will not appeal the dismissal of their ill-conceived suit against the firearm industry, as reported in the News Journal. Now the finger pointers will have one less target in Delaware. Sooner or later they will have to look closer to home.
I have asked Lawrence G. Keane, vice president for the National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc., to contribute weekly gun safety tips for publication here. I look forward to his response.
Friday, December 27, 2002
internet law case summaries
While doing some research on internet law cases [we call it intellectual property] , I ran across this nicely done summary by Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P. I found it to be helpful and conveniently organized. Maybe you will too.
One of the nice features of one of Delaware's local papers is the local opinion section, in which members of the public share their thoughts. Because of a short holiday hiatus on my part during the holiday, I missed out on commenting upon the following couple of columns. The first, from Michael Kingsley, former editor of Slate is Why innocent people confess.
Another that I enjoyed was one by James Campion, a columnist for the regional music and events magazine Aquarian Weekly. The article, Fakery is the American way of getting off easy looks at how the Federal Trade Commission is beginning to focus on the task of protecting us from our own stupidity.
Thursday, December 26, 2002
taking business counseling to the next level
The Next Level Advisory Board (N-LAB), an entity in formation, is bringing together a local team of professionals to use a cooperative approach to business, estate, and investment planning. They will act as a Board of Directors with respect to the clients' planning needs, and utilize the individual skills and experience of the professionals coordinated by the breadth of the group.
You will be hearing more about N-LAB. This much is for sure.
Wednesday, December 25, 2002
blogging through the snow...
Dale Dallabrida, of the News Journal, has discovered Delaware blogging. On Christmas Eve day, we discovered an article in the Leisure Section which exposed the several Delaware bloggers which we have so far identified. Thank you, Dale.
Dale poses the question, where will blogging take us? Is it a fad? The blogging community knows the answer. It is a tool which opens up internet publishing for us regular folk. As such, when more regular folk find out about it, it will explode.
As a demonstration of the ease of use of this tool, I can let you in on a secret. I am writing this from my home office on Christmas morning while I wait for my wife to wake. It took me about 3 minutes, and requires no programming skills.
We are thankful for the opportunities and privileges that we have enjoyed throughout this year. We hope that you are each able to share this holiday season with someone you love.
Monday, December 23, 2002
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has confirmed a successful Santa Sleigh test flight. If you would like to follow Santa on his journey across the globe, make sure to visit the NORAD tracks Santa web site. You may want to visit early to make certain that you have all of the appropriate plug-ins for your browser.
Walk through metal detectors, x-ray machines scanning purses and packages and check-in baggage -- these are devices that we may see much more of in the future. We have them at airports and in public office buildings. What we rely upon for our security aren't the machines as much as the people using them. Those people need training and they need to treat people as more than just suspects. There have been many troubling stories printed in the media about abuses committed by the people running security checkpoints. Perhaps the most egregious account I've seen is one reported on the pages of LewRockwell.com (via bOING bOING). Though, this article troubled me a great deal, too.
online data security?
A troublesome story run by MSNBC tells about a password leak that exposed detailed information on 180,000 domain name transfers that happened over the past two years, including credit card information.
creative commons and web sites
Pioneering California appellate attorney Denise Howell, of Bag and Baggage has licensed her blog under the terms of the licensing project devised by the people at Creative Commons. Denise explains how and why in a post called IAAL: A Lawyer Licenses her weblog.
Sunday, December 22, 2002
There are a number of alcoholic beverges out on the market place that have become known as Malternatives. These types of drinks are things like hard lemonades and hard colas, and others (you must be 21 or over to enter those sites). The State of Tennnessee considers them to be liquors rather than beers, even though they are packaged like beer and have about the same alcoholic content. In Tennessee, beer can be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores. An administrative law judge will chose one classification or another with testimony beginning on February 20th. Reminds me of the battle over whether tomatos are fruits or vegetables.
trial by jury
It's something that we take for granted. Most criminal cases in the United States don't even go to trial, but are halted earlier on by dismissal or the entry of a plea. But the right is available to us. In Russia, trial by jury will become part of a new way of life, and it has people worried:
It is a form of justice that most Russians recognize only from books and Western films. Although Russia's 1993 constitution envisioned the right to jury trials, only nine of the nation's 89 regions have actually held them, and then only as an experiment to see whether they would work.There's a concern that the shift to jury trials will overwhelm Russia's legal system. But the results in the areas that have been holding trials by jury show an intresting trend:
The old system produced a 99.6 percent conviction rate, partly because judges were forced to share the prosecutor's burden of proving a defendant's guilt. Defendants in the nine pilot regions have fared better before juries, winning acquittals about one-fifth of the time.At this point jurors only hear major cases, and Russia has rejected the concept of plea bargains. We often take the right to a trial by jury for granted. We shouldn't.
politics in delaware
Delaware is a small state, and if you're not careful, it's easy to trip over one of our many politicians. With Washington, D.C. only a short train ride away, it's easy for our Senators and U.S. Representative (yes, that's singular) to commute. We also have a number of State Senators and Representatives to keep an eye out for. You just never now where one might turn up.
Thankfully, we now have someone who is very familiar with politics in Delaware keeping an eye open for us. Celia Cohen covered politics for the Wilmington News Journal for a while, and now does the same online at Delaware Grapevine. We've always been a little more concerned about the laws and the issues than the people behind them at the Delaware Law Office. It's good to know that someone's now watching the people making the laws, online.