opinions, everybody's got one...
Thursday, April 17, 2003
Delaware Attorney General Steps Up to the Service Counter
Now as a new service, the Delaware Attorney General has systematized the process for merchants to complain and collect on bad checks. Although the general process was already in the Delaware Code, it was largely self-help. Now the Attorney General's office promises to help. :-) And you don't have to be a Delaware lawyer to use it!
Google Page Rankings
As I learn more and more about how the internet works, and how people find my business on the web, I learn about Google page ranking. It strikes me as interesting that Google's own news page has the highest ranking, 10. I guess lots of people get their news from that page, huh?
AltaVista.com and CNN.com get ratings of 9, while MSNBC.com comes in at only a 6.
I wonder if my blog page rating will now drop. It has been fluctuating between 5 and 6.
I suppose they can do what they want, ay? They are a business, after all, not a social service or governmental agency. Here is a link to their regime bios. That page is rated 10 also. As is the page on how they decorate their corporate hallways and the location of the all-night doughnut shops nearest to their offices.... and it appears to me that every google page is rated at 10.
I wonder how much further down the road of integrating the web into our lives we will go before a legislature or judge determines that there should be an objective and unbiased search protocol? Would that be the end to the commercial search engines? Would that serve the increasing (and overwhelming) public interest in having a fair and open internet? Would that be an element of "interstate commerce"?
I used Google to research this blog entry.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
ss united states on the high seas
The SS United States has been an very visible eyesore and a bit of heartbreak to all those traveling on Route 95 from Delaware to Philadelphia since 1996, when it was first left to die on the Philadelphia waterfront. I'm glad to be able to say that it has been rescued from bankruptcy, mothballs, and rust. It's no longer going to be an unused ship on an unused wharf. One of the largest, and one of the fastest ocean liners ever built, the ship is returning to the high seas.
The SS United States has been purchased (NY Times, reg. req'd) by Norwegian Cruise Line.
It will join the SS Independence as part of the first US Fleet of ocean liners in fifty years.
what is a reasonable hourly rate?
I have been chewing on an issue....: When we have to request Court Ordered counsel fees, I have not found a source to supply the Court for the purpose of determining what is a reasonable hourly rate. I followed a link at myshingle.com to a 2002 survey of the rates at the 250 largest firms, but I don't know how convincing that would be to a local judge. With the higher efficiency business model of a multi-attorney firm, however, would not it be reasonable that solos have higher rates than larger firms? After all, is not the hourly rate an artificial construct intended to reflect the cost of providing the service?
By deciding these issues with no evidence, Judges are in effect taking judicial notice of the local hourly rates, but with no data other than their experience. And some of these judges haven't been in private practice in 20 years...or ever. The judge in the E.D. Pennsylvania seems to agree with me in the decision in PETRONILA RIVERA v. PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY, et al. 97-CV-7976.
Wouldn't it be reasonable for the Delaware Bar Association to provide survey results as to the prevailing hourly rates for attorneys, with adjustment for relevant factors such as: years in practice; expertise; and complexity of the area of practice. Ahh but then everyone would claim price fixing. Well isn't price fixing by a rational economic method better than arbitrary and capricious?
Sunday, April 13, 2003
the riaa takes on the world
We linked to an article here a few days ago about four lawsuits pursued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A couple of followup articles that describe the suits in more detail are Zack Rosen's $97,800,000,000 and Joseph Barillari's An analysis of the RIAA's complaint against Dan Peng '05. Interesting reading. What role might the DMCA have in protecting any of the defendants in these cases? What chance does the RIAA have in collecting that much money from the law suits it initiated here?