Category Archives: Advanced Legal Research

ALR Student’s Corner: Lowering the Bar


Lowering the Bar is targeted at the legal professional, including students and practitioners. The author, Kevin Underhill, is a partner at Shook, Hardy and Bacon in San Francisco and graduated from Georgetown in 1993. His postings are humorous, yet true.  He prides himself on verifying information before he posts it to the blog, and embedding links to cited authority and other resources.

Although legal professionals enjoy the site, it is written in a very down-to-Earth way that appeals to law students and non-legal professionals, as well.  In a convenient column on the right side of the home page, Lowering the Bar offers 30 links to other outside sites. There are also links within the site to archives and useful resources such as commonly used pleadings. To ensure easy access, there is a column that lists over 50 areas of law alphabetically. This helps if you are looking for interesting items in a particular area such as animal law or environmental law.


Lowering the Bar archives older posts and, at the end of each post, provides links to other relevant articles on the site and metadata tags. At the top of the homepage, there is also a list of recent posts.  To make following the blog easier, there is a “Follow Me” button on the home page, links to social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and several others, and an RSS feed.

My first experience with Lowering the Bar was a Google search that listed the blog among other relevant hits related to a federal case, in which police in New Mexico manually searched the anus of a man believed to be hiding drugs behind his clenched buttocks, that I had decided to research as a result of a posting on Facebook.  I went to the blog and found a post discussing the “clenched buttocks” case and other current actions, as well as, links to the original news stories and subsequent others. Lowering the Bar has posted updates to its original post, including links to the federal court filings and news coverage of the victim’s police and medical records.

Mr. Underhill generally posts every day, sometimes several posts a day. They usually discuss recent news and are interesting and informative, while still being entertaining. The recent murder investigation of an undercover agent is one example of an interesting news item that has appeared in several blog posts. The police had ruled the agent’s death due to natural causes, even though his body was found inside a locked duffel bag that had been placed in a bathtub. The blog posts several pictures of the expert witness recreating the scene by getting into a bathtub and zipping himself into a duffel bag.

I love Lowering the Bar; it is easy to use and has a lot of helpful resources. The blog also is a great place to find a little bit of humor about the sometimes, very heavy subject of law.

~ Debra Chamberlain Marshall, L’15 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Law and the Multiverse: Superheroes, Supervillains, and the Law

What Happens When Real Law is Applied to Superheroes and Supervillians?

Today, I am taking a look at a blog called Law and the Multiverse: Superheroes, Supervillains, and the Law. While fighting villains, Hulk breaks anything in his way, Superman throws Ironman through a building, and the Avengers destroy a train while trying to contain Hulk. Have you ever wondered who pays for all of that damage? Well, two lawyers who are clearly superhero enthusiasts started this blog in an attempt to answer that question.

You might be asking yourself, “Who would read a blog like this?” Well, the answer to that are legal practitioners or others interested in the law who are also comic book nerds who like superheroes and have wondered who is liable for the collateral damage once the superheroes have saved the world…again. The goal of the authors is to provide a forum where real legal principles can be applied to fun fact patterns for the purpose of explaining legal concepts. Judging by the large numbers of comments for each article, which are almost as important and informational as the articles themselves, there are many readers who enjoy learning about the law in this way.

If you are an avid reader of comic books, you may have noticed that the storylines sometimes include legal questions. In an effort to make the characters appear more realistic, the ingenious writers of comic books add sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant legal issues to the storylines for our amusement. For those who have an interest in the law behind these legal issues, this blog attempts to answer those legal questions using the fictional scenarios created in the superhero stories. If you are saying to yourself, “Who cares?” – this blog is likely not for you. But, for the rest of us comic book readers and superhero movie watchers, who recognize these legal issues and wonder how they would be resolved, here is a forum where those questions can be answered!

The authors of the blog are attorneys currently practicing in the fields of intellectual property and insurance. There is a disclaimer stating that the information contained in the blog is not legal advice or analysis, but merely legal discourse based on fictitious scenarios. Most often, when analyzing a legal issue on behalf of their Superhero clients, the authors consider laws from across the various jurisdictions, rather than rely on a single state’s laws.

The authors also analyze the charges against Supervillians for stealing intangibles, such as a Superhero’s powers. In one post, the authors consider criminal charges against Yashida were he successful in stealing Wolverine’s healing ability, particularly since, without it, Wolverine becomes mortal and faces the possibility of death. Ultimately, the authors determine that, in the very least, Yashida could be charged with some type of theft or assault depending on the jurisdiction, and could also be sentenced to life in prison. Assault is a possibility because Yashida would have to extract Wolverine’s claws and bone marrow in order to steal his powers and turn him mortal.

The authors post anywhere from two to twenty nine articles every month. Those articles are archived, and the archives are easily accessible on the right side of the home page. A reader can also navigate and browse the articles by legal category.

Readers can easily share articles and stay current with the most recent posts by clicking on the Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ icon. In each article, there are hyperlinks to internal resources, such as Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses, and external resources, which become very useful when the reader is not completely aware of what character or story the blog is referencing.

~ Jennifer Morgan, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Check out Real Lawyers Have Blogs for the Scoop on Social Media and the Legal Community


Real Lawyers Have Blogs is a legal technology blog authored by Kevin O’Keefe, LexBlog’s CEO and publisher. Through this blog, Mr. O’Keefe encourages law firms to engage in online community building and business development. His posts often stem from Twitter discussions with legal professionals, as Mr. O’Keefe is a frequent tweeter himself.

The content on the blog suggests that its target audience is law firms and lawyers. The posts on the blog widely discuss issues related to lawyers and law firms and their involvement in the online community. For example, the blog discussions range from what lawyers should put in their online profiles to what clients expect in those profiles to what lawyers think about other lawyers who use social media.  Real Lawyers Have Blogs also provides great resources like blog posts about the 10 most popular stories Tweeted during the week and a section on the “Top 10 in Law Blogs,” each providing hyperlinks to the named external blogs.  Real Lawyers Have Blogs lets its users access much of its information through internal and external hyperlinks.


Real Lawyers Have Blogs also allows its users to stay connected through various social networking sites, including Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Additionally, followers may subscribe to all posts via RSS feed or email. The blog organizes its older posts by month and year. For instance, if a user goes to the “Archives” and selects October 2013 from the drop-down menu, she gets all of the posts from the month of October 2013, starting with the most recent one. The “Archives” goes back 10 years to October 2003.  There are only three posts from that oldest archive, versus the near daily posts of the October 2013 archive, demonstrating the substantial growth of the blog and its readership over the past decade.


Below the day’s blog posting, there is a section that displays other blog posts authored by Kevin O’Keefe. This area displays the date posted, the name of the original host site for the blog post, a link for further reading of the post’s full text, and a link to the comments posted. To the right of this section, Mr. O’Keefe populates the page with additional articles that would interest lawyers plugged into the online community.  Some of those articles are collected in a section entitled “Best In Law Blogs” which provides a featured blog article, its date and author, and a hyperlink to the “Best In Law Blog Archives” for additional reading. Additional articles can be found in sections entitled “Events” and “New to the Network,” each with its own archives. The format of these sections is clear and easy to read. The information provided here is also a good source of reference for users who enjoy following Mr. O’Keefe’s blogs.

The contact information (address, fax, and phone) for Real Lawyers Have Blogs is at the base of the home page, along with hyperlinks to the blog’s privacy policy and disclaimer information. At the bottom of the blog, there is a great feature that allows readers to quickly access the best and most read blog articles via hyperlink from “Best of Real Lawyers Have Blogs,” “Latest Across LXBN,” and “Most Read.”

There are several ways that users can participate in the blog’s community, particularly those who have mastered the use of social media.  They can post questions or comments through LexBlog or simply fill out the required fields and send their questions or comments from the blog’s home page. A user may also click the “LinkedIn Discussion Group” button to participate in the blog’s community via LinkedIn, or “Like” the blog on Facebook.

Lawyers and law firms alike should keep abreast of the to-dos within the social media community by staying connected to Real Lawyers Have Blogs via Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, RSS feed, or email. Doing so will give lawyers an edge on social media use within the legal profession.

~ Shantel Tatem, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home


For the past few weeks, I have been following the legal blog Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home.[1]  It focuses on labor and employment issues, particularly those stemming from horrendous, indecent managers, affecting employees of all different types of corporations, companies and non-profit organizations.  This blog proclaims its mission as “what you need to know before you scream ‘I quit,’ get fired, or decide to sue the bastards.”[2]  While the tone is humorous, the mission of the blog authors is truly serious – to advocate for employees stressed about their current job stability and worried about their financial futures.  In support of this mission, the blog helps these folks fight back with information about recourse to the courts and federal regulatory agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board.

I would be remiss if I did not disclose the fact that I currently serve as Human Resources Director for one of the largest Steel Manufactures in North America and am responsible for all Human Resources activities for the largest manufacturing site in North America with 1,000 employees.  I will not proclaim that I have seen everything; however, I have had my fair share of interesting situations.  Often these situations fall somewhere in the grey area that is not expressly covered by the policies which govern our employment and labor relations.  Personally, I find this blog to be a resource for those of us who are responsible for labor relations just as it is a resource for the employees who may be suffering from a power obsessed leader.


This blog posts discussed some very interesting topics over the past few weeks such as bullying, the termination of employees for use of personal electronic devices, surveillance of employees, and normal discriminatory issues like terminations that violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  For me, the blog posts on the topic of bullying are the most interesting because it is a very hot topic in our culture.  Specifically, this blog outlined the fact that there are currently no bullying statutes in effect to protect employees from a bully boss.  However, this blog breaks down a typical bullying situation into the individual acts of the bully and explains how each of his acts may violate a law or company policy.  For example, the blog post by Donna Ballman on November 8, 2013 titled 7 Claims Jonathan Martin May Have Regarding Dolphins Bullying Under Florida Law[3] suggests that a victim of a bully may bring a claim against him for breach of contract, race or age-based harassment, assault/battery, or intentional inflection of emotional distress.  This is a fantastic blog and a great way to inform employees that recourse exists under the law to address a bully manager, even without there being a specific statute on bullying. For the managerial side, this blog is a valuable tool to enlighten managers as to the specific instances in an organization that need to be regulated.

Another interesting blog post discussed the new practice of employers requiring employees to bring their personal electronic devices to work.[4]  This is a new practice which allows employees to use their personal computers, tablets and cell phones for their jobs.  While this is favored by employees because it allows them to work on their preferred electronic devices and by employers because it cuts costs to maintain the equipment, the policy presents many issues.  The most important of those issues is the corporation’s duty to secure confidential information on those personal electronic devices when the employee’s position terminates.  Often employers take an overly broad approach and wipe the entire device which deletes the personal data of the former employee.  My employees are facing this risk and feel that they can not leave the employer for fear of loosing there personal information and pictures.  Luckily, resources like this blog provide insight into the rights of employees and employers dealing with this situation.  Specifically, this blog advises employees to deny their employer’s request to wipe their devices and if the employer proceeds anyway, to seek restitution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Stored Communications Act.

Ultimately, the employment relationship is ever changing and information for employees and employers is essential to maintaining compliance.  Furthermore, the most difficult situation will not be expressly laid out in policy and if we can learn what to do and not to do from others, we will be better equipped to maintain a positive employment relationship with all members of the organization.  There will always be interesting situations in the professional environment and dealing with this appropriately can have huge cost savings for the employees and employers.

~ Kenneth Schappert, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: The Careerist Blog

The Careerist is a fun, informative blog designed for just about anyone in the legal field or anyone pursuing a legal career.


Author Vivia Chen, a former corporate lawyer, applies a fresh approach to lawyering while offering news, tips, and advice.  The Careerist focuses on legal developments, career and life satisfaction, as well as, up-to-date office trends.  There is also an emphasis on how lawyers enjoy work/life balance.  With a blog post nearly every day, legal news is current with a humorous edge.  An appealing part of this blog is the author’s wide range of topics that she discusses regularly.  The Careerist blog topics include the following:


There are several links to outside resources from The Careerist home page.  There are drop down menus for job seekers and employers.  Job seekers have the opportunity to job search and post their resumes.  The job search link leads to an outside site,  Employers can post a job and search for resumes through  


Another link from the home page is “News and Views.” Hovering over this link leads to subtopics such as career news, tips for success, compensation matters, and profiles.  “Profiles” leads to an attorney spotlight page which culls attorney profiles from various media and legal resources.  The articles here highlight attorneys beyond their work in the office and showcase their community-service endeavors and interests outside of their law careers.  For example, one spotlight focused on a New York judge who left the bench to serve a tour overseas with the Army.  The “Compensation Matters” link leads to law-related articles pertaining to money matters, such as an article about how the Texas legislature approved pay raises for judges.


Law students can find their share of pertinent legal news on The Careerist.  Several blog posts in the last few months have highlighted articles for law students and law schools.  For instance, one particular post from September 3, 2013, Grads of Lesser-Ranked Law Schools Are Happy Campers, compared job satisfaction data among graduates of the variously ranked schools.  There, the author notes that “[g]raduates of elite schools are sometime a bit disdainful of the demands of the profession, while those with lesser pedigrees probably just appreciate the opportunity to work.”

Subscribers can follow the blog and receive updates of its “News Views and Alerts” via email, Facebook, and Twitter.  Blog posts from the home page are listed by date, the most recent first.  To access older posts, readers of the blog have to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “More Posts.”  A reader can also find blog topics by clicking on “Topic Tags” under each blog post.  There is a dearth of reader comments to the posts on the blog, which seems unusual considering it gets a lot of traffic.  But, despite their disinterest in commenting, the blog’s readers are still exposed to a plethora of topical news and articles, as well as, an updated list of current top jobs.  Attention-grabbing post topics and headlines, coupled with a legal focus, make The Careerist an entertaining and informative blog.

~ Leanne Boyd, L’15 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Legal Profession Blog

 “Have You Heard the One About the Lawyer Who…?”:

A Review of Legal Profession Blog

The Legal Profession Blog is a member of Law Professor Blogs, LLC, a network of more than 40 blogs written and edited by Law Professors around the country.[i] Like a gossip page for the practice of law, the Legal Profession Blog provides continuous updates on the disciplinary, criminal, and disbarment actions taken against attorneys across the nation. Ostensibly a blog about the legal profession, the posts primarily report on the misconduct of legal professionals and associated disciplinary actions. So who would follow a blog that reports on the misdoings of legal professionals? The stated audience for this blog includes legal professionals, law professors, and law students; given the sometimes sordid information provided, the general public and those looking for new material for lawyer jokes will also find this blog continually entertaining. The doings—and misdoings—that earn a spot on this blog are, unfortunately, a part of every profession in the nation, and due to the legal profession’s adherence to self-reporting, self-policing, and professional responsibility, no deed goes unpublished.


With clever titles, including “That’s What Friends Aren’t For,” “Wheels of Soul,” and “Hogwash,” the Legal Profession Blog draws readers in with just enough information to peak reader curiosity. In addition to providing a blotter of attorney and judicial misconduct, the Legal Profession Blog also includes updated ethical rules, ethical opinions, and bar admission decisions. In keeping with the spirit of professional legal writing, the posts are clear and concise and contain only those facts the reader really wants to know. Each post leads with the penalty imposed, giving readers a chance to evaluate the facts and circumstances in light of the ultimate outcome and reach their own conclusion as to whether the punishment fit the crime. For readers who want to know more, each post contains a hyperlink to additional resources including actual complaints, orders, or state bar announcements. “Probation With Movie Requirements” represents a typical post for the Legal Profession Blog. 

In “Probation With Movie Requirements,” readers learn, in 76 words, that an attorney in Arizona consented to a disciplinary judge’s sanctions resulting from the attorney’s violation of ethical rules. His punishment (i.e. what readers really want to know, right?) was a ninety-day suspension, two years probation, and the viewing of two Continuing Legal Education (CLE) videos, presumably related to the behavior that led to his “ethical violations.” Readers wanting to know more can click the hyperlink to the actual consent order issued by the disciplinary judge. The order provides greater detail including the ethical rules violated and the terms of the sanction.

The Legal Profession Blog is very accessible to a broad audience. From a substantive standpoint, the blog uses straightforward and concise language rather than legalese and terms of art to describe an array of predicaments implicating legal ethics and professional responsibility.  Aesthetically, this blog does not attempt to draw readers in with graphics or fanciful layouts; rather, the articles are predominantly displayed with very little distraction. Unfortunately, readers will not get much beyond the content of the blog posts themselves, as comment frequency is very low, despite the blog having garnered 996,521 hits since September 18, 2006. In addition to the comment capability, readers can share posts via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, or via email.


The available search tools make navigating the site relatively easy. Archived blogs are navigable, either by searching by topic such as blogging, religion, or travel, or searching by month and year. Readers can subscribe to this blog in order to receive notifications of new postings by simply entering an email address. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of legal professionals running afoul of the rules of professional conduct, which fortunately for the readers of the Legal Profession Blog means multiple posts per day, almost every day, of lawyers behaving badly.

Overall, for legal professionals, law students, and the general public, the Legal Profession Blog provides an interesting glimpse into the world of professional misconduct without too much technical detail, multiplicative analysis, or extraneous commentary. Unfortunately, the site comes off a bit salacious with its focus on the negative stories of legal professionalism, as opposed to stories that highlight legal professionals’ adherence to codes of conduct, ethical rules, and professional decency. The blog does serve as a reminder to law students and professionals, however, of the importance of diligent adherence to the code of professional conduct, lest one finds her story as the next headline on the Legal Profession Blog.

~ Emily Ray, L’14 ~

[i] Legal Profession Blog is edited by S. Alan Childress, Professor of Law at Tulane University Law School; Michael S. Frisch, Ethics Counsel at Georgetown Law Center; and Jeffrey M. Lipshaw, Associate Professor of Law at Suffolk Law School.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Law Prose


Law Prose: An evaluation on the fascination of words

I recently reviewed Bryan A. Garner’s blog on his website Mr. Garner is an established scholar in legal writing. He is the current editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, conducts CLE seminars, and has published many works including Garner’s Modern American Usage – a massive guide to contemporary American English. In addition, legal professionals can seek his advice by requesting consulting services or can sign up to earn a Master’s Certificate in Legal Writing from the Academy of American Legal Writers.

The blog can be understood by a general adult audience, but it is most helpful for legal professionals, law students, or anyone whose daily existence requires legal writing. Mr. Garner’s posts are entertaining and provide historical context of the grammar, terms, and various common usage of words he explains. For instance, did you know that it is perfectly acceptable to still use “till” instead of “until”? However, Mr. Garner warns, do not make the common mistake of writing “’til.”

Here are some examples of his posts covered in the last month:

  • Substituting the word “period” instead of the phrase “time period”
  • Avoiding generalized titles of authority (e.g. write “the scientist Jeremiah Smith” instead of “scientist Jeremiah Smith”)
  • A lesson in possessives based on the Red Sox and the Cardinals (Mr. Garner seems to be a fan of baseball)
  • Substituting the words “to” or “against” instead of using “toward.”
  • Differences between American English and British English
  • Is it written “email” or “e-mail”?

Mr. Garner also provides random quotes of the day. I found this one particularly elegant:


Yet, when reviewing his blog, I was disappointed that there were no hyperlinks or comments I could view. Also, while it is helpful that his posts are archived back to 2011, they mostly cover words based on the letters “R,” “S,” and “T.” Law Prose does, however, have some useful tools, such as a search box and RSS feed.

Mr. Garner’s blog is a refreshing snapshot of the American English language. In an occupation where we depend so much on our words, a blog like this can be very useful. If you would like to sign up for free word usage tips of the day, go to and enter your email address.

Cheers!  (Now how did that become a salutation?)

~ Ashley Ann Wright, L’15 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: The Bitter Lawyer


The intended audience for The Bitter Lawyer blog is lawyers and law students who are in need of some comic relief. The blog provides this audience with unfiltered humor that is incredibly relatable to the everyday life of the lawyer. An example of a blog title is Why Corporate Law is a Total Scam, which describes the corporate lawyer as overworked, an over-biller, and someone that probably would not be hired in a different field of law.  Another hilarious article is Bored? Some Fun Things to do in the Back of the Courtroom, which according to its author includes sleeping, playing drinking games, and doing Kegal exercises.  After each post, there are comments, which prove to be equally amusing. Furthermore, if you really like the post, you have the option of sharing via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, and Email.


Along the left column of the blog, there is a section called “Think you’re funny? Send us your stuff, and maybe we’ll use it!” where followers of the site can post questions or topics.  The blog is extremely user friendly and interactive by allowing multiple places to post/comment and an option to search archives. The blog seems to reach a decent sized audience as evidenced by the shares and comments. For example, a blog post titled The Ten Students You Meet in Law School was shared 1,375 times on Facebook, 125 times on Twitter, and acquired 74 comments. I noticed that the interview posts did not receive many comments or shares, possibly because the interviews are not meant to be funny. Besides columns, the blog also includes videos, comics, interviews, and news.  The site also ranks postings by popular posts, giving the reader options to read the top picks of the blog administrators. New write-ups are added daily. While not excessive, there are a few hyperlinked advertisements on each page.

In sum, lawyers and law students have the habit of taking themselves a little too seriously.  Luckily, The Bitter Lawyer gives us a chance to loosen up and laugh at things we usually only share privately, like how we wish our clients would be less inclined to share information with the police because the police WILL always use it against them.

~ Melissa Ursi, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: Bankruptcy Blog


Bankruptcy Blog is very accessible to a wide audience, in that the blog encompasses complex portions of the bankruptcy process and still takes precautions to explain the most fundamental of bankruptcy concepts as they come up in a given article. For example, one entry briefly addresses what happens to the filer’s debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Of course, for an attorney practicing in the field of bankruptcy, this explanation would be overly simplistic and without purpose. For this reason, I think the blog tries to appeal to the general public with discussions and legal explanations that it can read and understand. But, the blog also provides a well laid out report of current changes in bankruptcy law and interesting rulings in bankruptcy court that a bankruptcy attorney would find helpful.

The blog is updated daily on the weekdays, where a new article is submitted for subscribers and website visitors to view. Occasionally, more than one blog entry is made on a given day. Each blog title is catchy and sometimes contains a pop culture reference to draw the attention of the reader. When a contributor to the blog analyzes a particular court decision or code section, she cites the cases discussed and hyperlinks to those cases and the relevant portions of the Bankruptcy Code. Contributors to the blog post their biographies (i.e. education, bar admission, lists of publications) and contact information. There is also a method for subscribers and visitors to leave general questions or comments on the blog.


Navigating Bankruptcy Blog is easy.  Its posts can be browsed by category, author or date. For instance, to narrow your selection to only those articles about credit bidding, you would select the topic from the “Category” drop down list which is located at the bottom right of the home page. Blog entries can also be browsed from the archives which date back to September 2010. At the top of the page, there is a shortcut for subscribing to the blog and a feature that showcases a new bankruptcy term. Overall, the appearance of the blog is clean and concise; there are no pesky ads that pop up or clutter the sides of the pages, and the presentation of the posts is in classic black and white.

Having taken Bankruptcy Law in law school, I was interested in a few articles, particularly one entitled “You’re Insolvent, but Not That Insolvent” which discusses some potential changes to one of my favorite topics, fraudulent transfers. The article analyzes In re HDD Rotary Sales, Inc., a decision of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas that expanded upon the issue of fraudulent transfers vs. obligations, a distinction that I knew little to nothing about before reading the blog. Similarly, the article “Call Me (a Good), Maybe” was also very interesting because it helped to tackle the issue of electricity consumption being a good under the bankruptcy code. I had little prior knowledge about this issue, and the analysis of the court, as presented by the blog, was an entertaining read.

I have enjoyed following the Bankruptcy Blog for these past few weeks. I think it is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the subject, and I would recommend the blog to lay people as well as practicing attorneys and law students.

~ Cheri Todd, L’ 14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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ALR Student’s Corner: LLC Law Monitor

Doug Batey, a partner at the law firm Stoel Rives in Seattle, authors the blog LLC Law Monitor on the ABA Journal site.


He has a business law practice and advises companies and executives on a broad range of issues, including mergers and acquisitions; corporate, securities and commercial law; limited liability companies and corporate governance. He has advised a number of start-up and early stage entrepreneurial companies from business formation, seed round and venture capital financings, through successful growth and later acquisitions. He is also a member of the Partnership and LLC Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association.

This blog gives readers insight and commentary on the law of limited liability companies. Mr. Batey’s target audience includes readers who are educated on the subject and simply want to keep up-to-date on any recent legal news or changes to the law of LLCs.  Since July 19, 2013, Mr. Batey has posted thirteen articles that discuss recent court opinions and new state laws related to limited liability companies. I found myself wishing that he posted more frequently because the information from the posts is so helpful.  He might also consider giving a bit more context for his discussions, such as additional background information or supplemental materials on LLCs and the laws pertaining to them, particularly for those unfamiliar with this area of law.


One of the blog posts from LLC Law Monitor that I found particularly interesting discussed two recent bankruptcy cases and the courts’ inconsistent treatment of member rights in LLC operating agreements. In one case, a bankruptcy court enforced a member’s right to receive an assignment of the other member’s equity in an LLC. In the other case, the court ignored state LLC law and the debtor’s LLC agreement in order to allow the trustee to assert management rights in the debtor’s LLC. Mr. Batey further discusses, in another notable blog post, how the Federal Incorporation Transparency Act is being reintroduced to Congress with the requirement that states collect information from organizers of LLCs and corporations about their direct and indirect individual owners, whether U.S. or foreign residents, and then provide that information when requested by state and federal agencies. Mr. Batey believes such a law would be burdensome on states and legitimate businesses, is currently ambiguous and poorly drafted, and might be an invasion of privacy. In each article, Mr. Batey gives definitions, background information and additional references on the particular topic of the article and then discusses the topic further.  Additionally, each article is appropriately meta-tagged and provides adequate links to outside resources, such as court opinions and annotated codes.

I will likely continue to follow LLC Law Monitor in order to stay up-to-date on recent events and laws related to limited liability companies.

~ Melissa Dahl, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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