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What’s on the docket this week:

  1. Featured Story – Study Finds That Lawyers Have Highest Incidents of Excessive Drinking Among Professionals
  2. 🗄 IP/Transactional – Copyrighted Questionnaire Examining Drug Regimens Riles Health Researchers
  3. 🤺 Litigation – IBM Age-Discrimination Lawsuit Reveals Executives Refer to Older Employees as ‘Dinobabies’
  4. 📲 Legaltech – Arent Fox Buys Property in the Metaverse
  5. 🔪 Criminal/Politics – Nationwide No-Fly List Could Become a Reality As Violent Incidents Surge
  6. 💰 Finance/Econ/Regulatory – FCC Bans Cable Deals That Block Competition in Apartments
  7. ⚖️ Ethics – Defrauding Banks of Over $8 Million Is A Bad Decision

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Featured Story: Study Finds That Lawyers Have Highest Incidents of Excessive Drinking Among Professionals

Why couldn’t the alcoholic become a lawyer?

Because he just couldn’t pass the bar.

Rates of problematic alcohol use among lawyers, however, are high, even when compared to the general population. Moreover, problematic use of alcohol among lawyers has grown increasingly common over the last fifteen years.

recent study examined trends in professionals over the years to determine the status of their mental health. The data showed that lawyers fair on mental health, but are the worst when it comes to alcohol consumption. Which isn’t surprising if you’ve ever been to a legal networking event.

And while this study’s data showed that lawyers don’t have mental health issues, it reminded me of another study from a few years ago that found legal work was the loneliest kind of work

It’s hard being a lawyer. As I often tell people, being a lawyer is like doing homework for a living. It takes a toll on you.

We, as a profession, need to do better for each other. I enjoy a cocktail as much as the next guy (I had drinks at The Milk Room last week), but drinking doesn’t need to be an almost defining part of being a lawyer.

I’m not sure what needs to be done, but something needs to change. And it’s not going to be from the gray hair crew. It’s got to come from us, and the new generation of lawyers graduating from law school.

Let’s help each other be better.

🗄 IP/Transactional

Copyrighted Questionnaire Examining Drug Regimens Riles Health Researchers

The Eight-Item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8), developed by public health specialist Donald Morisky, has stirred controversy among drug researchers who are being asked to pay thousands to use the copyrighted questionnaire. The MMAS-8 helps provide valuable insight on patent adherence to drug regimens, which is an important issue because lack of adherence can worsen health. Dr. Morisky has moved aggressively to protect his intellectual property, and although he is well within his right to seek payments, his vigorous enforcement and size of demands stand out. Morisky claims that his enforcement is to ensure that the tool is correctly used, but many researchers have resisted, questioning the ethics and legality of the requests.

🤺 Litigation

IBM Age-Discrimination Lawsuit Reveals Executives Refer to Older Employees as ‘Dinobabies’

As the age-discrimination lawsuit against IBM unfolds, the company is finding it increasingly difficult to prove its innocence in the public eye. Recently obtained documents show IBM executives calling older workers ‘dinobabies’ who should be ‘extinct’ and the company’s plans to oust older employees from its workforce to make room for more millennial workers. A spokesperson for IBM claims that the company has never engaged in systemic age discrimination. However, experts believe the exchanges between multiple executives are highly incriminating and reflect a clear age bias among IBM’s highest-ranking employees.

📲 Legaltech

Arent Fox Buys Property in the Metaverse

After helping several entertainment networks, NBA teams, and global accounting firm PwC move into the metaverse, Arent Fox decided it was their time to enter the digital world. This is the first substantial move of a big law firm into the metaverse and is part of Arent Fox’s first mover strategy into new technological spaces. The firm bought a digital plot of land and is opening offices where lawyers and clients can meet for business or social occasions, and they will also serve as a place to share information. This move to the metaverse is an effort for law firms like Arent Fox to not only connect with clients, but also their own people in a world where flexibility and remote work are becoming increasingly important to employees.

🔪 Criminal/Politics

Nationwide No-Fly List Could Become A Reality As Violent Incidents Surge

With almost 6,00 reports of disorderly passengers made to the Federal Aviation Administration in 2021, U.S. airlines are turning to the federal government to help get a handle on unruly passengers. Major carriers are already working with the Biden Administration to create a nationwide no-fly list for the worst offenders. Despite growing safety concerns, setting uniform standards for who is placed on the list, privacy concerns for sharing names between airlines, deciding who oversees the list, and avoiding mistaken identities are just a few facts slowing the advancement of government intervention.

💰 Finance/Econ/Regulatory

FCC Bans Cable Deals That Block Competition in Apartments

In a recent vote, the FCC banned the exclusive revenue-sharing deals between landlords and Internet Service Providers (ISP) that prevent broadband competition in apartment buildings. Evidence showed that the FCC’s existing rule surrounding deals ISP made with landlords were riddled with loopholes that allowed the ISP to virtually eliminate competition in apartment complexes. With the new rule, the FCC will ban exclusive revenue-sharing agreements between landlords and ISP and invalidate any existing agreements. Consumer advocates see this as a step in the right direction for the FCC, but urge the government agency to do more to ensure no new loopholes are created in the future.

⚖️ Ethics

Defrauding Banks of Over $8 Million Is A Bad Decision

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Discipline: The Fed’s press release, & consent to disbarment.

Until next week, adjourned.

Keith & Tracey

p.s. – please send me your stories, news, & tips for inclusion in future editions [email protected]