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If your firm doesn’t have someone who directs the development of knowledge, can obsolescence be far behind? Washington-based ShawPittman not only has one, Cindy Thurston, but she has a staff of seven specialists. And as near as can be divined from the firm’s Web site, these are not gussied-up librarians. Director of Knowledge Development Thurston works with Lotus Notes and relational databases, according to her firm bio. Outside the firm, she chairs an association called KMPro (as in Knowledge Management Professionals). Let’s hope that’s a misprint in the ABA’s program for its convention in San Francisco this summer. The Section on Litigation is sponsoring, on Saturday, Aug. 9, a 90-minute session at the Westin St. Francis Hotel entitled “Playing the Corporate Greed Card-And Defending Against It.” The cost? The basic ticket is listed at $50, with law students admitted free, but government lawyers, it says, must pay $550. (There’s a bankruptcy session at the Moscone Center that government lawyers can attend for a measly $25.) The Los Angeles firm of Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan probably should have tried a focus group or two before it filed a suit on behalf of Barbra Streisand. Talk about bad reviews. The singer sued environmentalist photographer Kenneth Adelman, among others, for invasion of privacy and violation of California’s anti-paparazzi law. Adelman included a shot of Streisand’s Malibu bluff-top mansion among 12,000 aerial shots he took from a helicopter to document the coastline’s condition. Given Streisand’s trouble with stalkers over the years, the May 20 Los Angeles Superior Court suit complains, she fears that anyone who goes to Adelman’s Web site can see her access roads, balconies, windows and French doors. She wants the photo gone and $10 million in damages. The critics at The Smoking Gun archive were among the first out of the gate. Their “Memo to Babs” suggests additional defendants including Mapquest, the Los Angeles assessor and the U.S. Geological Survey. Then they reprinted everybody’s aerial views. With red arrows. “Paranoia and hypocrisy seem to have taken hold on Barbra Streisand,” editorialized the New York Post, adding that what probably annoys her is that the photo shows she has a big waste pipe draining into the ocean. “Litigious Celebrity Alert!” chimed in the Washington Post. Noting that the legal standard is offensiveness, Alonzo Wickers, a lawyer who represents the Los Angeles Times on First Amendment issues, said: “If it were a picture of her sunbathing topless, they might have a case.” Just about making it unanimous, Sierra Club lawyer Mark Massara opined, “It’s inconceivable to me that someone who proclaims herself an environmentalist would threaten to dismantle one of the greatest high-tech projects to protect the California coast.” Oh, yes, and Entertainment Weekly columnist Jim Mullen said he thinks Streisand “doesn’t want people to know she keeps a messy roof.” “The question is whether a model should move toward more integration or toward a richer idea of what separate but equal would involve,” writes University of Chicago law professor Mary Anne Case in the summer issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin. Her topic: toilets, and whether they should be gender-specific. She’s asking for input, with an eye to writing a law review article. Potty parity is not, she advises, frivolous.

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