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Indices to these changin’ times 1. Percentage of law firms of 100 or more lawyers that had Web sites in 1998: 58. 2. Percentage of law firms of 100 or more lawyers that currently have Web sites: 100. 3. Time of the year when mergers are most likely to occur: first quarter. 4. Law firm mergers in the first quarter of 2001: 41. 5. Number of law firm mergers in the first quarter of 2003: 18. 6. The white-collar unemployment rate: 9%. 7. The lawyer unemployment rate: 1.2%. 8. The lawyer unemployment rate in 2001: 0.8%. 9. Lawyers who say they have a “significant increase” in clients compared to one year ago: 1 in 4. 10. Lawyers who say they have a “significant decrease” in clients compared to one year ago: 1 in 50. 11. Percentage of lawyers who say they have legal software available to them for time and billing records: 76. 12. Percentage of lawyers who say they use legal software for time and billing records: 43. 13. Percentage of lawyers who say that they get most of their information about technological changes from print publications: 58. 14. Percentage of lawyers who say they get most of their information about technological changes electronically: 13. Sources: 1, 2, 11-14: American Bar Association Technology Resources Center 3-5: Hildebrandt International 6-8: U.S. Department of Labor 9, 10: The Affiliates Guru emeritus John F. “Jack” Walker Jr. says that when senior lawyers start finding that lives outside the firm are more engrossing, it’s time to move on-and that’s why he’s retiring at the end of the year from Latham & Watkins. Walker, 61, joined the firm in 1971, fresh out of Harvard. He’s going “cold turkey” on practicing law, he says, but seriously considering making his advice available to those willing to pay. “I’m going with an established consulting group, I think, although the details aren’t final,” he says, declining to identify the group. “I plan to spend about a third of my time at it.” For an idea of what tax lawyer Walker might offer as a consultant, check out Renee Deger’s May piece in The Recorder, the NLJ’s sister publication in San Francisco. Latham came out of the junk-bond era shaky, and as managing partner from 1988 to 1994, Walker delivered a lot of bitter medicine in the process of turning around what could have been a death spiral. Today, Latham’s annual gross income is some $300 million ahead of the second-ranked California law firm (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher of Los Angeles). Sticks and stones Domestic violence laws can apply between parent and child, but not in the case of Matthew Adaranijo and his 13-year-old daughter, the 1st Appellate District of Ohio has ruled. Adaranijo got in a dispute with the girl regarding her homework. While he was driving her to school, he allegedly slapped her once and threatened to “beat the shit” out of her if she didn’t straighten up. His divorced wife filed charges. Adaranijo ended up convicted of domestic violence. Reversing the conviction for insufficient supporting evidence, the July 18 opinion by Judge Mark P. Painter said that that particular threat, as a rhetorical device, is common in the annals of parental discipline. “Were those words made criminal, who would be free?” he wrote. “Ralph Kramden, who was never known to hit anyone, would be in jail forever.”

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