Weekly Links

News:

Federal Law Limits Legal Advice
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/us/02scotus.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=&st=nyt
A federal law forbids advising clients “to incur more debt in contemplation of” a bankruptcy filing. The Supreme Court just heard oral argument on how this affects what lawyers may say to their clients. It would be interesting to know how this law would affect us if one of our clients is anticipating bankruptcy.

How to Negotiate Anything
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/12/08/you-can-negotiate-anything/
How to use the three crucial variables of negotiation (time, information, and power) to get what you want. Also, tips on other factors like sunk costs and silence.

Text Messages: Digital Lipstick on the Collar
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/09/us/09text.html?_r=2&hp

Tech Tips:

Five Best Outlining Tools
http://lifehacker.com/5419988/five-best-outlining-tools?skyline=true&s=x
I’ve used OneNote, Word, and FreeMind for outlining. FreeMind is an interesting and potentially very useful mind-mapping software that can help you plan the story you’re telling and keep track of the facts/evidence you need for each point. Some lawyers are huge fans of OneNote, but I haven’t found that I can stick with it.

Top 10 Downloads for a Road Warrior Laptop
http://lifehacker.com/5419603/top-10-downloads-for-a-road-warrior-laptop
If you’re feeling very tech-savvy, you can try some of these tips. I’ve been thinking about tethering my laptop to my phone so that I can get online from anywhere using cell networks. It’s available for iPhones.

Unlock a Password-Protected PDF
http://lifehacker.com/5419172/freemypdf-liberates-your-pdf-file-from-printing-and-other-restrictions
Sometimes people will send PDFs that are locked against printing or editing. There is software available to get around these restrictions. Also be aware of this if you ever use the password-protection feature.

Some Humor:

Texas Attorney’s Motion to Compel Prosecutor to Drop English Accent http://abovethelaw.com/2009/12/texas_motion_to_drop_english_accent.php

Law School Moment:

Decentralizing Family: An Inclusive Proposal for Individual Tax Filing
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2009/12/infanti-.html
When I was in law school, we spent quite a bit of time in my Family Law course discussing whether taxes and other financial privileges/penalties should be based on the marital relationship. Lately, it’s trendy to talk about moving to an individual-based tax filing system rather than a marriage-based system, and here’s a new article proposing one such system. It brings up some interesting ideas.
*Download the paper at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1503543

If that’s not entertaining enough for you, here’s some Tiger Woods marital agreement news:
http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2009/12/more-on-tiger-woods-new-marital-agreement.html

Published by

Emily Miskel

Judge Emily Miskel was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as the first judge of the 470th family district court of Collin County, Texas. She graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School and she is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Find Emily on Google+, Facebook, and other social media.

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