Blawg Review #217 on Father's Day 2009
"For many of us, our father is a hero, an inspiration, a teacher, a role model, a mentor, a friend. Long after our father may pass away, or even after we leave the roost and start our own family, our father continues to influence many of our lives in both large and small ways." - Robert W. Zinnecker, The Faculty Lounge.
As if a foreshadowing of our special Father's Day presentation of Blawg Review, John Hochfelder of the New York Injury Cases Blog touched us with a heartfelt tribute to his father, a WWII hero who survived the battle of Iwo Jima. Blawg Review #209 is a wonderful read, again, on Father's Day.
This Father’s Day it’s important to give your dad something he’ll appreciate. For many fathers, this could simply mean helping him to access a variety of services that can improve his quality of life and save him time and money. Henry Allingham, the oldest man in the world at 113 years young, has other ideas.
During the past 13 years, Father's Day has taken on a new, special meaning to me.
Before, it was a day to honor my own dad, and thank him for a lifetime of support, sacrifice, and guidance. As a kid, I would prepare for Father's Day like every other kid. I would make something, or get my mom to buy something from me to him. Then, on the big day, I would race to give him my gift first (I would be racing against my four brothers and sisters who were trying to do the same thing). My siblings and I would then do everything we could to make it a great day for our dad (mostly, refrain from fighting).
But, even though I did the whole gift thing and the make-the-day-great-for-my-dad thing, I never really saw the unique value of my dad. He always seemed like a great dad, but he didn’t seem much different from all the other great dads in my neighborhood. I had an awakening about my dad, though, during my 4 year career as an Assistant District Attorney. It was then that I began to see the outcome of bad fatherhood. Most criminals I prosecuted were the product of a home without a dad, or a home with a really bad dad. Seeing this, seeing the outcome of children raised with bad fathers or no fathers, I began to appreciate the importance of being a great father.
Thirteen years ago, I became a father.
At that time, I made the decision to become more than a good father. I decided to become a great father to my children. I decided to become a mentor, life coach, and ally, providing them with tools and skills necessary to meet life’s challenges. And since I believe that success has a lot to do with planning, I decided to use Father's Day as my planning day.
Since then, I have invested a few hours every Fathers’ Day building my Fatherhood Plan for the upcoming year; setting goals, tactical plans, and reviewing my successes from the previous year. One Father's Day I had planned to create a series of children’s books to empower my own children and help them to believe they could accomplish any goal; to believe that they could do anything. Because of that plan, my children and I have created a series of children’s books about A Girl Named Pants and have sold over 6,000 books. In doing this, my children have not only gained confidence about what they can achieve in this world, but they have built valuable business skills.
During another Father's Day, I had planned to begin teaching my children how to speak Mandarin (a challenge made more challenging by the fact that I don’t speak Mandarin). I believed (and continue to believe) that being bilingual is a valuable tool, and in light of the direction of the world, it seems that Mandarin would be the most valuable second language for my children. Since then we have completed almost 30 units of Pimsleur’s Mandarin Chinese program; fifteen minutes per day per kid, four-five days per week. My children are not only speaking some Chinese, but building more confidence in the process.
Last Father's Day, I planned to help my children build public speaking skills. These young girls are now implementing our “POP” program every time they speak in public (Passion, Organization, Practice). Two weeks from now, my children and I will be launching the first-ever “A Girl Named Pants” public speaking camp for 8-11 year-olds. [Updated: July 14, adding the photo below.]
I don’t know what my Fatherhood plan will look like for the upcoming year, but I know that I will invest a few hours this Father's Day thinking about it and creating it.
'What Every Woman Should Know" is a series on American Women’s History at The New Agenda: the new “feminism,” improving the lives of women and girls. There, on Father's Day, Anna Belle writes, "a father’s impact on a daughter cannot be overstated." She begins:
Fathers’ Day, like Mothers’ Day, was invented by a woman. Ann Jarvis is responsible for Mother’s Day, an effort she began in 1912, which she later came to despise, as she thought that the holiday had become what she called a “Hallmark Holiday.” Sonora Smart Dodd is officially credited with starting Father’s Day in 1910, though her effort was not taken very seriously for many years. Woodrow Wilson signed Mothers’ Day into law, and Lyndon B. Johnson signed Fathers’ Day into law.
Mothers and fathers throughout history have often been the biggest influence on a child’s life, and the same is true today. There is no greater opportunity to have an impact in this world than to direct your children in your own values. Since today is Fathers’ Day, I thought I’d share with you how some fathers have had an impact on some of the famous daughters I’ve covered in this series.
Although the name of the event is usually understood as a plural possessive (i.e. "day belonging to fathers"), which would under normal English punctuation guidelines be spelled "Fathers' Day", the most common spelling is "Father's Day", as if it were a singular possessive (i.e. "day belonging to Father"). Dodd used the "Fathers' Day" spelling on her original petition for the holiday, but the spelling "Father's Day" was already used in 1913 when a bill was introduced to the US Congress as the first attempt to establish the holiday, and it was still spelled the same way when its creator was commended in 2008 by the U.S. Congress.
Just in time for Father's Day this weekend, a San Diego lawyer and the Oakland A's have settled a controversial class-action lawsuit over a Mother's Day giveaway in 2004, reports the ABA Journal.
In preparation for Blawg Review, we received submissions and recommendations of some of the best law blog posts from the past few weeks that might be fitting for our Father's Day presentation. Let's begin with the President of the United States of America, a lawyer, and a father first.
'We Need Fathers To Step Up' wrote President Barack Obama, in Parade Magazine.
Good fathers get a puppy for their kids, and while it's a high honor to be the First Dog, it's even greater, perhaps, to be "King" and have a park named after you, like Stephanie West Allen's dad's dog.
Eric Turkewitz at the New York Personal Injury Law Blog reports the the New York Court of Appeals recently tossed out a personal injury case premised on a violation of a local leash law.
R. David Donoghue, shown with his father and son in the photograph of three generations watching the Blackhawks, wrote on the Chicago IP Litigation Blog about a recent case where it was held that color trademark infringement is a question of fact for the court to determine. Dave will be at the IP Business Congress in Chicago this week and has arranged a venue for conference attendees and orgainisers to Meet the Bloggers at the Billy Goat Tavern. No doubt, the conference will be all atwitter about President Obama's announcement of his intent to nominate David J. Kappos as the next Director of the Patent and Trademark Office, also known as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Kappos is currently IBM's Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property. Joff Wild, Editor of Intellectual Asset Magazine has written extensively on the IAM Blog about the Kappos nomination, concluding,
For my part, I think he will do an excellent job. He knows the issues; he has a strong IP background; he comes from an industry in which IP is hugely important; he knows all the major players; he has long management experience; and he thinks deeply about IP and its role in society. Frankly, I cannot think of anyone better to do the job. He is not perfect, but who is? President Obama has made a good choice.
Like I did this week, Jay Shepherd visited an Apple retail store and noted how different its acclaimed business methods are from typical law firm behavior.
Jammie Thomas-Rasset's federal retrial concluded last week as a jury found her liable for willful copyright infringement, awarding the record labels $1.9 Million, or approximately $80,000 for each of the 24 songs illegally downloaded. The retrial and verdict have been covered in detail at ars technica. Ron Coleman at Likelihood of Confusion considers this an award of "Infinity Dollars" for copyright infringement of music. Fred von Lohmann at the Electronic Frontier Foundation wonders if the jury award in this case is unconstitutional.
New York Criminal Defense Attorney Scott Greenfield, a humble father shown here with his son in a vintage sports car, bears a striking resemblance to a younger Graham Nash in the YouTube video above. This week, he discusses FCC v. Fox Television, the "fleeting expletives" case of which much was made of the Court's use of "F-word" and "S-word" in the decision rather than the actual word spoken. In a blog post titled "The Language of the Law" Scott Greenfield writes,
While I've no doubt that somewhere in this vast land there are people who have never uttered either word, I've never met one. Both words are, for better or worse, rather common. I've taken the liberty of having both my children, at a tender age, speak the words aloud to get them over the taboo and to teach them, as Wasserman does, that they are mere words and carry no greater weight than others. But I then explain that people find the words jarring, particularly out of the mouths of children, and will think poorly of them for using such words. I explain further that the language has many other words that can be used to express their thoughts, and that these words aren't needed to make their point clear. Curses won't hurt them, but won't help them either.
First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, who uses all the words of the English language at The Legal Sartyricon, discusses the Catsouras photos, privacy, and privilege. For those who don’t know, Nikki Catsouras was a beautiful young girl who made a terrible error in judgment, and it cost her dearly.
Lawyer of the Day at Above the Law is appropriately named. "From the sound of this story, this Indiana lawyer could probably hold down the name Larry Wildest." According to The Indiana Law Blog, Wilder apologized for any embarrassment he caused. "I apologize to my children more than anyone," he said.
Our company blog is Securing Innovation, and IP.com publishes the Prior Art Database, so we were interested in the innovation reported on Lowering the Bar, British Manufacturers Offer Pointless Anti-Stab Knives.
Jason Voiovich explains how a portfolio of enforceable patents and trademarks failed to result in a commercially successful product, owing to poor branding, and the resulting problems don't have an easy legal solution for a composite screw maker which is more-or-less screwed.
After blogging exclusively about substantive patent law for more than five years, J. Matt Buchanan has lauched a new site as a home for his thoughts and writings that relate to a completely different side of his practice – helping organizations build inventive cultures and idea friendly environments.
Alex Harris is critical of the bureaucratic export control laws and, noting the high costs of compliance for businesses, writes that "too little attention has been paid to these costs on doing business internationally when passing feel-good “anti-terrorism” and “anti-proliferation” laws and regulations."
Dan Harris concedes that he is "paranoid about my clients registering their trademarks in China, pretty much before they do anything else" and that when the "anything else" comes to naught, the costs and trouble incurred in trademark registration are largely wasted, but he suggests that that's a small downside considering the larger costs of overcoming a lost trademark.
Fernando Rivadeneyra offers excellent advice about doing business in Mexico.
Michael Atkins discusses trademark enforcement and jurisdiction in those nations within our nation -- tribal nations.
Frank Pasquale at Balkinization asks if there's a duty to tweet. "Is Web 2.0 really becoming a "technology of freedom" via social software like Facebook and Twitter? If so, do defenders of liberty have some moral duty to be part of these networks?"
Frank Pasquale on Concurring Opinions discusses why the "public/private" distinction might need to be revisited and privacy restrictions currently applicable to government be extended to private entities which provide information to the government.
Evan Brown discussed a keystroke-capture case which suggests that the scope of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act may not be as narrow as previously believed.
Ken at the Popehat blog comments on a seemingly overreaching and unnecessarily privacy-invasive requirement by the City of Bozeman, Montana that city job applicants provide account names and passwords for all websites where they comment, blog, or post status updates. It may not directly implicate fathers for purposes of this Father's Day Blawg Review, but there's a definite hint of Big Brother at work there.
Familoo at the Pink Tape blog notes that in the UK one group's privacy is well protected -- "Judges found guilty of misconduct or who have been reprimanded." She's understandably perplexed.
Also in the UK this week, a judicial decision has effectively stripped anonymous/psudonymous bloggers of protection for their identities; the "logic" of the decision, that blogging is an essentially public activity and the use of a nom-de-blog (or no nom at all) does not make one's true identity more private and deserving of protection from publication, would seem to bode poorly for anonymous blog commenters as well as the bloggers themselves. "Jack of Kent" and "Jailhouse Lawyer" (AKA John Hirst) reproduced the decision itself. "Tufty the Cat" suggested that the decision would essentially chill speech by those who suspect their heretofore anonymous speech could be counterproductive to their personal or professional interests if their identities were known. "Charon QC" offered the most extensive and compelling analysis of the ruling and its likely effects. Don't you find it ironic that some of the best coverage of this important decision was provided by four writers who blog either exclusively or primarily under pseudonyms?
DNA testing might be a tangential topic to include in a Blawg Review celebrating fatherhood; Lyle Denniston had an excellent post discussing the impact of the recent SCOTUS Osborne decision. Grrl Scientist questions the decision...and justice for all?
Ah, Father’s Day — filled with neckties, golf clubs and Brut soap on a rope. But there’s more to this important day than gift-giving and cookouts; it’s really about honoring and remembering your father. So Texas Lawyer asked some attorneys to reflect on the lessons they learned from their lawyer-dads.
Vickie Pynchon, an intellectual property law mediator and one of the Blawg Review "sherpas" who researched and recommended several of these law blog posts for Father''s Day, recently published a very thoughtful post about her father, also a lawyer, on his birthday and the one-year anniversary of his death.
The new Sports Law Handbook For Coaches and Athletic Administrators by William H. Glover, Jr., is dedicated to his 86 year old father, Coach William H. Glover of Jackson MS.
Georgia Attorneys point to an article on ESPN about a very special Father's Day for Atlanta Falcons Linebacker Stephen Nicholas who very nearly lost his son, but for a heart transplant for the infant boy.
One ongoing part of my annual Fatherhood Plan specifically relates to my son.
Colin was born in July of 1996; my first and only son. As a two-year old he contracted a rare disease called Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE). PLE is a rare disease that kills virtually every child it meets. Colin survived with PLE for five months. When Colin died, I decided that the one remaining thing I could do for him as his father would be to find a cure. It hasn’t been easy, and I still haven’t found a cure. But, every year, seeking a cure for PLE is part of my Fatherhood Plan.
In 1998, we formed the Children’s Hearts Fund (a fund within Children’s Hospital of Buffalo foundation). Since then, we have raised almost $1Million for PLE research. We have hosted two international symposiums in an effort to bring together great brains throughout the world to investigate PLE. The Burnham Institute in San Diego has become our research partner. Together we have discovered a mouse-model and we are investigating two specific treatment options that could save the lives of thousands of PLE children. And, a few months ago, because of our efforts, the Burnham Institute received a $1 Million NIH grant for PLE research. We have a long way to go in finding a cure, but curing PLE will remain a part of my Fatherhood Plan until we do.
As I think about my 13 years as a father it occurs to me that there is no other relationship quite like the one between a parent and a child. And while fatherhood is a lot about teaching children, it's even more about learning from them. My children have taught me about the vulnerability and fragility of life, the depth of love, the intensity of joy, the weight of responsibility, and, at times, the burden of sadness. My children have even taught me about God and made that relationship more real to me. Because of my children, I have become more than a man...I have become a father.
Blawg Review has information about how to submit your law blog posts and recommend others for next week's presentation by our neighbor here in Buffalo, Adrian Dayton, a lawyer and father who is working to achieve work/life balance by putting family first.
500 Corporate Parkway | Suite 130 | Amherst, NY 14226 | USA