Categories
Blogs for Lawyers Marketing On The Horizon

Hipster Antitrust Movement: What Is the Purpose of Antitrust Law?

Should companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google be free from antitrust scrutiny merely because their business practices cannot be shown to result in higher prices for consumers?

The Bradley Law Firm‘s award-winning Declassified blog, a premier source of information about class actions, recently examined this conflict in an article by Charles Elder entitled “Hipster Antitrust” Movement Takes Center Stage in Congress.

The article focuses on a recent Judiciary Committee hearing in which representatives questioned CEOs from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google about allegedly anticompetitive business practices. The hearing was prompted by a 2017 Yale Law Journal article by Lina Khan, which gave rise to what became known informally as the “hipster antitrust” movement:

Since the Reagan administration, the development of antitrust law has focused on consumer welfare – typically indicated by low prices – to determine whether competition had been harmed unlawfully. This development was based on then-professor (and later judge) Robert Bork’s influential book, The Antitrust Paradox, and the libertarian “Chicago school” of economics. If prices stay low and customers are happy, then courts are typically reluctant to find any antitrust violation. If the complaining party was a competitor whose business was harmed, it is often met with the response that the antitrust laws exist to protect competition, not individual competitors.

More recently, scholars such as Khan have argued that this historical view is too narrow, and they advocate for a broader focus on market structure and the power and influence large tech companies wield. They argue that, rather than merely analyzing whether corporate actions result in lower consumer prices, the law should recognize that the excessive concentration of economic power in a handful of large companies is inherently bad, because it exacerbates other ills, such as income inequality and labor abuses, and gives undue political influence to too few people. Khan’s article was specifically about Amazon, a company that famously offers low prices on a wide variety of consumer goods and that has for the most part been well-liked by customers, but which, she argued, exerts a dangerous amount of power to effectively control the online retail economy.

The answer to this question is critical to the future of the Internet. Elder concludes that it’s unlikely that the largest Internet companies will be broken up because they are popular with users.

I tend to agree, but at the same time I think it’s a mistake to underestimate the potential for change. The attacks on these Internet giants are motivated in large part by bipartisan displeasure at their power and how it impacts the national political scene.

Notes on Use of Lawyer Use of Blog Format

This article is a great illustration of how lawyers with little technical expertise can use blogs to promote themselves and their law practice.

Declassified also illustrates the benefits of a team approach. In addition to Elder’s excellent article, it featured recent high quality articles by Jeffrey R. BlackwoodKristina Allen RelifordJ. Thomas RichieDylan C. Black & Richard W.F. Swor.

Finally, the Bradley firm’s website illustrates one of the biggest blog advantages: They tend to attract backlinks, one of the best methods of improving SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In other words, backlinks tend to cause websites to rank higher in Google ratings.

After all, I would most likely never have seen this article, let alone written about it and linked to it, if it had not been published in the blog format.

Many vendors can provide blogs, some very inexpensively, but the legal industry focus of Lexblog (founded by the estimable Kevin O’Keefe, himself author of the Real Lawyers blog) makes it one of the best choices for lawyers.

Categories
Blogs for Lawyers

Seventeenth Blawgiversary of DennisKennedy.Blog

Thanks to legal blog pioneer Dennis Kennedy for the shout out in  his February anniversary post Celebrating the Seventeenth Blawgiversary of DennisKennedy.Blog.

I had a chance to work with Dennis in a series of columns about lawyer marketing for LLRX named The Internet Roundtable. Thanks to the indefatigable Sabrina Pacifici for providing a forum for our efforts.

 

Categories
Blogs for Lawyers

Quoting and Linking to Others’ Work on Your Lawblog

Kevin O’Keefe has some ideas about quoting and linking to others’ work:

Far too many people today blog based on their own knowledge as an expert on a subject without referencing anyone. It’s a breath of fresh air, as an authority and long time blogger in a niche, for someone to cite what I said and why. I remember those people as they stick out like shining stars. 

Couple ways to let the authority know that you referenced them. Share your post on Twitter and give them a hat tip, h/t @kevinokeefe. Alternatively, drop them an email saying “as a courtesy, I wanted to let you know that I referenced what you wrote/said in a recent blog post of mine etc, keep up the good work.”

Source: Quoting and Linking to Others’ Writings and Work On Your Law Blog | Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Categories
Blogs for Lawyers

My Shingle 17th Anniversary

Carolyn Elefant’s My Shingle is celebrating its 17th anniversary. I remember with pleasure working with her as a co-presenter at a Maryland Bar Association CLE program many years ago.

Carolyn’s blog served as an inspiration to countless lawyer blogger wannabes. It also helped her to established her as a force to be recognized in the legal world, building an versatile, enviable career, as evidenced by her LinkedIn presence.

Kevin O’Keefe, of Real Lawyers Have Blogs, would be proud of her.

 

Categories
Blogs for Lawyers

Bob Ambrogi’s Random Tips for Writing Better Blog Posts

Veteran Net lawyer Bob Ambrogi‘s post Some Random Tips for Writing Better Blog Posts has some tips that will benefit even experienced legal bloggers. Many of Bob’s tips deal with the best way to write for a non-legal audience, but some apply just as well to writing for other lawyers. Here’s an example.

Don’t bury the lede. I often see posts that start with something like:

“On June 1, 2019, the Supreme Court decided the case of Smith v. Jones, ___ U.S. ___, on appeal from an en banc decision of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Later – maybe in the same long paragraph or lower in the post — it goes on:
“This is the most important decision ever in the area of widget law and will require manufacturers to make major changes in their business processes.”

Why make me wade through the muck to find the flower?

Thanks, Bob. I hope I never get too old to learn, and I’ll be trying to follow your advice in this and other matters.

Categories
Blogs for Lawyers Marketing

Social Media vs. Blogs

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell devote a Legal Talk Network episode to the question Did Social Media Kill Blogs?

My take: There’s still plenty of room for lawyer blogs. Just as Kevin O’Keefe, of Real Lawyers Have Blogs fame. Indeed, comment features mean blogs could be considered a type of social media, a type that has significant advantages for both operators and users.