Sites for Sore Eyes

Vol. 2, No. 5

William Wilson is an attorney with Anderson, Agostino & Keller, P.C. in South Bend, IN. He is a frequent speaker on the use of technology in the practice of law, and he writes a blog, The Third Apple, at


  • Find links to help you with your practice.

In the last column, we covered some of the most basic websites that lawyers can use. This month, we dive a little deeper into what the Internet has to offer.

Best Letter Ever Written to a Lawyer—The cease-and-desist letter is a staple of legal correspondence. After a microbrewery’s lawyers sent one to another microbrewery over the use of a claimed trademark, things got interesting. Read about it here.

Speaking of Cease-and-Desist Letters—The next time you’re drafting a C&D, you might consider the approach taken by Jack Daniels in mid-2012. Considering that the recipient of your C&D can put it online and mock you (and make your client look like a bully), a revision to your form may be appropriate. Click here to review the gentlemanly C&D.

The Litigation Checklist—Three years ago Atul Gawande, M.D. wrote a book that belongs on every lawyer’s bookshelf, The Checklist Manifesto. Well-designed checklists, Dr. Gawande argues, prevent dumb mistakes. Colorado attorney Jeff Vail has started a comprehensive checklist for litigators. While it is not complete, the checklist and subchecklists are excellent resources for any lawyer who sets foot in the courthouse.

Recently Filed Intellectual Property Suits—At times, it is helpful for IP litigators to know what is going on in terms of new case filings. RFC Express provides reports of new intellectual property cases filed in the federal courts on a daily basis. The site is free, and provides the caption and court. For a fee, the site will let you download pleadings, although many lawyers will probably opt for PACER instead.

The Jury Expert—Trying a case to a jury is an art. The American Society of Trial Consultants has a blog where you can read articles on ways to better advocate your client’s cause to a jury. Considering that judges are also human, a good number of these articles should help in bench trials as well.

The Trade Secrets Homepage—Chicago IP lawyer R. Mark Halligan maintains this site as a repository of almost all knowledge about trade secrets. While you will not find the formula for Coca-Cola here, you will find a database of trade secret case decisions and a wealth of other information.

Law for Writers—Indiana attorney and novelist Stephen Terrell has launched a blog with articles discussing legal issues that often confront writers. Whether you are a hopeful author yourself or an attorney with clients who long to be published, the site has useful and to-the-point insights.

Internet Cases—The writings of another Chicago IP attorney, Evan Brown, appear at this site. Evan keeps readers up to date on court decisions that deal with the law and the Internet.

LawProse Blog—Bryan Garner is a modern day Noah Webster combined with the wordsmith advice of the late James Kilpatrick. Bryan is the editor of Black’s Law Dictionary, as well as a shelf full of books on effective writing in the legal world. He gets to write books with a US Supreme Court Justice, but he also writes for the average lawyer on the street. Click here to find his useful blog, where he provides regular suggestions on word usage and more.

Cyb3rcrim3Law professor Susan Brenner writes about technology, law, and criminal matters at her blog. There are a number of federal statutes that everyday people could run afoul of, and Professor Brenner helps lawyers stay up to speed on them.

The Hytech LawyerAttorney Bill Latham provides tons of good information about technology that helps 21st-century lawyers practice.

Ernie the Attorney—New Orleans attorney Ernest Svenson has been blogging for a number of years. His posts range from notes about CLE presentations on digital practice that he gives to more introspective thoughts on life in New Orleans. Although Ernie the Attorney may be familiar to many (he appears at conferences all over the country), there are plenty of our colleagues who haven’t discovered him.


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