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Crisis Communication, Blog, Shel Holtz

On his new HBO show on Sunday, comedian John Oliver excoriated GM over its current recall crisis. CEO Mary Barra’s optimism that GM’s difficulties will result in a better, stronger company, Oliver said, must mean that the 13 people the company acknowledges were killed as a direct result of vehicle defects are actually a good thing. Among the issues Oliver raised was a list of words employees were told to avoid using. The list, which were part of a 2008 presentation to employees on how to communicate with each other about safety issues, included deathtrap, widowmaker, and rolling sarcophagus. In all, there were 68 words and phrases employees should avoid. Oliver wondered where...

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Words Matter, Amber Gordon, Attorney at Law

I hear it every day. As a lawyer, I ask for my clients to be brought in the courtroom, and a bailiff refers to him or her as an “inmate.” I go to the jail to visit with a client, and I am asked for the inmate’s booking number. My clients have, on occasion, asked to file citizen’s complaints, against an officer for one reason or another – usually excessive force, fabrication of evidence, or lying. Clients get told “you aren’t a citizen, you are an inmate.” So you see, words matter. In our county jails, most of the people there are awaiting trial. What this means is that although they are accused of something, no evidence has been put to a jury...

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Attorney or Lawyer? Actions Speak Louder than Words with the Bureau of Automotive Repair

Words and their meaning are taking a big hit these days. If you spend any time on the Internet it looks like articles are constantly besieged by the “language police.” Yes, we know that there are moments when people should take offense to something. Sadly, many times thin skinned commenters criticizing the slightest grammatical error have become mainstream too. Seriously, who cares if you call it an automobile or a car? Does one sound “fancier?” Maybe. Does it make a difference in what the thing does? No. Now that everyone has a voice on social media, anyone seems to feel a need to post and correct the meaning the simplest things. With all this yakking about what to call things, there’s too...

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Lawless Lawyer s Play-on-Words Character Posters That Actually Contradict the English Title Drama Milk

Lawless Lawyer has released even more posters as they gear up for their premier on May 12th. Lawless Lawyer is an action packed law drama about a thug turned lawyer (Lee Joon-Gi) who is out for justice against the wrongful death of his mother. He is paired with a by the book law attorney (Seo Ye-Ji) who will bicker, fight crime, and fall in love. These newly released character posters give us a little bit of insight into the role each actor is playing. But one of them actually (and hilariously) contradicts the English title. The actual translation of the title is: Fighting with law, lawyer. But the Official English title is Lawless Lawyer. I am assuming this is the case because Lawless...

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Words of Wisdom

Alumni pass the support down to the next generation of Fordham lawyers. Through networking programs, local alumni chapter events, competition teams, and self-directed one-on-one efforts, Fordham Law alumni regularly reach out to mentor younger students and share their knowledge of life and the law. Here, some of them say what it means to be part of the legacy of support. Gavin White ’01 In addition to his work as a commercial and insurance litigator at Wilson Elser, Gavin White has been instrumental in building the Miami chapter of the Fordham Law Alumni Association. As part of his work with the association, he offers counsel to students from South Florida who are considering a legal...

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What exactly is a lawyer-linguist?, From Words to Deeds: translation the law

This post is the second in a series I have called “What exactly is…”, the first of which examined the burgeoning subject of forensic linguistics. The topic of lawyer-linguists has been interesting me for quite some time now, and popped up again recently on Twitter with a flurry of job offers from the European Central Bank for several languages. Although this job title seems to be relatively new, you can see a very early lawyer-linguist on the right – Cicero… This 7-minute video by EU Careers gives an interesting insight into the work of lawyer-linguists at the European Commission. One of the speakers explains – rather vehemently I felt – that her...

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Lawyer Jokes Archives - Dying Words

Yesterday, I ran into Bert King. He’s my adversarial friend—a defense lawyer with an honest, ethical, and realistic streak. Bert and I stood on the street and bullshitted. Here were two old guys reminiscing old times—who’s still in jail, who made parole—bitching about a stupidly screwed system and the hopelessly dysfunctional new breed of cops and counsels. Then our stuff turned to hilarious things we’d seen and heard within the hallowed halls of honor. One of the great moments took place in our city’s old courthouse. It’s a beautiful stone building with maple woodwork and regal red carpeting. It was a hot summer day and the sheriff nodded off during a jury trial. He snapped awake...

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5 Words Lawyers Should NOT Use on their Resume!, The Law Recruiters

5 Words Lawyers Should NOT Use on their Resume! Just say no to “seasoned” … unless you are, in fact, cooking. While there is a place for adjectives on a resume or profile, few are as likely to create negative connotation as “seasoned.” The intent is to imply that you have tremendous experience or are battle tested, but it comes across as potentially too senior for a particular role. Exceptional/Top-Notch/Impressive Be careful of using subjective adjectives. Anything self-congratulatory and conclusory can sound overly self-serving and your resume should be more focused on objective facts. Let your accomplishments demonstrate your value. If you have broad...

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With Words and Lawyers, Mayor and Fire Company Carry on Feud, Highlands Current

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong and Kevin E. Foley Feuding between Cold Spring Mayor Seth Gallagher and Cold Spring Fire Company Number 1 (CSFC) that accelerated over firehouse keys in April has become a full-scale conflict involving lawyers and clashing visions of the roles of government and the extent of fire company independence. Evidence of the dissension surfaced recently in correspondence from the village government to the fire company seeking meetings and information and suggesting a new regime of accountability, and a letter from the fire company attorney that accused Gallagher of “continued nuisance” behavior and of intending “a complete takeover”...

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Words don’t make a good lawyer

It was the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Conduct of Attorney General Mr Charles Njonjo, chaired by Justice Cecil Miller, that first drew my interest in the legal profession. The coverage of the commission’s proceedings was verbatim. I noticed something peculiar in the English the lawyers and the presiding judges spoken as I read the three daily newspapers at the time (1983) – Daily Nation, the East African Standards and Kenya Times – in our school library. The English spoken by William Deverell and Senior Counsel Paul Muite was more refined than the one I always heard. The impression I had then was that language competence was the defining feature of legal...

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