Books


Self-portrait: Gaining management Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Self-portrait: Gaining management Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Every market has a vacuum that agile providers seek to fill. So if there has been a giant sucking sound in the presentation industry, eagerly filled by upstarts and platforms like Keynote, Prezi and Emaze (among others), that sucking must be attributed to one lethargic giant: PowerPoint.

I wrote yesterday about what comprises a great presentation, and I said I would offer some additional thoughts about PowerPoint.

My rule of thumb regarding PowerPoints is illustrated by the opening image of this post, and it falls along these lines: If your PowerPoint is entirely understandable to an uninformed audience simply by looking at your slides, and without any additional explanation, you’re probably doing it wrong. Just. Stop.

If, however, viewers were to gaze at your slides alone, without your explanatory presence, and as a result they experience some psychic discord and confusion, and if they begin to mutter “wtf” and scratch their collective head, you may (MAY!) be on the right track.

So, again, that opening image of the bottom of my shoes. A wtf moment.

Hmmm? WHAT is he saying about President's columns? (wtf?)

Hmmm? WHAT is he saying about President’s columns? (wtf?)

Why would that be? How can I claim that ready comprehension and ease of reading are markers for a sucky presentation?

Why? Because:

  • Because you are not charged with creating a shopping list. You are charged with informing and inspiring.
  • Because a presentation is not about reading. (It so pains me to point this out in 2014.)
  • Because you (the presenter) are supposed to bring something to the whole presentation deal-io.
  • Because if I can view your slide deck and master the subject easily, you probably have packed it with too many words (a premier suckiness marker).

But … if your presence enriches and illuminates your points, that tells me you have value, and it tells me that you are not simply using your PP as cue cards to be read to snoring people.

My title mentions “tone.” Know your audience, which may even include sober-minded (and perhaps sober) lawyers. But know that even serious folk are swayed (just like real people) by brevity, wit and humor. Your takeaways may be recalled better if they are encapsulated in an image rather than in 7,000 words.

Well, I complained about too many words and then proceeded to give you a 420-word blog post. But I’ll end with a few slides I have offered before on the topic of providing stellar content and even better social media engagement. In each instance, I made the point as the presenter; the image merely got the assist.

Don't work harder; work Corgi-er. Or something. Attendees had to listen to me (not my PowerPoint) to get my point.

Don’t work harder; work Corgi-er. Or something. Attendees had to listen to me (not my PowerPoint) to get my point.

Atticus Finch is prized by lawyers. But my use of him in a PowerPoint was to illustrate a non-Mockingbird point.

Atticus Finch is prized by lawyers. But my use of him in a PowerPoint was to illustrate a non-Mockingbird point.

Gallagher & Kennedy attorney Laura Antonuccio reads to Phoenix Day schoolchildren, May 28, 2014.

Gallagher & Kennedy attorney Laura Antonuccio reads to Phoenix Day schoolchildren, May 28, 2014.

At a school in south Phoenix, dozens of children smile as a group from a law firm enters the room. They’ve come to know these women—each one a woman professional from law firm Gallagher & Kennedy—over the course of many months. And this day—May 28, 2014—is the culmination of the nearly year-long relationship.

If your eyes grow large at the notion that children would be pleased to see attorneys, you really need to understand what these women accomplished at Phoenix Day, an early education and youth development center serving underprivileged children.

The 18 women from Gallagher & Kennedy sought a way to make a difference in their community. The result was their participation in the Million Minutes Reading Challenge of the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council.

Seeing the need, the G&K folks formed their own “Team Right to Read.” They also sought out a participating school, landing at Phoenix Day. Since last September, the women have volunteered more than 7,300 minutes (and counting) reading to 86 students.

Members of the Gallagher & Kennedy Professional Women’s Group who donated hundreds of books to children at Phoenix Day on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, as part of their role in the Valley of the Sun United Way's Million Minutes Volunteer Reading Challenge. L to R: Jodi Bohr, Jennifer Cranston, Lori Stinson (Phoenix Day), Laura Antonuccio, Meg Smeck, Alana Hake. (Photo: PatrickCorley.com)

Members of the Gallagher & Kennedy Professional Women’s Group who donated hundreds of books to children at Phoenix Day on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, as part of their role in the Valley of the Sun United Way’s Million Minutes Volunteer Reading Challenge. L to R: Jodi Bohr, Jennifer Cranston, Lori Stinson (Phoenix Day), Laura Antonuccio, Meg Smeck, Alana Hake. (Photo: PatrickCorley.com)

May 28 was a reading day like many others. But it also was an opportunity to give the children another present—a large box of books (and other items) for each to take home. The materials had been gathered and assembled over multiple weeks by the G&K women.

As the school’s Education Director Lori Stinson looks on with a smile, attorney Laura Antonuccio leads the kids in a rousing rendition of “Clap Your Hands.”

“Reach for the sky, wiggle your toes, Stick out your tongue and touch your nose.”

Antonuccio originated the idea of a reading support group, and she is adept at firing the children up with the excitement of reading.

She suddenly exclaims, “On the count of three, everybody tell me how old you are!” The joyful cacophony of “3,” “5,” “4” fills the room, while a sotto voce (and slightly Eeyore-ish) voice adds from the back of the room, “30.”

After the festivities, lawyer Jennifer Cranston tells a visitor why the women are committed to this effort.

“Of course, we are all a part of the community,” she begins. And if listeners need a better reason to offer children the gift of reading, she adds, “And we’ll certainly reduce the need for lawyers if the entire population can become better educated.”

(Yes, she meant reducing the need for lawyers is a good thing.)

Members of the Gallagher & Kennedy women’s group may continue their work at Phoenix Day. But the group also seeks a new initiative for the coming year. Congratulations and thank you to each of them for their remarkable commitment.

Here are some more photos from the May 28 event.

Gallagher & Kennedy's Meg Smeck with children of Phoenix Day.

Gallagher & Kennedy’s Meg Smeck with children of Phoenix Day.

One of the many boxes of donated items gathered by the Gallagher & Kennedy women as gifts to the children of Phoenix Day.

One of the many boxes of donated items gathered by the Gallagher & Kennedy women as gifts to the children of Phoenix Day.

Gallagher and Kennedy attorney Jodi Bohr reads to a Phoenix Day student.

Gallagher and Kennedy attorney Jodi Bohr reads to a Phoenix Day student.

Phoenix Day students and Gallagher and Kennedy women professionals at the May 28, 2014, event.

Phoenix Day students and Gallagher and Kennedy women professionals at the May 28, 2014, event.

Today’s post is really not simply a ruse to feature one of the cuter bunny-lawyer combos available on the Interwebs. But I will not pass up the moment. Here you go.

Bunny lawyer (even keeping time!) by LilithImmaculate

Bunny lawyer (even keeping time!) by LilithImmaculate

You’re welcome.

Instead, today I share news of an event this Saturday, April 12, at which another bunny relative—Jeremy Jackrabbit, to be precise—will make an appearance.

Rodney and Sasha Glassman, co-authors of the Jeremy Jackrabbit series.

Rodney and Sasha Glassman, co-authors of the Jeremy Jackrabbit series.

Jeremy is a character in a book co-written by two married Arizona lawyers, Sasha and Rodney Glassman. They and their book will participate in an event Saturday at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix.

Here is how the Phoenix Public Library press release opens:

“Phoenix Public Library, in partnership with the Arizona Science Center, will host a celebration to launch Sasha and Rodney Glassman’s newest book in their Jeremy Jackrabbit series, ‘Jeremy Jackrabbit Captures the Sun,’ 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the Arizona Science Center, located at 600 E. Washington.”

“Illustrated by children from throughout the metropolitan area, including Scottsdale, Laveen, Chandler and Phoenix, more than 52,000 copies of the book will be distributed free of charge to every kindergarten student in Maricopa County.  Councilwoman Laura Pastor and Councilwoman Kate Gallego will read the book at the event after which the young artists will be available to sign the pages in the book which they illustrated.”

“Sasha Glassman is an attorney and member of the Madison Elementary School District Governing Board. Rodney Glassman, PhD, in arid land resource sciences and a former Tucson city councilman, is an attorney with Ryley Carlock & Applewhite.”

Jeremy Jackrabbit Glassman 1

Jeremy Jackrabbit, himself.

Congratulations to Sasha and Rodney on the continued success of their resourceful jackrabbit.

For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit here.

And here is a list of the talented children who helped illustrate the book.

Jeremy Jackrabbit invitation

Would I take professional advice from this woman? Um, yup, in a heartbeat. The smart and hilarious Roxie Bacon (on right) with a friend in New Zealand.

Would I take professional advice from this woman? Um, yup, in a heartbeat. The smart and hilarious Roxie Bacon (on right) with a friend in New Zealand.

What equals success? Do old measures of success still apply, especially in a tradition-bound profession like the law?

Those were a few of the questions raised recently in a brief book review by the so-very-talented Roxie Bacon.

Roxie is a great lawyer, as well as a former President of the State Bar of Arizona. She climbed the ladder of big-firm partner success, so when I spotted a book about women lawyer leaders, I thought immediately that she should review it.

So before February passes into history, I wanted to be sure you saw her review in our February issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine.

The book she was charged with reviewing is a publication of the American Bar Association titled Learning To Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law.

learning to lead book cover v2

Maybe it was the title’s “really” that initially set Roxie off. But she ultimately offered her not-entirely-salutary view of the book’s messages. Yes, she said that the suggestions were good, as far as they went—if you still buy in to the success measures adopted a generation ago. But Roxie points out that huge numbers of lawyers—men and women—are voting on those measure with their feet, as they decide to tread hallways other than those covered in the most expensive hand-knotted rugs.

You can read Roxie’s whole essay here.

I’m sure the review did not please the ABA. But since publication, I’ve heard from a number of people who enjoyed her view very much. They also compare the ABA book to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which some also believe sends dated messages to young women professionals.

What are your thoughts on how women (especially) may best succeed in law firms? Do the old measures of success still apply? Should they?

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Professor Kingsfield may not be viewed as today's "model" law professor.

Professor Kingsfield may not be viewed as today’s “model” law professor.

In the category of “you never know where a good idea may come from,” I point you toward the review of a book on what makes a great law professor.

The review was pointed out to me by a very wise person, and she thought I’d be intrigued by the concept. She was right, just as I am intrigued by the location of the review: In the Teachers College Record, “a journal of research, analysis, and commentary in the field of education. It has been published continuously since 1900 by Teachers College, Columbia University.”

At TCR, they concern themselves with all kinds of teaching, even that dispensed at law schools. So always keep your eye peeled.

(And if you missed my recent coverage of a great article about law school, head over here to read it.)

what-the-best-law-teachers-do book cover

The new book is aptly titled What the Best Law Teachers Do, and the review is written by Marjorie Heins, “a former ACLU lawyer, the founding director of the Free Expression Policy Project, and the author, most recently, of Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge (NYU Press, 2013). She has been a visiting professor at both the law school and undergraduate levels. She currently teaches ‘Censorship in American Culture and Law’ at New York University.”

Here is how she opens her review:

“In popular imagination, the typical law teacher is the notorious Professor Charles Kingsfield, immortalized in the novel, The Paper Chase. Imperious, tyrannical, and a master practitioner of the Socratic method in its most rigorous form, Kingsfield aims to intimidate if not terrorize. But in one famous scene, the old codger turns out to be human: he shows approval, if not respect, to a student who has the temerity to talk back to him.”

Marjorie Heins

Marjorie Heins

“Well, we can say goodbye to the era of Kingsfield and to the joys of combat in the law school classroom. As the stories told and teachers celebrated in What the Best Law Teachers Do make plain, today’s model law professor is a nurturer, not a tyrant: loved, lovable, and passionately devoted to helping every student not only to understand the material but to enjoy it, to become a better person, and to embark on a future as a dedicated servant of the law.”

“The 26 law teachers highlighted in this book are indeed paragons. If I am sounding just a bit cynical, it is not because I don’t respect the amazing talents and commitment that these 26 evidently possess, or the impressive results they achieve: students uniformly rising to the challenge, inspired by affection and respect to work hard so as not to disappoint their charismatic teachers’ expectations. Instead, I remain skeptical because I suspect that there might still be room in the academy, if not exactly for pedagogues of the Kingsfield variety, then at least for professors who are not particularly student-friendly, are not interested in inviting them to lunch or hearing about their personal troubles, but are simply brilliant lecturers, inspiring scholars, or, indeed, skilled practitioners of the dread Socratic method.”

Read the complete review here.

Is your own favorite law professor described in the new volume? (or at least someone who shares the same sensibilities?) You may have to get your hands on the book to find out.

Do you agree with the description of what makes an ideal law professor? Does that match your own experience?

Cybersleuth Guide to Internet Levitt RoschTomorrow, October 9, the State Bar is holding a seminar that may help you navigate the Internet in service of client and law practice.

I rarely mention State Bar CLEs, as their own marketing machine is pretty darn robust. But I am intrigued by this offering, which will be taught by Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch. (See more about them and their work here.) If those names sound familiar, it’s because they wrote a book on the subject. (Read down below to see how your CLE registration also gets you a copy of the book.)

The seminar is titled “The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet: Super Search Engine Strategies and Investigative Research.” A long title, but they plan to cover quite a bit. Here’s the description:

“Learn how the Internet is changing the way legal professionals need to research and run their practice to competently represent their clients. Find out if failing to ‘Google’ as part of the due diligence process could keep you from winning a case or successfully completing a transaction. Uncover the best research strategies and learn to master Google. Discover how attorneys are using free public record sites and sites with free ‘publicly available’ information, including social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google Plus, and LinkedIn) for discovery, trial preparation, background checks, and locating missing persons.”

Carole A Levitt

Carole Levitt

Mark E Rosch

Mark Rosch

“Don’t be left behind in exploiting this gold mine of information that will assist you in meeting your investigative research obligations. Come join Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch, internationally recognized Internet trainers and authors of six American Bar Association books, who will show you how to be a cybersleuth to unearth information FREE (or at low cost!) on the Net. Each attendee will receive a copy of their 500 page book, The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet, 12th edition revised (2013)—a $64.95 value.”        

Intrigued? Here’s where you can register.

And you can read more about the book here.

University of Arizona Law School Professor Jane Bambauer

University of Arizona Law School Professor Jane Bambauer

Scouring law school websites may not be your idea of fun. Maybe it ranks right up there with scouring sites of county recorders, or tax-advice columnists. (Cue the angry tweets from all three providers.)

But you may be surprised at the valuable information located at law school sites. Today, I share some news from the University of Arizona Law School.

First, I point you toward a podcast with interview of UA Law Professor Jane Bambauer. In it, she  discusses her Stanford Law Review article called Is Data Speech?

The podcast is on the unsurprisingly good site of Surprisingly Free (“A weekly podcast featuring in-depth discussions with an eclectic mix of authors, academics, and entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, policy, and economics”—yo, bookmark it!). In the July 23 interview, Bambauer “addresses several issues relating to whether data can be can be considered speech, how to define ‘data,’ and whether data collection can be covered by the First Amendment.”

If you’re more of a visual thinker, you can read a draft of her paper here.

University of Arizona Law School logoThis is a fascinating topic, and perhaps I’ll prevail on Professor Bambauer to cover this topic (and others??) in Arizona Attorney Magazine.

Last month, she was a co-host at a law school event (and I’m still sorry I didn’t get the chance to talk to her, as she was swarmed by law students and others). Below are a few photos from the July 10 law school event, held at the downtown Phoenix Palomar Hotel.

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And then, in case I needed reminding that I didn’t hang out with professors nearly enough in law school, I see a new book is out that bears reading. It’s called “Saving the Neighborhood,” and a co-author is UA Law Professor Carol Rose.

You can purchase the book here. And from the same spot, I share a description of the volume, which clearly has much to say about our society and the evolution (or not) that it’s witnessed.

“Saving the Neighborhood tells the charged, still controversial story of the rise and fall of racially restrictive covenants in America, and offers rare insight into the ways legal and social norms reinforce one another, acting with pernicious efficacy to codify and perpetuate intolerance.”

University of Arizona Law School Professor Carol Rose

University of Arizona Law School Professor Carol Rose

“The early 1900s saw an unprecedented migration of African Americans leaving the rural South in search of better work and equal citizenship. In reaction, many white communities instituted property agreements—covenants—designed to limit ownership and residency according to race. Restrictive covenants quickly became a powerful legal guarantor of segregation, their authority facing serious challenge only in 1948, when the Supreme Court declared them legally unenforceable in Shelley v. Kraemer. Although the ruling was a shock to courts that had upheld covenants for decades, it failed to end their influence. In this incisive study, Richard Brooks and Carol Rose unpack why.”

“At root, covenants were social signals. Their greatest use lay in reassuring the white residents that they shared the same goal, while sending a warning to would-be minority entrants: keep out. The authors uncover how loosely knit urban and suburban communities, fearing ethnic mixing or even “tipping,” were fair game to a new class of entrepreneurs who catered to their fears while exacerbating the message encoded in covenants: that black residents threatened white property values. Legal racial covenants expressed and bestowed an aura of legitimacy upon the wish of many white neighborhoods to exclude minorities. Sadly for American race relations, their legacy still lingers.”

I know; heady stuff for a Monday morning. Well, it’s August, and school is back in session. Let’s get learning.

Disrobed cover by Fred BlockThis past month, I wrote about a great new book—and a terrific lunch with judges that introduced me to it.

Below, I share my column from a recent Arizona Attorney Magazine. I encourage you to enjoy Judge Fred Block’s new book, and to dig into some Chinese food. Here’s the column:

Candor and courts go together like professional and conduct.

That’s true from the attorney’s side, where we understand that statements uttered to judges must be true and accurate.

But the return flow of information from judges may not always be quite so candid.

Before anyone yells “Contempt,” understand I’m not viewing candor’s opposite as dishonesty. Instead, it’s guardedness and caution—characteristics that describe many judges.

Judges have good reason to hesitate before speaking about courts and the justice system. Nonetheless, most people appreciate the occasional glimpses they offer into a system often shrouded in mystery.

And that’s why I’m glad I accepted an April lunch date with two judges.

The first was the wonderful Judge Bob Gottsfield, of the Superior Court for Maricopa County. Accompanying him was a federal district judge from New York, Fred Block. Judge Block was presiding at a trial at the federal courthouse in Phoenix.

We met at Sing High Chop Suey House—a first for me. What brought us together was a conversation about the legal system—and a book that Judge Block had penned.

Sing High Chop Suey HouseAs I tucked into my white-meat chicken chow mein (a house specialty), I listened with pleasure to the law practice stories Judge Block told. He avoided commentary about his book, politely preferring to have a conversation rather than a press junket.

So impressed was I by the chat and by the judge that I ordered the book from Amazon the next day. And I urge you to do the same.

Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge is that rarest of animals: a candid book written by a sitting judge. His story—from a solo law practice to an Article III Judge—makes for enjoyable reading. And the cases he analyzes range from front-page fodder to colorful New York. Scanning the index gives an education: “Bondi, Richard ‘The Lump,’” “Madoff, Bernie,” “Casso, Anthony ‘Gaspipe.’”

Judge Frederic Block

Judge Frederic Block

In between bites, the judge explained that too few people understand anything about the justice system, let alone what a district judge does. He hoped his book would go some distance in educating the public.

I haven’t finished the book, but what comes through is voice with a capital V. As I prepare for May, when I’ll be writing a lawyer profile, I will devour and learn from Disrobeda masterful rendition of a profession, a time, a man and his many chapters.

Plus, I can’t wait to get to “Gravano, Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull,’” and “Simpson, O.J.”

Gary Stuart speaks on Miranda rights

Gary Stuart speaks on Miranda rights.

How central is Miranda to our constellation of rights? When and how would we ever agree it would be acceptable to abrogate the rights gathered under the Miranda rubric?

That issue never arises on the easy cases, of course. In the workaday world, every police officer in the United States knows that the reading of the Miranda rights is an essential part of their role.

Arrests following a terror attack are not the easy cases.

That’s what we saw after the arrest of a suspect in the bombings at the Boston Marathon. The federal government announced that it was interrogating the suspect in advance of reading his rights.

We’ve understood for years that there may be emergencies that militate toward questioning-before-rights. For instance, if officials believed there could be timed explosive devices secreted around the city, they arguably should begin questioning immediately. Time will help explain if that is the situation that faced officials.

This Sunday, Gary Stuart examined the uneasy choices we make when we set aside basic rights. Gary is an experienced lawyer and author of Miranda: The Story of America’s Right To Remain Silent.”

In his Arizona Republic op-ed, he traces the history of Miranda and subsequent rulings that have carved out exceptions to the rights.

Cagily, he leaves his powerful conclusion for the last three paragraphs. In case you are as impatient as I am, here they are:

“We should be wary about doctrinaire Miranda compliance in terrorist cases, especially where the public safety is at risk—as the Boston Marathon bombing clearly was.”

“Even so, balancing too far in favor of gathering intelligence by minimizing suspects’ rights might reverse five decades of Miranda application. While we want to win the war on terrorism, it cannot come at the price of returning to the bad old days before Miranda, when law enforcement was silent on the rights of suspects.”

“If law enforcement is silent and suspects are not, we might advance the war. But if domestic suspects have no rights, especially in terrorist cases, then those seeking to destroy democracy itself and replace it with a radically fundamental theocracy will have obtained one of their objectives.”

Read Gary’s entire editorial here.

What are your thoughts? Do we risk too much when we allow the pendulum to swing? Or does the government adopt a permissible position when it acts as it did in Boston?

Former Arizona Chief Justice Lorna Lockwood

Former Arizona Chief Justice Lorna Lockwood

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy a good book review. And as January is about to close, I point to another great review in this month’s Arizona Attorney.

The author this month is esteemed lawyer (and past State Bar President) Mark Harrison. He is a good writer, but to make his task easier, he wrote about a great woman—Lorna Lockwood.

Arizona’s first woman Chief Justice is described well in the book Lady Law, by author Sonja White David. Here is how Mark opens his review:

Lady Law Lorna Lockwood book cover“In 1960, Lorna Lockwood became the first female Justice on the Supreme Court of Arizona. In 1965, she became the first female Chief Justice of any state Supreme Court in the nation. Justice Lockwood’s remarkable story is beautifully captured in Lady Law, a book written by Sonja White David, a resident of Mesa. In a way that Justice Lockwood surely would have appreciated, the author describes how a small-town girl from Douglas and Tombstone, Arizona, defied the odds and blazed the way for women in the law. In the process, Justice Lockwood left a significant and indelible mark on the law of Arizona.”

“Lady Law would be an enriching read for all Arizona lawyers, but it will be an inspiration for young girls and women. As Ms. David describes Justice Lockwood’s journey, she explains how Justice Lockwood was rebuffed and discouraged, not surprisingly by the male establishment, from pursuing her ambition to become a lawyer. As we now know, the pioneering role of Justice Lockwood was a harbinger of things to come; in the half century since Justice Lockwood was elected to the Supreme Court, the percentage of women in law schools has equaled and occasionally exceeded the percentage of men. In addition, women have come to play an increasingly influential role in the profession and on the judiciary.”

Read the entire book review here. And if you’re interested, the book is available here.

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