Follow That Hashtag

     Far be it from me to criticize other people’s social media skills.
     I’d rather just make fun of them.
     This week’s remarkable bit of social media marketing comes from the promoters of the California State Bar annual meeting. If you’ll go to their web page , you’ll see that the meeting has a twitter hash tag: #CalBarAM14.
     I have no idea why.
     And, yes, as of this writing, “hash tag” was two words on the Cal Bar page. Can you guess what I’m about to reveal next?
     That’s right. I searched for the hashtag and found only one message: “Registration for #CalBarAM14 is up and running. Pro tip: United Airlines/Hertz discount codes are in today’s email http://bit.ly/1l5u8SK .”
     It doesn’t seem to be trending.
     At least not as of this writing. Maybe I looked at it too soon.
     This, of course, is not a big deal. After all, the State Bar convention doesn’t need an online marketing campaign. All the Bar has to do is send out invitations to the lawyers in the state. It doesn’t need to build a following.
     For that matter, the Bar shouldn’t want a following. It certainly couldn’t want to attract a bunch of non-lawyers to panels on fee disputes and “The Hidden Pitfalls of Unauthorized Practice of Law.”
     So the question becomes: Why does this official hashtag exist? What is its purpose?
     There are several possible answers to this intriguing question.
     The most obvious one is that some Web techie threw that onto the Bar’s page as a joke, hoping to start a snark war.
     Or perhaps there’s a desire to start a serious discussion of the arts and their use in the propagation of political awareness.
     I say this because, to my astonishment, there does appear to be a major artistic event in store at this year’s convention: Five justices of the California Supreme Court and one federal judge are the stars of a play debuting at the State Bar convention.
     Really. I’m not making this up.
     The Bar’s website says: “An amazing ensemble has been cast to reenact the extraordinary life and violent death of Chief Justice David S. Terry and the evolution and current Supreme Court law regarding Federalism.”
     (Note to Courthouse News Editors: Please, please, please send a theater critic to this event!)
     The official Bar convention hashtag has to be atwitter about this.
     Do you get the feeling some people are bored with all that judging?
     
     Size Doesn’t Matter: It may be time for you corporate lawyers out there to consider a new form of advice for your entrepreneurial clients: church formation.
     Now that Hobby Lobby has established the right of a company to practice religion without interference, doesn’t it make sense for all companies to have a religion?
     After all, if a non-corporate church refused to allow pregnant women to join, courts wouldn’t interfere. Why should corporations that have religious freedom be different?
     Churches have the right to decide who can join them. Corporate churches should be able to do the same.
     This occurred to me last week after reading the Texas Court of Appeals ruling in Anderson v. Truelove , in which the court decided to stay out of an internal dispute in a church with only 16 members.
     It could just as easily been a small business – especially since the minister (who could have been the CEO) embezzled from the church (which could have been a business).
     Church or corporate size doesn’t matter.
     Passing thought: If 16 people who believe in the same religion can’t get along, what hope is there for anyone else?
     

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