Internet Pranks

     I guess it’s the cynic in me – or maybe the comedian – but I have a hard time taking seriously some of the stuff I run across on the Internet.
     Take this from an announcement posted last week: “Social media, new distribution models, wearable electronics, Internet-of-Things electronics, sharable 3D print programs, and other technological changes require artists, industry, courts, and legislatures to rethink the ways laws once designed for daily print newspapers and burlesque houses apply in the modern age.”
     The Internet is killing the burlesque house industry and we need a seminar to study this.
     This is part of a Florida law school symposium on “New Media and Old Metaphors” that I think may be an elaborate prank. If it isn’t, I want to attend the panel with the unemployed strippers.
     There’s another clue that this can’t be real in the last paragraph of the announcement. See if you can spot it. (I’ll wait.)
     Yep. The symposium can earn you nine CLE credits in Florida and 7.5 credits in Minnesota.
     No one from any other state need apply.
     I’m guessing the credit discrepancy has something to do with the Central time zone.
     
     Unanswerable question: Then there was this possible prank headline at the JDSupra website: “What happens to your online content when you die?”
     Does it go to heaven with you?
     Does it self-destruct?
     Here’s the answer from the article: “There are no solutions to this issue yet.”
     Oh.
     Well, I guess I won’t worry about it then.
     There’s also this odd sentence: “If you own a device that contains digital content, you can pass that device on to your heirs, but there is no guarantee the content will remain.”
     Apparently, it will sense you’re gone and delete itself in despair.
     Technology can be temperamental.
     
     Pyrrhic victory: We have another fine example of what courts are for from a recent Delaware Chancery Court master’s report called Benner v. The Council of the Narrows Association of Owners.
     This is a 34-page ruling perhaps finally resolving a years-long dispute over whether a widow could put in windows around her porch instead of sliding glass doors.
     Courts are meant for stubborn people.
     Don’t bother reading the ruling – it’s really boring. But you may want to consider the law practice lesson here.
     The result (unless someone decides to appeal or something, I guess) is that the plaintiff gets her windows, but she has to pay her own attorney fees.
     That’s an expensive remodeling job.
     You could argue this is not the best result for a client.
     So here’s your ethics/law practice hypothetical: If an old lady walks into your office with a dispute over window placement, what do you do?
     Recommend years of litigation?
     Explain that glass doors are similar to windows?
     Pretend you have too many clients and can’t take the case?
     I’d tell her to move to a window-friendly neighborhood.
     Expect to see this on an ethics exam.

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