With April Fools’ Day landing on the last day of the week this year, we are again embracing levity. This year we are building on the April Fool’s Pranks for Lawyers piece curated on these pages last year.
After searching for new gags with an appropriate angle for legal, we’ve added just two more to the list as the theme for this week’s Friday Share. No rodents, bloggers or numbers – and we certainly hope no feelings – were harmed in creating this compilation.
We envision growing this list on an annual basis much like what we’ve aimed to achieve with legal industry predictions for 2014, 2015 and 2016, albeit as a slower pace. To that end, should you read or hear about a legal industry April Fool’s joke please leave comment on this post, or tweet us @business_of_law and we’ll consider adding it.
Here are the 5 timeless April Fools’ Day Jokes for legal:
1. Intangible Lawyer. Last year Matt Homann of LexThink fame launched a new service called “Intangible Lawyer.” On the Law Sites blog, Bob Ambrogi noted the service was modeled in the likeness of “Invisible Girlfriend and Invisible Boyfriend” and “will make it look like you have a lawyer even if you cannot afford one.”
The ABA Journal picked up Mr. Ambrogi’s scoop and reported “Subscribers will get fake invoices, fake lawyer business cards, access to ‘assorted official-looking legal documents,’ and one demand letter every six months, ‘customized to whatever it is you want to demand.’”
2. Three + Six – Five = 3.14 Geeks. In 2014, the popular 3 Geeks and Law Blog said it was adding six new “geeks” which would bring the total to nine. The new additions were to include an eclectic and savvy mix of legal industry movers and shakers including: Jeffrey Brandt, Ron Friedmann, Brian Tannebaum, Bruce MacEwen, Kingsley Martin and Jordan Furlong.
An independent branding guru we interviewed for this post called said the designation of “3” in the name “3 Geeks” merits a brand examination.
She noted on April Fool’s Day two years ago the site was claiming nine geeks, but today only lists four including Lisa Salazar. In addition, D. Casey Flaherty has written a prolific volume of guest posts for the blog of late and merits consideration for the designation such as “geek emeritus,” “contributing geek,” or “geek in residence.”
“Calling the site ‘5 Geeks’ would keep the naming convention consistent with prime numbers,” our intangible guru added. “And ‘3.14 Geeks’ could be perceived as a clever choice.”
3. “Official Law Blogger” Re-visited
“Since word is already dribbling out among my friends, I thought I should let you know here: I’m closing down this blog in the next few weeks to start up a new one at the White House as their official law blogger,” wrote Attorney Eric Turkewitz of The Turkewitz Law Firm in that 2010 April Fools’ Day prank.
“I’ll have the opportunity to both expand the scope of my writing and serve my country at the same time. As blogging gigs go, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
The ABA Journal covered the announcement – and the ethics outcry that followed. It also noted the attorney, in a rebuttal, cited “a [then] recent federal appeals court decision holding that law firm ads showing space aliens and lawyers running at breakneck speeds did not violate ethics rules.”
4. Groundhogs, Shadows Face Prosecution
A prosecutor in Ohio apparently sought charges against a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil for “misrepresentation of early spring.” Allegedly, the rodent did not see its shadow and yet the long cold winter continued when the long arm of justice (and popular opinion?) would have preferred it didn’t.
Further, after the outrageous winter we’ve saw in the US last year, we can’t imagine the precedent bodes well for rodent-kind in 2015. Law360 included the anecdote in a 2014 roundup – No Joke: 7 Strange-But-True Suits For April Fools’ – and noted “the prosecutor dropped the charge.”
5. Cease and desist for “canned unicorn meat.”
April Fool’s Day can’t all be rainbows and unicorns. In 2010 the ThinkGeek ecommerce site, which sells a myriad of interesting gifts and gadgets for “geeks” received a 12 page cease and desist letter for a parody product.
The company has previously promoted “Canned Unicorn Meat” as an April Fool’s Day gag. The company wrote it had “nothing to worry about–this kind of use is protected as a parody.”
All joking aside, it appears now unicorns were indeed real and fossils have bene discovered in Siberia.
Running Legal Industry April Fools’ Updates
Here’s a running list of gags we’ve seen around the web today.
- New PinHawk Editors. Jeffrey Brandt, editor of the PinHawk Technology Daily Digest announced today in daily news summary, the publication will be adding dual editors. He wrote:
“My duties at the firm have expanded quite a bit. We’ve got a new strategic plan and major projects involving Azure, Windows 10 and IntApp. Things have gotten to the point where there just isn’t enough time in the day to do both jobs. After countless interviews and careful consideration, we’ve decided to go with a dual editor role like our sister publication, PinHawk Librarian News Digest. Over the course of the next few months, I’ll transition the editorial duties to them. The names of your new editors will be familiar to you. They are Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Read more at PinHawk: PinHawk Law Technology Daily Digest Gets New Editors“
- National Legal Tech Today. “Even with the president’s seemingly newfound interest in contributing to social media, I certainly never imagined that I would get a call from the White House,” wrote Bob Ambrogi in an editorial note on LawSites today. “But when he wanted a platform through which to speak about legal technology, I am honored that he chose this blog.” His note introduces a “guest post” by the top elected leader in the US who writes “As a nation, we must expect more of the legal profession and more of legal technology.”
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Have you spotted a gag today related to legal but offered in reasonably good taste? Please do share in the comments.
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