the Zealous

29 Apr 23

George Remus emigrated from Germany to America with his family in 1882. By the age of 19, he became a certified pharmacist in Chicago, and by the age of 21, he had purchased his first pharmacy. At 24, after his purchase of yet another drugstore, George decided to quit the pharmacy business and instead pursue a career in law.

He attended what is now the DePaul University College of Law at night (in half the usual time) and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1904. He became an accomplished criminal defense lawyer. He pioneered the progenitor to the temporary insanity defense in a notorious murder case in 1914. By 1920, George was earning close to $500,000 a year, or nearly $7.5 million in today's dollars. But this was not enough for George.

By that time, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, and its implementing federal statute, the Volstead Act, banned the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. George noticed that many of his clients were becoming wealthy by circumventing the law, despite their numerous brushes with it. He decided he could do bootlegging better.

24 Feb 23

Nearly all NDAs and confidentiality provisions exclude from the confidentiality and restricted use obligations information that is or becomes “public,” “publicly available,” or “publicly known.”

Contract drafting guru Ken Adams has given his imprimatur to the “is or becomes public” formulation. His preferred version of this exclusion is any information that is “already public when the Disclosing Party discloses it to the Recipient or becomes public (other than as a result of breach of this agreement by the Recipient) after the Disclosing Party discloses it to the Recipient.”

But is the “public” characterization the appropriate standard when it comes to the protection of trade secrets?

13 Feb 23

A consortium of international human rights organizations, bar associations, and advocacy groups has released its annual report coinciding with the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer, January 24. This year's focus is on Afghanistan. From the introduction of this year's report:

Since 2010, the International Day of the Endangered Lawyer has been observed on 24 January in cities, countries, and continents around the globe.

This date was chosen as the annual International Day of the Endangered Lawyer because on 24 January 1977, four lawyers and a co-worker were murdered at their address at Calle Atocha 55 in Madrid, an event that came to be known as the Massacre of Atocha.

Each year, the International Day is organised by the Coalition for the Endangered Lawyer, a network of national and international organisations and bar associations.