Saturday, June 20, 2009

Empathy: do lawyers have it?

The word "empathy" appears several times in previous IPBiz posts. However, IPBiz got a chuckle from a post on InsideCounsel titled Maximizing Conference Experience: You Got the Interview! Now What? which included:

Please resist the urge to say “hire me,” or any variation thereof, as a solution to the target’s challenges. She knows why you are there. The elegant way to succeed in this environment is to demonstrate two great lawyer qualities—discernment and empathy. As the target opens up based on your client focused line of questions, try responding with comments that begin like this: “I appreciate the corporate politics involved in that,” and offer an example of how you can relate to her challenges. Or, “Interesting, thank you for sharing that with me,” followed by “have you considered xyz?”

If Mike Evers is talking normatively, suggesting empathy OUGHT TO BE a lawyer quality, fine. If, however, Evers is talking empirically, suggesting empathy is a quality manifested by most lawyers, he has got to be kidding.

**See also

PatentHawk smokes Lemley
["Empathy and reciprocity are the fabric of the social contract," he said. BUT note Gary Odom is NOT a lawyer.]

Microsoft "spyware" for monitoring activities?
[Although the sense of this sentient system would seem to be to provide nefarious means for employers to spy on employees, the patent describes a more empathic rationale. is a somewhat sarcastic use. Nevertheless, folks such as IAM's Joff Wild don't seemed to be clued into the unusual nature of many IT patents, such as this application or IBM's outsourcing excursion]

"The Chilling Stars," greenhouse gases, and Mass. v. EPA

[[IPBiz has empathy here. Submissions on the Jaffe/Lerner proposal (and alternatives) were turned down cold at both the Harvard Business Review and at IDEA (published at Franklin Pierce, the institution of Professor Field). It's tough to have a discussion about global warming or patent reform when some ideas are excluded from presentation.] Here again, Joff Wild misses the reality that many IP attorneys HAVE TRIED to express points about patent reform, but have not been given a forum.]

Judge Plager takes on Nard and Duffy: easier to critique than to be original
{Admittedly there is a certain amount of self-interest in any complaint by the academic community that their work is being largely ignored, though as a former academic Judge Plager can empathize with that view. This is an example of one lawyer (a judge) finding empathy with another lawyer (a professor), even though the judge is otherwise criticizing the professor.] See 101 Nw. U.L. Rev. 1735 (2007) titled RETHINKING PATENT LAW'S UNIFORMITY PRINCIPLE: A RESPONSE TO NARD AND DUFFY.


Post a Comment

<< Home