Big law firms have it tough these days. Many critics claim that they have no identities, no personalities, no souls, no individuality.
The good news is that the article “Impersonating a Law Firm” in today’s ABA Journal eReport tells a story that utterly refutes the claims that at least one big law firm has no identity.
The article’s subtitle says it all: “Fish & Neave Identity Stolen by Paralegal, Prosecutors Charge.” Now I don’t pretend to have a black belt in logic, but I did have a minor in philosophy in college and it seems pretty clear to me that Fish & Neave’s identity could not have been stolen unless, in fact, it had one. Q.E.D.
I eagerly await the “critic’s” attempts to refute this argument.
I recommend the article for the story it tells, the questions it raises (how do you spend $500,000 on psychics?), and the highly-nuanced arguments of lawyers (you’ll catch a version of “it depends on what the definition of identity theft is” argument in there).
In the Sarbanes Oxley world, these kinds of occurrences are going to draw attention to the security and other IT practices of law firms, and, frankly, I’m not sure that some companies are going to like what they find.
Here’s a great item to find on your “to do” list if you are a partner at Fish & Neave: “Explain to clients how they really can be sure that we can keep their important documents and records secure, safe and confidential.”
On the other hand, maybe it is better to be considered to have no identity than to be referred to as “you mean the firm where the paralegal (allegedly) stole the firm’s identity.”
For those who enjoy irony, you might take a look at Fish & Neave’s discussion of its technology capabilities. For those at big firms enjoying a laugh at Fish & Neave’s expense, contemplate for a minute that, as one of the premier patent firms in the U.S., Fish & Neave is likely to be doing a better job on technology than firm’s that do not have such a strong technology focus.