SXSW March 11 – Optimistic professors, disruptive mayors, and $330,000 hamburgers

Steven Pinker @SXSW 2018

Steven Pinker

Enlightenment now

In “Enlightenment Now,” a presentation packed with graphs showing data from the Middle Ages to the present day, Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker persuasively argued that the world is doing better than ever before by every important measure: decreases in disease, poverty, pollution, inequality, infant mortality, war and wartime fatalities, authoritarianism; and increases in health, happiness, life expectancy, and democracy.

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Categorised as: News and Views, SXSW 2018

Paying attention to the dispute resolution clause

goodcounsel, in its typical role of general counsel to our early-stage clients, is heavily involved in contract drafting and negotiation. In this post we’d like to address the sometimes neglected “dispute resolution” provision that is often in the boilerplate at the end of contracts. (You know, that legal mumbo-jumbo you have always ignored.) No one wants to think too much about dispute resolution, because no one wants to think there will be disputes. And, anyway, who even knows what a dispute will be about? All true, but there are important choices to be made about how disputes are handled, and they can make a big difference when parties cannot resolve their issues on their own.

The major decision is this: litigation or arbitration.

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Categorised as: Dispute Resolution

Avoiding the e-valanche

Just about everyone can relate to the challenge of trying to get work done in the face of an endless torrent of emails and the expectations of constant availability and immediate response. Yet the reality is that this situation is incompatible with completing work that requires extended focus (which is to say, most work).

We realized that we had to try something. Thus, from time to time, you might email someone at goodcounsel and receive an automatic response like this:

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Categorised as: Lawyering

goodcounsel’s Ken Obel part of Select Counsel network launch

It’s crucially important for a boutique corporate and startup law firm like ours to have access to a network of high-caliber practitioners in different geographies or with specialized knowledge our clients need. Consequently, I am pleased to be a member of Select Counsel, a nationwide network of solo and small-firm attorneys with top-notch credentials and capabilities, which formally launched this week.

You can read more here on the website, or download the launch announcement.


Categorised as: News and Views

goodcounsel named Chicago’s “Best Firm For Startups”

We awoke recently to congratulatory email messages from colleagues and friends. “Above the Law,” a notable online publication that covers the legal scene, published an article entitled “The Loop Elite: The Go-To Law Firms of Chicago,” identifying the top law firms in Chicago across 21 different categories, and there we were – named the “Best Firm For Startups.” Read the rest of this entry »


Categorised as: News and Views

Some initial thoughts about blockchain and the law

For those who have not yet encountered this particular creature: blockchain is a distributed online ledger of transactions made possible by internet protocols and strong cryptography. It is best known for being the ledger system for transactions in Bitcoin, the most widely used cryptocurrency, but blockchain is beginning to enjoy wider visibility as the number of applications that incorporate it – from payment systems to online storage and beyond – explodes.

So let’s talk a little bit about blockchain. Read the rest of this entry »


Categorised as: Blockchain, Legal Issues