Legal Current
Legal Current is a podcast from Thomson Reuters, Legal, that features information and commentary on the business and practice of law.

The Equality Effect is a non-profit charity that uses international human rights law as a crowbar to pry open justice for women and girls around the world. Drawing on a team of feisty international lawyers, the equality effect supports its regional legal partners by initiating creative legal advocacy projects to achieve systemic change. In Kenya, The Equality Effect provided support for a constitutional claim against the government for failing to protect girls who had been raped; in May 2013, Kenya’s High Court agreed that the police failure to enforce existing rape laws, and police failure to protect them from rape, is a violation of domestic, regional, and human rights law. The work that led to this landmark ruling informs the equality effect’s newest project in Malawi that also seeks justice for victims of rape.

As three-time Amnesty International Media award-winner and author Sally Armstrong writes: “Once, in a very long while, maybe once in a lifetime, you get to witness a story that shifts the way an entire country or continent sees itself. The process of change is usually daring, certainly time-consuming, invariably costly, occasionally heart-breaking, and eventually an exercise so rewarding that it is the stuff of legends; this is the story of the equality effect.”

Direct download: Kenya_-_The_Equality_Effect.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

The America Invents Act marked  the most significant change in US patent law in the last 50 years. The historic provisions have impacted patent filings and patent litigation, as well as non-practicing entities or “patent trolls” as they are commonly known.

Bernie Knight was general counsel for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when the America Invents Act was enacted.  He is now a partner with McDermott Will & Emery and talks about the impact of the America Invents Act which he helped shape into law. 

Direct download: America_Invents_Act.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:54pm EDT

Justice Randy Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court, editor of Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor, discusses the significance of Magna Carta, and the new Muse and Mentor book available on Amazon in print and in e-book form, as well as from Thomson Reuters.

Direct download: Magna_Carta_Muse__Mentor.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:27pm EDT

Direct download: Legal_Current_podcast_Oct_2014.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55pm EDT

Are missing one-third of your potential clients?  As people increasingly looking for attorneys using mobile and local search, it’s more important than ever to make sure your firm’s website is optimized for those types of searches.

A new white paper from FindLaw explains the importance of making that prospective clients can find you in today’s mobile age.  The white paper can be downloaded for free here:

Direct download: FindLaw_Local__Mobile_Search_White_Paper.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11pm EDT

In this month’s Legal Current podcast, we cover:

-Legal news: A South Carolina boy and his mother are suing the state's DMV over his right to wear his "everyday" makeup in his driver's license photo.

-Legal trends & insights: A woman in North Dakota is facing negligent homicide charges after allegedly surfing Facebook while driving at 85 mph.

-News from Thomson Reuters: Thomson Reuters has been working together with UN Global Pulse, which analyzes big data for UN initiatives, to develop Sustainability Analytics.

-On the legal blogs: An Oregon woman sentenced for setting a 51,000-acre wildfire to help out her "bored firefighter friends."

Direct download: Legal_Current_Sept_2014_podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:26pm EDT

Harnessing Big Data could be a key for firms seeking to gain competitive advantages and boost their business development efforts.

Catherine Monte, Chief Knowledge Officer of Fox Rothschild and Kimberly Stein, National Manager for Enterprise Content Management Solutions for Thomson Reuters discuss their recently published white paper, produced by ILTA, that explores how firms can benefit from leveraging Big Data through knowledge management tools. 

Direct download: Big_Data__KM_in_Law_Firms.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:10pm EDT

The 2014 American Bar Association Liberty Achievement Award is being given to Okanier Christian Dark, professor of law and former Dean of Howard University School of Law.

The Liberty Achievement Award was created to honor those attorneys and judges who take a leadership role in promoting diversity in the profession of law by demonstrating, through choices made in their careers and work done in private and/or public sector positions, that they have actively promoted diversity. This would include their own career, leadership positions and work done to advance diverse attorneys in the profession. Other considerations would include significant substantive legal work in areas of diversity, as well as community service and/or pro bono work in diversity.

Direct download: Liberty_Award_-_Okianer_Christian_Dark.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:45pm EDT

In this month’s Legal Current podcast, we cover:

-Legal news: The passive aggressive watermelon stabber

-News from Thomson Reuters: Firm Central launches Deadline Assistant and enhances homepage

-Legal trends & insights: Firm sues ex-client over Yelp review that claims firm will ‘take everything you’ve got’

-On the legal blogs: Man Eats His Way Through Lufthansa Lounge Without Ever Lufting Off

You can listen to the episode now by clicking the play button on the built-in player below. We’re also on iTunes – just enter “Legal Current” in the search box.

Direct download: July_2014_Legal_Current_podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:26pm EDT

Is this month's Legal Current podcast, we look at:

- Legal News: A courtroom brawl in Brevard County, Florida 

- Legal trends & insights: Can Eric Knudsen, the creator of the fictional character Slenderman, be held civilly liable for the recent violence suffered by the young victim of a stabbing attach in Wisconsin?

- News from Thomson Reuters: Survey says...Technology trends in 2014 and beyond

- On the legal blogs: Boy, 13, charged as adult based on size of genitals

Direct download: June_Legal_Current_podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:12pm EDT

The class-action lawsuit including former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon against the NCAA begins in District Court in Los Angeles next week.  In addition, the NCAA is appealing a recent regional NLRB ruling that Northwestern University football players have the right to unionize.

Marta Fernandez of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell has dealt with NLRB issues and discusses what likely lies ahead for the NCAA in its fight over the status of student-athletes.



Direct download: NCAA_NLRB__Student-Athletes.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT

  • Legal news: It’s the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling to end segregation in public schools and we talked with Professor Ronna Schneider on the legal, cultural and historical importance of the decision.
Direct download: May_2014_Legal_Current_podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:56pm EDT

Do so-called “Millennials” have different career expectations? Do law firms have to make adjustments in how they manage today’s associates?  Or do the associates need to adjust their expectations?  

Patricia Trendacosta - managing shareholder at Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato discusses her experience in managing today’s crop of associates to find what’s best for the attorneys and ultimately, the firm. 

Direct download: Managing_the_Generation_Gap.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:17pm EDT

Black's Law Dictionary 10th Edition

For more than a century, Black’s Law Dictionary has been the gold standard for the language of law. Today, Thomson Reuters released the enhanced 10th Edition.

Edited by Bryan A. Garner, the world’s leading legal lexicographer, the 10th Edition is the most authoritative, comprehensive law dictionary ever published. It contains more than 50,000 terms, including 7,500 new ones. In addition, there are more than 16,000 new definitions and expanded bibliographic coverage, with more than twice as many sources quoted and cited than in the 9th Edition. The earliest usage dates in English-language contexts for nearly all terms are also included; Black’s is the only legal dictionary with this feature.

Its namesake comes from its founder Henry Campbell Black who published the first edition in 1891. Today, it is the reference of choice for legal briefs and court opinions as well as being cited as a secondary legal authority in U.S. Supreme Court cases. Check out a timeline here of all previous editions of Black’s Law Dictionary by date.

Professor Garner took some time to answer a few questions about the significance of the 10th Edition in a special Legal Current podcast, which can be heard by clicking here.


Direct download: Blacks_Law_Dictionary_10th_edition_-_Bryan_Garner.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:35pm EDT

In this month’s Legal Current podcast, we cover:
•Legal news: Was Jewish Center shooting a hate crime? •Legal trends & insights: The controversy over the National Security Agency’s surveillance program •News from Thomson Reuters: Peer Monitor releases Mid-Size Law Firm Report •On the legal blogs: Male strippers caused emotional distress to nursing home resident If you have a suggestion for a future interview or episode theme, leave a comment on this blog post or send an email to You can also follow us on Twitter at @legalcurrent.
Direct download: April_2014_Legal_Current_podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:42am EDT

LegalCurrent March 2014 podcast

SCOTUS takes up ACA contraception mandate in the Hobby Lobby case, a very costly Facebook post, Thomson Reuters launches Solutions -- practice-specific suites of solutions, and assault with a "beary" deadly weapon.

Direct download: LegalCurrent_March_2014_podcast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:12pm EDT

Most law firm websites are indeed designed to fail. That’s a bold statement, and the theme of a new white paper from FindLaw.  

The white paper discusses how many law firms’ websites may be generating less business impact than they could. Why? Because they don’t focus enough on conversion – the process of getting visitors to contact the firm.

Successful Web conversion starts with understanding the psychology of the legal consumer. This new FindLaw white paper takes an in-depth look logic, emotion and today’s legal consumer. 

Direct download: Why_Most_Law_Firm_Websites_are_Designed_to_Fail.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:54pm EDT

The maker of 5 Hour Energy is under investigation by attorneys general in Oregon and other states because of reports of consumer health problems.  But the real battle may be over the popular energy shots’ proprietary formula, which the company refusing to turn over to investigators.

Eric Hagen with McDermott Will & Emery discusses the inherent conflict that often exist between discovery requests and trade secrets. 

Direct download: IP_AGs__5_Hour_Energy.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:31pm EDT

Transactional law often involves pulling together information from a wide variety of sources, including the SEC and public and private deal data.  A new resource, Business Law Center on WestlawNext, provides access from one easy-to-use source to several key information sources, including up-to-date SEC and global filings and disclosures, EDGAR precedent agreements, Thomson Reuters proprietary deal abstracts covering public and private M&A, corporate finance and capital markets transactions, as well as SEC administrative material and the most comprehensive collection of SEC staff comment letters in the industry. 

Marc Butler discusses how Business Law Center on WestlawNext can help transactional attorneys 

Direct download: Business_Law_Center_on_WestlawNext.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

In the February 2014 edition of the Legal Current podcast, we cover:

  • Legal news: Is Facebook a marriage killer?
  • Legal trends & insights: Judge Thomas Jacobs on the nature of cyberbullying and what parents can do to protect their kids. 
  • News from Thomson Reuters: Jason Thomas keynote at LegalTech New York last month and the Digital Economy Task Force report coming soon.
  • On the legal blogs: Judge bans man from the internet after creepy Craigslist prank.

You can listen to the episode now by clicking the play button on the built-in player below. We’re also on iTunes – just enter “Legal Current” in the search box.

If you have a suggestion for a future interview or episode theme, leave a comment on this blog post or send an email to You can also follow us on Twitter at @legalcurrent.

Direct download: LegalCurrent_Podcast_-_February_2014.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

A new report from Georgetown University Law Center and Peer Monitor warns that unless law firms re-examine their traditional business models and embrace change in how legal services are delivered, they will not be able to successfully adjust to the significant outside forces that are reordering the industry. The “2014 Report on the State of the Legal Market” highlights recent trends in the legal market, as well as factors that will likely impact the market in 2014 and beyond.

James W. Jones, senior fellow at the Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession is lead author of the report, which can be downloaded at:

Direct download: 2014_State_of_the_Law_Firm_Market.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:09am EDT

In the January 2014 edition of the Legal Current podcast, we cover:

  • Legal news: Is emoji death threat a criminal defense? One law professor says that it just may be.
  • Legal trends & insights: Are privacy class action suits the next big practice areas?
  • News from Thomson Reuters: Jim Jones, a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center, comments on the new report from Peer Monitor and the Georgetown University Law Center.
  • On the legal blogs: A 7-foot statute of Satan is being proposed for the Oklahoma State Capitol.

You can listen to the episode now by clicking the play button on the built-in player below. We’re also on iTunes – just enter “Legal Current” in the search box.

If you have a suggestion for a future interview or episode theme, leave a comment on this blog post or send an email to You can also follow us on Twitter at @legalcurrent.

Direct download: LegalCurrent_Podcast_-_January_2014.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:08am EDT

iPhone and Android lovers are rejoicing the increasing adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that permit them to use their own smartphones on corporate networks.  But Fabio Marino with McDermott Will & Emery says BYOD policies can create tremendous headaches for companies in dealing with legal holds and trying to prevent theft of intellectual property.

Direct download: BYOD_IP__Legal_Holds.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:50pm EDT