Committee on Cyberspace Law

Welcome to CIPerati, the new electronic publication of the American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Cyberspace Committee, Intellectual Property Subcommittee. We intend to publish this bulletin approximately every two months to provide you with useful information about significant developments concerning Cyberspace-related Intellectual Property law. You may sign up to be on our mailing list by using the “Subscribe” link at the top or bottom of this publication. Also, you may remove yourself from our mailing list by using the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the publication. As a recipient of CIPerati, your e-mail address will not be shared with any third parties. For future issues of CIPerati, we seek original submissions – or previously published submissions with republication rights – from attorneys in private practice or government service, in-house counsel, law professors, law students, and others. We also appreciate your comments about this publication and hope you will take the time to write if you have suggestions.

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National Public Service Award

The committee annually presents two National Public Service Awards. One recognizes the pro bono contributions of an individual and the other recognizes those of a firm/company.

Award Overview
The National Public Service Award was initiated in 1994 as part of the Section’s pro bono project, A Business Commitment (ABC). The ABC project was designed to match business lawyers with legal service programs, community development corporations, charitable organizations or individuals that cannot afford to hire lawyers. The National Public Service Award recognizes significant pro bono legal services that demonstrate a commitment to providing services to the poor in a business context, and recognizes the achievements resulting from the public service work for the clients and the client groups represented. The recipients of the Award will have undertaken a significant public service project(s) that provided free business law representation to the poor or to an organization that predominantly serves the poor, or improves the provision of such services.

The award will be presented on April 1, 2005 at the Section’s 2005 Spring Meeting in Nashville, TN . A complete nomination package must be submitted to the Business Law Section office by February 7, 2005.

Two Awards
Since the establishment of this Award, an increasing number of nominations have been submitted nominating either individuals or firms/companies. Because of the increasing difficulty in choosing only one nominee to win the Award, as well as the inequity of comparing an individual lawyer’s pro bono contribution to that of a firm/company, the Committee determined it would present two awards–one recognizing the pro bono contributions of an individual and one recognizing those of a firm/company.

Award Criteria
Nominees for the Award may be individuals, firms or corporate legal departments who provide volunteer business legal services to non-profit organizations that predominately serve the poor. The recipients of the Award will be selected based on fulfillment of one or more of the following criteria:
Demonstrated dedication to the development and delivery of pro bono business legal services.

Contributed significant work toward developing innovative approaches to delivery of pro bono business legal services.

Provided sustained pro bono business counsel to non-profit organizations and/or to micro-enterprises in aid of community development.

Nomination Guidelines
Nominations must be submitted electronically. A complete nomination package should be emailed to Nhu Ly and include the following information:
Nominee and Nominator–Names, addresses, firm/company, and telephone numbers

Nomination narrative–In three pages or less, identify which of the three criteria the nominee has met. Specify, the nature of the pro bono business law contribution, and identify those who benefited.

References–Provide the names of three individuals who could provide additional information–Names, addresses, firm/company, and telephone numbers

Optional Additional Materials–

a. You are permitted, but not required, to also submit letters supporting the nomination; each letter must be no more than 2 pages in length and must be submitted in electronic form.

b. Please refrain from submitting any additional materials, other than those listed in this application. If the committee determines more information is necessary to make their decision, they will contact you.

Selection Process
The Committee will review the nominations, select the Award recipients, and notify the successful nominees and nominators. Nominations that are incomplete or do not meet the criteria will not be considered. Awards will only be presented to qualified nominees.

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Section of Business Law Diplomat

Announcing the first Section of Business Law Diplomat
The new Diplomat program is sponsored by the Section’s Committee on Diversity, and is intended as an outreach program to facilitate the full participation of lawyers with disabilities in Section activities, develop future leaders, and draw more lawyers with disabilities into active membership. The Section of Business Law is pleased to announce our first Diplomat, David S. Caplan of Brooks & Raub, PC in Palo Alto, CA. David will hold the position of Diplomat for a two-year term, and will be actively involved in the Committee on Business Bankruptcy. David’s concentration is in Chapter 11 reorganizations, out of court workouts and related transactions involving companies in financial distress. He is also recognized as an expert in fiduciary and ethical issues and frequently advises corporations on governance and ethical issues, especially in the insolvency context.

Purpose of the Program
The Section of Business Law is committed to encouraging the participation of lawyers with disabilities in Section activities. To do so, the Section’s Committee on Diversity has created the Business Law Diplomat Program designed to demonstrate that commitment and in the process, develop future Section leaders, facilitate the full participation of lawyers with disabilities in Section activities, and draw more lawyers with disabilities into active membership.

Obligations of the Section
The Section will commit financial resources and participation opportunities to the Diplomat. These commitments include the following:
The reimbursement of expenses, consistent with normal Section reimbursement policies, for attendance at the Spring and Annual Meetings of the Section as well as at any one stand-alone meeting of the Committee to which the Diplomat has been appointed.

The Chair of the Committee to which the Diplomat has been appointed will commit to provide specific tasks and speaking assignments for the Diplomat. The Chair will also assign a member of the Committee to be a “mentor” for the Diplomat in order to maximize the opportunity for participation and leadership growth.
Obligations of the Business Law Diplomat
A critical feature of the Program is a commitment by those chosen to be a Business Law Diplomat to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them to become active participants in Section activities. Their commitments include the following:
To attend the Spring and Annual Meetings of the Section as well as any stand alone meetings of their Committee.

To continue to be involved in the activities of the association or organizations for lawyers with disabilities and to identify substantive areas of common interest in which members and committees lawyers with disabilities can coordinate with, and participate in, the work of the Section.

To coordinate with the Section’s liaison to the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law efforts to provide broader exposure of the benefits of Section membership to the members of the Association and other organizations for lawyers with disabilities.

To report to the Council of the Section on a bi-annual basis their experience as a Business Law Diplomat.
The Selection Process
To be considered for selection as a Diplomat, a person must be a member of the American Bar Association and a lawyer with a physical, mental or sensory disability who has demonstrated a significant interest or contribution in an area of business law. Selection as a Business Law Diplomat is intended to be an honor, which carries a prestige and distinction reflecting the substantive contributions of a business lawyer with disabilities. The Diplomat will be nominated by the Section’s Committee on Diversity Chairs, and selected by the Section officers.

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