Archive for October, 2008

HOA to Clinic: U Deal Drugs – Clinic to HOA We Sue U

October 31, 2008

Seems the Westwood Homeowners Association in Tennesee went all 60 minutes on the Bearden Healthcare Associates claiming they were “biggest problem in the state” when it came to over-prescribing narcotics -among other things.  The clinic went all Boston Legal on the association and their muckraking newsletter and filed this complaint.  Geez, what happen to the days when homeowners published boring old newsletters with stories about founders day and parking permits?

Friday Freebie: Video Tips on SEO

October 31, 2008

My first video insert!  No talking heads, just cool free urls.  Thanks Rich, whoever you are!

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and the Economics of Doom

October 30, 2008

Dreamworks provides a gloomy assessment of economic conditions leading Sonya Hubbard of to remark,

“In other words, if people are scrambling to cobble the mortgage payment together, don’t be surprised if the box office receipts (and subsequent DVD sales) for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa fall a bit flat.”

Trade Association Thursday:FEDA

October 30, 2008
Packets of Delight

Packets of Delight

This is a new feature where I’ll look at specific associations and grade them on their marketing value.

REPORT CARD: Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA)

Overview: Members are companies that sell equipment and supplies to restaurants.

1.  Allow associate memberships?  Nope but they let you sign up for products if you sell to FEDA members.  You can get a package including membership on disk for $540.  “D”

2.  Make membership directory public?  Nope but you can see the companies that belong to the association.  You can then use their website for additional research.  Time-consuming “D”

3.  Active national conference? Yes, has an annual conference that non-members can attend. “C”

4.  Subchapters or regional associations? Website suggests not. “F”

5.  Industry reports, information, news?  Some, links to article from trade publication, “News and Views” but not much association or industry daily or weekly news. “C-“

6.   Glossary of industry terms?  No, but they do have a glossary of terms for bar coding.  “D-“

7.    What sense does it give you of the industry and people in it? Not great, actually.  On the plus side they provide member companies so you know who makes up the association.  They don’t do much legislative advocacy, the articles and discussions seems more business focused than industry.  For example, the best article is about inventory issues but not much about the type of inventory peculiar to food distributors.  Other articles are about search engine optimization and selling etc.  “C-“

Overall:  D+,  Some basic information but not really enough to make this a site I would use except to research the actual companies listed as members

Car Dealership Allegedly Defrauds Mental Ill Woman

October 29, 2008
Anyone Wanna a Lemon?

Anyone Wanna a Lemon?

Albuquerque Lincoln Mercury Volvo stands accused of selling a mentally ill woman who lived on her SSI of $500 a month, a used, damaged Lincoln Towncar for more than $21,000 on credit but of course at more than 6% APR.  The complaint alleges that someone at the dealership change her earnings to $3,000 a month.  Why do I think the dealership passed this loan off to someone else and that it was collateralized?  Doesn’t this sound like what happened with home loans?  I kinda want these charges to be false.  Can’t a used car salesman defy the stereotype?  See complaint for more sad details.  Thanks Courthousenews.

Banks Getting Letters with “Powder”

October 29, 2008
Maybe if banks still looked like this, things wouldnt be so bad

Maybe if banks still looked like this, things wouldn't be so bad

Lots of anger out there:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. today issued an alert to banks, credit unions and brokerages regarding threatening letters.

The alert reads:

“The FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and state and local authorities are investigating more than 30 threatening letters that have been received by financial institutions in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Most of these letters contain a powder substance with a threatening communication. At this point, field and laboratory tests on the powder have been negative. Financial institutions that receive one of these letters at any location should contact their local FBI office and ask for the WMD Coordinator.”

Courtesy of Sacramento Business Journal

Demise of Thelen Means Less Lawyers!

October 29, 2008

My favorite comments to an article reporting on the Thelen partnership vote for dissolution of the firm was this one.


Hard to feel anything but gleeful about a story about LESS lawyers

Posted By: Smilerrr | October 28 2008 at 03:24 PM

Thelen’s demise hardly means there will be FEWER lawyers. Still, some folks seem to just love it when others — including Thelen’s non-attorney support staff (which greatly outnumbers the attorneys) — lose their jobs and have to start over. Oh, well. Takes all kinds, I guess.

Posted By: jsl | October 28 2008 at 04:17 PM


BTW, it doesn’t look like Thelen employees will get their accrued vacation time.  

Thelen Maybe Gone Today

October 28, 2008

More bad news for venerable SF firms.

“As of Tuesday, Thelen LLP may be the second San Francisco law firm choosing to dissolve its business.

Thelen was founded in 1924 in San Francisco and maintains outposts in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Hartford, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Shanghai. The firm counts close to 180 attorneys in California with 26 resident in a downtown San Jose office.

Thelen has been rumored to be the second San Francisco law firm to dissolve before year’s end. In September, centurion law firm Heller Ehrman LLP announced that it would close its doors after 118 years.”


Three Cheers for Right to Repair!

October 28, 2008
We Won!!

We Won!!


As I mentioned in a previous post, trade associations are good place to get a sense of the market.  Thus, the news from New Jersey that the “right to repair” legislation passed the New Jersey Assembly.  The issues is that independent repair shops want the same right to information about the cars they repair that the car dealerships and manufacturers have.  Makes sense. 

From a business development standpoint, a couple things standout.  First, this might be news to pass along to any auto repair customers.  Even though this isn’t law yet, it might suggest to them the way to winning approval of this legislation in their state.  Second, perhaps there is a way to help the local guys get the information they aren’t getting from the manufacturers.  At least its a talking point for you to connect.  Remember, the more you understand your customers issues, the greater they will trust you.

Stop the Jewish Stuff

October 27, 2008
Appropriate for a Jewish Holiday Card?

Appropriate for a Jewish Holiday Card?

According to this complaint (thanks Courthouse News) filed in Missouri state court Hallmark Card allegedly fired a designer who because he objected to anti-semitic acts in the workplace.  According to the fired workers complaint, the defendant asked him to make the Star of David on Jewish holiday cards yellow.  When the worker explained that this was offensive to jews because they were forced to wear yellow Star of Davids in Nazi Germany, the defendant said they would see if they got any letters.

Here is Hallmark’s statement on its workplace:

“We recognize and celebrate diverse cultures, especially as the world becomes more connected. We embrace our similarities and differences, and see them as an opportunity to help connect and celebrate with even more people. Our employees reflect this wonderful, varied gift of humanity. You can also see this reflected in our workplace practices, our diversity programs, our philanthropic efforts and our product lines.”