Last week was a momentous week as Brett Trout and I concluded the first ever full-day CLE devoted to lawyer blogging in the country through LAWpportunities.  We were fortunate to have been joined by blogging experts Mike Sansone and Sandy Renshaw.  Mike delighted the crowd with his tutorial on RSS feeds.  Any lawyer not using RSS feeds in their law practice is missing out.  If you are a lawyer interested in harnessing the power of RSS feeds you may want to check out the Iowa State Bar Association eCommerce seminar on December 1st where I will be talking about how RSS feeds may gain you a client for life. 

Prior to their appearance at our blogging seminar, Mike and Sandy joined several other Iowa bloggers (Drew, Tim, Mike, Tom, Mitch, Doug and Brooke) in welcoming Starbucker to Iowa Blogging Central (aka Panera U in West Des Moines).  Now Sansone is probably the biggest Panera fan I know and Starbucker obviously has a certain affinity for a cup of latte now and then.  But fellas your favorites could use a little help.

First, Starbucks reported earlier this month that it had lost the personal data of 60,000 employees and contractors when two laptops turned up missing.  It is bad enough that the personal data included names, addresses and social security numbers but that is only part of the story.  The rest of story is that the laptops were missing from . . . a closet!  Who stores computers containing confidential information in a closet?  (Well, I guess Starbucks actually).  Anyway, after a two month investigation did not turn up the laptops Starbucks has offered the employees and contractors free credit protection to guard against identity theft.  Also, Starbucks already implemented a policy whereby confidential information such as social security numbers are not allowed on laptops and other mobile devices but these laptops unfortunately contained the information before the policy was in place.  No word on whether Starbucks has implemented a policy prohibiting the storage of laptops in closets.

Second, Panera had its own little legal blunder.  Panera had the exclusive right to sell sandwiches in a Massachusetts mall.  The owner of the mall then signed a lease with Qdoba Mexican Grill.  Panera sued to enforce the exclusivity portion of their lease.  The court ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich.  The decision came down to the difference between two slices of bread versus one tortilla.  The judge also concluded that a sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas which are typically made of a single tortilla stuffed with a choice of meat, rice and beans.  (No wonder the guys at Pancheros looked at me a little funny when I ordered a sandwich with steak, rice, beans, cheese and salsa on tortilla.  I guess the judge was right).

Only in America!