Written by Jen Roy
Groupon and Living Social are two companies which represent one of the most popular business models of the internet age. These companies offer discount certificates through online daily deal (“daily deal”) emails usable for products or services at local or national companies. These deals have restrictions on when you can use them, what locations will honor them, and what exactly the deal entitles the owner to. The deal company gives approximately 50% of the proceeds to the participating business and retains the other half. For example, a common deal is to pay $10 for $25 worth of food at a local restaurant or $10 for two movie tickets. The restaurant or movie theatre would get half of the amount paid and the company advertising the daily deal would receive the other half.
Written by Tom Gordon
A member of the North Carolina Senate has introduced a bill that would promote the delivery of innovative legal services. Senate Bill 254 would allow non-lawyers to own a minority stake in law firms. As we mentioned in our previous post, outside investment in law firms could provide them the capital they need to innovate and find ways to serve consumers better. Some lawyers have claimed that non-lawyer ownership could compromise their ethical duties to their clients or to the courts. However, the bill would protect consumers by warning non-lawyer owners that duties between shareholders do not trump duties to clients. If passed, the bill would be a first step toward helping the legal profession join the rest of the economy in providing integrated and innovative services. We urge the North Carolina legislature to pass SB 254 and encourage other states to introduce similar legislation.
Tom Gordon is Executive Director of Responsive Law.