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Fees cut as in-house counsel use social networks

Steven Weinberger, general counsel of Wisdom Natural Brands, boasted on an online social network last month that he saves money by drafting his own trademark applications before sending to outside lawyers for review. Cash-strapped in-house attorneys are swapping such ideas and other information on Web sites like those owned by LinkedIn Corp., which connects professionals around the world. Corporate lawyers’ use of social networks -- some invitation-only -- grew about 50 percent in 2009, LexisNexis said after surveying 1,474 attorneys.