Subscribe: Infamy or Praise
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
blawg review  blawg  blog  blogging  day  edition  host  hosts  legal blogging  legal  posts  review  week blawg  week 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Infamy or Praise

Infamy or Praise

Updated: 2018-03-17T05:32:54.673-07:00


Blawg Review #325.12


I was a fairly new blogger when Blawg Review #1 linked to one of my posts. Soon afterward, I began suggesting posts for and promoting each week's edition. Ed. asked me to host and I politely declined, noting that I had a fraction of the blogging experience most of his hosts had, and none of their intellect. Ed.'s next message informed me -- even more politely -- that I was scheduled for the following February, allowing me a few months to develop both experience and intellect. It was the shape of things to come, as in the three years or so that we worked together on Blawg Review, he never took any of my no's as anything but an invitation to convince me.As February neared, Ed. thoughtfully bumped me up to December, figuring that my experience and intellect were about as good as they were going to get by that point. I quickly demonstrated otherwise.While the pixels on the previous week's Blawg Review were still warm, Ed. began sending me posts to read, prompting me for the theme of my Blawg Review, and encouraging me to get started composing it. I told him that I was having trouble deciding between two equally-awesome themes -- should my Blawg Review be about obscure holidays or holiday parades? Perhaps because he was unable to find a less hopeless host on such short notice, Ed. suggested that I instead consider a Dante-themed Blawg Review, in keeping with my blog's title.I'm sure that wasn't the first time Ed. rescued a host from the perils of his own folly; I know that it wasn't the last.As Blawg Review approached its first anniversary, it had already outlived most of the other blog carnivals which began around the same time. Most had petered-out after a few editions when pools of hosts and contributors dried-up, or descended into rank self-promotion as hosts elevated themselves above their blogging communities. Ed. didn't want either to happen to Blawg Review, so in addition to doggedly seeking new hosts and continuing to shepherd the posts each week, he asked a few people to join him as "Regular Contributors"; I agreed to become one of them. Thus we continued for nearly another year, until the survivors amongst us became "Sherpas".Feeling a bit nostalgic at the moment, I'd like to return to those early days when I was a "Regular Contributor". We were tasked with finding and summarizing at least five links relevant to the host's theme, or which were otherwise worthy of Blawg Review treatment. Here goes, then, one last time:"Cathy Gellis Wins Pro Bono Victory Against U.K. Defamation Subpoena", "Part of Texas Online Solicitation of a Minor Statute Unconstitutional", "Sexting a Minor Isn’t a Crime in Texas", and "To Tell The Truth, 1st Amendment Edition":Several posts this week celebrated the achievements of practitioner-bloggers -- those who don't just talk, they do. Ken White commended Cathy Gellis, who, on a pro bono basis, successfully quashed a subpoena by which a libel tourist, Gobat, sought to unmask an anonymous critic. White wrote:Mr. Gobat's lawyers' response was a model of blustering entitled outrage, demanding sanctions against Cathy and excoriating her. How dare she!She dared, and she won. After Cathy's reply, and a lengthy hearing at which the judge (to quote Cathy) "took the better part of the hour expounding on all the due process problems requiring him to quash the subpoena," the judge quashed the subpoena. Far from granting Mr. Gobat's attorneys' demand for sanctions, the judge granted fees and costs to Cathy.As a fellow Bay Area resident, I'm very glad that she's helping to keep our fair shores hostile to this particular form of tourism.Mark Bennett did what many other Texas defense attorneys didn't think to do for their clients charged under the "dirty talking" portion of their state "online solicitation of a minor" statute -- he challenged the constitutionality of the provision and won:The uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the statute is a no-brainer. In fact, in light of Edwards the Court of Crim­i­nal Appeals (and I, in my briefs) arguably gave the State too much lee­way by apply­ing strict scrut[...]

Farewell to Virgil's Virgil


This morning, a cursory glance at the sites and Twitter feeds of what remains of the once-vibrant legal blogosphere conveys not only some very sad news -- the passing of the anonymous Editor of Blawg Review -- but also some indication of the tremendous impact he had on the legal blogging community.

It's fair to say that my own blogging was inextricably linked with Blawg Review, that "Carnival of Legal Blogging" which Ed. established and nurtured for many years. I was privileged to not only write several Blawg Reviews, but to work with Ed. for much of Blawg Review's run to source material for guest editors and to manage the upkeep of the carnival's main site. As a guest editor, I was deeply honored to have been given four "Blawg Review of Year" awards. Ed. was unfailingly generous with praise not only for my posts, but for many others'. To the extent my reviews were somehow more notable than the dozens of others who contributed throughout each year, that wasn't because Ed. deemed them to be so in his end-of-year awards, but because he made them so through his behind-the-scenes contributions, guidance, and encouragement.

He was as charming (and challenging) in person as he was online. I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions over the years and will treasure those memories. My condolences go out to his family and my thanks, as always, go to Ed. I acted as "Virgil" in guiding readers through my Dante-themed Blawg Reviews; in the shadows, anonymously and without fanfare, Ed. was Virgil's Virgil. Farewell, Ed.

You must remember this....


Yes, I forgot about Blawg Review on Monday. I could make excuses, but I'd prefer to just channel Steve Martin and say, "I forgot! Excuuuuuse me!" Honestly, it's be nice if they'd just set aside a day each year for us to remember things; we could call it Remembery Day or Not-Forgetty Day, or Memorial Day or something catchy like that.

Fortunately for Blawg Review, I was not scheduled to host this week and the fine folks at the Securing Innovation blog didn't forget their hosting duties. In Blawg Review #311, they've put together a very nice survey of the best legal blogging of the past week. There are some touching Memorial Day tributes to servicemembers, of course, as well as posts concerning the participation of crime victims in prosecution decision-making, a tattoo dispute rearing its ugly face, and a kerfuffle over a footballer's injunction exposing the tension between privacy and speech rights in the UK and tarnishing the rule of law in the process.

Meanwhile, the Blawg Review future hosts listings are starting to look like one of those lonely hearts sites -- "Date Available" as far as the eye can see, unless you can see into next January when the redoubtable Charon QC is scheduled to misbehave. Step up, step up....

Blawg Review walks into a Goth bar. The bartender asks, "Why the long wait?"


Yes, it's been a bit since we had a new Blawg Review to enjoy.

This week's edition, Blawg Review #310 hosted by the SiouxieLaw blog, commemorates the recent World Goth Day with a very amusing overview of the past week's best legal blogging. Highlights include a round-up of the Rakofsky v. Internet brouhaha (which, believe me, is no less "haha" to those of us named as defendants), several considerations of the art of legal writing and argument, and an appreciation for Walter Olson's Schools for Misrule.

So, after SiouxieLaw's excellent Blawg Review, will our legal bar soon become a Goth bar? It's unlikely, as lawyers with Goth tendencies rarely see the light (*rimshot*). I for one hope not, for I'd be as out-of-place in a Goth bar as Howard and Raj were on Big Bang Theory. Perhaps if that occurs, I'll just leave practice and become an anti-social media consultant instead.

Blawgs are Bigger in Texas


Once again, it's taken me several days to get to Blawg Review; once again, it makes me wish I'd made the time to read it sooner. This week, the Blawg Review in question is a fine edition from Houston attorney Paul Kennedy — Blawg Review #307 celebrating "all things Texan". The occasion is the anniversary of the Texians'1836 victory in their war for independence from Mexico:
On the afternoon of April 21, 1836, General Sam Houston led his band of Texians against the forces of Mexican General Santa Anna on the banks of the San Jacinto River (just east of present day Houston). Gen. Houston ordered "Deaf" Smith to destroy the Vince's Bridge - cutting off the Mexican army from further reinforcement. Then came the assault. The Mexicans, having their only means of egress eliminated, were left with the choice of standing and fighting or trying to cross the bayous or river by foot. Eighteen minutes after the assault began, it was over.

The following day Texian forces captured a man wearing the uniform of an enlisted man attempting to escape through the woods into Vince's Bayou. The Mexican soldier was taken to the Texian's camp where he was recognized by the Mexican prisoners. Shouts of "El Presidente!" blew Santa Anna's cover. In exchange for his life being spared, Santa Anna signed an order commanding the Mexican army to leave Texas. The war for independence was over. The Republic of Texas was born.
Highlights in this week's edition include correspondence with a Senatorial pen pal, no-holds-barred political redistricting, and a realization that there's a world outside Texas (though there's really no reason to go there). Keith Lee will host next week's Blawg Review #308 at his An Associate's Mind blog.

The Joy of Six


The Anonymous Editor of Blawg Review commemorates the carnival's sixth anniversary in this week's Blawg Review #306. In this largely-retrospective edition, Ed. lists the 305 posts published during that remarkable run. He also notes the half-dozen posts which have been designated as the best in their respective years:
These award-winning presentations show an appreciation of literature and art, a strong sense of community, passion for a cause, and a good sense of humor. These are common themes in the best of Blawg Review....
I'm honored that my Divine Comedy Blawg Reviews are on that select list and on this occasion, I'd like to share a tidbit of information about them: But for Ed.'s timely guidance, they wouldn't have had anything to do with Dante.

I was preparing for my first Blawg Review, with a theme in mind (one so crappy that I can't recall now what it was) and links in hand, when Ed. suggested that I explore the origin of my blog's title in Dante's Inferno. I thought that no one would care about something like that, so I pushed-back a bit, telling him that I already had another theme. He took a moment to get me to consider the possibilities and the following Monday I posted the 2005 Blawg Review of the Year. He might have a light editorial touch, but that light touch can be powerful, as I can attest.

Congratulations, Ed., on six years of Blawg Review.

Was there a fat lady in The Mikado?


Last Friday, on April Fool's Day, George Wallace's A Fool in the Forest blog hosted a follow-up to his outstanding Nuclear-themed Blawg Review #304, published just last Monday. While pulling double hosting duties is an achievement in itself, Wallace's W.S. Gilbert homage in Blawg Review #305 deserves a standing ovation on its own merits.

This performance marks Wallace's tenth time hosting the Carnival of Legal Blogging (very probably a record). In keeping with the foolish spirit of his personal blog, Wallace has often hosted on or near April Fool's Day. This year, he explains Gilbert's connections to the law and other foolishness:
For this year's April Fools' theme I turn to a true connoisseur of human folly, William Schwenk Gilbert, the "Gilbert" of Gilbert & Sullivan fame. W. S. Gilbert knew something of the Law at first hand: as a young man, before finding success first as an author of light verse and then as the authoring and directing half of one of the more successful theatrical duos of all time, Gilbert attempted a career as a barrister in London's Inner Temple. He was not a success. Indeed, it is reported that in the course of a year a mere five clients came his way. We pause at this juncture to shed a tear of solidarity.
The grandest highlight of this Blawg Review is undoubtedly Wallace's take on The Mikado's well-known "Little List" aria, "As Some Day It May Happen". As our host notes, the song "is now almost always performed with extensive revision so as to target the irritants particular to the time and place of the performance. It is not unknown for new verses to be crafted immediately before curtain time...."

Once the curtain rises in Blawg Review #305, there are other performances of note as well, including several posts concerning writing and the arts — proposing a "one ream of paper" rule for successful pleadings, finding the DNA if not the soul of Finnegan's Wake, and bestowing awards on our fictional colleagues in this noble profession.

As Wallace mentioned, however, the future of the long-running (ancient, in blogging years) Blawg Review is in doubt:
Should it turn out that the post you are reading is the Last Blawg Review Ever, it is my hope that you will agree with me that, unlike the denizens of our Little List, the institution of Blawg Review assuredly will be missed.
I've been a host (several times) and a Sherpa (several years), but first and foremost I've been a fan and a loyal reader. If after six years, Wallace's Mikado edition brings down the final curtain for Blawg Review, as Ed.'s "Adieu" message and the removal of the "Future Hosts" sidebar suggest, it can be said that the show has ended on a high note.

No Whales! Save the Nukes!


I'm just joking, of course. We should probably also save the whales, if we have any time after setting the record straight on nuclear power.

George Wallace gives that record a good straightening this week in Blawg Review #304, hosted at his Declarations and Exclusions blog. He considers the disconnect between the publicly-perceived risks and the actual risks of a nuclear accident:
It is a simple fact: Radiation scares us, and not without reason. And yet, it is worth recalling that although the phrase "Three Mile Island" haunts the policy landscape as a threatening rhetorical spectre, the number of deaths attributable to the actual Three Mile Island radiation release is generally accepted to be . . . none at all. Long-term health impacts from Three Mile Island are generally (albeit not universally) agreed to have been negligible. Even the far more serious 1986 Chernobyl disaster —the 25th anniversary of which will arrive on April 26, 2011—was deemed responsible for fewer than 50 actual deaths by 2005, although its long-term consequences also include at least 4000 diagnosed cases of thyroid cancer (99% of them non-fatal, however, by 2005). Radiation is, in short, nasty stuff and not to be trifled with, but perhaps not nearly so threatening as we may bring ourselves to believe.
The widely-shared fears about the dangers of nuclear energy, due in large part to the very dissimilar incidents at Three Mile Island (the anniversary of which is the occasion for this Blawg Review) and Chernobyl, certainly won't be eased by the events at the Fukushima plant these past couple of weeks. Nonetheless, Wallace puts on his insurance counsel's cap and tackles the realities of risk and the biases which have made nuclear liability uninsurable in the standard market.

Amongst the highlights of this week's review are posts on the personal and policy decisions which leave considerable portions of Japanese losses in the recent earthquake uninsured, on casually-dismissing jury trials as an unnecessary cost, and on the constitutionality of kinetic military actions.

George Wallace is a hard act to follow, and he should know — he'll host next week's Blawg Review #305 at his personal blog, A Fool in the Forest.

It's bad PR this week, but at least Ed. spells their names right.


The anonymous, globe-trotting Editor of Blawg Review is recently returned from the lovely island of Puerto Rico. Those of us who've been fortunate enough to see him at one of recent legal blogging meet-ups have heard much about the PR's beauty.

In this week's Blawg Review #303, however, Ed. tells us about an ugly time in the place's history. He describes the Ponce Massacre:
On March 21, 1937 (Palm Sunday), a march was organized in the southern city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. The march, organized to commemorate the ending of slavery in Puerto Rico by the governing Spanish National Assembly in 1873, was also formed to protest the incarceration by the U.S. government of nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos, a Harvard educated lawyer, on sedition charges.


A large contingent of the Insular Police had been assembled to enforce an order from the Governor forbidding a planned parade by members of the Nationalist Party, a group that, while non-violent, fiercely advocated Puerto Rican independence. At least 14 persons were killed and another 64 injured when the police suddenly opened fire both on the Nationalists who were assembling to parade outside their clubhouse and also upon the many bystanders.
Though the police claimed that they merely defended themselves against armed and violent demonstrators — claims which were accepted in official reports and American press accounts — a subsequent investigation determined that
only the militia were armed; what occurred was in fact a police riot, and that; the “only possible descriptive title” was “massacre.”
With this tragic chapter in American and Puerto Rican history as its backdrop, this week's Blawg Review covers notable recent legal blogging, much of which discussed current troubles in the PR, the United States, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Highlights include authoritarianism and endangered civil rights in today's Puerto Rico, the dim prospects for a Guatemalan claim against the United States, and the recently-released 2004 report on then-President Bush's warrantless wiretap program.

The next couple of weeks of Blawg Review should be a treat. George Wallace will host both editions, with #304 appearing at his insurance law-focused Declarations and Exclusions blog and #305 at his personal blog, A Fool in the Forest.

Like Pi, Blawg Review goes on and on without a predictable pattern emerging...


On Pi Day, Dianne Rosky hosts Blawg Review #302 at her PLS CLARIFY blog. Rosky writes on language and legal writing and explained why Pi Day is an appropriate one for Blawg Review to commemorate:
What, you may ask, does pi have to do with law, language, or legal writing? Well, nothing, but also everything. Math — like law, writing, and grammar — is defined by structure, logic, and formulae. Mathematicians talk about the grammar and language of math, and linguists talk (and write books about) the mathematics of language. Deep stuff.
Highlights of this edition of the carnival of legal blogging (and law-related mathematics) include lawyers contemplating the likelihood of their profession's obsolescence in an age of smart software and computing, briefly separating a good introduction from a bad one, and realizing the consequence of rambling past a word limit.

For now at least, mathematically speaking, the host for next week's edition is an unknown quantity. If you've not yet hosted Blawg Review, now's your chance to stand up and be counted.

All you do to me is talk talk... well, that and Blawg Review.


title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Mirriam Seddiq hosts Blawg Review #301 this week at her Not Guilty blog. Prompted by the anniversary of Bell's patent for the telephone, she takes as her theme the idea of changes in communication, from changes in method to changes in meaning to changes in frequency. Topics this week include the "death" of blogging amongst younger folks, the admissibility of deathbed communications, and the criminalization of prank communications.

"Date Available" is scheduled to host Blawg Review #302 next week. Mr. Available will have his work cut out for him if he wants to produce a Blawg Review of the Year. This past year's worthy winner, Blawg Review #278 written by Omar Ha-Redeye, set an exceptionally high standard.

UPDATE: Well, it's an update about a clarification. Dianne Rosky has stepped-up to host the next Blawg Review at her Pls Clarify site. Good luck to her!

Sparta? Been there, done that. On to the Crimea!


In honor of Blawg Review's 300th edition, the still-anonymous-after-all-these-years Editor hearkened-back to the legendary three hundred Spartans who held the pass at Thermopylae. That Blawg Review 300 are indeed a select group — and one I'm pleased to be part of not once but six times (five all by my lonesome and once as co-author with my good friend Mike Semple Piggot).

Three hundred is an undeniable achievement, particularly in the blogging medium, where histories, memories, and lifespans are typically short. The Editor is generous in his praise for the many who have hosted Blawg Review over the past five-plus years; he reserves none of the laurels for himself, which is his way. Still, any commemoration of a milestone like this one would be hollow if we did not take a moment to salute Ed. and the institution he's built for the legal blogging community as a whole. I'll look forward to congratulating him in person this Saturday when he comes to San Francisco to meet-up with local legal bloggers and to announce the Blawg Review of the Year Award.

So this is three hundred down and who knows how many yet to come. I'm looking forward to that day many years from now when we'll honor not the first three hundred but the first six hundred. When we reach that milestone, we'll have made it all the way from Sparta to the Crimea, site of the cavalry charge immortalized by Tennyson:
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Mirriam Seddiq will lead the charge next Monday, when she hosts Blawg Review #301 at her Not Guilty blog.

Give Peace a Chance?


Jennifer Lubinski hosts Blawg Review #299 this week at her Work Product blog. There's more love than law in this week's edition as Lubinski discusses the origins of the peace symbol, her own liberal sensibilities, and the continuing relevance of the peace movement in today's world. The carnival of legal blogging is stronger on the former than the latter this week, but as the song said, "give peace a chance" won't you?

The always-mysterious Editor has something up his sleeve for next week's three hundredth edition of Blawg Review.

TGIBR: Thank God It's Blawg Review! (298)


Each Friday here, I do one or two "TGIS" posts — that's "Thank God It's Schadenfreude" — taking joy in the (usually well-deserved) misfortune of others. This week's Blawg Review #298, hosted by Brian Tannebaum at his My Law License blog, might just have satisfied my schadenfreude quota several days early.

On Valentine's Day, Tannebaum showed no love for the marketeers and gurus who have lately come to convince the more desperate, greedy, or unsuspecting amongst our numbers that social media offers a path to riches and respect. He is an unwavering opponent of these "social media snake oil salesmen" and has frequently turned a spotlight on their activities and questionable qualifications.

While Tannebaum's certainly been notable for his sharp tongue, Blawg Review #298 demonstrates another side as well. Apparent here is his respect for the true professionals in our profession — those who dedicate themselves to the highest ideals in the practice of law, who defend their clients' freedom and interests zealously, and who cultivate genuine skills rather than SEO-driven "expertise" to dupe the unwary.

Highlights of this week's Blawg Review include posts keeping track of real change in Egypt, discussing a well-deserved sanction for legal search term squatting, condemning a disturbing conflict of interest amongst the leadership of a criminal defense organization, and offering some sage advice to younger solo practitioners.

Jennifer Lubinski will host next week's Blawg Review at her Work Product blog.

He ain't hairy... he's my blawger.


Big Legal Brain hosts a "Hair Shirt Edition" Blawg Review #297 this week, on the anniversary of Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities, and I like the post for a couple of reasons: First, I couldn't agree more with the Brainiacs' suggestion that it's "time to revive the wearing of hair shirts and the burning of vain things with which we disagree." I wear a hair shirt every day (pug hair covers pretty much everything I own) and I'm sure that I'm twice the lawyer I'd be if my clothes were tidy. Second, I think that all of us who remember the Thomas confirmation hearings would agree that it's high time for the pubic hair on the soda can to be replaced by something else as the most notable law-related hair in recent memory.

Highlights of this edition of the carnival of legal blogging include creating value at a legal tech conference by showing social media gurus the door, trivializing the unrest in Egypt to sell fashion, and considering the particulars in drafting a "Motion to Be A Dick or, in the Alternative, Motion to be an Inflamed Hemorrhoid." A special Valentine's Day Blawg Review will show us some love next week.

Putting Our Best Faces Forward


Jamison Koehler hosts Blawg Review #296 at his Koehler Law blog. As regular readers of his blog know, Koehler is a thoughtful fellow — about his solo criminal defense practice in particular, the practice of law more generally, and the grander world beyond legal blogging. This week, Koehler thought about the way we bloggers present ourselves. We're known more for our words, of course, but when we show our faces to our audiences, are these formal pictures or informal ones? Which, Koehler wondered, better represents us? He wrote:For blawgers who chose such a professional shot, I was interested in obtaining an alternative image, something regular readers of their blawgs may not have seen before. Unlike the more staged pictures of the photographer’s mother, the only insights offered by the formal headshots many of us use on our websites are insights into the photographer himself. It is, after all, the photographer who tells the subject how to hold his head and where to look. I was also intrigued by the blawgers who don’t use any photograph at all, and decided to track down photographs of blawgers whose images are not readily available on the Internet.Because the best blawgers all speak with a distinctive voice, my purpose in doing all of this was to try to make a connection between the image and the voice. Where you don’t have a mental image of the blawger, your mind tends to fill in the details as you listen to the voice. It is almost like going on a blind date: You want to know if the image of the blawger matches your expectations.I for one enjoyed the album of familiar and unfamiliar pictures of my legal blogosphere fellows. I don't consider myself particularly photo-shy, but after nearly six years here, the most recognizable pictures associated with me are the detail of the judge from Thomas Rowlandson's Court of Chancery (he's been the "me" in Infamy or Praise's sidebar since its inception), my Nintendo "Mii" avatar (which is my face many places online, including on Twitter), and the "Towel Day" photo I sent to Kevin Thompson in 2009 for his Blawg Review #213. It was this last picture which Koehler used when he very graciously linked to my most recent "Round Tuit" post. It's not a bad photo of me (in the accuracy sense, I mean, not the photogenic one); a year-and-a-half later, the lines may be deeper, the circles darker, and the beard more grey, but it's still me. Notwithstanding, after six years, it may be time for a more formal portrait online. Perhaps my online doppelgänger, prominent ski photographer Colin Samuels, with whom I've jockeyed for years for Google position, could oblige me and take the picture.Anyhow, enough about me (and that other Colin Samuels). Amongst the highlights in this week's Blawg Review are posts about the divisions between the practical and academic blawgospheres, the inconvenient life of a witness, and the importance of finding and telling your clients' stories.The anonymous Editor of Blawg Review is notably elusive when the cameras come out; at the moment, it's also difficult to picture the host of next week's Blawg Review. Indeed, there are no scheduled hosts for any of the Blawg Reviews during February or March. The long-running carnival of legal blogging is nearing its 300th edition, but it'll never make it without hosts to get it there. I've written or co-written six of the 296 editions thus far; it's your turn to get in the picture.[...]

Macintosh and DHS share a birthday; one comes from Apple and the other's bananas.


Reigning Blawg Review of the Year award winner Kevin Thompson offers a strong contender for this year's award with Blawg Review #295 at his Cyberlaw Central blog this week. On the dual anniversary of the Apple Macintosh's glorious introduction and the Department of Homeland Security's somewhat more ignominious one, Thompson focuses Blawg Review's sights on technology, security, and cyberlaw issues. Highlights include posts discussing trading something for less-than-nothing, analyzing the FCC's conditions for the Comcast-NBC merger, and defining the "Flawg" for fun and profit. Jamison Koehler will host next week's Blawg Review #296 at his Koehler Law blog.

Collectively We Enjoy a Waking Dream


Gideon hosts, as he often has, a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day edition of Blawg Review this week at his A Public Defender blog. Gideon's written in past years of the lessons he's drawn from Dr. King's words and efforts and Blawg Review #294 is a worthy addition to his remarkable series of annual posts. Highlights of this edition include posts concerning the price and value of freedom, the right and wrong meanings drawn from King's words, and the real-world consequences of poorly-considered state bar rule changes. Kevin Thompson, a former Blawg Review of the Year honoree, will host next week's Blawg Review #295 at his Cyberlaw Central blog.

Blawg Review #293 wasn't dedicated to me, but it might as well have been.


As a student of history with a keen interest in the Civil War period, Paul Kennedy's Blawg Review #293 is particularly appealing. On the anniversary of Dr. Samuel Mudd's death, Kennedy hosts the carnival of legal blogging and highlights posts concerning the injustices of the justice system, the death penalty, and the exercise of government authority. Notable posts include ones on justice delayed in Texas, cell phones and the slippery slope, and the wisdom of legislating morality. Gideon will host next week's Blawg Review #294 on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Blawg Review makes a riotous return for the new year!


After a first-ever holiday during the month of December, Blawg Review makes its 2011 debut in high style, as Charon QC hosts a UK-centric Blawg Review #292 at his namesake blog.

This edition of the long-running Carnival of Legal Blogging is not only a tremendous reintroduction of Blawg Review after its holiday, but also a wonderfully informative, entertaining, and surreal introduction to Charon's writing itself (for those few of you who haven't read him regularly). There are appearances by and mentions of several characters who have occasionally populated his blog, including Lord Shagger, Matt Muttley, and West London Man; there are mentions of test cricket and Rioja; there are allusions to running riot on Twitter, along with kind mentions of his frequent riotmates.

Yes, there's a great deal of frivolity to be found in this Blawg Review, but this is also a highly informative post. It focuses on legal blogging in the United Kingdom (and to a lesser extent in Ireland, Canada, and the United States) and will serve as a who's who list of British legal bloggers for some time to come. Highlights include Scottish discussion of the Lockerbie bombing and related legal matters, British discussion of the Contempt of Court Act, and a well-conceived and liberal consideration of UK libel laws, but this is one post where one truly needs to read the whole thing.

Charon was kind enough to mention my more-occasional-than-it-should-be "A Round Tuit" series at this blog; number 51 in the series will be up on Wednesday, after a Blawg Review-inspired December holiday. Also returning this month will be Charon's beloved West London Man character, whose misadventures I'm honored to co-script with Charon.

Next week's Blawg Review host, Paul Kennedy at The Defense Rests, has the unenviable task of following this week's wonderful Blawg Review #292. Better him than me!

"Sua Sponte" must be Latin for "pretty darn good".


Headed into the weekend, Blawg Review was short one host; previous host Dave Gulbransen responded the anonymous Blawg Review Editor's bat signal and on short notice pulled together a very entertaining Blawg Review #291 at his Preaching to the Perverted blog. Gulbransen writes:
Ed. had asked me last about the possibility of hosting Blawg Review today, and I had indicated that I would, but since I would be traveling this weekend, that it would be a little more, um, low-key than some of my previous efforts.


So, here it is: your November 22, 2010 Blawg Review. Dave! Style, with an emphasis on Dave! and a little short on the style
I'll take a little Dave! any day. He notes a number of legal bloggers for whom he's thankful this Thanksgiving season and I'm honored to be noted amongst that number. Next week's Blawg Review will be hosted by UK employment lawyer Michael Scutt at his Jobsworth blog.

Blawg Review's In the Pink


While I love the literary Blawg Reviews, the occasion-themed Blawg Reviews, and the milestone Blawg Reviews, when it comes to themes there can be a fine line between inspired and oppressive (I know whereof I speak on the latter, having written a couple of oppressive examples myself).

This week's Blawg Review #290 at Familoo's Pink Tape blog is a model of simplicity. This is Blawg Review's essence — wonderful links collected and presented in a conversational style and with pertinent but unobtrusive commentary by a wonderful legal blogger. Ah, if only every week could be this way!

Highlights include coverage of the #twitterjoketrial and the #iamspartacus furor which followed, the ironic coincidence of Britain's latest reminder of diminished civil rights and the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, and a rash of politicians tweeting and blogging badly.

Now that Familoo's shown how Blawg Review should be done, who'll step-up to host next week's Blawg Review #291?

Blawg Review doesn't shy from tackling Hedy subjects.


Stephen Albainy-Jenei hosts Blawg Review #289 at his Patent Baristas blog. The occasion is Inventor's Day (in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland anyhow); the subject is the beautiful and intelligent actress Hedy Lamarr, on whose birthday the occasion is held. Lamarr is best known outside patent circles as an actress during Hollywood's Golden Age; within patent circles, she's recognized as the co-inventor of frequency-hopped spread spectrum communications.

Perhaps as an homage to the chaotic process of invention, this week's Blawg Review presents its links "in no particular order"; highlights include ensuring "informal" inventors' access to the patent system, considering the link between trademarks and innovation, and realizing that there's no idea too stupid to patent.

UK family law blogger Familoo will host next week's Blawg Review #290 at her Pink Tape blog.

Blawg Review ably rounds-up the best legal blogging; now I just need someone to round-up all these Blawg Reviews.


While my online life may have paused for a week or so while I enjoyed a remarkably disconnected vacation, the legal blogosphere continued to chug merrily along and Blawg Review continued right along with it. Consequently, I found two-and-a-half Blawg Reviews or Blawg Review-like posts awaiting me upon my return. Though with accumulated workload it's taken me a bit to get to these posts, they were worth the wait.

Keith Lee signed-on for a return engagement in Blawg Review #287, hosted at his An Associate's Mind blog. The occasion was a commemoration of National Freedom of Speech Week and he collected some of the better free speech from the legal end of the blogosphere, including commentary on satirical video directed at prospective law students, discussion of free speech issues, and posts concerning the challenges to free speech posed by increased official surveillance.

On Halloween, at her In-House Lawyer blog, Melanie Hatton continued what's become something of a tradition in the UK — a round-up of notable British legal bloggers. The usual suspects such as Charon QC, IPKat, and Baby Barista were represented of course, along with a number of excellent bloggers with whom I was unfamiliar. Several of these have now found a place in my RSS reader.

Paul Kennedy offered a Halloween treat of his own with Blawg Review #288, hosted at his The Defense Rests blog. He collected posts from a number of blogging bogeymen (and bogeywomen) on a variety of legal topics, including the implications of interfaith cultural divisions, the social and economic costs of wrongful convictions, and the value of pro bono on both sides of attorney-client relationships.

Stephen Albainy-Jenei will host next week's Blawg Review #289 at his Patent Baristas blog.

The Write Stuff


It'd be overstating things to suggest that Blawg Review is a literary endeavor. No, the carnival of legal blogging remains focused, well into its sixth year of existence, on gathering and showcasing the best legal blogging each week. That said, it would do a disservice to dismiss Blawg Review as just another collection of links. Though it's certainly not required — or even the norm, necessarily — for a blawg review to draw on great traditional or popular literary works or themes, the sizeable Blawg Review audience has always been very receptive to these and several such blawg reviews remain amongst the most memorable and popular.

Just ahead of this week's National Day on Writing, Blawg Review #286 (from "Piercie Shafton") highlights the literary art often displayed by blawg review hosts. In addition to those, highlights in this edition include explaining the troubles of the legal profession with a story, the importance of associating a real name with a story, and adapting real-world legal drama into a compelling big screen story.

Next week's Blawg Review #287 is a story in search of its author; if you're feeling literary, visit the Blawg Review site to learn about hosting and volunteer your services.