Blawg Review

It's not just a blog carnival; it's the law! ~ a fool in the forest

Is going 80 in a 55 unethical?

Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way

Benjamin Cowgill, the host of Blawg Review #55, has a fun road trip planned for us, or so he says:
Next week I will be proud to present Blawg Review #55, the 55th edition of the Blawg Review, here at SoloBlawg.

BR 55 will be called "Pulled over going 80 in a 55." It's gonna be a high-octane, Bawls-induced, drive-by shooting of the blawgosphere, stopping anywhere that looks cool but staying just long enough to get pumped.

But this road trip needs your help. I'll do the driving, but I need to know where you wanna go.

Do you want us to stop at your place? Submit a blawg now, to make sure it will be on the map when we head out next Monday.

Have you visited any other cool blawgs lately? Would you like to go back there together? Drop me a note and I'll add your favorite destination to the program.

And, of course, we need tunes. We'll set up some channels on Pandora, so let me know what you wanna hear. I'm thinking we want driving music: Steppenwolf, the Boss and Quadrophenia.

Sure we're lawyers. In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream. But we're also bloggers. At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines. So tell me where you wanna go. The night's bustin' open; these two lanes will take us anywhere.
Editor's Note:

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don't let 'em pick guitars and drive them old trucks
Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and such...

We Got Brandy Karl

"She has experience in quantitative statistical analysis and qualitative analysis, and her research tasks have focused on everything from medieval clocks to nuclear weapons!" —and she's a graduate of MIT.

Brandy Karl is an up-and-coming lawyer in Boston who garnered the attention of the local business paper, the Boston Business Journal, in an article that described "blawgs" as lawyer musings that raise firm awareness for those lawyers who blog.
Time is a lawyer's most precious commodity, but some attorneys consider time spent on a blog or "blawg" -- what lawyers call a Web log devoted to legal topics -- a fair trade.

Only a relatively small number of local lawyers have picked up on the practice, but devotees swear by blawging's marketing power. Blawgers also say blogging, or Web logging, has the added benefit of forcing them to stay current on case law.

Brandy Karl, a newcomer copyright and business lawyer and litigator, has been blawging longer than she's been practicing law. Karl started her own practice in Boston last year, but her blawg dates back to her law school days at Boston University School of Law.
While at law school, Brandy wrote anonymously about her law school experiences at a creative blog she called a mad tea-party, a law blog with a creative theme based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which she described then as "a terribly hard to define admixture of my observations and interests (tinged with a good dose of humor and sarcasm -- or a terrible lack of discretion)." She was known to her readers only by her pseudonym, Alice, until she signed off last year with this post:
I don't believe I ever swore never to reveal my super-secret identity, but I was pretty sure I'd do no such thing. But here I am, about to do it. Why? I finally learned that being a lawyer doesn't have to hurt.

This wasn't something that came to me all at once. Rather, it took an entire post bar exam year to arrive to that marvelous conclusion. You can join me on my new personal blog to read all about it. But I'd like to introduce myself first!

Hi. I'm Brandy. I graduated from Boston University School of Law in 2004. The only thing that saved me from not leaving was my copyright course with Professor Wendy Gordon, who has an extraordinary intellect and is an even more amazing human being. I'm now a copyright attorney with my own practice (and IP & Business & ...). I'm the happiest lawyer I know. I really never thought that I could ever say I was a happy lawyer, much less the happiest.
Look for Blawg Review #54 at Brandy Karl's new law blog, bk!

Blawg Review Fibonacci

Fibonacci Poems Multiply on the Web

law blog,
Blawg Review
number fifty-two
is advocating "real" haiku.

David Giacalone responds with thanks, but no thanks.

Fibonacci/Schmibonacci: You won't get the f/k/a Gang to start
counting syllables again. See "is it or ain't it haiku?"

Best Law Professor Blog

Hosting Blawg Review #53 on April 17, 2006, "tax day" this year, is Professor James Edward Maule, of the Villanova University School of Law, whose research and teaching interests focus on federal taxation, state and local taxation, computers and the law, decedents’ estates and trusts, and the First Amendment.

MauledAgain, Professor James Edward Maule's weblog, offers more than occasional commentary on tax law, legal education, the First Amendment, religion, and law generally, with sporadic attempts to connect all of this to genealogy, theology, music, model trains, and chocolate chip cookies—and for all that was awarded one of Dennis Kennedy's Blawggies in 2005 for Best Law Professor Blog.

A youthful Jim Maule recently celebrated his Silver Anniversary teaching law, and—tech savvy law prof that he is—he blogged it:
So with the fall semester finished, at least as far as I am concerned, that means I have completed twenty-five, yes, 25, years of law school teaching. Or, if it seems more impressive, 50 semesters. I started when Jimmy Carter was serving the last days of his presidential term. I have worked through 191 legislative enactments that amended the Internal Revenue Code. I have taught the basic income tax course, under a variety of names, 28 times. I have taught Partnership Taxation in the Graduate Tax Program 45 times, and in a J.D. Program 12 times. I have taught Introduction to Taxation of Business Entities 13 times. I have taught Decedents' Trusts and Estates 16 times. I have taught some sort of Computers and the Law course 6 times. I have taught a half-dozen other tax courses anywhere from once to 6 times. I have taught Legal Writing and delivered Legal History lectures during law school orientation. The best estimate is that at least 4,000 students have sat in one or more of my courses. It has been a rewarding experience, especially when students who graduated 3, 5, 10 years ago contact me to tell me they finally figured out what it was about, that they've come to appreciate what I was trying to do to their brains, and that it eventually worked.

I'm sure you're wondering, so here's the answer. I had not yet reached the age of 30 when I began teaching law school. That doesn't set me apart, but it's somewhat unusual. I'll continue with my standard, though surprising, reaction of silence when people comment, "Oh, you must have started teaching in your early 20s." Right. The biggest dose of reality is the realization that, with a few exceptions, the law students now in my classes were not alive when I started teaching. That, according to my children (and others), makes me old.

I would be the person most surprised if I teach another 25 years. Theoretically, it could happen. Theoretically, I could be elected President. Theoretically. As a practical matter, since I don't expect to "celebrate" a Gold or Diamond Anniversary of teaching, I figured I'd make the most of this one and pat myself on the back. I'd buy myself a gift but I don't know what to get. :-)

As for professional writing, it is somewhat more likely that I might make it to a Gold Anniversary, depending on which publication counts as the first one. I'll ignore the student writings and start with the 1978 article about the election by nonresident aliens to file joint income tax returns. That puts me at 27 years, with 23 to go. It's possible.

Now let's see if MauledAgain can find its way to a Silver Anniversary of Blogging. Considering how I enjoy writing and talking, it could happen.
Considering how much we enjoy reading his blog, we sure hope it does.

We've Got Issues

Back issues—a year's worth. Every issue of Blawg Review is made up of outstanding law blog posts selected by a new host each week and presented in an entertaining overview for everyone interested in law.

Blawg Review is a peer-reviewed blog carnival. Unlike most other blog carnivals, which rely only on submissions of bloggers' posts, Blawg Review is the host's presentation of some of the best law-related posts each week from various sources, including those recommended by readers.

The host of each issue decides which posts of those submittted and recommended are best for inclusion in that week's presentation of Blawg Review. As well, the host is encouraged to find another dozen or so interesting posts that fit with any special theme of that issue of Blawg Review envisaged by the host.

The host's personal selections usually include several law blog posts that reflect the subject interests of the host and the style of the hosting blawg, recognizing that the regular readership of that blog should find some of the usual content, and new readers of the blog, who are visiting for Blawg Review, ought to get some sense of the unique perspective and subject specialties of the host.

Blawg Review benefits from the widest possible participation and relies on submissions and recommendations from many different law bloggers, and several of the previous hosts continue to be regular contributors.

Here's a list of the back issues of Blawg Review, so far.It's hard to believe it's been a year to the day since we started this blog carnival to increase awareness for law blogs, and to have some fun with the growing number of bloggers in the legal community. Have we been successful? It probably depends how we measure success. By any measure, our work is not done and we're not done havin' fun.

Happy Blawgiversary—thanks to everyone for all the link love.

It's encouraging to see just how many blog posts have mentioned "Blawg Review" per day in the last 365 days.

Blawg Review Lingo

Bloggers have a lingo of their own, much of which is now in the vernacular, as blogging has become a pop culture phenomenon.
There's a list of blogging terms on Wikipedia. It covers the more common phrases and words. This is a good handy resource to have for those among us who are beginning to study the medium. When in Rome, you better speak Roman, uh, I mean Italian! Yeah, that's it. [via]
Those who follow Blawg Review are already familiar with these terms:
Blawg - a blog focusing on commentary about the law, generally written by a law professor, law student, or lawyer. A portmanteau of "blog" and "law."

Blog Carnival - a blog article that contains links to other articles covering a specific topic. Most blog carnivals are hosted by a rotating list of frequent contributors to the carnival, and serve to both generate new posts by contributors and highlight new bloggers posting matter in that subject area.
Every culture develops ways to communicate nuances, sometimes with strange words and gestures. And, speaking of the Italian chin-flick, blog carnivals, blawgs, and law bloggers who have a special way with words, be sure to check out Blawg Review #52, presented by our favorite goombah, David Giacalone.

f/k/a ethicalEsq

It was interesting to read this week's Blawg Review #51, where George Wallace opened with a reference to the god Apollo's close connection to the law, as noted by Professor James Elkins.

The literary reference provides a nice segue to Blawg Review #52 and our next host, David Giacalone, a lawyer and poet of some repute a poet and lawyer of some repute, who is included in Professor Elkins' seminal piece on Lawyers and Poetry.
David A. Giacalone graduated from Harvard Law School in 1976 and is now retired (from a solo practice as an attorney and mediator). Giacalone spent over a decade in antitrust law at the Federal Trade Commission, before turning to family law. He currently lives in upstate New York. Giacalone's weblog -- f/k/a -- features haiku and law-related commentary (with the hope of interesting more lawyers in haiku).
David is a familiar old friend to many of us lawyers who blog—his alter-ego, Prof. Yabut, a bane to students unschooled in the law—yet he remains undiscovered to some who are new to the blawgosphere. No appreciation of this online world of lawyers, law students, law professors and pundits, writing about the law, their lives and loves, is complete without reading this anti-blogger's uniquely creative blawg, f/k/a___one-breath poetry & breathless punditry with haikuEsq, formerly known as ethicalEsq.

And, beyond poetry and punditry, his ethicalEsq Archives is probably the largest collection of client-oriented legal ethics materials on the Internet.

Giacalone's worked-up legal blog posts about contingency fees, lawyer advertising, and professional ethics, belie his retiring personality.

In the Blawg Review Awards 2005, David Giacalone's unique law blog won the award for Creative Law Blog, so we won't be surprised at all if Blawg Review #52 is one of the best yet.

Fools Rush In

George M. Wallace jumps the queue this week to bring us a special April Fool's Blawg Review Prequel to his Blawg Review #51, with this precursive note:
As has no doubt already been brought to your attentions, this, dear readers, is April Fool's Day. As one who is a Fool on a semi-professional basis year round, this is an official holiday for me in my puckishly jesting capacity.
Law bloggers will enjoy this special issue of Blawg Review, which is sure to please the Goddess of Folly and cause Themis, the Goddess of Justice and Law, to take a peek from beneath her blindfold for another good look at her choice to win the award for Best Personal Blog by a legally-oriented male blogger in last year's Blawg Review Awards.