Blawg Review

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

Doing It Down Under

Following the special issue of Blawg Review at Jennifer Clare Burke's Transcending Gender, we're now doing it down under at Peter Black's Freedom to Differ.

The headline for this post introducing Blawg Review #85 is borrowed from the title of a book about the sexual lives of Australians.

Doing It Down Under is based on the extensive 'Sex in Australia' research reported in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health in 2003. As the 'largest sex survey ever done in Australia', and with an impressive sample size of 19,307 randomly-sampled men and women, this research is an excellent contribution towards understandings of sexual practices and sexual health in twenty-first century Australia.

In 18 small and easily digestible chapters, the book covers the basics of what people do sexually and how often, sexual attitudes, masturbation, using sex toys and pornography, cheating and infidelity, sexual identities, pregnancy and contraception, sexual difficulties, paying for sex, sexually transmitted infections, and in a sobering chapter, sexual assault.

Not that any of these topics will be covered on Blawg Review #85 in great detail. Freedom to Differ is not a blog about the Gay and Lesbian Struggle for Civil Rights, either. That's just one of those coincidences that surprises us as much as those who arrive here searching for interesting stuff on the worldwide web.

The title of Peter Black's law blog, Freedom to Differ, is inspired by the Opinion of the US Supreme Court in Board of Education v Barnette 319 US 624 (1943), a case concerning the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that protected students from being forced to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance in school, where Justice Robert H. Jackson, for the majority, famously wrote:
But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.
Now that we've cleared that up, let's see what Peter Black, an associate lecturer in law at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, has put together for Blawg Review #85 at Freedom to Differ.

Professor Bainbridge Returns

After a hiatus that lasted longer than he planned, Professor Bainbridge has returned to the internets with a revised set of blogs.

The new website serves as a portal to his three blogs. Some readers will want to use the ® landing page as their entry to his corner of the blogosphere. Others may wish to bookmark the sub-blogs, and subscribe to feeds for these specific blogs.

Professor Bainbridge's Business Associations Blog

This is Professor Bainbridge's professional blog, an extension of his academic scholarship. The subjects about which he posts there -- law, business, and economics -- will be of interest to lawyers, judges, law students, and legal academics. Most of the posts will relate to the law and economics of business associations, especially public corporations.

Professor Bainbridge's Journal

This is Stephen Bainbridge's personal blog. The topic mix is eclectic, but focuses on politics, religion, and culture. Other common topics include cars, non-business law, political correctness, entertainment, book reviews, photography, his dogs, and whatever captures his interest.

Professor Bainbridge on Wine

A blog dedicated to food and wine, focusing on the latter. Wine reviews, news, and commentary, plus recipes.

On which of these blogs should he host Blawg Review?

Thanksgiving Day Blessings

Like a "Hallmark" Christmas, a "Norman Rockwell" Thanksgiving conjures up images of family togetherness, peace and plenty. The scene drawn by America's leading commercial artist to illustrate one of President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, "Freedom from Want" depicted an older couple placing a fat turkey on a table surrounded by their eager, smiling family.

Painted in 1943 in the throes of World War II, it presented an idyllic image of the kind of unity and abundance projected for the post-war future - an image that would endure and be reproduced endlessly.

In this year's Proclamation by the President for Thanksgiving Day, President Bush referenced the original meaning of this quintessential American holiday.
The Thanksgiving tradition dates back to the earliest days of our society, celebrated in decisive moments in our history and in quiet times around family tables. Nearly four centuries have passed since early settlers gave thanks for their safe arrival and pilgrims enjoyed a harvest feast to thank God for allowing them to survive a harsh winter in the New World.
The President seems to have captured the essence of it, as expressed in 1676 by the early settlers in this first proclamation of a day of thanksgiving in Colonial America.
The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions...
Speaking of the Colonies, we can give thanks this year that Peter Black, an associate lecturer in law at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, has offered to host Blawg Review #85 on his blog, Freedom to Differ, so we can enjoy this long holiday weekend gathering together in our homes and places of worship, with family, friends, and loved ones, to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

Who You Callin' Moron?

Jonathan G. Stein is relatively new to blogging at The Practice, which he launched earlier this year. Like many bloggers, he's using his newfound blog to tell other lawyers how to communicate effectively.
Regarding the term blawg, and not blog. People who made up the term blawg are, in my opinion, MORONS. Let me see if I can explain why. There is a word in the language that defines something. (Blog, a web-based writing tool, short for web log.) An attorney comes along and thinks it would be cute to spell it bLAWg and pronounce it the same way. Now, you have two different words that sound the same. Okay, we have that with there, there and they’re. I get it. But, in this case, the second spelling only serves one purpose: to separate out lawyer blogs from the other blogs. It comes across as snobby.
Jonathan might have missed the intelligent discussion of this neologism, blawg, a portmanteau or sandwich word that was coined by Denise Howell in early 2002.

But the position I find most persuasive, in this regard, was taken by another personal injury lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, who wrote recently, "Do you know what blawg means?"
I have been blogging for a few months now and I’m really enjoying it. I not only enjoy writing legal articles, but also articles related to motorcycle safety, and motorcycle ride reports.

I recently read a discussion about the term “Blawg.” The term Blawg, was coined by a lawyer who was writing about legal issues. Hence the term Blawg was born and is used to describe a law related Blog.

I know the term Blawg is not generally recognized on the Internet at this time for what it is; a law related Blawg. However, I have decided to embrace the term and add it to the name of my Blog. My Blog will officially now be known as "Biker and Motorcycle Lawyer Blog / Blawg."

In researching the term “Blawg,” I found what is “the mother of all Blawg sites.” You can check out that site by clicking here now.

My Blog is listed as "Biker Law Blog" on this site.

If you want to gain insight into the legal world, this would be a good place to start. I have never seen so many lawyers, law professors, and other legal professionals all featured on one location.

I look forward to writing many articles in the years to come.
So, which of these law bloggers comes across as snobby?

Update: Welcome blog readers arriving from this link on The Practice.

I posted a comment in reply to that post, which Jonathan Stein apparently removed. That is his prerogative. Here's what I wrote in that comment:
Jonathan, you wrote: Example: I was recently written up in the Sacramento Business Journal about my personal injury blog. How did they get my name? The author searched "sacramento blog" and mine came up. If I called my blog a "blawg," it never would have come up.

Not so.

Google: employment blog

Find: George's Employment Blawg

You also wrote: No one outside of the legal profession knows the word blawg. So, if you want people to be able to find your blog, you need to call it what they call it: a blog.

Perhaps Kevin O'Keefe would pipe in and tell us how he uses the word "blawg" on his weblog and in tags to increase the exposure of his blog.

[Update: Kevin O'Keefe addresses the issue again on his blog, Real Lawyers Have Blogs.]

See also: "The gospel of blawging" an article in the Des Moines Business Record Online dated November 5, 2006, featuring Iowa lawyers and bloggers Rush Nigut and Brett Trout.

[Update: Rush Nigut says Blog or Blawg: It's All Good]

Here's just a bit of what was written in that non-legal business journal:

Nigut said there have been judges who have cited blawgs in their decisions, showing just how much respect many are giving to blawgs.

"Blawgs are getting more authority," he said.

An added benefit of blawging is its low cost. Trout uses a free service to publish his blog, and Nigut uses a service with some extra features that only costs a little over $100 a year.

"You can't get that type of marketing for that price any other way," Trout said.

Posted by: Ed. | November 21, 2006 at 08:45 AM
For greater clarity, this post does not suggest that Jonathan is snobby because he doesn't think we should use the word blawg, as he misinterprets my point. It just raises a question whether the tone of a blogger's writing might have a lot more to do with "coming across as snobby" than whether or not a law blogger uses the word blawg to differentiate a blog as being law-related.

Update January 7, 2007: For a thoughtful discussion of law blogs, see also the recent blog post on Ben Cowgill's Legal Ethics Newsletter headlined "Law-related blogs: Following in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson" in which Ben Cowgill refers to this article in the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Lawyers take legal debates online

Transcending Gender

Blawg Review #84, on this Transgender Day of Remembrance, is hosted by Jennifer Clare Burke on Transcending Gender, where she examines ways that the law both enforces and challenges the sex/gender binary system.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice (transphobia). The event is held on November 20th to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the "Remembering Our Dead" web project and a San Francisco, California candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in hundreds of cities around the world.
Jen Burke graduated from Villanova University School of Law in 2004, where her electives focused on civil practice, including civil rights and tort law. During the summer after her 1L (2001), Jen won the Public Interest Fellowship. Jen applied her fellowship to working for the Disabilities Law Project.

Jen’s main interest now is in Active Grey Matter, a business incubator for people with disabilities.

Jen obtained her Master’s degree summa cum laude in counseling psychology at Chestnut Hill College. She focused on sexuality and gender. Saint Joseph’s University Counseling Center asked her to present her work there on sexual identity in 1999. She competed with graduate students state-wide for the Pennsylvania Psychological Foundation (PPF) award. She received the Elliot Riegler Memorial Award from PPF in recognition of her GPA, clinical work, and research projects. Jen has found ways of using both post-graduate degrees to combine her interests in law, psychology, and writing.

Jen has written on her blog about her personal struggles with illnesses and her battles with becoming a disabled professional and, recently, a novel, A Life Less Convenient: Letters To My Ex.

A Life Less Convenient isn't just a book; it’s a blog too, where Jen blogs about sex, mortality, age, and illness.

We are pleased to have Jen Burke host Blawg Review #84 at Transcending Gender on this special day, to heighten our awareness of Transgender Law and Policy and to remember those who have died for lack of understanding.
More people are becoming aware of and caring about these issues. We need to know the victims’ stories, especially those who have been denied justice. We need to honor the dead and work to make a better world than the one they were taken from. -- Cynthya BrianKate

Michael Arrington, Esq.

TechCrunch Site Makes Arrington A Power Broker headlines the feature article in the Wall Street Journal.
Two years ago, Mr. Arrington, a onetime lawyer and Internet executive, was living the life of a surf bum in southern California. Today, the 36-year-old has become one of the most influential people in Silicon Valley. Like a latter-day Henry Blodget, the onetime star Wall Street analyst who helped fuel the late 1990s dot-com frenzy, Mr. Arrington uses his TechCrunch blog to determine the destinies of new start-ups and to fan the flames of the current Internet boom...

These days, Mr. Arrington often stays up as late as 4 a.m. pounding out pieces for TechCrunch. He is also building a miniempire of Web sites. In January, he started a site focused on mobile devices and services, then followed it up with a high-tech gadgets site and, in August, a job-postings site. Eventually, he hopes to amass a network of Web sites in addition to his main blog so that he can compete with Web powerhouse CNET Networks Inc.

TechCrunch had about a million global page views in September, compared with 13 million for CNET News, according to comScore Networks Inc.

Mr. Arrington says he believes TechCrunch's numbers are actually higher, and he adds: "I want more page views than CNET in two years."
Michael Arrington, the founder and writer of TechCrunch, is a real good get for any Web 2.0 confabb or media get-together these days. Like Paris Hilton says, "He's hot."

And Denise Howell got him as one of her guests for This Week in Law, the podcast, er, netcast, with Ernie Svenson and Cathy Kirkman who, right then during the TWiL interview, unabashedly cajoled Arrington into making some sort of celebrity appearance at her upcoming Blog Law seminar in New York on the 16th and 17th this week. Talk about social networking!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Memorial Rises, Mission Continues
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will break yet another racial barrier today when ground is broken for a monument in his honor on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. King will be the first African American to have a place in the mall, which incldes the Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt memorials and the Washington Monument.

This is a fitting exclamation point for the King legacy. And the location could not be more perfect -- about a half-mile from the Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered his legendary "I Have Dream" speech in August 1963.
Learn more about the King Memorial Foundation and see the site plans at

January 15th, on MLK Day, which has come to be commemorated as a day of service, a day on, not a day off, we plan a special issue of Blawg Review #91, hosted on a law blog that best exemplifies the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here are some more research resources:

Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King would be proud of me because...
Image Source: Kids Can Do

Veterans Day Remembrance

Many in our legal community are veterans, and we take this day to honor all who served.

Blawg Review #59 was a special presentation for Memorial Day, and we find the thoughts linked there to be equally appropriate to reflect upon this Veterans Day, November 11th, also Remembrance Day in many countries of the British Commonwealth that share the legal traditions of the common law.

In the style of Blawg Review, we'll update this post, today and throughout this weekend, with links to current posts from law blogs that are especially appropriate for this day of honor and remembrance of all who served. If you've written a post on your blawg reflecting on Veterans Day or Remembrance Day, or if you see something on another's law blog worth noting here, please send an email with the link, and we'll add those thoughts and links to this presentation.

All Are Veterans; Some Are Heroes Phillip Carter at Intel Dump points to his essay on the changing definition of heroes in today's society, published today in the Los Angeles Times.
Frequently over the last two months, my friends have referred to me and other veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan as "heroes." This has disturbed me a great deal, forming another sort of alienation that is likely to become particularly acute this Veterans Day. American society venerates all soldiers as heroes, yet we in the military reserve that label for those who truly go above and beyond the call of duty. To us, the ordinary soldiers who merely served in harm's way, the label feels like a garish shirt — it neither describes us well nor fits us comfortably.
Recognizing America's 25 Million Living Veterans This Veterans Day at Law Librarians Blog.

Thinking about sentenced troops on Veterans Day is Professor Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy.

For Veterans Day Weekend Professor Glenn Reynolds suggests giving to Project Valour IT (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops).

Thank You Veterans! Obsessive Law Student recommends giving to those soldiers still serving by visiting

Veterans Day Letter to Editor from Local Lawyer, Soldier, Judge Advocate, Veteran, and Friend
posted by Kentucky Law blogger Michael Stevens.

Veterans Day by Skelly Wright at Arbitrary and Capricious.

Honor the Fallen in Flanders Fields by Anthony Cerminaro at BizzBangBuzz.

Protected Poppies by Larry Munn at Canadian Trademark Blog.

The History of Veterans Day is linked at FutureLawyer.

The Greatest Generation Day on which Dan Hull reflects on what Veterans Day means to him.

For Veteran's Day the poem The Soldier by Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC is posted by Charles at DND, Law School, and Life.

Veterans Day; A Salute to the Veterans of All American Wars by Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Biker Law Blog.

Veterans Day Prayer By Susan Kramer at Chuck Newton's blog.

Project Valour-IT Update: Veterans Day post by Colin Samuels at Infamy or Praise.

Law Blog the Vote

It's election season in the United States, and lawyers are blogging in the thick of it; running as candidates, directing campaigns, blogging the vote, or writing on non-partisan law blogs about legal issues, lawyers and law professors are right on top of it. In two special issues this year, Blawg Review has full coverage of these mid-term elections in two special issues.

The best coverage of the elections on law blogs in the week running up to the election is wrapped up in Blawg Review #82 on the day before the election by attorney Edward Still, whose Votelaw blog has been online since July 2002 at the intersection of politics and law, redistricting, campaign finance, the right to vote, election law and administration, and politicians in trouble.

Following the elections, law blogs will be buzzing with analyses of the results, with all manner of political second-guessing and legal wrangling over the outcomes, no matter who wins what.

Rick Hasen will host our post-election coverage in Blawg Review #83 on his well-regarded Election Law blog. Richard L. Hasen is the William H. Hannon Distinguished Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, and the author of The Supreme Court and Election Law and countless other law journal articles linked in the sidebar of his law blog. He's one of the brightest stars in the entire blogosphere, and the go-to expert on the niceties of election law.

These special issues of Blawg Review will include coverage of the elections not only on law blogs, per se, but also on many popular political blogs that are written by law professors, practicing lawyers, and reformed lawyers of all political persuasions, including Hugh Hewitt, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog, Markos Moulitsas at DailyKos, the lawyer who shall remain nameless who blogs at Patterico's Pontifications, and many others.

If you've got something interesting on your blawg that touches on election issues and would like to help our distinguished hosts put together the best Blawg Review coverage of these elections, please take a few minutes to submit your recommendations here.

LexBlog Blawgs

Blawg is dead. Long live blawgs.

Whether they prefer to use the word weblog, blog, or blawg, to refer to a Blogger, TypePad, or WordPress website on the Internet, lawyers who understand search engine optimization appreciate that "blawg" is a very useful tag to identify a law blog. Nobody says lawyers must use the word blawg in connection with their legal blogs -- we're just sayin', the smart ones do.

Ad seen on Technorati search for blawg:
Lawyer Blawgs for Internet Marketing - Proven, effective, turnkey solution: design, set-up, hosting, content and marketing. Free technical and marketing support.
Highly recommended, by the way.

And the search term "blawg" is increasingly evident as a meaningful keyword on the Google -- which is both the result of, and the reason for, including "blawg" and "blawgs" on legal blogs, like in this footer on
Law Blogs By LexBlog For The Lawyer, Attorney and Law Firm. Law Blog and Legal Blog Design For Lawyers, Attorneys and Law Firms. Lawyer Blogs, Weblogs and Blawgs. Lawyer Blog, Blawg and Weblog Design. Law Firm Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Legal Blogs by LexBlog :: 175 Parfitt Way, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, 206 855 0988
Tag, you're it, Kevin.

[Update Note: Kevin O'Keefe responds in this post on his blog.]