Blawg Review

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

Previewing Blawg Review #34

Phosita, one of the best-loved blawgs among business blog readers, has already been reviewed here on Blawg Review.

PHOSITA, an acronym for a "Person Having Ordinary Skill In The Art", is applied as a legal test in patent law. So, it's an interesting name for the intellectual property blog of Doug Sorocco, and others, of the law firm of Dunlap, Codding & Rogers, with offices in Oklahoma, Washington DC, and now, Ohio.

If you've been following Blawg Review lately, you've heard that the firm recently opened a new office in Ohio with Matt Buchanan, of counsel, who hooked up with Doug Sorocco at BlawgThink 2005 earlier this month. Before meeting in person, they were already collaborating on another blawg, Rethink(IP), along with Stephen Nipper, who pratices law with his own firm, in Idaho. Nipper will be getting involved with Blawg Review, himself, hosting at Rethink(IP) on Mar 13, 2006.

But, for Monday next, Blawg Review #34 is being hosted by Doug and Matt at Phosita. Are we clear now? To keep it simple, and get your best blawg posts and law blog recommendations in to the hosts of Blawg Review each week, just follow the easy Submission Guidelines.

No Sex Please, We're Lawyers

This week's host of Blawg Review is Overlawyered, and undersexed. Michael Feldman of the Dowbrigade News, at, has the best Lesbian Cheerleader Toilet Sex Video ever. Scheherazade says, "My love life is none of your business."

Previewing Blawg Review #33

Blawg Review #33 is hosted courtesy of Overlawyered, a blog that "explores an American legal system that too often turns litigation into a weapon against guilty and innocent alike, erodes individual responsibility, rewards sharp practice, enriches its participants at the public's expense, and resists even modest efforts at reform and accountability."

If you're a regular reader of law blogs, you probably already know that Overlawyered is the creation of Walter Olson, a long-time critic of the American tort system and a nemesis of many trial lawyers. It's also a frequent haunt of Ted Frank, a litigator with great personal experience and insight into the American legal system.

Walter is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a think tank in New York City, and the author of three books on the follies of our litigation system: The Litigation Explosion, The Excuse Factory, and most recently, The Rule of Lawyers.

Ted recently left private practice at O'Melveny & Myers to be Resident Fellow, and Director of the Liability Project, for the American Enterprise Institute.

With other writers of note who contribute thoughtful articles and participate in feature discussions, Walter and Ted write extensively about a range of legal issues at Point of Law, a web magazine sponsored by the Manhattan Institute and AEI Liability Project that brings together information and opinion on the U.S. litigation system.

Collaborating at Overlawyered, Walter and Ted compile information and anecdotes on torts and trials, travesties and tribulations, from the hilarious to the hair-raising. Their presentation of Blawg Review #33 is sure to live up to their reputations for sourcing interesting blog fodder, and offering insightful legal analysis and inciting commentary thereon.

this preview was written by Jonathan B. Wilson and

Open Source Media

It's been a long time since a mainstream media executive, whose name we can't remember, dissed bloggers as riffraff in pajamas. A lot has changed in the media perception of bloggers since then. And the big thinkers who started out as Pajamas Media are thinking even bigger now, and have officially launched Open Source Media.
OSM’s mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them, providing bloggers with a forum to meet and share resources, and the chance to join a for-profit network that will give them additional leverage to pursue knowledge wherever they may find it. From academics, professionals and decorated experts, to ordinary citizens sitting around the house opining in their pajamas, our community of bloggers are among the most widely read and influential citizen journalists out there, and our roster will be expanding daily. We also plan to provide a bridge between old media and new, bringing bloggers and mainstream journalists—more and more of whom have started to blog—together in a debate-friendly forum.
So it's not surprising that these leading bloggers at Open Source Media are big fans of blog carnivals like, say, Blawg Review, the official Carnival of Law Bloggers. There's even a special page on OSM's new website devoted to the weird and wonderful world of carnivals!
What is a blog carnival? It's like a great, big blog-in slumber party at which the participants exchange tips, gossip and personal experiences about a shared, burning passion--often trying to outdo one another for supremacy on the topic. How does it work? A blogger somewhere in the world gives a shout-out for submissions from other bloggers devoted to the issue--whether it's investing in stocks, cooking gourmet meals or being owned by a cat.
And isn't this the cat's pajamas. Glenn Reynolds, a law professor who is a big supporter of blog carnivals, is Chair of the OSM Editorial Advisory Board. That's gotta be good for lawyers, law professors, and law students who blog, not to mention Blawg Review. We couldn't be happier. Congratulations on the successful launch, and best wishes to everyone at Open Source Media.

Groupie Sex

Here's the hottest blawg gossip. An anonymous blogger recently gave Jeffrey Toobin a peek underneath her robe. And now the self-confessed harlot is the talk of the town.

"What's next," an enquirer asks, "retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announcing she's the anonymous Editor of Blawg Review?" I don't think so.

Your anonymous Editor won't be replying to email from Jeffrey Toobin, offering exposé for shameless self-promotion. Lessons learned from Article III Groupie.
February 03, 2005
Courthouse Forum: Jeffrey Toobin!

Article III Groupie realizes that she has been neglecting her blog since the start of the new year. To be sure, one of her New Year's resolutions was to spend less time on UTR -- but perhaps she has now moved to the other extreme, spending too little time on her beloved blawg. She has numerous draft posts waiting to be revised and published, countless ideas for posts she hasn't even started drafting, and several weeks' worth of reader mail to reply to.

Part of the blame for her blogging backlog lies with her day job, which has been extremely busy as of late. But A3G is beginning to think that her reluctance to blog and to respond to e-mail -- or even to check her blog e-mail account, where the queue of unresponded-to messages grows longer and longer each day -- may be due to avoidant personality disorder. So please don't be upset at A3G for her inactivity; she can't help herself.

Discussion These days A3G will seize upon any excuse for avoiding UTR-related tasks. She rationalized her recent laziness by telling herself that she needed to give the blogosphere time to digest her last, massive post -- a deliciously dishy take on the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention. Unfortunately, to A3G's disappointment, only a brave few dared to comment upon or link to her Robing Room Report. But even though her latest post didn't get much of a public reception, A3G knows -- from her well-placed spies -- that it generated significant buzz among the legal profession's chattering class.

Well, now that over a week has passed, A3G no longer has that excuse. But she is still plauged by blogging lethargy. So she'll do what she does whenever she's feeling otiose: she will take someone else's words and reprint them (with permission) in her blog, in Courthouse Forum: Letters to Article III Groupie.

Today's magnificent missive, which also includes a request for information (a.k.a. a UTR Discovery Request), comes from a celebrity who needs no introduction:
Dear A3G,

I am a fan of your blog. I am writing a book about the Supreme Court, and I wonder if you'd post a note -- or this note -- saying that I would welcome any tips, opinions or leads that your readers may care to offer. I can be reached at [click here for email address].

Many thanks,
Jeff Toobin
No, you don't need Lasik surgery; yes, you read that correctly. A3G just received fan mail from one of our nation's foremost legal journalists, Jeffrey Toobin! For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past decade, Mr. Toobin is the renowned CNN legal analyst, New Yorker legal affairs writer, and bestselling author of several critically acclaimed books.

A3G encourages you all to contact Mr. Toobin with tidbits for his book on the Supreme Court. To kick things off, A3G offers Mr. Toobin her own shamelessly self-promoting suggestion: Wouldn't UTR, and its reception among federal judges, make a great subject for a brief, breezy, brilliantly funny Talk of the Town piece for The New Yorker? Article III Groupie is ready for her close-up -- and insanely jealous of the New York Times write-up received a few weeks ago by the Anonymous Lawyer blog of Jeremy Blachman (who appears to be parlaying his blog into a career as a television writer).*

Turning Prada green with envy,

Article III Groupie

* Speaking of lawyers-turned-writers like Messrs. Toobin and Blachman, lately A3G has been entertaining thoughts of making such a transition (perhaps out of growing frustration with law firm life). To this end, she requests any editors out there who might be willing to give her some freelance writing work to please e-mail her.

More specifically, would anyone be interested in picking up "So You Wanna Be a Supreme Court Clerk"? The piece is a delightful 1,000-word essay containing A3G's advice to law school gunners concerning how to join the ranks of the Elect.

A3G knows what you're thinking: "Dissembling harlot, you are one of the Great Unwashed. I can smell your foul stench through my computer screen. What do you know about getting a Supreme Court clerkship?" Well, even though A3G can't write from personal experience, her article reflects insights gleaned from years of keen, quasi-obsessive observation of those who have made it to One First Street.

February 03, 2005 at 03:50 AM in Courthouse Forum: Letters to Article III Groupie, UTR Discovery Requests: Seeking Sneak Peaks Under the Robes | Permalink
Anybody else got any classic moments from A3G history? What about this gem from September 20, 2004?
And what's on Article III Groupie's wish list, you might ask? Here are a few items, for starters: (1) a clerkship with Robing Room Report's "in" Supreme Court justice, Justice Thomas; (2) a romantic dinner at the French Laundry with Judge Richard Posner, at which the doubting Judge Posner will receive irrefutable proof of A3G's feminine identity; and (3) a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes--to wear on her date with Judge Posner, of course.

Coveting her neighbor's clerkship,

Article III Groupie
And, this post from September 9, 2004:
"Enough About Me--Let's Talk About Them"

People, people! Can we please return to the business at hand--namely, worshiping at the altar of federal judicial celebrity--and stop speculating about the identity of your undersigned scribe?


According to Robing Room Report, Judge Richard Posner is the "in" feeder judge. Well, it seems that the trend-setting Judge Posner, by ruminating about Article III Groupie (and her gender), has made it fashionable to speculate about A3G's identity. See, e.g., this post at How Appealing, this post at The '04 Wall, and this post at Mediocrity's Co-Pilot.

As she has stated before, Article III Groupie will not offer any comment on this subject beyond her author bio. Of course, A3G is flattered and touched by this apparent interest in who she is--including interest from the eminent Judge Posner, who is not only brilliant but also "a tad bit sexy." Many blogs have anonymous authors, but A3G can think of few such blogs whose authorship has been the subject of so much curiosity.

Article III Groupie thanks her readers for taking an interest in her, despite her lowly status as neither a federal judge nor a Supreme Court clerk. As a member of the Great Unwashed, all A3G can do is stand on the sidewalk and stare longingly through the window of the ice cream parlor, watching the cool kids lick their cones with relish, while salty tears roll down her cheeks. Why anyone should care about the little girl crying outside the ice cream shoppe is a mystery to her.


Although she is honored by the attention, Article III Groupie hopes that we can now return our full and undivided focus to UTR's mission of fawning over federal judges. Just as the embattled Martha Stewart deflected unwanted questions by expressing a desire "to focus on my salad," Article III Groupie says, "I want to focus on my federal judicial superstars!"

Convicted on four counts of ridiculousness,

Article III Groupie

P.S. To all of her readers who are in the midst of clerkship application season, Article III Groupie wishes you the best of luck! After you start your fabulous clerkships, don't forget your dear Aunt Groupie. Please send her the most succulent tidbits of federal judicial gossip!

September 09, 2004 at 11:36 PM in Banging Her Own Gavel: UTR Navel-Gazing by A3G | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Here's the first post, from June 05, 2004:
Underneath Their Robes: Mission Statement

FEDERAL JUDGES. You've read their opinions in the Federal Reporter. You, or your clients, have complied with their orders. But how well do you really know our nation's federal judges--not just as jurists, but as people? Enquiring minds want to know: What do federal judges have going on "underneath their robes"? (Does Chief Justice Rehnquist wear boxers or briefs? Probably boxers, except when playing tennis with his law clerks.)

"Underneath Their Robes" ("UTR") is a combination of People, US Weekly, Page Six, The National Enquirer, and Tigerbeat, focused not on vacuous movie stars or fatuous teen idols, but on the federal judiciary. The mission of UTR is to get "underneath the robes" of our federal judges, to find out what they are really like--not as impersonal guardians of the Constitution, or as disembodied legal minds analyzing complex legal disputes, but as human beings. After all, federal judges are people too, with unique personalities, private lives, and peccadilloes, all just waiting to be explored.

There are some one million lawyers in the United States, but only 877 federal judges. These 877 brilliant men and women represent the top 0.1% of American lawyers. These superstars of the legal profession--who before taking the bench distinguished themselves as practicing lawyers, state court judges, non-Article III federal judges, or legal academics--have been apotheosized, through nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate, to life-tenured positions of tremendous power and prestige. Federal judges are the gods and goddesses of the American justice system. The decisions that they make affect all of us, touching countless aspects of our everyday lives.

In short, federal judges are legal celebrities. Although certain flashy criminal defense or plaintiffs' lawyers might be more well-known to the general public, federal judges are the "rock stars" of the legal profession's upper echelons. Although they might not admit it, practicing lawyers spend countless hours around the water cooler gossiping about the federal judges before whom they appear. Ambitious law students seeking prestigious judicial clerkships become similarly obsessed with Article III jurists, fixating on them as if they were teen idols. In light of federal judges' high station and great influence, as well as the insights of legal realism concerning the important role that a judge's personality and private life can play in judicial decisionmaking, such keen interest in federal judges as people is understandable and justified.

Despite this interest, surprisingly little attention is paid by the news media to the personal lives of federal judges. This is in part the result of the low profiles kept by many federal judges, who often seek to present themselves to the public as judicial machines, administering justice with absolute impartiality. But the insufficient attention paid to federal judges as people is also the fault of news reporters and legal commentators who spend hours poring over the latest judicial decisions, but hardly any time delving into the personal backgrounds of the decisionmakers.

UTR seeks to change all that, by bringing you the latest news and gossip about federal judiciary: who's good, who's bad, and who's ugly. Yes, UTR will expose the shortcomings and imperfections of our federal judges. But it will also celebrate their positive attributes. Adjectives commonly used to describe our federal judges include honorable, intelligent, learned, distinguished, and hardworking. UTR proposes to add a few more to the list: glamorous, sexy, fun--and fabulous!

These upcoming reports from UTR provide a taste of what you can look forward to in future posts:
The Wheels of Justice: What do our nation's judges drive? (Hint: Jaguars are surprisingly popular. Grrr!!!)

UTR Cribs: Inspired by MTV Cribs, UTR goes inside the halls of justice, with this exclusive report about the luxurious residences of the most well-heeled federal jurists.

Superhotties of the Federal Judiciary: "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" Or, less poetically: Which legal minds have the best bodies? UTR is now accepting your nominations for the hottest women and men whose firm, toned butts occupy the Article III bench. Please send nominations to UTR by e-mail, preferably with photographs.

A Hunger for Justice: Judge Jerome Frank and his fellow legal realists thought that a case might get decided "based on what the judge had for breakfast." So--what did the judge have for breakfast? What judges have idiosyncratic culinary tastes? Which judges are on diets--and which judges aren't, but should be? Find out in UTR's exploration of the care and feeding of Article III judges.
A final note: UTR is only as good as the information obtained by yours truly, Article III Groupie. Drawing upon a wide range of news sources, I conduct diligent research to bring you the latest news about the federal judiciary, which I combine with my own unique and colorful commentary. But I rely upon you, my readers and correspondents, for the "inside scoop" about federal judges--the juicy morsels of gossip, the piles of dirty laundry that never make it into the sanitized pages of our media outlets. So please, e-mail your news and gossip about federal judges to me, Article III Groupie, early and often!

Welcome to the pages of UTR!

Yours truly,

Article III Groupie

June 05, 2004 at 04:45 PM in Judicial Divas and Hotties, Underneath Their Robes: Mission Statement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)
Article III Groupie—you're going to be missed.

Footnote: Daniel Solove, at Concurring Opinions, has some thoughts on blogging and anonymity after seeing Article III Groupie disrobed.

Previewing Blawg Review #32

JAG Central bridges that sometimes too-wide gap between the rule of law and military justice. It's been said that "military justice is to justice as military music is to music." Well, the law bloggers at JAG Central know the name of that tune.

At "the world's first weblog devoted to military justice," the anonymous Centrist and his cohorts discuss the news, views, and jurisprudence, at the intersection of legal and military affairs. Blog posts and articles on this military law blog are broken down into six basic areas corresponding to the core disciplines of the JAG Corps: military justice (criminal law), administrative law, contract law, fiscal law, client services, and international/operational law (including the law of land and naval warfare).

Centrist is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and the UCLA School of Law. He spent his first five years in the Army as a helicopter pilot of an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. His duty assignments included student pilot, attack helicopter platoon leader, and aviation battalion intelligence officer. He spent the next three years of his Army career in law school through the Funded Legal Education Program.

While at UCLA, he met Phil Carter, founder of INTEL DUMP, who got him turned on to blogging. Centrist started his first blog, Law From the Center, as a general law student blog, but soon realized that his blogging would rise above the cacophony of the blogosphere if he concentrated on writing about what he knew best, adding a unique perspective to the blawgosphere on military justice and military law.
JAG Central was born, and has since become a leading law blog among the fraternity of milbloggers.
The ability of the civilian world to access the news and views of the military directly is a sea-change in media. At the conclusion of his wonderful 1998 book, Making the Corps, Washington Post writer Thomas Ricks worried aloud about the increasing distance between the civilian and military worlds, and the divergence in the values of both. Part of that problem was that the world of the warrior was increasingly remote from ordinary Americans who don't have much contact with the military.
Having graduated UCLA Law School, Centrist is now a Captain attending the Judge Advocate General's School in Charlottesville, VA. In 8 days, he will find out if he passed the California Bar Exam. By all accounts, when that milestone is achieved, there'll be some serious partying in the blawgosphere as well as at the bar with his friends and colleagues.

LawyerDad is the newest voice added to JAG Central. A 3L at the University of Arkansas School of Law, he is very interested in the intersection between military affairs and constitutional law. Just recently, he clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. This court is a 5-member, presidentially-appointed civilian panel of judges who serve 15 year terms. It is the second level of appellate review for all military criminal cases. LawyerDad is currently exploring opportunities for employment after law school, including the possibility of military service in the various JAG Corps.

Blawg Review #32 presents a unique opportunity for law bloggers, not only to read a great military law blog, but to participate in a collaborative post with submissions and recommendations of the best blawg posts that touch on the areas of concern to civilian and military lawyers alike. At this time in history, in the midst of a global war on terrorism, when the usually disparate worlds of military and civilian justice seem to overlap in the application of the law, this promises to be a very interesting issue of Blawg Review.
"Americans owe a great debt of gratitude to those who have sacrificed for our liberty and for the security of our Nation. We express deep appreciation to our veterans -- the men and women who stepped forward when America needed them, triumphed over brutal enemies, liberated continents, and answered the prayers of millions around the globe." - The President
This issue of Blawg Review is our expression of support for veterans everywhere during Veterans Awareness Week.

Previewing Blawg Review #31

When he's not playing sax (it worked for Bill Clinton) and keyboards in The Bosch, Andrew Raff can be found wandering the blawgosphere between getting a JD degree and becoming a lawyer, in Brooklyn, NY.

His academic and professional interests are focused on how computers and the internet affect the practice and substance of law, particularly within the copyright, trademark and privacy law. He blogs about these issues at his own intellectual property blog, IPTAblog, and with others at Legislating IP, a group blog of hIP cats herded by Kevin Heller.

Andrew Raff finds his work/life balance on his eponymous blog, Maybe he should follow the lead of business-minded Professor Bainbridge and get a spiffy ® for that domain name. Heh, it's too bad Riff Raff dot com is taken.

Andrew Raff will be hosting Blawg Review #31 on Monday, so if you want to submit one of your best blawg posts from the past week, or recommend another's that you've read recently, just follow these simple Submission Guidelines.