Blawg Review

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

Join the Illuminati

Someone you trust is one of us. Kevin Thompson, at Cyberlaw Central, is hosting Blawg Review #93, an imaginative presentation based on Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service.

It's only a blog carnival for lawyers. Fnord.

Illuminati art by Vanessa Bell

Lawyers' Blogs Nominated

The nominees for the 7th annual Weblog Awards, the 2007 Bloggies, have been announced, finally.

And among the many excellent blogs nominated are three written by lawyers who were recently recognized by Forbes as web celebs.

In the category for best weblog about politics, Instapundit, by Glenn Reynolds, goes head to head with Daily Kos by Markos Moulitsas.

TechCrunch, written by reformed attorney Michael Arrington, is up for an award in the category for best computers or technology weblog.

Apparently, the secret must be out about Blawg Review. It wasn't even nominated in the category for the best-kept secret weblog. Seems fair, though, since this editor, who knows most of the blogs in this year's Bloggies, hadn't heard of any of the five blogs nominated for the award for best-kept secret weblog.

Lawyer as Web Celeb

The Web Celeb 25 are recognized by Forbes."The Face of fame is changing. The ranks of the world's celebrities used to be dominated by millionaire actors, athletes and musicians, but the Internet has leveled the playing field. A kid with a video camera has access to as large an audience as the biggest Hollywood star. A mom with a blog can attract more readers than a best-selling author. And an opinionated entrepreneur can become a guru to millions."

So can lawyers. Among those named by Forbes as the top 25 celebrities of the worldwide web are these lawyers who blog: Markos Moulitsas, John Hinderaker, Michael Arrington, and Glenn Reynolds.

In the Blawg Review Awards 2005 and 2006, all four of these lawyers have been recognized, not for celebrity, per se, but for their various achievements as leading bloggers. Celebrity is nice too, if you have it -- and this ain't Forbes.

Business & Law Blogs

David Maister, who hosted Blawg Review #76 a while back, is hosting the Carnival of the Capitalists for January 22, 2007.

When he hosted Blawg Review, last year, David Maister introduced himself and a cadre of business-minded bloggers.
Since I am not a lawyer, and this blog site is meant to appeal to a broad international audience working in a wide variety of professions and industries, I have (as previously announced) restricted my choices to the themes of work and professional life, firm management, marketing, strategy and careers (rather than legal topics per se).

Tom "Bald Dog" Varjan has the blog post of the week in my view.

Of Sailors and Mountaineers: The Inherent Dangers of Internal Competition is a compelling piece of analysis, which nevertheless still leaves us wrestling with the mysteries of why our organizations run as they do. Are we all too competitive for our own good? If so, how has civilization thrived? Don't miss it.
In David Maister's Carnival of the Capitalists this week, we find the Dilanchian Lawyers who provide a link to a story about YouTube’s Licensing arrangements. It's always good when business-minded lawyers contribute to the best of the Carnival of the Capitalists.

Check out the articles David Maister enjoyed the most.

This week's host of Blawg Review #92 is Legal Andrew, a law student who's "hacking his way through law school" and sharing tips and tricks he's picking up along the way.

Andrew's presentation of Blawg Review includes many interesting blog posts, but one in particular that caught my attention, on a tip from Professor Adler at The Volokh Conspiracy, is an extraordinary series of posts by the State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger guest-blogging at Opinio Juris. Bellinger, the top lawyer at the Department of State, published six posts over the course of the past week. The discussion began on Monday morning with an introduction to the Legal Adviser’s office, and then turned to substantive discussions of the treatment of detainees, international humanitarian law, and sovereign immunity.

Next week, Blawg Review #93 by Kevin Thompson at Cyberlaw Central, who hosted Blawg Review #42, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blogosphere. Who knows what he's got planned this year?

Net Nanny

Where Do You Think You're Going, Mister!?
Parents heading off for the Blog Business Summit left strict instructions with the nanny.

Never Mind the Volokhs

Never Mind the Bollocks was met by a hail of controversy in the U.K. upon its release. The first documented legal problems involved the allegedly 'obscene' name of the album, and the prosecution of the owner of a Nottingham record shop (and label owner Richard Branson) for having displayed it in a window.

However, at Nottingham Magistrates' Court on 24 November 1977, defending Queen's Counsel John Mortimer produced expert witnesses who were able to demonstrate that the word "bollocks" was actually a legitimate Old English term originally used to refer to a priest, and which, in the context of the title, meant "nonsense". The chairman of the hearing was forced to conclude:
Much as my colleagues and I wholeheartedly deplore the vulgar exploitation of the worst instincts of human nature for the purchases of commercial profits by both you and your company, we must reluctantly find you not guilty of each of the four charges.
So what's this British court case about a legendary punk band's album name got to do with Blawg Review?

It's just that readers and hosts have been wondering why Blawg Review is never mentioned on The Volokh Conspiracy, even when an important special issue, like Blawg Review #91 on MLK Day, includes five links to posts by Jonathan Adler, Orin Kerr, and Eugene Volokh.

Where is the love?

Eric Turkewitz of the New York Personal Injury Law Blog, reflecting on two months of blogging, genuinely appreciates the link love -- and responds in kind:
The Blawg Review, perhaps the most widely read of all legal blog compilations on the web, has now included me in two issues, the first of which was #89 regarding my note on a federal judge preventing the use of a pseudonym in a sex assault case. In issue #91, two different posts on emotional injuries were noted: The first on the tax exempt status of emotional injury compensation, and the one on zone of danger emotional injuries.
And Blawg Review gets recognition from veteran bloggers, too, like Carolyn Elefant, who takes note at's Legal Blog Watch:
After all, the past 90 editions of Blawg Review have drawn hundreds of new readers to new blogs, many of which would have otherwise gone unnoticed but for serving as hosts. And Blawg Review shares another theme with blogs -- its democratic element. Any blog, large or small, well read or scarcely trafficked, can sign up to host and gain even more exposure. You don't find many publications like that anymore -- except, of course, in the blogosphere.
It's really nice to see that Blawg Review is appreciated, whether in a brief note on a well-read blog or in a personal email to the anonymous editor of Blawg Review, like these kind words from Diane Levin of the Online Guide to Mediation:
For what it's worth, by the way, I'm glad you didn't reveal your identity. Whoever you are, you've performed an admirable service to law bloggers everywhere. You've created a very public and vibrant town square for legal bloggers where all voices can be heard. Who you are doesn't matter. It's what you do that counts.

Thanks, Ed.,
Thank you, Diane, and Carolyn, and Eric, and Glenn, and all the other pajama bloggers who link to the weekly issues of Blawg Review. It's very much appreciated.

The Greatest American Lawyer

Who is The Greatest American Lawyer?

All I know is, he hosted Blawg Review #17 way back in 2005, and did an awesome job of it. Well, that's not all I know...

After almost two years of anonymous blogging, the elusive author of The Greatest American Lawyer has decided it's time to step forward and disclose his true identity.

Was GAL exposed? I don't know for sure (there might be some clues in this link) but to get a good idea who this independent practitioner is you'll have to read a few blog posts on The Greatest American Lawyer about his innovative approach to law firm management, his web-based project management software and virtual workers that cut overhead at the law firm, and his value billing that only suggests what a client might pay but that allows every client to choose for themselves what they pay the law firm for a month's services.

Anyway, just to make things interesting for the 50,000 unique visitors who came to his law blog in 2006, and for the rest of us who are fascinated with anonymous bloggers, he's come up with a very rewarding contest to encourage his readers to do a little sleuthing around the blogosphere to try and discover his true identity:

"Who's that GAL?"
So welcome to the Who’s that GAL contest where readers are invited to guess who the Greatest American Lawyer author really is. We have contacted a couple of companies about potential sponsorships for our contest. In the meantime, you should know that prizes will include a week long stay at a condominium located at the Homestead Freshwater Resort in Glen Arbor Michigan ($1,000 value), an iPod nano and miscellaneous other prizes. More prizes will be added as we go.

In the meantime, here are the contest rules:

1. Do a little internet research and see if you can figure who the author of The Greatest American Lawyer Blog really is.

Send submissions to

2. Contest applicants must be 18 years or older to participate.

3. Yes, if you in fact know who The Greatest American Lawyer is, you can still enter the contest.

4. The contest will close at midnight on February 9, 2007. Contest winners will be drawn at random on February 10, 2007.

5. The more contest applicants we have, the greater chance for sponsorships and great prizes so feel free to post on your blog a link to these contest rules.
So, let me see, what do we know about this anonymous blogger?

What's his biography?
Graduated first in class. Federal clerkship. First real job at the largest specialty law firm of its kind in the world. Uninspired working for huge corporations. Quit.

Worked for mass tort asbestos. Retired at age 32. Divorced. Felt catholic guilt. Gave wife everything and took all debt. Moved into fancy car. Drifted around the country in fancy car. Slept in the woods at rest stops and under bushes in fancy neighborhoods in big cities. Got married to wonderful blonde girl who used to date rich guy, but got distracted by nice car. Lived off wife's job as school teacher. Made lunches and hand delivered them to wife's school.

Tried case in Boston out of car trunk of nice car to 2$ million dollar verdict. Defendant goes bankrupt after verdict. Back living in nice car. Help friends start internet company, building TCPIP-based collaberation tools for hospital systems. Company folds when investors turn into idiots.

Have first son. Live in 18 places in the next year. Drift with wife and son. Eat every breakfast, lunch and dinner with family. Best years of my life. Have number two son. Friend of wife says"'he [that be me] can get a job in the city." End up getting job in city as a lawyer wearing shoes. Shave goatee.

Move to medium sized city from small tourist town on beach. Make partner in two years. Get tired of hourly billing model. Impossible to change the practice of law from within. Change strategies. Launch this blog site.

His interests?

  • Going trekking in hundreds of acres of woods, trails and hills out the front door of my new office.

  • Being able to shower at my office after I am done jogging.

  • Being an innovator in the things I do professionally, socially and philosophically.

  • Being located at largest historical redevelopment zone/restoration project in the country, which it just so happens is a tax free zone.

  • Making people think and challenging norms by wreaking my own small form of anarchy on the world.

  • Blogging. I always knew that I had a lot to say. Somehow writing "it" in my paper journal and sticking it in my backpack seemed to miss the mark.

  • Hacky Sac. I used to be just short of amazing but am still pretty good at age 41.

  • Boomerangs. Go to and buy one (or eight). You will be the coolest one around. Kids love to watch them fly. Adults are fascinated by them as well for some reason. I have been throwing rang for over 12 years, having bought my first boomerang from the 5 time world boomerang champion, Gel in the Golden Gate Bridge park.

  • Favorite Motto: "You never know when it is time to throw."

  • Favorite Place: Lake Michigan beaches at sunset on a warm summer night, drinking Oberon beer and throwing rang.
On the last leg of a memorable journey across the legal blogosphere, in Blawg Review #89, we visited The Greatest American Lawyer.

Was it something the lone mummer said then, on New Year's Day, that encouraged this anonymous blogger to announce, just four days later, maybe it's time for him to lift his veil of anonymity?

Who knows? My guess is we'll find out soon enough, and then we won't have to list him as "Mystery Host" in our roster of Future Hosts for Blawg Review on May 21st.
Believe it or not,
I'm walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free eee eee.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's NOT me.

MLK Day Blawg Review

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day on, not a day off, at Blawg Review.

Public Defender Investigator Greg Worthen says it best in his special presentation of Blawg Review #91.

"Hosting Blawg Review on MLK Day is a very special honor for me. Dr. King is one of many influences in my life that have led me not only to do the job I do, but to create Public Defender Stuff. Providing whatever support I can to the attorneys who fight for justice for those who otherwise would be on their own is the best way I know to honor Dr. King's memory, his life, his Dream. Our Dream."

Please join us for our special tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Comments On Blogs

Hugh MacLeod, one of the most insightful people in the world wide web, has posted on his random notes about blogging.

If you're a blogger, you'll probably find yourself nodding in agreement with many of the 40 or so random notes on blogging he's listed. I thought this one was rather good:
39. If a blog doesn’t allow comments, then yes, it’s still a blog. People who say otherwise are just getting in touch with their "Inner Idealistic Wanker".
What I find so interesting about Hugh MacLeod's cartoons on the back of business cards and his thoughtful blog posts is that there's always something you can personally relate to. Thanks, Hugh.

Blawg Review Hosts

Between Blawg Review #91 at Public Defender Stuff on MLK Day and the Memorial Day special issue at the Biker Law Blog, there's only one date now available to schedule hosting Blawg Review.

Who's hosting next?

After the Memorial Day Weekend there are still several hosting dates available, but those will be booked well in advance at this rate.

If you hosted Blawg Review in 2005 or 2006 and would like another opportunity to host again this year, let us know which Date Available in this blog's sidebar looks most interesting for you.

If you haven't yet hosted Blawg Review on your law blog, you might want to take a look at the Past Issues, which are all linked in the sidebar, and check out our Hosting Guidelines to see what all the excitement is about.

This Blog's Living Will

With the latest blogging technologies, free hosting services can keep a blog alive for years, even if the blogger is no longer functioning or the person in charge is permanently incapacitated and unable to blog.

As competent bloggers, we have the right to make decisions in advance as to whether or not we would like to decline life support for our blogs when it's clear that death is imminent or a vegetative state permanent.

As the name "living will" implies, this post is a declaration of this blog's will to live rather than to be refused care and attention just because the anonymous editor may become incapacitated without notice or, heaven forfend, just up and dies without saying goodbye. You never know.
A lone mummer was so unlikely and threatening that it was always referred to as a 'Spirit' and was a certain sign of impending death in the New Year.
Not being superstitious, but to be on the safe side as any good lawyer would advise, your prudent editor has made arrangements, while still of sound mind and body, to ensure that this collaborative project for the community of law bloggers can survive and prosper, even if this editor succumbs to excessive blogging or other horrific demise.

Colin Samuels, one heckuva lawyer, steadfast supporter, regular contributor, and wonderful writer (not to mention winner of the award for Blawg Review of the Year two years in a row) has been given power of attorney and appointed health care proxy for Blawg Review in the unlikely event of the unexpected absence or incapacitation of the current editor.

Under the terms of this power of attorney, Colin Samuels has been provided with all the usernames and passwords required to continue to manage this blog and the Blawg Review project as and in the name of the editor, and is hereby authorized to do so in any apparent or perceived state of temporary or permanent incapacitation of the founding editor.

Colin Samuels is hereby authorized and empowered to do and take all actions he deems fitting and appropriate to ensure continuation of Blawg Review for the benefit of the community of law bloggers, whenever any such circumstances become apparent to him, in his absolute and unfettered discretion.

That said, I'm not planning on going crazy, or elsewhere, anytime soon.

What's a Carnival?

Illinois Compiled Statutes § 11-54.1-1 tells us:

"Carnival" means and includes an aggregation of attractions, whether shows, acts, games, vending devices or amusement devices, whether conducted under one or more managements or independently, which are temporarily set up or conducted in a public place or upon any private premises accessible to the public, with or without admission fee, and which, from the nature of the aggregation, attracts attendance and causes promiscuous intermingling of persons in the spirit of merrymaking and revelry.

"Promiscuous intermingling of persons in the spirit of merrymaking and revelry -- I couldn't have said it better myself." -- Eugene Volokh

Colors of Carnival

New Orleans attorney Raymond Ward hosts Blawg Review #90 with a theme the Baby Jesus would love -- everything from religious aspects of carnival to king cakes -- arranging his favorite law blog posts this week according to the colors of carnival:
purple (representing justice), green (representing faith), and gold (representing power — and of course, gold). Justice, power, and gold should dovetail nicely with lawyers' blog writings, I thought. (Faith I'll work in somehow.) So that's the theme, folks: purple, green, and gold; or justice, faith, and power.
The prescient Dan Hull anticipated a wonderful Blawg Review this week, calling Minor Wisdom by the Big Easy's Ray Ward, "my personal all-time favorite blog by a human," adding:
What a start to 2007! The mysterious Mr. Ed. and Ray Ward back to back: like James Brown at the Apollo followed by Wilson Pickett--or maybe Dr. John the Night Tripper--the next week. We start 2007 on the good foot and the gris gris.
If you're new to Blawg Review, check out what Ray Ward has put together this week and come back here every Monday to see where the blog carnival has moved on to. It's not always a carnival theme, but it's always a good time.

Photo credit: Thomas Downs - Lonely Planet Images

Public Defenders Get Respect

Public Defender Investigator Greg Worthen, who will be hosting our Blawg Review #91 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, announced the winners of The 2006 Public Defenders Blogger Awards, affectionately known as "The Rodneys" after the great Rodney "I don't get no respect" Dangerfield.

Among this year's winners are previous hosts of Blawg Review.

Blonde Justice, who hosted Blawg Review #61, took home the hardware for Best Blog by a Female Public Defender, Best Personality, and Ms Congeniality.

The Imbroglio, who hosted Blawg Review #25 when, as a law student, he was an ambivalent imbroglio, earned awards for Best New Public Defender Blog and Best Design.

Congratulations to all the Public Defenders, who will be up against Prosecutors, too, in next year's Blawg Review Awards.

And a big vote of thanks to Greg Worthen at Public Defender Stuff for taking care of his Public Defenders and making sure we law bloggers remember always to give these lawyers the respect they deserve.

Mummer On Parade

For the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, which marched up Broad Street today as a make-up day on account of rain on New Year's Day, the editor of Blawg Review came out, in a manner of speaking.

Over the past week, questions about the identity of the anonymous editor of Blawg Review have been submitted from around the world in response to this anonymous blogger's challenge.

All of the questions submitted by the participants were answered in private emails, confidentially, but a number of questions were of sufficient general interest to be answered publicly.

  • Is the editor a woman? [No]

  • Is the editor a practicing lawyer? [No]

  • Does the editor have a law degree? [Yes]

  • Is the editor a member of the bar? [Yes]

  • Is the editor over 35 years old? [Yes]

  • Has the editor written a book? [No]

  • Does the editor write for any blog besides Blawg Review? [Yes]

  • Did the editor or his blog ever win a Blawg Review Award? [No]
While several law bloggers welcomed the opportunity to have a few of their most puzzling questions about the identity of the anonymous editor of Blawg Review answered personally, others were not inclined to seek to have his veil of anonymity lifted, and refrained from asking any questions. I appreciate the participation of everyone who asked questions, and the forbearance of those who just waited to see what might be disclosed today.

Hopefully, all curiosities were sufficiently satisfied and everyone was entertained by our special New Year's presentation of Blawg Review, The Mummer's Veil. If you missed it, check out Blawg Review #89.

And if you want to see more of the Mummers Parade, you can watch Strut! the movie on DVD, or preview online video clips here.

The 2007 Bloggies

It's an honor just to be nominated.

Time once again to get out your blogrolls. The Weblog Awards are a non-profit project created in 2001 to award the best blogs. All the Bloggie winners are chosen by the public.

Here's how it works:
From now until 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5) on Thursday, January 11, 2007, anyone can nominate their favorite weblogs.
Who are you going to vote for?

Blawg Review might have a shot at "best-kept secret weblog" if you nominate us. ;-)

Grand Rounds Spectacular

If you enjoy the creative presentations of Blawg Review (and who doesn't) you won't want to miss this explosive New Year's edition of Grand Rounds, the blog carnival of medical practitioners and healthcare professionals, at Musings of a Distractible Mind.

Blawg Review #89

Lone Mummer Approaching
David Blackwood
1976 Etching and aquatint
20 X 32 inches
(click on the image for more information)

The origin of the Christmas tradition of 'Mummering' can be traced back to celebrations of the Twelve Days of Christmas in the Middle Ages, and these traditions were probably derived from much earlier Druidic rituals surrounding the winter solstice. Mummering began on the night of Boxing Day and continued until January 6. Groups of mummers would wander from village to village at night, playing the fool and calling on a house with a measured, ceremonial knock and the invocation "Any mummers allowed in?" The mummers would be admitted to the kitchen and questioned to guess their identity. Once their true identity was guessed they were required to throwback the veil or mask and expose or 'unveil'. They would then be offered a drink or their 'Christmas' a plate of cakes and a glass of cordial. In repayment the mummers were expected to entertain before they headed out for the next house.

Very rarely you would hear reports of a 'Lone Mummer' appearing in a remote community as it was hard to imagine anyone undertaking such a visit alone in the dead of winter. In fact, this kind of sighting was a dreaded event, which stirred ancient and instinctive superstitions against outsiders, the archetype of the 'Stranger'. A lone mummer was so unlikely and threatening that it was always referred to as a 'Spirit' and was a certain sign of impending death in the New Year. Actual encounters with lone mummers did happen once or twice every ten years.
This is one of those years.

In this Blawg Review #89, your dutiful editor appears as the lone mummer, visiting the sites of legal webloggers far and near in the blogosphere between Boxing Day and New Year's Day 2007.

In the tradition of mummering, every blogger visited in Blawg Review #89 will be permitted to ask no more than three questions in a single private email to the editor as to his identity -- each question requiring a simple "yes or no" answer -- but may not ask a direct question as to a name or other pseudonym used by the editor, such as, "Are you so-and-so?" or "Is such-and-such your blog?" Questions and answers must be kept confidential, on oath, by each enquirer and the editor except as follows.

On January 6th, the end of the mummering, the editor of Blawg Review will post an addendum to this Blawg Review #89 discussing some of the more interesting questions and answers publicly for the first time, and disclosing whether his true personal identity has been discovered. If the secret identity of your anonymous editor remains undiscovered after these inquisitions, we shall entertain no more discussion of it this year.

Three Mummers
David Blackwood
2006 Etching and aquatint
6 x 12 inches, 15.2 x 30.5 cm. (image size)
(three plates printed on one sheet)
edition of 75 $ 1,800 unframed
Contact the Gallery to Order
David Blackwood's depictions of the life, the landscape, and the people of Newfoundland have produced, over the past four decades, a body of work which holds a special place in the Canadian imagination. His strangely beautiful images have come to represent to many of us the essence of Newfoundland's landscape and traditional culture. Part personal biography, part cultural document, part mythic narrative, his work forms an ongoing chronicle of the distinctive stories, both epic and personal, which have shaped his life and the life of his native province. He is widely regarded as Canada's most accomplished printmaker.
It would have been perfect to start in Newfoundland, the birthplace of artist David Blackwood and the inspiration for his wonderful art exhibition, The Mummer's Veil, which is the theme of this special issue of Blawg Review, but I can't find any newfie lawyer blogs at So, the lone mummer begins his journey at the Wise Law Blog, because Toronto lawyer Garry Wise vacationed in Newfoundland this summer and that's close enough for me. Garry asks, Has the "War on Christmas" come north? While in Toronto, I stop by and say hello to business lawyer Rob Hyndman, who tells me about Life in a Northern Country. And before leaving the city, I drop in to say Happy Chrismukkah to Law Librarian and Info Diva Connie Crosby, who's all excited about a burgeoning law intranet co-ordinators' interest group in Toronto that met for the first time last month. Any mummers allowed in?

On to Schenectady, I find my old friend David Giacalone still writing haiku and thinking about family at Christmastime, and putting his Harvard Law Degree to good use every day, serving the public interest at SHLEP: the Self-Help Law ExPress. We talk seriously about Search Engine Privacy Strategies, and share a few laughs about search engine queries that send Inadvertent Searchees to his weblog.

Bob Ambrogi takes note of a special blog post in which Sherry Fowler writes about her yellow underpants and what she's learned from writing her blog.

Prettier Than Napoleon in Washington, D.C., Amber Taylor responds to her heckler by explaining how he also could get into Harvard.

David Lat at Above the Law reports on the case of Steinbuch v. Cutler: The Blogospheric Trial of the Century. Well, actually, he's just phoning it in over the holidays.

Huffington Post contributing editor Melissa Lafsky discusses sex, bloggers, privacy, and lawsuits on Eat the Press.

Seth at QuizLaw tells the story of a lawyer facing disciplinary proceedings, who's trying to stay positive and move on with his legal career.

TechnoLawyer Blog presents I'm Billing Time, a music video by the Bar & Grill Singers, a group of lawyers in Austin, Texas who create and sing parodies to raise money for public interest legal services.

Peter Lattman at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog writes an article headlined Clients Demand Diversity at Law Firms that sparks a debate among readers in the blog comments. Carolyn Elefant at's Legal Blog Watch follows up with a Diversity Roundup.

While in New York City, I stop by Mad Kane's for some New Year's resolutions humor, in the form of a spousal contract, by "recovering lawyer" Madeleine Begun Kane. Bruce MacEwen, discusses "Wealth" and "Conscience" at Adam Smith, Esq., paying homage to his site's intellectual godfather. Ted Frank at Overlawyered reports on a case where a homeowner is being sued over the death of a 19 year old who died moshing at a New Year's Eve party -- moshing, not noshing. New York Personal Injury Attorney Eric Turkewitz finds it troubling that a New York Judge Rejects Pseudonyms In Sex Assault Case. Monica Bay, at The Common Scold, reviews An Inconvenient Truth. Marty Schwimmer, at The Trademark Blog, is thinking about Marilyn Monroe and Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima, and the likelihood of confusion.

In New Jersey, Ron Coleman of Likelihood of Confusion asks, "What business does the FTC have regulating bloggers and deciding what they should and should not disclose?" Kevin Heller suggests I go to Philadelphia with him...

We catch up with Howard Bashman on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and, together, we track down Professor James Maule at Villanova. Jim suggests we drop in on a former student of his, Jen Burke, at Transcending Gender, who insists we all go downtown to watch the Mummers Parade. "Drag is not an option," says Jen, who puts on a mask and helps the guys get dressed up like mummers, too.

At the parade, we bump into Professor Peter Spiro from Temple, who says that one sign that the blogging phenomenon may have peaked is the number of abandoned blogs one comes across these days — blogs that are still up, but on which nothing's been posted for months.

The Philadelphia Mummers Parade is a beloved tradition that traces its roots to before the city was founded. It is the oldest folk parade in America. The parade is held New Years Day (weather permitting) and it's a day long event.
The first official Mummers Parade was on January 1, 1901. Prior to that, local lore holds that many traditions — the dressing ("mumming") from England, Sweden and other countries — came on New Year's Day when at midnight, the citizens shot off guns to welcome the new year, a dangerous tradition that the law frowns upon. The next day, residents usually went door-to-door shouting out the following rhyme:

Here we stand at your door,
As we did the year before.
Give us whiskey, give us gin,
Open the door and let us in!
Or give us something nice and hot
Like a steaming hot bowl of pepper pot!*

*(A Philadelphia soup)

The parade is related to the Mummers Play tradition from the UK.
In the UK, it's also traditional for the Queen to announce so-called New Year's "honours," including knighthoods, dameships, OBEs — membership in the "Order of the British Empire" (yes, it's still called that for the honor, but nowhere else). This year, as you may have seen, Bono (of U2) received a knighthood. Without trying to be regal about it, here's expat David Maister's honors list for 2007, acknowledging the contributions of everyone who participated on his blog during the past year. I know the lawyers on this list appreciate the link love.

I decide to catch a flight across the pond -- like Phil Collins did for Live Aid -- to make appearances in Philadelphia and Wembley on the same day...

Arriving in London, I bump into Hugh MacLeod in a bar, who shows me one of his cartoons that would make a good business card for a lawyer. Heh. I'd love to sit in a pub reading gapingvoid cartoons all day, but time is money and I want to stop at Corporate Blawg UK while in London, and I'd like to spend some time with Justin Patten at Human Law, as well. Justin's surprised to see me, and asks if I'd like to see some examples of corporate blogging policies. I show him Hugh's business card for lawyers. Justin says if I'm in England looking for lawyers with a sense of humour, I should pop in on Charon QC, or Jeremy Phillips at IPKat. Season's Greetings, says Jeremy, showing me an inspirational picture from, which reminds us to look after homeless cats this winter. Which reminds me, I have to grab a flight back to the States to catch up with Dan Hull on his Renaissance Weekend and get his favorite links to more law blogs from around the world.

In South Carolina, David Swanner asks, "What Audience is Your Blog Addressing?"

On JD2B we pick up a story about Duke University law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, who earlier this year spurned an offer to take over as dean of UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Law, and has emerged as a candidate for the same job where he works now. Duke officials are tightlipped about the search process.

In Lexington, Kentucky, Duke alum Ben Cowgill says, "Here's how it's done Mr. Nifong."

I finally arrive in St. Louis, the hub of the blawgosphere. Matt Homann is hosting a get-together of some sort, which makes it convenient to meetup with several of the leading law bloggers from around here. When I show up unexpectedly, they're all apparently relieved to see that none of them is really the anonymous editor of Blawg Review. The hot topic of discussion is Matt Homann's 15 Lawyer Tips: A Mini Manifesto. George Lenard has a couple or three posts he wants to discuss about employers using Facebook for background checking. Evan Schaeffer extends Holiday Greetings and asks me to mention the latest Weekly Law School Roundup. That's so like Evan, to be always thinking of others. Dennis Kennedy wants to know why there's no category for Best Legal Technology Blog in the recent Blawg Review Awards 2006.

From St. Louis, you can get almost anywhere in two clicks. I go next to see Ernie the Attorney in New Orleans and pick up a discussion he had recently with his readers about provocative blog posts -- sometimes they offend. While in Nawlins, I check in with Raymond Ward, who's hosting Blawg Review #90 next at Minor Wisdom. Ray says Jerry Ford was his favorite Republican president. We digress, and take a look at some of the more interesting posts on law blogs this week that reflect on the life and death of President Gerald R. Ford.
Ann Althouse offers some personal reminiscences about Ford and his presidency, including the Chevy Chase parodies, the "Whip Inflation Now" buttons, and her decision not to vote for Carter because he was "a small man".

Roger Alford remembers Ford as an internationalist who was instrumental in producing the Helsinki Accords.

Dan Filler thinks the instant obituaries published immediately after Ford's death were creepy.

Ian Ayres talks about Ford's noncommittal response to a confirmation hearing question about a possible Nixon pardon.

Gordon Smith takes a look back at some of Ford's sporting accomplishments.

Lyle Denniston looks at Ford's impact on the Supreme Court -- as a president rather than as a litigant like his predecessor.

Michael Dorf discusses Gerald Ford's Greatest Legacy: John Paul Stevens.

J. Craig Williams writes, "There will be many tributes to Gerald Ford, and ones by people more important than me, to be sure. Let me add a personal note, however, to honor the people's President."
Continuing on my journey, I stop by Douglas Sorocco's firm in Oklahoma and find a spiffy, shinier PHOSITA. Doug mentions he's on a panel at the 2007 Corporate Patent Congress Conference later this month.

Jeralyn Merritt is blogging up a storm in Denver. She's blogging the Saddam Hussein hanging at TalkLeft. Greg Worthen at Public Defender Stuff complains that the recent Blawg Review Awards 2006 didn't have a category for Best Public Defender Blog, and remedies the oversight announcing The 2006 Public Defender Blogger Awards. Stephanie West Allen at idealawg finds out what lawyers appreciate.

Deep in the heart of Texas, Tom Mighell, continues to feature the Blawg of the Day at Inter-Alia. Tom Kirkendall, at Houston's Clear Thinkers, shares the story of one of Houston's greatest surgeons, a patient of the surgery he created. Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast says the legislature should prioritize mental health spending that relieves local jails. And The Mommy Blawg reports that a female inmate in a Dallas jail recently gave birth in the jailhouse elevator. The Mommy Blawger takes me to DFW just in time for my next flight...

Touching down in Australia, I stop first at SOX First, where Leon Gettler asks, "Is SOX unconstitutional?" Peter Black, at Freedom to Differ, has collected his Best Posts of 2006 for us, as part of his end of year wrap-up. While in Brisbane, I pop in on David Jacobson, who asks, "Are You the Person of the Year? And how does that affect your business?" Jacobson recommends the upcoming Australian Blogging Conference that Peter Black is hosting at QUT. Sounds interesting, but I have a flight to catch...

Landing in California, I first stop to see Colin Samuels, who picked up the award for Blawg Review of the Year 2006 to put on his mantel with last year's award. We catch up with George M. Wallace at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, and he fills us in on the latest litigation involving the Beach Boys, and what's new at Declarations and Exclusions. Craig Williams and another biker lawyer says, "Happy Holidays to Everyone!" Denise Howell is found issue-spotting at Lawgarithms. Eugene Volokh, Ilya Somin, and Stephen Bainbridge discuss whether a historical association with racial discrimination has forever tainted the concept of federalism. Professor Bainbridge also wants to talk about The SEC's Proposed Section 404 Guidance while driving, and offers to take me to my next destination in his pimped-out Porsche. We head North on the Pacific Coast Highway...

Kevin O'Keefe, on Bainbridge Island, says blog created communities offer opportunities for lawyers, and recommends we all get together with Bill Marler -- for lunch.

I decide to take a run across the border to Vancouver and surprise a few Canadian law bloggers. Steve Matthews at Vancouver Law Librarian Blog introduces his picks for the first ever Canada Law Blog Awards. With all these great Canadian blawgs, I wonder why only one Canadian law blogger has hosted Blawg Review, so far. Apparently, I just missed him, too. UBC Law student Ryan Austin of Lawyerlike, is at home with his family in Calgary for the holidays. Before leaving Vancouver, I poke my head into the Canadian Trademark Blog, which reminds us to pay attention to domain name registration renewals.

Steve Nipper is surprised that anybody would show up unexpectedly in Boise. But he seems genuinely happy to have some company, and we chat for hours about Google Patent Search and Legal Mojo over Courthouse Burgers and Lawyer Fries at the world-famous Crescent "No Lawyers" Bar and Grill.

J. Matthew Buchanan at Promote the Progress is thinking about how the next Congress might deal with patent reform, as he readies himself for The American Conference Institute's Corporate Patent Congress 2007 later this month, where he's on a panel with other notable patentistas.

Cincinnati-based Stephen Albainy-Jenei, at Patent Baristas, asks, "Could the FDA Put the Squeeze on Off-Label Revenues?" Professor Doug Berman ranks the top ten sentencing stories from 2006.

In Chicago, Professor Becker and Judge Posner discuss drunk driving.

I stop in Michigan to congratulate Denise Brogan on graduating with a JD after going back to university as a non-traditional law student. We discuss Life, Law, and Gender, and the challenges of new beginnings. Denise is surprised that I haven't forgotten our email conversation in April '05 -- even before Blawg Review #1 was posted -- when she was personally invited to host Blawg Review. Maybe in 2007, Denise?

Finally, I traverse Michigan to visit The Greatest American Lawyer and get his perspective on the year ahead.

Hosting Blawg Review gives me an opportunity to connect with many friends and colleagues in the community of law bloggers, sharing with everyone these thoughts On Friendship and a New Year, and mummering encourages me to disclose some details about myself.

Great Mummer Unveiled
David Blackwood
2002 Etching and aquatint
12 X 18 inches
(click on the image for more information)