Blawg Review

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

The Carnival of Law Bloggers

Blawg Review is the blog carnival for everyone interested in law. A peer-reviewed blog carnival, the host of each Blawg Review decides which of the submissions and recommended posts are suitable for inclusion in the presentation. And the host is encouraged to source another dozen or so interesting posts to fit with any special theme of that issue of Blawg Review. The host's personal selections usually include several that reflect the character and subject interests of the host blawg, recognizing that the regular readership of the blog should find some of the usual content, and new readers of the blog via Blawg Review ought to get some sense of the unique perspective and subject specialties of the host. Thanks to all the law bloggers who collaborate to make Blawg Review one of the very best blog carnivals of any genre.

Colin Samuels, Blawg Review Sherpa Emeritus, describes it best. "Where once we were isolated legal students, practitioners, and academics who could share our thoughts only with those in proximity, blogging and social media have turned us all into a kind of "other memory" for one another. The knowledge, experience, and insight we are able to access here, within our ever-expanding networks of colleagues and friends, colleagues-of-colleagues, friends-of-friends, is nothing short of amazing. By participating, we are able to give and receive and grow beyond ourselves while allowing others to grow as well. Thanks to our tools, these memories need not fade or become inaccessible, but we should always keep in mind that tools do not create — we do."

In Memoriam: A Final Blawg Review

In January 2007, I received an e-mail message from Ed., the mysterious and pseudonymous editor of Blawg Review. By that point, I'd hosted a couple of Blawg Reviews and become a "sherpa", assisting Ed. and the guest hosts to source material for each Monday's post. Over the lengthy time that I'd been corresponding with him, however, I'd never received a message like this one:
Subject: Living Will for Blawg Review - Open in Case of Emergency ;-)
I was honored that he'd entrusted me with the keys to a project which he had nurtured so carefully for so long. I was amused that I felt such a sense of responsibility for a task given me by a man whose name I didn't know. When a couple years or so later I retired as a sherpa (true to form, Ed. never accepted that resignation, preferring to call it my "Sherpa Sabbatical"), he wrote, "Colin Samuels, Sherpa Emeritus, will always be a key player in Blawg Review (he's got the login and password keys) so he remains, officially, the editor in waiting should I kick the bucket. Truth be told, Colin is more afraid of that eventuality than I am." I most certainly was.

Though Blawg Review reached an unofficial ending of sorts more than a year ago, word of Ed.'s passing spread quickly last week amongst the many who'd written Blawg Reviews for him, who'd spoken with him at one of the many meet-ups and conferences he attended, who'd corresponded with him over the years, or who simply appreciated the tremendous contribution he'd made to our corner of the internet.

Shortly after hearing that sad news, Mark Bennett proposed a final edition of Blawg Review in Ed.'s memory; Scott Greenfield, Antonin Pribetić, Brian Tannebaum, Ken White, Eric Turkewitz, George Wallace, Gideon, Ron Coleman, and Mike Semple-Piggot joined his effort. Today, each of us will pay tribute to a man who played a central role in establishing the legal blogosphere. Starting with Greenfield's post, each chapter will link to the next, before returning to this post and closing the loop one last time.

It's our privilege to honor Ed., a man who gave the legal blogosphere a distinct voice, even though he never did tell us his name.

Colin Samuels
Blawg Review Sherpa Emeritus

The Civil Rights Act, 1964

Blawg Review #324 at the law blog of Texas attorney Paul Kennedy, The Defense Rests, marks this day in 1964 when Lyndon Baines Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ending segregation in the United States, a signature piece of his administration's Great Society legislation.

From today's Blawg Review:
While many remember him for the disastrous campaign in Vietnam (that eventually drove him from office), LBJ's most lasting legacy was the Great Society. During his time in the White House, LBJ ushered in Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, Head Start and federal funding for education.
Ironic that just last week the US Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act which will provide insurance to those just above the poverty line through the expansion of Medicaid. There are critics of the new law who argue that the solution to the problem is to remove the words "over 65" from the legislation authorizing Medicare.
Check out all the links to various law blog posts from the past week that Paul Kennedy has included in this week's Blawg Review #324.

 And have a Happy Independence Day, celebrating the fourth, with Paul Kennedy and the Defenders of Liberty. Not to be confused with the band "The Great Society".

Blawg Review, Jubilee Special

From his duck blind on the banks of the Thames, Charon QC watched as Her Majesty's barge and a flotilla of a thousand lesser vessels paraded before an adoring public out in the rain to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's first sixty years.

Quite coincidentally with the Royal Jubilee celebrations, perhaps having something to do with the Olympics, our friend Charon QC launched a hundred links to British law blogs this past week in an unprecedented show of patriotism--UK Blawg Review #10 in four impressive blog posts!

  1. UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 1
  2. UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 2
  3. UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 3
  4. UK Blawg Review #10 – Part 4

Charon QC is a master of the Blawg Review, this carnival of law blogs, having hosted a half-dozen or so previous presentations each of which is worth your attention and review. This is Blawg Review, elevated to an art form.

His latest, Blawg Review #292, was recognized with the award for Blawg Review of the Year 2011, an honour long overdue.

We're not sure what recognition Charon QC might receive from Her Majesty for his contributions to law blogging with this UK Blawg Review #10, not to mention his daily blog posts that keep the world informed and entertained with insights into English law and British politics, but I wouldn't be surprised if someday this Dean of the British Blawgosphere were to be named Lord Charon.

Blawg Review returns next week with its regular programming. 

* image courtesy of Banksy

Skull & Bones #322

Blawg Review #322, inspired by Skull & Bones, is hosted by the imaginative Kevin A. Thompson at Cyberlaw Central. Everyone knows about Kevin's blog; fewer know much at all about the secret society known as Skull & Bones. So, first, a little backgrounder.

Kevin Thompson is well-established in the blawgsphere, having hosted Blawg Review six times previously. His first go at it was an inspriational #42, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Blawgosphere. His next, #93, was illuminating, indeed. Kevin's third, #144, continued a numerical theme based on the number of guests at Bilbo Baggins's birthday party. Kevin was recognized with the award for Blawg Review of the Year 2009 for his tribute to Douglas Adams on Towel Day. Blawg Review #256 was an epic presentation based on Frank Herbert's Dune. And last year, with #295, Kevin got his geek on to mark the 27th anniversary of the first sale of an Apple Macintosh.

It's no secret that Kevin is one of the best ever to host Blawg Review, and we're honored that he's back again this year with his seventh presentation, Blawg Review #322, the Skull & Bones edition!

Blawg Review on Facebook!

If you know all about Dave! (that's Dave with an exclamation point) you know that he's been Simpsonized. He's a bona fide comic character!

Dave! had aleady hosted four unique presentations of Blawg Review, a clever chart format showing his programming skills, a back-to-school special while he was a law student, a bar exam nail-biter when he knew the feeling, and a flashback to the early days of the worldwide web. Crazzzzy! Whenever we see an opportunity for a Blawg Review that would be enhanced by his mad geek skillz, we turn to Dave!

Today, being the 28th birthday of Facebook co-founder and major shareholder Mark Zuckerberg, we asked Gulbransen if he could do a creative presentation for Blawg Review #321. I wasn't worried that he'd come up with something special, even when I hadn't heard from him throughout the week. I knew Dave! likes to be left alone while he's working on Blawg Review. I figured Dave! was hard at it on Saturday night...but then I spotted him cruising up Yonge Street with the family. Bwaahaha!

More Than A Woman

Girlfriends of the Court, Melissa and Kate, on Amicae Curiae present this week's Blawg Review #320 to mark the 600th birthday of Joan of Arc and the anniversary of the Seige of Orleans. Opening for the ladies in Australia are the incomparable Bee Gees!

Canajun, eh?

On this day, the bicentennial of statehood for Louisiana, one might wonder why not enlist a Cajun blogger to host Blawg Review #319. Instead, we've got this Canajun trial warrior to remind us that this day historically marks the Louisiana Purchase. How so? As most Americans know, the Louisiana Purchase encompassed all or parts of fifteen current states and small parts of what is now two provinces--few Canadians are aware of that!

But what about the French and the British? Napoleon Bonaparte, upon completion of the agreement stated, "This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have given England a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride."

Blawg Review #319 at The Trial Warrior Blog, by Antonin Pribetic this week, includes copious factoids and anecdotes of this day in history--including one to his Croatian roots--who knew? All of which provides an entertaining and informative backdrop for some of the best legal blog posts of recent days, curated by one of the best of the blawgosphere. It's a longish Blawg Review, so take your time to enjoy the narrative and the links.

In the end, this Blawg Review, the second by our friend Nino, brings to mind the famous words of French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal who wrote, "Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte," which is Cajun for, "I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter."

Make It Count

Dan Hull @Whataboutparis, inspired by Shakespeare, inadvertently channels Hunter S. Thompson in this week's Blawg Review #318.
My name is Dan Hull. I practice law to (1) make money, (2) ensure that every day will be different than the one before, (3) to use everything I have practicing law so I can feel alive, (4) to serve sophisticated purchasers of legal services who "get it"--corporate clients with in-house counsel normally represented by much larger firms--and to put them first, and (5) treat my law practice and firm and as not just a shop but also as a laboratory for new ideas. "Immersion" is what I seek in life and work. So that my life is full, and full of surprise. For me, this is exactly what William Shakespeare (or whoever authored the works bearing his name) and Hunter Thompson had in common. It is the gift, and courage, to get us to fully participate in the story along with its creator.
Buy the ticket. Take the ride. ~Hunter S. Thompson

Letter from Birmingham Jail

Mark Bennett hosts Blawg Review #317 on his blog, Defending People, to commemorate this date in 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail. That letter is reproduced in full in this week's Blawg Review, as Bennett says, it's worth it. In our view so are the many links to current law blog posts selected for this thoughtful presentation. The times have changed but the issues remain the same. What's going on?

Arranging Deck Chairs

As I toured the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this weekend on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, along with many others I wondered what it must have been like for those passengers and what I'd have done that night.

I love to travel, you know, so it's not inconceivable to me to have been on the Titanic. I do enjoy cruises. I'm not wealthy by any means, so I'd not have been on the upper deck with the rich and famous. I might have found myself among the middle class travelers, having somehow cleverly negotiated an upgrade from my steerage class ticket. I most certainly would not have had one of those exclusive deck chairs with my name on it!

As it's my nature to help others before myself, I probably would have assisted some to board the few available lifeboats--women and children first, old man. Then I would have seized the opportunity to enjoy what little time left on this fabulous adventure that is life and grabbed myself one of those comfortable deck chairs reserved for the most well-to-do of the first class passengers who had paid extra to go in style.

Reports of my demise might appear on the blogs a hundred years later, where it would be noted that I had last been seen arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, as the band played on.