The Blawg Review is a weekly review of the best law-related posts from a variety of blogs. We've had the pleasure of hosting the Blawg Review twice before (Blawg Review #103 and Blawg Review #140) and we're thrilled to be hosting Blawg Review #167.
Since this edition of the Blawg Review immediately follows the Independence Day weekend ("America's Birthday," according to my three-year old daughter), we thought it would be appropriate to follow a patriotic theme. Finding no more worthy or patriotic symbol than the flag of the United States of America, we decided to use this post to recognize "50 Stars of the Blawgosphere," one important or influential legal blog or blogger from each of the 50 states represented as five-pointed stars on the Flag. Here they are, one for each star/state, in the order in which their state ratified the United States Constitution or was admitted to the Union:
Delaware (December 7, 1787): Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog
The Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog provides commentary on business litigation opinions from Delaware's Chancery and Supreme Courts including this rejection of fiduciary claims on the basis of an exculpation clause.
Pennsylvania (December 12, 1787): Drug and Device Law
Most recently, Drug and Device Law (authored by Philadelphia attorney James M. Beck and Chicago attorney Mark Herrmann) presented a collection of all of the cases addressing whether patients who allege no physical injuries may bring products liability claims against the manufacturers of drugs or medical devices.
New Jersey (December 18, 1787): Legal History Blog
Georgia (January 2, 1788): The Word on Employment with John Phillips
The Word of Employment with John Phillips is published by . . . you guessed it . . . John Phillips, a partner in a law firm with offices in Georgia and Tennessee. Recently, he looked at "Bearing Arms in the Workplace."
Connecticut (January 9, 1788): Connecticut Employment Law Blog
The Connecticut Employment Law Blog addresses new developments in employment law. Recently, the blog analyzed a Second Circuit decision on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Massachusetts (February 6, 1788): Useful Arts
Written by Dave Wieneke, of Massachusetts-based Thomson Compumark, Useful Arts discusses "how trademark, copyright, privacy, and politics shape the Web." Most recently, Mr. Wieneke describes how Google has been ordered to turn over data detailing every video watched by YouTube users, with their login names and IP addresses.
Maryland (April 28, 1788): Overlawyered
Okay, bear with us here: One of the contributors to Overlawyered is an Orioles fan. The Orioles play in Baltimore, Maryland. That's enough to qualify Overlawyered for the Maryland star. (The standards were going to be a lot stricter before I actually tried to find at least one great blog or blogger from each state while ignoring many of the great blogs published from large states like New York and California.) Overlawyered is one of our favorites; it recently noted a great moment in the history of personal responsibility: a man sued a lawn mower manufacturer which did everything but actually address him by name.
South Carolina (May 23, 1788): South Carolina Appellate Law Blog
The next president of the United States could appoint 100 judges, notes the South Carolina Appellate Blog. The blog follows opinions from the South Carolina appellate courts, the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
New Hampshire (June 21, 1788): New Hampshire Family Law Blog
One of the best family law blogs around (in our opinion) the New Hampshire Family Law Blog recently informed readers about how a court evaluates parental rights and responsibilities in the context of divorce.
Virginia (June 25, 1788): Dedon on Estate Planning.
John Dedon is a trust and estates attorney who is a recognized expert in highly specialized and complex estate planning solutions (e.g., private foundations and cryogenic preservation planning). His blog, Dedon on Estate Planning, focuses on Virginia estate planning topics and is written to be accessible to attorneys and laymen alike. The blog is updated every Monday; the most recent post deals with appointing and removing trustees for irrevocable life insurance trusts.
New York (July 26, 1788): Likelihood of Confusion
North Carolina (November 21, 1789): Law Practice Matters
Rhode Island (May 29, 1790): Rhode Island Law Journal
Jon Pincince recently decided to suspend blogging at Rhode Island Law Journal as he runs for elected office. By the way, Rhode Island is a really small state - only 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. As a result, perhaps, I'm aware of only two Rhode Island legal blogs (the other one is here).
Vermont (March 4, 1791): Renewable Energy Law Blog
With gas prices continuing to rise, everyone should be subscribed to the Renewable Energy Law Blog, which provides news and commentary on the law, science, and policy of renewable energy development. It's published by a Vermont law firm but hasn't been updated since December . . . they're probably really busy nowadays given the aforementioned gas prices.
Kentucky (June 1, 1792): Kentucky Law Review
Kentucky Law Review provides mostly legal news and some analysis of Kentucky cases. The most recent post discusses the jury deadlock in the trial of two attorneys charged with diet-drug settlement fraud.
Tennessee (June 1, 1796): Tennessee Business Litigation Law Blog
The Tennessee Business Litigation Law Blog discusses a variety of business litigation matters. Recent posts include "Ombudsman Helps Businesses With Conflicts" and "Are Pro Se Litigants Afforded an Unfair Advantage in Commercial Litigation?"
Ohio (March 1, 1803): Patent Baristas
The founder and editor-in-chief of Patent Baristas is an Ohio attorney. His blog is well known for its discussion of patent law and litigation issues, including a recent interview with USPTO Director John LeGuyader.
Louisiana (April 30, 1812): Ernie the Attorney
Indiana (December 11, 1816): Advance Indiana
Mississippi (December 10, 1817): CAFA Law Blog
Published from Mississippi (trust us), the CAFA Law Blog bills itself as "the leading online resource for information, case analysis, and insights regarding the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, better known as 'CAFA.' " It's an informative blog have but we might have picked it anyway, just because it has great post titles (in particular, "FREE SAMPLES OF DRUGS!!!" and "Defendant Tries To 'Choose Its Own Adventure' and Remove Under CAFA, But Is Sent Back Down To State Court Anyway.")
Illinois (December 3, 1818): InternetCases
One of our personal favorites, Evan Brown's InternetCases, provides timely analysis of recent cases from the perspective of a practicing attorney. In the last week alone, Mr. Brown has posted analysis of a website copyright infringement case decided by the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, a cyber-stalking decision from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and a case applying the Rule Against Perpetuities to a software distribution agreement.
Alabama (December 14, 1819): Alabama Appellate Watch
Just another quality law firm blog, Alabama Appellate Watch is devoted to civil appellate issues like the Alabama Supreme Court's recent holding that a taxpayer did not have standing to bring suit challenging where the proceeds of the State's judgment against Exxon in the gas royalty dispute would be placed.
Maine (March 15, 1820): Al Nye the Lawyer Guy
Missouri (August 10, 1821): Patently-O
Patently-O's primary author, Dennis Crouch, is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Missouri Law School. The blog's most recent post is a piece by Michael Martin entitled "Reigniting the Engine of Growth with the Sparkplug of Invention."
Arkansas (June 15, 1836): Arkansas Business Litigation Blog
The Arkansas Business Litigation Blog provides analysis of Arkansas business litigation decisions and recently commented on the Arkansas Court of Appeals' decision affirming the dismissal of a breach of contract claim on the basis of a forum selection clause, even though the defendant asserted a counterclaim.
Michigan (January 26, 1837): Credit Slips
Florida (March 3, 1845): The Legal Satyricon
Published by Florida-based law professor Marc J. Randazza, The Legal Satyricon recently posted its approval of a challenge to an Ohio obscenity law which could make some adult shop employees "Tier I" sex offenders.
Texas (December 29, 1845): Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer
I'm fairly certain that Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer originates from Texas. As the name also indicates, it discusses a variety of criminal law subjects including, most recently, the concept of deferred adjudication.
Iowa (May 29, 1848): Iowa Law Blog
Thankfully, the Iowa Law Blog qualifies for the Iowa Star without any of the strained logic which characterizes some of our qualifications. (This Blawg Review would have been much easier to write if there were simply 50 great blogs entitled "Delaware Law Blog," "Pennsylvania Law Blog," and so on.) Recently, Marc Landa discussed how an Iowa law concerning smoking in vehicles will have some far-reaching impact on company cars.
Wisconsin (May 29, 1848): Eric Goldman
Yes, we know that Professor Goldman now teaches in (and presumably blogs from) California but his previous gig as an Assistant Professor at Marquette qualifies him for the Wisconsin Star. His Technology and Marketing Law Blog is a must-read for technology attorneys and provides case analysis from the academic perspective. Most recently, Professor Goldman addressed two recent search engine advertising decisions.
California (September 9, 1850): Eugene Volokh
Recognition by a single name is an indicator of true stardom (e.g. Madonna, Beckham, Snoop) reserved for very few legal bloggers. Volokh is one of those few. The Volokh Conspiracy, which he founded and co-authors, gets for than 20,000 unique visitors each day. And, he has his own page on Wikipedia. (His most recent post on the Volokh Conspiracy is here.)
Minnesota (May 11, 1858): Within the Scope
Oregon (February 14, 1859): The National Arbitration Forum Blog
Mark Fellows, one of the contributors to the National Arbitration Forum Blog, received his undergraduate degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Under the stringent standards applied to this list (see Maryland and Wisconsin, above), that fact alone qualified the blog for the Oregon Star. Most recently, the blog addressed the concern that Americans (except for the extremely wealthy) are increasingly denied access to the courts.
Kansas (January 29, 1861): What the Judge Ate for Breakfast
West Virginia (June 20, 1863): Brian Peterson's West Virginia Legal Weblog
Nevada (October 31, 1864): Law of the Game
Law of the Game involves "video games, gambling, and other legal discussions." The reference to gambling makes us think of Las Vegas - the only city in America with a tourism campaign based wholly on encouraging people to travel to engage in activities they would want their friends and family to hear about - so Law of the Game qualifies for the Nevada Star. Check out their guide to video game regulation.
Nebraska (March 1, 1867): HuskerBlawgs
Colorado (August 1, 1876): Colorado Social Security Disability Law
The Colorado Social Security Disability Law blog promises to provide "social security solutions." A recent post gave away some secrets of the Social Security consultative examination.
North Dakota (November 2, 1889): Say Anything
Say Anything bills itself as "North Dakota's Most Popular Political Blog." This weekend, it showed us how some paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne celebrated Independence Day.
South Dakota (November 2, 1889): S.D. Watch
Montana (November 8, 1889): Fight 'Em 'Til We Can't
Fight 'Em 'Til We Can't focuses on criminal law issues from the defense perspective. The most recent post, from April, asks if it is "a conflict of interest for the Regional Deputy Public Defender in a region to be the son of one of the few District Court judges in that region."
Washington (November 11, 1889): Spam Notes
Idaho (July 3, 1890): Legal Ethics Forum
One of the contributors to Legal Ethics Forum is a professor at the University of Idaho School of Law. The blog recently addressed the Second Circuit's decision upholding sanctions against New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb.
Wyoming (July 10, 1890): Law Library Letter
Utah (January 4, 1896): Construction & Collection Lawyer
Oklahoma (November 16, 1907): Oklahoma Family Law Blog
New Mexico (January 6, 1912): New Mexico Bankruptcy Law Blog
The title should be self-explanatory. Last month, the blog mentioned ten things you should think about before using your credit card.
Arizona (December 14, 1912): Arizona DUI Defense Blog
The Arizona DUI Defense Blog addresses legal issues attendant to defending persons charged with driving under the influence. A few days ago, the blog discussed the penalties associated with a DUI conviction.
Alaska (January 3, 1959): David Lat
David Lat publishes the single most addictive legal blog on the Web, Above the Law (see "One Sign That Gas Prices Are Out of Control"). He has his own Wikipedia page and said one of the funniest things we've ever heard at a DC Bar event. But, you may say, David works in DC, how is he connected to Alaska? Simple: Lat once clerked for a judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit has jurisdiction over appeals from federal courts in . . . yup, you guessed it . . . Alaska.
Hawaii (August 21, 1959): Supreme Court of Hawai'i Blog
Unfortunately, there are a number of great blogs and bloggers that are not directly associated with a U.S. state (try as we might). Here they are:
Dan Hull, of the District of Columbia, notes that in a down economy, winning cheaply is as much a part of "victory" to clients as the win itself.
The folks at Law21 are Canadian but be sure to read Jordan Furlong's discussion of six skills required of attorneys.
There you go, the 50+ Stars of the Blawgosphere for 2008. Let us know what you thought of our list. Maybe if folks like the concept, Blawg Review will let us do it again next year.
Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.
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