A Thank You To My Legal Blogging Brethren

thank-you.jpgDue to a vacation that I took and assorted demands of my practice, I haven’t blogged much this month. Bereft of ideas after being out-of-contact with the blogosphere over my vacation, I decided to cast about my favorite legal blogs for inspiration. You can imagine my surprise when, upon clicking on my first bookmark – Eric Turkewitz‘s New York Personal Injury Law Blog – the first post I saw was a post about me (in part)!
It was a surreal moment worthy of the movie Inception (which I saw on vacation), a bit like opening your newspaper and the first story you read mentions you.
Eric’s post made me want to reiterate two points. First, I am grateful for the links that my blawg has received, especially from some of the preeminent law blogs like Eric’s and Point of Law and Overlawyered. Eric’s post was about the open-mindedness of Walter Olson in linking to sites (like mine) that are critical of the tort reform movement.
What struck me as remarkable – in addition to Olson’s open-mindedness – is how open people like Eric and Olson and Ted Frank are to blogging newcomers. Olson is the godfather of legal bloggers; his blog Overlawyered is, without dispute, the first legal blog, dating back to 1999. Eric’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog is one of the most-read law blogs in the country. One might imagine that, sitting atop the legal blogosphere, people like Eric and Walter and Ted Frank, might believe in a pecking order based on a system of seniority. However, the sole criterion they seem to rely on in their references to other blogs is whether a post is “linkworthy.” I appreciate that fact.
Secondly, although I’ve sometimes thrown some sharp elbows in the direction of Olson or Ted Frank or their blogs, I do respect a lot of the work they do. Olson has drawn a lot of attention to our broken copyright system. Olson and Cato have also drawn a lot of attention to the problem of “overcriminalization” – the phenomenon of broadly-worded federal criminal statutes that criminalize conduct that no one would suspect is criminal. Frank has done great work in addressing some of the agency problems inherent in consumer class action litigation.
When I agree with Olson or Ted Frank, I rarely blog about it because most often the topic does not fall within the subject matter of this blog – personal injury law. For example, a couple of weeks ago, Ted Frank had some praise for an op-ed about how our tax laws have created an American aristocracy that can transfer wealth from generation to generation. Frank’s sentiments are as American as apple pie and go back as far as de Tocqueville. A couple of months ago, I recall reading with disgust this story about Dan L. Duncan, who may have been the first American billionaire to pass his fortune to his children entirely tax-free.
And when Ted Frank blogs about how all lawyers should be using RECAP so that the public has better access to legal information, I don’t post applauding the idea (even though I am a long-time user and believer in RECAP).
Where I disagree with Olson and Frank is the emphasis they place on tort reform. To my mind, our tort system runs well, and if I were going to set out a program of legal reform it would be focused in fields like intellectual property law, criminal law and immigration law. But I am glad that people on both sides of this debate – whether tort reformer or trial lawyer – are interested in a genuine conversation and not just inhabiting an echo chamber.

This blog is maintained by The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, a Boston personal injury law firm.