Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JANUARY 2011
Alive and Well:
More Proof That Law Blogs are Thriving
By Robert J. Ambrogi

Two months ago in the November 2010 LegalOnline column, I wrote about a number of newly launched blogs that demonstrated that blogging is alive and well within the legal profession. Rarely have I had such a response to a column.

Some applauded me, some criticized me. Of those who criticized me, they fell into two camps. In one camp were those who were unhappy with the blogs I chose to highlight. In the other were those who were unhappy with the blogs I overlooked.

Nothing I can do now will fully ameliorate either set of concerns. However, what I can do is offer additional evidence to bolster my argument. To that end, I present round two of my review of recently launched blogs.

My selections are listed in alphabetical order. If you don’t like what you see here, then keep those cards and letters coming. Sooner or later, I’ll get around to round three.

American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, http://blog.aaepa.com. The AAEPA is an organization devoted to the practice of estate planning law. Its blog, launched earlier this year, covers court decisions, legislative developments and news stories related to estate planning. Various members of the AAEPA staff contribute to the blog, including its two co-founders, Robert Armstrong and Sanford M. Fisch.

Entertainment & Media Law Signal, www.entertainmentmedialawsignal.com. From the Canadian firm Heenan Blakie, this blog provides information and observations on the newest developments in entertainment and media law. Two members of the firm’s entertainment law group, Bob Tarantino and Paul Chodirker, serve as its editors and several others are contributors. “Though we’re Canadian,” Tarantino writes in an e-mail, “we think U.S. readers might find it of interest as well.” No doubt they will, as the blog covers a wide range of entertainment law issues.

Entertainment Law Matters, www.entertainmentlawmatters.com. From the New York City firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, this group-authored blog focuses on disputes and litigation in the film, television, publishing, theater, music, art, gaming and fashion industries. The blog promises summaries and analysis of “some of the hottest entertainment industry law battles,” all written in plain English. Key areas of focus are copyright, trademark, right of publicity and advertising law.

IP In Brief, www.ipinbrief.com. Launched last April, this blog focuses on changes and developments in copyright and trademark law. It is written by Andrew Berger, an IP partner with Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt in New York City. His goal in launching the blog is to “engage all who create, distribute, publish or exploit intellectual property or who litigate IP issues.” In an e-mail, he told me that he prefers to write longer posts that go deeply into the subject. Berger is co-chair of the copyright subcommittee of the IP Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the ABA. He teaches trial practice at Hofstra Law School.

IP Litigation Update, www.iplitigationupdate.com. This is the sixth blog launched by the firm Perkins Coie. With posts contributed by several of the firm’s IP litigation attorneys, it provides summaries and analysis of copyright and trademark cases, with a particular focus is on how new developments apply to technology companies. Each post about a case includes a “Lesson Learned” that distills the case’s broader lesson.

Law Marketing Monitor, www.lawmarketingmonitor.com. The two principals of AttorneySync, a Web marketing firm for lawyers, write this blog. It covers Internet marketing, search engine optimization and broader topics relating to legal technology.

LawWebMarketing.com, www.lawwebmarketing.com. This blog is published by ConsultWebs, a legal marketing and Web design company. It offers news and insights on legal marketing, social media, search engine optimization, pay-per-click and display advertising, video and more. ConsultWebs founder Dale Tincher tells me that readers should expect at least three substantive posts each week, along with news and announcements.

Law Without Borders, http://lawwithoutborders.typepad.com/legaloutsourcing. Don’t let this blog’s title confuse it with organizations such as Lawyers Without Borders or Doctors Without Borders. The focus of this blog is not humanitarian, but utilitarian. Its subtitle tells more: “Adventures in Legal Outsourcing to India and Beyond.” The blog is written by Russell Smith, a lawyer who operates both a law firm in New York, Smith Dehn, and a legal-outsourcing company in India, SDD Global Solutions. The focus of his blog, as with his businesses, is on how outsourcing can “revolutionize the way that legal services are performed and delivered, in the West and beyond.”

Legal As She Is Spoke, http://lasisblog.com. In 1884, two Portuguese men who could not speak a word of English wrote a guide to conversational English, English as She is Spoke. The result was so hilariously absurd that Mark Twain said of it, “Its immortality is secure.” This blog, a project of the Program in Law and Journalism at New York Law School, takes its title from that 19th century classic. Its focus is legal journalism and “the accuracy and felicity of reporting on law.” Given the choice of title, we must assume that the authors believe that law does not always survive the translation to journalism.

Legal Malpractice Decisions, http://legalmalpracticeillinois.blogspot.com. Chicago lawyer Edward X. Clinton Jr., writes this blog in which he covers legal malpractice decisions. His focus is on cases out of Illinois, but he covers cases from other jurisdictions as well and comments on significant ethical issues and cases discussing the attorney-client communication privilege.

LexTekReport, http://lextekreport.com. Reporting on legal technology, this blog is a companion to Chicago Lawyer, a magazine published by Law Bulletin Publishing Co. It covers various topics related to legal technology and social media.

OneWorld, http://blog.internationalpractice.org. This blog is part of a larger international practice mini-site launched recently by the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Written by partner Louis M. Solomon, the blog covers judicial and regulatory decisions as well as topics and trends in international litigation, international dispute resolution, and international investigations, regulatory compliance and enforcement. The broader site of which this blog is part includes an e-book that covers international practice in depth.

Our Family Business at Odds, http://blog.tbhr-law.com/family-business-at-odds. In September, as the spectacle of the Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce played out in a Los Angeles courtroom, the Boston law firm Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers launched this blog, focused on the legal issues that arise when family-owned businesses suffer internal meltdowns. Written by various lawyers at the firm, the blog describes itself as “dedicated to the unique issues of helping family members in family businesses avoid, mediate and litigate (if you must) family business disputes.”

Social Media Law Blog, www.blogspot.com. As the name suggests, this blog covers legal issues related to social media. The author, Dan Goldman, is a lawyer for a large Midwestern academic medical center that is active in its use of social media. Goldman’s practice includes advising the center on all issues related to social media, brand advertising and marketing. You can expect him to cover those topics and more at his blog.

The Justice Brennan Blog, http://justicebrennan.com/blog. In October, two decades after Justice William J. Brennan Jr. retired from the Supreme Court, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published a new biography, Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion, written by journalists Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel. As a companion to the book, Stern and Wermiel launched this blog about Justice Brennan. In an introductory post to the blog, Stern wrote that they hope to use the blog to highlight the ways the late justice remains relevant today. Stern is a legal affairs reporter at Congressional Quarterly. Wermiel is a former Supreme Court reporter for the Wall Street Journal who now teaches constitutional law at American University.

In my November 2010 column, I cited SCOTUSblog, www. scotusblog.com, as the gold standard of what a legal blog can be. I would be remiss if I closed this column without noting that, since then, SCOTUSblog unveiled a complete overhaul. Its new format strays from the reverse-chronological array typical of blogs to better highlight featured posts and different kinds of information. Be sure to check it out.

Robert Ambrogi, who practices law in Rockport, Mass., is the former editor of
National Law Journal and Lawyers Weekly USA. He is internationally known for his writing about the Internet and technology. He is the author of three blogs, which can be read at www.legaline.com.

© 2011 Robert Ambrogi

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