Overlawyered was founded on July 1, 1999. You can read the first posts here.
One thing I like about running Overlawyered is that its readers regularly know more than I do. After I posted the other day about how West Hollywood, Calif. Mayor Lindsey Horvath said she was ordering city employees not to grant rally permits to Donald Trump because he’s such a terrible candidate — yes, really — reader Chris Bray pointed out that the mayor’s office in West Hollywood is a largely ceremonial position rotating among town councilors and has no authority to order city employees to do anything. That makes it sound as if the mayor might be a blowhard as well as someone who cannot be trusted near the First Amendment, two qualities she would have in common with Trump himself.
My tell-all interview at Fault Lines gets into why I don’t hate lawyers (really), my various books, my views on Cato and other think tanks, law and economics, the lack of any real reckoning for the Great Tobacco Robbery, why law schools might actually serve as a counterweight to campus pressure for ideological uniformity, my writing outside law, and much, much more. I’m interviewed by Scott Greenfield, well known to our readers for his criminal law blogging; Fault Lines is a recently launched criminal justice website that’s part of Lee Pacchia’s Mimesis Law.
There have been many flattering reactions already, scroll down from the interview to this comment from Margaret Little which made me particularly happy:
Overlawyered made an enormous contribution to understanding where lawyers were taking the legal system over the past several decades and it continues to fill a vacuum in the discourse about law. For too long that discourse was plaintiffs vs. defense lawyers, with both sides vulnerable to attack for self-interest. Worse, the defense bar, which has an economic interest in the expansion of liability, is often silent or even complicit in the game. While Overlawyered’s postings were made with much-appreciated wit and style, the sheer comprehensiveness of the empirical data, and the mind-boggling attention to detail in its analysis makes it a gold mine for research and a landmark accomplishment. Well done! Don’t quit!
More of people’s reading is being done on Facebook these days, yet Overlawyered has only a few thousand followers there. So please go like us now if you haven’t and recommend us to friends. Our Facebook page tends to share several items a week, mostly about interesting cases, a mix of our own posts and stories published elsewhere (versions of which usually turn up in this space in roundups or otherwise, but why not see them first there?)
The best way to see more Overlawyered on Facebook, and to spread the word, is to directly share our blog posts yourself, whether or not our Facebook page has done so. If you “tag” Overlawyered when you post something, we’ll see that you’ve done this and maybe even send you some Facebook readers.
While we’re at it, I’ll urge you to like my personal Facebook author page, which will get more of my writings to show up on your timeline, most though not all of them on legal subjects. I also have an active personal FB page, mostly aimed at persons with whom I have in-person or professional connections (but all are welcome to “follow”).
Finally, if you’re on Twitter, follow Overlawyered there (as well as @walterolson) if you still haven’t. The Cato Institute, with which both I and Overlawyered am associated, has a gigantic Twitter and Facebook presence with multiple sub-accounts specializing in topics like educational freedom, trade, activities on campus, the journal Cato Unbound, and so forth.
(Update: 4:30 p.m. Monday EDT: commenting is working again.)
Due to a technical issue that came up today Overlawyered is at present unable to post new comments on posts. Comments are still being accepted in the moderation queue, but will not appear on the site until we can get the technical issue resolved.
We hope to have this fixed before long.
Searches that have brought visitors to Overlawyered.com over the past week: “spanking for insurance fraud” “i feel guilty as i got a item free as cashier did not scan it in” “what good is a low flow toilet that’s not high performance?” and “having trouble with cant believe its not butter melting.”
[Originally posted Feb. 25 and carried forward to Mar. 3] I’m slowing down the pace at Overlawyered while I attend to some personal matters. (Update: I’m recovering from surgery, which went well.) Comments moderation should now be back close to normal, but posting itself will remain at a lower volume through maybe the middle of March, depending on circumstances, as I rest and recuperate.
We’ve overhauled our design (thanks, Jeremy Kolassa and colleagues at Cato) to a cleaner and more up-to-date look that loads faster, works better on small devices like tablets and phones, and is more social-media-friendly. Tell us what you think in comments or email editor – at – overlawyered – dot – com. We’re still tinkering and implementing details, so your suggestions can make a difference.
If you’re active on Facebook, don’t forget to like Overlawyered’s page there and consider liking my professional page, which has links to new things I’ve written, appearances, etc. I also have a personal page.
Prof. Stephen Bainbridge, writing at his site the evening before last:
I had a slip and fall at a restaurant tonight after Christmas Eve dinner. (No. It’s not what you’re thinking. I had only had two beers. It was dark and the step was hard to see.) The manager freaked and then double freaked when I mentioned I was a lawyer. My first thought was “payday!” Mega-settlement baby.
But my second thought was that it was just a scraped knee and injured pride. And then my third thought was about all those nasty things I’ve said about trial lawyers over the years. And then my fourth thought was that I’d end up as a story on Walter Olson’s Overlawyered blog! And my final thought was I’d never be able to hold my head up around my tort reform pals again!
So I’m just going to put some ice on it and forget about it.