Details here. The “Hall of Fame” began last year with 10 inductees and this year the ABA Blawg 100 competition is inducting 10 more, with us in the batch. Its description:
Whether or not you’re sympathetic to tort reform and the idea that the government overregulates, Overlawyered is a little hair-raising and eye-opening. Its stated mission is to bring to light abuses of the legal system that raise costs and inhibit justice. Acquired this year by the Cato Institute, the blog is the project of Walter Olson, a senior Cato fellow. Having celebrated its 15th anniversary in July, Overlawyered says it may be the oldest legal blog: “At least, no one seems to be able to name one that’s older.”
So far as anyone we know has been able to tell us, Overlawyered, launched in July 1999, is the longest running blog about law. From time to time the question arises whether it was the very first law blog, a question discussed at Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites (and in turn noted in an Editor’s Note at the above ABA link). It was certainly not the first regularly updated law site; there were plenty of those in 1999, such as Mark Astarita’s seclaw.com which dates back to 1995 (!). In a 2003 post Greg Siskind writes that his visalaw.com was first to adopt a blog format, citing a 1998 post (visible at Wayback Machine here) that provided regular updates on H-1B legislation over the course of a month, with older updates scrolling down the page, and which drew wide traffic. For reasons I advance at LawSites, I think a lot depends on one’s definition of what a blog is, and that’s probably not a subject we’ll all agree on soon.
Also, Overlawyered has been included in the ABA’s 7th Annual Blawg 100 this year, as often in the past. To vote for your favorites by category, click here. They’ve put us in the “Torts” category.
I’m honored to announce that I’ll be giving a talk in the Frank G. Raichle Lecture Series, part of the pre-law program at Canisius College in western New York. Details here in a press release from the college. Previous speakers in this lecture series include an extraordinary list of legal notables including Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Ginsburg, and White, among many others such as Alex Kozinski, Harry Edwards, John Langbein, and Randall Kennedy.
Earlier on the same day (October 30) I’ll be addressing the Buffalo Lawyers’ Chapter of the Federalist Society.
Columnist Gordon Crovitz notes that when “Borking” entered the language as a synonym for ferocious, factually dubious assaults on a nominee, “there was no Internet to correct the record — no legal blogs such as today’s SCOTUSblog, Above the Law, Volokh Conspiracy and Overlawyered.”
Bloggers who don’t link to others’ opinions miss out on half the potential of the medium, as Eric Turkewitz (New York Personal Injury Law Blog) learned to his advantage.
The ABA’s beauty contest/collection of notable law blogs is in its sixth year and once again we’ve been nominated, in the “Torts” category.
The News/Analysis category has the really tough competition, including Ken White at Popehat, Above the Law, and Volokh Conspiracy. Also, in other categories: Stephen Bainbridge’s Prof. Bainbridge, Scott Greenfield’s Simple Justice, Paul Caron’s TaxProf, Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites, and many others. And they’ve cited Jim Dedman’s excellent Abnormal Use blog, but I’m not supposed to mention that because it’s competing with Overlawyered.
Molly McDonough, Sarah Randag, and Lee Rawles of the ABA Journal describe all the various entrants, with links, here. There’s also a new Hall of Fame of perennial nominees and a Twitter list.
To vote for (or for that matter against) Overlawyered, you’ll need to register: do that here.
Overlawyered turns 13 today, launched July 1, 1999. You can read our first fifteen days’ worth of posts at this page.
P.S.: “It’s a blog-mitzvah!” (Ira Stoll).
And a sampling of other reactions via Twitter: “First in time and, to this day, in merit.” [Andrew Grossman] “In internet years, 13 makes you ancient. Cheers!” [@libbyspencer] “Heaven help me, I remember that, approximately.” [G.S. Taylor] “A voice of reason in an often twisted civil justice system.” [Marc Williams] “You are the Methuselah of the internet.” [@scottgreenfield] “I remember reading the site when I was a law student in 2000.” [Jim Dedman] “Do you realize your blog’s now a teenager? Time to start locking up the liquor…” [@petewarden] “Happy blogiversary! Your book, The Litigation Explosion, was one of the most import that I, then a young lawyer, ever read.” [@bookwormroom] “#haiku? @overlawyered blog/ Started thirteen years ago/ More profound than me.” [@SupremeHaiku] “Congrats @walterolson on your blogiversary! even a progressive like me reads it regularly! ?#imafan” [Monique Hall] “Started reading not long after; never stopped. Here’s to the next 13 years!” [@Hal_RTFLC] “Happy (belated) 13th birthday to @walterolson’s indispensable legal blog” [@damonroot], Jim Dedman (“we here at Abnormal Use were early readers”).
Plus: some generous comments from Dan Pero at American Courthouse, Kevin Underhill/@loweringthebar, Bob Dorigo Jones (“It’s long held the first spot on my list of Must Read blogs.”).
I’m pleased to announce that Overlawyered has been named by the American Bar Association as one of its “Blawg 100″ noteworthy legal blogs. It’s not our first appearance on the list, but it’s always gratifying when it happens.
And here’s the good part: you can vote for us. In particular, you can go to this page:
You’ll need to register (which only takes a few moments) and then vote for your favorite in each of a list of categories. (They put Overlawyered in the “Torts” category.)
The nominations include many of our favorite and most-linked blogs, including Lowering the Bar, Prof. Bainbridge, Volokh, Jon Hyman, Daniel Schwartz, Abnormal Use, Eric Turkewitz, and Russell Jackson, to name a few. A number of these are also in the “Torts” category which means you’ll need to resist the urge to vote for them and select Overlawyered instead. Please take a moment to vote now. Thanks in advance for your support!
“Overlawyered” is the name of a widely read blog on America’s legal system….
Thus begins an article in the new issue of The Economist, the London-based newsmagazine, discussing First Thing We Do, Let’s Deregulate All the Lawyers, a new book by Clifford Winston and Robert Crandall (Brookings) and Vikram Maheshri (University of Houston) on barriers to entry in the legal profession. Check it out here.