Honored that two of mine, The Litigation Explosion and The Rule of Lawyers, are among seven that author Charles Murray (most recently of By the People) has recommended if you’d like to understand the state of the U.S. legal system [Benjamin Weingarten, The Blaze] I can recommend all the other books on the list as well, including the four by well-known author Philip K. Howard, often mentioned in this space, and The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law, edited by George Mason lawprof F.H. Buckley, a recent and underappreciated gem. Its contributors include Stephen Bainbridge, Todd Zywicki, Richard Epstein, George Priest and many well-known legal academics.
Thanks to Theodore Kettle for naming Overlawyered as number 14 of his list of 50, and Cato at Liberty, where my work appears regularly, as number 25.
- Police have traced the crime wave to a single micro-neighborhood in the California capital [Sacramento Bee]
- “Adam Carolla Settles with the Patent Trolls” [Daniel Nazer/EFF, Reason, related eight days earlier and previously] eBay takes on Landmark in the E.D. of Texas [Popehat]
- Frank Furedi on law and the decline in childrens’ freedom to roam [U.K. Independent]
- On “ban the box” laws re: asking about job applicants’ criminal records, it’s sued if you do, sued if you don’t [Coyote]
- Fake law firm websites in U.K. sometimes parasitize the real ones [Martha Neil, ABA Journal]
- What C. Steven Bradford of the blog Business Law Prof reads to keep up (and thanks for including us on list);
- As applications to renounce U.S. citizenship mount, many related to FATCA, our government hikes fee for doing so by 422% [Robert Wood, Forbes]
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.
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.
- 7th Circuit cites Rumpelstiltskin; quashes plaintiff’s bid to turn straw to gold [Legal Ethics Forum]
- “One of the most prolific writers and tweeters in the online legal world. A must read.” Thanks Jim D. [Abnormal Use, and his suggestion about ABA best-blawg nominations is worth heeding]
- “… as if compliance departments actually are associated with law-abiding behavior…” [Ira Stoll]
- Sex extortion lawyer Mary Roberts won’t have to pay restitution [MySanAntonio, background]
- Guess who’s the big new lobby fighting marijuana legalization? Medical-pot providers [Politico]
- “Woman awarded $775,000 after tripping on speed bump at a Vegas casino” [Calgary Herald]
- Some thoughts on “libertarian populism” [Jesse Walker, Josh Barro/Tim Carney]
- An Instalanche from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, and Prof. Bainbridge remembers the phrase “takes the Boeing;” R.S. McCain on blogging communities and linkiness; Coyote (“Congrats… The Overlawyered blog is one of the blogs I read every day, and is one of the grand old blogs of the Internet”); Joe Patrice/Above the Law; Chris Fountain/For What It’s Worth (“If you haven’t used it to keep track of the inanities of our modern society of flawed men and laws, here’s a good opportunity.”); Think Tank Watch.
- From Twitter: Tunku Varadarajan (“I love — and recommend — ‘Overlawyered'”), Alan Gura (“so the lawyers have gone over all the details and finalized the documents?”), Sohrab Ahmari (“sharpest critic of our litigious culture… must-read”), Popehat (“indispensable”), David Boaz, Danny Alvarez, Sr. (“REALLY? Congrats. You better keep that flippant attitude now that you are part of ‘The Man!'”), Jack Robling (“I’d love to meet the lawyer who lawyered @overlawyered and @CatoInstitute’s marriage”); occasional guestblogger Ron Coleman (“So, hey, am I now retroactively a prestigious ‘Cato blogger’?”), Kurt Loder, Andrew Stuttaford, John Carney (“Surprised it took this long”), Massimiliano Trovato (“must read for anyone interested in law and liberty”), Jeremy Kolassa (“must [follow] if you want to know how litigation is screwed up in this country”), Scott Greenfield (“indie blogs bite the dust. Congrats to Wally, but I hate to see it go ‘corporate'” — and exchange with Popehat), Tom Kirkendall, Susan Cartier Liebel, Business Roundtable, Bob Lucas Jr., and many others.
- At Facebook, various reactions including from longtime reader Doug Iverson: “I’d just like to say that I think Overlawyered was better before Walter turned it over to Cato to market. I think it’s hyped more.” My response, in part: “Ian, my colleague at Cato, now writes the regular Facebook links, which are the chief reason visits to the site via Facebook are up tremendously in recent weeks. If Doug writes to Cato to say that Overlawyered’s Facebook presence has become a flagrant puffery scheme designed to lure readers into giving the website a try, I think they will give Ian a raise.”
- If you missed it, Friday’s announcement.
- Tel Aviv: “City Workers Paint Handicap Space Around Car, Then Tow It” [Lowering the Bar]
- Editorial writer has some generous comments about my work on excessive litigation. Thanks! [Investors Business Daily]
- Nuisance payment: Toyota will throw $29 million at state attorneys general who chased bogus sudden acceleration theory [Amanda Bronstad, NLJ]
- “Iowa Woman Who Didn’t Break Allergy Pill Limit Law Charged with Crime Anyway” [Shackford]
- Cutting outlays on the nonexistent census, and other bogus D.C. spending cuts: in the business world, they’d call it fraud [Coyote, Boaz] Skepticism please on the supposed national crumbling-infrastructure crisis [Jack Shafer]
- Tassel therapy: “Lawsuit Claims Dancing in a Topless Bar “Improves the Self Esteem” of the Stripper” [KEGL]
- Was there ever an economics textbook to beat Alchian and Allen? R.I.P. extraordinary economist Armen Alchian, whose microeconomics introductory course for grad students I was fortunate to take long ago [Cafe Hayek, David Henderson, more, more, more, Bainbridge]
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.