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“Facebook and Twitter have landed several Britons in court and even jail recently. Critics decry the trend as a worrisome overreaction.” [L.A. Times]

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Details here on how you can follow along.

“Choc ice”

by Walter Olson on July 19, 2012

In Britain, which has hate-speech laws, police investigate a racially derogatory Tweet. [Telegraph]

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My Atlantic piece touched off a lot of discussion, much of it quite constructive, of where law reviews fall short and how best to fix or replace them. Unless you’ve caught up with it already, you’ll want to check out Friday’s post rounding up more than a dozen reactions (and updated a couple of times over the weekend to include more content). On Monday, along with new reactions at legal blogs, the piece took off on Twitter as well.

Joe Hodnicki, Law Librarian Blog:

… eventually, reader expectations will push the long-form law article into the 21st century of e-publishing.

In the process one can only hope that law journals and enhanced regularly updated serial law eBooks will also eliminate the print era version of date-stamping by ceasing publication of “issues” for journals and, for serial eBooks, scheduled “supplements” or “editions.” As soon as the text has completed the editorial process, just e-publish the damn thing immediately.

Old publishing habits die hard, but it is time to create new ones by eliminating print era legacies.

Mark Giangrande, also of Law Librarian Blog, by email, following up on our previous excerpt:

One thing not in my Law Librarian Blog post was a quick check on Westlaw to see what quantity of law review cites appeared in Supreme Court opinions in the last term. A quick count showed at least 56. What surprised me was some of the citations went back to the 1960s. I’ve often criticized law reviews for publishing philosophical pieces that tend to show faculty writing to impress their friends and win promotions, little of which contribute to the bench and bar (per CJ Roberts’ point). The Court still uses them, but generally those which actually discuss the law as the law.

The full list of 56 last-term SCOTUS law review cites, of which the most satisfying is probably “Note, Regulation of Comic Books, 68 Harv. L. Rev. 489, 490 (1955),” is too long to be included here, but those interested can drop him a line.

Adam Kusovitsky and colleagues, Pace International Law Review:

Havighurst is correct to point out that law reviews are published in order that they may be written, but that fact should not rouse a sneer or scoff. …Law reviews provide thousands of students an apparatus to develop unrivaled editing, writing and researching skills, which ultimately makes them better attorneys and more effective writers in general.

Meanwhile, Vitruvian Design spies similar signs of sclerosis in humanities and classics journals. There’s even a Reddit thread (hipsterparalegal). And the article has gotten no end of pick-up on Twitter, including Lawyerist, Corby Kummer, Boston Bar (“must reading”), Cleveland-Marshall Dean Craig Boise, and Bryan Cave Library, to name a few. And:

And this rather cruel exchange:

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For the real reaction and analysis, you should check with my expert Cato colleagues here and here and (Ilya Shapiro) here. Here are a few additional things I had to say on Twitter, in reverse chronological order (with occasional, but not continuous, updating):

Yet more “cheer up, conservatives” readings, these from @NRO: [Garnett] [Whelan]

Roberts, Kennedy “delivered victory to the right in the one [battle] that mattered” [Scocca via Moller]

James Fallows: Constitution means whatever 19 of 21 con law profs say it means [Bernstein]

RT @davidfrum Randy Barnett’s Win

Why didn’t style-stickler Scalia clean up “majority status” scraps? Daring @David_M_Wagner theory: there wasn’t time

RT @Sam_Schulman look forward to Variorum Edition. RT @jpodhoretz: @Sam_Schulman @walterolson It’s a palimpsest! ?#dissent

Why’d the dissent need to include a big discussion of severability? Another fossil record of former majority-opinion status?

RT @PunditReview Great news, @walterolson will join us Sunday evening at 7:30 on WRKO to discuss the Obamacare ruling. #awesome #mapoli [Update: podcast here]

RT @Popehat Masterful rebuke to a comment troll MT @walterolson Bitch you in MY HOUSE NOW!

Balkinization blog entitled to victory lap for identifying path to today’s ruling;

Hee hee. “Romney website: ‘Mitt will nominate judges in the mold of CJ Roberts’” [@Jamie_Weinstein]

Commenter: Nyaah nyaah, you @overlawyered types say you’re anti-litigation but favored suit vs. ObamaCare. My response;

RT @robinmarty: It’s good that ACA is upheld, since there are some folk at CNN who will need insurance not tied to their employers soon…

“It now falls to Congress…” My colleague Roger Pilon on today’s ruling [Real Clear Politics]

What gets lost in today’s “tax but not a tax” ruling: political accountability [@mfcannon] [Bader]

Here’s a 6/20 prediction from @jtlevy calling it closer than anyone I’ve seen (via Virginia Postrel)

Stop beating on Roberts, he’s living up to “conservative minimalist” billing [Adler] [Ted Frank]

Randy Barnett: Cheer up, both federalism and enumerated powers doctrine did well today [SCOTUSblog]

Roberts avoided confrontation w/prevailing academic gestalt of feds’ Commerce Clause power [@lsolum]

More on “tax power yes, commerce power no” [Epstein] [@ishapiro] [Kerr]

Did Roberts chop down the broccoli stalk, or could it grow back as “tax”? [Somin] [@ProfBainbridge]

Evidence that Scalia’s Obamacare dissent drafted as majority opinion before a Roberts switch [Solum]

Cheer up: at least Roberts chopped down the broccoli stalk & bolstered states against feds [John Steele Gordon]

A tax, yet a non-tax: why court didn’t invoke Anti-Injunction Act to toss challenge [Tejinder Singh, @SCOTUSblog]

RT @TCBurrus Another Justice Roberts is now the new switch in time that saved nine. #SCOTUS #healthcare

RT @JasonKuznicki Americans: Pay this tax or buy a private company’s product. Corporatism at its worst, cheered on by the left. #aca

Roger Pilon: Ruling only a bump in road [@CatoInstitute] Legal battle’s just begun [Adler/Cannon]

RT @CatoInstitute Unhappy with today’s #SCOTUS decision on #ObamaCare? Watch this video on how states can refuse to go along with it

Per Goldstein at SCOTUSBlog, Roberts reasoning on Commerce Clause is super-narrow, won’t help the libertarian side much in future cases.

Exploding-cigar ad hominem argument of the day: RT @MaxKennerly Has John Roberts gone even a minute in his life without health insurance?

The clouded crystal ball: “Why Chief Justice Roberts Won’t Side with the Liberals on Obamacare” [on @NRO yesterday]

@sethmnookin I’m not convinced achievements are as big a motivator as “stop our evil opponents” outrage, which Roberts undercut (for Dems).

Can’t say I’m surprised at ACA. With rare exceptions, the Court behaves as a small-c conservative institution.

Republican outlook for November just got big boost. So maybe Jeff Toobin’s right to claim Roberts looks after GOP interests.

RT @@NYDNHammond Robertscare

RT @Hudsonette: haha RT @delrayser: CONVENE THE DEATH PANELS!

Tom Goldstein of @SCOTUSBlog predicts Court will uphold ACA

Liberals shouldn’t defend FDR’s attacks on the Court” [Megan McArdle]

All indications are Dems planning all out assault on the court if it overturns PPACA” Don’t, says @toddeberly

RT @macrmccoy I love Web 2.0. RT @ABAJournal: Obama Will Learn Fate of Health Care Law Through SCOTUSblog, Media

“Judicial activism!” placards all made up. Now the only question is which side to hand them to come 10 a.m. [Alt]

Randy Barnett thanks those who made the SCOTUS ObamaCare challenge possible [@VolokhC]

RT @santaclaralaw #healthcarereform? Randy Barnett interview with Politico: You can find it here. #sculaw

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Jon Hyman finds the National Labor Relations Board’s policy on social media in the workplace a “bungled mess.” More: Reed Smith.

Prosecution roundup

by Walter Olson on June 8, 2012

  • John Edwards mistrial is umpteenth setback for DoJ white-collarers; FEC’s failure to charge might have been tipoff [BLT] One lawyer on the campaign finance implications of the Edwards prosecution [David Frum]
  • Jeralyn Merritt analysis of Martin/Zimmerman evidence dump indicates once again that Stand Your Ground issue is likely to prove a red herring [TalkLeft, earlier]
  • Letter writer doesn’t care for my recent structuring-forfeiture op-ed [Baltimore Sun] More on civil forfeiture: when cops become robbers [Nita Ghei, Washington Times]
  • Deferred prosecution and NPAs: “The Justice Department may be in the next cubicle” [Jim Copland]
  • Converting tickets into “court costs”: ploy raises funds for courts in Atlanta and elsewhere [Consumerist via Alkon]
  • When lawyers advise innocent clients to plead guilty [John Steele, LEF on Brian Banks case]
  • “Jailtime for twittering on your office PC? The federal courts are split” [Appellate Daily via @andrewmgrossman] “12 steps for overcoming overcriminalization” [TPPF via Vikrant Reddy, Right on Crime]

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I was at this interesting event yesterday and you can follow my live-Tweeting here.

You can do that here (and if you’re on Twitter, follow the site as well as @walterolson)

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Spread the happy news: I’ve finally installed share buttons so that you can “Like” Overlawyered posts on Facebook as well as share them on Twitter and Google Plus. And if you’re a Facebook user, please remember to “Like” the entire page here.

Life without a First Amendment: a student in Swansea, Wales, is jailed for posting racially offensive comments on Twitter while drunk [Nick Cohen, Spectator]

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Murfreesboro: “A former MTSU student accused of stabbing a Lady Raider basketball player to death at Raiders Crossing Apartments in 2011 is suing the complex and its management company for failing to separate the two despite knowing they had problems with one another. … The attorney [Joe Brandon Jr.] included Twitter postings by Stewart as supporting evidence of a negative and deteriorating relationship between the two women.” [The Tennessean]

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Zip that beak

by Walter Olson on February 23, 2012

Twitter has been sued in Australia for defamation, based on a user’s allegedly defamatory tweet [WSJ Law Blog]

February 14 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 14, 2012

  • “Brazil Sues Twitter in Bid to Ban Speed Trap and Roadblock Warnings” [ABA Journal]
  • Obama nominates Michigan trial lawyer Marietta Robinson to vacancy on Consumer Product Safety Commission, ensuring aggressively pro-regulatory majority [Bluey, Heritage]
  • “AMA reports show high cost of malpractice suits” [HCFN] “Average expense to defend against a medical liability claim in 2010 was $47,158″ [American Medical News, more] Survey of 1,200 orthopedic surgeons finds defensive medicine rife, at cost of billions, accounting for 7 percent of all hospital admissions [MedPageToday]
  • “Sue us only in Delaware” bylaws would kill off forum-shopping and what fun is that? [Bainbridge, Reuters]
  • Trial by media: Lefty “SourceWatch” posts, then deletes, docs from Madison County pesticide suit [Madison County Record]
  • Think you’ve beaten FCPA rap? Meet the obscure “Travel Act” [Mike Emmick, Reuters] Federal court expands “honest services fraud” in lobbying case [Paul Enzinna, Point of Law]
  • “On the horrors of getting approval for an ice-cream parlour in San Francisco” [NYT via Doctorow/BoingBoing]

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Islamists are demanding the execution of Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari over tweets, since retracted, that they say are blasphemous toward their religion. Malaysia has detained Kashgari and may extradite him to face the charges; according to reports, the international police organization had put out an order for his arrest at the behest of the Saudi government [Guardian, Nina Shea/NRO, Daily Beast, Reason, Facebook support page, blog, #FreeHamza]

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February 8 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 8, 2012

  • Popular proposal to curb Congressional insider trading (“STOCK Act”) could have disturbing unintended consequences [John Berlau, CEI "Open Market"] A contrary view: Bainbridge.
  • Here’s Joe’s number, he’ll do a good job of suing us: “Some Maryland hospitals recommend lawyers to patients” [Baltimore Sun, Ron Miller]
  • Bribing the states to spend: follies of our fiscal federalism, and other themes from Michael Greve’s new book The Upside-Down Constitution [LLL, more, yet more] “Atlas Croaks, Supreme Court Shrugs” [Greve, Charleston Law Review; related, Ted Frank]
  • “… Daubert Relevancy is the Sentry That Guards Against the Tyranny of Experts” [David Oliver on new First Circuit opinion or scroll to Jan. 23]
  • Goodbye old political tweets, Eric Turkewitz is off to trial;
  • State laws squelch election speech, and political class shrugs (or secretly smiles) [George Will]
  • Too bad Carlyle Group got scared off promising experiment to revamp corporate governance to curb role of litigation [Ted Frank, Gordon Smith] AAJ should try harder to use people’s quotes in context [Bainbridge]

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OnlineCollege.org has compiled this list which prominently includes @overlawyered. Why not join more than 3,500 other Twitter users and follow us today? For even more engagement, follow my personal account @walterolson where you’ll find both law and non-law content, including an advance peek at many stories and links destined to make their way to this site.

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June 2 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 2, 2011

  • “Italian Seismologists Charged With Manslaughter for Not Predicting 2009 Quake” [Fox, earlier]
  • “With context in place, it appears the WHO isn’t saying cell phones are dangerous” [BoingBoing, Atlantic Wire, Orac]
  • Wrongful convictions and how they happen — new book “Convicting the Innocent” by Brandon Garrett [Jeff Rosen, NY Times]
  • SEC to Dodd-Frank whistleblowers: no need to go through company’s internal complaint route [D&O Diary, WSJ Law Blog]
  • “British Press Laws Facing Twitter Challenge” [AW]
  • Despite legislated damages cap, jackpot awards continue in Mississippi [Jackson Clarion-Ledger] More problems with that $322 million Mississippi asbestosis verdict [PoL, earlier]
  • Golf club erects large net to comply with legal demands to prevent escape of errant balls, is promptly sued by neighbors who consider net too ugly [five years ago on Overlawyered]

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