ABA introduces inaugural Blawg 100 Hall of Fame

List includes law blogs from the serious to the silly

By Steve Thorpe
Legal News

Blogs have quickly morphed from being a quirky, offbeat - and seldom seen - form of communication in the legal field to a regular part of the reading day for many law professionals.
From amusing satire to serious, laser-focused looks at a narrow portion of the field, many blogs now have an influence that could be dreamed of a decade ago.

Recognizing this evolution, the ABA Journal now calls out what it considers to be the “cream of the crop” in its annual “Blawg 100” feature.

The publication now has a directory of more than 3500 law blogs and the editor says that pruning that number down to the 100 best has become tougher each of the six years the publication has done it.

“Some of them have become such permanent, even required, fixtures in our everyday reading that we're introducing the ABA Journal Blawg 100 Hall of Fame to recognize those blogs and bloggers that have set the standards for this vast, vibrant network for legal news and commentary,” Journal Editor and Publisher Alan Pusey said in a statement announcing the choices.

Some of this year's honorees:

• Law and the Multiverse (lawandthemultiverse.com) answers some of the most important questions in the law, like “Does the Second Amendment cover Wolverine's claws?” and “Is Homer Simpson's contract with the Devil valid?” Attorneys James Dailey and Ryan Davidson created the blog and write it, although they caution, if you're one of the fictional characters they're writing about, what they offer is strictly commentary, not legal advice.

• The Koncise Drafter (koncision.com/category/blog) is invaluable for any attorney who works on contracts, with the Devil or any other CEO.  Blogger Ken Adams is a black belt on the contract process. He also offers e-mail updates and an RSS feed.

• Lowering the Bar (loweringthebar.net) is a valuable source of the weird and wonderful of the legal world. In addition to near daily posts, author Kevin Underhill also has many departments, including “Comical Case Names.” A recent one: Robin Hood, et al. v. US Gov. Banking Industry, et al., No. 3:12-cv-1542-EDL (N.D. Cal. filed Mar. 27, 2012). Also, don't miss the Attorney Ad Gallery.

• The Volokh Conspiracy (volokh.com) is one of the pioneers of law blogging. With a conservative, libertarian slant, the blog has a cast of regulars who offer their opinions on issues of the day.

• SCOTUSblog (scotusblog.com) has attained the rare status for a blog of being virtually indispensible for those interested in the Supreme Court and constitutional issues. In existence now for a gnarly (by blog standards) 10 years, it's one of the few blogs that can boast of 5 million hits in one day, in this case when the high court ruled on the health care case earlier this year.

The ABA Journal also now honors what it considers to be the top tweeters in a list of their own called The Blawg 100 Twitter list.

What They’re Writing

From Law and the Multiverse
No, really. We’re going to talk about Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the worst movies ever made, with a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the title (“Hands: The Hands of Fate”) is terrible. The movie isn’t just bad, it’s downright incompetent. It might not even be possible to make a movie this bad anymore; two guys with an iPhone would have infinitely better production values.
Anyway, believe it nor not, there is a very, very important legal issue to be discussed here. A legitimate one, one which has been the subject of some of the most significant U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the last fifty years. Remember the two teenagers making out in the convertible that kept getting busted by the movie’s Barney Fife equivalent? They represent a perfect opportunity to discuss loitering and its enforcement. There aren’t any spoilers here to speak of — it’s not like it’s possible to spoil this movie anyway — so here we go.

From Lowering the Bar

In an embarrassing repeat of its mistake from last year, and also the year before that, the ABA Journal has again picked Lowering the Bar as one of its top 100 legal blogs. I still suspect this is largely due to the rampant paint-huffing that goes on over there pretty much 24/7, at least according to TMZ, but on the off-chance the editors were lucid at the time they did this I would like to say thank you very much.

From Above the Law
You know what they say, you never see it coming.
There is a bizarre story developing on the streets of New York. A law student walked out of a hotel in broad daylight in midtown Manhattan and was murdered by a silent assassin who then, coldly, got into a getaway car that politely stopped at a red light overlooking the body.
I’m going to go on and assume that this homicide didn’t happen because of outstanding law school debts. Or maybe that’s just what I want to believe…

From Simple Justice
The United States House of Representatives voted 398 to 1, with 36 congressmen unable to find their way to the chamber, to eliminate a word.  The single nay vote came not from disagreement in substance, but focus.
The lone “no” vote was cast by Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, who said in a statement that “not only should we not eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy, we should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington.”
Yes, the word "lunatic" has been stricken from the laws of the United States of America, the Senate having approved the measure last May. No longer is anyone in America a federal lunatic. Your state may vary.

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