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									INSIDE LEGAL BLOGS AND CHAT BOARDS                                                                                                    1. 800. 973.1177

                             Inside Legal Blogs
                             [By Jeff]
                             Lawyers constitute 1% of the U.S. population. Still, lawyers comprise more than 6% of bloggers. About 57% of attorneys
                             polled by the ABA read at least one blog a day. Roughly 19% of those polled are working on their own blogs. These dispa-
                             rate figures lead us to believe that our work, providing updated law blog commentary, is more important than ever. We’re
                             self-aggrandizing like that. So join us for another installment of our law blog rodeo roundup.

Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay are         grandma who was swindled by her former                 this issue. I subscribe to the old adage that
soon to be the smartest guys in minimum-             attorney out of house and home. He took on a           a man who represents himself has a fool for
security prison. Maybe the verdict isn’t all         powerful four-attorney team and won a $4.7-            a client. Also applicable is the lesser-known
that shocking. Las Vegas oddsmakers had a            million verdict. It’s nice to see the little guy win   adage that a surgeon who operates on himself
guilty verdict listed as even money. Professor       once in a while, though I do have sympathy for         is going to make a big mess.
Bainbridge has devoted his law blog to               the evil attorney who stole the old lady’s house.
analyzing the verdict. He notes that, like           He was going to use it to store all of his old         It’s been a few months since the celebrity
Martha Stewart, Lay and Skilling got in trouble      neckties that he doesn’t wear any more.                blogger known as Anonymous Lawyer was
not for breaking the law, but for lying about                                                               unmasked. He’s now turned his blog into a
breaking the law. The Wall Street Journal Law        A debate has been going on over at Point of            novel, Anonymous Lawyer: The Novel. His
Blog says Lay’s real downfall was acting like        Law over whether or not it’s necessary to              blog is pretty funny. If that’s any indication,
such a jerk on the witness stand. Perhaps if he      license attorneys. The argument began on               the novel could be good despite the rather
had taken a little responsibility for the collapse   Ideoblog. The New York Times reported on an            obvious title. According to people who read
of Enron, they might have cut him some slack.        Ohio man who sued the school board over the            the manuscript, the whole thing is in blog
The Sentencing Law and Policy Blog claims            education of his autistic son. He represented          form with no narrative. This could be the big
that Lay and Skilling could face life sentences.     himself and won a $60,000 verdict. The                trend for law bloggers, turning their modest
That seems harsh to me, as most of the people        Cleveland Bar Association wanted a piece               Internet notoriety into lucrative book deals.
they ripped off were already poor! That’s like       of the action and sued for $0,000. Though             So the successful lawyers who abandoned the
stealing from a nursing home. It’s a victimless      the bar association dropped the case, the              practice of law to become bitter bloggers can
crime.                                               story sparked a post on Ideoblog that begged           now become successful and bitter novelists.
                                                     the question “If laypersons can represent
                                                                                                            From the “How Dumb Can You Be?” files,
Big ups to Daniel Solove, purported to be the        themselves in court and win, why bother having
first blogger to publish a blog post as a law        licensed attorneys at all?” The gang at Point of
                                                                                                            Think Progress has a story that confounds
                                                                                                            the senses. Tom DeLay’s legal defense fund
review article. Earlier this month, Solove, of       Law took umbrage, arguing that the process
                                                                                                            send out a mass email praising Comedy
PrawfsBlawg, penned a piece about how the            of properly licensing attorneys preserves the
                                                                                                            Central satirist Steven Colbert, whose faux-
Multistate Bar Exam is the most widely read          court system, prevents legal malpractice,
                                                                                                            conservative television character praised Tom
piece of legal writing. The humorous piece was       and ensures moral character and technical
                                                                                                            DeLay and bashed a new film that purports
then published in the Michigan Law Review,           proficiency. Ideoblog countered that the cost
                                                                                                            to expose DeLay’s corruption. Perhaps the
which, according to the Volokh Conspiracy’s          of getting an attorney through law school and
                                                                                                            DeLay camp missed the White House Press
Orrin Kerr effectively answers “Can law blogs        the bar exam is what drives the price of legal
                                                                                                            Correspondents Dinner, where Colbert
be scholarly?” with a resounding maybe.              assistance through the roof. A Wall Street
                                                                                                            lambasted Bush to his face. At any rate, it’s
                                                     Journal poll on the same topic found a majority
                                                                                                            good to see that DeLay has allies on his side,
From our Heart Cockle-Warming Department,            of respondents feel lawyers must be licensed.
                                                                                                            even if they are slightly fictional.
we have a nice little tale that comes to us          Though the State of New Hampshire has made
from Carolyn Elefant at MyShingle. The story         it possible to practice law without passing the
                                                                                                            Next week, we’re blogging live from war-torn
is about a solo practitioner who defended a          bar exam, I’m with the Point of Law crowd on
                                                                                                            Sudan. Don’t forget to check in for updates!


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