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									INSIDE LEGAL BLOGS AND CHAT BOARDS                                                                                              1.800. 973. 1177

                            Inside Legal Blogs
                            [By Jeff]
                            It’s time once again to take a peek at what attorneys are blogging about. This week, we learned less about Samuel Alito
                            than we previously believed possible, deleted the cookies in our cache before the Attorney General could get his hands on
                            them, and held onto our Blackberries for dear life.

As I begin the second installment of my weekly      best to get into the recently completed Alito       Speaking of such, the blogiverse is abuzz with
column, I’m stuck on a question of semantics.       hearings, but the boredom factor weighed too        opinions on the right-to-privacy news stories,
Should I call them blawgs or law blogs? Should      heavily upon me. The great thing about the          namely the NSA wiretaps and the Google
I use them interchangeably, as they mean the        blogosphere is that you no longer need any          subpoena. The history of the Attorney General’s
same thing, like affect and effect? [Editor’s       knowledge of such events to have an opinion         struggle to force Google to surrender its
note: Affect and effect do not mean the same        on them. The bloggers will tell you what to         search engine data is carefully laid out at the
thing.] I’m stymied.                                think. Matt Barr of the New World Man blog          SearchEngineWatch blog. SearchEngineWatch
                                                    noted that the important issue of the role of the   blogger (not 985 Indy 500 winner) Danny
The editor of f/k/a..., Harvard Law School’s        judiciary was mostly eschewed by the Senate.        Sullivan offers an easier solution for the
premier poetry and punditry blog, finds the use     Barr examined the purpose of the judicial           government. He proposes that if the federal
of blawg to be not only improper but downright      branch, determining that the courts uphold          government wants to know how much offensive
offensive. For f/k/a?, blawg is excessively         democracy, but not necessarily justice. The         material pops up in the average Web search,
cutesy, needlessly confusing to non-bloggers,       elected branches, not the courts, pass or vote      the simplest solution would be to actually
and fundamentally unsound from an                   down laws based on rightness or wrongness.          run a Google search themselves. While the
etymological standpoint. They point out that        Perhaps this argument wouldn’t have                 government has subpoenaed this information
we don’t say lawgic or lawnguage, and they are      grabbed as many headlines as the “fraudulent        in defense of the constitutionality of the Child
right. The next thing you know, attorneys will      polemicizing and low-grade political theater”       Online Protection Act, it has not requested any
be finding flaws in each others arguments or        of the Alito hearings.                              specific user data. The Tech Law Prof Blog,
going to a restaurant and ordering cole slaw.                                                           however, raised an interesting problem with
[Editor’s note: People already order cole slaw.]    Todd Zywicki of the Volokh Conspiracy
                                                                                                        this. The data requested from Google, and
The argument spilled over to Blawg Review,          presented the argument that we learned just
                                                                                                        the data already handed over by Yahoo!, may
which supports the use of blawg, presumably         what we were supposed to from the Alito
                                                                                                        contain “personally identifiable information,”
because the official Blawg Review t-shirts had      hearings. While many complain that Alito
                                                                                                        such as cookies. Uh oh.
already been printed and shipped.                   stonewalled Democrats who attempted to gain
                                                    insight into the nominee’s political perspective,
                                                                                                        The NSA’s unwarranted wiretapping activity
I’m still conflicted. Someone pointed out on        Zywicki held that the purpose of the hearings
                                                                                                        has been another hot-button right-to-privacy
the Judged message boards that blawg is the         is only to determine the nominee’s character,
                                                                                                        issue across the Blognited States of Blogerica.
sound one makes when vomiting. From my              independence, and qualifications. Maybe it’s
                                                                                                        David Barron of the LawCulture blog dissected
experience, this is true. Proponents of blawg       not supposed to make for compelling TV.
                                                                                                        the issue. Discouraging Al Gore’s idea to
seem to rely on a “Hey, why not?” defense. The      Someone on the Judged message boards wrote
                                                                                                        appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the
detractors want us to go back to the Stone Age      a little piece contrasting the Supreme Court
                                                                                                        legitimacy of the NSA wiretapping program,
and use the phrase law Web log. I’m a busy          nomination hearings with the Super Bowl. Both
                                                                                                        he supports turning the question over to
man, and I haven’t the time for superfluous         are highly publicized television events, yet the
                                                                                                        the courts. Barron sees danger in treating
syllables. So for now, I’ll compromise with         one that has almost no real effect on any of
                                                                                                        the issue as merely a criminal matter, as
law blog. I’m prone to irrational mood swings,      our lives is the one that captures everyone’s
                                                                                                        this would do little to establish a precedent
however, so I may change my mind at a later         imagination. I’m starting to think that is a good
                                                                                                        to prevent future abuses of power. Marty
date.                                               thing. Let’s keep the balance of power boring.
                                                                                                        Lederman, blogger on Yale Law School
                                                    When these crucial questions of governance
                                                                                                        Constitutional Law Professor Jack Balkin’s
These days, there are more substantial
                                                    get interesting, it usually means someone is
                                                                                                        Balkinization blog, cites the improbability of
arguments afoot than linguistics. I tried my
                                                    getting screwed, e.g., the American people.

PAGE                                                                                                                                  continued on back
INSIDE LEGAL BLOGS AND CHAT BOARDS                                                                                              1. 800. 973.1177

the Attorney General’s appointing a Special        4.3 million users fear a shutdown, I am sure        Of course, the real victims in all this are the
Counsel to investigate the activities of the       many law firm associates will be relieved           blackberry farmers of America, who have
Attorney General himself. Lederman instead         if the primary method of giving them work           suffered the inadvertent consequences of
proposes a statute to confer standing to file a    on the weekends is eliminated. The blog             all the negative Blackberry press. We must
federal class-action suit against the NSA.         BlackberryCool covers all topics related to         support our nation’s berry farmers. I’m going
                                                   RIM’s legal woes. The end for RIM might spell       to go do so right now by enjoying a new Diet
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the bitter       a major boost for Microsoft, which could fill the   Black Cherry Vanilla Coke. [Editor’s note: Diet
Blackberry battle, not to be confused with         void left by Blackberry’s departure. Corporate      Black Cherry Vanilla Coke contains no vanilla
Dr. Seuss’s Bitter Butter Battle. Canadian         schadenfreude aside, RIM has also been dealt        or black cherries.]
Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion         a refusal from the U.S. Supreme Court to hear
(RIM) is engaged in tense litigation over patent   its case. The bloggers at May It Please the         Jeff is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.
infringement. The company may be forced to         Court predict if this isn’t the end for RIM, the    Currently, he is the moderator of the
shut down or pay stiff royalties to American       high cost of a settlement with NTP will soon        message boards at, the largest
company NTP, Inc. While many of Blackberry’s       precipitate its downfall.                           insider source of law firm information.


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