10th Annual Blawg 100
Venable’s group blog covers advertising laws of concern to broadcasters and marketers, with special attention paid to implications of Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission rulings. This year, they ran a very informative series called “Golden Rules,” all about the advertising and sponsorship issues raised by the Olympics.
“This blawg provides recent news on all sorts of interesting arbitration decisions nationwide and does so accurately, intelligently, concisely and with a sense of humor and, sometimes, savvy political commentary. This may be the best ADR blawg, period. I have not seen a better one, and I read an awful lot of ADR news and edit the ABA ADR website for the Litigation Section.” —Mitchell Marinello, Novack & Macey, Chicago
The field of art law is often more swashbuckling than it’s given credit for. Posts on Art Law & More contain details about forgeries, heists, hidden masterpieces, colonial cultural looting, mysterious graffiti artists and Nazi-era thefts. But it’s not all criminal law; the blog, published by the London firm Boodle Hatfield, also covers things such as museum contracts, public works and the potential effects Brexit could have on the art market.
NEW: This blog “is very well-written by skilled attorneys especially knowledgeable about and devoted to the particular subject matter—asbestos litigation,” writes Zachary S. Goldberg of Goldberg Corwin in New York City. “The material covered is always very current, usually describing a significant decision handed down within the past 24 to 48 hours.”
Alabama lawyer Keith Lee has made helping newbie lawyers the focus of much of his writing. (Lee is also the author of the ABA-published The Marble and the Sculptor, a book for those transitioning from law school to law practice.) But you don’t have to be a young practitioner to appreciate his mind, which also ponders questions like the legality of “murderbots” and Pokemon Go’s legal pitfalls as well as crunches numbers to report on law school enrollment trends.
HALL OF FAME: The bloggers of Attorney@Work truly fulfill the promise of their slogan: “One really good idea every day for enterprising lawyers.” Law practice management may not be for the faint of heart, but the tips and tricks offered by this blog can make it easier.
NEW: The ABA Law Student Division is invested in helping would-be lawyers succeed early. This blog offers tips on various issues, including the Uniform Bar Exam, handling student loans, conducting oneself professionally, social networking and even managing study habits. Recent grads will also find useful career advice.
NEW: “I’d be pushing up the HR daisies without the solid information this blog provides,” writes Jeffrey Biegelsen of the Starrett Building Co. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “I cannot quantify how much money this has saved my organization.” The blog also has a Spanish-language version: Cafe con Labor.
NEW: “No one better has her finger on the pulse of the legal information world than Sabrina Pacifici, law librarian and author of the blog BeSpacific,” writes blogger Robert Ambrogi. “Launched in 2002, BeSpacific is one of the longest-running legal blogs and, remarkably, Sabrina seems more prolific today than ever. She posts multiple items every day, covering the gamut of law, technology and knowledge discovery and topics ranging from cybersecurity to legal research to government regulation to civil liberties to IP and more. For me, BeSpacific is one of my daily must-reads and has been for 14 years straight.”
This is, as the blog’s header emphasizes, “a place to discuss” what works in legal ed. It’s truly a blog about teaching law. Law professor contributors blog about their classroom experiments and what lesson structures seem to work for students; they share lists of experiential learning resources; and they talk about what they’re learning from their students. And they also keep readers informed on the latest American Bar Association guidance.
NEW: “In Mississippi, the chancery court can often be a confusing place,” writes Amarette Speights of the O’Neal Law Firm in Madison. “Chancellors have a very broad range of power and can pretty much make up the rules as they go. But this is not an insignificant traffic court, this is our family court. Our land court. Our youth court. Our drug court. As such, I love that Judge [Larry] Primeaux gives us regular guidance as to how to practice. Coming from someone with his experience … I love it. Plus, he is quite funny, and once a week, he just posts amusing items.” Readers also love the blog’s repository of checklists—lists of factors that apply in various types of chancery court cases.
NEW: Published by Bloomberg Law, this is a newsy site, full of the latest BigLaw mergers and case decisions, as well as a wider look at the international legal market. The blog is great for readers looking to stay informed at the national and international level. It’s also notable for its coverage of news affecting in-house counsel of major companies.
NEW: For more than a year now, Goodwin Procter has been exhaustively covering all U.S. legal developments related to biosimilars—biologic drug products that closely match but are not identical to their brand-name counterparts. “It has very crisp and precise information,” writes Meghal Mistry, a manager at Zydus Cadila in Ahmedabad, India.
Go to this blog for a look at the state of the legal education field from one of its insiders. Leiter, a University of Chicago Law School professor, does an excellent job of compiling data from scores of surveys and sources to give readers an idea about the prevalent trends affecting law schools, law professors and law students. Frequent contributor Michael Simkovic, a Seton Hall law prof, has also done some interesting posts this year about lawyer earnings.
CAAFlog states as a motto of sorts: “Military justice blogs are to blogs as military music is to music.” That said, this is where to go for coverage of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the courts of each military branch. And check out this blog if you want to read about the court-martial case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (the subject of season 2 of the popular Serial podcast), from the perspective of bloggers with military law expertise.
NEW: Brooks Pierce attorney David Smyth writes with drama about federal securities law enforcement, insider trading and criminal news-of-the-weird that hits the appellate courts. As former assistant director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, he knows what he’s talking about.
As an increasing number of states legalize the sale of marijuana for at least some purposes, lawyers are needed to sort out the legal needs of cannabis growers, users and distributors. The blog’s “State of Cannabis” series examines the status of drug laws in each state, ranking them on their openness to the cannabis industry.
NEW: Trust this antitrust blog: Robert Connolly, a Justice Department veteran now in private practice, reads cartel prosecution documents and discusses the cases from the Antitrust Division’s point of view—although not necessarily without criticism for the approach the DOJ takes in a given case. He also compares and contrasts different countries’ approaches to enforcing competition law.
NEW: “This blog gives me practical, concise summaries of all notable (all published and many unpublished) 3rd Circuit decisions as soon as the decisions are issued. The blogger is a practicing lawyer who obviously has a deep understanding of federal appellate practice. His comments include accurate summaries and thoughtful analysis of the key points. He also identifies questionable aspects of the decisions and areas ripe for litigation.” —Valerie Burch, the Shagin Law Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Who watches the watchers? In the case of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the answer is the CFPB Monitor. The blog, produced by the firm Ballard Spahr, aims to inform companies of the bureau’s latest decisions and how they might be affected. In addition to the mortgage lenders and debt collectors who are normally thought of as targets for the CFPB’s oversight, the blog also addresses the specific concerns of auto finance companies.
This blog “keeps readers apprised of changes and evolutions in state and federal discovery rules of civil procedure,” writes Johnathan Leavitt of Saggese & Associates in Las Vegas. Some posts highlight and analyze the rare Nevada Supreme Court ruling addressing discovery issues. In other posts, lawyer-blogger Michael Lowry shares discovery-related gaffes he sees in Nevada cases.
NEW: Law profs Steven Schwinn and Ruthann Robson provide same-day coverage and analysis of the most newsworthy constitutional law cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals and state supreme court levels. Robson’s “Daily Read” posts note interesting stories in the mainstream media and law reviews, and she adds her own thoughtful commentary.
The National Constitution Center hosts this blog to foster discussion about the role of the Constitution in the United States and illuminate the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court. From the blog, you can also find links to live and archived videos of Constitution Center events, a weekly podcast, an interactive Constitution and the occasional history lesson.
This blog—which covers consumer law, credit and bankruptcy—marked its 10-year anniversary this year. It’s where Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who went on to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was blogging until her first Congress. And the blog is still going strong. Law prof contributors cover important bankruptcy rulings, summarize and share their scholarship and talk about how current bankruptcy-related events are changing what they’re teaching and how they’re teaching it.
NEW: “The difference between technology companies and automotive companies is getting smaller and smaller,” Foley & Lardner’s Jeffrey A. Soble writes. As zero-emission and fully autonomous vehicles move closer to reality—not to mention Toyota’s two patents related to flying cars—liability and regulatory issues abound. And these bloggers want to talk about them.
If you were a fan of Making a Murderer, consider delving into Defrosting Cold Cases, which compiles evidence for both wrongful convictions and crimes for which no one has yet been brought to justice.
HALL OF FAME: Since 2011, Jean P. O’Grady has been a voice for the rarely sung but invaluable information professionals in the industry. Emerging technologies have changed the landscape for law librarians; O’Grady’s blog provides guidance on the newest tools available to the profession and on opportunities for librarians to be a driving force for innovation.
HALL OF FAME: Lee Rosen’s blog may have the word divorce in its name, but its usefulness extends beyond family law practitioners. Any attorney who runs a law practice can benefit from the practical, concrete advice Rosen gives readers for marketing and managing a firm.
NEW: The U.S. Supreme Court is notorious for inscrutability and unpredictability, a reputation encouraged by many justices. But Empirical SCOTUS provides a new window into understanding the court by crunching numbers. Blogger Adam Feldman analyzes contemporary and historical cases—and the lawyers, law firms, justices and other participants—to determine everything from which firms are filing the most cert petitions to whether the Roberts court can still be considered conservative.
“Eric Meyer does an amazing job of presenting employment law information by discussing entertaining cases and giving useful takeaways for HR professionals and other attorneys,” writes Brooke Kozak of Shaw Valenza in Sacramento, California. “I love both the snarky style and the substance. It’s my can’t-miss blawg—first thing I read every morning. And it makes me laugh.”
Lawyer Robin Shea’s loyal following of human resources professionals love her Friday posts—complete with punchy headlines—that keep them up-to-date on their field. Posts take close looks at cases that make the appellate courts or hit the mainstream media. She’s also given to fun but informative listy posts like “Five things about religion in the workplace that you may not have known” or “25 quick takes (no kidding!) on the EEOC’s proposed national origin guidance.”
University of South Carolina law professor Colin Miller posts on studies about eyewitness suggestibility, proposed legislation related to penalties for withholding or falsifying evidence and much more. Miller also posts about Adnan Syed—his murder case was the subject of the first season of Serial—who was granted a new trial based on new evidence unearthed by the podcast.
Pepperdine University law professor Derek T. Muller takes his blog’s name from a speech given during the Federal Convention of 1787, and he writes about how our democracy is reflected in election law, legal education, the U.S. Supreme Court and other organs of government. He also compiles an annual 10-year retrospective on the fates of various Supreme Court clerks, offering an illuminating glimpse at what careers can await those who land those coveted positions.
A group blog hosted by Mimesis Law, Fault Lines provides plain-speaking, irreverent takes on criminal justice issues. Contributing writers provide a wide range of views on how the criminal justice system should function and debate each other on issues brought into focus by current events and cases.
Law professor Mike Koehler’s “coverage of the U.S. and global enforcement of anti-bribery laws is unsurpassed in its breadth and depth,” writes Warren Faure, senior environmental counsel at Sun Chemical Corp. Robert Wilhelm, a legal editor at Bloomberg BNA, writes that the blog “doesn’t just give lip service to DOJ press releases. Koehler goes behind the rhetoric and digs into the actual nuts and bolts of [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] prosecutions.”
Hyman, Phelps & McNamara’s blog masters cover the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation and enforcement actions, the FDA’s reports to Congress, the guidance documents it releases, and complaints filed against the administration. The bloggers also maintain a spreadsheet tracking FDA-related legislation.
HALL OF FAME: “As employment counsel, I review all of the [Americans with Disabilities Act] reasonable accommodations as well as [Family Medical Leave Act] issues. For that reason, this blog is a critical resource to me and my staff. I tell all of our EEO and HR employees to sign up for the newsletter and to use this blog for information concerning FMLA and ADA issues.” —John Kim, NYC Health and Hospitals
The evidentiary rules of search and seizure—and the police power to carry out those searches—have been a recent hot-button issue in the United States. Criminal defense lawyer John Wesley Hall’s site provides meticulous descriptions of Fourth Amendment decisions across the nation, as well as links to articles and blog posts with interesting takes on law enforcement and the militarization of police.
NEW: Millennial lawyer Nicole Abboud found that practicing law in a traditional firm made her deeply unhappy. She launched a solo practice and created the Gen Why Lawyer Podcast and website to talk with other young lawyers about the ways in which they’re shaking up the profession. The podcast also includes tips on career advancement and managing your practice.
What’s in a name? For businesses and individuals trying to register internet domains, the answer is “plenty.” Doug Isenberg provides a look at the latest regulations and disputes over domain names, as well as other internet law and copyright topics including DMCA takedown notices.
NEW: Jamie J. Baker, a law librarian and legal writing instructor for Texas Tech University School of Law, runs a blog that is a mix of research tips and links to articles of interest—and some adorable cat photos. One of the challenges facing librarians in general is how to preserve and archive data and make it accessible for scholars, researchers and the general public—something that’s also of paramount interest to e-discovery folks. Baker frequently discusses articles addressing this dilemma.
The game of golf can have an astonishing variety of legal implications, from real estate and property disputes to tort cases, contract negotiations, bankruptcy decisions and even custody disputes. All are lovingly cataloged by attorney Rob Harris. With the election year shining a bright light on candidates’ business interests, litigation over Donald Trump’s chain of golf courses has provided much fodder for Harris.
“Great blog about developments in the white-collar world. Less of a deep dive into the legal issues in specific cases, but more of general reporting on case,” writes Assistant U. S. Attorney Brandon Essig. Washington, D.C., solo Sara Kropf “makes great effort to recognize successes of fellow practitioners. As a federal prosecutor, this blog run by a white-collar defense lawyer is an excellent way to see what the other side is thinking.”
“I read Herston on Tennessee Family Law almost every day, and it’s my main source for keeping up with developments in my main area of practice: family law. In fact, I sometimes start there when considering my own cases. It usually points me in the right direction to start my research. The blog is well-written, consistently updated with the latest opinions and advertisement/clutter-free.” —Julie Dyess, solo practitioner in Clarksville, Tennessee
Blog posts—sometimes complete with historical photos from its own prints and photographs division—cover everything from recent Law Library of Congress reports to fun historical facts from its rare books and special collections division. “Tends to motivate you to learn more about a specific subject—and to use one’s reader card more often at Library of Congress,” writes Theodore Defosse, a senior archival specialist at the U.S. Government Printing Office.
NEW: Covington & Burling bloggers address the struggles of courts and governments around the United States and the world to apply existing privacy laws to evolving technology—and the struggles of entities that face liability when their data security measures aren’t up to snuff. Posts also cover relevant congressional legislation, White House policy directives and industry best practices related to cybersecurity.
NEW: Trademark, copyright and patent laws can feel like murky waters for many businesses. Written by Golan Christie partner Beverly A. Berneman, this blog focuses on providing succinct examples of how businesses ran into intellectual property disputes and what the results were. One of our favorite elements is her pithy “Why You Should Know This” section at the bottom of most of her posts, which provides excellent context for how the specific IP outcomes could affect others.
U.S. Supreme Court watcher Kenneth Jost’s weekly posts handicap the high court’s upcoming decisions and thoroughly analyze what SCOTUS has handed down. Jost also covers appellate cases that look ripe for review by the justices and other current events that raise constitutional questions.
Want a peek at what legal scholars are working on without having to read a dry law review article? Jotwell—an acronym for Journal of Things We Like (Lots)—is a space for law professors and legal scholars to discuss their topics of study in an approachable way. Sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law, the blog is also broken down into sections by topic for easy browsing.
Here, law faculty and law students from the University of Pittsburgh cover hard legal news—quirky news is eschewed on principle. And don’t expect the tight U.S. focus embraced by most of the mainstream media: A given post is just as likely to cover a prosecution or the actions of a legislature from a nation halfway across the world as a stateside federal court ruling.
This 6-year-old blog, published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, has some profile. FBI Director James Comey did a guest post when the bureau was seeking Apple’s help in unlocking the iPhone of the San Bernardino, California, shooting suspect. Conflicts like that one are at the heart of Lawfare’s mission: to explore “hard national security choices” the nation faces when actions it takes or contemplates to protect citizens run counter to its laws.
NEW: Do you have an ethical dilemma, or do you just like thinking your way through touchy hypothetical situations? The mission of Law for Lawyers Today is to be a resource for lawyers and firms, keeping them up-to-date on the newest ethics rules and being on the forefront of emerging legal ethics issues. From Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn to the wild popularity of Pokemon Go, the blog tries to anticipate possible conflicts and offer its readers ways to minimize their risk.
HALL OF FAME: For any lover of language, Bryan A. Garner’s LawProse is an invaluable resource. From the eternal “lay” or “lie” conundrum to more arcane issues of textualism such as “last-antecedent canon vs. series-qualifier canon,” the archives of LawProse probably have an answer.
Ohio State University law professor Deborah Merritt’s blog takes the crises in legal education and the legal profession head-on—declining law school enrollment, heavy debt loads for law school graduates, fewer lawyer jobs—and explores what the legal academy can be doing about it.
Guess who’s back? After signing off the legal blogosphere for more than 18 months, Canadian management consultant Jordan Furlong started posting again in July and hit the ground running: tracking the technology that more innovative law firms are using, opining on the future of the partner-associate model, and questioning whether the legal industry has truly been “disrupted.”
NEW: “This is practical advice on a range of real-world scenarios and includes topics where market knowledge is hard to come by for practicing lawyers (versus recruiters who are steeped in these issues day in day out),” writes Erin MacLeod, a senior corporate attorney at Ancestry, about legal career strategist Julie Brush’s advice blog. “Plus, her writing style is entertaining as well as informative.”
London-based Legal Cheek covers all the bases for Blighty—commentary on the legal issues of the day, timely law firm news, law school news and career advice—with a fun tabloid feel. The blog also has comprehensive rankings of the top 60 London law firms and the top 50 barristers’ chambers (by salary, by number of women—you name it).
Does Professor Xavier of X-Men violate privacy by reading minds? Could Anakin Skywalker have claimed legal insanity for his acts as Darth Vader? These questions and more are given a thorough legal analysis by the bloggers. Blog co-founder Josh Gilliland also has a long-running podcast, The Legal Geeks, in which he and his guests discuss the newest legal questions posed by pop culture.
Judy G. Russell is a master of paperwork. That’s not surprising, given her qualifications as a JD and genealogist. Her blog offers a fascinating take on how old legal records cast light on the lives of people long since passed. But she also addresses myriad other legal issues related to the work of genealogists, including copyright, privacy laws, records access and the laws regarding DNA tests, as well as explaining the science behind that testing.
Writing on the Whiteboard can be a bit sporadic, but we admit we like to check in with this blog for its numbers rather than its words. University of St. Thomas law prof Jerry Organ takes the time to crunch the numbers on Law School Admissions Test scores, law school enrollment and even American Bar Association employment numbers, identifying important trends.
Boston litigator Ted Folkman covers international judicial assistance, which Folkman describes as “getting judicial authorities in one state to take actions on your behalf in aid of a proceeding in another state.” You can get a feel for this topic by checking out his “Case of the Day” posts. He has also been covering the Chevron/Lago Agrio litigation for years. And at the time of Merrick Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, he evaluated Garland’s stands on international issues.
We’ve enjoyed reading this blog for years. Sometimes, plaintiffs-side tort litigator Max Kennerly takes readers on fun trips through high-profile civil cases—the Trump University case and Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker, for instance—writing about the actual law involved or bad decisions made by participating lawyers. Other posts discuss legislation or science that would affect some of the clients Kennerly represents in pharmaceutical lawsuits.
Lyle Denniston left SCOTUSBlog earlier this year, after working as its U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for 12 years. But anyone who misses his insightful reporting can still read his work on his personal blog, Lyle Denniston Law News. Though some of the entries are cross-posted from his new employer, the National Constitution Center’s Constitution Daily, Denniston’s own blog includes additional pieces about legal issues outside his customary Supreme Court beat. As a legal reporter since 1948, Denniston has an incredibly valuable vantage point on the legislative and judicial trends of the day.
HALL OF FAME: Bill Marler has consistently earned a place on our Blawg 100 list, and it’s not just because the tales of food poisoning outbreaks recounted on his blog keep us up at night. We feel he has truly proven how blogs can help lawyers with niche practices become sought-after experts.
Those who read Seth Leventhal’s blog “improve not only their own legal knowledge but also strengthen the Minnesota bar as a whole,” writes Christopher Boline of Dudley & Smith in St. Paul. It’s a strong statement, but we agree. Some of his posts ask big questions: Why can judges be reluctant to sanction lawyers? Does the way the legal system determines the reasonableness of fees make sense? Other posts cover civil litigation that is making headlines in his state or cases that are just offbeat. Check out his amusing blow-by-blow coverage of litigation between Unitherm and Hormel over a precooked bacon process.
Criminal defense and immigration lawyer Mirriam Seddiq writes what she feels about the state of American law in general and the criminal justice system in particular—and her posts aren’t always predictably politically correct or profanity-free. Seddiq sometimes shares her perspective as a Muslim-American woman on topics, and in fact, she launched the American Muslim Women Political Action Committee this year. She also started a podcast this year with the same title as her blog.
Reuters reporter Alison Frankel runs the On the Case blog and focuses her reporting on big-ticket litigation and Securities and Exchange Commission news. If you want to keep up with the legal wranglings of tech giants from a perspective outside Silicon Valley, On the Case is a blog to follow.
For the visual thinkers among you, Open Law Lab hopes to make the law more accessible. Creator Margaret Hagan’s mission is to use the principles of design to help make the law more engaging and understandable. Proponents of access to justice causes and attorneys wanting to make their law practice more streamlined and efficient will find great material here.
NEW: P.S. Ruckman Jr.’s Pardon Power blog is the most thoroughly researched and updated chronicle of historical and contemporary pardons we’ve come across. Ruckman, a great proponent for the use of pardon powers as a tool for criminal justice reform, provides a look back at the clemency actions of previous presidents as well as current news updates.
The patent may be issued, but there is often much lawyering left to do. Alexandria, Virginia, lawyer Scott McKeown covers the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s post-grant proceedings (including cases before the Patent Trial & Appeal Board and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), its decisions and its rule-making.
HALL OF FAME: If you’re a trial lawyer, understanding jury psychology can provide crucial insight into how you should be approaching your case. The jury consultants behind Persuasive Litigator offer advice on convincing techniques and explanations for jury behavior that might otherwise seem baffling.
This is a lighthearted IP blog with a pop culture bent, written by Michael Lee of the New York City firm Morrison Lee. Pirated Thoughts covers issues like video game creators trying to sue the makers of cheating software; TV shows fighting to protect the naming rights of a fictional burger bar; and multinational companies trying to protect their brands by making borderline-ludicrous trademark attempts.
HALL OF FAME: The group blog Prawfsblawg provides a smorgasbord of information valuable to law professors. Topics range from its authors’ most recent legal research, to how to advance in academia, to the implications of recent case decisions and legislation. Though founder Dan Markel died tragically in 2014, the other professors who blog on Prawfsblawg have kept up the quality and frequency of posting.
NEW: Nashville, Tennessee, litigator Todd Presnell offers facts and analyses about rulings from federal and state courts around the country on attorney-client privilege issues. The decisions (as well as privilege-related lawsuits, legislation and op-eds) that he doesn’t get a chance to blog in-depth, he squeezes into a “Monthly Privilege Roundup.”
NEW: A new addition to our list, Prison Law Blog captured our attention by serving an audience of criminal justice workers, attorneys, prisoners and prisoners’ loved ones. It’s a great resource for the latest court decisions that could affect the lives of inmates or prison administrators and for prisoners who are attempting to do work on their own or others’ cases. The majority of the focus is on federal prisons, but state prison laws are also discussed.
NEW: “This blog contains a wealth of substantive expertise presented in a digestible and conversational manner. It is admittedly very focused on a specific area of law—federal income tax procedure—but in that regard is a valuable resource to anyone working in that area. Updates address issues that are both emerging and long-standing, and the archives are a great library of information from some top academics and practitioners in this area of law. I read it just about every day.” —Dave Rohlfing, staff attorney, Alaska Business Development Center Taxpayer Clinic, Anchorage
NEW: This blog, launched last fall, highlights legal scholarship and calls for papers that tackle racial themes. Posts address issues like race and policing, anti-Muslim violence and voter suppression. In other posts, the law prof-authors discuss the experiences of immigrants to the United States—in some cases sharing their own experiences and hardships.
HALL OF FAME: Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also be a violation of trademark law. Rebecca Tushnet has been chronicling astounding accounts of trademark violations and false advertising cases on this blog since 2003, making her one of the most lasting and prolific bloggers on our list.
NEW: Ari Kaplan’s frequent posts are in fact podcasts—10- to 15-minute interviews that focus on technology’s impact on the legal industry. Among his interview subjects are leaders of companies who develop legal document products, practice management software or e-discovery tools; as well as cybersecurity experts, BigLaw knowledge officers and small-firm lawyers who leverage technology in their practices.
NEW: Bloggers from Goulston & Storrs cover new innovations and trends in retail in the United States and around the world. They include the use of selfies for market research and fraud prevention, cashless restaurants and the use of geolocation via Wi-Fi for stores to send promotional text messages to shoppers inside their establishments—and the attendant legal issues.
Connecticut lawyer Sarah Poriss’ posts focus as much on what she can do to help her clients—a group of whom she says she took to the movies earlier this year—as what they can do to help themselves. She focuses mainly on mortgage issues and foreclosures as well as credit-card debt. “Practical and well-written material that helps both lawyers and Sarah’s potential client base,” writes San Francisco lawyer Albert Stoll.
In a blogosphere bursting with employer-side blogs, Florida practitioner Donna Ballman continues to champion the worker’s perspective in very chatty, readable posts, although her blogging pace has slowed quite a bit in recent years. Read about state legislation related to paid sick leave, noncompete agreements, breast-feeding discrimination and more.
NEW: Laura Anthony’s blog “superbly navigates the complex securities regulation environment regarding, among other things, securities disclosure, going-public matters and [Securities and Exchange Commission] filings,” says Clermont, Florida, lawyer Frederick Lehrer. Anthony also publishes LawCast videos on securities industry news at least as often as she writes posts.
NEW: This is the eponymous blog of the initiative of Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program. The aim of the initiative is to tap Islamic policy experts around the world for resources and analysis on Islamic law. The aim of the blog is to knock ideas around. Footnoted posts discuss misconceptions about Sharia, compare and contrast Western law with Islamic law, and even explore regulation of halal food.
NEW: George Washington University law professor (and former prosecutor) Randall Eliason’s posts delve into the big white-collar crime cases of the day, sometimes exploring the lawyers’ tactics. This year, he also did a two-part series, “In Defense of the Grand Jury.”
It seems like every week, we hear stories of how someone’s interactions on social media went awry. In this MoFo blog, there are plenty of cautionary tales, but also advice on how to ethically handle social media as an individual or business owner. Socially Aware also tackles issues such as internet fraud, copyright disputes, federal regulations, data security and cyberbullying.
NEW: For every attorney who has ever looked up into the night sky and dreamed of going to space—and those who eventually devoted their careers to space law—Space Thoughts produces original posts on aerospace efforts and legislation around the globe and acts as a roundup of significant articles published elsewhere. The blog is written by attorney Michael J. Listner of the Space Law & Policy Solutions think tank, who has announced plans for a quarterly publication, The Precis, to keep subscribers up- to-date on special issues in space law.
Lawyer and knowledge management consultant Ron Friedmann has been blogging for 13 years. He covers law-tech conferences day by day, discusses new technologies and their impact on law firms, and otherwise shares his frank opinions about what clients actually want and what forward-thinking law firms need to do to keep them.
NEW: Lawyer-bloggers from Zuckerman Spaeder cover disputes between companies and their executives—often in the context of criminal investigations into possible corporate wrongdoing. Can a “suit” be fired for taking the Fifth or otherwise not cooperating with an investigation? If your client is accused of misappropriating trade secrets and his or her computer is seized, what recourse is there? If former company directors or officers face legal claims, can they demand the company advance legal fees?
HALL OF FAME: This year, Santa Clara University law prof Eric Goldman put his Forbes blog Tertium Quid—written more for a lay audience—on pause and refocused on this one he’s been writing since 2005. Posts cover topics such as lawsuits related to keyword advertising, online contracts, and court rulings related to the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Communications Decency Act.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes the legal battles. Environmental laws, animal safety, real estate and property issues, food safety and fracking are all issues that Texas farmers and ranchers have to contend with, and this blog does a great job of analyzing how recent court decisions or state legislation can affect them. Texas has long been on the cutting edge of energy law, and this blog also offers excellent examinations of how energy companies and agriculturists are dealing with their often-competing interests.
This Foley Hoag blog has a fun mix of new and relevant copyright and trademark rulings, explorations of atypical historic cases, and links to the law firm’s other relevant intellectual property publications and webinar recordings. If you don’t think this area of the law is interesting, this blog will prove you wrong.
Pick the wrong name for your business or product, and you will face legal consequences. This blog, written by Stites & Harbison lawyers who help their clients choose such names and defend them in court, focuses largely on litigation related to contested names. The increasing proliferation of trademark applications and particularly interesting ones—such as hoops star Stephen Curry’s efforts to trademark four iterations of his name on the day of game six of the NBA finals—also catch the eyes of these bloggers.
Anyone with a stake in decisions coming out of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or Northern California should be following Trial Insider. Blogger Pamela A. MacLean offers focused coverage of the cases and opinions coming out of the region, and attorney Katie Burke provides perspective on family law decisions.
Published by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, the blog tackles issues of ethics and civility in the profession, such as harassment, mentoring and the implications of new legal technologies. It also offers candid advice about how law schools can set their students up for ethical practices long before they take the bar exam, and how young lawyers can meet the standards of decorum expected of them.
The ADA can be difficult for the layperson—and even law enforcement—to fully understand. Attorney William Goren lays out how the ADA is applicable in a variety of situations, from what a service establishment can be required to provide to what police should bear in mind when arresting someone with a possible mental illness. His posts are well-researched and detailed without being incomprehensible for readers.
NEW: A must for any venture capitalists, investors or startups, Venture Alley is edited by DLA Piper’s Trent Dykes and Megan Muir. From the difficulties of choosing a corporate name to deciding whether to launch internationally, the contributing authors walk readers through the steps that should be considered. The tone is technical and should be highly informative to the entrepreneurs it’s aimed at.
If you’re looking for robust opinion pieces contributed by a wide range of legal experts, Verdict should be in your bookmarks. Run by Justia, the blog offers analyses of issues from across the legal spectrum and updates throughout the workweek.
NEW: “Dan Werly’s blawg … is a must-read daily. If you enjoy reading sport law cases and current news on NFL and NBA contracts, then this is the blawg for you. Dan posts the reports and sports cases that are the most difficult to find. Plus, he gives detailed information about each case presented through sharing court documents and actual contracts. As a sport law professor, the White Bronco is a vital tool for keeping myself and students current.” —Courtney Flowers, assistant law professor at Texas Southern University
NEW: This Seyfarth Shaw blog is worth reading for any employer-side labor law attorneys or in-house counsel. In addition to giving readers summaries of the outcomes of various lawsuits, the blog publishes Seyfarth’s Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report, which compiles vital information for corporate counsel about what companies can and should be doing to stay ahead of lawsuits.