How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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Well, you have at least one daily law student reader. I really enjoy reading your posts on proposed tort reform.

David Giacalone

I would miss this little cyber cafe a lot, so I hope you keep writing it, Evan. [I bet most of the new clients that came to you through The Illinois Personal Injury Weblog knew you here first.]

If Underground bites the dust, I hope you will consider doing a duo-weblog with Ted Frank on Tort Reform issues. It could be both informative and entertaining. I just checked out the name "Tort and Retort" and it doesn't appear to be taken.


Jennifer and David: You both mention tort reform. That's interesting. As for a duo-weblog with Ted Frank--not until I'm retired and have a lot more time. Ted would wear me out!

David, as for the clients--they've found me as a result of the way search engines work in conjunction with the Illinois Trial Practice Weblog. Someone searching for a lawyer in Madison County Illinois would probably get a link to that weblog. (Try "Madison County Illinois asbestos lawyer" or "Madison County Illinois Vioxx lawyer" on Google, for example. Even without "Madison County" the weblog comes up pretty high.) Anyway, I don't think the clients to which I referred read this one first, and I wouldn't want them to necessarily. My decision early on to split this weblog into three has worked well in that regard, I think.


I love this blahg.


"And why weblogs? They’re a fad. Few people read them, and those that do are mostly young girls."

C'mon, Evan. Fess up. It's the young girls, isn't it?

Federalist No. 84

Some lawyers are openly hostile: Why am I wasting my time surfing the Internet? And why weblogs? They’re a fad.

I'm sure that those lawyers you mention are real innovators in their law practices.

I was talking to my corp tax professor yesterday about blogs (he reads Tax Prof Blog), and then it occurred to me that every legal blog I read is top quality. Hell, even the legal blogs I don't read are very good.

Really, there's not a crappy one out there. We mused for a while before realizing that the reason is that a good lawyer (re: an attorney who has the personal motivation and professional accomplishment to walk his own path) will live and die on his reputation.

Generally, only good lawyers and law profs blog. And since they're so concerned about their reputations, they want to produce their best work. Thus, lawyer blogs are very good since a blogger, more so than any group other than professional scholars, put themselves out to the world for criticism and correction. Before I post about a case, I concentrate to make sure I'm not missing anything, because my readers will quickly catch any mistakes.

That's a long way of saying that those lawyers you quote are real bozos. They're missing out on valuable information, trial strategies, new cases and legal developments and ways to theme cases. Who among us is such the shiz nit that we can't benefit from Ray's tips on writing, Bashman's collection of news, and Goldstein's summary of Supreme Court cases? And, dare I ask who could not benefit from reading certain experienced Illinois trial lawyer's tips and tactics. ;^>

Then again, those naysayers you cite probably grumble at attending CLE's and haven't read a book on trial strategy or legal writing in ten years.

So, I'd say their opinion isn't even worth the proverbial two cents.

David Giacalone

Fedster, I thought you were going to have a hangover today. You sure are defensively prolix today. Like it or not, most grown-ups have little or no time nor interest in weblogs. Don't go to many keggers, either.

Federalist No. 84

Fedster, I thought you were going to have a hangover today. You sure are defensively prolix today. Like it or not, most grown-ups have little or no time nor interest in weblogs. Don't go to many keggers, either.

Nah, not defensive. I write drafts of thoughts on these pages, so what you see now, you'll see in finished form later. No hangover since I drank over a gallon of water intermittently. Plus, I take alpha lipoic acid, which attacks toxins. (It also mimics insulin and thus helps prevent Type-II diabetes)

I love your recurring "no time" non-argument, argument. But I gotta invoke res judicata. We've discussed this before (though I can't remember the exact post). In sum, you show me someone with time to watch television, and I'll show you someone with time to read blogs. Perhaps then the issue becomes, "They need rest." Well, if that's the case, then the issue is not one of time, it's one of brainpower and endurance. Of course, you can attack me by saying, "Wait til you get older." I can easily defend myself against that, but I don't like to brag. But I'll talk up my father.

My dad works 50 - 60 hours a week at a foundry, his knees are almost shot from a life of real blue collar living, but he still finds the time to read his Bible for two hours a day and did so even with 4 kids in the house. (He gets up at 5 a.m. to do it). Yet he still has plenty of time. Maybe that's cuz he's too busy reading, eating nutritous food, studying articles about Life Extension, feeding squirrels, throwing a tennis ball at the aussie, and thinking to watch television.

I haven't been to a kegger in 7 or 8 years, though you should attend one. Hanging around some young pups (who still have optimism about the world) would be good medicine for you.

I'll be that in my 27 years I've experienced more injustice on the world than you have in your fifty or so years. When I started feeling sorry for myself, a good friend said, "You can be bitter, or you can get better."

I like you a lot, David, so that's why I'm sharing those same words with you.


"This is one of the things I like about this weblog, and why I’ll probably keep it going, at least for a while, after I pass the one-year mark. But I must admit I’m a little ambivalent, at least from day to day."

I would rather see you cut back than quit completely.

David Giacalone

Hi, again, FedMike84,

The professionals that I know and admire -- on the job and as human beings -- do not go home to hours of tv. Most of them work at least 10 hours a day, might bring a little work home, but -- most importantly -- want to be part of their children's lives and their community, too.

They have also learned that (1) a life without at least a little "unproductive," leisure time is brutish and maybe even uncivilized, and (2) it's silly to criticize how others choose to use their leisure time -- or even how they choose to stay competent in their chosen career.

An objective person reading our output might, I believe, conclude that we both need a kegger, but I'll match my optimism and ability to enjoy life against almost anyone of any age. I try not to write or live from anger -- or from some belief that life has been unfair. Put me in the class of curmudgeons who carps because he knows how much better each person and the world can be, with just a little effort. And, in the class that doesn't think my choices are necessarily or even presumptively the right ones for anyone else.

p.s. to Evan, If you enjoy being the host of this webcorner as much as we like stopping by -- where your frequent visitors can be silly or serious, and often make good friends -- I hope you won't give it up for more "productive" work. But, that's my just my hope.


"Blogging is rapidly emerging as a threat to Internet users." And you can find out why for as little as 1,065.00 Euros (more if you can afford it). "This presentation is designed for distribution to employees to raise their awareness of the importance of using extreme caution if and when it becomes necessary to visit blogs as part of the employee's job performance." You've all been warned.


Evan, this sounds like a gradual move to increasing social welfare! Fewer deadwieght losses can be ascribed to you!


Why blog? I don't see blogging as a means to something else, but as an end in itself. All I get out of it is an opportunity for self-expression, an outlet for creativity, a connection to like-minded people, and a bit of fun.

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