Blogging is a solitary endeavor. Aside from the occasional e-mail or comment from a reader, you'd almost never know anyone was actually reading your posts. For the blogger, it's much more about -- dare I say it? -- the therapy of setting the words out on the page than it is about what happens afterward.
You can imagine, then, how utterly unsettling it was for me to receive a bulk e-mail a few nights ago informing me that this blog had been named to the ABA Journal's "Blawg 100." At first I had to check and see if it was legit, as I have more than a few friends at work who relish sending fake e-mails and signing me up for those infernal coupon e-mail blasts from Chevy's. But it checked out. I'm in.
Apparently that means that for the month of December I'm a participant in something akin to the Homecoming King competition, where people vote for their "favorite" blog in various categories. My category is Torts.
(I always hated those competitions -- no doubt because I never won them. Well, that's not totally true; I was Student Body President of my rural high school. But I never got a crown for that!)
Eric Turkewitz, a fellow nominee, seems to have figured out a way to have fun with this contest. He has quite an endorsement from his campaign manager, Paris Hilton. With his excellent example, I intend to have some fun with this as well, launching my campaign next week.
The whole point of the "Blawg 100," as I can discern it, is to recognize and inform people about some bloggers who are really doing it right. For example, I'm honored to be in the torts category with Jim Beck and his Dechert colleagues at Drug and Device Law. It was their example, and a conversation with "blogger emeritus" there, Mark Herrmann, that got me blogging in the first place. They do some of the most in-depth analysis of tort issues out there.
And I'm a big fan of fellow nominee Abnormal Use, which has a smart, fun, and dare I say quirky take on the tort issues of the day. The FDA Law Blog also provides comprehensive coverage of its subject.
But I'm a defense lawyer who litigates consumer class actions, products liability, and mass torts. And given the breadth of topics and sheer number of legal blogs, the ABA Journal's limitation of its list to 100 means that there are folks I read every day who are not on their list. In the spirit of the Blawg 100, here are some other bloggers who really do it right in our field, and whom I think you should be reading daily (if you aren't already):
Andrew Trask at Class Action Countermeasures -- He eschews "newsiness" for insightful analysis of more fundamental issues. And I'm reading his new book on class action strategy, which is excellent.
Sean Wajert at Mass Tort Defense -- Sean has keen analysis of recent developments in our field. And I have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat him to a case.
All of the folks at the Product Liability Monitor -- It takes a village (or really the whole products liability department at Weil Gotshal & Manges) to crank out all of the helpful news about new cases, regulatory and legislative developments that are covered so comprehensively by this blog.
The profs at the Mass Tort Litigation Blog -- They do a really good job of keeping their readers up to date with both case developments and scholarly articles.
The profs at the Torts Profs Blog -- They, too, do a great job. They have a guest blogger feature on Mondays that is really interesting, and a newsy round-up on Fridays.
Walter Olson at Overlawyered -- Although his scope is much broader than just torts, he has some excellent news and insights in our field.
Ted Frank at Point of Law -- Ted, too, has a much broader scope than just torts, but is an excellent source of tort news. He also pays close attention to class action settlements and cy pres recovery.
The folks at The Legal Pulse -- The Washington Legal Foundation has a broader scope than torts, but they frequently offer some detailed analyses of tort and class action issues that are right on the money.
Hopefully this list includes one or two blogs that you may not have been aware of, but will now work into your morning routine. You'll be glad you did. And be sure to look through the entire Blawg 100 for still more excellent blogs on a broad range of legal topics.
And now, without further adieu, here are the instructions on how to vote for this blog in Torts category of the ABA Journal's Blawg 100, thereby earning me the crown I've been coveting since high school:
First, you must register to vote. Don't worry. They only want your e-mail address and for you to set a username and password. No phone number. No firstborn child. No Nigerian bank account numbers.
And you don't have to be an ABA member or pay dues! This is representation WITHOUT taxation, if you will. (And how often can you say that of the ABA?)
Once you've registered, they'll send a link to your e-mail that you must click on to activate. Then go to the Blawg 100 and select Torts out of the horizontal list of twelve categories (in brown). Scroll down to view the nominees, and click "vote" next to your favorite blog.