Posting will be slow over the next week as I work on a writing deadline.
Overlawyered published its first post on July 1, 1999. That means we’ve achieved 18 years of continuous publication. You can read the first half-month of posts here. Happy birthday to us!
To get more Overlawyered in your social media diet, like us on Facebook here (and don’t forget to like the Cato Institute and the page for our editor Walter Olson) and follow us on Twitter (ditto and ditto).
Our 50,000th approved comment is this one, by Gitarcarver late yesterday. Thank you to our commenters, both veteran and new, who add greatly to our discussions.
Caleb Brown is now the director of multimedia at the Cato Institute, where he hosts the extremely popular Cato Daily Podcast and Cato Audio. When he first joined us as a guestblogger, however, he was doing radio in Louisville, Kentucky. He’s blogged on a short-lived suit by a man who suffered emotional distress after seeing participants consume pureed rat on NBC’s “Fear Factor,” a mini-wave of suits against law schools (back before the more recent, bigger wave), and a criminal complaint in France against a man who spotted a hole in computer security and published about it. [archive first, second / Twitter]
When blogs rose to popularity in the early 2000s there was a flowering of medical blogs written by practicing physicians. Among its highlights was an Ohio family physician’s MedPundit. Although she quit blogging around 2006 that was not before she had dropped by Overlawyered to talk about shotgun defendant selection and the plaintiff attorney’s “standard of care”; a long-shot failure-to-diagnose case; and what it means that malpractice insurance rates vary so sharply within individual states, as between Cleveland and Columbus in Ohio. [archive]
Donald Boudreaux, founder of Cafe Hayek and professor of economics at George Mason U., has few contemporary peers as an exponent of sound economics for the intelligent reader. He joined us to write about (timely!) Hillary Clinton’s proposal for a restored national maximum speed limit of 55 miles per hour, popular misunderstanding of the concept of the “trade deficit” (timely again!), and where if anywhere the federal government might draw the constitutional authority to regulate the treatment of pets. [archive]
Don’t forget: we’re inviting volunteers (and of course repeat volunteers) to propose yourself for a weeklong guestblog stint in this space some time this summer or fall. Email editor – (at) – overlawyered – (dot) – com.
One thing I like about running Overlawyered is that its readers regularly know more than I do. After I posted the other day about how West Hollywood, Calif. Mayor Lindsey Horvath said she was ordering city employees not to grant rally permits to Donald Trump because he’s such a terrible candidate — yes, really — reader Chris Bray pointed out that the mayor’s office in West Hollywood is a largely ceremonial position rotating among town councilors and has no authority to order city employees to do anything. That makes it sound as if the mayor might be a blowhard as well as someone who cannot be trusted near the First Amendment, two qualities she would have in common with Trump himself.
My tell-all interview at Fault Lines gets into why I don’t hate lawyers (really), my various books, my views on Cato and other think tanks, law and economics, the lack of any real reckoning for the Great Tobacco Robbery, why law schools might actually serve as a counterweight to campus pressure for ideological uniformity, my writing outside law, and much, much more. I’m interviewed by Scott Greenfield, well known to our readers for his criminal law blogging; Fault Lines is a recently launched criminal justice website that’s part of Lee Pacchia’s Mimesis Law.
There have been many flattering reactions already, scroll down from the interview to this comment from Margaret Little which made me particularly happy:
Overlawyered made an enormous contribution to understanding where lawyers were taking the legal system over the past several decades and it continues to fill a vacuum in the discourse about law. For too long that discourse was plaintiffs vs. defense lawyers, with both sides vulnerable to attack for self-interest. Worse, the defense bar, which has an economic interest in the expansion of liability, is often silent or even complicit in the game. While Overlawyered’s postings were made with much-appreciated wit and style, the sheer comprehensiveness of the empirical data, and the mind-boggling attention to detail in its analysis makes it a gold mine for research and a landmark accomplishment. Well done! Don’t quit!
More of people’s reading is being done on Facebook these days, yet Overlawyered has only a few thousand followers there. So please go like us now if you haven’t and recommend us to friends. Our Facebook page tends to share several items a week, mostly about interesting cases, a mix of our own posts and stories published elsewhere (versions of which usually turn up in this space in roundups or otherwise, but why not see them first there?)
The best way to see more Overlawyered on Facebook, and to spread the word, is to directly share our blog posts yourself, whether or not our Facebook page has done so. If you “tag” Overlawyered when you post something, we’ll see that you’ve done this and maybe even send you some Facebook readers.
While we’re at it, I’ll urge you to like my personal Facebook author page, which will get more of my writings to show up on your timeline, most though not all of them on legal subjects. I also have an active personal FB page, mostly aimed at persons with whom I have in-person or professional connections (but all are welcome to “follow”).
Finally, if you’re on Twitter, follow Overlawyered there (as well as @walterolson) if you still haven’t. The Cato Institute, with which both I and Overlawyered am associated, has a gigantic Twitter and Facebook presence with multiple sub-accounts specializing in topics like educational freedom, trade, activities on campus, the journal Cato Unbound, and so forth.
(Update: 4:30 p.m. Monday EDT: commenting is working again.)
Due to a technical issue that came up today Overlawyered is at present unable to post new comments on posts. Comments are still being accepted in the moderation queue, but will not appear on the site until we can get the technical issue resolved.
We hope to have this fixed before long.
Searches that have brought visitors to Overlawyered.com over the past week: “spanking for insurance fraud” “i feel guilty as i got a item free as cashier did not scan it in” “what good is a low flow toilet that’s not high performance?” and “having trouble with cant believe its not butter melting.”