Posts Tagged ‘about the site’

Omit a letter, spoil a website

Richard Gray of St. Louis writes:

“Are you aware that if you accidentally leave out the ‘y’, as I just did, takes one to a gaudy Asian website, reminiscent of a Japanese pachinko parlor?

“Apropos of nothing, but wondered if you had ever experienced that.”

Never experienced it until just now. Readers who understand Japanese Chinese, or relevant issues of web promotion, are welcome to chime in.

Overlawyered turns 20 years old

Overlawyered, often named as the oldest law blog, published its first post on July 1, 1999. That means tonight we’ll complete 20 years of continuous publication. You can read the first half-month of posts here, and some best-of highlights from over the years 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 me, Walter Olson) and follow us on Twitter (ditto and ditto).

P.S. Internet Archive’s first snapshot of the front page was taken Oct. 7, 1999, and featured the pink-and-grey color scheme that the site was to retain for many years. (Plus a webring — does anyone remember those? — an articles library, a discussion forum other than comments, and many other features since discontinued.) You can see the archives for the first half of July 1999 in Internet Archive form here.

And: “So congratulations to Walter Olson on his blog’s 20 birthday. Two decades in, and his blog is as vital and compelling as ever,” writes Bob Ambrogi at LawSites. He also takes up the question of whether Greg Siskind’s VisaLaw, which in 1998 launched a page with reverse chronological scrolling updates to report on a legislative emergency, fits the bill as both older and a legal blog.

Overlawyered turns 18 years old

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).

Guestblogger archive week: III

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.

West Hollywood: the sequel

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.

“I myself escaped by a bare whisker from attending law school…”

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!

Whole thing here.