Posts Tagged ‘about the site’

Another guest blogger tomorrow; a neglected anniversary

Our experiments with guest-blogging resume tomorrow (Tuesday). This time our editor is not going on vacation; there’ll just be two of us posting instead of one. Come back tomorrow when we unveil the identity of the mysterious stranger.

What with our vacation over the July 4 holiday, we neglected to make note of another milestone for, namely our fourth anniversary (we launched on July 1, 1999). We’ve had millions of visitors over those four years, with traffic currently running at around 3000 visitors and 8000 pages-served per weekday (with a big fall-off on weekends). Those curious about how this stacks up against other sites’ popularity may consult N.Z. Bear’s weblog traffic rankings, which cover only those sites using SiteMeter counters (we are not among them). The site’s redesign a month ago does not seem to have affected our traffic volume one way or the other.

Format change

As of 3:30 p.m. EST Tuesday, Overlawyered has a new format, based on the Movable Type blogging system. (Thanks to Dean Esmay and the MT people for helping.) In addition to saving us a great deal of time and effort compared with the primitive hand coding we’d been using (“baking [my] HTML on clay tablets”, as Glenn Reynolds puts it), the new system gives us much wider scope for such features as guest blogging and on-the-road blogging, pings and trackbacks, and so on. The site’s existing archives can still be reached (follow links in right column of front page), but the search and archive functions will operate separately for postings after June 20. And there will now be topical archives which collect all the new postings on a single subject into a single file, saving readers a lot of clicking around.

What happened to the left column with its long list of links? Much of it is inside now at a new General Links page. One consequence of the new format is that we’ll probably drop our self-imposed norm of posting only once a day, around midnight, in favor of blogging at all hours as the rest of the world does. And: Thanks not only to Instapundit but to other sites that have noted the switch with kind words: Ernie the Attorney, Legal Reader (formerly Weird of the News), and Scott Ferguson (who recalls our editing as “affably ruthless”, and concludes with an assertion that is falsified by this very linkback).

About this site explores an American legal system that too often turns litigation into a weapon against guilty and innocent alike, erodes individual responsibility, rewards sharp practice, enriches its participants at the public’s expense, and resists even modest efforts at reform and accountability.

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Overlawyered is written by Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of several books about the U.S. litigation system, Ted Frank, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who directs its Liability Project (and formerly a practicing lawyer with the large law firm O’Melveny & Myers), and David Nieporent, a practicing lawyer in New Jersey. The site is not affiliated with any of these organizations and reflects only its authors’ views.

Walter Olson: editor – at – [this domain name]
Ted Frank: tedfrank – at – gmail – dot – com
David Nieporent: conclusions -at – oobleck – dot – com

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A (somewhat out-of-date) discussion of the site’s format, which may be useful for visitors interested in searching and linking our archives, is here.

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The following is a version [updated to December 2006] of a statement explaining the site posted in its early days:

This site got its start in July 1999 after I decided that the Web had gone for too long without an attempt to collect, annotate and present in a (somewhat) systematic way the growing quantity of online material documenting the need for reform of the American civil justice system. For some time previously I’d built up a personal website housing a large collection of my own writings on litigation and other issues. At the same time, for my own research needs, I was building an ever-growing library of pointers to links and resources, authors and news sources on the state of the justice system. Why not put that library online to help others interested in the same issues?

The growing traffic on the site since then has made it evident that there is a wide audience in America and around the world for the site’s mix of serious and entertaining commentary on the frequently overreaching consequences of American law. For a sampling of the many nice things said about us, check our accolades page. is not published by, and should not be seen as reflecting the views of, any wider organization (including the Manhattan Institute and American Enterprise Institute, with which I and Ted are respectively affiliated). The site’s modest hosting and operating expenses come out of my own pocket, the outflow occasionally stanched by the generosity of readers who shop at our Amazon bookstore or donate through the Amazon Honor System or, more recently, by ad revenue.

— Walter Olson, editor