This may be inside baseball for those who lack interest in blog mechanics, but since it is excellent news for Overlawyered and its readers, we’ll boast about it: volunteer Andrew Grossman has stepped forward to accomplish for us something we’d been dearly hoping to accomplish, namely installing redirects that will get several years’ worth of older (2003-2008) posts to display in current URL format. The underlying problem is that we’ve been through three iterations of Movable Type and each had a different way of creating the URL format for a post:
http://www.overlawyered.com/archives/001600.html (first method)
http://www.overlawyered.com/2004/11/rr_didnt_warn_not_to_walk_on_t.html (same post, second method)
http://www.overlawyered.com/2004/11/rr-didnt-warn-not-to-walk-on-t.html (same post, current method — note use of hyphens instead of underscores)
Simply discontinuing the old versions would cause thousands of old links, both incoming and internal, to break. But the continued existence of the old versions led to several kinds of problems: they could no longer be formatted properly, so they looked ugly if not unreadable; moreover, users of Google and other search engines would encounter two (or, more recently, three) textually identical versions of the same post, which was confusing at best. Hence the need for redirects.
Aside from his having done us this service, another reason to commend Andrew Grossman to your attention is his day job as Senior Legal Policy Analyst, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation. His writing interests there include “federal criminal law and the problem of ‘overcriminalization’ — the practice of turning minor civil offenses into serious criminal acts,” and other topics equally well matched with ours here, including the likely boon to litigation from Congress’s CPSC expansion, the ill-conceived ADA Restoration Act under consideration on the Hill, and Judge Posner’s summary approach to dubious expert witness testimony. We hope he’ll be guest blogging in this space before long.