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Inside Legal Blogs
[By Jeff] In 1978, NBA all-star George “Iceman” Gervin scored a record 33 points in the second quarter for San Antonio against New Orleans, using his patented blogger roll. Since then, Gervin has been enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and blogs have become a powerful force in mainstream America. This week, we will look over the best of the week’s law blogs and break it all down for you. We will also devote a special section to sports trivia.
California appeals court handed down a victory for bloggers in Apple v. Does. The court rejected Apple’s attempt to unmask anonymous bloggers who had revealed secrets about new products. The decision applies to bloggers the same protection afforded to regular reporters under California law. For a detailed assessment of this important verdict, check Denise Howell’s IP and appellate blog, flourishes from the defense team, including demonizing the prosecution, everything was strictly by the book. Buell says this kept the case from being the latest “trial of the century,” which we were all yearning for. With O.J. on the golf course and Michael Jackson in Bahrain, America thirsts for a new, salacious trial. Who will be the next celebrity defendant? Christian Slater? Aaron Carter? don’t arm lawyers in regard to client relations or the emotional underpinnings of legal issues. There is hope, however, as pointed out in this ABA article. Even the esteemed Harvard Law School is introducing new lesson plans to teach more practical problem-solving skills. From the “Things That Go Bump in the Night” files comes this tidbit from How Appealing. Blogger Howard Bashman penned an extensive assessment of dead judges voting. Dead men may not wear plaid, but dead judges still retain the power to issue decisions from beyond the grave. Bashman began writing on the subject in February, initially for, then for How Appealing. Senior Circuit Judge Max Rosenn passed away before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a decision in Monteiro v. City of Elizabeth. The court’s decision was divided by a three-judge panel, so the dead judge became the tie breaker, as he had drafted what became the majority opinion before his death. It happened again at the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when Senior Circuit Judge Edward R. Becker dropped dead, leaving a divided three-judge panel to decide a Title VII case. The departed judge once again cast the deciding vote. Shouldn’t a lifetime tenure on the bench end when the icy touch of the Grim Reaper intervenes? Bashman proposes legislation forcing dead judges into retirement. I’ve taken the extra measure of contacting the Ghostbusters. Thanks for reading. We will return next week with more hot updates from the law blogosphere. As promised, here is our gallery of sports trivia. Q: Who was the only college football player to win the Heisman Trophy twice? A: Ohio State’s own Archie Griffin in 974 and 975, who smashed the Big Ten career rushing record at that time, amassing 4,064 yards!!

Bag and Baggage. The verdict lends credibility
to bloggers as serious writers and provides important legal protection. In other blog news, a judge has ordered an attorney to post his trial loss on his blog. A Seattle attorney sued two gynecologists for sexually assaulting patients. The judge didn’t buy it and ordered the attorney to compensate the doctors out of his own pocket. Adding insult to injury, the judge told the attorney he also had to mention his loss on his website for all to see. Judges are getting technosavvy. Every attorney on the blogosphere has been offering his or her assessment of the Enron verdict. Andrew Cohen of the Washington Post

The Psychology of Compliance & Due Diligence Law blog brought us an interesting and informative post recently. It dealt with how lawyers could learn a lot about trial advocacy by studying the moves of great poker players (and vice versa). Both the poker player and the trial attorney have to figure out if their opponent knows what he or she knows. In the end, the analogy leads to the conclusion that it’s easier to win a court case than a poker championship. Having consumed thousands of raw hours of both Judge Judy and Celebrity Poker Showdown, I can testify that poker players also have a leg up in the sunglasses department. Those guys are always wearing sunglasses indoors. Concurring Opinions recently posted an entry on its blog about the University of Illinois College of Law and how they are devoting prime real estate on their website to promote the school’s law bloggers. Kevin O’Keefe, perhaps the Susan B. Anthony of law bloggers, took notice and mentioned it on LexBlog. This all ties into recent developments such as Anonymous Lawyer’s lucrative book deal that lead me to believe bloggers will be the next cult celebrities. That might make me the next Pat O’Brien or Mary Hart.
Over at the Legal Sanity blog, Arnie Herz is talking about the law school learning gap, the chasm between what is taught in law school and the practical skills necessary to survive as an attorney. Herz complains that law schools

Blog’s Bench Conference offered up the Enron verdict as proof that defense attorneys should stop putting defendants on the witness stand. Analyzing comments made by the jurors after the verdict, I feel that Lay and Skilling sealed their own fates on the witness stand. Jurors said they came across as arrogant. It seems like a bit of a catch-22, however, as other jurors said they would have believed Lay and Skilling were guilty if they refused to take the stand.
Over on the Enron Legal Commentary blog, Samuel Buell presented his final analysis of the trial. He praised attorneys on both sides, but he found everything from opening statements through summations to be completely by the book. Aside from a few