And Then There Was One

January 15, 2020 § 11 Comments

Back when I started this blog in 2010, there were some entertaining, informative Mississippi lawyer blogs that I read regularly. These were on my regular reading list:

Ipse Blogit was Jim Craig’s and Matt Eichelberger’s fun, mildly muckraking, always satirical entry. After resurrecting it from a hiatus, they stopped publication entirely only a few months after I started.

NMiss Commenter was started by Tom Freeland as a real-time report on the Scruggs scandal and morphed into its own freestanding general-purpose entertainment and must-read daily until Tom’s untimely and unexpected death early in 2015.

Thus Blogged Anderson was erudite, humorous, and subtle, as well as full of book recommendations and insight. Anderson exited the stage for Twitter a few years ago, where he may still hold forth. I don’t know. Twitter can be bad for my blood pressure, so I avoid it.

randywallace posted on law, hunting, cooking, and anything else he put in his crosshairs. His posts became less frequent over time; his latest was in August, 2019.

Jane’s Law Blog, which came along only a few years ago, kept us up to date on our appellate courts, but author Jane Tucker lost her server in 2019 and never recovered. Her site is still down.

MS Litigation Review and Commentary by Philip Thomas was for years a go-to site for following litigation stories and developed more recently into a resource for law-office technology and practice. On Monday, he posted that, after 11 years, he is ending his blog with a final post on March 2. I would not be surprised if fatigue is an element in that decision.

There may be other Mississippi non-marketing legal blogs out there that I have yet to discover, and I would like to hear from them if there are. Until then, when March 2 rolls around I guess that this will be the last Mississippi legal blog standing, so to speak. There’s a reason in common that most of those blogs have gone extinct: it’s hard to keep up, even burdensome.

If you’re considering blogging as other than a marketing tool, there are some pluses and minuses:

  • Pluses include getting to express your views, coming into contact with a wide range of people you’d probably never meet otherwise, and the motivation to learn more about the subject on which you blog.
  • Minuses include demand on your time (a biggie), the need to be mostly accurate and right, and the burden of the whole thing. You can minimize the minuses somewhat by posting irregularly and less frequently, but if you do you will have fewer readers; people like to find something new to read when they click on your site. And if you have only a few readers, what’s the point?

Finally, you have to find a niche. Jane, for instance, met a need by posting decision summaries and describing motion hearings and oral arguments. I have focused on chancery practice. Tom enlightened us on the law, food, the blues, and Mississippi culture. The others mentioned above all catered to readers searching for something specific. And, it’s important to understand that if you’re not a crisp, clear writer like Anderson or Tom Freeland, you probably shouldn’t blog.

Every blogger has the nagging concern about running out of worthwhile things to say. Philip Thomas hints at that in his announcement when he says, “In retrospect, it’s past time.” For me, as long as we have appellate courts burping out opinions twice a week, I have plenty of material to keep me occupied, so I feel (I hope not mistakenly) that I still have something worthwhile to say, and for now I will continue to soldier on.

Those bloggers up there inspired me to undertake this one. It came about after a telephone conversation with another chancellor about how to educate lawyers on compliance with the adoption statute in effect at the time. We talked about an information sheet and a couple of other ideas, but couldn’t come up with anything satisfactory. After hanging up, I returned to my computer where Tom Freeland’s blog was on the screen. A lightbulb went on in my head and the idea became this.

So soon there will be one. For now.




§ 11 Responses to And Then There Was One

  • […] On another level, it’s one more disappearance from the Mississippi legal blogosphere that was once more satisfyingly populated, as I pointed out here before. […]

  • Marjorie Bufkin says:

    I’m also a non-lawyer who followed all of the blogs you mentioned (except the first one which I didn’t hear about until now). I really enjoy yours and hope you keep it up.

  • Craig Panter says:

    I’m still here!!

  • Troy Odom says:

    Judges appreciate it, too!

  • Bill Boerner says:

    Thnx Larry, your effort is much appreciated and helpful; even to other old guys like me.

  • Philip Smith says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write.

  • Francis Springer says:

    Judge, your blog is invaluable. Since 2010, I’ve known of the benefit of your blog, but over the years have been amazed at how many attorneys refer to it and rely on it for direction. Even attorneys I know who don’t regularly practice in Chancery refer to it, and many are practicing in areas outside of your district.

    Getting new posts via email helps me to keep up with many things ongoing in Chancery. Plus, the ability to search for past posts with useful information is very handy.

    I’m familiar with most of the other blogs you mentioned. They have been excellent sources and worthy blogs. But yours has taken a standing of its own. I know many practitioners greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for your dedication to efficient Chancery practice.

  • Zeke Downey says:

    Keep on, Judge. Even when I disagree with some of your thoughts, I enjoy your comments. Not to mention that there’s a lot of law to be learned, and someone who’s in a situation in which he observes common mistakes always has something useful to pass along. Maybe it’s in a Dostoevsky novel, but some character quotes a Russian proverb: “It’s always worthwhile talking to a clever man.”

  • K H Hester says:

    Thank heavens for your persistence. I have wondered how you have been able to do this so well and so consistently. Thank you for doing both.

  • Carl G. Brooking says:

    This non-lawyer reader of your blog (and most of the others that you mentioned) greatly enjoys your work and hopes that your are able to hang in there for a while.

  • Philip Thomas says:

    You nailed it.

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