Blog Wars

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol medium.jpg
Apologies for the delay. We had to wait for Vizu to certify the poll results as anomaly-free, which they just did.
avatar Sophist ATL Idol.jpgCongratulations to the winner of our ATL Idol “reality blogging” competition, who will become Above the Law’s new editor-in-chief: SOPHIST!!! With almost 1900 votes cast, SOPHIST (avatar at right) prevailed over your other finalist, FROLIC AND DETOUR, by a 60-40 margin.
In a subsequent post, Sophist will introduce himself to the readership in more detail. The handover of day-to-day editorial duties will take place sometime later this month.
Based on some of your comments, we’d like to clarify two things.
First, we will continue to write for Above the Law and to play an active role in its development. As reported in the Legal Times and FishbowlNY, among other places, we’re moving into the position of Managing Editor for Breaking Media, ATL’s parent company. Part of our new job includes overseeing Above the Law. So we’ll be working closely with Sophist to take Above the Law to ever greater heights (or lows, as appropriate). We will continue to blog for ATL, perhaps in a column of some sort, as well as on other occasions (e.g., coverage of events we attend; additional support during busy news periods; filling in for Sophist when he goes on vacation).
Second, your faithful Associate Editor, Kashmir Hill, will also still write for the site. Although she did not wish to be considered for the EIC position — for more on why, see her personal blog — she will remain as an active presence here. The same is true of ATL’s other contributors, including our surveys guru, Justin Bernold, and our Legal Eagle Wedding Watcher, Laurie Lin. Many of the things you enjoy about ATL will remain unchanged.
As we previously mentioned, the ATL Idol contest was a huge hit here at ATL, by a variety of measures (including traffic / pageviews, reader comments, and revenue). We thank our six finalists for their excellent efforts, as well as everyone else who expressed interest in the position; our three guest judges, Ann Althouse, Tom Goldstein, and Dahlia Lithwick; and you, our readers, who enlivened the contest with your commentary — and who picked the winner, with your votes.
Once again, congratulations to SOPHIST. He survived three weeks of grueling guest blogging, including tough love from the celebrity judges, hard knocks from the commenters, and formidable competition from the other finalists. He is clearly ready for the challenge of taking ATL into a new and even more glorious era. (And since you picked him, you are estopped from criticizing him in the comments.)
Please extend a warm welcome to SOPHIST — and to Above the Law 2.0!
Earlier: Prior ATL Idol coverage (scroll down)

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol medium.jpg
Six lawyers, currently or formerly at large law firms, hoping to make the jump to the writing life (read: working in pajamas). One leading legal tabloid, in need of its next lead editor. A mass of angry anonymous commenters, looking for someone new with whom to have a love-hate relationship.
“THIS…. is ATL Idol.”
It’s a reality-show-style competition, in which site readers will pick the new editor in chief of AboveTheLaw.com — the recipient of some 3 million page views a month, described by the Washington Post as “a must-read legal blog.” We believe it to be the first time that a full-time blogging gig — one with a salary you can live on, health insurance, and even a 401(k) — has been awarded through a “reality blogging” contest.
Back in May, we posted a help wanted ad for a new full-time writer here at Above the Law. Over the weeks that followed, we received a slew of excellent applications. We also located additional prospects through personal networking. All in all, we probably considered almost 100 talented candidates.
We narrowed the list down to six highly impressive finalists. But we found the prospect of choosing just one of them to be agonizing.
So we’ve decided to outsource this task to you, the readership of Above the Law. Over the next three weeks, the finalists will blog on ATL, for your consideration. Just as they would on a true reality TV show, the “assignments” will vary from week to week (details about them to follow).
Each Friday, we will open the polls, allowing you to vote for your favorite — the blogger you’d like to see take the helm at this venerable legal tabloid. At the end of week one, the bottom two out of six finalists — the pair of contestants with the fewest votes — will be eliminated. Next week, the reader vote will take four finalists down to two. In the third and final week, the two finalists will go head to head, in a legal blogging deathmatch. Your votes will determine the winner, Above the Law’s new leader.
ATL readers are an opinionated bunch, so we expect you to have strong views about the contestants (which you should feel free to share in the comments). But to those of you who need more guidance when voting, fear not. Just like American Idol, ATL Idol will provide you with three “celebrity judges,” to offer their expert opinions of the contestants’ blogging, and to inform and guide the electorate.
Our judges, who are all leading legal bloggers in their own right, need no introduction. But we’ll introduce them anyway, briefly. They are (in alphabetical order):

  • Ann Althouse, Robert W. & Irma M. Arthur-Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and author of her eponymous blog, Althouse;
  • Tom Goldstein, head of the D.C. litigation practice and co-head of the firm-wide Supreme Court practice at Akin Gump, and founder of SCOTUSblog; and
  • Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor of Slate (where she blogged at Convictions), author of two books, and a contributor to the New York Times and the Washington Post (among many other publications).
    Our impressive panel is well-balanced, featuring representatives from three major groups of legal bloggers: one law professor, one practicing lawyer, and one professional journalist. We’ll leave it to you to decide — perhaps based on how caustic their commentary is — who’s Simon, who’s Randy, and who’s Paula.
    Update: Professor Althouse emphatically rejects any suggestion that she’ll be the Paula Abdul of this contest. This is just as well; when we invited Dahlia Lithwick to serve as a judge, she called “dibs” on Paula.
    Check back later today, when we’ll post brief bios of the six finalists. And check back throughout this week – and, of course, over the next three weeks – to figure out which writers you love, and which you’d leave. The identity of ATL’s next editor rests in your hands.
    We’re expecting this contest to be fun and exciting. Please spread the word to your friends and colleagues. And once the polls are open, we pass along to you the exhortation of Ryan Seacrest: “America, don’t forget to vote!”
    Update: The bios of the finalists are now posted over here.
    Earlier: Help Wanted: ATL Seeks A New Writer

  • The time has come, and the crowning of ATL’s Lawyer of the Year and Second Favorite Blog After ATL, both of which are sponsored by ATL and Lateral Link, is at last upon us.
    In all, a whopping 4,186 votes were cast, with 2,683 of you voting for Lawyer of the Year and 1,503 weighing in on which blog you like second-most after this one. Find out how it all turned out after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Featured Survey Results: And The Winners Are . . .”

    Barack Obama Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.jpgTime is running out on this month’s ATL Lawyer of the Year and Second Favorite Blog After ATL polls, both sponsored by ATL and Lateral Link.
    So far, we’re up to just over 2,600 votes for Lawyer of the Year, and Wall Street Journal pick Loyola 2L is still going strong. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has a roughly 2.5 to 1 lead over Hillary Clinton, and Alberto Gonzales is stamping out civil rights stomping on music rights attorney Ray Beckerman . . . but pretty much nobody else.
    On the blogging front, the Wall Street Journal remains the blog to beat, while Above The Law is still in second place and Volokh Conspiracy is on track for third, having opened up a hefty lead over Patently-O and SCOTUSblog. Write-in candidate Ms. JD has overpowered Overlawyered, and Likelihood of Confusion has turned the tables on Professor Bainbridge and is now closing in on Skadden Insider.
    We’ll post the final results on Thursday.
    But while you’re voting for the champions above, are you also voting with your feet at work? In last month’s ATL / Lateral Link job survey about 20% of you responded that you were considering leaving your current firms once you received your bonus. But that was before many of you knew what your bonuses were going to be.
    So last week, we asked you whether your job searches were indeed underway. Find out if the answers changed after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Featured Survey Results: Polls, Bloggers and Job Searches”

    In a matter of hours, voting will end in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 contest. ATL is competing in the Gossip category. If you’d like to vote for us, or one of the other fine gossip blogs in the category, just click here.
    We have a decent-sized lead, so we’re not going for the hard sell. In contrast, over in the Generally Speaking category, a fierce battle is raging between Overlawyered and Quizlaw — separated by about 30 votes, out of over 3,000 cast. Check out their respective plugs here and here, replete with “last-second dirty tricks.” Because no legal blog contest is complete without eleventh-hour chicanery — the stakes are too darn high.
    As one blog contest draws to a close, another gets underway. Nominations are now being accepted for the Eighth Annual Weblog Awards (aka the 2008 Bloggies). There’s no “law” category (and, as of this year, no “Best African or Middle Eastern Weblog” or “Best Craft Weblog” category — may they rest in peace). But if you’re feeling nice, feel free to nominate ATL for either “Best Gossip Blog” or “Best Topical Blog.”
    And here is yet another blog contest (because you can never have too many blog contests). It takes the form of today’s featured job survey, brought to you by ATL and Lateral Link:
    Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.
    The ABA Journal Blawg 100 [ABA Journal]
    The ABA Journal Blawg 100: Gossip [ABA Journal]
    Eighth Annual Weblog Awards: 2008 Bloggies [official website]

    Larry Craig Larry E Craig Larry Edwin Craig gay senator Idaho Above the Law blog.jpg* News you can use: “Latin phrases law students should know, but likely don’t.” [Volokh Conspiracy]
    * Two angry pharmacists walk into a bar. [Concurring Opinions; NY Personal Injury Law Blog]
    * Methinks Senator Craig doth protest too much. [Blogonaut]
    * And what about his daughter? She may have been a bad girl too. [Washington Wire and The Smoking Gun (both via Blogonaut)]
    * A consumer law firm resorts to product placement. Is this better or worse than having a theme song? [National Law Journal (now registration free, thanks to yours truly)]
    * Miranda Priestly at the MoMA? That’s all. [Althouse (last photo)]
    * And did she mention that it’s NOT a beauty pageant? [WSJ Law Blog]

    trophies trophy award prize Abovethelaw Above the Law online legal tabloid law blog.jpgRemember Niki Black’s “Funniest Law Blog” contest, over at Legal Antics? The results have been announced, and Above the Law won second prize. Woo-hoo!
    Thanks to everyone who heeded our desperate pleas and voted for ATL. And congratulations to Phila Lawyer, which took first place, and QuizLaw, which came in third.
    We’re delighted by our second-place finish. The winner gets to pick any single item sold by The Billable Hour — but excluding their coveted luxury watch line. We, on the other hand, get three signed copies of Saira Rao’s roman a clef about clerking for Judge Dolores Sloviter juicy new novel, Chambermaid — which is a very fun summer read.
    Hooray! And thanks again to everyone who voted for us.
    And, the winner is… [Legal Antics]

    haha I'm Using the Internet Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOk, at first we didn’t care, but now we’re getting jacked around (along with everybody else in the contest) by Phila Lawyer! This aggression will not stand, man! Don’t hold Lat’s momentary absence against us; vote for ATL now as the funniest law blog.
    Vote for the funniest law blog…..now [Legal Antics]

    All About Eve 2 Linda Greenhouse Jan Crawford Greenburg Jan Greenburg Jan Greenberg Jan Crawford Greenberg Above the Law.JPGWe have previously compared the fierce competition between Supreme Court correspondents Linda Greenhouse, of the New York Times, and Jan Crawford Greenburg, of the Chicago Tribune, to the rivalry between Margo Channing (Bette Davis) and Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) in All About Eve.
    For decades, Linda Greenhouse has ruled the reportorial roost at the Supreme Court — just as Margo Channing reigned over the New York stage. But just as Channing came to be challenged by a young and attractive newcomer, Eve Harrington, Greenhouse now faces tough competition from Jan Crawford Greenburg.
    Perhaps this comparison, much as we love it, must stop here. We don’t want to spoil All About Eve for those of you who haven’t seen it. But let’s just say that Margo doesn’t put up much of a fight when Eve moves into her turf.
    Linda Greenhouse, in contrast, is NOT going gentle into that good night. She will NOT pass her tiara graciously to Jan Crawford Greenburg, like a Miss America ending her reign. Greenhouse has no intention of allowing Greenburg to ascend to the post of America’s Next Top Supreme Court Reporter — at least not without a (cat)fight.
    How do we know this? Just read between the lines of this “Reporter’s Notebook” item by Greenhouse. It’s snarkily entitled “Alarmism in the Blogosphere” — “blogsophere” being synonymous with “unreliable and dubious rumor-mongering” — and in it, Linda G. goes out of her way to embarrass and even humiliate her younger colleague:

    Jan Crawford Greenburg, an ABC News correspondent who covers the court, posted a startling item last week on her blog, Legalities. Under the heading “Faith and Frailty,” she wrote that the “real drama” of an argument concerning the Bush administration’s religion-based initiative came when the argument ended.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s delay in getting to her feet and leaving the bench, Ms. Greenburg wrote, seemed a sign of possible ill health and “made me think I’d better start pulling those possible retirement files together.”

    The alarming item quickly made its way around the blogosphere, puzzling court insiders who know that Justice Ginsburg, 73, is in fine health and keeps to a schedule that would exhaust most people who are decades younger….

    The explanation is, quite literally, pedestrian. According to her chambers, Justice Ginsburg had kicked off her shoes during the argument and could not find one of them.

    OUCH. Jan Crawford Greenburg did some phenomenal reporting work for her fantastic new book on the Court, Supreme Conflict. But in a single breezy, casually tossed-off “Reporter’s Notebook” item, Greenhouse makes Greenburg look like a rank amateur.
    We conduct a close reading of Greenhouse’s column, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Greenhouse v. Greenburg: This Queen Bee Will Not Buzz Off”

    Orin Kerr Orin S Kerr professor Above the Law.jpgDouglas Berman Douglas A Berman Doug Berman professor Above the Law.jpgIt is SO ON.
    More on Judge Pregerson’s Opinion in Carrington v. United States [Volokh Conspiracy]
    More Kerr on Carrington and mandate recall discretion [Sentencing Law and Policy]
    Distinguishing finality interests between convictions and sentences [Sentencing Law and Policy]
    Earlier: Sentencing Law Smackdown: Berman v. Kerr?
    Judge Harry Pregerson Is Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

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