Contests

avatar Exley ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This is the farewell post of EXLEY, who was eliminated yesterday from ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Exley's avatar (at right).]
When I was a teenager, some of my classmates and I got bussed to a public high school 40 minutes away. We were part of a program for social outcasts who scored well on a couple of standardized IQ tests, and we applied all of our angst and intellect to harassing our bus drivers — we bellowed Queen’s “We Will Rock You” at the top of our lungs, we threw our lunches and snowballs at other cars to try to cause accidents (sometimes successfully), and once on our way home we all stared stonily at the bus driver by way of his rear view mirror until he finally cracked, turned the bus around, and drove us back to school.
centaur.jpgThrough my brief stint as an ATL Idol contestant, I’ve come to appreciate both what Lat does, and how those poor high school bus drivers must’ve felt. You guys are as unruly as a centaur’s dark and frothy pubes.
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: Exley’s Farewell”

ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgThanks to everyone who voted in Round 1 of ATL Idol, the “reality blogging” contest that will determine the next editor of Above the Law. The polls just closed, at noon. Voter turnout was strong, with almost 1800 votes cast.
It was a competitive race. The top three finishers were within a few points of each other (and the top two were especially close). Here are the results:
ATL Idol Round 1 results.jpg
Congratulations to MARIN, SOPHIST, ALEX, and FROLIC AND DETOUR, who will all move into Round 2 of the competition. Saying farewell is EXLEY (who plans to pen a farewell post that we will bring you later).
Here’s what to expect from your ATL Idols this week:

  • a feature — i.e., a longer piece that will span multiple posts and days — starting tomorrow, and going through the week;
  • another head-to-head round, on Wednesday, to be reviewed by our celebrity judges; and
  • a freestyle post, on Thursday, on a topic of the contestant’s choosing (humorous or serious).
    Check back soon, to read more from your fabulous Idols!
    Earlier: Prior coverage of ATL Idol (scroll down)

  • ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgAnd now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The polls in ATL Idol, our effort to find this site’s next top blogger, are open. You can text your vote to Ryan Seacrest vote for your favorite Idol in the online poll, below.
    Polls will remain open over the weekend. Voting for round 1 will conclude on MONDAY, AUGUST 4, at noon (Eastern time). The one contestant with the fewest votes will be eliminated. The remaining four will move into round 2.
    GOOD LUCK!!!


    Earlier: Prior ATL Idol coverage (scroll down)

    ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgLater today, we will open the reader polls in ATL Idol, the “reality blogging” competition in which you will select the next editor of Above the Law. Before we do that, however, we’d like to give our panel of “celebrity judges” the chance to weigh in on the contestants.
    Reader opinions on the competitors have been all over the map, as well as overwhelming in volume, with hundreds of comments posted in total. So hopefully this concise commentary, from experts in legal blogging, will be clarifying.
    To refresh your recollection, the distinguished judges are:
    ATL Idol Judges AboveTheLaw Idol Above the Law Idol panel.jpg

  • 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).
    Read the judges’ reviews, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: The Judges Speak (Week 1)”

  • ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol smaller.jpgHere’s the second half of the “head-to-head” round of ATL Idol. If you’re not up to speed on what’s going on, background information is available in this prior post (or just scroll down the front page).
    You can check out the second half of the head-to-head round, featuring the blogging of FROLIC AND DETOUR, SOPHIST, and MARIN, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: The Head-to-Head Round (Part 2)”

    ATL Idol Above the Law Idol AboveTheLaw Idol small.jpgEarlier today, we announced that the new editor of Above the Law was going to be picked by you, the readers of the site, through a “reality blogging” competition. We provided some initial information about the contest over here.
    We urged you to check back later in the day for the contestants’ bios. “Later” is now; the short intro posts of the competitors are finally available. We apologize for the delay.
    Check out the six contestants’ capsule biographies, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Idol: Meet the Finalists”

    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

  • A clear winner emerged from the 2499 votes on ATL’s Tighty-Whities caption contest:

    lawyer in white briefs attorney underwear.jpg

    “And now my junior partner has something he’d like to say…”

    The man in the photo is David Remes, a partner at Covington & Burling — but not for long, as reported by the Legal Times. From the WSJ Law Blog:

    David Remes, who made Law Blog headlines last week for removing his pants at a news conference in Yemen, is leaving the firm, according to the Legal Times, which reported the news over the weekend. Remes will reportedly devote himself exclusively to human rights litigation.

    Last week, we reported that Remes (Columbia, Harvard Law), who’s representing 15 Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay, removed his pants at a news conference in Yemen. Remes was attempting to demonstrate what he feels are the inappropriate body searches that detainees are undergoing several times per day.

    “At the press conference in Yemen — this is a society where the rule of morality is so strict — I wanted to drive home the degree of humiliation that these searches cause by illustrating a typical body search,” Remes told the LB.

    Biglaw doesn’t like seeing those kinds of briefs.

    Remes Resigns from Covington & Burling [BLT]
    David Remes, Who Dropped His Pants in Yemen, to Leave Covington [Wall Street Journal Law Blog]

    Earlier: ‘Tighty-Whities’ Caption Contest Finalists

    lawyer in white briefs attorney underwear.jpgWe’re currently running a caption contest for the photo at right. We’re not the only ones with an ongoing legally-themed caption contest. If one flips to the back of the current infamous New Yorker issue, the cartoon for their caption contest (Contest #153) is set in a courtroom. We’ll keep an eye on that contest, and issue an opinion on the finalists when they are announced.

    We prefer not to give you the context for caption contest photos, but the background on this one is as exposed as the lawyer in the photo. It’s up on Yahoo! News, the WSJ Law Blog, and the ABA Journal, among other places. It got more publicity over the weekend, with the news that David Remes, the pants-dropping partner in the picture, is leaving Covington & Burling (as reported by the Legal Times; see also the WSJ, via New York magazine).

    We’re pushing on with the contest, since we had over 200 entries. These are our finalists:

    A. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief…”
    B. “Million Dollar Pants Lawsuit: Part 2″
    C. “Ya know, John, I think the school board had something else in mind when they asked for an assembly on the how the penal system works.”
    D. “Having been found guilty of malpractice, the lawyer literally had his pants sued off.”
    E. “Another unsuccessful effort to get ‘junk’ science before the jury.”
    F. “And now my junior partner has something he’d like to say…”
    G. “[Y]our honor, i thought you said you wanted to take a closer look at the briefs.”
    H. “You think that jury was hung?”
    I. “Counsel, the phrase ‘may it please the court’ is NOT a literal request.”
    J. “Other Van Winkle Law Firm partners have expressed concern that Joe represented his favorite extracurricular activity a little too enthusiastically in his ‘Meet Joe’ bio photo.”

    Earlier: ATL Caption Contest: Tighty-Whities

    Pig Trial.jpgLast week, we offered you this courtroom scene photo (without context) and asked for caption submissions. Humor, unlike justice, is not blind. Here is our completely subjective list of the top ten finalists. You get to vote for the best one.

    A. It was John’s first–and last–pro bono matter.

    B. “You see, Your Honor, my client’s house was blown down without even so much as a Notice of Condemnation!”

    C. Your honor, the fact that Kermit’s finger smells like bacon IS relevant.

    D. Res Ipsa Porquitor

    E. All rise for his honor, Judge Wolf.

    F. In a shocking deviation from its preference for the electric chair, the defendant (right) was sentenced by the Texas court to a three-hour roasting at 350 degrees, Jack Daniels style.

    G. On trial for drugs and prostitution, Babe found himself following the path of Feldman, Haim, Diamond and so many other child actors who came before him.

    H. Frat Stud (left) sits in disbelief as the court disregards his “Pigs in my high school used to commit serial murder all the time and then claim that they are incapable of prosecution under state criminal law because they are not human all the time, it was no big deal” defense.

    I. Hold on counsel, let me guess … insanity defense?

    J. Jim was horrified to learn that cocounsel had not read the section of Scalia and Garner’s new book on oral argument that he had highlighted – “dress appropriately and bear yourself with dignity.”

    The poll closes Tuesday night at 2 a.m. PST. We’ll give you the winner, as well as the story behind the photo, on Wednesday.

    Earlier: ATL Gives You A Real Caption Contest

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