I'm awol for this reason. More soon.
Update 4.25.05 - Wonder what happened? Find out at Ladies First and Blog Sheroes Meetup: The Hungover Edition. Anyone looking for a fresh estrogen injection for their RSS readers and blogrolls should start with the trackbacks to these posts.
So, we say we want to support women bloggers? Then have I got a good-karma rebate opportunity for you: It's time to vote with our
feet feeds: BlogHer.org advisors Liza Sabater and Nichelle Stephens are launching Blogsheroes Sunday night at a barn-burner of a meetup in NYC. You've got four days to show up--via pixels, even if you can't be there in person.
How? Link this art from your blog. Why does a link matter? Because there's power in our prodigious numbers, as Liza so aptly states. If we want to create a global stage for wired women, as BlogHer.org and Blogsheroes are working to do, we have to show up. (And she's made it pretty dang fun to do so with this hi-larious art, I have to say.)
If you want to help build the social network for bloggers--female and male--that we're launching together, this is how to get in on the ground floor. If you want to "take back the byte," as my friend Gano Haines quipped yesterday, be there. And I speak from experience -- I'm finding, as I crowbar hours out of the day I already don't have to work with the BlogHer team, that the power of a message or of a trackback or of any other rendition of a virtual high-five from another blogger cannot be overestimated--thank you, all of you, who have taken the time and effort to email me your opinions, improvements and encouragement. It really makes a difference when I'm choosing between work and sleep!
So I'm voting with my feeds for Blogsheroes. I hope you will too. But don't take my word for it -- take Liza's tart, funny opinions to heart:
"...So we will meet
And, oh yes,
We will rinse and
We will repeat...
Google juice by link jerks be damned
We will rejoice in the abundance of our connections
Clueless pundits with clueless blogrolls be damned
We will promote, plug, pitch and encourage our efforts
We are word warriors
We are code goddesses
We are digital bridge builders
And we are pioneers in this electronic frontier..." more here
P.S. Here's my gift in return: Liza's funny, funny poll on dailyKos. Upon further reflection, I'm not sure I use enough Latin in my everyday speech...
Via Legal Blog Watch 4.19.05: While I could easily have written the headline "Exceptional periodical's internal bloodletting boils out onto Web site," I decided instead to widen the piece to incorporate the insights of Law.com bloggers and reporters. While I respect the Legal Affairs editors' decision to print the piece despite strong internal disagreement over its accuracy (which I cannot imagine was a surprise), I am also impressed by one former Blackmun clerk's data: If it is true that Garrow only examined 1.5 percent of the cases, or only five percent of the cases and still didn't interview Blackmun's clerks or others intimately involved with the court at that time, he may have irrevocably harmed his case. Decide for your self--and thanks in advance for posting any comments there:
The legacy of late Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun is undergoing serious debate, in the wake of David Garrow's article in Legal Affairs magazine -- and the magazine chairman's note of rebuttal to the article's content.
Garrow's piece is "fair, insightful and scathing," in the opinion of Volokh Conspirator Jim Lindgren, who recently wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal advocating term limits for Supreme Court Justices. "It appears that Blackmun lacked the talent to serve on the Court, deferring to clerks much brighter than he was to an extent that is unacceptable."
Garrow's biggest critic, however, appears to be Legal Affairs magazine's own chairman, Seth Waxman. The site has posted Waxman's open response to the editors, in which he calls the issue a "jarring anomaly" and says he is left "saddened, that this issue of Legal Affairs departs from its worthwhile mission." Why? Waxman writes,
"One would barely know from this one-sided treatment what a recently published excerpt from Linda Greenhouse's forthcoming study of the Blackmun papers, Becoming Justice Blackmun, reveals: that while Justice Blackmun (like others, one would hope) encouraged his law clerks to write freely and forcefully within the confines of his chambers, he often rejected their recommendations and indeed composed his own analytic memos for each of the several thousand cases in which he participated over a 24-year tenure."
Waxman's letter is followed on the same Web page by a rebuttal to Garrow's piece written by former Blackmun clerk William Alden McDaniel Jr., who lays out some numbers about Garrow's sample that are important if they are accurate. McDaniel writes,
"Justice Blackmun wrote 835 opinions while serving on the court: 313 majority opinions, 238 concurrences, and 284 dissents. Mr. Garrow examines barely 12 of those opinions, less than 1.5 percent. Based on this meager sample, Mr. Garrow uses his purblind analysis to trump up a charge that Justice Blackmun committed a "scandalous abdication of judicial responsibility."
Legal Times' Tony Mauro yesterday quoted Legal Affairs editor and president Lincoln Caplan as saying he was satisfied that the article was fair and accurate, that while "'it would have been acceptable and sensible to enhance the archival work' with views of the clerks, but not required." Elsewhere in the article, Mauro quotes a number of Blackmun clerks who echo their colleague McDaniel's criticisms. Mauro writes:
"[Randall] Bezanson, like others interviewed, said Garrow's interpretation might have been different if he had sought the perspectives of the clerks whose memos he cited. Asked about that point, Garrow said his goal in the article was 'to put the documentary record out there without people doing a lot of backing and filling.'"
Volokh Conspirator David Bernstein pooh-poohs the value of interviewing clerks in "Obsequious Former Supreme Court Clerks: ... Have you ever seen a story about a Justice where the clerks are portrayed as anything but adoring? Blogfather Eugene Volokh, however, disagrees. Holding forth on the fundamental motivations of loyalty, professor V. writes, " such loyalty doesn't deserve the more or less unalloyed condemnation that the term "obsequiousness" suggests."
A conference for women bloggers is scheduled for Saturday, July 30 at TechMart in Santa Clara, California.
It's been a crazy month since we all started blogging this idea. I never anticipated how many terrific people would want to get this thing off the ground. Thanks for the encouragement--now here comes the work, individually and together.
Here's the game plan to get you here: BlogHer.org, where you can register and read and contribute to the BlogHer mission, schedule, discussion and general hilarity.
As you can see, we've built a list of advisors into the site. You're on that list too -- you just don't know it yet <grin>. Please consider signing up for a Bloghership -- a FREE pass to the conference in exchange for live-blogging a session so that women who can't make it to Santa Clara can join-in from anywhere. Please also note: Special attention is being given to live-blogging in languages other than English. If you can live-blog a session in fluent Spanish, Mandarin, Urdu, <insert language here>, we really want to talk with you.
Via Legal Blog Watch 4.12.05
"The amici on whose behalf the brief is filed include Jack Balkin, Michael Froomkin, Joshua Micah Marshall, Markos Moulitsas (the Daily Kos), Glenn Harlan Reynolds (InstaPundit), and me. Many thanks to Lauren Gelman, who wrote the brief. How Appealing posts about this, and links to an easy-to-read [complete] list of the amici."
Via Legal Blog Watch 4.11.05:
Monday rhymes with yuck? Wondering how to pursue a little therapy, blog-style, without getting canned? Bob Ambrogi and The Volokh Conspiracy's Orin Kerr recently recommended the Electronic Frontier Foundation's tips on anonymous blogging. Ambrogi wrote:
"Law firm associates (or even partners) who want to blog without risking their jobs should check out How to Blog Safely (About Work or Anything Else), a how-to guide for bloggers worried about protecting their privacy and free speech. Published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the guide covers basic measures people can take to keep their blogs anonymous and explores what the law says about discussing work-related issues online."
Not that you have to start your own blog to post anonymously about work...
I haven't seen these Peabody Award-winners yet, but this year's list includes some important new voices, like Link TV, as well as a few gold standards. One such even picked up their second Peabody for election coverage. Guess who? (Hint: The person who called spin alley "deception lane").
Here are my picks from the list:
MOSAIC: World News from the Middle East
Link TV, San Francisco, Calif.
Link TV`s MOSAIC is a collection of unedited daily newscast excerpts from more than 15 national broadcasters in the Middle East. The program provides viewers with wide-ranging perspectives on events in the region.
Something the Lord Made
A Cort/Madden Production in association with HBO Films
This is the true story of two men who defy racial strictures in the Jim Crow South. An ambitious white surgeon, Dr. Alfred Blalock, and a gifted black lab technician, Vivien Thomas, pioneer the field of heart surgery in 1944.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Indecision 2004
Through the momentous weeks of the 2004 Presidential Campaigns, Jon Stewart and cohorts provided the kind of cathartic satire that deflates pomposity on an equal opportunity basis. Somehow this sharp commentary made the real issues more important than ever.
...This list continues after the link-->
I just posted this piece at Legal Blog Watch--thanks in advance for posting any comments there.--LS
Jim Lindgren tells a story on The Volokh Conspiracy today about Michael Bellesiles' disgraced book, "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture" that may be new to you -- I know some details are new to me. Like the fact that Wonkette, or Ana Marie Cox, may have lost her job at The Chronicle of Higher Education because she was doing too good a job of investigating Michael Bellesiles for her then-employer. Like the fact that Bellesiles' book was cited and then un-cited in appellate law, as described by this excellent article from the Idaho Librarian.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, the back story. You may remember that Bellesiles eventually resigned from Emory University. After staunchly defending his book, "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture," against criticism of his research and findings, Bellesiles offered his resignation when an academic investigative committee "researched the allegations of scholarly fraud and concluded that Bellesiles was guilty of both substandard research methodology and of willfully misrepresenting specific evidence in" the book. (Quote source: The Emory Wheel. Hat-tip: Gordon Smith.)
One of Bellesiles' leading critics at the time was none other than blogger Lindgren. Working with Justin Lee Heather, he published "Counting Guns in Early America" in the William and Mary Law Review. It's a shocker -- as Lindgren later wrote for The Yale Law Journal...
The Montana Legislature has stopped short of calling the Patriot Act un-American, but only just. The first link below quotes a resolution that, among other things, "encourages Montana law enforcement agencies not to participate in investigations authorized under the Patriot Act that violate Montanans' constitutional rights." I see from the AP's round-up that an Idaho senator, Larry Craig, is joining a colleague from Illinois to reintroduce legislation that says the Act has gone too far.
I wondered when my great home state's rock-solid sense of individual liberty would become inflamed by the Patriot Act. Note that the issue has united Montana's extreme left and right (and we do have some extremes). I'm glad to see that it's happened as FBI Director Mueller is pushing for an expansion of the act:
Via Legal Blog Watch 4.6.05
I just posted this piece at Legal Blog Watch--thanks in advance for posting any comments there.--LS
I have a few thoughts on the sexual harassment scandal at one of the nation's largest law firms, Holland & Knight, after reading Dan Lynch's excellent report. I buy that partner Douglas A. Wright, 44, a tax lawyer, "maybe had watched one episode too many of 'Ally McBeal,'" in the words of HR consultant John Beane. But the statement by BigLaw consultant Edward Poll that an influx of women attorneys will eventually create a culture where sexual harassment is obsolete, while touchingly optimistic, doesn't reflect reality today or tomorrow.
Poll told Reporter Lynch, "If you look at law school classes, they're more than 50 percent women. When women who can act as women, rather than as clones of men, take power at law firms, the culture will change. It has to." Really? Let's examine the facts. Six months after nine attorneys filed internal complaints accusing Wright of sexual harassment, managing partner Howell Melton promoted Wright to chief operating partner of the Tampa firm and its 1,250 attorneys. Lynch describes Holland & Knight as "founded in Tampa in 1889, [with] 32 offices. It's the second-largest law firm in Florida and among the 15 largest firms in the country."
Wright's promotion included supervising HR, the same department that had overseen the previous year's private, internal investigation into sexual harassment claims against him. The same department that delivered to Wright "a private reprimand last summer, including orders to stop asking women in the office to feel his "pipes," or biceps. He was also told to stop commenting on their clothes and sex lives and to forgo any retaliation against the women who'd complained."
One of the firm's directors who presumably approved Wright's promotion and knew about the complaints was former ABA President Martha Barnett. This woman is also the person to whom Holland & Knight turned to handle the press when Wright recently resigned the post (but not the firm). According to Lynch, she told the St. Petersburg Times "that the news media coverage of her firm's handling of the case had caused embarrassment, particularly for an institution that views diversity and equality as a core value ..."
Let's give credit where credit is due: As Lynch reports, Barnett is not alone. There are lots of women already at Holland & Knight and the firm sounds as though it's working hard to keep them there. Lynch writes:
"Holland & Knight has made special efforts to advance women in the firm and in general. Among the firm's initiatives are the Rising Star program, which singles out five female lawyers a year for specialized management and leadership training. Last year, 13 of the 24 associates the firm promoted to partner were women. The firm also sponsors Women Executive Leadership, a nonprofit organization aimed at putting more women on corporate boards. "
Obviously the firm is doing something right, because the attorneys who filed their complaints about Wright didn't go to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- they stuck to the terms of their confidentiality agreement and worked it out from within. Yet, Lynch reports, "some Holland partners reportedly defended Wright and circulated a petition on his behalf within the firm."
My 2 cents: No one should have been surprised when the same, good-girl attorneys who supported the Holland team by playing within the firm's internal rules made sure the Times got wind of Wright's professional reward for bad conduct. In the words of sexual harassment specialist and attorney William Amlong, also quoted by Lynch, Holland & Knight sent "the wrong message, especially after complaints by nine women. That's not a sexual harassment complaint. That's a stampede."
And Holland & Knight should thank their lucky stars that women like Martha Barnett are willing to stay, publicly defend the firm, and work from within. So while I hope Edward Poll is more than just an optimist -- I hope he's right -- in this case of a leading American law firm, one that has invested in including women in the leadership structure and systematically recruiting more, he appears to be wrong.
What do you think?
Also posted on Legal Blog Watch 4.5.05: