the least dangerous blog
We're 6 and We Know It
Posted in Hype on Tuesday December 31 2013 @ 9:21am
Six years ago we came up with the idea of court-o-rama.org. As the courts are purportedly the least dangerous branch of government, so would this be the least dangerous blog. Sure, there were scores of legal blogs (blawgs), but almost none devoted to the courts themselves.
Six years ago it seemed like a crazy idea that just might work. My good times at the Jur-E Bulletin had come to a close. Although we branched out into new adventures, we always kept one foot in the court administration policy world.
Since then, we've brought you annual holidays such as Valentine's Day at probate courts around the country, and haunted Halloween courthouses. We continue to rail against both piss-poor research and bad ideas. To our great surprise, we grew readership beyond our starter Jur-E audience, and shot into the greater blawgosphere, meeting a bunch of interesting people along the way.
What's in our future? We plan to continue this blog, and we pray that people will keep reading and contributing. Whether we find ourselves discussing the rise of bitcoin, the extinction of the landline, or yet more traffic court basics, we promise to keep it real and fun.
In 2014, we wish all courts better funding, continued staff dedication (seriously, have you ever met some of these people? So committed!), and better public understanding. Happy birthday to us, and Happy New Year to you!
October Is Here!
Posted in Hype on Wednesday October 09 2013 @ 4:46am
October is here, and that means a new term for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). We were lucky enough to attend a preview of the new term, led by Howard Tolley of UC Law.
Of the governmental branches, is the SCOTUS the most functional, least generous, least dangerous? Professor Tolley says maybe, but notes that it is definitely the least understood.
On that note, he gave the audience a pop quiz, reproduced in part below, with extra parts added by court-o-rama:
- What is the usual win rate for the U.S. Solicitor General?
- What was the win rate for the U.S. Solicitor General last term?
- Which two Justices agreed most often last term?
- What is the number of Jewish justices currently sitting on the high court?
- What is the number of current Catholic justices?
- What is the number of Protestant justices?
- How many are women?
- How many are age 73 or older?
- how many are Democratic appointees?
- What percent of petitions are accepted and scheduled for oral argument?
- Last term, what percentage of cases were unanimous?
- Recent research found how many instances of humor (
We deemed something as being humorous if it elicited laughter from the audience, justices or advocates) last term?
- What percentage of humor did researchers find, but court reporters omit?
- Who was the least humorous last term, according to this research (or, arguably, by any standard)?
- Who was the most humorous?
- According to this study, are conservative or liberal justices funnier?
Keep On Rockin' In The Free World
Posted in Hype on Thursday July 04 2013 @ 7:01am
Just read it already!
What We're Reading
Posted in Hype on Saturday March 24 2012 @ 11:01am
OK, yes, still Goodnight, Moon. But, in addition ---
- A Struggle with the Police and the Law, John Paul Stevens, NYR (April 5, 2012).
- The Gay Path Through the Courts, David Cole, NYR (April 5, 2012).
It is rare enough for conduct long considered criminal, indeed worse than rape, to be transformed into a constitutional right. But for it to happen in a mere seventeen years, the equivalent of a nanosecond [...] is nothing short of extraordinary.
- Dear 16-Year-Old Me, Don't Go To law School, David Lat, Above the Law (February 29, 2012).
- Benefits to Being a Career Butterfly, Emily Guy Birken, MoneyNing (September 2011).
- Court Technology Bulletin. The post about best court websites is particularly thought-provoking.
- Cake Wrecks. Hey, it's Friday.
Saturday update: Convicted Combat Vets Watch Each Other's Backs to Stay Out of Prison, Michael M. Phillips, Wall Street Journal (March 23, 2012). Of the dozen or so articles about veterans courts we've read, this is by far the best. It goes beyond explaining the basic concept and feel-good outcomes (as most do) to show some of the underlying controversies, conflicts, and more difficult cases. Note: link is subscription-only.
It Ain't Over...
Posted in Hype on Monday January 02 2012 @ 4:29pm
Twelve days, right? Even though it seems like 8 weeks since our kids have been out of school...
So, not-belatedly, here are some wishes from our peeps at the Court Technology Bulletin: The Twelve Days of Court Tech!
Four More Years!
Posted in Hype on Thursday December 29 2011 @ 9:33am
Happy Birthday to us!
It was roughly 4 years ago that court-o-rama.org reared its silly, yet slightly informed head. Thanks SO much to everyone who followed us here from the Jur-E Bulletin, to those who found us on their own, to those who bail us out in various ways, to our facebook likers, etc. It's been fun, and will continue to be so.
Whiskers on Kittens
Posted in Hype on Tuesday December 27 2011 @ 4:53pm
Here are a few of our favorite things --
- Simple Justice: This blog by Scott Greenfield is New York- and defender-centric, but never misses a chance to comment on the larger world of criminal justice (or lack thereof).
- Justice at Stake: In these tense political times, Justice at Stake is doing excellent work. Please read before voting!
- probono.net: Chock full o' content is a unique online resource for nonprofit legal providers.
- Sentencing Law and Policy: One of the first and still grandaddy of all law professor blawgs, Doug Berman at OSU has remarkable drive. We got hooked on this in our Blakely days, but it is still always topical!
- NIEM Misconceptions Unmisconceptualized: Mmmm, cream puffs! My kids all like this video, so even if you're a NIEMaphobe or NIEM-cluless, even if you don't own a
Got NIEM?t-shirt, you will enjoy this.
- National Center for State Courts: Everything you ever wanted to know about state courts but were afraid to ask!
- Resources Study Innovation for Court ADR (RSI): Did you always wish there were a good online (or any) resource for ADR stuff? Here it is -- the answer to your dreams.
- Gavel to Gavel: Bill Raftery has the best court blog! Shh, don't tell anyone. Certainly, don't tell us.
What To Do
Posted in Hype on Wednesday November 30 2011 @ 7:59pm
- December 13-15, 2011: National Training Conference on Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities, Orlando, Florida.
- February 17-18, 2012: Conference: Manhood in American Law and Literature, Chicago. The conference will include dramatic performances by luminaries such as Judge Posner, Judge Wood, and Martha Nussbaum; student papers; and of course food and discussion.
- March 22-23: 6th Annual Sedona Conference Institute Program on Staying Ahead of the eDiscovery Curve, in St. Louis, Missouri. Do not accidentally visit Sedona!
- July 28, 2012: The Pound Civil Justice Institute will hold its Forum for State Appellate Court Judges in Chicago, Illinois. The timely topic (we don't think it will be solved by next summer) will be "The Court Funding Crisis."
Send us your events! We post them from time to time.
School of Blog
Posted in Hype on Monday November 28 2011 @ 1:50pm
What's new on Law Professor Blogs?
- China: A Decade in the WTO - conference papers, Donald C. Clarke, Chinese Law Prof Blog (November 26, 2011).
- The Balanced Budget Amendment's Attack on the Constitution, Steven D. Schwinn, Constituional Law Prof Blog (November 24, 2011).
- First Amendment Scholarship Update, Josie F. Brown, First Amendment Law Prof Blog (November 28, 2011). This is a weekly feature, and quite thorough.
- Many many interesting posts, links, and findings from Caitlin E. Borgmann's Reproductive Rights Prof Blog.
The story behind the blogs is interesting. The site was founded by Joe Hodnicki, then law librarian at the University of Cincinnati, now the Law Library Director for the Butler County (Ohio) Law Library, and Professor Paul Caron, also of UC Law. The simple yet brilliant plan was to collect all law professor-related blawgs in one corner of cyberspace for easy reference. The range of topics is immense -- from Adjunct Law Prof Blog to Workplace Prof Blog. Quality and updating varies -- law professors have so much more to do than blog the day away -- but some are quite helpful. The standout is Doug Berman's Sentencing Law & Policy blog, the first (though certainly not the last) blog to be cited by the SCOTUS. There are innumerable niches, such as Aviation Law Prof Blog, that you can't find anywhere else.
Posted in Hype on Monday November 07 2011 @ 9:27am
The NLADA has opened the polls to members. They can now vote on their favorite movie about justice.
- Norma Rae. My aunt made me see this multiple times in a theater. Yes, I was ten at the time.
- Amistad. This is great for legal history and/or property law fans (yes, we exist). Also, it illustrates how court interpreters are important to ensure access to justice.
- Philadelphia. We will always be grateful to Gwen Handelman for showing this in class. Her choice was a bold, brave, bodacious act in MetroLex at that time.
- Witness for the Prosecution. Personal connections: Tyrone Power went to my high school (years earlier, I'm afraid), and my little brother played a judge in this (years later).
- My Cousin Vinny. Oh, if only real court were this entertaining!
- North Country. It has a great cast and is set in Minnesota.
- Erin Brockovich.
- A Few Good Men.
- Presumed Innocent. Ahh, Raul Julia! May we also recommend Kiss of the Spider Woman? Less justice, but wow.
- Les Miserables. My brother frequently bursts into song, often showtunes, sometimes from Les Miz. H can also yodel.
Remember, only members can vote. But, unlike real-world voting, the rest of us can still complain. Why Jury Duty didn't make this list, we can't fathom.
See also Movie Therapy for Law Students (And Pre-Law, Paralegal, and Related Majors) by Sonia Buck.
Bail us out...
- Ex Linkus
- ABA Journal
- American Judicature Society
- Corrections Sentencing
- Court Tech Bulletin
- Federal Judiciary
- Gavel to Gavel
- Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
- Internet Movie Database
- Judicial Selection in the States
- Jur-E Bulletin
- Jury Experiences
- Justice at Stake
- Justice Served's Top 10 Websites
- Law Professor Blogs
- Law Library Resource Xchange (LLRX)
- National Conference of State Legislatures
- Ohio Jury Management Association
- Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts
- Sedona Conference, The
- Sentencing Law & Policy
- Simple Justice
- State Court Sites
- Tribal Court Clearinghouse