Have you noticed all the friendly pats on the back you’ve been getting lately from legal bloggers? It is that time of year when the editors of the ABA Journal ask members of the legal community to nominate their favorite law blogs for recognition in the annual ABA Blawg 100. These “friend-of-the-blawg briefs” are due in two days, on Sept. 7. Bloggers are discouraged from nominating their own blogs — thus the prevalence of those friendly pats from bloggers who’d like you to like them enough to put in a good word.
Launched in 2007, the ABA Blawg 100 has become a much-anticipated annual listing of the best legal blogs in a variety of categories. Over the five years that the list has been compiled, the categories have changed a bit from year to year. Last year, for example, blogs were recognized in 12 categories that included news, trial practice, law practice management, opinion, labor and employment, criminal justice, torts and legal technology.
One category of legal blog that the Blawg 100 has never recognized is e-discovery. Last year, the Blawg 100 included two very worthy e-discovery blogs, Joshua Gilliland’s Bow Tie Law and Sharon Nelson’s Ride the Lightning. But Josh’s blog was listed within the IP law category and Sharon’s in the legal technology category. E-discovery had no category to call its own.
E-discovery is not a niche. To the contrary, it may well be the single-most rapidly expanding area of law practice today. Whereas electronic data was once a curious anomaly, it now pervades every aspect of litigation and, indeed, of most law practice. E-discovery as a practice skill and as a practice area is now critical to lawyers and law firms.
Reflective of this trend are the growing number of high-quality blogs devoted to e-discovery in its various facets. Josh’s and Sharon’s are two great examples and there are many others. I hesitate to mention any, for fear of excluding so many. But if you’re unfamiliar with the landscape of e-discovery blogs, some I would recommend include Electronic Discovery Law by K&L Gates, EDD Update from Law.com, e-Discovery Team by Ralph Losey, Electronic Discovery and Evidence by Michael Arkfeld, and Ball in your Court by Craig Ball.
To be fair, there are also a number of excellent e-discovery blogs maintained by other vendors. Some of these are written by companies that are Catalyst partners, such as E-Discovery Beat by Exterro, and some are written by companies that are Catalyst competitors, such as e-discovery 2.0 from Clearwell. And for keeping up with e-discovery news and events broadly, you can’t do better than either eDiscovery Journal or Unfiltered Orange.
My own RSS reader includes roughly 50 e-discovery blogs I regularly track. And I keep discovering new ones to add to my list, such as the recently launched blog/podcast The Legal Geeks, which pairs the aforementioned Josh Gilliland and Jessica Mederson, who also writes her own e-discovery blog, E-Discovery Matters.
In short, e-discovery is not just a hot area of law practice — it is also a hot area of legal blogging, with a diverse and sophisticated array of blogs and authors. Given this, the time is ripe for the ABA Journal’s editors to take notice. This year, they should add a new category of legal blogs for recognition — e-discovery blogs.
If you agree, visit the Blawg 100 Amici page and let the editors know. Oh, and, while you’re there, if you are so inclined, I welcome you to nominate the Catalyst E-Discovery Search Blog. Consider this your virtual pat on the back.