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December 10 2007 Legal Blog Roundup

( 1 vote, average: 2.5 out of 5)
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Watch out Al Gore. Susan L. Smith, professor of environmental law at Willamette University College of Law, maintains a blog about environmental law (and the environment in general) which deals with issues like national carbon emission standards, the future impact of global warming, and which companies are having to dole out the big bucks for violating environmental protection standards (hint, hint: British Petroleum). A Harvard J.D., Smith knows of what she speaks and teaches and even co-authored the authoritative Crimes Against the Environment in 1997.

You might be surprised to learn that a significant number of lawyers become journalists (though all the really "great" ones end up in politics, à la John Edwards). Even Diane Sawyer spent a year at law school before shifting into the Nixon administration. Media Law, a blog about freedom of the press, is run by someone of a similar background: Robert J. Ambrogi is a Massachusetts lawyer and journalist. He also serves as executive director of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association. His blog details the ever-contentious issue of freedom of the press (and thereby freedom of speech) and the increasingly combative nature of covering the news. Check out his November 7 entry "Database Tracks Threats to Citizen Journalists." It'll make you think twice the next time you flip on CNN and wonder why Jon Stewart is just so much better than Larry King.

Be honest: does anything really warm the cockles of your heart quite as pleasantly as the thought of a multinational corporation having to open up its vaults and make amends for misleading or hurting its customers? Wouldn't we all love it if the insurance industry just got raked like the displaced homeowners of Louisiana and Mississippi did after Katrina? If you answered "yes" to either or both of these questions, then check out the Class Action Defense Blog. Maintained and updated regularly by McGlinchey Stafford, it provides fairly comprehensive (if not entirely objective) news on those smaller class action lawsuits we don't hear much about on the evening news. Some cases are very bogus, and some are heartbreaking, but the blog does give you an insight into how lawyers dealing class action lawsuits view the entire process, which can be simultaneously amusing and horrifying. It's more tongue-in-cheek than anything else and well worth an occasional visit.

Willamette University College of Law


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