This week I am pleased to be the host of Blawg Review, the law blog carnival. Blawg Review is hosted each week by a different law blogger who presents a selection of choice posts from law blogs across the blawgosphere.
For first-time visitors to this site, I created The UCL Practitioner in 2003 to cover the California Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code sections 17200 et seq.), which is our UDAP statute or "little FTC Act." I soon expanded the blog's scope to cover California class action law.
The UCL Practitioner is what might be called a "hard" law blog. It covers new decisions of the California appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit, with an occasional segue into decisions of interest from other circuits or other states' high courts. I created a companion blog, The Appellate Practitioner, for posts on California appellate practice. The blog's "soft" side covers law blogging and the state of the legal blogosphere.
As a California native, and as an attorney who lives and works in San Francisco, I have always tried to recognize and promote my fellow California law bloggers. The California blawgosphere will be the focus of Blawg Review #183.
An Introduction to the California Blawgosphere
An Introduction to the California Blawgosphere
California is home to some great law bloggers. Some of the earliest adopters — J. Craig Williams of May it Please the Court; Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage; and Professor Eugene Volokh of the The Volokh Conspiracy, to name just three — call California home. While it is no longer feasible to catalog all of the California-based law blogs, I've listed many in my blogroll to the right, and Professor Eric Goldman of Santa Clara University School of Law has compiled a list of Bay Area law bloggers. Mountain View-based Blawgsearch has a directory of 117 California-focused law blogs. The ABA Journal also has a directory of California law blogs.
Here are some highlights from California-based law bloggers over the past week:
- At Class Action Defense Blog, San Francisco attorney Michael J. Hassen has his weekly report on class action filings in California state and federal courts. This week, as in most weeks, new wage and hour class actions top the list.
- The Complex Litigator, authored by H. Scott Leviant of Los Angeles, pulls together some interesting thoughts about recent class-action-related decisions of the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District, Division Seven. I had not noticed that so many recent decisions of significance to class action practitioners came from Division Seven. They are the it-Division of the moment.
- Oxnard appellate lawyer Greg May, author of The California Blog of Appeal, has the latest in his series of posts on why clients should entrust their appellate work only to experienced appellate counsel.
- At May it Please the Court, Newport Beach attorney J. Craig Williams has a lengthy post outlining his latest book, tentatively entitled Bad Decisions? 10 Famous Cases That Changed History. Craig's first book is How to Get Sued: An Instructional Guide.
- California Punitive Damages - An Exemplary Blog is authored by several attorneys from Encino, including Lisa Perrochet and Curt Cutting. Last week, they reported on a dispute among the Exxon Valdez plaintiffs over how to distribute $383 million in punitive damages.
- California Attorney's Fees by Santa Ana attorneys Marc Alexander and William M. (Mike) Hensley discusses a new California case on the standard of review governing appeals from attorneys' fees awards.
- Attorney Bruce Nye of San Francisco is the author of Cal Biz Lit, where this week he covers a new California decision on federal preemption of product liability claims.
- Irvine attorney Michael J. Walsh of the popular blog Wage Law has a series of posts on the California Supreme Court's grant of review last week in an important case (Brinker v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum)) involving class certification of wage and hour claims, including an interesting discussion of California Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet's controversial actions in the wake of the Brinker opinion last July and the Supreme Court's grant of review last week. [Disclosure: I am co-counsel of record for the employees who sought review in Brinker.]
- Storm's Califorina Employment Law by Jon-Erik G. Storm of Santa Maria also reports on Brinker. One cool thing about Jon-Erik's blog is that he creates special category pages for each significant pending case or bill that he is following. Here is his category page for Brinker.
- Other California law bloggers who reported on Brinker last week include San Francisco attorney Kent J. Sprinkle at the California Labor and Employment Law Blog; Los Angeles attorney Anthony Zaller at California Workplace Resource Blog; San Francisco attorney D. Gregory Valenza at What's New In Employment Law?; and an unnamed Sheppard Mullin attorney at Labor and Employment Law Blog. Scott Leviant also has multiple Brinker-related posts at The Complex Litigator.
- Always reliable, University of San Diego School of Law Professor Shaun Martin of California Appellate Report summarizes a California Court of Appeal opinion that addressed an internecine dispute within the Episcopal Church.
- Attorney Martin N. Buchanan of San Diego maintains California Supreme Court Pending Civil Cases. The site takes the form of a single blog post and summarizes the civil cases now pending before the California Supreme Court, organized by subject matter and complete with a summary of the issues on review.
- At California Consumer Finance Litigation, San Francisco attorney Daniel O'Reilly reports on a new Ninth Circuit opinion on the interplay between choice-of-law provisions and no-class-action arbitration clauses. (I also reported on this Ninth Circuit case at this post.)
- The National Law Journal's L.A. Legal Pad reports on a wage and hour class action filed last week (the complaint is available here) on behalf of laid-off Heller Ehrman staff members (one of whom also has a blog, Heller Highwater).
- Los Angeles attorney Diane Crumpacker at the Southern California Employment Law Report blogs about the implications of the state and federal WARN laws. Incidentally, violations of those very laws are alleged in the Heller Ehrman wage and hour class action.
- Los Gatos attorney Kristie Prinz, author of California Biotech Law Blog, has a detailed post on the compliance questionnaires that the IRS recently issued to the technology transfer offices of over 400 colleges and universities.
- Attorney Beth Grimm of Pleasant Hill posted a reader Q&A last week on her blog, California Condo & HOA Law.
- IP Law Observer, authored primarily by Michael F. Kelleher of San Francisco, reports on a recent Federal Circuit decision holding that "payments by a drug manufacturer to end patent invalidity claims did not violate antitrust laws because the anticompetitive effect was within the exclusionary scope of the patent."
- At California Divorce Blawg, attorney John E. Harding of Pleasanton reports on a new Eighth Circuit opinion on international child custody disputes.
- Norman Gregory Fernandez, "a real biker" and a real Chatsworth-based motorcycle lawyer, blogs at Biker Law Blog. Last week, he wrote about a disturbing trend of government seizures of motorcycle clubs' intellectual property--specifically, their club logos. Evidently, the authorities declare the clubs "criminal enterprises," invoke civil forfeiture laws, "seize" the club logos, then assert that the club members may no longer wear them on their clothing. Reminds me of news reports about laws that say I can't wear my Barack Obama or "No on 8" buttons to my polling place when I vote because that's considered "electioneering."
- Bakersfield-based Terrence T. Egland of the California Business Bankruptcy Blog reported at the end of August that nearly one million bankruptcy cases had been filed in the preceding 12 months. He has not posted since. He must be busy.
- At Technology & Marketing Law Blog, Santa Clara University Law School Professor Eric Goldman reports on a Central District of California decision addressing whether California had personal jurisdiction to hear a defamation action against a Florida-based blogger (it did not).
- At The Volokh Conspiracy, UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh offers advice to prospective law students interested in specializing in "internet law" -- whatever that means.
- At Statements of Interest, Sausalito attorney Cathy Gellis describes her (bad) experience with a legal job search firm called Law Crossing. I had the pleasure of meeting Cathy once at a get-together of Bay Area law bloggers organized by Professor Goldman.
- Attorney Colin Samuels of San Ramon has a weekly schadenfreude report at his blog, Infamy or Praise. Colin is also a Blawg Review sherpa.
- San Francisco attorney Kevin Underhill of the legal humor blog Lowering the Bar reminds us that we all enjoy the constitutionally-protected right to drop the F-bomb when we need to.
- Legal Pad, the blog of CalLaw.com, debates the merits of Twitter for lawyers and provides a link to a list of over 300 "absolute-must-follow lawyer-twitterers." I first learned about Twitter at BlogHer 2007 in Chicago, and I created a Twitter account, but its utility for lawyers I confess remains beyond me. What would I have written yesterday? That I was researching whether the 30-day deadline to submit corrections to a deposition transcript is extended 5 days for service by mail (it is, according to Weil & Brown)? Fascinating stuff.
- Steve Mayer, San Francisco attorney and author of the relatively new law blog The California Constitution, reports on a recent Court of Appeal opinion on the scope of the voters' power to adopt initiative measures, an important issue eight days before the election. The opinion "reaffirmed that initiatives can only be used to enact statutes, not to compel future legislative action."
- Speaking of the election, San Francisco attorney John Hoar of The Legal Reader excerpts a New York Times article on the potential impact of the presidential election on the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Drug and Device Law of Philadelphia/Chicago has already declared Obama the winner. I am cautiously optimistic.)
- Dale C. Campbell of the Sacramento-based IP Law Blog gives us a summary of the presidential candidates' positions on intellectual property rights (to the extent they can be discerned).
- In his Election Law Blog, Professor Rick Hasen of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles points us to his latest Findlaw.com article, which discusses the adverse impact of the litigation over the 2000 presidential race and the likelihood of similar litigation this year, especially in some of the swing states.
- Beverly Hills-based attorney Victoria Pynchon catches Barack Obama fever at her negotiation law blog, Settle it Now. Law.com recently featured Victoria's blog in this list of twenty strong female voices in the legal blogosphere.
I hope you've enjoyed this potpourri of posts from the best of the California blawgosphere. If you know of other great posts from California law bloggers that could have been included here, please mention them in the comments. And next Monday, be sure to visit the law professors at The Faculty Lounge, who will be hosting a special Election-Eve Blawg Review.
Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions on how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.