As I’ve written before, blogging is a pie eating contest in which the prize is: more pie. Elaborating a bit more:
If you write well, you will get readers who will want you to write more. You will be contacted by those who run blogs, publish magazines and books, host radio shows, or organize CLEs with offers for you to contribute to those forums with your thoughts. Does that interest you, even though most of those pay nothing at all? If so, great! Blogging may be for you. I find contributions to other forums one of the more rewarding parts of my practice, but don’t kid yourself that such is the path to fame and riches. It’s just more pie, so you better like pie to start with.
I got a nice, big slice of pie earlier this week. I called up my mother, told her to pick up her copy of Vanity Fair — one of the few magazines to which she still subscribes (“Vogue is a bunch of trash”) — and directed her to the page on which my blog was cited as a legal authority.
That’s right. Call Annie Leibovitz for my portrait. Tell Sebastian Junger and Christopher Hitchens their replacement has arrived. I’ve made it big. No more free autographs on my letters; both the client for whom it is sent and the recipient who does not want it anyway will need to pay me for it.
How did I earn this distinction? Through my penetrating insight into the legal issues of the day? By writing, two or three times a week, the wittiest and most charming remarks anywhere on the internet?
Or by merely noting a movies-about-lawsuits coincidence while discussing an obscure rule of civil procedure? Judge for yourself:
The brothers say the messages should have been made available to them, and are now trying to overturn the settlement once again, using Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Rule 60(b), notes the blog Litigation & Trial, was most famously deployed in the case of Anderson v. Cryovac, which was the basis of the 1998 John Travolta vehicle, A Civil Action.In the case, the plaintiffs won a modest judgment, then discovered that damning evidence had been kept from them, and with it petitioned the courts to open an entirely new trial.
Which is what the Winklevosses have asked of Douglas Woodlock, the federal judge before whom they first filed suit, in 2004, but with one key difference: they never had a trial—they settled in mediation, which is binding, and that plays heavily in Facebook’s favor.
The post Dana Vachon is referencing in her column about the Winklevosses (who? you ask? Why, they’re the Olympic rowing twins that sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming he stole the idea for Facebook from them, the core of The Social Network) is here.
So, there you go. Want to make it big through legal blogging? Find something exceedingly obscure and then beat it to death. Then, months later, a reporter doing a human interest piece on a footnote to the history of the internet might just briefly reference your work.
Your mom will be very proud. My mom says she’ll subscribe to Vanity Fair forever.