Mark Herrmann, a partner at the Chicago office of the Jones Day firm, and co-author of the popular blog called Drug and Device Law, writes here about his admittedly unscientific analysis of the most recent annual survey by Kevin O’Keefe of blogs and blogging among the AmLaw 200 firms. Regardless of the size of one’s firm, it’s a useful and fun commentary on whether blogging for lawyers is or is not a worthwhile exercise. Speaking only for myself, and not for my firm, I can provide a few reasons why I think blogging is worth the substantial effort required to do it well, and why I am continuing this effort after more that 4 and one-half years since I started this blog.
In no particular order, blogging the way it is done on this blog, which includes primarily summarizing the key corporate and commercial decisions from Delaware’s Supreme Court and Chancery Court, as well as providing related commentary from leading experts, counts among its benefits the following:
- Thousands of readers, from all 50 states and over 100 countries, have come to expect prompt summaries on these pages of decisions from Delaware’s Chancery Court and Supreme Court shortly after the opinions are published. Meeting that expectation is one incentive to read and publish highlights of those cases sooner than I otherwise would.
- Compiling in an easily searchable, convenient and free format, key corporate and commercial Delaware decisions from those courts, has created what some have referred to as an "unofficial online reporter" for the corporate and commercial decisions of those courts. This is also helpful when looking for the proverbial "case that I recently read on a particular topic but cannot remember the name…"
- In addition to serving as an aid to keeping up to date on the latest developments in this area of the law, it provides an unparalleled means of keeping in touch with existing colleagues and meeting new practitioners in this area. I have strengthened ties and made new contacts with lawyers and judges (and their clerks) who are readers of this blog and who tell me that they benefit from the service that it provides by making it easier for them to keep updated on the latest decisions from the two courts that are predominately covered on these pages.
- Others around the world searching on Google for "Delaware corporate litigation" will find this blog as the first result of that search, which leads people to me that I otherwise would not be likely to meet, and often leads to requests for quotes from reporters as well as requests to write articles and present seminars (and inquiries from the occasional client).
- Leading corporate scholars and practitioners have cited to this blog in their publications, in a favorable manner, which most would agree is a characteristic that belongs in the list of positive descriptions.
- By routinely reading and summarizing the latest opinions in an organized and searchable format, shortly after they are published, one cannot help but become more familiar with the case law that would otherwise more often be read in a more casual and less retrievable manner. Most readers also make that same common sense conclusion about those who summarize the cases on this blog.
- Careful readers will have noticed that over the past few months I have not been the only one summarizing the cases on this blog, as was true for the prior four years. Kevin Brady, a well-respected and distinguished Delaware litigator, volunteered several months ago to summarize many of the cases, and I welcome his valuable contributions which have made the blog a better product. The opportunity to collaborate with Kevin to highlight the cases in order to maintain this blog must rank as one of the most enjoyable benefits that this blog has generated.
- There are other benefits, both tangible and intangible, that continue to justify, for me, the many hours a week spent on this endeavor, but this was intended as a short post and so an all-inclusive list will need to wait for another opportunity. Starting a blog may not be a good idea for all lawyers. It helps if one already has a facility with writing and tends toward an obsessive personality.
UPDATE: Mark Herrmann has an updated post here that chronicles the considerable attention that his original post generated in the blogosphere and elsewhere on this interesting topic.