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A New Type of Treatise

Within the span of a few years, blogging has changed the nature of legal scholarship and law reviews. And blogging has given hundreds of consumer clients access to information on substantive law through blogs like Kansas Family Law Blog, Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Care or the California Personal Injury Blog. And now, move over Westlaw and Lexis and keycites and annotations, because blogs are now giving legal research a run for its money.

Consider these developments of the past few weeks. At this earlier post, we reported on, run by three lawyers who organize and provide commentary on Federal Circuit decisions. Today, my co-blogger, Bob Ambrogi, posted about this blog, Maryland Court Watcher, where a group of Maryland attorneys provide synopses of "all opinions publicly available on the Internet of the Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, the U.S. District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, the Maryland Tax Court, and any Circuit Court in Maryland." Finally, a number of bloggers like Matt Buchanan of Rethink IP are making note of  the recent release of the 6,000-page treatise Patry on Copyright by William Patry (senior copyright counsel at Google). But as Buchanan notes, what makes the Patry release unique is the Patry Treatise Blog that Patry has started to collect comments on his treatise that other readers can access through the blog. 

Are these lawyer sponsored efforts to report on the law or to generate dialogue over a treatise (themselves once considered "black letter law") the beginning of a trend towards self-publishing? And are they sustainable in the long run? What do you think?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 16, 2007 at 08:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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