FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF CIVIL LITIGATION BRIEF: A (BRIEF) RECAP
This week sees the fourth anniversary of this blog. I am going to repeat most of what I said in the post on the first anniversary.
CIVIL PROCEDURE IN JUNE 2013
When the blog started civil procedure was a slightly obscure subject. Litigators had to know about limitation, service of the claim form and be mindful of peremptory orders. However on the whole all other aspects of litigation would come out in the wash. When I started the blog I knew that some changes were afoot, this was evident from the third ever post, on extensions of time. But I had no idea that issues of procedure were going to dominate litigation in the way that they now do. I could not have envisaged the “Mitchell mayhem” which developed into “Mitchell madness”. Over time, however, and particularly after Denton this has settled down. Although sanctions still feature heavily.
HOW THE BLOG STARTED
One of my colleagues, Andrew Wilson had, for some time been urging me to go on a thing called “twitter”. I knew little about twitter (other than people were getting sued for things they said on it) and even less about blogs. However Andrew is very insistent and persuaded me to start (he does mention this now and again) .
I assumed that blogging was some kind of strange activity. However when Kerry Underwood stepped in to help at a Chamber’s conference I was organising we met up for a “power breakfast”. Blogging was not mentioned, but I thought “Kerry has a blog and he is relatively normal”. Eventually I was worn down and I decided, in addition to twitter, to “re-instate” a monthly column I wrote for the Solicitors Journal for 17 years. That column had dealt with the old “automatic striking out” debacle and the introduction of the Woolf Reforms. I imagined I could do (more or less) monthly updates of the impact of Jackson. How naive I was. (There has been more than a post a day throughout the history of the blog to date).
HOW THE BLOG DEVELOPED
I did not know that there was a whole community of well established legal bloggers and I got early support and encouragement from Chris Dale and Jon Williams in particular, not to mentioned the “relatively normal” Mr Underwood.
Issues of sanctions and procedure quickly began to feature quite heavily in reports and anecdotal evidence. One of the features of blogging is that these can be reported, and commented upon, instantaneously. They have become a central feature of the blog.
LAW AND THE INTERNET
I had no idea that google was a central part of legal research. There are two million legal related searches in the UK each day. The number of people who arrive on the blog following a search – about 1,400 a day during weekdays. 300 – 400 at weekends.
MOST POPULAR SEARCH TERMS
People are always interested in this. The most popular terms for 2017 so far are “Civil Litigation Brief”, followed by “Gordon Exall blog”, there are other variations (based on mis-spellings of Exall). I regularly publish the stranger search terms that lead to the blog on Twitter (Yesterday for instance “can a judge go back and change his ruling”)
MOST POPULAR POSTS
The most popular posts for this year so far are “The lying witness: the approach of the civil courts” and “Adjournments on the grounds of ill health a detailed consideration”. What this says about the civil justice system is for others to fathom.