SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF CIVIL LITIGATION BRIEF (AS A BLOG): A REVIEW OF ADVICE RECEIVED FROM ACROSS THE PROFESSION AND ACROSS THE WORLD
Today marks the 6th anniversary of the blog. Last year I did a detailed review of many of the series and key points over the previous years. To celebrate this year I am concentrating on the contributions made by others. The “Crowd Sourcing” of nuggets of advice from across the profession has proven to be a popular and fruitful way of interacting with readers.
CIVIL PROCEDURE IN JUNE 2013
Civil Litigation Brief had been a monthly (at times weekly) column in the Solicitors Journal for many years. When I started the blog I knew that there was a need to keep a close eye on procedural issues and 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 in this blog.
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) . If I was going to tweet, I decided, I was also going to blog.
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. The “proving thing” series has proven (ironically) to be extremely popular. I planned to stop this at the 1ooth post, but walking on the Legal Walk in Leeds last year I was persuaded not to.
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. In a weekday there are around 400 – 500 clicks to links on the blog.
JOINING IN: “CROWD SOURCED” ARTICLES
One feature I have enjoyed, particularly this year, has been the “crowd sourcing” of information and advice, particularly from Twitter. Here are links