EIGHT YEARS OF BLOGGING: LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD

Today marks the 8th anniversary of Civil Litigation Brief as a blog.  This may be an appropriate time to look back and consider some “facts and figure”

FACTS AND FIGURES

Last year the blog had 1,464,443 views and 505,431 visitors (and there were 576,263 words written).

WHEN IS IT READ?

19% of views of this blog are on a Tuesday. The most popular time is 10.00 am which has 9% of all views. Interestingly the most popular time has slipped back an hour from the previous year, possibly a result of home working.  During “peak” lockdown both the most read day and time changed.  Now the result appears to be that it is read an hour later than normal.

WHO READS IT?

I don’t have that kind of information. I am assuming people do actually read it. The blog  has 23,657  subscribers.

 

WHY WRITE A BLOG ABOUT CIVIL PROCEDURE?

When I started this site I had no clear idea what a “blog” was.  It just seemed a good way of carrying on the job I had done writing a monthly column on the  Solicitors Journal.

Repeating what was said on the 1st 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”.

HOW THE BLOG STARTED

One of my then 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.

I assumed that blogging was some kind of strange activity. However when Kerry Underwood stepped in to help at a Chambers’ 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” the title I had used for a monthly column I wrote for the Solicitors Journal that had started in 1991 (hence the 29 year anniversary)   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. (As the figures above show has been more than a post a day for the past year).

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 beauties of blogging is that these can be reported, and commented upon, instantaneously.  They have become a central feature of the blog.

THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS: (A REPEAT FROM 2014)

There are two common questions.

Where does the information come from?

From the internet mainly.  However people are very kind in sending me material or pointing cases out, over the years this has become more common.  I like this a lot.  I encourage it.  Please tell me and send me anything of interest either as a link or case material.  Sometimes I have covered it already, but don’t be embarrassed. I’d rather be told 10 times than miss it once.

 

How much time does it take?

Or “have you given up the practice of law?” as some people ask. Far from it. I tend not to blog/write during the day, regarding this as “work time”. On average an hour or two in the evening. (Most of my Instructing Solicitors read the blog and, of course, all my normal working hours are devoted to their papers).   The time that the posts come out is not necessarily a reflection of when they are written.

 

AND THE NEXT EIGHT YEARS?

Well, I have no immediate plans to retire.  There is no shortage of new material coming along on a regular basis. Sometimes the most difficult decision is what not to write about.